Note / chord progession - ur favourite?

hi guys… it is me again :stuck_out_tongue:

so, as you may all know, I am not that talented … maybe you have an idea or 2 of which notes to press to get proper sounds out of the boxes …

illustrations with fingers on keys are highly welcomed … not welcomed is:… Vi iii 2 V in c#dur inverted fifth progression kind of instruction …luv ya all !!!

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I found your owl…

Am following your quest to be better at the black and white things.
Sympathize, empathize.
Feel your frustration.
I went to a special music school and did art.

maybe I found solution for the bullshit black white weird naming scheme mumbojumbo

The classic house progressions are based on a fixed shape (one chord shape transposed up and down the keyboard - like chord memory on an Alpha Juno or a slightly different effect that you get from sampling one chord and transposing up down - you get fast/slow artefacts) - it’s simply a case of you choosing the initial fixed shape, usually a minor or major chord depending on the mood your going for - also more complex chords like sevenths, ninths, 11ths get you ‘deeper’, jazzier, more soulful sounding etc. the creativity is in you deciding on the progression with this simple fixed shape approach.

The fixed shape idea is what you probably already did on say a Monomachine - when you use a synth engine that supports chords - you set the four notes intervals (say +3, +7, +10) that’s your fixed chord shape that you simply transpose by locking the root note in the sequencer - you can of course change the shape if you want by locking the intervals to something else - but for instant house gratification you don’t need to, as the fixed shape is the archetypal sound.

Same approach applies to techno and dub stabs etc where there may be more or fewer.notes in the fixed chord shape, and where sound design (e.g. Not just a piano or organ sound) signals the genre - so the exact same progression in house would be shaped, darkened, lifted etc for other genres.

The I, IV, V stuff is actually pretty useful and quite simple if you even understand it at a basic level - ‘I’ represents the root chord, say C minor - it also represents ‘home’ - so when you build a progression, the idea is that you occasionally ‘resolve’ to come home from a journey via IV and V or VII or whatever - these are just other chords in the progression - Aminor, E7 etc - when you come ‘home’ to “I” you provide a sense of completeness or musical resolution - it sounds good, right and is very easy to hear - you might choose to return home every 2 or 4 bars - you might choose not to return home sometimes, leaving tension - the listener wants more - you might choose never to return home, for a darker or unsettling vibe.

You should check Attack Magazine where you’ll get lots of this explained with diagrams and with example “typical progressions” from classic dance tunes.


Yes I agree learning the Roman numeral chord notation is super useful, and quite a revelation. If you stick to say C Major initially you can play progressions quite easily as you’re just counting white notes.

I = C, E, G
ii = D, F, A
iii = E, G, B
IV = F, A, C
V = G, B, D
VI = A, C, E
vii = B, D, F

Once you get a feel for how they combine, the same numeral combinations apply to the other scales… the only difference is the notes that will be played and the nuances each scale brings.

I actually found this iPad book really great:

It covers progressions and what notes work with what. It also has a bunch of interactive tutorials.

Not the answers you’re looking for, but hopefully useful.


Very useful thread

Thx for the question and the answers

I don’t have one favorite chord progression, but there are a bunch that I like. One example is the chord progression that starts at 2:26 into this tune, which I sequenced in Korg M01D on my Nintendo 3DS:

It’s a chord progression that I’ve heard on some house techno tunes. I basically copied it by entering notes into the sequencer view, based on what I heard with my ear, and then changing them if they didn’t sound “right”.

At 2:59 I started changing up the chord progression by using “substitutions” - this is just subbing one chord for another in the progression. I found the substitute chords by using an iPhone app called ProChords to suggest a chord. Yep, there were times I had the iPhone in one hand running the ProChords app, and the 3DS in the other hand running Korg M01D in sequencer view.

Chord subs are great for changing up chord progressions - to kind of freshen up the ear a bit after you’ve been feeding it the same chords repeatedly for a while.

Some people have found it easier to think of a chord as 3 or 4 or whatever number of monophonic instruments playing notes together, instead of as one polyphonic synth playing a bunch of notes at the same time. With this mentality you might feel a little freer to play with the movement of individual “voices” in the harmony instead of just blocks of notes.

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Some people have found it easier to think of a chord as 3 or 4 or whatever number of monophonic instruments playing notes together, instead of as one polyphonic synth playing a bunch of notes at the same time. With this mentality you might feel a little freer to play with the movement of individual “voices” in the harmony instead of just blocks of notes.

