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Tania

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 #1 
Can someone give me a basic way to figure out a chord progression for a song? I've been looking it up, but I'm still a little confused.

So, the first note is always I and everything else centers around it. If the chord progression is

Am, D, G, C

It would be in the key of A minor right? That scale is ABCDEFG, same as C major. Would the chord progression be i III VI IV? I know lowercase is minor, uppercase is major.

Anyone who could shed any light would be of great help!
tarasco702

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 #2 
No the key would be C. Am is a chord, key signatures are always in major keys. the chord just tells you the starting point within the key. And no the progression is for the most part I,V,IV and so on. Hope it helps.
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Tania

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 #3 
Well, it makes me realize that I still know nothing...hah.

Since chord progressions are never in minors, and A minor is C major, that would explain why it's in C.
tarasco702

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 #4 
Chord progressions can be in minors. Key signatures are in majors. Chord progressions is the sequence of chords within the song. The key signature gives you the key or tono of the song. For example a song in the key of C can start with a Am chord and follow it'ts progressions in minor chords but still be in the key of C major. I recommend you study ur theory and all ur questions will be answered.
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Colombianguy_III

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 #5 
The minors do have key signatures. They are relative to the major key signatures as well. Every major has it's minor... Also, If you play in a minor, your chord will be a i chord.

This would be the progression if playing in the key of a minor:

Am, D, G, C = i iv VII III (a natural minor scale or Aeolian mode)

Here is a link I found. Enjoy!

https://www.wku.edu/music/documents/minorkey.pdf

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Tania

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 #6 
I was pretty sure a song could be in the key/tono of a minor. For example, I was trying to figure out the key of this song to play it on the accordion:



To figure out a key of a song, I just play notes on the piano until a scale pops up. I knew it was in the F scale, but I kept ending on D, so I assume that the song is in the key of D minor.
Colombianguy_III

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 #7 
Yes, this is in the key of d minor...
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Tania

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 #8 
Now the hard part is figuring out how to play that on the accordion...(I gave up for now...)
elpirishuiris

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 #9 
Tania
The four chords you mentioned are part of the G scale. The relative minor of the G scale is Em. So the song might be in Em. Em and G are the same scale.
Colombianguy_III

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 #10 
elpirishuiris,

how are those chords part of the G scale? Tania mentioned the scale was "ABCDEFG". So the tonic would be a minor.

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wsnider

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 #11 
Hi Tania,

Let's start at the biginning ok? If the progression is am D, G, C then for it to be in am it must end in an am cadence this is a hard and fast rule of leading tone harmony. The sequence you wrote is  am i or ace,  Dmajor IV or df#a(if it were a iv chord it would be dfa), Gmajor VII or gbd and Cmajor  III or ceg. I'd go back and verify that this is correct while it sounds nice it is an odd progression and has no tonal center. There are 12 major and 12 minor keys  as Columbian guy implied so the combinations are endless but subeject to convention (what sounds right!) play these notes in sequence and as chords and decide for yourself. BTW Gmajor not the equivalent to the aminor scale which as Columbian guy points out is the relative minor of the Cmajor scale. The Gmajor scale is gabcdef#g so only the Gmajor chord coresponds to the Gmajor scale in this progression. Dmajor has 2 sharps f# and c# and Cmajor has no sharps or flats. Look up music theory online and study a little it's painful at first but "vale la pena" y si tu prefieres busca teoria musica. Es una lucha cuando impieza pero no vale nada andando en oscuridad no?  

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Tania

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 #12 
Es cierto. So the sequence would be i IV VI III? Well, thanks for all your help guys. I knew absolutely nothing about music theory before I came to this forum...before, I learned a lot of songs on the piano just by watching them, and I knew the names of the notes, and that was it. Everything is slowly but surely falling together, and I know as long as I keep at it, something will click and eventually I'll just understand (same as what happened to me with Spanish...)

By the way, the note sequence is for this song that I'm playing:


I knew it probably wasn't a traditional chord sequence, but I like it because I was able to play 2 measures in, 2 measures out and not have to worry about lacking air.
Colombianguy_III

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 #13 
It also depends on which minor scale you use. The natural, harmonic and melodic minor scales produce different chords and progressions.
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elpirishuiris

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 #14 
Am, D, G, C
In the Em scale: Am=iv, D=VII, G=III, C=VI; I do not know a lot all I can say is try it and see if it works.
elpirishuiris

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 #15 
The A minor scale although containing G and C major, does not contain D major but D minor.  So the A minor scale would not correspond to the chords you mentioned.
wsnider

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 #16 
These are chord symbols which indicate a relation to the tonic. they are not scale symbols which to my knowledge don't exist! The a minor scale is the same as the c major scale simply starting on the minor third below tonic which is a. All majors have a relative minor which begins on the minor third below tonic, the forms whether they are natural, melodic, harmonic, half diminished, full dimished or augmented are irrelevant to this discussion which is about chord progressions. If you'll look at the info here in the forum these questions can be easily resolved.
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