One of the most challenging things in writing a creative song or piece of music is choosing the chord progression. The very first thing that come to mind, is using some Major and Minor chords or using variations of power chords, or 3rd intervals of major and minor chords without 5th degree. in this very first lesson we’re going to try a more creative way to build a simple chord progression:
We are going to take a pretty standard “exotic” progression (which by the way can work with plenty of scales) using E major (Chord’s notes will be: E G# B) and FMaj7#11 (F A C E B), yeah the name looks kinda scary, but it’s not as hard as it seems I’m going with F major Scale, So I will have (F G A Bb C D E F) so F major Chord will be (F A C) then I will add a Major 7th so I will get (F A C E) and finally I will add a raised 4th degree which will be an octave higher so i will get #11, a B note. easy right?
if you put those chords together, the resulting tones are, in order: E F G# A B C; so you have a 1 b2 3 4 5 and 6, if you haven’t realized it already we’re “harmonizing backwards” in other words we got the scale out of the chords, now you could make a Phrygian Dominant out of this scale (E F G# A B C D)
I’d even raise the 6th while working on E (as long as you make sure you lower it again when you get to F) and end up with (E F G# A B C# D)…. If we put all of this together we have a lot of choices and I still haven’t mentioned pentatonic or any of the many other options you may think are appropriate,
so how do we narrow it down?
Well, let’s first decide which scale we are going to use… how about a 1 b2 M3 #4 5 M6 M7 when ascending and do m6 m7 when descending? So translating that to E we would have: E F G# A# B C# D# (a Lydian b2) when ascending and then E F G# A# B C D (scale with a natural 5) when descending, try this and see how it works.