How to Use Minor Chord Progressions in Songwriting

minor chord scale

Understanding minor chord progressions can help you memorize jazz standards faster and gain deeper insights into them, as well as create powerful beats that resonate with listeners.

Minor scales contain all the same notes, yet their order differs in terms of half steps and whole steps, creating a significantly different sounding scale.

Major Chords

Chord progressions are an integral part of music because they create specific emotions in listeners. Different chord progressions can evoke sadness, happiness and other strong reactions in listeners. To produce powerful and memorable tracks with minor chords – which add extra depth and feeling – it is crucial that one has an in-depth knowledge of their workings.

The key difference between major and minor chords lies in their third notes – major chords feature one with its third note being one step higher than in minor chords – this small difference can drastically change the sound and emotion of any given chord, so it may help to remember them by thinking of major and minor chords as mirror images of one another to easily spot differences between them.

Another way of distinguishing major from minor chords is by taking note of their seventh notes. A major seventh chord features a fifth note that is one whole step lower than the root note, while minor seventh chords feature four notes that are half steps lower.

There are various forms of major chords, including the Major 6th (also referred to as an added 6th) and Major ninth chords (known as “maj9”). A major sixth is created by adding the sixth note from any given scale into a triad, while adding a major seventh adds up to a dominant seventh chord to form the Major nine chord.

Utilizing these chords can add an extra level of drama and anticipation in your music, with minor chord progressions such as Lorde’s hit “Royals” using one to build tension before returning back to tonic with major viii chords.

Major iv Chord

Subdominant chord, the major iv can add depth and emotion to a progression, making it a popular choice in songwriting. Artists frequently employ this chord in their compositions. Its standard base in major keys is usually F, the fourth step of C Major scale, while alternatively it may use F minor scale instead; see G Mixolydian below as an example.

Note that an iv chord contains a major third interval but its root does not correspond with the tonic of its key – that would be represented by major I chord – and therefore can be played along with both other chords in a progression; Trey Anastasio has used this strategy effectively in Waste, for instance.

To play a major iv chord on guitar, begin by finding its root chord in your key and building a major triad from it. From there you can add extensions like sevenths, ninths or thirteenths for extra sound variation.

The I IV chord is an extremely strong chord with its perfect 4th interval between its root and major third; as a result, any major IIV chord preceded or followed by major 3rds will create a strong voice leading effect.

Some musicians choose to add a second or ninth note to these chords for additional strength and flavor, writing “addX”, where X is the number of notes added – for instance Cadd9 is C7 with an added ninth; be careful to distinguish it from Cadd2, though; both versions should not be confused as the latter adds only minor thirds!

Minor iv Chord

Creative songwriters know that musicians use scales and chord progressions from outside their main key to add extra color and texture to their music. One such chord progression that works great is borrowing scales from parallel minor of same key to create a chromatic chord progression with fresh, original sounding notes without sounding too far out-there. The minor IV chord can serve this purpose perfectly!

The Fm F Ab chord, composed from notes from the melodic minor scale a fifth above its relative major key, is often employed for this purpose. This works because minor iv chord has three identical notes with its major counterpart (F, F and Ab) so as to fit seamlessly in progressions that go i-iv-V; similarly it can also serve as tonic substitution in minor songs with similar structures as found in Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” or Porcupine Tree’s “Hotel California.”

Another effective technique for altering the IV chord of a major key by playing a dominant chord with a minor sixth can have a striking and unexpectedly uplifted effect, particularly if your melody includes notes with minor sixth notes. Substituting G major seventh with C minor seventh can create this dramatic and surprising soundscape, especially if melodies include minor sixth notes in their melodies.

Writers often add a secondary dominant chord with reduced chromaticism to make the chord progression feel even more dynamic and distinctive. This technique was used by Simon & Garfunkel’s hit song to build their signature iv-bVII-V progression; however, as it involves minor chords rather than major ones and therefore creates less somber descending patterns.

Minor iii Chord

The minor iii chord is an effective way to add distinctive harmonic movement. Commonly used in blues and rock songs, pairing with the iv chord creates an intriguing balance between dark and bright notes – it also happens to be an impressive chord progression in many R&B tunes such as Nine Inch Nails’s “Hurt” verses or The Animals’s House Of The Rising Sun opening track “House Of The Rising Sun.”

The IIII chord is a minor triad containing a root, minor third and perfect fifth note – making it one of the easiest minor chords to learn how to construct. Also referred to as the blue chord because two notes outside of major key are included within it such as flat 3rd and 7th notes – it creates a very distinctive sound often heard in soul music styles like Funk and R&B music.

When playing in the minor key, the iii chord is typically used as a weak predominant chord or lead chord in some minor-mode progressions; usually harmonizing with a descending Te (7) scale note while in major mode progressions it will usually lead to V chord.

Learning to build and use different chord types is essential to honing your musical skills. Understanding scales and chord progressions will allow you to compose original and imaginative songs. A great way to understand these relationships is studying roman numeral analysis; this method of notation allows musicians to quickly recognize and interpret chords found within songs quickly and accurately. Roman numeral analysis may seem confusing at first, but once grasped will become simpler when reading chord charts or songs using roman numerals.

Minor iv V Chord

The minor iv V chord progression is one of the most widely used minor chord progressions in songwriting, comprising of three minor scale triad chord voicings: minor iv, major IV and dominant VII chords that move between each other to create an interesting yet moody sound in your song. Furthermore, minor iv works great as a bridge between dominant and tonic keys, creating tension before being released when played back again with minor iv chord.

Find it in popular songs by Ed Sheeran, The Weeknd and Halsey to name just three artists. Ed Sheeran’s chart-topping hit “Shape of You” utilizes an i-iv-V-i progression in C minor to create an emotionally charged ambience which compliments its lyrics; making this track an evergreen classic among listeners.

Add another level of drama and excitement to your song with a descending i-bVII-bVI move, typically beginning with an iv chord that modulates to bVI and then modulating back down before finishing in with an i chord again for another dramatic move. This progression is popular in pop music because it allows the singer to take center stage while adding dramatic tension into choruses.

The iv chord is an essential component of most minor progressions, creating tension that is resolved when an i chord is played. Additionally, its emotional and dramatic properties make it an excellent choice for bridge sections that accentuate vocal melodies. However, for songs with more melodic and harmonious qualities try replacing it with major triad or dominant 7th chord instead.