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Bongo Boy
07-25-2002, 08:38 PM
So I've got the mechanics of the cycles of 4ths and 5ths--I can apply the Rules to create all the major scales. But my book says these cycles are huge when it comes to using chords. I'm not getting the significance.

I'm confused by talk of I-V chord movements in the same context of talk about similar chords played in adjacent keys (adjacent in the cycle). The idea of an I-V progression in Gmaj makes sense, and the idea that playing between C-G-D because C and D chords are 'harmonically related' to Gmaj chords (sort of) makes sense because they are both a P5 away from G (in some bizarre sense).

But, I'm not seeing any Big Connection here--my reading suggests this is all astoundingly significant. I assume the significance is greater than just similar, guitar-specific fingerboard patterns.

Bongo Boy Falls Down.

The Bash
07-25-2002, 10:01 PM
Well it depends on how you look at it. Thereís more to it than what Iím gonna tell you, but Iíll let someone far more qualified than me explain it.
But hereís a thought:
First when moving up through a circle 5 Progression each key is identical expect we add one sharp (we # the 7th of the new key)
Ex. C Major Spells C D E F G A B C
Now go up 5 notes to the 5th (which is G)
Think G A B C D E F G then # the 7th (which is F)
So G Major is G A B C D E F# G
Now go up a 5th to D and maintain all previous #ís
Think D E F# (remember maintain all previous sharps) G A B C D
Now # the 7th (C)
So D Major is D E F# G A B C# D
Just continue in this fashion around the circle of 5ths (this may seem redundant, but it helps make a connection)

The main point of all this is each scale is Identical to the previous one Except it contains one different note (the 7th of the new key).

You can apply this thought in several ways, here's a simple one.

Pick a spot (say 8th fret 6th string C) and play a C major scale. (you might want to keep it to just one octave to start with). Now play C Major several times then, Without changing positions Play a G Major Scale.
IMPORTANT: Do Not Change Postions, Do Not Attempt to start on G just start on that ole C note again only this time Sharp all your Fís
Ok: Now you got a G Major Scale (which is also a C Lydian Scale note wise) but lets just call it G Major for Now. (Thereís major overlap, every Major Scale contains all 7 modes.
Just continue this through the circle of 5thís altering the 7th of the new key.

Well thatís just one of many ways to work that out, somebody can dig far deeper than I into this. But this is and easy way to practice the stuff.
And yes this can take several lifetimes to master (if thatís possible).
And Yes this winds up sounding more like a exercise than music, but this is and exercise and not music.
What will you get once you can whip through the Circle of 5ths in one postion in this manner: Nothing more than the abilty to whip through the circle of 5ths in this manner.
Depressing? No, eventually this way of thinking winds up filtering down into your playing. When you watch any great player play there not thinking, there spewing forth all the things they filtered down into there systems.

Anyway you can apply all this to the circle of 4ths as well (Again only one note changes Between a C Major Scale and a F Major scale. This time your flatting the 7th B to Bb of the old scale (C Major) or Flatting the 4th of the new scale B to Bb (F Major) depending on how you want to look at it.

Again Iím no Expert. Iím a Primarily a Rock Player (Iíve dabbled in Jazz in college) and coming from Rock Player Land I have a very simple way of looking at jazz concepts, which might be helpful to the beginner.

Oh Yea, Do all that in every position as well. Remember take your time Donít rush through it. It Takes time so take it. You can still play music while filling your head with knowledge.

All This stuff is Huge with chords, progressions etc as well but Iíll let someone who knows what there really doing tackle that.

NP-Yes (Close to the Edge)

MAttButler
07-26-2002, 12:49 AM
The significance is that western music is based on the gravitational pull between the V and I chords (the feeling of 'resolve' that happens when moving from V to I).

V - Active (needing to resolve). I - Resting (resolved). The cycle of 4ths and 5ths are movements to and from these two states : Cmaj to Gmaj(dom7) (a root movement of a 5th) is moving from 'resting' (C) to 'active' (G) in the key of C major. C to F is moving from V (active) to I (resting) in the key of F major.

