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Creating Beautiful Minor Chord Progressions

Capture that sad and moody feeling with these progressions

Lisa Witt - Sep 20, 2019

Chord progressions are the foundation of all our popular songs, and I'm often asked how to write a beautiful minor chord progression.

 

We recently released a lesson on some different chord progressions to capture any mood. You can find that by clicking here.

 

Today I'll show you some more minor chord progressions, to really capture that sad or moody feeling.

 

The first thing you'll need to do is figure out which minor chords you can use. That will depend on the key that you are in. To see our lesson on knowing which chords sound good together, just click here.

 

We're in the key of G today, so I know that the minor chords in that key are Am, Bm, and Em. So that is the minor ii, iii, and vi (we use small roman numerals to represent minor chords).

 

Let's look at some progressions:

 

Progression 1 - My favorite minor progression


This one uses the minor vi and the minor iii. It sounds really moody, ominous and sad.

 

Those chords are Em and Bm in the key of G.

 

You can stay on those two chords, alternating back and forth. Or you can explore other options by adding in some major chords as well.

 

Some of my favorite options are resolving to the I chord or moving to the IV or V chords (major chords use capital roman numerals).

 

Progression 2


This one starts on the minor ii, before moving to the I and then the V. So in the key of G the chords are Am-G-D.

 

What I love about this progression is how it sounds really unfinished. That's because it doesn't resolve. It just hangs on that V chord.

 
Progression 3


So far we have started each progression on a minor chord. But you don't have to do that to still create a minor chord progression.

 

This final pattern actually starts on a major chord, the IV. It then steps up to the V and minor vi. So again in the key of G the chords are C-D-Em.

 

It gives a real moody feeling and is a popular progression in a lot of EDM music. I love playing this progression and improvising over the top with the minor pentatonic scale.

 

If you know your minor chords and your key signatures, then you already have the tools to create your own moody minor progressions. The first step is getting comfortable with the chords that are in each key signature. Once you know those, you have a good foundation to start building your own minor chord progressions.

 

Have fun!

#Piano Lessons

#Lisa Witt

#Beautiful Chords

#Creating Minor Chord Progression

#Beautiful Minor Chord Progression

#minor chords

#Minor Piano

#Beginner Chord Progression

Play The Piano FASTER!

Master the thumb tuck to fly up and down the keyboard

Lisa Witt - Sep 17, 2019

If you want to get faster at playing scales and runs - this is the lesson for you!

 

What usually happens is the thumb tuck slows us down. It takes time to get the thumb underneath and reset the hand.

 

So I have an exercise you can practice to get much more comfortable with the thumb tuck, which will allow you to play much faster.

 

The Thumb Tuck Scale

 

Play the C major scale using ONLY your thumb and index finger. So you’ll have to be tucking your thumb under constantly to move up the scale.

 

 

Easy right?

 

Making it harder

 

Now, play the same scale but using your thumb and 3 finger (middle finger).

 

This is more challenging, and you might find your elbow will want to fly out away from your body, like a wing. Try to avoid this, and keep your elbow stable and close to your body.

 

Start slow and work on building up your speed, while maintaining control.

 

Once you've done that, use your thumb and 4 finger.

 

 

Adding in sharps

 

Once it’s easy in the key of C major, it’s time to start adding in some black keys.

 

This exercise will feel really awkward -- and it’s supposed to be. Tucking your thumb under to play a black key is not something you’ll ever really have to do in a real piece of music. But it will help you get comfortable tucking your thumb under your fingers.

 

 

If you can do this, then playing a ‘normal’ scale will be super easy.

 

Don’t neglect the left hand

 

Don’t leave your left hand behind. Make sure to practice these exercises with BOTH hands. I have a lot of students who complain that their left hand is not as good as their right, but they don’t practice both equally.

#Piano Lessons

#Piano Scales

#Lisa Witt

#Faster Fingers

#Thumb Tuck

#Play Faster

#Improve Your Piano Speed

#Play The Piano Faster

Improvise With These Beautiful Scale Patterns

Use the minor pentatonic scale to create stunning melodies

Lisa Witt - Sep 13, 2019

The minor pentatonic scale is an amazing scale that can create stunningly beautiful riffs, runs, and melodies. It is a fantastic way to start improvising and exploring in minor keys because there are only 5 notes!

 

If you don’t know the minor pentatonic scale, I’m so excited for you. It will change the way you think about improvising.

 

In this lesson, I’m going to show you how to play the minor pentatonic scale, and then show you 3 really cool patterns to start your improvising with. As always, these are just guides to get you started. I’d really encourage you to take them and make them your own!

 

The Minor Pentatonic Scale & Pattern 1

 

The coolest thing about the minor pentatonic scale is that the notes of the scale are exactly the same as the notes of the RELATIVE major pentatonic scale. For example, the notes of the D major pentatonic scale are D-E-F#-A-B.

 

 

The relative minor of D major is B minor. So the B minor pentatonic scale has EXACTLY the same notes, just starting on B.

 

So it’s B-D-E-F#-A.

 

This leads us to our first pattern. Just get to know the pentatonic scale by playing the notes up and down over a chord progression. This progression is Bm-G-D-A.

 

Pattern 2

 

This one is similar to the first, but now we are going to explore the scale a bit more. First, you can play the scale all the way up, but this time add the B at the top. 

 

 

Then start playing around with landing on other notes of the scale. Remember there are 5 to choose from, and they will all sound good. This is a great way to explore your creativity while knowing that you will still be safe within the scale.

 

Pattern 3

 

This final pattern sounds really different from the other two because we are actually taking some notes OUT of the scale. All of the notes in the pentatonic scale will sound good over the progression, but that doesn’t mean you have to play all of them!

 

This time just play B-F#-A-B. So really we are only using 3 of the 5 notes of the scale, but it still sounds beautiful.

 

 

Take these patterns, get comfortable with the scale and then start improvising and exploring on your own!

#Beginner Piano Lesson

#Chord Progressions

#Pentatonic Scale

#Lisa Witt

#Playing Beautifully

#Minor Pentatonic

#Pianote