When setting out to build chord progressions for trap on piano, you can apply the same general thought process as you would pretty much any instrument. If you can hum a simple melody, you can build a progression. Even if you just start out with a basic 3 chord structure, you’ll have a solid foundation to work with. Writing and playing music is all about developing your ear as well, and you can only do that by actually taking in as much music as you can and playing your own just as much (if not more)!
You can string literally any notes together to make a melody of course, but there are a couple of general ways to approach it that almost always sound good. Pick a root note that you like and then play the note 3 keys above it. That’s your 3rd, a note that often tends to harmonize well with the root. The 5th is also a solid choice, as is the 7th.
A root note and its 7th actually make up a “power chord,” the most common tool for building progressions in modern trap music, and they sound just as good on piano! It’s actually incredibly easy to move these chords all over the place and sound amazing in the process. If you add the 12th, which is just an octave up from your root note – let’s say you’re working with C2 to C3 – you’ll have a very full sounding chord despite only working with a handful of notes.
Once you have one basic chord worked out, you can just dissect its parts and create a chord progression from within it. So starting with C and using the same note placements listed above, your basic progression would go something like this:
C2 – D#2 – F2 – G2 – C3
The intervals (meaning how far apart they are) aren’t very wide, but you can see how easy it is to break down one chord or scale into its individual parts to create a progression that actually works. You could easily just add the 5th or 7th to each of those notes and have a progression that can easily be expanded upon. You can then add melodies on top and also create a bit more space in your intervals through simple octave jumps to make everything sound even more dynamic.
Outside of extensive study of music theory, the best way to develop an ear for how chords work together is to simply listen to music. You’ll start to recognize a lot of the same patterns in conventional music. Just look into how many pop songs use the “I – V – vi – IV” progression for a great example of this. Once your ear starts to pick up on these things, you can put it all into practice within your own playing, and then start experimenting and trying new things to come up with new sounds altogether. Playing and writing music is all about exploration, so make sure to take in as much as you can!
Post Submitted By: InstaHitMakers Twitter