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Chord Progressions

This section will help you create your own songs-primarily through chord and scale relationships. It’s incredibly rewarding to write your own songs, and it’s not hard to do if you have a reference point. This section should serve as your reference point when you want to get creative.

What Are Scale/Chord Systems?

Most people might not realize it, but scales have their own built in chord systems. By using the notes from a scale we can make up 7 different chords. These chords made from the scale will work perfectly with the scale.

If you are interested in writing your own songs, these scale/chord systems are by far one of the most important songwriting tools you’ll ever come across. Each chord constructed from a scale plays a different role and knowing how they interact with each other will make you a better songwriter. All you have to do is pick the key signature you want your song to be in then you find the correct scale/chord system chart for that key and then you can know exactly what chords and scales will work for your song.

Building Triads

We can decode the chord system of a scale by building triads. Triads are simply 3 notes that make up a chord(“tri” means 3, like in tricycle). To build one we take every other note of a scale until we have three. Like we said before: each scale/chord system has 7 chords, therefore 7 triads are extracted from each scale.

You need to know about chord construction to figure out how to name the chord a triad makes. We’ve already done it for you, but it’s important that you understand how it’s done.


You can use the triads built from a scale to create a chord progressions and use the scale itself to create the melody.

It’s really easy to do, too. Start by picking a key for your song. It doesn’t really matter what key you pick. In theory they’re all the same.

At first, you may find it easier to begin with the chord progression and create the melody last, or you may not choose to create the melody on your guitar at all. Some people will opt to sing the melody.

When using scale/chord systems write songs you’ll want to use the major and natural minor scale/chord systems for most of your compositions. The other modes of the major scale (dorian, lydian, mixolydian, phrygian, and locrian) can be fun to experiment with, though.

The Three Chords That Rocked The World

The 1st, 4th and 5th chords that are built from a scale are the most used chords in popular music. The standard blues progression is made up of these three chords and most early rock songs (rock was spawned from the blues) used these same 3 chords. Not much has really changed as a majority of popular music are still 3 chord songs.