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gilcarleton
01-08-2012, 09:20 AM
I was watching a video on how to know which chords go in each key, I was really thrown when the instructor said that the seventh chord in a scale was a diminished chord. Exactly what is a diminished chord and how do you construct one without looking at a chord chart?

If the 7th chord of the scale is diminished, why isn't more emphasis put on it and why isn't it used more often?

One other question, and I am not sure if it is related or not; In an old Dylan song called ""It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry, it is in the key of G. It goes from G to C to G to C and so on then to D and return to the G-C progression. Then when it goes to F then D then back to G. The F is not a diminished chord, why does it work here.

I am sure this is a very basic question but I really want to understand how to arrange music. It seems like there are many chords that are out of key but still fit. Why is that? How do you know which of the chords that are out of the key will fit?

Thanks so much for the help.

JonR
01-08-2012, 12:19 PM
I was watching a video on how to know which chords go in each key, I was really thrown when the instructor said that the seventh chord in a scale was a diminished chord. Exactly what is a diminished chord and how do you construct one without looking at a chord chart?A diminished chord has a minor 3rd and a diminished 5th. That means, along with the root, it has a note 3 half-steps above the root (like a minor chord), and another 6 half-steps above the root. The latter is the "diminished 5th", so-called because it's a half-step less than a "perfect 5th" (which both major and minor chords have).

In the C major scale, a triad built on the 7th step (B) has that structure: B-D-F. B-D = minor 3rd; B-F = diminished 5th. (B-D-F# would be Bmin.)


If the 7th chord of the scale is diminished, why isn't more emphasis put on it and why isn't it used more often?On guitar, it's an awkward chord to play. But mainly, it's not used because all of its notes are contained in the V7 chord, which tends to sound better and is easier to play (at least on guitar).
Eg, in C major, the V7 chord is G7 = G-B-D-F; ie Bdim with a G root.

In jazz, the chord is used much more widely, but in a different way. Eg, Bdim would have a 7th added (B-D-F-A), making it "Bm7b5", and it would be used in the key of A minor, to go to E7 and then Am. (It still wouldn't be used much, if at all, in C major.)
Bm7b5 is like Dm with a B bass, and is an easier chord (on guitar) than Bdim.

It's also possible to add a "diminished 7th" interval to a dim chord, such as B-D-F-Ab. This is "Bdim7", and comes from the 7th degree of C harmonic minor. It might be used (in jazz) in to resolve to Cm, or it might have a G bass, making it "G7b9" (G-B-D-F-Ab), which also goes to Cm.


One other question, and I am not sure if it is related or not; In an old Dylan song called ""It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry, it is in the key of G. It goes from G to C to G to C and so on then to D and return to the G-C progression. Then when it goes to F then D then back to G. The F is not a diminished chord, why does it work here. It's what's known as a "borrowed" chord. In key of G, the usual vii chord would be F#dim (F#-A-C). But it's common in rock to flatten the 7th of the scale, and put a major chord there. That means F in key of G. (In rock, you OFTEN see F used in key of G. You NEVER see F#dim!)
It can be thought of as being "borrowed from the parallel minor" - ie F major comes from the key of G minor, which is (supposedly) why it sounds OK in G major.
It's a common rock habit - at least in heavy rock - to borrow other chords from the parallel minor. So, in G major, you might sometimes see F, Bb, Eb or Cm - all of which come from G minor.


I am sure this is a very basic question but I really want to understand how to arrange music. It seems like there are many chords that are out of key but still fit. Why is that? How do you know which of the chords that are out of the key will fit?
That "borrowing from the parallel minor" is one of the most common ways to get other chords. They all make the major key "darker" or "heavier".

Try googling "secondary dominant" for some other ideas...;)

Malcolm
01-08-2012, 01:13 PM
Jon gave you an excellent answer to your questions. Here it is again in a different light.


I was watching a video on how to know which chords go in each key, I was really thrown when the instructor said that the seventh chord in a scale was a diminished chord. Exactly what is a diminished chord and how do you construct one without looking at a chord chart?

Each chord in a key is made from the notes of the key's scale, i.e. we use the scale notes and then by stacking 3rds come up with the notes of the chords for that scale. Stacking 3rds is just another way of saying take ever other note of the scale. Here is the C major scale stacked out to a four note chord.


C Major scale – notes and chords
Note ScaleTone Chord spelling function
C 1 Cmaj 7 CEGB R-3-5-7 I (tonic)
D 2 Dmin 7 DFAC R-b3-5-b7 ii
E 3 Emin 7 EGBD R-b3-5-b7 iii
F 4 Fmaj 7 FACE R-3-5-7 IV (subdominant)
G 5 G7 GBDF R-3-5-b7 V (dominant)
A 6 Amin 7 ACEG R-b3-5-b7 iv
B 7 Bmin7b5 BDFA R-b3-b5-b7 viidim (diminished)
Now we should spend some time on chord spelling. Notice the notes of the Cmaj7 chord - C E G B are all in the C scale, so it's spelling is with all natural notes. However looking at the Dmin7 chord the D major scale has a F# and a C# in it. So - drum roll - to get DFAC we had to flat the F# to an F and we had to flat the C# to a C. Thus our spelling is now R-b3-5-b7 and that is the "trade mark" of a minor seventh chord. So you compare the D chord's spelling to the D major scale, the E chord's spelling to the E major scale to come up with all the correct 3's, 5's, 7's, etc. The combination of those 3's, 5's and 7's dictate the chord's function.

Also notice you end up with three major chords, three minor chords and one diminished chord. Yep, every key - or at least the ones I run across - have three major, three minor and one diminished chord. Notice the major chords have a natural 3 and the minor chords have a b3 (flatted 3). The diminished has a b3, b5 and a b7. Now on the 7th --- maj7 chords have a 3 and a 7. Minor chords have a b3 and a b7. The dominant seventh chord has a 3 and a b7 and as already pointed out the diminished has the b3, b5 and b7. Why? If you want to go beyond stacking 3rds, take off, but, You will drive your self crazy with Why, just accept that as fact and rely upon this "rule". 3's are major, b3's are minor, b5's are in a diminished chord. 7's are in maj7 chords and b7's are in dominant sevenths and minor sevenths. As a diminished chord is first minor then diminished............ is b3-b5-b7.


If the 7th chord of the scale is diminished, why isn't more emphasis put on it and why isn't it used more often?
Jon's answer cover this very well. Most song writers just don't go there. If they did you end up with a dark tense mood, and most songs are not dark or tense. '


One other question, and I am not sure if it is related or not; In an old Dylan song called ""It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry, it is in the key of G. It goes from G to C to G to C and so on then to D and return to the G-C progression. Then when it goes to F then D then back to G. The F is not a diminished chord, why does it work here.

Because song writers do things that are not exactly correct all the time. That F not being F# or F#m7b5. Lot of country guitarist have never done an F#m7b5 chord they have enough trouble just doing a plain ole F. LOL, but that's pretty much how it is. The V dominant chord 95% of the time becomes a dominant seven chord (G7) not because the added tension it brings is needed, but, instead it's just something that is done. I know it drove me crazy right at first.


I am sure this is a very basic question but I really want to understand how to arrange music. It seems like there are many chords that are out of key but still fit. Why is that? How do you know which of the chords that are out of the key will fit?

Thanks so much for the help.

Again Jon covered this well. You first have to know the rules, to understand why those things that go out do in fact fit. It's a journey. The rule that trumps every other rule -- If it sounds good it's good.

Here is one more thing that will help make since of all this.
What chords like to do. Now you can make them do things they do not like, but, if you let them do what they like it usually works out for the best.


I tonic chord can go anywhere in the progression it wants to. Remember when you go to the I tonic chord you release all the tension you have built up. Do you want to do that?
ii minor chord is a sub-dominant chord that can act as a minor "i" tonic chord. It's main task in life is to move to a dominant chord.
iii minor chord likes to lead somewhere. The iii usually will drag the vi chord with it on it's journey.
IV chord is major and also a sub-dominant chord and likes to move to the dominant chord. As ii and IV have the same task in life they can substitute for each other.
V chord is the dominant chord it's task is to move to the I tonic chord. Now when you add a b7 note and make the V7 chord you have added tension and the V7 wants to move to the I tonic right now.
vi chord is the relative minor chord. It wants to move to a sub-dominant chord, i.e. the ii or IV.
viidim is the diminished chord. It too is a dominant chord and wants to move to the tonic I chord. However, the V dominant wants to do this quickly -- the viidim is not in all that hurry and does like to move to the tonic chord in a more leisurely way. As in a turn-a-round viidim-iii-vi-ii-V7-I.

If you let chords do what they like it normally works out for the best.

Have fun.

gilcarleton
01-08-2012, 07:08 PM
A diminished chord has a minor 3rd and a diminished 5th. That means, along with the root, it has a note 3 half-steps above the root (like a minor chord), and another 6 half-steps above the root. The latter is the "diminished 5th", so-called because it's a half-step less than a "perfect 5th" (which both major and minor chords have).

In the C major scale, a triad built on the 7th step (B) has that structure: B-D-F. B-D = minor 3rd; B-F = diminished 5th. (B-D-F# would be Bmin.)
On guitar, it's an awkward chord to play. But mainly, it's not used because all of its notes are contained in the V7 chord, which tends to sound better and is easier to play (at least on guitar).
Eg, in C major, the V7 chord is G7 = G-B-D-F; ie Bdim with a G root.

In jazz, the chord is used much more widely, but in a different way. Eg, Bdim would have a 7th added (B-D-F-A), making it "Bm7b5", and it would be used in the key of A minor, to go to E7 and then Am. (It still wouldn't be used much, if at all, in C major.)
Bm7b5 is like Dm with a B bass, and is an easier chord (on guitar) than Bdim.

It's also possible to add a "diminished 7th" interval to a dim chord, such as B-D-F-Ab. This is "Bdim7", and comes from the 7th degree of C harmonic minor. It might be used (in jazz) in to resolve to Cm, or it might have a G bass, making it "G7b9" (G-B-D-F-Ab), which also goes to Cm.
It's what's known as a "borrowed" chord. In key of G, the usual vii chord would be F#dim (F#-A-C). But it's common in rock to flatten the 7th of the scale, and put a major chord there. That means F in key of G. (In rock, you OFTEN see F used in key of G. You NEVER see F#dim!)
It can be thought of as being "borrowed from the parallel minor" - ie F major comes from the key of G minor, which is (supposedly) why it sounds OK in G major.
It's a common rock habit - at least in heavy rock - to borrow other chords from the parallel minor. So, in G major, you might sometimes see F, Bb, Eb or Cm - all of which come from G minor.
That "borrowing from the parallel minor" is one of the most common ways to get other chords. They all make the major key "darker" or "heavier".

