The benefit of Melodic Chord Progressions

Very often when people start to create a chord progression they often just use the chord in it’s same original shape going up and down. When you are playing power chords on guitar for example then this is unavoidable. But let’s say that you have more freedom. You are for example the accompaniment of a singer or lead instrument. Then the texture is thinner and there is more room for you to be more creative.

What often is forgotten, is that chords have potential melody tones in them as well. So they are not just a collection of vertical sounds. They also communicate melodically or horizontally as it’s called.

This raises the question, what do you actually hear when listening to a chord progression and are all tones equal or do some stand out a bit more? For me when listening, the bass tones and the top voices stand out the most. Especially the top voice is responsible for the melodic contour. So it’s important to be aware of this.

In this video I will show probably the most often forgotten technique when it comes to writing a melodic chord progressions. And it’s a shame because it’s really simple to apply and the results are really great.

All examples have midi pictures, chords and notes. So everybody can tag along!

►Link to the video/blog for creating chord progressions:

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Below are the timestamps for the video in case you want to skip to a certain part or want to revisit a step.

0:00 – Intro
0:27 – Comparing two progressions
0:55 – How to listen to chord progressions
1:28 – Example of what tones are most important melodically
2:22 – Adjusting a progression to make it more melodic & interesting
4:10 – The beginning and final result compared
4:50 – When and why do you apply this melody technique?

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