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-   -   Chord Progression Generator (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/rap-hip-hop-engineering-and-production/356877-chord-progression-generator.html)

tonymission 13th January 2009 10:03 AM

Chord Progression Generator
 
OK, so before I get slated, I think this is a great little tool for people learning more about music theory. It's definitely not a song generator but it has helped me come to grasp with more creative song writing and in doing so, my keyboard skills have greatly improved.

After an hour playing with different progressions, I automatically started finding my own a lot easier than before... kinda helped me snap out of some lazy habits. And now my scale playing (right hand) is a lot more in tune with the vibe and less confined to a set of keys ...

Chord Progression Generator

And if you want some help finding chords easily without having to soak in all sorts of verbiage, these two youtube videos are very helpful.

YouTube - The easiest way to play chords on the keyboard
YouTube - The easy way to learn chords and scales.Part 2

jikky 13th January 2009 10:15 AM

thanx big homie

audiovisceral 13th January 2009 10:37 AM

Very cool but be wary - it won't give you key changes, accidentals, or different voicings.

So it would never tell you to try something outside of a key eg. Hey Ya (C D E G instead of C D Em G) or to try adding a 7th, 9th, sus4, sus2, aug5 etc. for flavor.

For that you have to learn a bit deeper or just experiment.

But it seems very cool to start with or generate ideas.

tonymission 13th January 2009 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audiovisceral (Post 3812235)
Very cool but be wary - it won't give you key changes, accidentals, or different voicings.

So it would never tell you to try something outside of a key eg. Hey Ya (C D E G instead of C D Em G) or to try adding a 7th, 9th, sus4, sus2, aug5 etc. for flavor.

For that you have to learn a bit deeper or just experiment.

But it seems very cool to start with or generate ideas.

Yeah, it's pretty bland but can definitely get some new ideas flowing

qwertysquirty 13th January 2009 11:03 AM

Thanks for this, looks like what I'm after at the moment. Seems like a good tool for applying the basics of theory to real life situations & drilling some of it in

qsblues 13th January 2009 01:50 PM

If you REALLY want to know how chord progressions work, and come up with ideas of how to compose tunes, pick up a Real Book from Sher Music Co. The great works of Coltrane, Ellington, Mercer, Gershwin and others are in there. They are the founding fathers of 20th century harmony.

While this tool is a good gimmick, it won't replace studying how the cycle of fifths work, how rhythm changes work, and how chord scales fit in with any given chord in any given key. All the great songwriters learned from the masters. Beethoven, Stravinsky and Mozart learned from Bach & Hayden. Ellington, Zappa and Miles learned from those cats, and so on.

There simply is no substitute for learning harmony. Get a Real Book, find a good harmony book, (the Berklee books are very good), and finally, get a book on arranging and composition. Transcribe recordings, and listen to everything you can get your hands on.

The huge mistake that a lot of today's musicians make is not looking to the past in order to find their own voice. There's much more to music than beats and bass lines, and if the bass lines don't work, then you're just making noise. Knowing how to compose and arrange will set your work head and shoulders above everyone else. It's been proven time and time again, which is why most cats use samples, or rework old grooves and just rap over it. If you want to come up with fresh ideas, learn how to do it right, and don't take shortcuts.

I'd advise that you get a good teacher, and if you have the means, go to an accredited music college. It will be the best time of your life, and you will KNOW without a doubt if this is the career that you want.

phillysoulman 13th January 2009 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by qsblues (Post 3812442)
If you REALLY want to know how chord progressions work, and come up with ideas of how to compose tunes, pick up a Real Book from Sher Music Co. The great works of Coltrane, Ellington, Mercer, Gershwin and others are in there. They are the founding fathers of 20th century harmony.

While this tool is a good gimmick, it won't replace studying how the cycle of fifths work, how rhythm changes work, and how chord scales fit in with any given chord in any given key. All the great songwriters learned from the masters. Beethoven, Stravinsky and Mozart learned from Bach & Hayden. Ellington, Zappa and Miles learned from those cats, and so on.