Try googling "secondary dominant" for some other ideas...;)

I just want to thank you for your reply. That is a lot of good information for me and I will have to spend an hour or two working it out on my guitar before it starts to be internalized.

One quick question, if you don't mind; when you refer to the parallel minor, is that the same thing as the relative minor?

Thanks again and I will google secondary dominate now.

gilcarleton
01-08-2012, 07:39 PM
Jon gave you an excellent answer to your questions. Here it is again in a different light.



Each chord in a key is made from the notes of the key's scale, i.e. we use the scale notes and then by stacking 3rds come up with the notes of the chords for that scale. Stacking 3rds is just another way of saying take ever other note of the scale. Here is the C major scale stacked out to a four note chord.


C Major scale – notes and chords
Note ScaleTone Chord spelling function
C 1 Cmaj 7 CEGB R-3-5-7 I (tonic)
D 2 Dmin 7 DFAC R-b3-5-b7 ii
E 3 Emin 7 EGBD R-b3-5-b7 iii
F 4 Fmaj 7 FACE R-3-5-7 IV (subdominant)
G 5 G7 GBDF R-3-5-b7 V (dominant)
A 6 Amin 7 ACEG R-b3-5-b7 iv
B 7 Bmin7b5 BDFA R-b3-b5-b7 viidim (diminished)Now we should spend some time on chord spelling. Notice the notes of the Cmaj7 chord - C E G B are all in the C scale, so it's spelling is with all natural notes. However looking at the Dmin7 chord the D major scale has a F# and a C# in it. So - drum roll - to get DFAC we had to flat the F# to an F and we had to flat the C# to a C. Thus our spelling is now R-b3-5-b7 and that is the "trade mark" of a minor seventh chord. So you compare the D chord's spelling to the D major scale, the E chord's spelling to the E major scale to come up with all the correct 3's, 5's, 7's, etc. The combination of those 3's, 5's and 7's dictate the chord's function.

Also notice you end up with three major chords, three minor chords and one diminished chord. Yep, every key - or at least the ones I run across - have three major, three minor and one diminished chord. Notice the major chords have a natural 3 and the minor chords have a b3 (flatted 3). The diminished has a b3, b5 and a b7. Now on the 7th --- maj7 chords have a 3 and a 7. Minor chords have a b3 and a b7. The dominant seventh chord has a 3 and a b7 and as already pointed out the diminished has the b3, b5 and b7. Why? If you want to go beyond stacking 3rds, take off, but, You will drive your self crazy with Why, just accept that as fact and rely upon this "rule". 3's are major, b3's are minor, b5's are in a diminished chord. 7's are in maj7 chords and b7's are in dominant sevenths and minor sevenths. As a diminished chord is first minor then diminished............ is b3-b5-b7.


Jon's answer cover this very well. Most song writers just don't go there. If they did you end up with a dark tense mood, and most songs are not dark or tense. '



Because song writers do things that are not exactly correct all the time. That F not being F# or F#m7b5. Lot of country guitarist have never done an F#m7b5 chord they have enough trouble just doing a plain ole F. LOL, but that's pretty much how it is. The V dominant chord 95% of the time becomes a dominant seven chord (G7) not because the added tension it brings is needed, but, instead it's just something that is done. I know it drove me crazy right at first.



Again Jon covered this well. You first have to know the rules, to understand why those things that go out do in fact fit. It's a journey. The rule that trumps every other rule -- If it sounds good it's good.

Here is one more thing that will help make since of all this.
What chords like to do. Now you can make them do things they do not like, but, if you let them do what they like it usually works out for the best.


I tonic chord can go anywhere in the progression it wants to. Remember when you go to the I tonic chord you release all the tension you have built up. Do you want to do that?
ii minor chord is a sub-dominant chord that can act as a minor "i" tonic chord. It's main task in life is to move to a dominant chord.
iii minor chord likes to lead somewhere. The iii usually will drag the vi chord with it on it's journey.
IV chord is major and also a sub-dominant chord and likes to move to the dominant chord. As ii and IV have the same task in life they can substitute for each other.
V chord is the dominant chord it's task is to move to the I tonic chord. Now when you add a b7 note and make the V7 chord you have added tension and the V7 wants to move to the I tonic right now.
vi chord is the relative minor chord. It wants to move to a sub-dominant chord, i.e. the ii or IV.
viidim is the diminished chord. It too is a dominant chord and wants to move to the tonic I chord. However, the V dominant wants to do this quickly -- the viidim is not in all that hurry and does like to move to the tonic chord in a more leisurely way. As in a turn-a-round viidim-iii-vi-ii-V7-I.

If you let chords do what they like it normally works out for the best.

Have fun.
Between your answer and Jon's I can see that I am going to be busy for a while. You put a lot of effort into your answer and I really appreciate. I especially like the moods and chords and this is something I am going to play with for some time to come.

I have played guitar for almost 50 years, and by the standards of people who have heard me I am pretty good but I never learned theory. I am amazed at how much information there is on the Internet and I am completely hooked on learning it but I am have a very long way to go. One thing in your chart that I do not understand is the spelling. eg.
Amin 7 ACEG R-b3-5-b7

Two questions, what is the R-b3-5-b7? Does that mean the root, a flatted 3rd, the 5 chord and a flatted 7th?

Also, where were all of the chords in the chart 7th chords? I understand the triads, well maybe...LOL, but I was a little confused when all of the chords were 7th chords.

Thanks again for your help.

walternewton
01-08-2012, 07:42 PM
when you refer to the parallel minor, is that the same thing as the relative minor?

No - the relative minor is the minor scale sharing the same set of notes as the major scale, so:

C major = C D E F G A B C
A minor = A B C D E F G A

The parallel minor is the minor scale build off the same tonic:

C major = C D E F G A B C
C minor = C D Eb F G Ab Bb C

walternewton
01-08-2012, 07:50 PM
Two questions, what is the R-b3-5-b7? Does that mean the root, a flatted 3rd, the 5 chord and a flatted 7th?

Also, where were all of the chords in the chart 7th chords? I understand the triads, well maybe...LOL, but I was a little confused when all of the chords were 7th chords.

It means the root, the flatted 3rd, the 5th, and the flatted 7th, relative to the major scale.

C major = C D E F G A B C

R = C
b3 = Eb
5 = G
b7 = Bb



Two questions, what is the R-b3-5-b7? Does that mean the root, a flatted 3rd, the 5 chord and a flatted 7th?

Also, where were all of the chords in the chart 7th chords? I understand the triads, well maybe...LOL, but I was a little confused when all of the chords were 7th chords.

Triads are the 3 note chords that result when you harmonize the scale by stacking thirds, seventh chords are what you get when you extend the triads to four note chords.

Both triads and seventh chords come in various types depending on the intervals that make them up, for a few examples:

R 3 5 is a major triad

R b3 5 is a minor triad

R 3 5 7 is a major seventh

R 3 5 b7 is a dominant seventh

R b3 5 b7 is a minor seventh

etc.

gilcarleton
01-08-2012, 07:57 PM
No - the relative minor is the minor scale sharing the same set of notes as the major scale, so:

C major = C D E F G A B C
A minor = A B C D E F G A

The parallel minor is the minor scale build off the same tonic:

C major = C D E F G A B C
C minor = C D Eb F G Ab Bb C


Hi Walter,

Thanks for the answer. I think I need to purchase a music dictionary the next time I am in the U.S. I almost sent the original question to you. Tell me, are you in the music business? You certainly seem to know a lot. I hope I can learn this faster than Portuguese.

Oh, my wife wanted to know if you have duel citizenship in the U.S. and Brazil? The reason she asked is because she thought I needed a visa to visit Argentina but if you had a Brazilian passport you would not need one.

Thanks again for the quick answer. Oh, is there a simple way to print out these answers? I have been copying and pasting the answers into MS Word but it would be nice to print out individual answers without doing all of that.

Best wishes,

Gil

walternewton
01-08-2012, 08:25 PM
I think I need to purchase a music dictionary the next time I am in the U.S.

Wikipedia can be a good resource for looking stuff up...and feel free to just post whatever questions at all you may have here.


Tell me, are you in the music business?

No I'm not in the music business, it's just a hobby for me - and thanks but I wouldn't call myself especially knowledgeable beyond the basics.


Oh, my wife wanted to know if you have duel citizenship in the U.S. and Brazil? The reason she asked is because she thought I needed a visa to visit Argentina but if you had a Brazilian passport you would not need one.

No, I think if my mother had done the right paperwork when I was born I could have had dual citizenship, but I went to Argentina without a visa with my US passport (again a couple of years ago, and I don't know if things have changed).


Oh, is there a simple way to print out these answers?


One thing you can do is click on the # link at the top right of a posting and bring it up on its own page (like this) (http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/showpost.php?p=149144&postcount=2) that you should be able to print directly from your browser, maybe that would be easier than cutting and pasting into Word.

Malcolm
01-08-2012, 08:31 PM
One thing in your chart that I do not understand is the spelling. eg.
Amin 7 ACEG R-b3-5-b7

Two questions, what is the R-b3-5-b7? Does that mean the root, a flatted 3rd, the 5 chord and a flatted 7th?

Also, where were all of the chords in the chart 7th chords? I understand the triads, well maybe...LOL, but I was a little confused when all of the chords were 7th chords.

Thanks again for your help.

All that R-b3-5-b7 and chord spelling is perhaps more important to a bassist than to a rhythm guitarist. The bass will be laying down a bass line of chord tone notes one note at a time where the rhythm guitarist will be strumming all those notes at one time, i.e. using the "finger pattern" and not worrying what individual notes are involved. Just detailed theory stuff. For example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g35zS1tVO3o Don't let it bog you down just trying to give you the whole story.

Why did I take it out to 7th chords and not just leave it with triads? Again detailed theory stuff. Country would be satisfied with triads, jazz begs for those fancy chords.

Have fun.

gilcarleton
01-08-2012, 09:58 PM
All that R-b3-5-b7 and chord spelling is perhaps more important to a bassist than to a rhythm guitarist. The bass will be laying down a bass line of chord tone notes one note at a time where the rhythm guitarist will be strumming all those notes at one time, i.e. using the "finger pattern" and not worrying what individual notes are involved. Just detailed theory stuff. For example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g35zS1tVO3o Don't let it bog you down just trying to give you the whole story.

Why did I take it out to 7th chords and not just leave it with triads? Again detailed theory stuff. Country would be satisfied with triads, jazz begs for those fancy chords.

Have fun.
Thanks for the YouTube link. Great bass and great singer. I have never heard of Norah Jones. Probably been in Brazil too long but what a great talent. I think I will download one of her albums in Itunes.

