Welcome to the forums!

add9

Well who doesn't have a question about theory? Come on in and get them answered here. Beginning to advanced theory questions are welcome.

Moderator: The GN support team


Postby Nick » September 7th, 2003, 10:19 am

I just removed a couple of posts, my own included, and edited one.

I think we have a good thread here and I don't want any frustration to throw it out of whack.  Theory is often frustrating.  Communicating in a forum can be frustrating.  Understanding the essence of questions in a forum can be frustrating.

So no offense intended to anyone, let's get back on track. :)

Nick

P.S.  I just took Chalmodo's advice and got a coffee and a doughnut.
Click below for all my guitarnoise articles and reviews

http://www.guitarnoise.com/author/nicktorres/

My songs (Some not suitable for minors)

http://www.soundclick.com/nfshakespeare
User avatar
Nick
Administrator
 
Posts: 9678
Joined: June 17th, 2002, 11:04 am
Location: Alexandria, VA USA

Postby Alex_ » September 7th, 2003, 10:43 am

Thank you NoteBoat...

boy you must have studied theory for years..

now... first thing i want to tackle you on is your A is a non-chordal tone

i have these chords..

Image

and i play them like that.. and i think it sounds right..

and the 2nd chord is the one this thread has been all about..

and that added 10.. is an A.

Ill explain how i got these chords


Working in G#minor / B major

wanted to play a minor chord

i chose C#m

i played it on the 9th fret of the 6th string as a barre chord

then i started fiddling round and put a finger on the 10th fret of the B string (A).

then i took it off and thought what would sound nice after that.

i moved my fingers down to make a barre chord on the 5th string (3rd chord in my picture).

and thought 'Yeah that sounds really cool'


Thats how i got there...

then i wanted to name the chords.

and came here to ask if it would be C#mb6.

............

But as you know we have evolved from that.


ords are named after the ROOT note, which can appear in any voice.  In my earlier post, I apparently did a poor job of explaining that when you examine a chord in isolation, rather than progression, you do not know what the root note is.  You know the bass note, but that is irrelevant information in naming the chord -- again, E-G-C is not some weird form of an E minor chord.


I have never made that mistake... you probably thought by my bad choice of words that i got that mixed upand didnt understand it.

.... but i do. (just to clear that up)

***************************

As i expected that Neopolitan 6th confused me..

when you say ii diminished??

is that cos the relative major (B)'s relative minor (G#, which im working in) is the 6th's..

and ii from the G# (VI).. will be the relative major's diminished VII chord?

so the ii diminished is the same as the relative major's VII diminished?

thats all i could make out from your post lol.
can you substitute relative chords from G# minor so i can have a better understanding about what you mean.


Also... if you play those chords..

you will see they sound nice.. and in every book i read.. i cant find a chord progression or any link to find out WHY they sound nice together.

i was hoping you could tell me.

   - Thanx.
Image
User avatar
Alex_
Guitarnoise Denizen
 
Posts: 1078
Joined: August 13th, 2003, 5:21 am
Location: Yngwie Who?

Postby NoteBoat » September 7th, 2003, 2:08 pm

Ok, Alex… I'm going to tackle two big things here.  First is how chord progressions work:

Starting with a major scale (I'm going to do these in C major, because G#m might be more confusing to others who might have an interest), you have:

C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C

Western Harmony is built in thirds.  You put a note a third above each scale tone:

E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E
C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C

And you have a harmonized scale in thirds.  Notice that the upper line here isn't an E major scale – it's composed of only notes found in the scale we're harmonizing, or C major.

Now add another third, and you get this:

G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G
E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E
C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C

These are the basic chords in C, called the C major triads.  We can number them 1-8; Roman numerals are used for indicating chords by convention – we talk about V-I progressions rather than 5-1 – to keep from confusing them with scale steps.

The chords fall into three patterns: I-IV-V are major chords, ii-iii-vi are minor chords (lower case Roman numerals indicate minor chords in theory), and vii is diminished, usually written vii°).

In minor keys you get a different pattern, which depends on the type of minor scale you're harmonizing.  III, V, and VI become major chords, i is a minor chord, and the chord types of the others depend on whether you're using a natural, harmonic, or melodic minor scale.

Now for the keys to the kingdom of harmony:

Chords want to move to each other in a specific sequence, called the natural harmonic progression.  That progression goes viiº to iii to vi to ii to V to I.  There is an optional ‘extension' of this pattern to the IV chord, where I moves to IV and then back to I (this is called a plagal cadence).

