How to Create Soulful Music with Chord Progressions

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


How to Create Soulful Music with Chord Progressions

If you’re looking to create soulful, emotive music, then chord progressions are a great place to start. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to craft chord progressions that will tug at your listeners’ heartstrings and leave them wanting more.


Music theory can be a difficult subject to tackle, especially when first trying to understand it. Chord progressions are often seen as one of the more daunting concepts in music theory, but they’re actually not that difficult to understand. Once you know the basics of how chord progressions work, you’ll be able to create soulful, moving music that will resonate with your listeners.

A chord progression is simply a series of chords that are played in a particular order. The most important thing to remember about chord progressions is that they tend to follow certain patterns. The most common chord progression is I-IV-V, which you’ll find in countless songs across all genres of music.

If you’re just starting out, it’s helpful to think of chord progressions in terms of Roman numeral notation. This will allow you to quickly and easily transpose progressions to different keys. For example, the progression I-IV-V in the key of C would be C-F-G. In the key of G, it would be G-C-D. And so on.

Once you’re comfortable with Roman numeral notation, you can start to experiment with different progressions. A good place to start is with minor key progressions. These tend to sound darker and more soulful than major key progressions. A common minor key progression is i-iv-v, which would be written as Imaj7-iv7-v7 in Roman numeral notation.

As you experiment with different progressions, pay attention to how they make you feel. Chords can evoke strong emotions, so don’t be afraid to let your feelings guide your choices. With a little practice and experimentation, you’ll be writing soulful, moving chord progressions in no time!

What are chord progressions?

Chord progressions are the foundation of any great song. They are sequences of chords that create a magical journey for the listener, evoking emotions and taking them on a ride.

The best chord progressions have a strong emotional pull, making the listener feel something. They take you on a journey, evoking different emotions along the way.

Chord progressions can be downtempo and soulful or uptempo and energetic. It all depends on the type of chords you use and how you sequence them. In this article, we’ll show you how to create soulful chord progressions that will make your music sound more emotive and heartfelt.

How to write a chord progression

There are a few basic things to keep in mind when writing chord progressions. First, the tonic (or root) note of the progression should be clearly established from the outset. This will give the listener a point of reference and a sense of stability. Second, the chord progression should move towards some sort of resolution. This can be accomplished by returning to the tonic note, by moving to a related key, or by simply ending on a strong chord. Finally, it’s important to create a sense of forward motion in the progression. This can be done by using chord changes that create tension and release, or by moving in logical steps up or down the scale.

Writing a chord progression in a minor key

Chord progressions are the backbone of any song, whether it’s a pop tune or a jazz standard. And while there are many, many different ways to write a chord progression, certain progressions have come to be known as “soulful” progressions. In this article, we’re going to look at how to write a chord progression in a minor key that will give your song a soulful sound.

As we’ve discussed in other articles, the basis of a chord progression is the interaction between two or more chords. In a minor key, the most common chords you’ll find are the i ( tonic ), iii ( mediant ), and vi ( submediant ) chords. These three chords form the foundation of most minor key chord progressions.

One of the most common soulful progressions in a minor key is the iii-vi-ii-V progression. This progression starts on the mediant chord ( iii ) and moves to the submediant chord ( vi ). From there, it goes to the supertonic chord ( ii ) and then resolves on the dominant chord ( V ).

This particular progression has a very mournful sound to it, which is why it’s often used in ballads and other slow songs. If you want to give your progression a more optimistic sound, you can start on the i chord instead of the iii chord. This will give your song a brighter feeling overall.

Once you’ve settled on starting your progression on either the i or iii chord, you can begin experimenting with different combinations of chords to create your own unique soulful sound. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to writing music – so don’t be afraid to experiment!

Writing a chord progression in a major key

One simple way to write a chord progression in a major key is to start with the 1 chord (the “tonic” or “root” chord), move to the 4 chord, then move to the 5 chord, and back to the 1 chord. This is called a I-IV-V-I progression.

Here’s how it would look in the key of C major:

C major: C D E F G A B C

1 4 5 1: C F G C

If we were to add a few more chords, we might get a progression like this:

C major: C D E F G A B C

1 6 4 5 1: C Am F G C


We hope you enjoyed learning about how to create soulful music with chord progressions. As you can see, there are a variety of ways to create soulful sounding chord progressions. Experiment with different combinations of chords and progressions to find the sound that best suits your style of music. And remember, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process of creating beautiful soulful music.

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