I am always open to anything that clarifies more theory. Honestly, there are so many directions one can go in it is hard to decide what to learn first. Hopefully it will start to jell soon.

Thanks again,

Gil

Malcolm
01-09-2012, 01:08 PM
........, there are so many directions one can go in (theory) it is hard to decide what to learn first. Hopefully it will start to jell soon.

Thanks again, Gil

Here is something I put together - Dirt simple theory in six steps. Some of the links no longer connect, but, it may help.

Good luck.


This is one of the better music theory forums - the articles you will find here (button in the upper part of this screen) are well done, however, may be over your head as they take for granted you already know the basic facts of music theory. So..... I'm going to send you to several places first then come back here after you have built a firm foundation.

Take it one step at a time and music theory will make since. If you skip around before you have built a firm foundation you will keep running into stone walls.

First: As everything we do starts with the Major scale let's start there. http://www.ibreathemusic.com/article/105 Notice at the end of each lesson - bottom of the page - is a button to proceed to the next lesson.
Or do a Google using this key word -- WWHWWWH -- that will send you to several papers on the Major scale and how it is formed. The following chart helped me see the entire Major and Natural Minor scale, i.e the big picture on one sheet of paper:

Major Scale Chart
C D E F G A B...............Notice the C scale has no Sharps
G A B C D E F#.............and the G scale has one, the F#
D E F# G A B C#...........and the D scale keeps the F# and
A B C# D E F# G#.........adds the C#. Then the A scale keeps
E F# G# A B C# D#.......everything and adds the G#. See how
B C# D# E F# G# A#.....it builds on it's self.
F# G# A# B C# D# E#
C# D# E# F# G# A# B#
F G A Bb C D E.............Look what happens with the flat scales
Bb C D Eb F G A...........F has one the Bb, then the Bb scale keeps
Eb F G Ab Bb C D.........it's self and adds the the Eb. Same thing
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G.......the sharp scales did...
Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F
Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb

Memory pegs:
See God Destroy All Earth By F#irey C#haos. Order of the scales with sharps.
Fat cats go down alleys eating birds. Order of the sharps.
Farmer brown eats apple dumplings greasily cooked. Order of the scales with flats.
The key signature is showing three sharps. What scale has three sharps? C has none, G has one, D has two, A has three. Which sharps? Fat Cats Go so the A major scale has three sharps, F#, C# and G#.

Natural Minor Scale Chart
A B C D E F G ................Notice how the 6th column of the
E F# G A B C D................Major scale becomes the 1st column
B C# D E F# G A..............in the minor scale and how the 7th
F# G# A B C# D E............column of the Major scale is now the
C# D# E F# G# A B..........2nd column in the minor scale. And
G# A# B C# D# E F#........yep, the 1st column in the Major scale
D# E# F# G# A# B C#......is now the 3rd column, etc. etc.
A# B# C# D# E# F# G#....Ask your self why? Hint, think relative minor.
D E F G A Bb C
G A Bb C D Eb F
C D Eb F G Ab Bb
F G Ab Bb C Db Eb
Bb C Db Eb F Gb Ab
Eb F Gb Ab Bb Cb Db
Ab Bb Cb Db Eb Fb Gb

As scale charts are hard to find I recommend you print this off and keep it handy. And while we are at it http://www.thecipher.com/fretspell_guitar.pdf will give you a guitar fretboard chart showing where the notes are on your fretboard. Print this off you will refer to it all the time. if you play a 4 string bass ignore the top two strings (the E & B) or here is the 4 string bass fretboard.
http://www.guitarhangout.com/wp-cont...itar-notes.jpg.

Second: After you understand how the specific notes got into each scale I'd suggest some time with how the specific chords get into each key. When we use the word key we are speaking of a range of sound. That range of sound contains one specific scale and the chords made from that scale. To find which chords are in a key you could apply the key structure formula to the specific scale you have in mind. Let's take the E scale and figure what chords are in the key of E.

Scale interval....... .... 1, .2,..... 3, ...4, ....5,.. 6,...7,.........8 new octave
E Scale......................E, F#,... G#,. A, ....B, .C#, .D#,...... E
Major key Formula ......I, ii,...... iii,.. IV,... V, .vi, ..viidim,... I
Chords in the key of E..E .F#m, G#m, A,.... B, C#m, D#dim,. E

Notice the formula I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, viidim -- the upper case numbers become Major chords and the lower case numbers become minor chords. You have three major chords, three minor chords and one diminished chord in every Major key. For the specific notes in the chord go here; http://www.looknohands.com/chordhouse/guitar/index_rb.html

Formula for the natural minor key is:
i, iidim, III, iv, v, VI, VII. Notice the three major, three minor and one diminished chord -- same number of major, minor or diminished chords as the Major Key had.

For a chart of the chords found in the major keys go here http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/chords/chordchart.htm. Using the key formula for the natural minor key (i, iidim, III, iv, v, VI, VII) make your own chart for the natural minor chords.

Third: It's now time to learn how to use our scale chart and make those chords, i.e. how to make those powerchords your asking about. http://www.smithfowler.org/music/Chord_Formulas.htm.
Or write out the scale and take every other note, for example E scale = E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D# -- what notes are in the E chord? E - skip a note G# - then skip a note to get B. So E-G#-B are the notes found in the E major chord. Notes for the F# chord do the same thing I bet you get F#, A, C# which is the F#m chord spelling. Skip a note gave you the major AND the minor chord spelling. Learn both methods, because knowing the interval (1-3-5) is sometime more important than knowing the actual notes involved.


Forth: Time to learn what to do with those chords, i.e. how to put them into a chord progression. Go here http://www.musictheory.net/ then Lessons and Common Chord Progressions. Pay attention to what chords like to move to which other chords, i.e. why does the ii and IV like to move to the V or viidim chord. Build an understanding of how lyrics and chord progressions work together to form verses.

Fifth: Scale patterns next. As a beginner (to music theory) scale patterns right at first will get you playing your scales. If you use the pattern the pattern will place the notes of the scale under your fingertips automatically, if you stay within the scale. Go here http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/basic/print.html for the patterns to the Major and minor scale -- the Major and minor pentatonic scale and the Blues scale. This will help you play melodies, tunes, songs, etc within the same scale/key that the vocalist and rhythm section is using . If you use a 4 string bass ignore the top two strings or here are the 4 string bass patterns. http://www.cyberfretbass.com/scales/basic/page2.php Scales are a right of passage thing, running our scales will get our fingers knowing where to go on our fretboard and also let our ear recognize the good notes from the bad notes. No matter what instrument we play scales must be a part of our practice routine.

Sixth: Melody - saved this for last. Melody notes are comfortable over chords that have some of the same notes. In other words, when the melody moves on to new notes - not found in the old chord -- your ear will tell you something is not right. When that happens it's time to change chords -- find a chord that does contain some of the melody notes now being used. Yep. That's it. This chart will help.

Quote:
If you are trying to harmonize the ........
1 degree of the scale try I, IV, vi or ii7 chords of that key, as they will have the 1st degree note in their makeup.
2 degree of the scale try V, ii7, iii7 chords of that key.
3 degree of the scale try I, vi, iii chords of that key.
4 degree of the scale try IV, ii, v7 chords of that key.
5 degree of the scale try V, I, iii chords of that key.
6 degree of the scale try IV, ii, vi chords of that key.
7 degree of the scale try V7, iii, Imaj7 chords of that key.

That's why people tell you to play chord tones. That's why pentatonic scales played over the chord changes work so well. Keep this in mind as you travel on down your music road. Here is a great paper on how to write melodies: http://books.google.com/books?id=Hty...age&q=&f=false
This site talks about wave action. http://smu.edu/totw/melody.htm

In the following video watch his right hand. Copy down the hints that appear on the screen. His left hand is a great example of one bass line riff being used over the entire song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0iZ1j00wSU


Here is a site that will answer questions for you. http://www.guitarlessonworld.com/lessons/index.htm It and www.musictheory.net should answer most of the question that might come up. And of course ask them here, someone will always be ready to help.

The above will keep you busy for several months --- keep doing what you are now in your practice session, but, schedule some extra time each day to go over the above. When you understand the basics there are some great articles waiting for you on this site. http://www.ibreathemusic.com/browse/index.php?ltr=A
IMHO music theory should be learned in a specific order - like I've given you - some of it will not be clear today, but next week you will read something unrelated and everything will clear up. Just keep plugging along.

Good luck.

gilcarleton
01-10-2012, 11:53 AM
Here is something I put together - Dirt simple theory in six steps. Some of the links no longer connect, but, it may help.

Good luck.

Thanks again for all of the information. I haven't looked at very many music forums but from the ones I have seen, I have to agree with you in saying that this is one of the best. Others are more specialized. Everyone here has been very helpful and knowledgeable here.

Although I do not play rock, I have found a lot of good and free information on http://www.guitarlessons.com/. It helps in that it gives me some simple exercises to do so as to practice the theory I learned while also teaching a few good licks along the way.

I have played country blues, and bluegrass most of my life but I want to expand in to ragtime and more of a classical style. If you would like to see some of my motivating musicians you can go to YouTube and do a search for frostymorn, listen to his Maple Leaf Rag and Walking My Baby Back Home. Another great is a fellow named Guy Van Duser. I heard him in a small club just outside of Birmingham, AL 34 years ago. I really thought he was going to be as big as Chet Atkins but apparently he is a part time music teacher at the University of Berkley now. He is also on YouTube. Someone is playing his version of Chattanooga Choo Choo but is sounds like him. One song he did that is worth listening to, if for nothing else but to hear an incredible technique, is his rendition of Stars and Stripes Forever.

Anyway, I would like to choose my own songs and write arrangements similar to these styles. I realize that the only way to do this is to learn theory and that motivates me to focus.

I really appreciate you giving me a direction to go in. I have been spending the last month looking over all kinds of courses on the net, trying to find the ones that had the best teaching technique. There is nothing as discouraging as spending months or longer, following a course of study only to find out that it is a pretty crappy course. I decided to spend some time researching as many courses as I can before starting one. I have settled in on the site I gave you above but I needed something to compliment it, or should I say, have the sited I gave you above to complement a more serious learning site. I am going to focus on what you gave me and see how I am doing in a month or so. Another fellow on this site gave me a good theory site that helps with the basics so I think I am set. It is time to start following the course outline.

Thanks again,

Gil

Malcolm
01-10-2012, 12:38 PM
Sounds like a plan. Keep us posted.

Good luck.

gilcarleton
01-12-2012, 02:47 PM
Sounds like a plan. Keep us posted.

Good luck.