There simply is no substitute for learning harmony. Get a Real Book, find a good harmony book, (the Berklee books are very good), and finally, get a book on arranging and composition. Transcribe recordings, and listen to everything you can get your hands on.

The huge mistake that a lot of today's musicians make is not looking to the past in order to find their own voice. There's much more to music than beats and bass lines, and if the bass lines don't work, then you're just making noise. Knowing how to compose and arrange will set your work head and shoulders above everyone else. It's been proven time and time again, which is why most cats use samples, or rework old grooves and just rap over it. If you want to come up with fresh ideas, learn how to do it right, and don't take shortcuts.

I'd advise that you get a good teacher, and if you have the means, go to an accredited music college. It will be the best time of your life, and you will KNOW without a doubt if this is the career that you want.

thumbsupthumbsupExactly

tonymission 13th January 2009 07:58 PM

I just wanted to share... my beats stand up to anyone's and I don't think you need a PHD in music theory to impress. I'm trying to learn more but I'm hardly a beginner ...

"Exactly"

audiovisceral 13th January 2009 08:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tonymission (Post 3813424)
I just wanted to share... my beats stand up to anyone's and I don't think you need a PHD in music theory to impress. I'm trying to learn more but I'm hardly a beginner ...

"Exactly"

Agreed. It's really not that complicated if you put the time in and everyone starts from nothing.

It's just something you have to practice and push with just like engineering or anything else.

ie. First you learn the 7 chords in each key. Then how to make them 7ths. Then how to tack on things like the key's root and fifth over top with your right hand. Then how to throw in chords/changes that don't technically 'fit' the key but sound great. eg. for latin Am G F E is typical instead of Am G F Em...

But picking up a book like this and learning to read wouldn't be a bad thing for some people. It should really push into the more more advanced and outlandish chords/progressions that make jazz/soul awesome.

Amazon.com: The Real Book: Sixth Edition: Hal Leonard Corporation: Books

and/or a book like this to cover your theory so the stranger chord names make sense:

Amazon.com: The Jazz Piano Book: Mark Levine: Books

Most people probably don't wanna get that deep, but imo it can only help if they do.

To each their own.

qsblues 13th January 2009 08:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tonymission (Post 3813424)
I just wanted to share... my beats stand up to anyone's and I don't think you need a PHD in music theory to impress. I'm trying to learn more but I'm hardly a beginner ...

"Exactly"

Nobody's knocking your beats. If that's all there was to it, then you wouldn't be asking the question. Music is more than just beats, man.

No, you don't need a PhD. in music theory to impress. You don't even need a Master's or a Bachelor's degree. But, when it comes down to it, I'd personally hire anyone with a degree over someone who doesn't.

Learning how to read music will only help you, it won't hurt you. Learning theory will only make you a stronger musician, if you try to learn it. It will give you something that you can't get "on the streets". Back in the day, a few beats and some tight raps were all you needed. Times have changed, my friend.

These days, you need to know what you're talking about. You need to know harmony and theory so you don't sound like everyone else who DOESN'T know what they're talking about. Do you actually think that Coolio could come up with "Gangster Paradise" all on his own? He needed the knowledge of Stevie Wonder to make that happen.

We're just here to help, that's all. I can walk into any recording session with any group of musicians and play anything that I see or hear, because I have the knowledge, experience, education and background to lay down tracks and hang with anybody. Jazz, blues, R&B, hip hop, classical, rock, bossa, zydeco ... you name it, no problem. I can also write, compose and arrange in any style that I want.

I grew up when Run D.M.C., Grandmaster Flash & Kool Mo Dee were just starting out, and I thought that they had it down. They didn't, and they still don't. Then came the 2nd wave of West Coast, and they didn't have it down, either. Sampling came and went, and nobody knows what's going on, besides, "Hey, this is a sick beat. Let's rap over this and make a remix."

Music is a universal language. Perhaps, besides mathematics, the ONLY universal language. Every musician who knows theory knows exactly what a Dm7 chord is, what a G7 chord is, and what a Cmaj7 chord is. That is your first lesson; the ii-V-I progression. That is the basis of Western music. You can't listen to any genre from the early 19th century up to today that doesn't have that progression in it somewhere ... unless of course, you're listening to most rap tunes.

