Although most songs are written in major keys, there are also an abundance of compelling minor chord progressions available to you. From melancholic to joyful tones – there is sure to be one suitable to your tastes.
To construct a minor chord, take the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes from a major scale and move them down by one fret each; this process is known as flattening third.
Major Keys Versus Minor Keys
While some may assume that minor chords are only capable of producing sad and reflective sounds, their use in songs across genres provides them with ample creative scope – helping melodies guide listeners towards strong emotional responses and invoke powerful memories within them.
Understanding the difference between major and minor keys begins with studying scales and intervals. Chords are constructed based on specific scale degrees that tell musicians which half and whole steps to skip when building them; for instance, minor diatonic chords consist of the root, fifth and seventh degrees from their respective major keys when utilized.
One way of telling whether a song belongs in a major or minor key is by studying its melody – most melodies should end on the tonic note of their key of composition.
Emotions Provoked by Minor Keys
Western music tends to favor chord progressions with minor tones, with most pieces falling under this category. There may be exceptions, but generally speaking a piece in a major key will sound bright and upbeat while one in minor key will tend to sound darker and sadder.
These diverging emotions come from the minor scale’s intervals, which differ from those found in its major counterpart. It creates an introspective atmosphere which pulls at listeners’ hearts.
At Christmas time, a song that employs the descending melodic minor scale, such as “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” emphasizes both mediant (E) and subtonic (B), creating an atmospheric melancholy feel.
Experience this yourself: select up to four chords in a minor key and write them on paper, practicing them several times before playing them out loud. Keep in mind that minor chords are made up of three-note triad chords (often known by their initial letter name triad) – they form the core of every chord progression.
Major Versus Minor Chord Progressions
Major and minor chord progressions differ significantly by altering one note: the third. A minor chord features an altered third which has been flattened (lowered) by half step in comparison to its major scale counterpart – this subtle difference can create an entirely different mood in your music.
Chords are created through a pattern of intervals defining a triad, comprised of the root note, major third, and perfect fifth notes. Musicians may add another note called the seventh to add density and vibrato to the chord.
No matter the genre of music you create, from sad and reflective (such as Back to Black or Smells Like Teen Spirit), or upbeat and playful (George Gershwin’s “Summertime”) to upbeat and lively (George Gershwin’s “Summertime”) utilizing minor chord progressions can add depth, drama and emotion. Study Roman numeral analysis – an industry standard notation language used by musicians to represent all scales and chords within a song – to learn how they work within context with other chords and scales within a song.
Major Versus Minor Scales
No matter if you’re building minor chord progressions or playing major melodies, understanding key and chord construction is vital. Musicians create scales and chords using intervals related to each key being referenced – major, minor, flat or sharp intervals may all produce unique sounds for different melodies and progressions.
One of the primary differences between major and minor scales is that minor scales feature flattened third notes that give their triads an unfavorable sound.
However, there are a variety of differences that separate major and minor scales: first and fifth notes remain constant while 6th and 7th notes vary to give different sounds to triads; melodic and harmonic minor scales follow different patterns of whole and half steps that affect ascending and descending patterns as well as chords that can be built upon it.