Ever wondered how chord progressions work? This animation dives into the nuts and bolts of it

Music theory can be mind-numbingly boring, particularly when the source of information is a droning teacher or a YouTube video from 2004. But Youtuber Pierce Porterfield is trying to rectify that.

Here’s a beautifully simple and enlightening crash course on chord progressions.


Ever wondered how and why chord progressions work? This series of animations dives into the nuts and bolts of it. Watch below!

Over the last month, he’s released three videos in quick succession. The first was on how to “James Blake-ify your chords” – an excellent lesson on the lush style and interesting techniques that James Blake uses in his compositions.

But the other two are even more fascinating. They explore the nuts and bolts of how and why chord progressions work.

Using clear, concise animations to explain his take on the theory of progressions, Porterfield illustrates the relationships between the flow of chords and how this guides the “emotional journey” of the listener, how anticipation affects how we write music, and how particular chords in a scale interact to create and release tension.

Super interesting stuff! Watch both videos below, and check out Porterfield’s website and YouTube channel for more.

Become the master of chords or simply brush up on your theory.