How to Write & Hear Your Own Chord Progressions Online
By Seamus Islwyn
Updated September 22, 2017
When you're composing a song on your computer, manually entering different chord progressions into your MIDI sequencer can be tedious. If you want to hear what a chord progression sounds like without having to program it in, use an online chord progression player. The HotFrets Progressionator allows you to hear simple chord progressions played on an electric guitar, while WholeNote's Groove Builder allows you to write more complex chord progressions, then hear a three-piece band play them back.
Navigate to HotFrets.com. Open the "Cool Tools" menu and select "The Progressionator."
Click on a key in the "Key" column, then select a chord progression from the "Progression" list. Choose a playing style -- "Fingerpicking" or "Power Chords," for example -- from the "Style" column.
Click the "Generate Progression" button. Click "Play" to hear the chord progression.
WholeNote Groove Builder
Navigate to WholeNote.com and click on "Groove Builder." Select the desired length of the chord progression from the "Length" menu, pick a musical genre from the "Style" menu and use the "Resolution" menu to determine how many chords are in each measure.
Click on a radio button in the chord matrix to insert the corresponding chord into the progression. Use the first two rows in the matrix for simple major and minor chords; to insert a more complex chord type, select it from the drop-down menu underneath "Minor," then click the radio button corresponding to the desired chord.
Select a guitar type from the "Sound" menu at the bottom of the screen. Choose a tempo from the "Tempo" menu. Set the volume levels of the guitar, bass and drums using the drop-down menus next to their names.
Click "Play" to listen to the chord progression.
Seamus Islwyn has been writing for radio, print and online publications since 2003, covering subjects from independent Canadian music to automobile smuggling in the Balkans. His work has appeared in the "Tirana Times" in Albania, and he also composes and produces electronic music. Islwyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from McGill University and a certificate in radio broadcasting from Humber College.