Don't get it twisted. I love hip hop. Since day one, I've loved hip hop, and still do. But most hip hop is like a Big Mac; marketing, empty calories, and it fills you up with junk. When I want a home cooked meal, I put on some Ellington, some Miles, some Coltrane ... and my soul gets fed proper.

Learning how to read music and learning music theory will take you on a journey that you will appreciate and continue to explore for the rest of your life. Not only will it make you a better musician, it will make you a better person. That's the truth.

termtables 13th January 2009 09:24 PM

thanks Tony!

now I can improve on my single finger key playing ;)

mdjice 13th January 2009 09:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by termtables (Post 3813703)
thanks Tony!

now I can improve on my single finger key playing ;)

you will need this
heh
http://ouriel.typepad.com/myblog/ipiano_small.jpg

phillysoulman 13th January 2009 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by qsblues (Post 3813602)
Nobody's knocking your beats. If that's all there was to it, then you wouldn't be asking the question. Music is more than just beats, man.

No, you don't need a PhD. in music theory to impress. You don't even need a Master's or a Bachelor's degree. But, when it comes down to it, I'd personally hire anyone with a degree over someone who doesn't.

Learning how to read music will only help you, it won't hurt you. Learning theory will only make you a stronger musician, if you try to learn it. It will give you something that you can't get "on the streets". Back in the day, a few beats and some tight raps were all you needed. Times have changed, my friend.

These days, you need to know what you're talking about. You need to know harmony and theory so you don't sound like everyone else who DOESN'T know what they're talking about. Do you actually think that Coolio could come up with "Gangster Paradise" all on his own? He needed the knowledge of Stevie Wonder to make that happen.

We're just here to help, that's all. I can walk into any recording session with any group of musicians and play anything that I see or hear, because I have the knowledge, experience, education and background to lay down tracks and hang with anybody. Jazz, blues, R&B, hip hop, classical, rock, bossa, zydeco ... you name it, no problem. I can also write, compose and arrange in any style that I want.

I grew up when Run D.M.C., Grandmaster Flash & Kool Mo Dee were just starting out, and I thought that they had it down. They didn't, and they still don't. Then came the 2nd wave of West Coast, and they didn't have it down, either. Sampling came and went, and nobody knows what's going on, besides, "Hey, this is a sick beat. Let's rap over this and make a remix."

Music is a universal language. Perhaps, besides mathematics, the ONLY universal language. Every musician who knows theory knows exactly what a Dm7 chord is, what a G7 chord is, and what a Cmaj7 chord is. That is your first lesson; the ii-V-I progression. That is the basis of Western music. You can't listen to any genre from the early 19th century up to today that doesn't have that progression in it somewhere ... unless of course, you're listening to most rap tunes.

Don't get it twisted. I love hip hop. Since day one, I've loved hip hop, and still do. But most hip hop is like a Big Mac; marketing, empty calories, and it fills you up with junk. When I want a home cooked meal, I put on some Ellington, some Miles, some Coltrane ... and my soul gets fed proper.

Learning how to read music and learning music theory will take you on a journey that you will appreciate and continue to explore for the rest of your life. Not only will it make you a better musician, it will make you a better person. That's the truth.

Alas!!
Intelligence prevails on GS...I was worried for a minute.
Whew!!!!

swagger 14th January 2009 01:29 AM

Thanks Homie!!!

Justice 14th January 2009 02:08 AM

I agree with everthing said....

What I dont understand is why do people(older generation) always have such a deep hate for Hip Hop.

Until this day after Millions of records sold, many careers built, a fashion culture, and hundreds of books and new publications in the last few years.

People still say "This is real music, not like Hip Hop" WTF.

What will it take for people to welcome in the genre of music. Hip Hop is a part of our culture of America.

Personal I beleive if you dont respect what Hip Hop is and who it repesents YOUR problem sir's is....... WHO IT REPRESENTS.

There is a lot of rock that sucks, man do you remember the glam bands and grunge rock. Hip Hop was around then and still is, now in the mainstream.