Hi Malcolm,

You have some very good ideas regarding learning and teaching theory. I assume that the guitar is your main instrument. I have one question for you. When you are learning scales, what is the best approach? By that I mean; do you think in terms of the scale pattern, intervals or, what I have been doing, repeating in my mind the name of each note as I play the pattern?

I am trying to work out the most effective practice that I can but some insight always helps. As I heard a friend say one time, "Experience it the best teacher but the tuition is prohibitive."

Thanks again for giving my your perspective.

Gil

Malcolm
01-13-2012, 03:45 AM
Hi Malcolm,

I have one question for you. When you are learning scales, what is the best approach? By that I mean; do you think in terms of the scale pattern, intervals or, what I have been doing, repeating in my mind the name of each note as I play the pattern?

I am trying to work out the most effective practice that I can but some insight always helps. As I heard a friend say one time, "Experience it the best teacher but the tuition is prohibitive."Thanks again for giving my your perspective.
Gil
Rhythm guitar and electric bass are my instruments of choice. Keyboard at home, mostly to work out "stuff" on. Keyboard has always been easier to "see" theory and write melodies on.

When I first started doing scales I got the five basic scale boxes http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/basic/page2.php and got them into muscle memory. Then I went to walking those up the neck in the five location , i.e, running up and down the neck hour after hour. Place the root note and let the box put the correct notes under my fingers. Not thinking of note names just playing the pattern and letting the pattern gather the correct scale notes for me. About the only thing this did for me was get my fingers knowing their way around the fretboard and my ear recognizing the good notes from the bad ones. Which is important and something that must be done. But, running patterns will always sound like scale exercises, because that is really what we are doing - running scale patterns. Running a pattern and hoping it will pass for a melody is wishful thinking. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NehOx1JsuT4&feature=relmfu

I never did venture into electric lead (playing melodic lead breaks) in public - our band has that spot covered, and these woods are full of electric lead players sitting at home waiting on the phone call - so on the 6 string I play backup rhythm guitar. Now that is what most of us do. When the vocalist has the lead and is singing what do the 6 string guitars do? They play rhythm guitar (chord harmony) augmenting the vocalist efforts. Scales are for melody and melody is played by the solo instruments - when they have the lead. So ---- work on your rhythm guitar chord stuff along with your scale stuff. You are going to be doing a whole lot more chord harmony than lead breaks.

You may be able to pick up some information from the following. On the electric bass scale work and arpeggio chord degrees do occupy a lot of what I do. I use the major scale box pattern and think in interval numbers or scale degree (R-3-5-b7). Which has it's own drawbacks. You are doing the right thing - calling the note name under your breath as you do your scales. I live in two worlds. One involves box patterns and interval numbers the other involves standard notation and note location. This of course depends on the type of sheet music I happen to be using. Most of that is fake chord which only has the lyrics and the chord name.

Here are my box patterns for the bass. Should mention bass playing involves playing scales and or chords one note at a time, there is no strumming. But the following interval numbers can help you with your scale work. I find playing licks (generic patterns) much easier if I think in scale degrees instead of note names. Something to think about.

Major Scale Box for 4 string bass.
G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
D|---6---|-------|---7---|---8---|
A|---3---|---4---|-------|---5---|
E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string


Scales
Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7
Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 omit the 4 and 7.
Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Major scale and flat the 3, 6 & 7.
Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 omit the 2 and 6.
Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 minor pentatonic and add the blue note (b5).
Harmonic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 Natural minor scale with a natural 7.
Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.

Major modes - The major scale is home base for major modes.
Ionian same as the Major Scale.
Lydian use the major scale and sharp the 4 - yes, it’s that simple.
Mixolydian use the major scale and flat the 7.

Minor Modes - The natural minor scale is home base for minor modes.
Aeolian same as the Natural Minor scale.
Dorian use the Natural Minor scale and sharp the b6 back to a natural 6.
Phrygian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2.
Locrian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2 and the 5.

Recapping: At first I used the five major scale box patterns (Major and Major Pentatonic, Natural minor and minor pentatonic then the Blues scale. Then took the Major scale and the minor pentatonic up the neck into the five locations. Those 5 major scale patterns are five of the 7 mode patterns so I was killing two birds with one stone. Now running those patterns never come close to being melody - the tune. Still working on that, but, now days that's from standard notation and only at home for my own enjoyment.

Now with the bass guitar I rely upon the major scale box pattern and think in interval numbers or scale degrees, i.e. want to play a major pentatonic over a specific chord - the major pentatonic notes are R, 2, 3, 5, 6 so I visualize the major scale box and use as many of those notes as I need for my bass line or lick.

Hope that throws some light on the subject.

gilcarleton
01-13-2012, 10:00 AM
Rhythm guitar and electric bass are my instruments of choice. Keyboard at home, mostly to work out "stuff" on. Keyboard has always been easier to "see" theory and write melodies on.

When I first started doing scales I got the five basic scale boxes http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/basic/page2.php and got them into muscle memory. Then I went to walking those up the neck in the five location , i.e, running up and down the neck hour after hour. Place the root note and let the box put the correct notes under my fingers. Not thinking of note names just playing the pattern and letting the pattern gather the correct scale notes for me. About the only thing this did for me was get my fingers knowing their way around the fretboard and my ear recognizing the good notes from the bad ones. Which is important and something that must be done. But, running patterns will always sound like scale exercises, because that is really what we are doing - running scale patterns. Running a pattern and hoping it will pass for a melody is wishful thinking. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NehOx1JsuT4&feature=relmfu

I never did venture into electric lead (playing melodic lead breaks) in public - our band has that spot covered, and these woods are full of electric lead players sitting at home waiting on the phone call - so on the 6 string I play backup rhythm guitar. Now that is what most of us do. When the vocalist has the lead and is singing what do the 6 string guitars do? They play rhythm guitar (chord harmony) augmenting the vocalist efforts. Scales are for melody and melody is played by the solo instruments - when they have the lead. So ---- work on your rhythm guitar chord stuff along with your scale stuff. You are going to be doing a whole lot more chord harmony than lead breaks.

You may be able to pick up some information from the following. On the electric bass scale work and arpeggio chord degrees do occupy a lot of what I do. I use the major scale box pattern and think in interval numbers or scale degree (R-3-5-b7). Which has it's own drawbacks. You are doing the right thing - calling the note name under your breath as you do your scales. I live in two worlds. One involves box patterns and interval numbers the other involves standard notation and note location. This of course depends on the type of sheet music I happen to be using. Most of that is fake chord which only has the lyrics and the chord name.

Here are my box patterns for the bass. Should mention bass playing involves playing scales and or chords one note at a time, there is no strumming. But the following interval numbers can help you with your scale work. I find playing licks (generic patterns) much easier if I think in scale degrees instead of note names. Something to think about.

Major Scale Box for 4 string bass.
G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
D|---6---|-------|---7---|---8---|
A|---3---|---4---|-------|---5---|
E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string
Scales
Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7
Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 omit the 4 and 7.
Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Major scale and flat the 3, 6 & 7.
Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 omit the 2 and 6.
Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 minor pentatonic and add the blue note (b5).
Harmonic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 Natural minor scale with a natural 7.
Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.

Major modes - The major scale is home base for major modes.
Ionian same as the Major Scale.
Lydian use the major scale and sharp the 4 - yes, it’s that simple.
Mixolydian use the major scale and flat the 7.

Minor Modes - The natural minor scale is home base for minor modes.
Aeolian same as the Natural Minor scale.
Dorian use the Natural Minor scale and sharp the b6 back to a natural 6.
Phrygian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2.
Locrian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2 and the 5.

Recapping: At first I used the five major scale box patterns (Major and Major Pentatonic, Natural minor and minor pentatonic then the Blues scale. Then took the Major scale and the minor pentatonic up the neck into the five locations. Those 5 major scale patterns are five of the 7 mode patterns so I was killing two birds with one stone. Now running those patterns never come close to being melody - the tune. Still working on that, but, now days that's from standard notation and only at home for my own enjoyment.

Now with the bass guitar I rely upon the major scale box pattern and think in interval numbers or scale degrees, i.e. want to play a major pentatonic over a specific chord - the major pentatonic notes are R, 2, 3, 5, 6 so I visualize the major scale box and use as many of those notes as I need for my bass line or lick.

Hope that throws some light on the subject.

Thanks again Malcolm. As usual you have given me some very good and motivating information. I was just going to focus on the major scale but I will learn the others as well. The YouTube video was also very insightful. I am going to watch all of his lessons. I have never even heard of some of these scales before but I am sure I will understand them much more as I learn the basics.

Wishing you the best,

Gil

gilcarleton
02-12-2012, 06:59 PM
Wikipedia can be a good resource for looking stuff up...and feel free to just post whatever questions at all you may have here.



No I'm not in the music business, it's just a hobby for me - and thanks but I wouldn't call myself especially knowledgeable beyond the basics.



No, I think if my mother had done the right paperwork when I was born I could have had dual citizenship, but I went to Argentina without a visa with my US passport (again a couple of years ago, and I don't know if things have changed).



One thing you can do is click on the # link at the top right of a posting and bring it up on its own page (like this) (http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/showpost.php?p=149144&postcount=2) that you should be able to print directly from your browser, maybe that would be easier than cutting and pasting into Word.

Hi Walter,

Gil here from Brazil. We did not make it to Iguaçu Falls this year but we will certainly go next year. Next time we will make our reservations in September so we can get some decent prices. I don’t know if you are aware of it or not, but buying an airline ticket or making a reservation at a hotel here is like investing in the commodities market in the U.S. Maybe I have already told you but when we tried to make our reservations the price went up over 100% in less than 2 hours.

We did have a great time though. We ended up taking a bus to Curitiba then we caught the train (which has no windows and allows you to feel the feel the atmosphere) back to Morretes. It was a great experience and I have wanted to do this for years. That is the great thing about having company come for a visit. You show them things that you have wanted to see for a long time. Here is a YouTube link if you want to see something about it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtNCb0VukIM

We then got a posada in Morretes and it was truly the most peaceful place I have ever been in my life. We have been looking at buying a house on the beach but I told my wife that we should look at buying some land in Morretes (it is only about 30 miles from Paranagua where I live) and build a house. The posada was in the jungle and on an island where a river forked and went around it. Everything was left in it’s natural state except where they built the sleeping cabins, the office and the swimming pool. They had a nature walk that went around the island and it was incredible to see the mahogany trees, bamboo thickets and the vines hanging down from the trees like they did in the Tarzan movies. The only downside was the mosquitoes when you tried to relax in the hammock but they were not as bad as some places I have been. The ladies loved it also. They just had a problem with the swinging bridge that you had to cross to reach the island. This is their web site if you want to take a look. It does not show the nature walk. Click on the Camera to see photos of the rooms. http://www.pousadailhadorio.com.br/
They also have a Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pousada-Ilha-do-Rio/109805372432541?sk=wall

Anyway, when my wife arrived from the U.S. she brought the Taylor DCSM (Dan Crary Signature Model) with her that I bought on ebay. It is not the guitar that my Martin D-21 was but I am very happy with it. It rings like a bell and plays like a dream. I am using light strings for a while until my fingers get back in shape and I hope it sounds richer when I change to medium gauge.

