Categories
Uncategorized

Analyzing Chord Progressions

Analyzing chord progressions is a skill you must learn if you want to be a serious guitarist/musician.

Many times in guitar playing you will get chord progressions written out by hand without key signatures or you might learn the song progression from a recording. In either case you need to establish what key or keys you are in to improvise effectively.

Diatonic Progressions

Here is the F Scale and the triads that go with it.

All major scales have three major chords and three minor chords. The diminished chord would not be a tonal center chord except in some forms of Jazz or Blues/jazz fusion

Here is the F scale with the 4 note chords that get a lot of use.

The I, IV and V chords are major chords but only the 5th chord(C,C7) can be a dominant chord. So if you see a C7 you are in F major. The I and IV are major 7th chords, a smoother sound.

If you have an F major chord in the progression you could be in the keys of F, B flat or C. If it was an F7 you would be in B flat.

A song for this key that comes to mind is Smooth Operator by Sade. vi-iii-ii-iii or Dm-Am-Gm-Am. The song has a minor tonality even though it’s from the major scale.

Keys and Chords

C

Cma7

Dm7

Em7

Fma7

G7

Am7

Bm7♭5

F

Fma7

Gm7

Am7

B♭ma7

C7

Dm7

Em7♭5

B♭

B♭ma7

Cm7

Dm7

E♭ma7

F7

Gm7

Am7♭5

E♭

E♭ma7

Fm7

Gm7

A♭ma7

B♭7

Cm7

Dm7♭5

A♭

A♭ma7

B♭m7

Cm7

D♭ma7

E♭7

Fm7

Gm7♭5

D♭

D♭ma7

E♭m7

Fm7

G♭ma7

A♭7

B♭m7

Cm7♭5

G♭

G♭ma7

A♭m7

B♭m7

C♭ma7

D♭7

E♭m7

Fm7♭5

F♯

F♯ma7

G♯m7

A♯m7

Bma7

C♯7

D♯m7

E♯m7♭5

B

Bma7

C♯m7

D♯m7

Ema7

F♯7

G♯m7

A♯m7♭5

E

Ema7

F♯m7

G♯m7

Ama7

B7

C♯m7

D♯m7♭5

A

Ama7

Bm7

C♯m7

Dma7

E7

F♯m7

G♯m7♭5

D

Dma7

Em7

F♯m7

Gma7

A7

Bm7

C♯m7♭5

G

Gma7

Am7

Bm7

Cma7

D7

Em7

F♯m7♭5

Chord Progressions

Suppose you have a progression in which you have two major chords one whole tone apart like B flat to C

The only place this happens in the major scales is the IV and V chord. If you look at the table you will see you are in the key of F major

Minor Chords

Only two of the minor chords in the major scale are used as a home base. The ii and the vi. The iii chord produces a minor flat 9 scale which doesn’t sound good

One popular minor progression is the ii-V(two-ive). C it would be Dm to G but usually Dm7 to G7, just extended chords which give more color to the sound.

I hope you found this page useful.

Follow @learn-guitar-asap