HIP HOP is music and its not easy,to be good enough to feed your family. You have to understand it and pay your dues.

many of you have paid your dues but not to hip hop. Its a whole new world to you. One you clearly dont understand. Its not going away. get with it cause its only going to grow.

If you feel like i am way off base this is directed to you. If you get angry from these words, You are the person this post is focued on.

Thats why most hip hop catz got big egos cause weve had to fight the people inside and outside of music just to be heard, now we get rich making music , and grammy panelist still dont believe is music. its insane!!!!

its kind of a reflection of society today. I'm better then you, cause I can do this and went to this school, and understand this theory or that one. Think of all the countless artist that have become icons that didnt have formal training or were not great musicains.

Music from the soul not from books! But its good to knowcooge

Synthy08 14th January 2009 02:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Justice (Post 3814662)
I agree with everthing said....

What I dont understand is why do people(older generation) always have such a deep hate for Hip Hop.

Until this day after Millions of records sold, many careers built, a fashion culture, and hundreds of books and new publications in the last few years.

People still say "This is real music, not like Hip Hop" WTF.

What will it take for people to welcome in the genre of music. Hip Hop is a part of our culture of America.

Personal I beleive if you dont respect what Hip Hop is and who it repesents YOUR problem sir's is....... WHO IT REPRESENTS.

There is a lot of rock that sucks, man do you remember the glam bands and grunge rock. Hip Hop was around then and still is, now in the mainstream.

HIP HOP is music and its not easy,to be good enough to feed your family. You have to understand it and pay your dues.

many of you have paid your dues but not to hip hop. Its a whole new world to you. One you clearly dont understand. Its not going away. get with it cause its only going to grow.

If you feel like i am way off base this is directed to you. If you get angry from these words, You are the person this post is focued on.

Thats why most hip hop catz got big egos cause weve had to fight the people inside and outside of music just to be heard, now we get rich making music , and grammy panelist still dont believe is music. its insane!!!!

its kind of a reflection of society today. I'm better then you, cause I can do this and went to this school, and understand this theory or that one. Think of all the countless artist that have become icons that didnt have formal training or were not great musicains.

Music from the soul not from books! But its good to knowcooge


Its that nature of the older generation.....just do you.

timbreman 14th January 2009 02:54 AM

Here try this. It's free and much cooler.

Audio effects and algorithmic music systems by Jonathan Schmid-Burgk

I guarantee once you start playing with it you will gets tons of ideas for melodies and harmonies.

tonymission 14th January 2009 03:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mdjice (Post 3813718)


lol that's dope!!

good contributions from 97% of the thread ... thanks for the advice, links, books etc... this is definitely something i have a great interest.

rap or not ... knowing this **** opens A LOT of musical doors up!

kC.- 14th January 2009 10:39 AM

alot of people talk about music theory and about rules and stuff. why ?

Its more fun and creative playing and learning by ear. go listen to some Robert Johnson, you'll learn more then any music book.

dfegadtext books

Eloheim 15th January 2009 11:19 AM

but why not do both?...

Storyville 15th January 2009 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kC.- (Post 3815707)
alot of people talk about music theory and about rules and stuff. why ?

Its more fun and creative playing and learning by ear. go listen to some Robert Johnson, you'll learn more then any music book.

dfegadtext books

Most people who have vast knowledge of music theory learn and play by ear. Theory is like a map, which you can choose to follow or disregard. With just ear, you say, hey this chord sounds like it's going to go to this chord. With ear and theory, you say, hey this chord sounds like it's going to go to this chord...but, it could also go to that chord which would lead me in a whole knew direction I wasn't even expecting.

I have a drum n bass/ hip hop joint that is musically based on Sally's Song from Nightmare Before Christmass, and Take Five by Brubeck, even though they sound absolutely nothing alike. I was inspired by Elfman's writing, and I liked Brubeck's use of rhythm, so I used the same approach and adapted it to my own taste.

It's all about expanding horizons. Learn new things, make more creative music. I can't wait to start studying theory and composition again.

Side note: Writing by theory does not make music sound sterile or soulless. The soul is in the performance, not the notes.

