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Thread: Augmented Voice Leading

  1. #1
    Fritz Gitboxer's Avatar
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    Augmented Voice Leading

    I've been messing around with this thing they call "voice leading" and I ran upon something. Is it common to lead an augmented iii back into the tonic? I was messing with it and it sounds okay, but I've rarely seen it in songs or articles on chord progressions. Another question that's bugged me- I know when people play a "Blues riff in G" the first chord is more than likely G7, and the mixolydian or pentatonic blues are used, something I do quite often, but why is it in G? If you rock the pentatonic, the minor 3rd in there should make it in Bb, am I wrong? Hit me up with knowledge.
    "I'm throwing rocks tonight"-Donny

  2. #2
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitboxer
    I've been messing around with this thing they call "voice leading" and I ran upon something. Is it common to lead an augmented iii back into the tonic? I was messing with it and it sounds okay, but I've rarely seen it in songs or articles on chord progressions.
    It's probably not common because many people don't know how to use much less play augmented chords on guitar.

    But if it sounds good to you, then yeah, go ahead and do it. The nice thing about paying attention to voice leading is you can create all sorts of unusual and uncommon chord progressions that work really well.

    Another question that's bugged me- I know when people play a "Blues riff in G" the first chord is more than likely G7, and the mixolydian or pentatonic blues are used, something I do quite often, but why is it in G? If you rock the pentatonic, the minor 3rd in there should make it in Bb, am I wrong? Hit me up with knowledge.
    A blues is (sort of) an example of modal music. The only reason why I'd call it modal is because the tonic chord isn't the I of a major or minor key, like you already stated.

    The tonic is still G, albeit G7, so it's still 'in G,' if only for the fact the home chord is a G chord. It's not in the key of G major because of the dominant quality of the chord, but it's 'sort of' in G.


    As for the Bb issue... Dominant 7th chords are inherantly unstable chord. The dominant 7th chord is a chord of tension, so you can get away with dissonant sounding notes a lot more easily than on other chord types.

    Another way of looking at it is to respell the note as an A#, making it a #9, which is a common alteration to make to a dominant chord. G7#9, while much more tense, is still a usuable dominant 7th sound.

    (In case you don't know what G7#9 is, try this voicing - low to high strings: x-10-9-10-11-x)
    Last edited by Poparad; 03-04-2005 at 05:49 AM.

  3. #3
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    Alright, your first question is really gonna depend on what mode you're in.

    If you're dealing with regular major the augmented 3rd or #3 is just the 4th and would normally voice lead to the 3rd. Now if it's minor it would be normally seen as a natural 3rd and would normally voice lead to the flatted 3rd. If you're in lydian or lydian dominant where there's a #4, it would normally be seen as the natural 4th and would still voice lead to the natural 3rd. The one scale degree that voice leads a large'ish interval to the root is the #9 or b10 (depending no how picky you want to get - #'s resolve up, b's resolve down)

    Maybe you should be a little more specific with the situation you are talking about...of course you can go anywhere you want to with a note, but generally thirds aren't thought of as augmented...unless I'm missing something here...they are usually b3rds, natural 3rds and natural 4ths. But all this depends on how picky you want to get. Theoretically a # means it resolves upwards, so I suppose if you are playing in Bb lydian dominant moving to C major and you take a D# up to an E which resolves to the C major chord it could be seen as an augmented 3rd going to a 4th...but that would be getting REALLY specific and something leads me to believe that is not what you were getting at.

    As for the blues...question.

    You may know that anything can be played over a dominant chord, so that's the simple answer...but....It really depends on what "kind" of blues you're talking about. A stricktly I-IV-V blues is going to lend itself to a very rock oriented sound and our ears are just trained to accept both kinds of 3rds. The b3rd to 1 is one of the most common resolutions in rock. Whereas if you start substituting stuff for more of a jazz blues (and there are limitless possibilities for substitutions in blues) you are going to have to be a bit more careful and use your ears to see if you should approach it with just mixolydian, or if you can use both.

    Hope this helped and didn't add to the confusion.

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    hmm...maybe i just read your post wrong.

    If you're talking about a III#5 then it would be just an irregular resolution...Because it normally resolves to the VI.

    And now that I think about it: E7#5 (E, G#, C, D) is just a C9#5. So it's like going I7 - I. If it works to you then it works.

    I suppose I just rambled out a long post for no reason.

    Ah well.
    Last edited by silent-storm; 03-04-2005 at 04:22 AM.

  5. #5
    Detroit VidKid's Avatar
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    I'll try to answer yur first question and welcome to IBM.

