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View Full Version : A bridge to nowhere...



GrumpyCoyote
06-21-2009, 04:55 PM
I've seen just a few discussions on how to construct a decent bridge... Nothing quite covering what I need.

Is there a general rule of thumb for the key/progression of a bridge? That is to say, if my song is in C ( say C, F, G), is there a trick to getting a bridge that works...

Typically, I just grab a couple chords of the main progression and fake a bridge, but like most music, I assume there are some basic rules that could help.

Thoughts?

seeso
06-21-2009, 07:06 PM
I've seen just a few discussions on how to construct a decent bridge... Nothing quite covering what I need.

Is there a general rule of thumb for the key/progression of a bridge? That is to say, if my song is in C ( say C, F, G), is there a trick to getting a bridge that works...

Typically, I just grab a couple chords of the main progression and fake a bridge, but like most music, I assume there are some basic rules that could help.

Thoughts?

Not so much a rule, but a lot of bridges start on either the relative minor or the 4 chord.

They should not end on the one chord. They should lead into the chorus, so you want them to end on a 5 chord or a 2 chord mostly.

Does that help?

Chrisuzwhite
06-21-2009, 07:38 PM
A good trick is to change key in the bridge for extra intrest created. So if the song is in the key of C, switch to the key of A minor or F major during the bridge via common chords, subdominants or borrowed chords.

So say you have the progression of I-vi-IV-V in the Verse and I-IV-V-IV-V in the chorus (those were pulled out of nowhere, yeah). You've stayed perfectly diatonic so far chordwise, nothing out of the ordinary. To link to a bridge in A Minor you could throw in a Vofvi chord (E Major in this case) to link to it and follow it with a i-III-i-V-VII progression in the new key leading back into C major.
To link to F major you could use a bVII (Bb Major) or the ii chord to link to the new key, or even use the I chord as a subdominant by adding the dominant 7 to it. I also enjoy changing key to the key of V via a VofV chord, probably the most common trick in rock 'n roll in these. (Try subbing the VofV for the ii in a ii-V-I progression, for instance. Since VofV is essentially a major II chord it works wonderfully and adds beautiful flavor.)

Basically, borrowed chords and subdominants are your best friend in creating bridges if you're stuck at any point.

If you're planning on sticking with the same key the whole way through Seeso has the right idea with starting on the vi and IV chords. Your method of just taking chords from the regular progression works perfectly fine, though!

You could also pull a Dylan and never use any bridges in your songs at all :D

Wow, that was longer than I intended it to be.

seeso
06-21-2009, 08:49 PM
A good trick is to change key in the bridge for extra intrest created. So if the song is in the key of C, switch to the key of A minor or F major during the bridge via common chords, subdominants or borrowed chords.

So say you have the progression of I-vi-IV-V in the Verse and I-IV-V-IV-V in the chorus (those were pulled out of nowhere, yeah). You've stayed perfectly diatonic so far chordwise, nothing out of the ordinary. To link to a bridge in A Minor you could throw in a Vofvi chord (E Major in this case) to link to it and follow it with a i-III-i-V-VII progression in the new key leading back into C major.
To link to F major you could use a bVII (Bb Major) or the ii chord to link to the new key, or even use the I chord as a subdominant by adding the dominant 7 to it. I also enjoy changing key to

Basically, borrowed chords and subdominants are your best friend in creating bridges if you're stuck at any point.

If you're planning on sticking with the same key the whole way through Seeso has the right idea with starting on the vi and IV chords. Your method of just taking chords from the regular progression works perfectly fine, though!

You could also pull a Dylan and never use any bridges in your songs at all :D

Wow, that was longer than I intended it to be.

Great stuff, bro. You're too young to know that stuff. LOL...

Chrisuzwhite
06-21-2009, 09:03 PM
Great stuff, bro. You're too young to know that stuff. LOL...

Sorry, I've been taking music theory classes for too long :D

EDIT: I just realized I left a hanging idea there originally, haha.

GrumpyCoyote
06-24-2009, 11:58 AM
Thanks guys - this is exactly what I was looking for.