Justice 15th January 2009 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Storyville (Post 3820775)
Most people who have vast knowledge of music theory learn and play by ear. Theory is like a map, which you can choose to follow or disregard. With just ear, you say, hey this chord sounds like it's going to go to this chord. With ear and theory, you say, hey this chord sounds like it's going to go to this chord...but, it could also go to that chord which would lead me in a whole knew direction I wasn't even expecting.

I have a drum n bass/ hip hop joint that is musically based on Sally's Song from Nightmare Before Christmass, and Take Five by Brubeck, even though they sound absolutely nothing alike. I was inspired by Elfman's writing, and I liked Brubeck's use of rhythm, so I used the same approach and adapted it to my own taste.

It's all about expanding horizons. Learn new things, make more creative music. I can't wait to start studying theory and composition again.

Side note: Writing by theory does not make music sound sterile or soulless. The soul is in the performance, not the notes.

This a good way to look at it!!!!


Respect.

FerrariT 15th January 2009 10:45 PM

What I don't understand is how the chords work within the scale.

Say if the melody was composed in the scale Dm what determines the chords you are able to use?

If this is explained by the circle of fifths then I need a DUMMIES version to explain.

I do have the fourth edition of Tom Manoff's Music kit thou.

Any links to redirect me? diddlydoo

coyotekells 16th January 2009 01:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by qsblues (Post 3813602)
Don't get it twisted. I love hip hop. Since day one, I've loved hip hop, and still do. But most hip hop is like a Big Mac; marketing, empty calories, and it fills you up with junk. When I want a home cooked meal, I put on some Ellington, some Miles, some Coltrane ... and my soul gets fed proper.

Solid analogy. It's love hate with and the Big Mac.. just like it's love hate with me and rap.

audiovisceral 16th January 2009 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FerrariT (Post 3821203)
What I don't understand is how the chords work within the scale.

Say if the melody was composed in the scale Dm what determines the chords you are able to use?

Any links to redirect me? diddlydoo

Kind of complex question, but I tried my best below. I used subheadings for clarity. Hopefully this helps.


Major Keys and Their Relative Minors

Regarding major and minors, it is usually sufficient to start by just learning the basics of major keys, and consider minor chords as simply darker sounding rearrangements of those major keys.

This is because every major key has a relative minor, and, for beginner purposes, the relative minor is identical to the major. The only difference is the minor centers around the minor 6th (vi) of the major key and sounds darker because of this.

So for example:

key of C ~ relative key of Am (since Am is the vi chord in the key of C...)
key of E ~ relative key of C#m (since C#m is the vi chord in the key of E...)
key of F ~ relative key of Dm (since Dm is the vi chord in the key of F...)
key of G ~ relative key of Em (since Em is the vi chord in the key of G...)
...etc.

So if someone said 'play some chords in the key of Am', playing chords in the key of C major would functionally be the same thing.

So again, for starters, I think it's generally easier to think purely in major key terms and branch out from there. Also, since we're dealing with piano, it's probably easiest to start with the key of C major, since it is basically just 'white keys only'.

So let's start by explaining only C major, and you can hopefully go from there with practice.


The Seven Basic Chords in a Key

In the key of C major, you are 'allowed' the following basic 7 notes and chords:

I = C = C E G
ii = Dm = D F A
iii = Em = E G B
IV = F = F A C
V = G = G B D
vi = Am = A C E
vii-dim = Bm dim = B D F


With roman numerals, capitals denote major chords, lower case denote minor chords. Roman numerals are used because they can describe progressions in any key, whatever you choose.

So if someone asked you to play a I V vi IV in C, you'd play C G Am F.
Or if you wanted something darker (and technically in relative Am) like a vi IV I V, you'd play Am F C G.

For other common keys, here is a table of what the 7 basic chords work out to:
MMC presents... Dansm's Guitar Chord Theory: Chords in Major Keys (good site - where I learned most of my basic theory from way back...)

Most really experienced players can 'translate' from key to key in their head from the roman numerals, but no one should expect that starting out.