Chord progressions follow this sequence most of the time.  There are a few variations:

You can move to a different key, which is called modulating.  This is most often done in a change to the IV or V of the original key, as each of these key scales share 6 of their 7 notes with the key you're coming from.

You can move to a parallel key (like C to C minor), since they share the same tonal center.

You can move abruptly to a different key, then return to the original through a series of resolutions by a fifth.  In C major, you may move to A major, then D major, then G major, then back to C.  The A major sounds like it doesn't belong when you start, but it will work its way back to C.  This is often done with seventh chords to lend ‘urgency' to the sound of the progression – a dominant seventh doesn't want to stay in one spot.

With that foundation out of the way, time to address the specifics:

'A is a non-chordal tone' should probably have been rendered ‘non-harmonic' tone.  A doesn't appear as a natural in G# minor – it's a flatted second.

The ii° is a diminished chord on the second degree of a scale.  Assuming you're playing the natural minor, this is the same as the vii° on the seventh degree of the relative major, B.

Seeing your whole progression, I'm not so sure you're in G# minor, so I'll skip what the resolutions are in that key.  Your tab shows:

C-G-C-Eb-G-C
C-G-C-Eb-Ab-C
C-G-Bb-Eb-G-C
F-E-F-G-C

Unless your tuning isn't standard, in which case I'm totally lost, you've got these chords:

C-Eb-G = C minor
C-Eb-G-Ab = our mystery chord
C-Eb-G-Bb = Cmin7
C-E-G-F = Cadd4 (or add11)

Having seen the progression, we can call it a bunch of things… I would call it a progression from C minor to C major.  Here's why:

C-G-C-Eb-G-C
C-G-C-Eb-Ab-C
C-G-Bb-Eb-G-C
F-E-F-G-C

I've put four notes in bold face, which I'm now going to call a melody line above the chords.  If those were played on a second guitar, and you played the remaining tones as a harmony, you'd have:

C-G-C-Eb-C = Cmin
C-G-C-Eb-C = Cmin
C-G-Bb-Eb-C = Cmin7
C-E-G = C major

The Cmin7 can be considered a substitution for C minor.  The dominant seventh makes the chord want to resolve down a fifth, which would be to an F chord… you don't have an F chord, but you achieve the resolution the ear expects by striking the F in the melody - reinforced with an octave, yet - and the harmonic change from Cmin to C sounds just dandy as a change to a parallel major key.

Music theory can be quite complicated at times, but more often we make it more complicated than it needs to be.  A melody played along with a chord CAN be thought of as a part of the chord, but that often leads to incredibly complex analysis, as I think we've seen here.

I hope this helps,

Tom
Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL
User avatar
NoteBoat
Musically Insane
 
Posts: 5599
Joined: August 9th, 2003, 8:48 pm
Location: SW of Chicago

Postby Alex_ » September 7th, 2003, 3:19 pm

yeah so...

you can modulate through the cycle of fifth's and use the Pitch Axis theory to modulate to a scale with the same tonal center?


I'm not so sure you're in G# minor


i dont have any idea about active chord progressions with the knowledge to apply them to a song.. well i do a bit.. but just the common I-IV-V or the II-V-I progression.

so those chords that i have... i didnt put them together to fit as a progression that agrees with strict theory..

just what sounded nice to my ears.

C-G-C-Eb-G-C
C-G-C-Eb-Ab-C
C-G-Bb-Eb-G-C
F-E-F-G-C

yes i have those...


I'm not so sure you're in G# minor
again...

i chose a minor chord to play with from the G#m scale... i chose C#.. the first 3 chords are in the B/G#m scale.

are you saying the reason that F barre chord sounds nice is because its an inversion of a C/C# chord that fits with the first 3.. well.. 2.. 1 is just played twice.


Unless your tuning isn't standard,


it is in Standard  8)

ARGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

im so sorry NoteBoat... i copied the wrong part of my tab... grr sorry i made you analyse those chords when they where wrong...

no wonder it didnt make sense when you were talking about C and i was talking about C#.

Just move all my chords up by a fret and you will have what i am talking about

also i think it would help if you re-read my lines in bold a few posts up.. thats how i went about getting the chords and should give you a better understanding as to how i got those chords and how i see the way they fit to my G#m scale.

Sorry about this.
Image
User avatar
Alex_
Guitarnoise Denizen
 
Posts: 1078
Joined: August 13th, 2003, 5:21 am
Location: Yngwie Who?

