Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Chords are like that too. There are an infinite number of ways chords could progress, but if you toss all the songs ever written into a giant computer and have it spit out the most common chord progressions, you'll find that the top 5 or 6 progressions are used perhaps 80 or 85% of the time.
Why is that? Because songs are composed or made up on the spot by people -- not some music machine. And people take familiar paths, just like I drive the same way to town day after day.
Chord progressions are based on a series of chord changes, and these changes form the basis for the melody to be formed. Chord progressions are the harmonic backbone of a song, and they often dictate the song's tone and mood. Modern music tends to frequently base chord progressions out of the first, fourth, and fifth degrees of the scale; in C major, this would be C, F, and G. Of course, these chord progressions can be varied in a number of ways (chord substitution allows heavily for that), but these basic chord progressions tend to be the framework for a decent portion of modern music -- especially rock and pop.
Some of the most used chord progressions are: I, V7, I; I, IV, V7, I; I, vi, ii, V7. These progressions happen over and over and over and over again in literally thousands of song. For further information please check out Familiar Chord Progressions.