Hooktheory Updates – Finding Cool Chord Progressions just got way Simpler
Hooktheory is one of the best song analysis, creation, and education tools out there. It lets you choose from thousands of songs, then takes you behind the scenes to show you exactly how they “work” music theory wise. Then, you can open up Hookpad, a musical sketching pad that guides you to creating your own theory-savvy songs.
So what’s new?
Hooktheory now lets you transpose any song from its original key to any minor/major key or mode you want. This is a seriously cool feature that will get your songwriting gears spinning.
In the examples on their website, you can see how songs like Hey Jude and Blank Space are thrown into an instantly eerie mood, while American Pie gets a whole new feel with its Dorian makeover (PS—I totally grooved with this one, so just picked up my guitar and laid down the foundation for a Gm, C song… that’s what I’m talking about!).
With this technique, you can take any simple chord progression and make it instantly more cool. Through experimentation, you can instantly create “weird” or “different” sounding music…. which in the era of the C-F-G-F progression is a breath of fresh, strange air. It’s also a great place to try out and get familiar with different modes.
Here comes the sequel to Hooktheory I. While the first book taught the basis of songwriting through roman numeral analysis, chord function and melodic construction, Hooktheory II walks you through seventh chords, embellishments, modes, minor harmony, and more. This is a great tool to develop your songwriting skills and have your songs stand out in the sea of music that is the internet.
Want more fun?
Here are some ideas.
You can flip through the most popular progressions to see what links today’s top tunes. On the other side, you can flip through the most complex progressions… then use them in your own songs to create (relatively) original progressions. Some pop hits (like Beyonce’s Love on Top”) are actually surprisingly complex.
Through Theorytabs you can also browse through tabs according to genre. Why not gander over to punk and see what those punk kids are up to these days? Or check out country and see how you can mold some of the country hits to fit your jazz metal style. Maybe you can glean some inspiration in the K-pop section (just listened to Hate by 4minute, which jumps from F# minor in the verse to F# Phyrgian in the chorus… a super punchy and cool chorus that will have you googling “phyrgian”).
Next time you have a progression and you don’t know where to take it next, pop over to the progression builder, which allows you to choose a key and starting note, then suggests where to take it next (based on the analysis of songs in their database). Select the “most used” subsequent chord to make stable and pop-y progressions, and “least used” next chords to experiment with quirkier sounds.
You should totally go check out their website right now. Stumble around for 10 minutes. It’s well worth your time.