Postby Knotwilg » September 7th, 2003, 3:34 pm

Thanks a lot for your extensive answer, Tom. I take the liberty of going deeper into one aspect. I was about to question your remark that "On the other hand, there aren't any notes that you can play over an Amaj7 that won't work over any enharmonic naming of the chord After all, we're talking about NAMES here -- a rose is a rose and all that -- and the sound will be the same no matter what harmonic analysis is pursued, so in that sense we're in the realm of pure theory. " when I thought: wait, let's sit down and try.

I would have expected that in the first progression, where I preferred the Amaj7 naming for the chord, I'd come up with the scale of A major. I don't. The d# sounds better than the d, so we're really in the key of E (e f# g# a b c# d#). When I try out the second progression, we're definitely in C#m, which is just the relative minor of E. So, you're right (and of course you are, but it's more instructive to verify it for myself): both chords lead to the same scale.

But as I go over this post of mine, I start to doubt again. What if I follow up some D-chord, say Dmaj7 (xx0222) with the Amaj7. Now the d note sounds much better of course and the d# is awkward and we're in the key of A !

Ah, my poor head !

Thanks again for your previous post, which I am going to read a couple of times more.

Dieter
User avatar
Knotwilg
Junior Member
 
Posts: 66
Joined: July 14th, 2003, 10:34 am
Location: Gent, Belgium

Postby NoteBoat » September 7th, 2003, 4:29 pm

Alex,

I think you're looking at some topics here that you're not quite ready to approach... you've got a quick mind for putting pieces together, but being able to understand and use them depends on some tools you haven't yet acquired.

Yes, you can modulate through the cycle of fifths from any point to any other, even going through all 12 tonal centers, if you feel so disposed.  Yes, you could use pitch axis theory to take your melody in unexpected harmonic directions.  However, when (in another thread) you asked what pitch axis theory was, I guess I assumed you were already familiar with basic music theory and harmony… they really are prerequisites to comprehending more advanced topics in theory and harmony.

Most music is composed just as you're working on it… you have a sound you like, and that's that.  Theory should NEVER be a consideration in composition… it can provide some useful tools if you get ‘stuck' for generating new ideas, but if you used theory exclusively in composition, your music will end up sounding more mechanical than inspired.

Theory has its place in the editing process, to some extent.  When you've finished a first draft, there will be spots that could use improvement, and an analysis of the music at that point may point out some possible revisions.  But for the most part, theory is just that, theory – and the music always came first.  Theory is an effort to categorize what has occurred in sound, and to organize it so that its elements can be used again in a different context.

Our most brilliant pieces of music – on all instruments – ‘broke' the rules.  Many of Beethoven's works used forms that didn't exist before him… Stravinsky used harmonies that hadn't ever been heard before… Gershwin scored for things that had never been considered instruments (like a manual typewriter)… Jazz musicians built new harmonic structures, like Quartal harmonies.

The thing is, every single one of the people considered a musical genius KNEW how to do it the ‘right' way – then they followed their own path in a very deliberate manner.  I would strongly urge you to learn the fundamentals of traditional theory and harmony, and be able to apply them, before venturing into modes, pitch axis theory, etc.  It will be far less confusing to you in the end.

Looking back, this entire thread has sprung from basic elements of theory, namely scales and chord progressions, that you're still learning about.  You've got a great curious mind, and I'll bet you're a pretty decent guitarist, but you're probably applying something (modes) in a way it doesn't belong, and that's thrown you way off course.

You've started with a G#minor scale, and built a chord structure that works under it.  So far, so good.  The chords in my analysis, moved up a half step for the transcription error, are now C#minor to C#major.  The basic question now, is: what key are you in?

You're assuming G#minor, because you started from that scale.  Minor keys are more complex, because you have any of three versions to work with.  You can have:

G#-A#-B-C#-D#-E-F#-G# (natural minor)
G#-A#-B-C#-D#-E-Fx-G# (harmonic minor)
G#-A#-B-C#-D#-E#-Fx-G# (melodic minor)

C# minor occurs naturally in both of the first two.  C# major occurs naturally in the melodic minor – and the melodic minor (except in some jazz) becomes a natural minor going down, with C# minor naturally occurring.

Now it comes down to tonal center… although you're playing notes from a G# minor scale, you may actually have a piece in either C# minor (moving to a parallel major key) or in F# minor (F#-G#-A-B-C#-D#-E-F#, etc.), which will have C# minor in the natural minor scale, and C# major in the other two.  The thing is, I'm not so sure you're in G# -- and I say that after having re-read how you came about these chords.

