Whenever you are composing a music piece, the name of the game is to have options from which to choose. If you have only one way to do everything then you can hardly be creative, no?
So for instance, you want to be able to make the same simple chord progression sound different, or in other words you want to have many different ways of playing it, or modifying it, so that it does not sound exactly the same every single time.
After all, how do you think that there are so many pop songs composed on the 'same' chord progression? These people know how to make the 'same' thing sound different every time. (There is an art to creating a 3-chord song... but I digress.)
Some chord changes are so incredibly common that musicians have found thousands of way to play them. Case in point, the movement between the I chord to the IV chord - in C major, playing C and following with an F - is excessively common.
And so, we have many ways of playing it.
In this video you will see several ways to use the simple I-IV chord changes that make the progression sound much more "professional" than what you can do now. (I'm not saying you are bad. I'm saying that you probably will find some interesting tricks in the video.)
Note that the only thing we'll do is to work on the C chord (and it will always be a C chord... we don't do complex substitutions). Curious? Watch this:
...and these options are just the start!
If you like having these kind of options for your songs, then you totally want to check out also the video below where we talk about pre-dominant chords and their emotional effect.
Tommaso Zillio is a professional prog rock/metal guitarist and composer based in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Tommaso is currently working on an instrumental CD, and an instructional series on fretboard visualization and exotic scales. He is your go-to guy for any and all music theory-related questions.