This is not to say that these are the only tension/release vehicles that there are. The fact that a dominant chord is a self-contained tension (meaning it doesn't need a context to give a feeling of unrest) means that it can resolve to any consonant sound. Some of these resolutions will be easier to digest than others. I am in the process of writing an article called "Harmonic Shock-Absorbers" (or something like that) that should explain more of this.

Bongo Boy
07-26-2002, 01:50 AM
Originally posted by MAttButler
Cmaj to Gmaj(dom7) (a root movement of a 5th) is moving from 'resting' (C) to 'active' (G) in the key of C major. C to F is moving from V (active) to I (resting) in the key of F major.

You've succeeded in crystalizing what's making my brain hurt!

I'm having trouble with the association of chords with keys. You interestingly selected Gmaj7 instead of just Gmaj. My point: because I lack understanding, saying that you're moving "from Cmaj to Gmaj in the key of C" makes sense--all the notes in both chords are C major scale tones.

But to move "from Cmaj to Gmaj7 in the key of C" is hard for me--the 7th (F#) is NOT a C major scale tone and I want to think that you've CHANGED KEYS to G major. I guess I'm saying there IS no Gmaj7 "in the key of C". Am I wrong?

On top of all this, I don't understand why the movement of the root, in particular, carries any significance. I'm lost.

Everyone is probably scratching their heads wondering what is wrong with Bongo Boy's brain.

MAttButler
07-26-2002, 02:01 AM
It's cool... Don't sweat it. I studied this stuff for a LONG time and didn't get it. Then I woke up one morning and just understood it all. Just like that. The same will happen for you.

I was refering to G7 (G B D F - not F#) which is the V chord in the key of C major. When this movement happens, the 7th of the G7 chord (F natural) moves one half step down to the 3rd of the C major triad which is E natural and the third, B, moves up one half step to the new root, C. (they can both do the exact opposite and resolve cleanly in the other direction to a new key, but we'll get to that later)

The significance of the movement of the root is that it is the point of reference that all else (harmonic) is drawing its context from. You can watch the third, for instance, but you won't be able to 'name' the chord in its most basic state until you locate and acknowledge the root.

I hope this helps, but feel free to ask more questions if you are stuck.

Bongo Boy
07-26-2002, 03:37 AM
Some things just weren't meant to be communicated via text--this would be one of them.

The G7 vs Gmaj7 is totally clear--I'm very, very happy that you made a little error, otherwise you'd have thrown my entire world into chaos--it's a fragile thing right now.

But, what I THINK you've explained is what a I-V (or V-I) movement looks like, chord-wise, on C major. That part actually wasn't a problem. The problem is that, in a discussion of the cycle of keys, my book implies some mysterious and special connection between such a chord movement, and the cyclically-adjacent (!) keys of G and D.

I have a book that is visually wonderful, but nearly every narrative statement mystifies me--it's unintelligible. Here finally is a quote from "The Complete Guitarist":

"The cycle of keys is an ideal aid to the development of chord technique and movement. Any chord type can be played in every key with all twelve root notes...Chords frequently move in fourths or fifths: one of the most commonly used groups is C, G and D major, when playing the key of G. The chords C, G and D are related harmonically and can be found on either side of G in the cycle of keys. By playing around the cycle, each chord is placed next to its related chords an interval of a fourth or fifth away. Acquiring the technique of moving from any chord to an adjacent shape on the cycle of keys is important for playing all types of music."

Yes, the Cmaj and Dmaj chords ARE found on either side of G in the cycle of keys--BY DEFINITION for heaven's sake. So what?

MAttButler
07-26-2002, 03:50 AM
I didn't make an error. If you reread the post it says "Cmaj to Gmaj(dom7)"... notice the "dom7" in parans - that means Dominant 7 chord. I only point this out because I may do it again in future posts and I don't want to confuse you.

