Chord Progression Generator Explained
Chord progressions refer to the order that chords come in a piece of music.
In pop music, these tend to be cyclical, meaning one chord progression gets repeated throughout the entire piece of music. In Classical music, chord progressions tend to be unique to each phrase. No matter what style of music you’re writing, if you’re having trouble coming up with your own chord progressions, using a chord progression generator like this can help you get started.
What are the Roman Numerals in the Chord Progression Generator?
The lower display screen on the chord progression generator side shows you Roman numeral chord progressions.
Roman numerals have historically been used in music theory to refer to the chord that’s built on that step of the scale.
For example, in the key of C major, the chord that’s built from C is I. C is the first step in the scale, and it’s a major chord, so you can refer to that chord with a capital “I” Roman numeral.
While you don’t have to use capitalization to show chord qualities, it is common to do so:
- Major = capital (I, IV, V, etc.)
- Minor = lowercase (ii, iii, vi, etc.)
- Diminished = lowercase with a degree symbol (ii°, vii°, etc.)
- Augmented = capital with a plus (V+, III+, etc.)
Using Roman numerals to show chord progressions can be helpful because it they can refer to any key.
You can explore this by changing the key in the dropdown labeled “key” without pressing the “Random Chords” or “Random Everything” buttons. You’ll see that the pop chord symbols change depending on the key, but the Roman numerals will stay the same.
Road Map for the Chord Progression Generator
This is version 1 of the chord progression generator.
Plans for future versions include:
- Modal chord progressions (Dorian, Lydian, etc.)
- MIDI keyboard that will play the chord progressions
- Vibe dropdown (bossa, lyrical, disco, etc.)
- MIDI guitar that will play the chord progressions
- Sheet music display that will play the chord progressions
- Ability to download the MIDI or sheet music, so you can get right to making music
- Ability to save and make notes on your favorite chord progressions, so you can keep track of your best ideas
Learn More About Chord Progressions
If you want to learn more about how to make your own chord progressions, these articles will help:
How Do Chord Progressions Work?
You may have noticed that there seem to be patterns to the chord progressions that sound best or most familiar to you. And you’d be correct!
Understanding how chord progressions work (and therefore how you can make your own chord progressions from scratch) is the next step to making the music you want to. Less guessing that way!
The Chord Progressions: Cadences to Key Changes Course teaches you how to build chord progressions: from basic phrases all the way to fancy chord changes and borrowed chords:
Support the Development of the Chord Progression Generator
Show your support by sharing this tool with your friends and anyone you think will benefit from it.
Donations are also always appreciated.
Membership tiers with perks coming soon!