Welcome!
Just a few a ground rules first...

Promotion, advertising and link building is not permitted.

If you are keen to learn, get to grips with something with the willing help of one of the net's original musician forums
or possess a genuine willingness to contribute knowledge - you've come to the right place!

Register >

- Close -
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Passing tone (or note)

  1. #1
    Dream Theater Fan SolitaryShell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    México
    Posts
    50

    Question Passing tone (or note)

    Hi, I have heard of this passing tone or passing note, and I was wonder what it means and how does it work. I think I have an idea, but it'd be better if you explained it to me.
    Show me kindness, show me beauty, show me truth.

  2. #2
    Registered User metallibeast's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Singapore;Malaysia
    Posts
    181

    Re: Passing tone (or note)

    Originally posted by SolitaryShell
    Hi, I have heard of this passing tone or passing note, and I was wonder what it means and how does it work. I think I have an idea, but it'd be better if you explained it to me.
    What's up?

    Straight from the Berklee Harmony 2 workbook:

    A passing tone is an approach note which moves by scale step between two availabe pitches a third apart:

    In key of C Maj

    A G F A

    G would be the passing tone

    G F E G

    F would be the passing tone

    C D E C

    D would be the passing tone

    E D C E

    D would be the passing tone

    Traditionally a passing tone is defined as a non-chord tone which moves by step to a chord tone and is usually found on a weak beat. Note that in the above example, the more contemporary situation where the passing tone may pass between either a chord tone or tension to another chord tone or tenison.


    -Beast

  3. #3
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    6,060
    Sometimes, people also mean chromatic notes by saying "passing tones". If you i.e. wanna play C as a "target note", on the strong beat, you can approach it i.e. b playing D-C#-C ( C# being the chromatic "passing tone" )... or playing around the target note, going C#, B, C, the latter being the target note.
    Scott Henderson once showed us some cool examples of that, and he even started to play the target notes on the weak beats and the target notes on the strong ones, which sounded quite odd, a cool effect to completely turn around a melody...
    Eric

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Quebec.Ca
    Posts
    137
    and he even started to play the target notes on the weak beats and the target notes on the strong ones,
    Bonjour Eric can you tell us a little bit more about this
    I have to say that i'm confused here
    Merci
    B'Bye

  5. #5
    Dream Theater Fan SolitaryShell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    México
    Posts
    50
    metalli's information is useful indeed, but Eric nailed it!

    I would like more info about this Eric!

    The thing is I have a great melody-riff that uses C D E F G B (maybe A too, so it would be in C Major or A minor), and I am using this CHROMATIC note (G#) as "passing tone", and in order to extend my composition, I need to know which chords or how to build chords according to the riiff (that sound very related to it).

    And yes, if indeed I am in C Major or A minor, I know the chords I can use, and the notes I can add or substract, but they don't sound related to this riff I tell you I created (they sound good because they belong to the key, but again, not related).

    Did I make myself clear? I hope so.
    Please if you can, elaborate on this.
    Show me kindness, show me beauty, show me truth.

  6. #6
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    6,060
    Ok, some musical examples to explain this approach a bit clearer.

    Below, you can see a few musical examples in TAB, and in the next post, I´ll attach the Powertab, so everyone who has the program can hear the examples...

    In the first 8 measures, you can see different ways to embellish a note ( "target note", in our case it is C ) with chromatic notes... I´d call them the passing tones in this case. Note that the C always ends up on a strong beat, so it´s kinda emphasized.

    In the next three measures, we take this a step further ( or even make it clearer ) by taking the notes of a C Maj arp ( C-E-G ). Those are our target notes, and we embellish them with "passing tones"... you could call it "adding some spice. It´s just a nice way to change a rather simple line...

    And in the 5 remaining measures, we see
    1.) a melody with the target note ( C ) on the STRONG beat, and
    2. ) The same melody, with the target notes on the WEAK beats... by moving the line back and thereby having the passing tones on the strong beats, we have changed the sound, emphasis and character of the melody quite a bit.

    Hope this helps you to understand the approach
    Warm regards
    Eric
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    6,060

    And here´s the...

    ptb-file for the examples above
    Hope this helps
    Eric
    Attached Files Attached Files

  8. #8
    Dream Theater Fan SolitaryShell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    México
    Posts
    50
    Thanks Eric.
    Show me kindness, show me beauty, show me truth.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    17
    So it's ok to use non diatonic notes, non chromatically, while writing a melody?

  10. #10
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    6,060
    It definitely is !!!
    Why shouldn´t be ? Music theory ( like i.e. modes etc. ) are a tool you can use, but it´s not a set of rules that you have to go by.
    If you like the sound of using chromatic passing tones while playing in a certain key, there´s no rule saying you can´t do that.
    It´s a great way to add some "spice" to your melodies, or create some tension.
    Lots of guys use those kinda things... Morse, Petrucci, Gilbert, Henderson, Timmons, Shawn Lane...
    Fretboard patterns and scale formulas can help you to create music, and transfer the sounds in your head to the guitar, but they shouldn´t be a limitation...
    Eric

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    17
    Thanks, Eric. This thread alone (much like many other threads and the articles) has been an enlightening and expansive experience

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •