5 Steps to Spice Up Chord Progressions


When you’re in the process of writing a song, you might have an acoustic demo, simply chord progressions marked down or something in between. As you start to arrange the song, you might want to spice up the original chord progressions, making them more unique. In this video I’m breaking down five simple, yet effective steps to spicing up chord progressions.

As you can hear, together these steps make a huge difference. They add up one by one. As you use the steps enough, they become an automation. It gets easier and easier to add notes to the chords, change the rhythm and so on. Obviously you don’t have to use all of them every time, just do what works for your own purpose. 

The Five Steps

The five steps are adding notes to the chords, changing the rhythm, using palm mute, short riffs and a lead melody.

Adding notes to the chords creates an instant impact, as the chords become more interesting. Experiment with different extra notes, as they don’t have to be the same note in every chord. You don’t necessarily want to form full four chords either. Try adding one or two strategic notes to the power chords.

Changing the rhythm is probably the most dramatic step. Try different rhythms to know what works for your song. Sometimes the old 8th-note strumming works the best and there’s no need to reinvent the bicycle. However, if you find yourself using the same rhythms time after time, try spicing it up a bit.

Palm muting can bring its own flavor to the table. It’s more subtle, but effective in certain strategic points. In case you’re new to the concept, here’s a tutorial on how to do palm mute.

Short riffs (or simply note movements) inside the chord progression, makes it more lively. It could be as simple as altering two notes within a chord or something way more complicated. Keep in mind though that you don’t want to get in the way of the vocals.

A lead melody – in the background of a chorus for example – adds a ton of excitement. The point of it is to complement the section, without being too obvious or taking the main role of the part of the song. Again, watch out for getting in the way of the vocals here. You can read more on how to create these sort of melodies from this post here.

Hopefully this video was helpful to you. If there’s anything you want me to cover in the future videos, let me know. Send me an email or leave a comment below. Until next week, cheers!

IDO NOT Create Another Song Until You Read This PDF-Guide

1 thought on “5 Steps to Spice Up Chord Progressions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *