The Progressions Catalog is a 14 album 168 song collection of music for steel string acoustic guitar and keyboard. The Progressions are songs only in that they are the musical accompaniment for songs, since there are no vocals on the recordings. In an important sense, though, they are unfinished songs, at least to me. This is so because the way I have always written songs is to write the instrumental accompaniment first (usually on guitar, but sometimes on keyboard), then the vocal melody, then the lyrics. The Progressions are based on 168 chord progressions I composed on six-string acoustic guitar between mid July 2016 and early January 2017, while I was writing a music textbook titled Acoustic Guitar Chords. You can click here for a more detailed account of the manner in which the 168 progressions were composed, and the unusual circumstances that allowed for their creation.
Between mid-January and mid-March of 2017, I edited and arranged the 168 progressions into song format (introduction, verse, chorus, break, and so on), and created a PDF chart and chord doc for each one. In the process of doing so, I composed new music for some of the progressions to fill them out. However, the great majority of the 168 progressions were fairly complete as I had initially composed them, and only required a few subtle changes here and there to produce a workable song format. During this time I also composed duet guitar arrangements for half of the progressions (84), so as to be able to include six guitar duets on each album of 12 songs. Of the remaining 84 progressions, I determined that 24 would be recorded as acoustic guitar solos, and that the recordings for the other 60 would include simple keyboard tracks. The purpose of the keyboard tracks, which admittedly do not evidence more than a basic level of skill as a keyboardist, is to add musical interest, and hopefully also to enhance the music by complementing the sound and spirit of the guitar arrangement. You can click here for a more detailed account of the completion of the charts and chord docs for the Progressions.
The music of the Progressions Catalog encompasses a fairly wide variety of styles, meters, tempos, and keys. A majority of the Progressions suggest what would perhaps best be described as a folk/pop style of music, but a number of other musical styles (including jazz, blues, classical, Latin, and folk rock) are touched upon throughout the Catalog as well. You can click here for a detailed analysis of the Catalog in terms of the distribution of meters, tempos, and keys. More importantly, and more conveniently, you can determine for yourself that the music of the Progressions Catalog is varied and multi-faceted by reviewing the excerpts of the recordings, which can be accessed by using the links in the title bars of the catalog listing given below. The complete recordings can be accessed ad-free on the Twelvemonth Music II YouTube channel, but they tend to be somewhat repetitious because there are no vocals or melodic tracks, so the excerpts provided on this website allow for a more efficient sampling of the music of the Progressions Catalog.
The catalog listing includes detailed information for all 252 guitar arrangements (168 Progressions plus 84 duet guitar arrangements), which is given in six categories of information that will better allow guitarists to concentrate their efforts on songs that are well-matched to their level of playing skill. You can click here for a detailed analysis of the 252 guitar arrangements in terms of each of the six categories. Since all but four of the 252 guitar arrangements are played in standard tuning, and since all but a handful are played in fingerstyle or fingerpick style, the Progressions Catalog is primarily a learning resource for fingerstyle and fingerpick guitar music played in standard tuning. In addition, this catalog is a good learning resource for acoustic guitar duets (84), guitar arrangements played with a capo (76), acoustic guitar and keyboard duets (60), guitar arrangements played on 12-string guitar (42), and solo acoustic guitar recordings (24).
My intention all along was to eventually complete the Progressions by writing and recording vocal melodies and lyrics. In January and February of 2020 I reviewed the Progressions at length and decided on a list of 39 Progressions that I thought had the greatest potential. These 39 Progressions, which I essentially chose in advance as the “greatest hits” among the Progressions, subsequently became my sixth, seventh, and eighth Greatest Hits albums (Blues, Jazz It Up, and Greatest Hits V), released in October of 2020. I expect that I will one day finish the other 129 Progressions by writing and recording vocal melodies and lyrics. In the meantime, the recordings of the progressions, as well as the charts (CH) and chord docs (cho) which can be ordered by the album in the catalog listing below, can serve several musical purposes.
For guitarists, the fact that there are no vocals on the recordings makes it easier to hear the guitar music, and therefore easier to learn to play it. For singers, the instrumental-only recordings are in effect a karaoke soundtrack for singing any of the 39 Greatest Hits. But perhaps most importantly, the charts and the recordings can also enable singers and/or songwriters to compose their own songs based on the Progressions. The fact that I wrote and played all the music of the Progressions Catalog doesn’t necessarily mean that the vocal melodies and lyrics I compose are the best possible vocal melodies and lyrics for each Progression. The most pleasant consequence of my decision to write a textbook on guitar chords was the fact that it enabled me to compose the 168 chord progressions. I would be no less pleased if my decision to offer an instrumental-only Progressions Catalog resulted in other worthy songs based on the Progressions being co-written by others. I will always believe that I was tapped on the shoulder and guided by unseen forces a great many times in the process of composing the Progressions. If my efforts to make this music more accessible (by creating charts, chord docs, and recordings) make it possible for others to be similarly inspired and fulfilled, that would be the best possible answer to the question of why I would even have bothered doing all this in the first place.
Please note that the charts and chord docs for Progressions with duet arrangements contain both arrangements. A song title that includes a 12 indicates that the guitar arrangement is played on 12-string guitar. Finally, you can click on an album number directly below to advance directly to the catalog listing for that album. Enjoy the music!