I'm guessing you're using G#  as a mixolydian mode.  That would give you G#-A-B-C#-D#-E-F#-G#.  This would neatly explain the ability to use your second chord (containing A natural), and after I transcribe your four chord progression up a half step, I get:

C#-G#-C#-E-G#-C#  
C#-G#-C#-E-A-C#  
C#-G#-B-E-G#-C#  
F#-E#-F#-G#-C#  

Every note except E# is in the G# minor mixolydian scale, and that note occurs during a key change (in my analysis) to a relative major, right where you'd expect to have a ‘wrong' keynote on the third – it is, after all, what separates major sounds from minor ones.

As far as the chord progression goes, there are three notes common to the first, second, and third chords (C#-E-G#) which pretty firmly establish a C#m key feeling, and two notes common between the third and fourth chords (C#-G#), which are certainly the strongest notes in C#major.  On the other hand, only one of the four chords (the third) contains a G#m triad.

I really do applaud your effort to take on some hard theoretical concepts, Alex, but I think you'll be best off learning the workings of basic chord progressions before doing this sort of analysis.  Don't stop PLAYING things you aren't ready to analyze yet, just defer thinking about them until the foundation catches up  :)

Tom
Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL
User avatar
NoteBoat
Musically Insane
 
Posts: 5599
Joined: August 9th, 2003, 8:48 pm
Location: SW of Chicago

Postby NoteBoat » September 8th, 2003, 12:04 pm

Great observation, Dieter!  Some chord progressions work just fine with a scale until you add an additional chord… so here's the quick course on tonality and keys from a chord progression.  We're going to make one simplification: we'll only consider root triads.  Eliminating any seventh notes removes a lot of tonal niceties, but preserves the harmonic integrity, and leads to easier analysis, since altered notes are often 'above' a triad.

You're starting out with an E major chord.  We want to know what scales will work over that -- and that depends on your intent as a soloist.  A skilled musician will be able to mix in unexpected, very dissonant tones and still be able to resolve a progression.  For our purposes, we'll just consider the scales that are consonant with a progression.  We'll also keep it simple by limiting our search to major and minor scales -- scales with fewer notes, like pentatonics, can work over more chords.

The E chord contains E-G#-B, so we'll list the scales that contain all three of these notes.  It turns out there are eight!

A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#-A (A major)
A-B-C-D-E-F-G#-A (A harmonic minor)
B-C#-D#-E-F#-G#-A#-B (B major)
B-C#-D-E-F-G#-A#-B (B melodic minor ascending)
E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D#-E (E major)
F#-G#-A-B-C#-D-E-F# (F# natural minor)
G#-A#-B-C#-D#-E-F#-G# (G# natural minor)
C#-D#-E-F#-G#-A-B-C# (C# natural minor)

Any of these scales will be consonant over the E chord, since all three notes of the E major chord are contained within the scale.

The ear is a funny thing, and has some memory in a sense - if you just heard one chord, you expect the melody line to be able to continue over the next chord.  Now we're adding another chord -- in your example, Amaj7 -- so we'll consider the same list and see which scales also have an A major triad.  We could change scales (as many jazz players do), but if we want to make the whole solo and progression consonant, we're looking for one scale.  We've now cut the list down from eight to four:

A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#-A (A major)
E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D#-E (E major)
F#-G#-A-B-C#-D-E-F# (F# natural minor)
C#-D#-E-F#-G#-A-B-C# (C# natural minor)

The B melodic minor can work in the right hands, since A is natural when it's descending, but I took it off the list anyway.  You can add it back if you'd like -- you'll only throw it out again when we get to the next chord  :)

Next you're moving into Dmaj7, with a D major triad.  This narrows our list further, to only two keys:

A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#-A (A major)
F#-G#-A-B-C#-D-E-F# (F# natural minor)

That's why we talk about "three-chord progressions" - three chords is all you need to establish a key pretty solidly.  You'll notice that the two scales we're left with are relative to each other, and share a key signature.

It's that third chord settles us into A/F#m as the key -- before that, the key is at least a bit ambiguous, and the listener will determine the key by what you're playing as a melody.  If you're playing in E/C#m, the listener's ear is expecting a B triad, and the D comes as a surprise.

Tom
Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL
User avatar
NoteBoat
Musically Insane
 
Posts: 5599
Joined: August 9th, 2003, 8:48 pm
Location: SW of Chicago

Postby Alex_ » September 8th, 2003, 2:50 pm

so the D wont work with that chord progression.. but it will with the A/F#m one.

now... can you explain how you chose the chords you did? please?

it was E, A and D

what key was the progression in?

it isnt in E cos E has a D#

it could be in A or D though.

*thinks*..

if it was in D it would be II-V-I
and if it was in A it would be V-I-IV


if i was to take a guess i would say D..

because chord progressions usually resolve to the tonic.

plus the one in A looks very odd anyway..

