Chord Progressions: A Simple Explanation for Lyricists
I included the term “chord progressions” in my book because we often work with lyricists only, so we are creating the music as well as the melody. We will ask if they have a chord progression in mind, mostly to help us determine the melody. Sometimes people need us to define chord progression, so I decided to define it to make it easier!
What are chord progressions?
Chord Progressions are basically the order that your chords go. If your song is in C major, your chords are going to be C, F, and G primarily, with whatever else fits your particular song. However, you can choose to organize those chords however you want, which is what makes the “progression.” Let’s look at some sheet music for a visual:
Where it says C, F, C, G7, C, those are the chords to the song. If we changed the order of those, the song would sound different. Hopefully that makes sense!
Why/when do I need to know this?
If you’re primarily a lyricist and you don’t play any instruments, you don’t really need to know them! Still, having a general knowledge of the term won’t hurt. You don’t need to know what order you want your chords in. If a producer asks what progression you want and you aren’t sure, that’s okay! We are just asking in case you have a preference. There are only so many chords that fit within a key, so we can try out several until we have one you like.
If you have other questions or want to learn more about common studio terms, my book is here: https://payhip.com/b/9qjd or you can visit our website at www.brainstampmusic.com and send us a message!