What are chord progressions?


What are chord progressions?

In: Other

Like you wanna know what chord progressions actually are in music?

Is there a way to know when this gets resolved? I’d like to know too

In the simplest terms possible (so not too much nuance), chords are a group of notes that accompany a melody. These groups of notes have a structure or pattern to them and represents a quick way to communicate what notes should be played to accompany a song (rather than saying 4 or 5 notes, a musician just refers to the chord name – and other musicians will know what notes to play)

A song will have a melody line and a series of chords. These series of chords are called a chord progression. In the same way that chords represent groups of notes, there are also several “chord progressions” ie series of chords played one after the other, that are very common in music. Once you know the scale and key that a song is played in, you can refer to a common chord progression using a series of numbers (like 2-5-1 or 1-4-6-1 etc) and musicians can interpret those numbers to the right chords to play to fit the scale and key the song is in.

There is very deep theory on chords; how to construct them, when to use them, what progressions invoke what kind of feeling, progressions that are more or less standard for jazz or popular music. The great jazz innovators play with different progressions and chord types. There are many great jazz classics that really revolve around just the chord progressions with the musicians improvising around them.

If you are interested, you can perhaps watch Adam Neely’s series on Youtube (among many many others) where some explanation is given on this subject. (or simply search “2 5 1”, a very common jazz progression on Youtube)