How to Create Chord Progression Turn-Arounds

This is a very well-written, concise and timely article!

The Essential Secrets of Songwriting Blog

A turn-around builds musical energy by its seamless back-to-the-beginning characteristic.


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GuitarA turn-around is a progression, usually relatively short (4 or 5 chords), that ends in such a way that it seamlessly connects back to its beginning. In music theory terminology, that connection is called a melded cadence, which simply means that whatever chord would be the logical end of the progression is the same chord that starts it:

Standard I-vi-ii-V-I turn-around

It’s because of this kind of “end-is-the-beginning” characteristic that the turn-around has a pleasant quality with a good deal of musical momentum.

To create your own turn-around that has this kind of forward energy, you might want to start with something…

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A Country Waltz Project

Here are a few 32-bar arrangements of a little country waltz I wrote in the last week. The first one is in D out of DAD tuning, and the second one is in G, while still in DAD (with no capo). These are both bare-bones arrangements, though the one in D has more fills added on the TAB, but not in the music itself. The one in G is really bare-bones, allowing you to use your imagination with what you might add.

Country Waltz #1 in D

Country Waltz #1 in G

Enjoy these!