Drill Chords: 10 Dark Progressions For Hard-hitting Productions (2023)

music theory

Antonio Albanese·24. October 2022·10 minutes read

Drill Chords: 10 Dark Progressions For Hard-hitting Productions (1)

Drill chords make for some of the darkest chord progressions out there.

You'll often find punchy chords paired with reverberant piano. Add some tempo and reverse effects and you'll have a strong melody in no time.

What makes drill chords sound so sinister and dark?

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What are drill chords?

Drill strings are typicalThe chord type,openingsmiharmonious gradientsThis is in the drill subgenre of hip hop.

Drill Chords: 10 Dark Progressions For Hard-hitting Productions (2)

Most chords and drill sequences are in oneMoll🇧🇷 Also, there are rarely chord progressions with more than four chords. It's easy to keep it simple.

(Video) 10 Dark Chord Progressions Every Producer Should Know (Drill, Trap Chords)

Drill Chords: 10 Dark Progressions For Hard-hitting Productions (3)

Unlimited mastering and distribution, 1,200 royalty-free samples, 30+ plugins and much more.Get everything LANDR has to offer with LANDR Studio.

In this article, I've compiled the most popular practice chords and progressions that you can use right away in your practice productions.

Top hip hop and drill artists use these chord progressions. They are still drill strings for leading UK drill bit manufacturers.

Good Date:We've created MIDI files for each of these chord progressions in a free chord pack available from LANDR Projects.

Get the free MIDI pack

Do your first drill chord progression.

1. C-Moll – As-Dur

If there was one drill chord progression that would do them all, this would be it.

C minor to A flat major keeps things pretty simple. But he has enough movement and power to warrant a heavy hit from above.

You'll hear him on Lil Baby's greatest hits, J. Cole's "Middle Child," Kodak Black's "Walk," and Chief Keef's "Love Sosa."

Alternating between relative chords like C minor and A flat major provides an excellent foundation for powerful melodies. Since both chords share most of the same notes, you'll find it easy to write something catchy.

Alternating between relative chords like C minor and A flat major provides an excellent foundation for powerful melodies.

2. As-Moll 7 – Eb7sus2 – Es-Moll

Add toseventhand extensions for minor chords is another way to add color and texture to your punch chord progressions.

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The beauty of this progression is that it has a delayed resolution. It's very close to a simple two chord progression. Eb7sus2 delays the inevitable for a brief moment.

Strumming the 808 on the Eb root while changing the chord will add a lot of tension to your track. It will also give the singer the power to perform above all else.

This is the exact chord progression for Drake's song "Child's Play". Transpose it and use it by simply dragging MIDI notes up or down.

3. As-Dur – G-Dur – C-Moll – Es-Dur

Use this progression when you want to start your piercing chords on a brighter note. It carries an uplifting emotional vibe. but immediately hits the third chord.

The chromatic movement that brings the root from Ab to G can produce a very rhythmic 808 line. The resolution to C minor brings back the darkness before resolving to E flat.

You'll see this development in J. Cole's hard-hitting track "She Knows." This is a perfect exercise sequence to use anytime in between.

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Unlimited mastering and distribution, 1,200 royalty-free samples, 30+ plugins and much more.Get everything LANDR has to offer with LANDR Studio.

4. Eb-Moll - As-Moll

This is one of the best song sequences. It's only two chords, but it can inspire any hard-hitting rhythm. Changing from minor chord to minor chord always creates a dark and sinister sound.

Kendrick Lamar's "Humble" riff encapsulates these two simple chords.

It is very similar to the second progression. However, you can lengthen it so that the change doesn't happen too soon.

Changing from minor chord to minor chord always creates a dark and sinister sound.

Start by playing the Eb minor chord for about 4 bars. Then increase your tempo enough to finally move on to the second chord. This creates incredible tension and resolution in your production.

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5. G-Moll – F-Dur – Eb-Dur

Epic is the first word that comes to mind when playing this progression. The last two chords make the progression sound powerful and satisfying to the listener.

This progression is included in the Lil Uzi Vert track "For Fun".

When using this progression, try making Eb major twice as long as G minor and F major. This way you have an even number of bars when repeating.

6. E flat minor - D tiny - F tiny - E flat minor

Since I've already listed one of the colder sounding drill chord progressions, it's time for the darker one. This progression should be the darkest of them all thanks to some dark sounds.tiny chords.

This development can be found in Lil Baby's hit "Pure Cocaine".

The diminished chord is the darkest chord in the song. This is because it is constructed with intervals of stacked minor thirds.


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The diminished D chord and diminished F chord share most of the same notes. But if you add a seventh to the chord, they all have the same notes. This makes them symmetrical and interchangeable.

This chord progression gives you all the color (or lack thereof) of diminished chords with the stability of a solid minor triad.

7. C-Moll

You may have thought that I made a mistake and left out some chords in this progression. The truth is that staying on a chord and tonally building your track can be powerful.

Relax in C minor while using different voices,investmentsand the extensions are real. This will be a driving force if done right.

Consider adding a minor 7th in bar 2 or changing the roots below the C minor chord. Following the 808 different root tones with static harmony can be stressful.

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Unlimited mastering and distribution, 1,200 royalty-free samples, 30+ plugins and much more.Get everything LANDR has to offer with LANDR Studio.

Doodie Lo's track "Backbone" stays in the minor chord while quickly going back to one at the fifth.

8. G-Moll – As-Dur

This is from the Yeats song "System". What I like about this progression is how hard it hits. When the roots of the two chords are only a semitone apart, the stage is set for a heavy 808 bass line.

Like the first progression, these two chords have a lot in common. The A flat major chord actually comes from the Phrygian scale G, so if you write a melody over these punch chords, you will find success with this scale.

Yeet even reverses this progression from A flat major to G minor on his piece "Out thë way". It definitely hits the same!

The diminished chord is the darkest chord in the song. This is because it is constructed with intervals of stacked minor thirds.

9. H-Moll – G-Dur – E-Dur

This progression once again plays epic style. It's actually taken from the Radiohead track "Climbing Up The Walls". I haven't heard it on any hip hop or drill music, but I'm sure it would work. He has a dark but heroic quality.

What makes it sound like this goes from G major to E major. The alternation between the natural G in the G major chord and the G# in the E major chord turns things into a 10.

Try this one out on your tracks that are a little more heroic and iconic.

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(Video) INSANE Chord Progressions That Are PERFECT For Making Unique Trap Beats From Scratch!

10. Esus2 – C-Dur 7 – A-Moll – F#dim7

Drill Chords: 10 Dark Progressions For Hard-hitting Productions (8)

Unlimited mastering and distribution, 1,200 royalty-free samples, 30+ plugins and much more.Get everything LANDR has to offer with LANDR Studio.

This last progression is more of an extension of the first progression. It has the same chord functions in the first two chords. But with the addition of a minor chord and a diminished seventh to finish.

This one is on Eminem's hit song "Kim".

When each chord is played in two bars, this sad development becomes even sadder. This way you have plenty of room for the singer to tell a story.

The different colors and extensions of each chord exude a sense of nostalgia.

keep it simple

Don't make string drilling difficult. Keep a dark feel with minor chords and shift it somewhere or not. Your productions will always hit hard when you can control the sonic energy of the different elements of your track.

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Anthony is a composer and producer ofRVRSReproducirand founder of the jazz-pop duo Elluisoir.

@Anthony Albanese

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What is the darkest chord progression? ›

The diminished chord is the darkest chord in music. This is because it's constructed with stacked minor third intervals. The D diminished chord and F diminished chord share most of the same notes. But, when you add a 7th to the chord they share all the same notes.

What is the strongest chord progression? ›

The Popular Kid: I-IV-V Progression

The I, IV, and V chords, respectively called the tonic, the subdominant, and the dominant chords, are the strongest chords. Together, they form a trinity with which countless hits have been written.

What is a creepy chord progression? ›

If you're a fan of scary movies you've definitely heard this chord progression before. The theory behind it is very simple: two minor chords spaced a minor 3rd apart. Don't just play these chords in root position though; the inversion matters!

What was the devil's chord? ›

In music a tritone consists of two notes that are three whole steps apart, such as “C” to “F#.” Not found in either the major or minor scales, and due to its discordant sound, it has been called “the Devil's Chord.”

What is the creepiest minor key? ›

Harmonic minor is the darkest of conventional minor scales. You can make scary music by playing just the scale (see Bach's Toccata below) or play it over chords.

What are the 4 magic chords? ›

These four chords are the magic I, IV, V and vi.

What are the 4 famous chords? ›

The famous four chords used in many pop song progressions are the I, V, vi and IV chords of a major key. The roman numerals represent the numbers of the major scale we begin a chord from (1, 5, 6, 4) so in C major this would be C, G, Amin, F or in G major it would be G, D, Emin, C.

What is the royal chord progression? ›

The IV7–V7–iii7–vi progression, also known as the royal road progression (王道進行, Ōdō shinkō) or koakuma chord progression (小悪魔コード進行, koakuma kōdo shinkō), is a common chord progression within contemporary Japanese pop music.

What key makes music creepy? ›

Start with a Minor key

It's probably the best-known ingredient for a spooky music track: being in a minor key. Choosing a minor key means focusing on minor chords and minor scales, both of which have a particular musical character to their sound.

What keys are creepy? ›

Whether you realize it or not, I know you've heard it before: the creepy minor key. From the traditional sounds of a pipe organ (at a haunted house, perhaps):
Simply put, the minor key is often synonymous with:
  • Sadness.
  • Negativity.
  • Something going wrong, terribly wrong.
  • Fright.

What is Davids secret chord? ›

A simple take on it would be that David played a secret chord that 'goes like this': IV – V – vi – IV. But of course, that isn't just one chord, it's a chord progression.

How do you make a dark sounding chord? ›

It's when we mix harmony with dissonance that things really start to sound devilishly dark. So, for example, throw a minor second (♭2 or ♭9) interval in to a major chord (i.e. moving the octave root up by a semitone) and suddenly that bright and warm major sound gets an injection of tension and darkness.

What are the scariest chords? ›

3 Spooky Sounding Chords For Guitar
  • The good old standard b5 chord. If we could bottle the sound of Black Sabbath and give it a musical name , it would be a b5 chord. ...
  • A power chord with a b9. ...
  • Augmented Major 7 Chords.

What is the forbidden chord in music? ›

Like the Beast, it goes by many names: Diabolus in musica (devil in music), the devil's interval, the tritone, the triad and the flatted fifth. As its Latin moniker suggests, it's an evil sounding combination of notes that's designed to create a chilling or foreboding atmosphere.

What are the 3 cowboy chords? ›

Also called “cowboy chords,” these basic open chords require only three fingers on the fretting hand: index, middle, and ring.

What is the darkest key? ›

Looking at the key of E flat minor we find the blackest of keys, described by Steblin as having “feelings of anxiety and the soul's deepest distress.” Interestingly, and by contrast, Steblin makes a case for A flat major being the key of Death that would have been recognized by composers of the time for that ...

What intervals are evil sounding? ›

Four of the Phrygian mode's seven scale degrees—the second, third, sixth and seventh—are minor, or “flatted,” intervals, which is what gives Phrygian such a foreboding, “evil” sound, one that is perfectly suited to heavy metal music.

What is the evilest sounding scale? ›

The tritone is the most evil sounding interval. It must be in the scale. It could either the fourth or fifth of the scale. The minor sixth (b6) is a mainstay of doom and gloom music and it wants to resolve to the fifth (a perfect fifth above the root).

What are the 3 most useful chords? ›

The I, IV, and V chords are the three most common and arguably the most important harmonic elements in the musical universe. Built off of the first, fourth, and fifth notes of any major or minor scale, these three chords form the basis for much of the music found in several genres.

