Creating Minor Key Chord Progressions

This lesson is the video accompaniment to the minor key chord progressions PDF tutorial available in the theory section. It shows how to apply the minor key chord progressions on the guitar.

These minor keys may take a little longer to get used to, but I think that very quickly you will be up and running with some very nice minor key chord progressions.

If you haven't read the Minor Key Chord Progressions PDF tutorial from part one, I suggest you go back and read it so you can follow along with the video with complete understanding.

Not all chord progressions stay completely diatonic, so try not to be confused when you find a chord in one of your favorite chord progressions that just doesn't seem to fit in either your Major or Minor key formulas.

One thing you may find quite frequently in popular music is something called modal borrowing. That basically means that if you are writing a chord progression in A Major, you may borrow at times from the A Minor keys as well. It is a technique used frequently and we will talk more about it eventually, but I just wanted you to be aware of it.

So please let me know what you guys think of the theory lessons. Perhaps there is a theory subject that you would like to see covered? I'm all ears!!

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Minor Key Chord Progressions

Related Lesson

Minor Key Chord Progressions


  1. Joe Wadham on July 15, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Great lesson…very useful…especially with the additional pdf, thank you.

  2. sammy knight on March 3, 2011 at 7:38 am

    finally someone who knows how to teach awsome

  3. joshua on January 4, 2012 at 8:37 am

    thank you very very very much GOd bless you u guys

  4. Adii on February 9, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Did u tell me why u use B major cuz their is B minor iin the key of E by Harmonizing
    plzzz will u tell me

  5. jahval on April 14, 2012 at 4:11 am

    what are the family of chords if the key is in minor

    • Carl Brown on April 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Minor keys have chords from all 3 chord families, minor, major and dominant just like the major keys do.

      Is that what you were asking? 🙂


  6. Dikshant on June 21, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Hi, I really appreciate all the lessons of yours. very helpful.. As I havent went further of this lesson yet, I got a small confusion here. In some minor key chord progression, for example lets say E minor melodic key, there is sometimes chord used from other scale of E minor. How we can integrate two or more scales in chord progression???…. it really is confusing me….


  7. Dan Patrick Solayao on April 18, 2013 at 11:24 am

    In writing songs, can you start with minor scale for the verses and major for the chorus?,

  8. zhokho chizo on April 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    so lucky to have you as a teacher…….av been playing for 7 years thou neva came across this lessons… a lot to learn from this site…..:)

  9. Darren68 on October 28, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    I recently found your website and have been following your guidance pdf’s with great satisfaction into understanding guitar theory. However please can you clarify/explain why on your pdf of creating minor chord progressions the 3rd tone in Eminor can either be a G Aug or G Major chord? Or why the 6th and/or 7th chord in Eminor can either be a Major or Diminished chord? This isn’t explained in the pdf’s or on your videos as far as I can see and hear? How can this be?

    • Carl Brown on October 31, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Hey Darren, I think you should check out my PDF tutorial on “Understanding Minor Keys” in the music theory section. That is supposed to go along with this lesson.

      To quickly answer you question thought, in minor keys we actually use 3 different scales to build our chords with (natural minor, harmonic minor and melodic minor).

      Let’s look at A minor real quick.

      A B C D E F G = A natural minor
      A B C D E F# G# = A melodic minor
      A B C D E F G# = A harmonic minor

      The V chord is E minor (E G B) if you use the notes from the natural minor scale. However, if you use notes from either the melodic or harmonic minor scale the three chord tones will be E G# B, making it an E major chord.

      The VII chord is major in natural minor (G B D) or diminished if using notes from the harmonic or melodic minor (G# B D).

      This same concept explains any differences between all the chords within the minor keys. You have much more variety when playing in a minor key which is why music in minor keys usually sounds more complex.

      Hope this helps!


  10. Simon Tremblay on June 7, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Hi Carl! Is taking chords from these 3 scales considered modal interchanges (borrowed chords)? Let’s say I have a chord progression in Bm:

    Bm A Major G Major F# Major. If I solo over that Bm, I could take any of the 3 minor scales because the i chord is identical in each one, but for the A and G I should stick to the natural minor and for the F# maybe a quick lick in harmonic minor?

    I hope my question is clear and thanks for all the amazing lessons, it has really clarified many things for me.

    Have a good day 🙂

    • Carl Brown on June 7, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      You can hear it described that way from time to time. Music theory has so many different terms that describe the same thing.

      For the most part though, modal interchange refers to borrowing the chords from a parallel minor key if you are in major and a parallel major key if you are in minor. So in other words, interchanging between major and minor or B major and B minor.

      Most theorists, myself included don’t really see the 3 minor scale possibilities as modal interchanges or borrowed chords. They are all simply variations of minor. Combining all 3 minor scales along with modal interchange of the B major chords allows for tons of options for chord progressions.

      Also, you will see some modal interchange between scales like B major and B Dorian, but it is more rare. 🙂

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