hints & tips

When in doubt use I - IV - V

Most Western popular music is built from the basic I-IV-V movement. Three chord rock and roll, the music of Mozart, and the delta blues all rely on progressions that feature the first, fourth, and fifth harmonies of the major scale.

The 8-bar and 12-bar blues forms demonstrate the strongest leading tendencies of these three scale degrees. It's hard to escape the gravity of these movements. Chances are good that a lot of your music will be attempting to escape this gravity. Sometimes gravity wins, so be prepared to use it anyways.

Be aware also that II-V-VI, III-VI-VII, IV-VII-I ... etc., are all modal variants on I-IV-V. When you use these movements together they will tend to be associated by the listener. You can use the leading tendencies of these various movements to temporarily establish new keys. The movement used to most firmly establish a new key is II-IV-I (of the new key).

Resolution is easy

If you find yourself struggling to prolong a progression that seems to be going nowhere take a moment and see if it might not be better to just resolve the movement (unless resolution is not part of your master plan!). The most direct route to a resolution is via descending 5ths (counter-clockwise around The Circle), especially using dominant 7th chords. For example, to resolve to C you could use D7-G7-C.

Lock the Root

If your chords keep losing their names because you like to click in the Scale Box a lot then lock the root to preserve your chord names. You'll be glad you did.

Keep a real guitar handy

You'll want to keep your guitar nearby when working with FretPet's guitar-oriented features.

Play along with FretPet all the time

FretPet has an uncommonly good sense of rhythm. The program will continue to play the same progression over and over again for as long as you want. This is ideal for practicing leads and developing accompaniment of all kinds. Use the program as a teacher as well as a tool. It is a facilitator of what you seek, a doorway to better rhythm and a stronger sense of movement.

Ask for help

Do you want a new feature in FretPet? Do you need help with a confusing topic? Would you like to report a bug? Send an email to support@thinkyhead.com to get help straight from the source.