One of the main reasons I am writing you is that I now have time to study theory like I want to and it is very exciting. I think I enjoy it more than most because I know what I will be able to do with it once I understand it. I took one quarter of theory in 1975 and I am working my way through a book called Basic Concepts in Music which is helping a lot. I was going through my old notes from the class I came upon some regarding The Circle of 5ths. I had always thought that this was just a method of learning key signatures after more research I now believe it offers us much more information than just the key signatures. This site seemed to help me the most
http://musiced.about.com/od/lessonsandtips/f/circleoffifths.htm
I want to memorize this but I am a little confused and that is where I know you can help me. If you click on the link under Key Signatures You will see one version of the circle. I am completely confused as to the meaning of most of the words there. As an example, on the top of the circle above the C it says “Deses = C”, below it says “His = C” then in the G it says “Asas with an arrow pointing back to Deses = C. Inside each box is some word that I have no idea what it means, like D has Eses, A has Heses. Can you help me out with this?

I thought the green wheel inside the Major keys was how to transpose major to minor keys (and I assume minor to major) but when I look at D major it has an H in the box with the letters ces. This goes on around the circle and some make sense and others do not. If you have time maybe you can help me on this one also.

One thing I am sure you can help me with is I want to know how to approach this. If I understand why something is it really helps me to learn. One thing I have never understood is why they even have flats. I always think in terms of sharps but many of the key signatures are listed in flats. Do you know why they did that? I am sure there is a good reason but I am not advanced enough to understand that yet.

I am not so sure if using the circle is a valuable tool to learn what chords go where. At least for me I have all of the triads memorized and to get to the 4th and 5th chord I just go to the 5th, such ad G,B,D then go backwards from the 5th a whole step which would take me to C. What do you think?



Is there anything else I need to be focusing on as far as memorizing?


Well Walter, I have probably given you a lot of questions to answer but you seem to always be able to cut to the quick and give me to short exacting answers. If you don’t have time just let me know and I will post the questions.

I hope all is well with you and your family.

Wishing you the best,

Gil

walternewton
02-12-2012, 10:49 PM
Hi Gil,

Looks like you may have intended to send this to me as a PM but posted it here instead - that's fine.

Glad to hear about your trip and your new guitar - I'll have to check out those links you sent.


I am completely confused as to the meaning of most of the words there. As an example, on the top of the circle above the C it says “Deses = C”, below it says “His = C” then in the G it says “Asas with an arrow pointing back to Deses = C. Inside each box is some word that I have no idea what it means, like D has Eses, A has Heses. Can you help me out with this?

Honestly I have no idea what those words are either, I have never seen that terminology before.

I notice on that Circle they use "H" in place of "B" - I understand that is the notation used in Germany. My guess is those words are used there and/or in some other country/language, perhaps as solfege (like we would use "do re mi" etc.), but it's only a guess.


I thought the green wheel inside the Major keys was how to transpose major to minor keys (and I assume minor to major) but when I look at D major it has an H in the box with the letters ces. This goes on around the circle and some make sense and others do not. If you have time maybe you can help me on this one also.

I would forget about that chart and find another one, say this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Circle_of_fifths_deluxe_4.svg

As far as relative minor keys go, on the inside of the circle you can see the relative minor key for each major key - the minor key which shares the same set of notes, and the same key signature - for example C Major/A minor.



One thing I have never understood is why they even have flats. I always think in terms of sharps but many of the key signatures are listed in flats. Do you know why they did that? I am sure there is a good reason but I am not advanced enough to understand that yet.

Short answer: a basic rule of major scale construction is that for each key you will use each letter of the alphabet A-G once and only once.

If you tried constructing a major scale starting with F writing only sharps it would come out as follows:

F G A A# C D E F

with 2 A's and no B.

Using flats you have:

F G A Bb C D E F

so each letter is used once.

In some keys you need to use sharps to preserve the rule, in others you need to use flats.




I am not so sure if using the circle is a valuable tool to learn what chords go where. At least for me I have all of the triads memorized and to get to the 4th and 5th chord I just go to the 5th, such ad G,B,D then go backwards from the 5th a whole step which would take me to C. What do you think?

Is there anything else I need to be focusing on as far as memorizing?


I think the circle of fifths can be a handy reference, and it's worth memorizing the order of keys in 4ths/5ths order (counterclockwise/clockwise), though I wouldn't make it a first priority.

The #1 thing I'd suggest working on is the major scales...being able to spell out the major scale based on any root from Cb to C# - that is, being able to fill the rest of this chart - and not by memorizing, but by understanding the W W H W W W H structure, and being able to work out any scale on the fly (perhaps first on paper, eventually in your head):

Cb - ?
Gb - ?
Db - ?
Ab - ?
Eb - ?
Bb - ?
F - F G A Bb C D E F
C - C D E F G A B C
G - G A B C D E F# G
D - ?
A - ?
E - ?
B - ?
F# - ?
C# - ?

From there you will have the basis for learning about things like chord construction, what the basic chords for a given key are (like your I-IV-V example), and many other things as well.


Well Walter, I have probably given you a lot of questions to answer but you seem to always be able to cut to the quick and give me to short exacting answers. If you don’t have time just let me know and I will post the questions.

No problem, if you have any questions about the above or anything else just ask!

JonR
02-13-2012, 03:14 PM
http://musiced.about.com/od/lessonsandtips/f/circleoffifths.htm
I want to memorize this but I am a little confused and that is where I know you can help me. If you click on the link under Key Signatures You will see one version of the circle. I am completely confused as to the meaning of most of the words there. As an example, on the top of the circle above the C it says “Deses = C”, below it says “His = C” then in the G it says “Asas with an arrow pointing back to Deses = C. Inside each box is some word that I have no idea what it means, like D has Eses, A has Heses. Can you help me out with this?
I've no idea what language this is, but it seems clear that "is" means "sharp" and "s" or "es" means "flat". Something like that anyhow (it's not totally consistent).

They also use the convention of lower case = minor (ie "e" instead of "Em")

Walter has answered your other queries, but I'll just second them...

"H" means what we in the west call "B". H is an old Germanic term for B, still used in parts of Eastern Europe; they use the letter "B" to mean what we call "Bb" (see the key to the left of F ;)).

In any case you can ignore the "Deses" etc at the top of the circle: it's just telling you that C could be called "Dbb" ("double flat"), and trust me you will NEVER see the key of Dbb!

Here's a good Engligh language circle:
http://www.freeguitarschool.com/Circle_Of_5ths.htm


I am not so sure if using the circle is a valuable tool to learn what chords go where. It's designed as a chart of keys, not chords, but is useful to see it as chords.
All the six main chords in a key are grouped in one quarter of the circle, majors outside and (in the above diagrams) minors inside.
So, for the key of (say) D major, start from D (I). Clockwise is the V chord, A; anticlockwise is the IV, G. Inside those are the three minor chords in the key: Em (ii), Bm (vi) and F#m (iii).

Furthermore, as you move beyond this quarter sector of 6 chords, you get chords that are increasingly "outside". Chords immediately neighbouring this group (esp the majors) may well be usable in the same key in certain circumstances, such as C or E, even F or B. but the further you go away round the circle, the more "wrong" the chords will sound.
An exception is on the exact opposite side of the circle (majors only) where you'll find "tritone substitutes" for any dom7 chord you use. Eg, if you're using A7 to resolve to D (normal V-I move), you could replace A7 with Eb7; this is common in jazz and blues.

gilcarleton
02-14-2012, 11:26 AM
I've no idea what language this is, but it seems clear that "is" means "sharp" and "s" or "es" means "flat". Something like that anyhow (it's not totally consistent).

They also use the convention of lower case = minor (ie "e" instead of "Em")

Walter has answered your other queries, but I'll just second them...

"H" means what we in the west call "B". H is an old Germanic term for B, still used in parts of Eastern Europe; they use the letter "B" to mean what we call "Bb" (see the key to the left of F ;)).

In any case you can ignore the "Deses" etc at the top of the circle: it's just telling you that C could be called "Dbb" ("double flat"), and trust me you will NEVER see the key of Dbb!


Here's a good Engligh language circle:
http://www.freeguitarschool.com/Circle_Of_5ths.htm
It's designed as a chart of keys, not chords, but is useful to see it as chords.
All the six main chords in a key are grouped in one quarter of the circle, majors outside and (in the above diagrams) minors inside.
So, for the key of (say) D major, start from D (I). Clockwise is the V chord, A; anticlockwise is the IV, G. Inside those are the three minor chords in the key: Em (ii), Bm (vi) and F#m (iii).

Furthermore, as you move beyond this quarter sector of 6 chords, you get chords that are increasingly "outside". Chords immediately neighbouring this group (esp the majors) may well be usable in the same key in certain circumstances, such as C or E, even F or B. but the further you go away round the circle, the more "wrong" the chords will sound.
An exception is on the exact opposite side of the circle (majors only) where you'll find "tritone substitutes" for any dom7 chord you use. Eg, if you're using A7 to resolve to D (normal V-I move), you could replace A7 with Eb7; this is common in jazz and blues.

Hi Jon,

You always have good answers and good references. It is good to have some friends on the other side of the pond that would know that the circle of 5ths was in German. I never expected that since it was on an American web site. I like the circle you sent me and the school also looks like it could be a good reference source.

I finally had time today to digest what you said. I will spend some time today playing with the chords like you said. This is the first time that I have heard of how the chords close to the key sound better than the ones away from the quarter that has the key notes. I am also going to practice transposing some major keys to minors. I have never done that before but I am sure it will be interesting.

Let me ask you something else. Yesterday I was studying Major and Minor 3rds and Major and Minor triads and I got confused (something that I find very easy to do). If you use a minor 3rd instead of a major 3rd in a triad, you end up with a minor chord of the root. Here is what stumped me. A couple of pages later it shows a Major triad, FAC (no sharps or flats) and points to the bottom two notes F and A and says that this is a major 3rd on bottom, then it points to the top two notes, A and C and calls them a minor 3rd on top. Then it calls the whole thing a major triad. If I am counting correctly this triad creates a Fm so, if I am correct, why do they call this a major triad if it is creating a minor chord?