The book of yours is refering to the I (G), IV (C), and V (D) chords in the key of G. These are significant because they are the major triads/chords in the key, all of the other triads/chords in the major key are minor or diminshed. Why is this important? Because the major triad/chord is the strongest consonant shape. It is also interesting to note that the I-IV-V progression is the basis for many, many songs in the western songbook. What we generally know as 'blues' is based on this progression (although 'the blues' has hardened into something that it wasn't originally, but thats something else altogether).

Bongo Boy
07-26-2002, 04:08 AM
Okay...I'm not getting anywhere so I'm going to study a little more (a LOT more, it looks like) :D. But let me make sure I at LEAST understand a couple of basics---the following are assumptions/questions:

Gmaj(dom7) is also written Gmaj7.
Gmaj7 is NOT G7.
G7 is a C major scale tone chord..
Gmaj7 is NOT a C major scale tone chord.

Have I dorked-up?

MAttButler
07-26-2002, 04:25 AM
Most of the time what I wrote as Gmaj(dom7) is written G7. Gmaj was refering to the G major triad (G-B-D) I added the "dom 7" to indicate that it could be the full 4 note chord instead of just the triad. 'Optional', in other words.

1. Gmaj(dom7) is more commonly written G7 - see above
2. Gmaj7 is NOT G7 - correct
3. G7 is the V chord of C major
4. Gmaj7 is NOT a C major scale tone chord - correct...
5. BUT Cmaj7 is a chord diatonic to G major... It's the IV chord... just messin' with ya... :) - it's true though...

Bongo Boy
07-26-2002, 04:35 AM
...yeah I can't believe you'd mess with me under these circumstances!!! I definitely have a notational convention review I need to do when I get home. Thanks for the patience.

One big thing I was missing until seconds ago, and the reason the book is relating I-V with movement between keys is the idea that (at lease if restricted to major triads), the V of one key is the I of the next key in the cycle (assuming you go in the "right" direction). For whatever reason, I was missing this idea. It's STILL a big "so what" for me, but I'll get there eventually.

A second thing I was missing: the author is trying to get the idea across (in his own weird way) that you can move between the major chords using just two fingerboard patterns--again, I'm thinking this is only true when restricted to major triads.

Thanks again--too bad you can't beat me with a Nerf bat.

MAttButler
07-26-2002, 05:56 AM
Any time, man! :)

Bongo Boy
07-26-2002, 06:05 AM
...and part of my problem with your dom7 was that the definition bit me in the butt, as I knew it would when I first saw it a few weeks ago (major triad + m7, NOT major triad + M7).

So I got THAT goin' for me now.

szulc
07-27-2002, 01:29 PM
"The cycle of keys is an ideal aid to the development of chord technique and movement. Any chord type can be played in every key with all twelve root notes...Chords frequently move in fourths or fifths: one of the most commonly used groups is C, G and D major, when playing the key of G. The chords C, G and D are related harmonically and can be found on either side of G in the cycle of keys. By playing around the cycle, each chord is placed next to its related chords an interval of a fourth or fifth away. Acquiring the technique of moving from any chord to an adjacent shape on the cycle of keys is important for playing all types of music."

The point of what is really being said here seems to be missed, CHORD ROOT MOVEMENT OCCURS MOST OFTEN (in western music) IN FOURTHS AND FIFTHS. The significance being learning chords in common root movements will make the changes easier when you are learning songs or playing from charts. The added benefit is the way of thinking about related keys will improve your improvising over "standards". Most "standards" use ii V and ii V I changes frequently. If you will notice these are cycle 4 changes, in this case diatonic ( in the same key, count down 4 from ii and get V count down 4 from V and get I). Learning Diatonic cycles (Cm7 F7 Bb6) are just as important as non-diatonic cycle changes ( C7 F7 Bb7 etc...) as you will encounter both types of these in western music. It is also important to notice that by skipping a key (or more) in the cycle you can cycle to any other root. This can give insight as to the accidentals needed to move from any key to any other key reguardless of any reference. In other words start with any major scale and flat the 7th and 3rd the new root is b7, or b6 also , now the new root is the b3.