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How to write chord progressions a pro would love, part 9: Breaking the rules

Here’s a progression that plays by the rules.

 rules - progression
All I did was keep those rules from the last post in front of me and plugged in chords the way the rules say I should. I didn’t pick up the guitar to do this. I didn’t have to.
Then I picked up the guitar and played the progression and it sounded fine. Of course it sounded fine! It’s based on centuries of ingrained listening. Now you can  produce a chord progression quickly any time you want to.
Do this: write three short (4-8 bars) progressions following these rules. Don’t use your guitar; just write them down. After you’re done, play those progressions. What do you think?
Do this at party if there’s a guitar lying around.  Get someone else to play the progressions. Your friends will be amazed.
Of course, you have to have the diagram memorized to do this. But that’s not really a problem. After writing a few progressions while staring at that diagram, you’ll probably have it.
Now break the rules. Do the same thing as above without the rules.
Again, don’t use the guitar to do this. Just treat all the chords like they’re a I chord this time. Let them go anywhere. Freedom! One rule: start on I (C). Just because.
Now you should have a few 4 to 8 bar progressions. Maybe you like them. Maybe you hate them. The good news is that anything can be made better.  The next step is craft. How do you take something that isn’t finished (another way of saying not good enough yet) and finish it.
This is big. But before I talk about that I need to give you the way to take everything that you can do in the key of C, and do it in any key.


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