Jump to content

Do you steer clear of 'obvious' chord sequences?


Billy Sausage

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 51
  • Created
  • Last Reply
  • Members

I don't.

 

But I think I'd be a better writer If I pushed myself just a little more there.

 

However, if you too far, if just pick odd chord sequences, you risk ending up like some of the forgotten progressive and fusion bands from the 70s, doing pro forma excursions into awkward sequences or jacking melodic phrases into odd modulations in order to fit your demand for chordal iconoclasm.

 

I think a much better model, in this respect, would be the Beatles. There are lots of familiar changes -- from one chord to another -- but then you get a subtle little twist in the way the song is built, a little grace note of pleasant surprise that makes the whole thing come alive.

 

Or, to jump genres, take Thelonious Monk, one of the more respected writers in 20th century jazz. His melodies and chord sequences often seem predictable for brief periods but there are all these little subversions of the expected melody or rhythm.

 

It was the mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar, I think that helped make Monk or the Beatles seem so fresh and has kept their music alive while so many other writers had faded into history.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I'm probably one of the biggest advocates of staying clear of overly simple progressions. I'd die if I ever used a simple I-IV-V progression in a song. However, I do see myself often coming back with the same types of progressions. e.g. Em C G D. I use that one a lot. The fact is, you can't escape overused chord progressions, but what you can do is exactly what the Beatles did and put a little twist on them or go in some really unexpected direction.

 

The latest song I'm working on has a part that's Em C C#dim C. James Bond type chord progression, done a billion times before, right? So what I did is expand on it: Em C C#dim Dm Bb BbM7 F A D D#dim. Pretty all over the board, but it all comes from the more cliche progression.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I'm probably one of the biggest advocates of staying clear of overly simple progressions. I'd die if I ever used a simple I-IV-V progression in a song. However, I do see myself often coming back with the same types of progressions. e.g. Em C G D. I use that one a lot. The fact is, you can't escape overused chord progressions, but what you can do is exactly what the Beatles did and put a little twist on them or go in some really unexpected direction.


The latest song I'm working on has a part that's Em C C#dim C. James Bond type chord progression, done a billion times before, right? So what I did is expand on it: Em C C#dim Dm Bb BbM7 F A D D#dim. Pretty all over the board, but it all comes from the more cliche progression.

 

Blimey, that is all over the place! :eek:

 

Give me 'Tomorrow never knows' by The Beatles, any day - one chord all the way through :cool::thu:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Yep, pretty nuts, but I wanted something with a lot of motion! If you want you can listen to it, nobody has replied to my thread yet (it's titled "The Collective")
:cry:

 

I'm still waiting for someone to listen to my 40+ songs on my Soundclick site!

 

www.soundclick.com/saultnads

 

I'll have a listen to yours now - give me a few minutes :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I'm still waiting for someone to listen to my 40+ songs on my Soundclick site!


www.soundclick.com/saultnads


I'll have a listen to yours now - give me a few minutes
:)

I've heard some of them, Saul. (If I may call you, Saul... ;) ) You've got a really polished pop-rock feel to your writing and arranging.

 

I think the community focus here is more about improving songwriting craft than promotion -- but I feel sure that by giving good straight up feedback and advice to folks -- since you've clearly got your own perspective and arranging/writing chops to spare -- that you'll inevitably get people listening to your music. People want to know where folks are coming from, I think, when they're evaluating the constructive criticism they get.

 

And, of course, it goes without saying that they'll likely be more than ready to listen to your works in progress when you're looking for feedback and want constructive criticism, yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I've heard some of them, Saul. (If I may call you, Saul...
;)
) You've got a really polished pop-rock feel to your writing and arranging.


I think the community focus here is more about improving songwriting craft than promotion -- but I feel sure that by giving good straight up feedback and advice to folks -- since you've clearly got your own perspective and arranging/writing chops to spare -- that you'll inevitably get people listening to your music. People want to know where folks are coming from, I think, when they're evaluating the constructive criticism they get.


And, of course, it goes without saying that they'll likely be more than ready to listen to your works in progress when you're looking for feedback and want constructive criticism, yourself.

 

Thanks for your kind words :)

 

I'm really not very good at giving advice about songwriting. You see all I do is strum my guitar, hum along to whatever chords I'm playing, and a song usually presents itself to me

 

I've read some of the advice posted by others and it completely baffles me! :o I just like to keep it simple :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

i always try to keep it simple even if that means a I, IV, V, etc. I really hate it when people try to write difficult music / chord changes for the sake of being difficult or wierd. just because something is difficult to play doesn't mean it's good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

i always try to keep it simple even if that means a I, IV, V, etc. I really hate it when people try to write difficult music / chord changes for the sake of being difficult or wierd. just because something is difficult to play doesn't mean it's good.

 

Exactly! :thu::wave:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I'm still waiting for someone to listen to my 40+ songs on my Soundclick site!


www.soundclick.com/saultnads

 

I did.

 

I like the song "Merry Go Round" best. Then "Black Market Daydre..." and "Same Again" and "Say Hello To The Sun."

 

I felt like being transported back to my youth in the sixties, when some pop music had something similar in the sound.

 

I'm an expert now for your music!

 

.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Thanks for your kind words
:)

I'm really not very good at giving advice about songwriting. You see all I do is strum my guitar, hum along to whatever chords I'm playing, and a song usually presents itself to me


I've read some of the advice posted by others and it completely baffles me!
:o
I just like to keep it simple
:)

If it makes you feel any better, I often baffle myself.

 

;)

 

I'm sure that any constructive criticism -- and sometimes just simple encouragement -- will be gratefully accepted in most cases.

 

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I try and stay away from the obvious, e.g. Em C G D but if the vocal melody/lyrics are great then it doesn't matter how cliched the chords are because with a great vocal hook people won't be thinking so much about the guitar changes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...