Understanding And Writing Major Key Chord Progressions

This lesson doesn't have a video to accompany it, we are talking pure bookwork here. Don't worry, I tried to keep the writing light and simple so you can quickly understand how to determine all of the basic chords that you can use in a particular key as well as understand how to create a chord progression using those chords.

For this lesson we will stick with only major keys because minor keys require a little more work. But if you go through this method now, understanding the minor keys should be pretty easy for you.

The tutorial starts by just going through the basics of how chords are created and how we apply them to certain keys. Then we take a look at some actual chord progressions.

Part two of this tutorial will be a video lesson showing how to apply this chord progression knowledge to the guitar.

So don't forget to download the tutorial and read through it a few times until you feel you can confidently write chord progressions and I will see you in Part Two with some actual guitar playing!!

Understanding And Writing Major Key Chord Progressions PDF

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  1. Brian on February 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Hey Carl, This lesson is great, do you plan on putting more theory lessons up or is this all theory is?

    • Carl Brown on February 7, 2010 at 9:37 pm

      Hey thanks for watching,. There is a lot more to theory, in fact it could take up an entire lifetime and you would still find plenty of things you can learn. I will be putting a lot more theory videos and PDF tutorials up. I am also looking for any suggestions that readers would have on what type of theory lessons they would like to see. If you click on the theory category you should see all the theory lessons I have made for the site so far. But rest assured there are plenty more coming! 🙂 See you soon!! Carl..

      • Paul Bentley on January 13, 2024 at 6:43 am

        Hi Carl, there is a situation I’d like to learn about if possible. Do you have any tips or methods of being able to pick out chord progressions that are not diatonic, for situations like needing to suddenly improvise a lead solo over a song live because the singer’s suddenly snapped a string on his guitar and motioned for you to keep going? There are many, many songs that are written in a non-diatonic fashion and surely a good guitarist would need it in their armoury for when the situation would appear.

        Thanks in advance Carl.

  2. Dakota on April 24, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    You’ve been the only person that can explain this stuff to me, where I actually understand it. I can’t thank you enough! 😀

  3. Rafael Ramoso on April 13, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Thanks for posting stuff like this. It’s really helped. I promise, I’ll donate, soon. :DD

  4. Prayash Lama on August 25, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Respected Mr.Carl Brown,
    With humble submission. Your lessons are compact and to the point, sir. i have been playing guitar for almost 10years and i play very fast but i always flt uneasy to confide that i lacked theory. your theory lessons has greatly helped me n has given me a brand new insight of music or what im doing on the fretboard…No other website has a teacher like you and the lessons so compact…these days i smile to myself while i play fast..i have the sense of what im doing now…im very greatful to you.

    thanking you. 🙂

  5. daniel monaghan on August 25, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Thanks alot:-) Im an owner of a language school, and I find the way you present and teach the material very easy to understand and learn. I have been playing guitar for 17 years and piano for 2 and this is the first time I am actually learning the theory, so thx alot!…Dan

  6. ujjal Boruah on January 12, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    I have learn many new stylish tips from your site…thanks a lot Carl.

  7. Dan on April 11, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Hi Carl! Thanks for the great instruction as always. So where do I find the “part two” of the Major Chord progressions that you mention above?

  8. varun singla on August 6, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    hey carl can you plz upload the tutorial for flying in a blue dream by joe satriani

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