At Hooktheory, we’re passionate about providing songwriters and musicians the tools they need to create great music.
Our TheoryTab Trends tool is a powerful, free resource with over 40,000 songs enjoyed by music producers, educators, and songwriters.
The Trends tool allows you to:
- Build chord progressions
- Examine chord probabilities
- Visualize what chord is most likely to come next in a progression
- Browse songs with the same chord progressions
Over the years, we’ve loved learning how musicians utilize the Trends tool in their creative processes. Today, we’ll highlight some unique ways to use the Trends tool and tap into its full potential for inspiration and learning.
Research music trends
With so many great songs out there, it can be overwhelming to gauge the chord progressions that popular songs utilize. You can use the Trends tool to trace chord progressions that are the most common in our database of 40,000 songs and narrow in on the ones that work for you.
When you begin using the Trends tool, you can either:
- Search for chord progressions in a specific key
- Use relative notation to search the entire database
You will first be presented with a list of chord probabilities, which show you the percentage of songs that start a chord progression with each of the available chords. To see all the options, click the gray “Other” bubble.
As you begin building your progression, the chords most likely to follow will be larger and have a larger percentage associated with them.
This is a fun, intuitive exercise to help you visualize how popular songs utilize different chord progressions.
Plus, you can preview how they sound in the context of these songs in real-time by toggling to their chord and melody analyses.
Get creative inspiration
The Trends tool can be beneficial if you’re starting to sketch out a chord progression for your next song but need help with how to get started or where to go next. You can start from scratch or add your progression so far.
The resulting chord probabilities and the real songs that contain your progression can show you different directions you may take. Once you start, you’ll be surprised where your progression may take you.
Producers have told us that previewing chord progressions in songs they recognize — or new songs altogether — is a valuable way to think about how a progression may sound in a final, produced piece.
The Trends tool makes it easy to listen to the same chord progression used across songs from different artists, genres, and periods.
With many contributing elements, like unique lyricism and producing styles, songs with the same chord progressions can have entirely different impacts.
Sometimes we can get stuck in the idea that certain chord progressions always produce the same emotional effect, but previewing songs with the Trends tool is a great way to demystify those limiting beliefs.
There are no rigid rules about how your chord progression has to go.
Once you start exploring, you’ll find that the options are truly limitless.
Dive into music theory
While it’s helpful to see chord progressions across different songs, you may want to dive deeper into a specific piece to understand how it achieves its particular sound or feel.
The song results for a chord progression link to in-depth chord and melody analyses where you can dive into the music theory behind your favorite songs.
Each TheoryTab analysis shows you a song’s:
- Key and tempo
- Chords and melodies, and how to play them on a keyboard
- Guides that highlight the scale degrees in a chord (so you can see which parts of the melody are more stable or dissonant)
- Chord and melody metrics (like chord complexity, melodic complexity, and chord progression novelty)
You can learn a lot about how music works by analyzing your favorite songs’ chord progressions and melodies.
Start exploring with Hooktheory
At Hooktheory, we’re proud to provide songwriters, musicians, and producers with valuable tools to develop their craft. The Trends tool is a comprehensive resource that offers endless opportunities for inspiration, creativity, and education.
Whether you’re looking to research popular chord progressions, find creative inspiration for your next composition, or delve into the music theory behind your favorite songs, our Trends tool has everything you need to take your musical journey to the next level.