Nice tip.

Those chords on your track definitely have that classic house vibe. Nice work.


Thanks for the suggestion! This iBook is totally helpful and written in plain English. I was able to finish it in about 6 hours of travel time on a plane. I can totally write progressive house now :slight_smile:

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great topic!

so I already watched some tutorials about THE circle … it´s not the circle of life, it´s the circle of fifths or fourths.

so … if you are good in mathematics … you should be a great musician too :smiley:

That’s the way I compose most of the time. I got inspired by Middle-Age polyphonic music where this principle was used alot, one of the reasons i like Bach so much.These guys sound very modern into my ears - the same priciple is used in many dance - orientated music. The distance is smaller than it seems. This is allso the reason I like monophonic synth’ and synth-lines. I prefer to build melody upon melody upon melody - And magically chords start to turn up ! With only my 2 instruments 8 melodys can interact !!! Keeping some identical in following patterns and replacing others -blending in - out - weaving organic carpets - melodys buzzing around like insects - transposing and shifting - bubbels become storms … pure fun and sometimes headages :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: And its a joy to wander from 1 pattern to another this way…
And every note can be modulated or be a totally different sound !!!
Much more interesting than full chords with just 1 sound.
That’s the biggest reason I bought a A4 and an AK. And because this are 2 seperate machines I can even step furter - and interact with patterns and chaines … . man … it’s like swimming between wonderful corals full of extraordinary creatures und fluoricent fish :heart:
By the way - did you know that the word Inspiration was originally to discribe - something coming Inside from Outside - and that the word Genius was also to discribe something that comes from outside;
Personnaly i see our “bodymind” as a kind of antenna that captures energy - creativity - modifies it and transmits it - in a million ways. I only have to guide it - depending caracter and moment . it’s interesting to see that these words haven’t allways been used to express something pure personal . that people wheren’t regarded as Genius but that the Genius was rather somthing coming around when the conditions are right ( whatever those are ? ) Inspiration - A Spirit coming in …

Ones someone asked Picasso if it was tru - that he could see the painting before making it. He aswered : What would be the point of making a painting if I can allready see it in my head ? HA Ha Ha… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
In the end NATURE is the greatest in-Spirit

Very interesting and useful - thanx :+1:
I get lost in all these names - but the Home-story is a language I understand - very nice and good way of explaining …

This page has a so called hookpad:

I found it very usefull, but i wonder if you have an idea, if there is a similar app for android, which can create midi files? I want to use it during my train travel.

Caustic is already great, but i would like to have a chord /melody app.

Great thread but i have a question regarding the chords.
In A4 some sounds are described as chords and two oscillators are tuned for example in 3rd and 7th and sub oscillator in 5th.

In that case every key i press is already a chord?

If i play a chord with a chord sound would it make any sense?

Well its chord like, if you tune the osciallators differently, but you obviously only get only a single amplifier to run it through, so you just have a single attack phase. If you listen to a piano /guitar chord, the notes are somewhat off time i.e. the attack phases are shifted, because it takes time to move the plectrum down from on guitar string to the next.

When you percieve a sound its normally about the attack phase, when you differntiate the sounds between each other. (Piano hammers a string, causing you to identify it as a piano.)

At the end of the day, i used also the different tuning of the osciallators as harmony generator on the A4, but it gets quiete tedious, if the harmonic relationship shifts, and you want to use a different chord to accompany your melody, then you would need to parameter lock the osciallators, or create more chord sounds, and sound lock them. (Hmm good idea to make some of them with different tunings.)

Sooo will it make sense to play a chord with a chord sound in A4 or not?
I understood your point for the natural sound of a chord being played in a musical instrument.
Generally this 2 oscllators and one sub oscillator thing it confuses me a bit :frowning:
I know how to play piano and in my mind tuning the oscillators should be the same as tuning the strings of a piano but i feel that works somehow differently in A4…thats why i m confused

Tuning the oscillators to form chords is pretty standard practice, yeah? I get that it’s a bit counter-intuitive compared to just entering the notes, but sometimes p-locking different chord formations is part of the fun of working with an instrument like this, at least in my experience; I’ve come up with some cool stuff on the monomachine’s SWAVE/DPRO-ENS machines that I would never have even thought of, if I’d only used the keyboard to enter notes for chords.

It’s elektron gear, everything and nothing makes sense. It’s all about finding weird ways to do things imo.