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Piano Chord Progressions

Understanding how to create chord progressions

Lisa Witt - Jan 25, 2019

 

Chord progressions are what all music is based on. A chord progression is simply a progression of chords that sound really good together. There are so many different progressions that you can use depending on what genre of music you are playing. This lesson will outline some of the more popular progression and give you some ideas for creating your own.

Pop music

The most popular progression in pop music is based on the 1-5-m6-4.These numbers refer to degrees in the scale and will will show you where to play your chords based on the scale or key that you are in. For example in the key of C we have:

 

1=C

5=G

M6= Am

4=F

 

Play these chords in any order to create your own progression!

Jazz

In jazz music, the 2-5-1 is a very popular progression. Play these chords as 7ths for an added jazzy touch.  In the key of C we have

 

2-Dm

5-Am

1-C

 

Blues

In blues, we have the 1-4-5 progression to give us that iconic blues sound. In the key of C this looks like:

 

1=C

4=F

5=G


I hope you find these genre guidelines helpful. Remember you can create your own progressions based on your favorite style of music, mood and simply what sounds best to your ears! Mix and match, change up the order, and play with rhythmic and dynamic variations.

#Learn Piano

#Chord Progressions

#Play Piano Chords

#Improvisation

Hi, I'm Lisa Witt

Lisa has taught in a variety of settings from beginners just getting started to recording artists preparing their songs for the road. While her background is classical, she loves helping students play the music they love by ear and is excited to be a part of YOUR journey.