What are the 8 fundamental chords? ›

It is easiest to start by learning 8 common open chords. These are E, A, D, C, G, Em, Am and Dm.

What are famous song chord progressions? ›

The most commonly used chord progression in pop music is I-V-vi-IV. I-V-vi-IV or its rotations are used in songs like Shivers — Ed Sheeran, Hello — Adele, Poker Face — Lady Gaga, She Will Be Loved — Maroon 5, Love Me — Justin Bieber and thousands of other pop songs.

What are the 3 Magic chords? ›

The I (tonic), IV (subdominant) and V (dominant) chords (primary triads) together encompass all seven tones of the tonic's major scale. These three chords are a simple means of covering many melodies without the use of passing notes. There are tens of thousands of songs written with I, IV and V chords.

What is the hardest chord to learn? ›

The six-string F chord is one of the hardest standard chord shape to play on the guitar. When many people try to play the F chord on guitar (and often succeed), it's with far too much struggle and effort than is actually necessary. Even extremely influential guitarists can have a hard time with barre chords.

What 4 chords play every pop song? ›

They use the same four chords: I, IV, V, and vi, which are probably the most common chords in all of pop music.

What is A diamond chord? ›

A diamond shape around a number indicates that the chord should be held out or allowed to ring as a whole note. Conversely, the marcato symbol ^ over the number, or a staccato dot underneath, indicates that the chord should be immediately choked or stopped.

What is the most depressing chord progression? ›

A progression like Am-F-Em-Am makes for quite the depressing chord sequence and is used in "Requiem for a Dream".

What is the darkest mode in music? ›

The darkest scale is the double harmonic major scale which is just a major scale with a flat 2nd and a flat 6th. It features three half-steps in a row which form two augmented seconds. As a result, the double harmonic scale features some of the darkest modes and chords.

What is the saddest chord progression on guitar? ›

Minor is the place to start if you want to convey sad emotions and this chord progression can be used to create a depressing feeling with the music. It's hard to sound happy when you just use minor and diminished chords.

What is the saddest scale? ›

The minor scale is the pattern in western music typically associated with sad feelings. It includes three different variations called the natural minor scale (or Aeolian mode), the melodic minor scale and the harmonic minor scale.

Is it OK to steal chord progressions? ›

Chord progressions are one of those song elements that aren't usually protected by copyright, so it's fine to take progressions that you like in other songs and use them in your own.

What is the saddest key scale? ›

Historically, classical composers felt that D minor was the most melancholy of the keys, suitable for lamentations, dirges and requiems.

What scale is best for dark melodies? ›

The minor scale can be created from all the white keys from A to A - it's the A Minor scale. Minor scale melodies are mostly moody and dark. The harmonic minor scale is easy to create - all you need to do is raise the 7th step by a semitone. The raised step makes melodies sound a bit more interesting.

Is dark mode better for performance? ›

The most likely to be better for efficiency and productivity would be Light mode. Studies have shown that people with normal or corrected vision have a better performance, however, people with stronger visual disorders will tolerate Dark mode better.

What scale does ACDC use? ›

Pentatonic Scales

Many of the solos in AC/DC tunes are based on pentatonic scales, particularly the minor pentatonic scale—the heart of classic rock soloing. You probably know position 1 of the minor pentatonic scale, nearly always the first scale a rock-oriented guitarist will learn.

What is a dreamy chord? ›

The dream chord is a chord that is used prominently in the works of La Monte Young. It is made up of the pitches G-C-C♯-D. The chord is prominently featured in Young's compositions for Brass, Trio for Strings, and The Four Dreams of China.


1. How To Make Drill Melodies | Complete Guide in FL Studio
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3. UK Drill BREAKDOWN: Making The Melody & Chords #1
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5. How to Use Basic Music Theory to Make Better Drill Chord Progressions (FL Studio Tutorial)
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