Sad chord progressions guitar lesson: Easy guide!

Apr 3, 2024

Sad chord progressions on guitar can be EASY when you have a formula to start with! You’ll learn the chords that lay the foundation for chords for sad songs- all the while, going beyond the ordinary. Let’s get you started and see HOW you can select sad, depressing chords that work together!

Above, an easy selection of sad and tense chords to get you started on a sad chord progression. The progression is basically a Harmonic minor sound (A harmonic minor derived). Instead of cliche Am-Dm-Em chords, you want to dig a little deeper, and add sad with tense and uneasy. (You’ll also sound a little more unique to the listener with an unexpected twist of B diminished 7!

Easy physical consideration for this sad & tense chord progression: the first two chords, you can leave index finger at the C note (1st fret, B string). The last two chords, leave index at the G# note (1st fret, G string). This makes the transition easier.

The sadness in the chord progression is setup with the first minor chord. The open thinnest string on the F major 7 makes it melancholy (E note). Then the B diminished 7 chord and E7 add an unexpected bite of sadness in the chord progression by using a G# (going against what the ear may anticipate).

To make the sad chord progressions resolve, bring the E7 back around to A minor (below).

(ALSO: reference the video examples BELOW!)

Start playing more PRO chords and make your chord progressions STAND OUT! Learn ALL the ways to use chord subs, embellish progressions and make YOUR playing stand out. 🎸🎢 START TODAY! πŸ‘‰Guitar chord progressions: change key on guitar! – Guitar Woodshed (guitar-woodshed.com)

Next, time to take the next steps and up your game with this chord progression! More chords and more to grow on. Along with sad comes tense and melancholy: here you go! This progression has all those elements- so take a lot from it and apply these sad, sorrowful chords to your guitar playing.

You’re in the key of A minor. How it works is the stretchy Am9 wants to pull towards a resolution to Am. Then, instead of plain old G, drop in a Gadd9. Gadd nice feels like it wants to transition. The A7sus4 is sort of sonic and dreamy and a substitute for A7. A is the V chord of Dm, so drifting into Dm is satisfying. The F chord is found in Am. But instead of bland F, exploiting the b5 is the epitome of tense and dark- so use those! Tip: since index is gripping the root F on the low E string, it’s easy to transition to Faddb5. Again, these sad and melancholy chords are substitutes for ordinary F.

Em chords go hand-in-hand with Am. (There are 3 minor chords in A minor: Am, Em, Dm- so you’re really stating that to bring out the sad atmosphere- all the while adding some twists and unpredictability.

For a surprise effect, the F maj7b5 is so tense it sounds satisfying to steer it back around to Am, or to end it on A minor on a sad note.

(ALSO: reference the video examples BELOW!)

BORING CHORDS?πŸ₯± Learn to breathe life into your chords πŸ˜ƒπŸŽΈβ€¦and learn the process- FREE! CLICK HERE πŸ‘‰ derek-8d44d.gr8.com

Two fun things you can do once you’re used to playing these chords:

  1. Arrange the chords in a different order, crafting them into your own playing style. Play around the substitute chords- or leaving them out. You can also extend the chords for longer durations.
  2. Use a drum track/backing track to create a rhythm, with a strum and/or a picking pattern!
  3. Watch the VIDEOS BELOW for a walkthrough: and be sure to have your guitar ready!
Step one sad chords guitar walk through!

Step two sad chords guitar walk through!

Start playing more PRO chords and make your chord progressions STAND OUT! Learn ALL the ways to use chord subs, embellish progressions and make YOUR playing stand out. 🎸🎢 START TODAY! πŸ‘‰ Guitar chord progressions: change key on guitar! – Guitar Woodshed (guitar-woodshed.com)

Linkedin: Derek Roland | LinkedIn

Join the Guitar Woodshed Community Facebook group for inside guitar tips, lessons, strategies and more! click: https://www.facebook.com/groups/584582923174863/

Guitar Woodshed LLC: https://tinyurl.com/yvy6fvck

Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@derek.roland1?_t=8e9UpjgjU1W&_r=1