Making Sense of Chord Progressions

17 Nov 2013 16:04 281
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Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio answers questions from off of his Guitar Blog website...

Q). When I learn songs I find that a lot of times the chords don't make any sense in relation to the key the song seems to be in. As an example, I'll often see chords that should be minor in the key, but are being used as major (and the opposite too). Other times, I'm totally lost! I'm not clear on the modes, maybe this is my issue? Can you teach some of this stuff in one of your next videos?
Barry -- Norwich, VT. USA

A). When it comes to understanding the analysis of chord progressions it's important to know that while Key Signatures play a role in establishing a framework, they are not any kind of a concrete representation. In other words, the chords found within a key are not the only chords that could be performed. Chords are often borrowed from keys of the parallel tonality. For example, if we were in the key of C Major, (which contains an "F Major" chord), we could borrow the "F Minor" chord from the parallel key of "C Minor." We can even borrow between modes like this in the exact same manner. In the video I demonstrate a few typical sounding examples of this proceedure in order to allow you the chance to hear these chord concepts in action.

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