7th Chords


When playing in a key, you are never limited to purely major/minor chords. There are an almost endless number of ways you can 'spruce up' the basic chords by adding/omitting notes. So long as the notes you add fit the scale of the key you're in, they're fine to fit in that key.

The most common in jazz/soul/r&b are 7th chords. To make a 7th chord, just count the notes of your scale up from the root of the chord you're playing and add the 7th when you get to it.

Depending on which chord you're dealing with in a given key, there are two basic types of 7ths you'll end up with - dominant/minor 7ths and major 7ths. You call it a maj7 when the 7th comes out to just 1 semitone lower than the root of that chord. You call it a dominant/minor 7th when the 7th comes out to two semitones lower than the root of that chord.

So in a given key (eg. C again for simplicity) you get:

I maj7 = Cmaj7 = C E G B
ii min7 = Dm7 = D F A C
iii min7 = Em7 = E G B D
IV maj7 = Fmaj7 = F A C E
V dom7 = G7 = G B D F
vi min7 = Am7 = A C E G
vii-dim min7 = Bdim min7 = B D F A


If you look at all the chords and notes above, you'll notice all notes/chords fit the C scale perfectly, and thus all chords are still in key.


Other Chords

Other chords are built the same way as 7ths. For example, if you want a 6th chord, simply add the 6th note you get counting up from the root of that chord in key. eg. The 6th of a G in the key of C is an E (G6 = G B D E).

A 9th chord adds the 9th counting up from the root. eg. for C in key of C, this would be D (C9 = C E G D).

You can also do things like omit the third to get 5th chords aka power chords (C5 = C G C). Or if you add in a 2nd or 4th you get sus2 or sus4 cords (Csus2 = C G D || Csus4 = C F G ).


Going Outside of Key

After you've got all that down and can perfect playing in a key, try adding chords that don't technically fit but are from related keys so may sound good.

eg. Throwing an Fmaj7 (from the key of C) into a key of G progression often sounds good because the keys of C and G are quite close in nature.

Or again, in latin, they usually play the minor 3rd chord (iii) as a major third (III) to give progressions like, in key of C: Am G E F (vi IV III V) instead of Am G Em F (vi IV iii V) as it technically should be.

And with everything, of course, experiment, and have fun.

Eloheim 16th January 2009 10:55 AM

WOW audio! kfhkh Thanks. That's it right there...and if you just typed that up for this...hah, youre a good man! I mean I took probly 5 years of piano back in the day plus lessons on, trumpet, flute (ya, fuuck), guitar, etc. throughout high school and, my fuzzy recall granted, I could still use a refresher like you've provided. I'll admit I haven't had time to really go through it yet, but I'm definitly bookmarking back here...

audiovisceral 16th January 2009 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eloheim (Post 3822946)
WOW audio! kfhkh Thanks. That's it right there...and if you just typed that up for this...hah, youre a good man!

Ya I just typed that for here. I figure you can rant about how no one knows anything or you can try to share a bit about what you do know, so I went with the second option.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eloheim (Post 3822946)
I mean I took probly 5 years of piano back in the day plus lessons on, trumpet, flute (ya, fuuck), guitar, etc. throughout high school and, my fuzzy recall granted, I could still use a refresher like you've provided. I'll admit I haven't had time to really go through it yet, but I'm definitly bookmarking back here...

Glad it helped.

And FYI, flute can be pretty badass if you play it right.

YouTube - Flute Loop - Beastie Boys (w/lyrics)
thumbsup

T. Gundersen 16th January 2009 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audiovisceral (Post 3823074)
Ya I just typed that for here. I figure you can rant about how no one knows anything or you can try to share a bit about what you do know, so I went with the second option.

Big up, I bookmarked it for closer reading too. Good stuff mang, thanx!! thumbsup

e108 13th November 2009 03:38 PM

check this one out, i guess it can generate all possible chords
Musician's Toolbox

mgthefuture 13th November 2009 05:28 PM


Wow. Just wow.

Wish i would of seen that first video when I started composing beats.

LOL, that was like an epiphany for me, even after all my time studying a passion for jazz.

thanks