Posted by: Corey | February 5, 2012

Learn Music Theory 3 [Chords Explained]

Chords Explained / Chord Theory

Okay, now it’s time for what I’ve been wanting to get to this whole series- what on earth all that all means.

Each of the chords we’ve built have a distinct sound.

Here’s the walkthrough. (These are just my opinions, and I’m sharing them to get you started. You’ll have to play around with these chords on your own time to develop your understanding of them)

I – Your basic, bread and butter starting place. It’s usually home base.

ii – A subdued sounding, kind of strange chord. Great for bridge sections.

iii – A very melancholy, and painfully beautiful chord. A little hard to use.

IV – Peaceful, happy, simple. A very versatile chord.

V – A tense chord, yet also very versatile.

vi – Your basic dark or sad chord.

That’s it. Once I get to this point, I wanna pat people on the back and tell them “You now know most of what you could ever need to know to write pop/rock music.” Which probably angers a lot of musicians. There’s a lot more to the world of music. A LOT MORE. But, you can get away with a TON just by knowing this. Millions of songs are exactly this simple. What you need to do now is learn what these each sound like on your own. The way I’d do it is by playing between the I chord, and other chords over and over. Like I to IV over and over, or I to vi, etc.

And like I said earlier, these chords all relate to each other the same way, no matter what key they’re in.

You know what? I did them for you to hear. You’re welcome 8)

I to ii

I to iii

I to IV

I to V

I to vi

Use these formulas to figure out the scales and chords in other keys! Write some chord progressions! Have fun!

To get you started, the most common rock/pop chord progression is [I – V – vi – IV]. Which in the key of D is [D, A, Bm, G]. (For those of you who don’t know, a chord progression is a set of chords that you play, one after the other.)

Okay. Phew. We’re almost there. The last element in our music theory crash course is: melody.



  1. […] – Bmin (B, D, F#) Next, we need to learn what these sound like Please leave a comment and let me know what’s on your mind! Share this:TwitterFacebookLike […]

  2. […] Learn Music Theory 3 [Chords Explained] ( […]

  3. […] Learn Music Theory 3 [Chords Explained] ( […]

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