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Old 06-08-2009, 05:23 PM
guitar424 guitar424 is offline
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Default Any good chords to start out a song?

Well, I've composed a little over 20 songs, and the majority of 'em start out with either a G, Em7, or a Cadd9. Does anybody know any other good chords I could used for writing songs?
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:41 PM
BHulkster BHulkster is offline
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D, Dadd4/F#, C
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
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Well, I've composed a little over 20 songs, and the majority of 'em start out with either a G, Em7, or a Cadd9. Does anybody know any other good chords I could used for writing songs?
Here is a great book for the songwriter..



http://www.thesongwriters.com/index.php
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:50 PM
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They're all good.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:53 AM
ocarolan ocarolan is offline
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I'd ditch the Em7 and Cadd9, and stick with an ordinary Em and a plain C if you want to get away from the all pervasive sound that crops up time and time again, not just in your music , but in that of many others. You're right, it's been done to death, and it isn't easy to come up with something fresh sounding with those chords anymore.
If you want some inspiration, write the name of each chord you know on a separate piece of paper, place them face down and draw 3 or 4 at random. Try playing those few in different sequences. It'll throw up all kinds of things you might not have thought of. Many will certainly be horrible! Some might just be what you're after. You'll certainly begin to realise what works well and what doesn't if you stick at it long enough. You'll also begin to "hear" what's happening from chord to chord a lot better too. Write down the sequences that you like as you find them, and return to them later to explore more fully, maybe changing them as you go.
Better still, try and start with melody and then fit some chords to that - not always easy, but it works sometimes for me.
Hope this helps
Keith
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:42 AM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitar424 View Post
Well, I've composed a little over 20 songs, and the majority of 'em start out with either a G, Em7, or a Cadd9. Does anybody know any other good chords I could used for writing songs?
I'm no expert, but I have a table similar to this graphic that I laminated and it's always a road map of things that work. I will then play scales and arpeggios that work with the particular keys or chords.

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Old 06-09-2009, 06:13 AM
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Any minor 7 sharp 5 in root position.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:28 AM
Ryler Ryler is offline
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Hey, very cool chord key chart. I printed it out, and it now occupies prime space in my music book. While this type of thing abounds on the internet, this one is the right size and I just like it. Thanks.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:49 AM
dmgibson dmgibson is offline
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Quote:
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Well, I've composed a little over 20 songs, and the majority of 'em start out with either a G, Em7, or a Cadd9. Does anybody know any other good chords I could used for writing songs?
the tonic, the domiant or the relative minor are good starting points. let your melody drive the key selection... try establishing your melodic theme & then harmonizing it with fresh, new chord voicings...
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:53 AM
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I try not to start on the root chord of the song. It's a "trick" not to fall in to a blues progression, (which i like to much).
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitar424 View Post
Well, I've composed a little over 20 songs, and the majority of 'em start out with either a G, Em7, or a Cadd9. Does anybody know any other good chords I could used for writing songs?
dmgibson got down to the meat ....... fresh new chord voicing.

What chord you use is dictated by the melody notes being played over it. Here is a chart that may give you some new chords to use:
Quote:
1 degree of the scale try I, IV, vi or ii7 chords of that key.
2 degree of the scale try V, ii7, iii7 chords of that key.
3 degree of the scale try I, vi, iii chords of that key.
4 degree of the scale try IV, ii, v7 chords of that key.
5 degree of the scale try V, I, iii chords of that key.
6 degree of the scale try IV, ii, vi chords of that key.
7 degree of the scale try V7, iii, Imaj7 chords of that key.
If you are playing in the key of G and your first melody note is B (3rd degree of the G scale) your first chord choices could be; G (GBD), Em (EGB) or Bm (BDF#) because there is a B note in all of them. Take that chart and have fun. Feel free to hang all the extensions you want. A plain ole G, Em or Bm will got the job done anything extra you do to these chords just adds color. Help yourself to all the color you want. Back to which one? The one that sounds best with the first lyric word. Yep, melody, chord and lyric all play a part in your decision and your ear is the final judge.

Your chord should contain some, at least one, of the melody notes being played at that same moment in the song.

It's a chicken or egg thing - you can start with the chords then - the melody notes are driven by the chords you decided to use. Or you can start with the melody and then - the chords are driven by the melody notes you decided to use.

The chords and melody notes must harmonize each other. They do if they both contain some of the same notes.

You need to end up balancing two things; 1) The verse's movement from rest to tension, climax, resolution and back to rest, and then 2) The chord you use should harmonize with the melody you are using. Perhaps the easiest way to do that is to use one of the classic progressions like I, IV, V, I or ii, V I, or my favorite I, vi, ii, V I and then get your melody notes from the chords you decided to use. Leave that progression movement alone and harmonize (flesh out the melody) using additional chord tones (voicing) found in extended or altered chords. For example maj7, 6th, sus2 and sus4. Those will give you additional notes to help with fleshing out the melody and at the same time help the harmonization process.

Don't worry about using a cookie cutter progression, thousands of melodies have been written off of a I IV V I progression.

Recapping; What chord you use to start your song depends on what melody note, chord and lyric word sound best together.

Good luck.

Last edited by Malcolm; 06-11-2009 at 06:37 PM.
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