Tom Quayle - Creating Interesting Chord Progressions

Tom Quayle's "Creating Interesting Chord Progressions" guitar lessons on offer an in-depth exploration of innovative chord progression techniques. Designed for guitarists seeking to expand their harmonic vocabulary, these lessons delve into advanced methods that transform standard chord progressions into captivating musical passages. With Tom Quayle's expert guidance, students can learn to craft unique progressions that enhance their compositions and improvisations. The lessons are enriched by Tom Quayle’s performances, demonstrating the application of each technique in a musical context, providing invaluable insights for learners.

Exploring Modal Interchange

One of the primary techniques Tom Quayle focuses on is modal interchange. By borrowing chords from parallel modes, guitarists can add unexpected colours and emotional depth to their progressions. This technique allows for greater harmonic variety and can make a progression sound fresh and engaging. Learning modal interchange helps guitarists break away from predictable diatonic progressions, enabling them to infuse their music with a broader range of tonalities.

Utilising Extended Chords

Extended chords, such as ninths, elevenths, and thirteenths, are another key focus in these lessons. Tom Quayle demonstrates how to incorporate these lush, complex chords to create rich harmonic textures. Using extended chords adds sophistication and a jazz-influenced sound to your playing, which can elevate even simple progressions to a new level of musicality. Mastering extended chords broadens a guitarist's chordal palette, making their music more interesting and dynamic.

Incorporating Chromaticism

Chromaticism involves the use of notes outside the standard scale or key, adding tension and release within chord progressions. Tom Quayle shows how to skilfully weave chromatic notes into progressions, creating smooth transitions and intriguing harmonic shifts. This technique is beneficial for guitarists looking to add a touch of unpredictability and sophistication to their music, enhancing both their composition and improvisation skills.

Voice Leading

Voice leading is the smooth, stepwise movement of chord tones from one chord to the next, ensuring that each voice (note) moves as little as possible. Tom Quayle emphasises the importance of good voice leading in creating professional-sounding chord progressions. Effective voice leading can make transitions between chords sound seamless and natural, which is crucial for crafting polished and coherent progressions.

Arpeggiated Chord Progressions

Tom Quayle also covers arpeggiated chord progressions, where chords are played one note at a time rather than strummed. This technique creates a flowing, melodic texture that can add a new dimension to chord progressions. Arpeggiating chords can bring a delicate, expressive quality to your playing, making it an essential skill for creating beautiful, nuanced music.

Performance Insights

Seeing Tom Quayle perform these techniques in a musical context is incredibly beneficial for learners. It not only demonstrates the practical application of the techniques but also provides inspiration and a real-world example of how they can be used creatively. Watching a skilled guitarist like Tom Quayle execute these techniques helps students understand their potential and encourages them to incorporate these methods into their own playing.


"Creating Interesting Chord Progressions" by Tom Quayle is a comprehensive guide for guitarists eager to enhance their harmonic vocabulary and create captivating music. By mastering techniques such as modal interchange, extended chords, chromaticism, voice leading, and arpeggiated chord progressions, students can significantly improve their composition and performance skills.

Guitar Techniques Used in These Lessons

About The Tutor

Tutor Profile

Tom Quayle

Tom Quayle needs no introduction on the guitar scene after shooting to attention when he made it to the finals of Guitar Idol back in 2008. Before that he was a graduate of Leeds College of Music where he did a degree in jazz then hit the local jazz scene....

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