One other thing regarding scales. I have played by ear all my life and the use of scales is very new to me. I am practicing the major scale now and trying to find all of the notes of each position all over the neck. I realize that there are many different scales but just using the major, if the rhythm is playing in the key of G, they may be playing a G chord or C or D or a variety of others. Would I only be able to play the G scale if they are playing the G chord and have to move to a C or D scale with the chord changes or can I play the G chord for the entire time they are in the key of G? Probably a stupid question but I am learning this stuff on my on and it does not take much to stump me. I am very grateful that I found this web site because there are people like you to help and get me over a hump.

Thanks again Jon.

Wishing you the best,

Gil

walternewton
02-14-2012, 01:26 PM
A couple of pages later it shows a Major triad, FAC (no sharps or flats)... If I am counting correctly this triad creates a Fm so, if I am correct, why do they call this a major triad if it is creating a minor chord?

This is one place having good knowledge of the major scales help...when considering chord construction like this the relevant scale should (eventually) automatically come to mind:

F G A Bb C D E F

F, A, C are the root, third, and fifth of the scale - R 3 5 - so it is an F major chord.

For an F minor chord you lower the 3rd - R b3 5 - so F Ab C.

walternewton
02-14-2012, 04:29 PM
One futher point, if you want to look at the 4 types of triads in terms of stacked third intervals they are as follows:

m3+m3 = F Ab Cb = R b3 b5 = F diminished
m3+M3 = F Ab C = R b3 5 = F minor
M3+m3 = F A C = R 3 5 = F major
M3+M3 = F A C# = R 3 #5 = F augmented

gilcarleton
02-14-2012, 04:35 PM
[QUOTE=walternewton;149485]This is one place having good knowledge of the major scales help...when considering chord construction like this the relevant scale should (eventually) automatically come to mind:

F G A Bb C D E F

F, A, C are the root, third, and fifth of the scale - R 3 5 - so it is an F major chord.

For an F minor chord you lower the 3rd - R b3 5 - so F Ab C.[/Q

Hi Walter,

You are right. I must have gotten a brain cramp from studying. Attached is the info I was reading. Before this page I was looking at two note triads and was doing fine. When they gave me the 5th for some reason I began to count staff line spaces instead of scale tones. Well, back to the books.

Thanks again,

Gil

JonR
02-14-2012, 09:06 PM
[QUOTE=walternewton;149485]This is one place having good knowledge of the major scales help...when considering chord construction like this the relevant scale should (eventually) automatically come to mind:

F G A Bb C D E F

F, A, C are the root, third, and fifth of the scale - R 3 5 - so it is an F major chord.

For an F minor chord you lower the 3rd - R b3 5 - so F Ab C.[/Q

Hi Walter,

You are right. I must have gotten a brain cramp from studying. Attached is the info I was reading. Yes, I don't really like that idea of seeing a chord as stacked thirds. It's unnecessarily confusing to think of a major chord as having a minor triad within it, and vice versa. (It's true, but irrelevant.)

A triad is - as walter says - composed of a 3rd and a 5th, counted from the root (which is "1st"). You can ignore the interval that occurs between the 3rd and 5th.

IOW, the four triad types work out as follows:

Major triad = major 3rd + perfect 5th
Minor triad = minor 3rd + perfect 5th
- ie the chord names come from deleting the words that the descriptions have in common! ("... 3rd + perfect 5th").
Or alternatively, the chord names come from the name of the 3rd interval, because the 5th is the same for each.

Diminished triad = minor 3rd + diminished 5th
Augmented triad = major 3rd + augmented 5th

In this case, the names come from the name of the 5th interval, because that's the distinctive alteration, and also what makes them different from major and minor triads.

In each case, we ignore the interval between 3rd and 5th as irrelevant.


Before this page I was looking at two note triads and was doing fine. When they gave me the 5th for some reason I began to count staff line spaces instead of scale tones. Well, that's perfectly fine, for any interval or chord. Staff lines and spaces represent scale tones.
In any interval, the root is the bottom note. Count that as "1st", then count up lines and spaces to the next note to determine what the interval is. A "5th" is always on the 5th line/space above the root. (IOW, if the root is on a line, then the 5th will be on the 3rd line above, with 2 spaces in between. A 5th is 3 lines and 2 spaces between, or 3 spaces and 2 lines between.)
This is case whether it's a perfect, diminished or augmented 5th, and regardless of any sharps, flats or key signature. Each note always has its own line or space, and that's how intervals are counted.

Of course, the sharps and flats (or just the lines and spaces in question) will determine what kind of 5th it is (perfect, augmented, diminished). But a 5th is always a count of 5 notes.

gilcarleton
02-14-2012, 10:53 PM
[QUOTE=gilcarleton;149490]Yes, I don't really like that idea of seeing a chord as stacked thirds. It's unnecessarily confusing to think of a major chord as having a minor triad within it, and vice versa. (It's true, but irrelevant.)

A triad is - as walter says - composed of a 3rd and a 5th, counted from the root (which is "1st"). You can ignore the interval that occurs between the 3rd and 5th.

IOW, the four triad types work out as follows:

Major triad = major 3rd + perfect 5th
Minor triad = minor 3rd + perfect 5th
- ie the chord names come from deleting the words that the descriptions have in common! ("... 3rd + perfect 5th").
Or alternatively, the chord names come from the name of the 3rd interval, because the 5th is the same for each.

Diminished triad = minor 3rd + diminished 5th
Augmented triad = major 3rd + augmented 5th

In this case, the names come from the name of the 5th interval, because that's the distinctive alteration, and also what makes them different from major and minor triads.

In each case, we ignore the interval between 3rd and 5th as irrelevant.
Well, that's perfectly fine, for any interval or chord. Staff lines and spaces represent scale tones.
In any interval, the root is the bottom note. Count that as "1st", then count up lines and spaces to the next note to determine what the interval is. A "5th" is always on the 5th line/space above the root. (IOW, if the root is on a line, then the 5th will be on the 3rd line above, with 2 spaces in between. A 5th is 3 lines and 2 spaces between, or 3 spaces and 2 lines between.)
This is case whether it's a perfect, diminished or augmented 5th, and regardless of any sharps, flats or key signature. Each note always has its own line or space, and that's how intervals are counted.

Of course, the sharps and flats (or just the lines and spaces in question) will determine what kind of 5th it is (perfect, augmented, diminished). But a 5th is always a count of 5 notes.

This is some real food for thought. I hate to bother you but maybe you can clarify a couple of things.

Regarding the augmented and diminished 5ths, are you saying that you it doesn't matter if they are major or minor? The 5th may be the dominate sound but it seems that they would sound different and in some way be designated so you know if they are major or minor.

I know you said that the root is always the bottom note. Now excuse me for my ignorance but what about inversions? As an example, if you had a CEG triad. If you moved the C up, the E would be on bottom but the triad would still have the CEG of the C chord but they would just be in a different order. I just studied inversions yesterday and I thought I understood them but apparently I missed something.

One more unrelated question. What do you think of the CAGE system. I never even heard of this until a couple of months ago and I am wondering if it is just a fad or is it something worthwhile to study along with everything else.

Thanks again for your help Jon. Oh, by the way, I tried converting major keys to minors with the circle of 5ths today and it did not turn out very well. Probably no surprise to you but I think that maybe it would be ok to play a minor scale on top of a major rhythm.

Wishing you the best,

Gil

JonR
02-15-2012, 12:22 PM
This is some real food for thought. I hate to bother you but maybe you can clarify a couple of things.

Regarding the augmented and diminished 5ths, are you saying that you it doesn't matter if they are major or minor?No. A diminished chord always has a minor 3rd, and an augmented chord always has a major 3rd.
It's just that the 5th is the more significant chord tone.

A dominant 7th chord can sometimes have a b5, which technically means a diminished 5th with a major 3rd. But it's not normally regarded as derived from a diminished triad (with the 3rd raised). It's seen as a major triad with 5th lowered. But also, any scale associated with the chord will omit the implied 4th between M3 and b5, so it's more like the b5 is a #4 (except there is no P5).
It's related to a classical concept known as an "augmented 6th" chord. If you lower the 5th of a major chord, the interval between the b5 and a major 3rd above is an augmented 6th interval. It's called that because the b5 is normally the lowest note in the chord, and other intervals are measured from that.

If a minor triad has a raised 5th (or an augmented chord has a minor 3rd), it becomes an inverted major triad. Eg, if we raise the 5th of Am, it becomes A-C-E#, which is effectively A-C-F, 1st inversion of F major.


I know you said that the root is always the bottom note. Now excuse me for my ignorance but what about inversions?I meant when building and naming chords and intervals.


As an example, if you had a CEG triad. If you moved the C up, the E would be on bottom but the triad would still have the CEG of the C chord but they would just be in a different order. I just studied inversions yesterday and I thought I understood them but apparently I missed something.The C is still the root, even when it's not on the bottom. This is because of the acoustic properties of the pitches themselves.
IOW, in a E-G-C chord, C will still sound like the root. That's why a minor chord with a raised 5th (E-G-B#) is no longer a minor chord.


One more unrelated question. What do you think of the CAGE system. I never even heard of this until a couple of months ago and I am wondering if it is just a fad or is it something worthwhile to study along with everything else.It's not exactly a "system", it's just a description of how the guitar fretboard is. The open position shapes for the chords C A G E and D (don't forget D ;)), converted to movable barres, form overlapping shapes for the same major chord sound.
Eg, the following shapes all make a C chord sound:

(3)-3-2-0-1-0 (C shape)
3-3-5-5-5-3 (A shape)
8-7-5-5-5-8 (G shape)
8-10-10-9-8-8 (E shape)
x-10-10-12-13-12 (D shape)
x-15-14-12-13-12 (C shape again, etc)

Every major chord (all 12) can be played with the same 5 shapes in the same order, just starting with a different one, or on a different fret. Eg, an F chord begins with an E shape on 1st fret, then D, C, A, G shapes up to another E shape on 13th fret.
(You don't need to use all 6 strings of any shape when you play them, but visualising them is useful.)

The "system" also includes (if you want) major scales based on each shape. In fact, 3 major scale modes will fit around each pattern, but you usually begin with the tonic major (ionian).
It's an extremely powerful concept.


Thanks again for your help Jon. Oh, by the way, I tried converting major keys to minors with the circle of 5ths today and it did not turn out very well. Probably no surprise to you but I think that maybe it would be ok to play a minor scale on top of a major rhythm. In blues, yes. But only in blues! ;)

Wishing you the best,

Gil[/QUOTE]

walternewton
02-16-2012, 02:14 AM
Oh, by the way, I tried converting major keys to minors with the circle of 5ths today and it did not turn out very well.