Nope... if it was in D then E.. (II) would be minor and it isnt... so therefore it has to be a chord progression in the key of A

which therefore is V-I-IV

why the odd movement? or have i totally lost the plot.
Image
User avatar
Alex_
Guitarnoise Denizen
 
Posts: 1078
Joined: August 13th, 2003, 5:21 am
Location: Yngwie Who?

Postby NoteBoat » September 8th, 2003, 3:39 pm

Alex,

I read through your post twice with a big smile on my face because, my man, you have got it!!!!

The chords that were chosen were from Deiter's previous post - originally E, Amaj7, and Dmaj7.  I simplified those to E-A-D because the ideas are easiest to explain in triads.  I wasn't thinking of it as part of a tune, just as a hypothetical situation.

You're right that the progression isn't in E because of the D#.  We didn't know that until we knew the third chord -- up until that point, E major was still one of the four possible choices.

You're right again when you reject D as a choice because the progression has II-V-I instead of ii-V-I.

You're right again when you number the progression V-I-IV, and yes, it is an odd movement.

Even though it's hypothetical, this movement does occur.  Earlier in this thread I said:

Chords want to move to each other in a specific sequence, called the natural harmonic progression.  That progression goes viiº to iii to vi to ii to V to I.  There is an optional ‘extension' of this pattern to the IV chord, where I moves to IV and then back to I (this is called a plagal cadence).


The movement from V to I (called an 'authentic' cadence) is the typical resolution at the end of a progression.  I-IV-I also occurs (the 'plagal' cadence above), and gives a nice 'Amen' type sound.  As you noted, pieces do usually end on a tonic chord, and this one didn't -- but only because we're talking about a fragment of a progression, not the whole thing.  I would expect the next chord in the piece to be based on A, just like you do, so you're totally with the plot.

In short, you're right on all counts, and with solid logic in the way you thought through it.  Nice job!

Tom
Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL
User avatar
NoteBoat
Musically Insane
 
Posts: 5599
Joined: August 9th, 2003, 8:48 pm
Location: SW of Chicago

Postby Alex_ » September 9th, 2003, 6:05 am

Thanx - in school now, will make longer post when i get home :) - thanx... you taught me a lot in the past week.

you are a good teacher :)

cant wait to get your book
Alex_
 

Postby argus » September 9th, 2003, 6:19 am

[quote author=NoteBoat link=board=guitar;num=1062869252;start=15#23 date=09/08/03 at 16:39:13]
II-V-I
[/quote]

Would you be able to use it as

V of V - V - I

i.e. descending by fifths? Or is my head in the clouds again?

User avatar
argus
Senior Member
 
Posts: 830
Joined: August 22nd, 2003, 7:47 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby NoteBoat » September 9th, 2003, 6:34 am

Yes, you could... but the modulation (from A major to D major) means you wouldn't have one scale working over the whole progression.  Using the V as a pivot chord is a very common way to change keys; I was trying to illustrate the tonality in a single key.

If we go back to the original progression with extensions, we have E-Amaj7-Dmaj7... we would expect a flatted 7 in the A chord to make it II (V of V)-V-I

Tom
Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL
User avatar
NoteBoat
Musically Insane
 
Posts: 5599
Joined: August 9th, 2003, 8:48 pm
Location: SW of Chicago

Postby Alex_ » September 9th, 2003, 9:16 am

what do you mean by V of V?
Image
User avatar
Alex_
Guitarnoise Denizen
 
Posts: 1078
Joined: August 13th, 2003, 5:21 am
Location: Yngwie Who?

Postby NoteBoat » September 9th, 2003, 9:22 am

It's a way of modulating, or changing key.  Let's say you're playing B7... you know that will resolve to an E chord.  E major lets it rest, but if you play E7 it will want to move further to A.

So you have V-I (in E)

I is substituted as I7, which wants to resolve further

I7 (in E) is the same as V7 in A, so right here we change keys...

and V7-I is the final resolution to A major.

Tom
Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL
User avatar
NoteBoat
Musically Insane
 
Posts: 5599
Joined: August 9th, 2003, 8:48 pm
Location: SW of Chicago

Postby Alex_ » September 9th, 2003, 9:26 am

so its like The dominant seventh of the key 5 notes below the dominant chord

like V of V.. if you were playing F#7 ... the V of V would be B7.. which resolves to E?
Image
User avatar
Alex_
Guitarnoise Denizen
 
Posts: 1078
Joined: August 13th, 2003, 5:21 am
Location: Yngwie Who?

PreviousNext