Chord Progressions in Minor Keys

Chord progressions in minor keys are found across several genres of music. From rock to classical and even suspenseful film soundtracks, chord progressions in minor keys can often be heard.

For a minor chord, simply move the third note of your scale down one fret; this produces the same result as playing a major chord, but with an altered third.


A chord is composed of notes organized according to a particular scale. Scales consist of groups of tones arranged in sets that form patterns of steps; this makes up a chord progression.

Chord progressions form the harmonic basis for musical pieces and can create different moods. An understanding of how chords relate to the music supports musicians as they interpret or compose new works.

Minor keys evoke more serious and somber emotions and are frequently employed in music to convey them, including classical pieces as well as rock and blues music. You might also hear minor keys featured prominently in suspenseful films or TV shows such as John Carpenter’s Halloween, where minor key progression is used as part of its plotline.

There are various minor scales, each with their own distinct sound. The natural minor scale is probably the most well-known example, while other versions such as melodic minor scale or Dorian mode exist as well.


Triads are three-note chords composed of three notes that build from the root note of any scale, with their sound being either major, minor, augmented, or diminished depending on its structure and mode. All four triad types have unique sounds and effects which vary according to what chord type they belong to.

One of the easiest ways to identify different triads is listening. To hear a major triad, play C, E and G together or count how many semitones separate C from E: this way E stands four semitones above C.

Similar techniques can be applied when building minor triads starting from the root note of a scale, and using that note as the lowest note in each triad. If a scale contains sharps or flats, this will either amplify or diminish its sounding potential respectively.

Suspended Chords

Suspended chords (commonly referred to as sus4 chords or su2 chords if replaced by major 2nds) are triads without scale degree three; therefore they are more neutral than dominant chords as there’s no 3rd that determines major/minor identity.

These chords can help create tension. Without the third chord present, they sound dissonant and suspended. This type of chord adds interest to songs when repeated major chords become tedious or monotonous.

To create a suspension chord, find your root note and subtract either its major or minor third from it, followed by adding either its second or fourth scale degree – for instance Fsus4 is comprised of its root D note, major 2nd G note and perfect fourth C note – followed by adding their respective scale degrees as the next component to complete this chord voicing.

Major and Minor Chord Progression

Learning the difference between major and minor chord progressions is crucial. Music is divided into 12 major keys, each of which contains its own minor key’relative to it’ which contains chords with similar notes composing chord progressions in both major and minor keys. Knowing this relationship provides more options when writing songs in both modes simultaneously.

Minor chord progressions commonly use an i-bVII-bVII pattern, as heard in classic songs like Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” and Gotye’s “Someone That I Used To Know.” Bill Withers also makes use of this sequence in “Ain’t No Sunshine”.

Roman numeral analysis provides another approach to comprehending how a minor scale works. Each minor key consists of three major and three minor chords, which are all paired with diminished chords (chord iideg). By understanding these patterns and relationships between chords you can create basic chord progressions.