Can you elaborate more about what you did (and what your goal was)?

gilcarleton
02-16-2012, 10:24 AM
Can you elaborate more about what you did (and what your goal was)?

Hi Walter, I tried some simple three chord progression songs GCD and CFA and if the original song uses a G I tried to play a Em chord, if it played a C I played an Am and if it was a D I played a Bm. It was an interesting exercise but it just did not turn out as well as I hoped.

I am not sure how you would use this except I thought it may apply to scales more than chords. As an example, it someone is playing a G chord, maybe the lead could be playing an Em scale. Do you agree and if not, how do you use this?

A fellow named Jon gave me some good information regarding Augmented and Diminished chords and I am going to spend an hour or two today trying to internalize this on my guitar today. I was going to write him with another question but I am sure you can help me. Do most, or all, augmented and diminished chords deal with the 5th? I mean, do you ever have an augmented or diminished 3rd? If we only have to deal with augumented or diminished 5ths it makes things much easier.

I guess I am doing ok in learning. As I read what you and Jon write me I can actually understand it now....most of the time. Two weeks ago I would not have understood anything you or Jon are telling me. I am trying to memorize my fretboard now and hopefully soon I will be able to take some of this theory I am learning and apply it to my instrument. I am really excited about it. I hope that it will not be too long before I can start creating some chord melodies.

Thanks for the help.

Wishing you the best,

Gil

rbarata
02-16-2012, 11:22 AM
Hi


It was an interesting exercise but it just did not turn out as well as I hoped.

Gil, what do you mean? It didn't sound good?


I am not sure how you would use this except I thought it may apply to scales more than chords. As an example, it someone is playing a G chord, maybe the lead could be playing an Em scale. Do you agree and if not, how do you use this?


Scales and chords are so deeply related that I'm tempted to say they are the same entity but with another presentation. Once you master these issues you'll notice you can think of one without thinking "automatically" on the other.
Playing a Em scale on top of a GMaj chord, I believe it's what is called E Aeolian and belongs to a chapter called Modes. Since I'm not the best person to explain it (I'm learning it too :)), I'll let someone else do it (although, I think, until you understand your scales and chords, it might be too early to talk about modes. It will create lots of confusion.)


Do most, or all, augmented and diminished chords deal with the 5th? I mean, do you ever have an augmented or diminished 3rd? If we only have to deal with augumented or diminished 5ths it makes things much easier.

I think I'm correct about this but...all diminished chords have a minor 3rd and all augmented chords have major 3rds.


I guess I am doing ok in learning. As I read what you and Jon write me I can actually understand it now....most of the time. Two weeks ago I would not have understood anything you or Jon are telling me. I am trying to memorize my fretboard now and hopefully soon I will be able to take some of this theory I am learning and apply it to my instrument. I am really excited about it. I hope that it will not be too long before I can start creating some chord melodies.


When I joined this site, maybe one anfd a half year ago, I never thought I was going to learn what I know today about music theory. You just have to stick to it and never lose your motivation (sometimes it can be hard to understand some concepts :)). But, if you really love music, it will be a pleasure for you, I'm sure.:)

walternewton
02-16-2012, 01:34 PM
A fellow named Jon gave me some good information regarding Augmented and Diminished chords and I am going to spend an hour or two today trying to internalize this on my guitar today. I was going to write him with another question but I am sure you can help me. Do most, or all, augmented and diminished chords deal with the 5th? I mean, do you ever have an augmented or diminished 3rd? If we only have to deal with augumented or diminished 5ths it makes things much easier.

There are two ways in which you'll find "diminished" used.

The first is when naming intervals, any perfect or minor interval lowered a half step is referred to as "diminished" (similarly, any perfect or major interval raised a half step is called "augmented"), so a diminished third is theoretically possible (pretty rare though, I think?) - see the interval chart here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interval_(music)#Main_intervals

You can see that any of these intervals can be referred to by other names as well - a diminished third is enharmonically equivalent to a major second - which of these names is correct will depend on context.

When it comes to naming chords, I believe any chord you'll see referred to as "diminished" has a diminished fifth interval.

There's the diminished triad

Cdim = R b3 b5 = C Eb Gb

Add a diminished seventh interval to this and you get a diminished seventh chord:

Cdim7 = R b3 b5 bb5 = C Eb Gb Bbb (also sometimes notated as C°)

Finally, although some frown on the nomenclature, you will sometimes see a m7b5 chord referred to as "half diminished":

Cm7b5 = R b5 b5 b7 = C Eb Gb Bb (also sometimes notated as Cø)

JonR
02-16-2012, 03:45 PM
A fellow named Jon gave me some good information regarding Augmented and Diminished chords and I am going to spend an hour or two today trying to internalize this on my guitar today. I was going to write him with another question but I am sure you can help me. Do most, or all, augmented and diminished chords deal with the 5th?In chord names, yes, those words always refer to the 5th.


I mean, do you ever have an augmented or diminished 3rd?Technically yes you can, but in practice no. Or so rarely it's not worth worrying about!

Just to add to walter's info.

"Perfect" intervals are 4ths, 5ths, unisons and octaves.
2nds, 3rds, 6ths and 7ths can all be either "major" or "minor".

"Augmented" refers to either a perfect or major interval that has been enlarged by a semitone.
"Diminished" refers to either a perfect or minor interval that has been reduced by a semitone.

Normally these words only refer to 5ths or 4ths, but occasionally to other intervals.

Eg, the major scale contains one augmented 4th (F-B in C major) and one diminished 5th (B-F in C major, ie the inversion of the #4).

The harmonic minor scale contains one augmented 5th (C-G# in A minor), and its inversion G#-C, a diminished 4th.
It also contains an augmented 2nd (F-G#) and its inversion a diminished 7th (G#-F).

Classical theory also recognises an "augmented 6th" - there is no scale which contains one of these, and it represents a specific alteration in a chord.

Augmented and diminished intervals are always enharmonic with (sound the same as) other intervals:

Augmented 2nd (F-G#) - sounds like minor 3rd (F-Ab)
Diminished 4th (G#-C) - sounds like major 3rd (Ab-C)
Augmented 4th (F-B) - sounds like diminished 5th (F-Cb)
Augmented 5th (C-G#) - sounds like minor 6th (C-Ab)
Diminished 7th (G#-F) - sounds like major 6th (Ab-F)

- but despite the similar sound, it's important to get the names right. F-Ab is 3 notes (FGA), so it's a 3rd. F-G# is 2 notes (FG) so it's a 2nd. Etc.

JonR
02-16-2012, 03:50 PM
Practical examples...

With an augmented chord, eg C-E-G# (Caug, or C+), the internal intervals are both major 3rds, but technically when you go from G# to the next C, that's a diminished 4th. However, the fact that it sounds like a major 3rd means you can view this chord as three different aug triads:
C+ = C-E-G#
E+ = E-G#-B#
Ab+ = Ab-C-E
All three chords sound identical - IOW they are "symmetrical" - which means they (it) can be used in 3 different situations.

Try this:

C+ F E+ A Ab+ Db
-0---1----|-0---0---|-0---1---
-1---1----|-1---2---|-1---2---
-1---2----|-1---2---|-1---1---
-2---3----|-2---2---|-2---3---
-3---3----|-3---0---|-3---4---
-----1----|(0)------|---------Obviously the first shape in each pair is the same. The chord it resolves to suggests what it ought to be called (the augmented V chord of that key), but really it could be called anything.


The same applies to dim7 chords, which are a stack of 4 minor 3rds - or strictly speaking 3 minor 3rds and an augmented 2nd.

G# B D F G#
|_m3_|_m3_|_m3_|_a2_|
G#dim7 (vii chord of A harmonic minor) = G# B D F
Bdim7 (vii chord of C harmonic minor) = B D F Ab
Ddim7 (vii chord of Eb harmonic minor) = D F Ab Cb
Fdim7 = E#dim7 (vii chord of F# harmonic minor) = E# G# B D
Notice we have to spell them all differently (enharmonically) to reflect their origins, but these four chords all sound the same, so are essentially all the same chord in practice.

Try the following:

G#o7 Am Bo7 Cm Do7 Ebm E#o7 F#m
-1---0----|-1-------|-1---2-----|-1----2---|-------------------
-0---1----|-0---4---|-0---4-----|-0----2---|-------------------
-1---2----|-1---5---|-1---3-----|-1----2---|------------------
-0---2----|-0---5---|-0---1-----|-0----4---|--------------------
-----0----|-----3---|-----------|----------|-----------
----------|---------|-----------|----------|----------Again, the first chord in each pair is the same, and it's the second one that suggests the correct name for the first one - because a dim7 is the normal vii chord in a minor key.

Try it with majors too:

G#o7 A Bo7 C Do7 Eb E#o7 F#
-1---0----|-1---0---|-1---3-----|-1---2---|-------------------
-0---2----|-0---1---|-0---4-----|-0---2---|-------------------
-1---2----|-1---0---|-1---3-----|-1---3---|------------------
-0---2----|-0---2---|-0---1-----|-0---4---|--------------------
-----0----|-----3---|-----------|---------|-----------
----------|---------|-----------|---------|----------Still works, right? Even though the dim7 is not in the key of the 2nd chord.
In this case, you could see the dim7s as rootless V7b9s.
Eg G#o7 is like E7b9 (E G# B D F) without the E.

walternewton
02-16-2012, 05:00 PM
I tried some simple three chord progression songs GCD and CFA and if the original song uses a G I tried to play a Em chord, if it played a C I played an Am and if it was a D I played a Bm. It was an interesting exercise but it just did not turn out as well as I hoped.

I am not sure how you would use this except I thought it may apply to scales more than chords. As an example, it someone is playing a G chord, maybe the lead could be playing an Em scale. Do you agree and if not, how do you use this?

Well since an E (natural) minor scale contains exactly the same notes as a G major scale, and over a G chord the individual notes will each retain their same effect (e.g. G sounding like "home"), I don't believe that approach really buys you anything.

When Jon alluded to blues musicians playing minor scales over major chords he's talking about a *parallel* scale, not a *relative* one - that is, a minor scale rooted on G, say G minor pentatonic, not one rooted on E - the former contains the m3 Bb note that provides a "bluesy" effect played against the major chord, the latter does not.

Malcolm
02-16-2012, 11:33 PM
If you are talking about rhythm guitar. "I am not sure how you would use this except I thought it may apply to scales more than chords. As an example, it someone is playing a G chord, maybe the lead could be playing an Em scale. Do you agree and if not, how do you use this?"

G scale = G, A, B, C, D, E, F#and
Em scale = ..................E, F#, G, A, B, C, D, same notes -- the chord under them decide the over all sound that is produced. The G C D progression will sound major and have a G major tonal center and a Em Am Bm progression will sound minor and have an E minor tonal center.

Now to your question about someone playing a G chord and the lead using an Em scale - if you are trying to harmonize with the G chord your Em scale notes should contain some of the G chord tones so what is being done with the Em scale harmonizes with the G chord. YOU ARE THINKING TOO MUCH. Chords and melody need to share some of the same notes - to harmonize. Your question IMO would never come up.

gilcarleton
02-17-2012, 01:32 AM
If you are talking about rhythm guitar. "I am not sure how you would use this except I thought it may apply to scales more than chords. As an example, it someone is playing a G chord, maybe the lead could be playing an Em scale. Do you agree and if not, how do you use this?"

G scale = G, A, B, C, D, E, F#and
Em scale = ..................E, F#, G, A, B, C, D, same notes -- the chord under them decide the over all sound that is produced. The G C D progression will sound major and have a G major tonal center and a Em Am Bm progression will sound minor and have an E minor tonal center.

Now to your question about someone playing a G chord and the lead using an Em scale - if you are trying to harmonize with the G chord your Em scale notes should contain some of the G chord tones so what is being done with the Em scale harmonizes with the G chord. YOU ARE THINKING TOO MUCH. Chords and melody need to share some of the same notes - to harmonize. Your question IMO would never come up.

You are absolutely right Malcolm. I ended up taking the day off music study because my brain was just spinning. Well I did study diminished and augmented chords a little this morning. What you said makes everything very clear. Thanks a lot.

Gil

gilcarleton
03-27-2012, 03:11 PM
Hi Malcolm,

I posted this a few days ago but I did not receive a single book recommendation.

Can someone recommend a book for me?
As I work my way through learning theory my goal is to learn how to arrange some great melodies on guitar. Here is a style I really like by Guy Van Duser.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDzmUR2u9KE

I have no idea how the evolution of learning will take me to a point where I can begin to arrange something like this but I am hoping that someone can recommend a book that will help me move in that direction. At this point, although I have played guitar by ear for48 years, I guess I am just moving beyond in the basics in theory. I know it is not easy. After watching a DVD that Tony Rice did, he talked about how long it took him to find the chord he was looking for in Georgia. I guess that is what keeps us all involved in music. We can never arrive at the place we want to go.



You always have good advice so what do you think. Am I moving in the wrong direction, am I getting ahead of myself or is there a book on the subject? I often wonder how musicians come up the the chord melodies or even choose the chords they use sometimes. I don't mean the I, !V, V sort of thing, but as an example, on Doc Watson's version of Deep River Blues, he starts off on an E6 chord. Is this something he came up with through trial and error, ok, I know he stole some of it from Merle Travis, but you know what I mean. As I listen the the above video, it is obvious that he is doing much more than just playing a normal chord from the key he is playing in and then adding the melody line. I find it very frustrating to imagine the sounds that I would like to play but not be able to find the correct chords or note combinations on the fretboard,

Since I am in Brazil and studying alone, it is difficult to just go to the book store and browse through the books and find something I think may help me. I just have to order it and take my chances.

Anyway, if you can point me in the right direction I would really appreciate it.

Wishing you the best,

Gil

Malcolm
03-27-2012, 11:34 PM
Hi Malcolm,

I posted this a few days ago but I did not receive a single book recommendation.

Can someone recommend a book for me?
As I work my way through learning theory my goal is to learn how to arrange some great melodies on guitar. Here is a style I really like by Guy Van Duser.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDzmUR2u9KE

I have no idea how the evolution of learning will take me to a point where I can begin to arrange something like this but I am hoping that someone can recommend a book that will help me move in that direction. At this point, although I have played guitar by ear for48 years, I guess I am just moving beyond in the basics in theory. I know it is not easy. After watching a DVD that Tony Rice did, he talked about how long it took him to find the chord he was looking for in Georgia. I guess that is what keeps us all involved in music. We can never arrive at the place we want to go.
Well that is Travis Picking which is way over my head. We have a Travis Picking World Champion living in our town. Glenn Gurgin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SKKtwVCk6Q and I have had the oppurtunity to watch him play many times. He will take a basic song that you can pull up the chord progressions on and make it sound like nothing I will ever be able to do. So ---- perhaps shooting a little high.


Am I moving in the wrong direction, am I getting ahead of myself or is there a book on the subject? I often wonder how musicians come up the the chord melodies or even choose the chords they use sometimes. I don't mean the I, !V, V sort of thing, but as an example, on Doc Watson's version of Deep River Blues, he starts off on an E6 chord. Is this something he came up with through trial and error, ok, I know he stole some of it from Merle Travis, but you know what I mean. As I listen the the above video, it is obvious that he is doing much more than just playing a normal chord from the key he is playing in and then adding the melody line. I find it very frustrating to imagine the sounds that I would like to play but not be able to find the correct chords or note combinations on the fretboard,
I understand what you are saying, and I too find my self in the same position. I purchased a classical guitar last week and have started on that road. Going to take me several years before I come any where near being able to just know my way around the classical guitar. I guess what I'm trying to say is I play way down the ladder, but, that does not keep me from hoping and trying.


Since I am in Brazil and studying alone, it is difficult to just go to the book store and browse through the books and find something I think may help me. I just have to order it and take my chances. Anyway, if you can point me in the right direction I would really appreciate it. Wishing you the best,

Gil

Here is a book I recommend for learning how to write melodies. http://books.google.com/books/about/Exercises_in_melody_writing.html?id=HV4QAAAAYAAJ It's a free download. The first 30 pages have real value.

Good luck.

gilcarleton
03-28-2012, 12:24 AM
Well that is Travis Picking which is way over my head. We have a Travis Picking World Champion living in our town. Glenn Gurgin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SKKtwVCk6Q and I have had the oppurtunity to watch him play many times. He will take a basic song that you can pull up the chord progressions on and make it sound like nothing I will ever be able to do. So ---- perhaps shooting a little high.

I understand what you are saying, and I too find my self in the same position. I purchased a classical guitar last week and have started on that road. Going to take me several years before I come any where near being able to just know my way around the classical guitar. I guess what I'm trying to say is I play way down the ladder, but, that does not keep me from hoping and trying.


Here is a book I recommend for learning how to write melodies. http://books.google.com/books/about/Exercises_in_melody_writing.html?id=HV4QAAAAYAAJ It's a free download. The first 30 pages have real value.

Good luck.


Thanks for the reference book. The price is right also. Are you more of a blues player? Electricity? I have primarily played the Travis, Watson, Mississippi John Hurt for most of my life. It has always been by ear though. Maybe I am looking at you like you look at Merle Travis, if I could learn half as much about music as you know, I would be happy but it will be years I am sure.

I thought that if someone really knew theory, he would know formulas for creating sounds but maybe theory just helps you know what will not work. I am not sure. I am amazed at some of the jazz guitarist who create entire chord melodies. Although I enjoy hearing jazz, I am not motivated to learn it.

I listened to your friend on YouTube and, no doubt, he is good. I found an album that I recently downloaded on Itunes by Merle T. called In Boston, 1959. It is one of, if not his only, acoustic albums. Pull it up and sample some of it. I think you will like it.

Are you pretty good with the alternating bass pick pattern? If not, you may want to try this. I tried a long time and it just would not work then I decided to learn a simple song, Freight Train by Elizabeth Cotton. I just played with my thumb and second (middle) finger. It was only a couple of weeks before my first finger wanted to join in and create a much richer and fuller sound.

You probably know this already but since I don't know that much about music I try to contribute where I can.

Thanks again,

Gil

gilcarleton
03-28-2012, 02:00 AM
Well that is Travis Picking which is way over my head. We have a Travis Picking World Champion living in our town. Glenn Gurgin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SKKtwVCk6Q and I have had the oppurtunity to watch him play many times. He will take a basic song that you can pull up the chord progressions on and make it sound like nothing I will ever be able to do. So ---- perhaps shooting a little high.

I understand what you are saying, and I too find my self in the same position. I purchased a classical guitar last week and have started on that road. Going to take me several years before I come any where near being able to just know my way around the classical guitar. I guess what I'm trying to say is I play way down the ladder, but, that does not keep me from hoping and trying.



Here is a book I recommend for learning how to write melodies. http://books.google.com/books/about/Exercises_in_melody_writing.html?id=HV4QAAAAYAAJ It's a free download. The first 30 pages have real value.

Good luck.

I hate to bother you again but I cannot figure out how to download the book. Maybe they don't give it away any longer but if you know how I would appreciate it if you could tell me how to do it.

Thanks,

Gil

Malcolm
03-28-2012, 05:06 AM
Try this --- http://archive.org/stream/exercisesinmelo01goetgoog#page/n4/mode/2up

or this --- http://archive.org/details/exercisesinmelo01goetgoog

I put my copy in Kindle.

gilcarleton
03-28-2012, 10:42 AM
Try this --- http://archive.org/stream/exercisesinmelo01goetgoog#page/n4/mode/2up

or this --- http://archive.org/details/exercisesinmelo01goetgoog

I put my copy in Kindle.


Thanks, that worked. I cannot download it and print it but I can read it online. If I like it I will just order a copy.

Color of Music
07-13-2012, 03:11 AM
While some will say "You ears tell you," you also have to grasp the functional relationships.

Secondary/Applied Dominants, Chord Substitutions, Relative Chords (what's before and after). First and foremost, if scales aren't learned, best of luck! (and just the basic four to get you started)

Take your time, most importantly. Let these things come to you!

gilcarleton
07-13-2012, 12:33 PM
While some will say "You ears tell you," you also have to grasp the functional relationships.

Secondary/Applied Dominants, Chord Substitutions, Relative Chords (what's before and after). First and foremost, if scales aren't learned, best of luck! (and just the basic four to get you started)

Take your time, most importantly. Let these things come to you!

Thanks for the help. I am working on scales but pretty much have the major scale down. I am just starting a DVD on chord substitutions but I learned a few more terms from your post. Never heard of secondary/applied dominants or relative chords. I will look them up. Thanks again.

Color of Music
07-13-2012, 03:25 PM
Thanks for the help. I am working on scales but pretty much have the major scale down. I am just starting a DVD on chord substitutions but I learned a few more terms from your post. Never heard of secondary/applied dominants or relative chords. I will look them up. Thanks again.

These are from Classical Analysis, but yeah, you'll learn that later, but by relative chords:

I don't necessarily mean as in substitutions - I meant as in this:

C-F-G-C or C-Am-F-G. How does the F relate to the C and G in the first progression? How does that same chord relate to the Am and G in the second progression?

You may here it asked like this: How does the F chord function? or What is its function? Function and Relationship are interchangeable terms.

And you're welcome!