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Thread: Chords that work in a given key

  1. #16
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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=NehOx...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.
    Code:
    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.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 01-13-2012 at 05:40 AM.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
    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=NehOx...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.
    Code:
    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

  3. #18
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    New question

    Quote Originally Posted by walternewton View Post
    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) 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/Pousa...432541?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/lessonsa...leoffifths.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

  4. #19
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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:Ci...s_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.

    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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!
    Last edited by walternewton; 02-13-2012 at 12:35 AM.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    http://musiced.about.com/od/lessonsa...leoffifths.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
    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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.

  6. #21
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    Triads and scales

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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.

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    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

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    [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
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    [QUOTE=gilcarleton;149490]
    Quote Originally Posted by walternewton View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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.

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    [QUOTE=JonR;149493]
    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post

    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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]
    Last edited by JonR; 02-15-2012 at 12:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gilcarleton View Post
    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)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by walternewton View Post
    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

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    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.

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