Can someone help me better understand chord progressions?

So far all I know (I don’t even think I’m right)

is say in the key of C you have I-ii-IV, would that equal C-Dm-F? Or is it just C-D-F and the D just sounds minor compared to I IV and V?  

Also any yt videos you could recommend that wouldn’t completely overwhelm me with information?

2 Answers

  • 3 weeks ago
    Best Answer

    It's I-ii-IV. In major keys the I, IV, and V chords are major, the ii, iii, and vi chords are minor, and the vii chord is diminished.

    EDIT: The thing is, this system of music theory was organized a couple of hundred years ago as a way of understanding the music that was being written then. Obviously, music has changed a lot since then. The system is not all that useful for understanding the popular music of today, which commonly contains chord progressions that you wouldn't find in the music of Mozart or Beethoven.

    • Mamianka
      Lv 7
      3 weeks agoReport

      C- D - F would be written as I - V/V - IV Or could be I - ii+3 - IV. No shortcut notational system is as good as legitimate conventional notation - just what is you can interpret ion the fly.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Think of it like families.

    In any key there are three major chords that theory calls I, IV and V. Those are not random labels as they actually mean something but let's not get bogged down in musical intervals at this stage. Think of them as you, your mum and your dad. Whatever key you are in, the relationship between those chords (the space between them or musical interval) always remains the same.

    Every major key has a related minor key. Think of them as your cousin, your aunt and your uncle. They live three doors down from you (well, three semitones/frets actually). The relationship between each of them (the musical intervals between them) is exactly the same as it is in your family. In musical theory, they are known as ii, iii and vi.

    You also have this odd-ball relative who only comes out on special occasions and who you can safely forget about most of the time. That is the diminished chord. It is part of the family and has its place and is the perfect choice in some situations but, most of the time, they are just not around.

    Major chords never sound 'minor'.

    A chord sequence is any series of chords played together. Some sound melodic while others sound more jarring. It is a chord sequence whether or not it sticks to the chords within its given key. Sometimes you WANT it to feel a bit edgy. The sequence C, Am, F, G is very common and is all within the key of C. Another sequence: E, G, A, C occurs quite often in pop but borrows chords from more than one key. Your suggestion of the sequence C, D, F is not outrageous. It works. If you want a sequence within the key of C, you are more likely to choose C, Dm, F.

    Try this sequence in the key of C: C, G, Am, Em, F, C, F, G.

    Compare the sound and feel to this sequence: C, E7, F, C, F, C, D7, G.

    As a self-taught player, before the internet was even invented and unable to afford books or lessons, I believe it is most important to train your ears. Theory matters, even if you learn it or work it out for yourself without ever knowing the 'proper' words for it. You have to understand intervals, patterns and relationships if you want to progress but all the theory in the world will not make you a musician with feeling and flexibility if you cannot hear what works and what doesn't.

    Sorry, I cannot recommend any YouTube videos because I am not very familiar with YouTube and the few guitar related videos I have seen were not always as good as the presenter thought they were. I hope you find what you are looking for and get as much pleasure from playing as I have over the years.

    Source(s): Guitar player for over 50 years and still learning.
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