    Assumption: Key of C
    I tend to think that the proper resolution of a III+ (E G# B#) is to a subdominant IV.(FAC). U might label chord as C+/E, Eaug, E7#5, E7alt chord. It's really just an inversion of a tonic C augmented (raised 5th) chord in 1st inversion. The E note will resolve upward a 1/2 step to the Root, F. The G# resolves to the A and the B# is already a C note. (FAC-IV).

    Whenever you raise the 5th of a tonic chord, the normal resolution is usually to the IV, either in major or minor key. This progressions occurs in jazz blues quite often.

    Hope this info might be insightful,
    VK

  6. #6
    Fritz Gitboxer's Avatar
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    I'm a bit confused. If the key is C, wouldn't the III+ be spelled (E G B#)? I'm not sure where the G# came from, if you could explain that'd be great. Also, when you are looking to "voice lead", is it common to lead all the notes back up a half-step, for example you said (E G# B#) to (F A C). My reasoning for leading the III+ into the tonic was the #5 leads nicely back to the root- in my case it was C+(C E G#) to Am (A C E). Last question- when you invert an augmented chord, does the name change? I guess this is true due to what you said about Ealt, C+/E, etc.

    Thanks for the help,
    Fritz
    "I'm throwing rocks tonight"-Donny

  7. #7
    Latin Wedding Band Los Boleros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitboxer
    I've been messing around with this thing they call "voice leading" and I ran upon something. Is it common to lead an augmented iii back into the tonic? .
    Boy, alot of interpretations on this question. It seems to me that you are reffering to the third minor chord of a major key. In the key of C, the iii is Em chord. A minor chord cannot be augmented because it just becomes an inversion of another major chord. Take Em (E,G,B)and raise the fifth to (E,G,C) and you get a C major chord.

  8. #8
    Latin Wedding Band Los Boleros's Avatar
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    A more common use of an aug. chord is to augment the fifth note of the fifth chord in a major scale just before resolving back into the tonic chord. example:


    |G///|Gaug///|C///|///|

    What happens here is that the D# from the Gaug, is a leading tone to the E note of the C major chord. This is used alot in folk, Christmas tunes, beatles tunes, pop, etc.

  9. #9
    Latin Wedding Band Los Boleros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VidKid
    Whenever you raise the 5th of a tonic chord, the normal resolution is usually to the IV, either in major or minor key. This progressions occurs in jazz blues quite often.
    In my aug. example, this is what is happening. even though the aug is not the tonic chord, the next chord is a fourth up.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitboxer
    I'm a bit confused. If the key is C, wouldn't the III+ be spelled (E G B#)? I'm not sure where the G# came from, if you could explain that'd be great. Also, when you are looking to "voice lead", is it common to lead all the notes back up a half-step, for example you said (E G# B#) to (F A C). My reasoning for leading the III+ into the tonic was the #5 leads nicely back to the root- in my case it was C+(C E G#) to Am (A C E). Last question- when you invert an augmented chord, does the name change? I guess this is true due to what you said about Ealt, C+/E, etc.

    Thanks for the help,
    Fritz
    E,G and B#(known sometimes as C) doesn't spell an augmented triad - it's a C Major triad in 1st inversion. An augmented chord needs a Major 3rd - in this case G#.

  11. #11
    Detroit VidKid's Avatar
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    Good questions. I was assuming III+ to be a major, not minor chord (iii+) Normally, an altered III chord will be Major chord.

    Los Boleros explained the augmented resolution well. Normally, a tonic augmented chord will resolve directly to the IV | I | I+ | IV | or used in passing to a I6 chord | I | I+ | I6 | I7 | IV | C C+ C6 C7 ->F. In this example, the C+ would resolve back to a I chord, but with the added 6th tone (A).

    You also see a I+ used in 1st inversion (E+). Try playing a C+ and then an E+, they should sound somewhat the same. It depends on how you analyze the movement of the E+. You are correct in thinking that the E+ can resolve to an Am chord. It will function as a secondary dominant to the vi ( V7/Vi - Vi )-
    C E+ Am. (If you think about it, an Am is almost a C6) If you want to resolve to Am, name the chord E+ (III+). If you want to resolve to F, then you might want to name the chord C+/E (I+) instead of E+.

    To get more chord movement, inversions help the bass line to resolve more smoothly. In this example, the bass note E can either resolve upward a 1/2 step to the F or downward a P5 to the A (cycle V). Both of these resolutions are typical.

    On altered dominant chords, you normally resolve the altered note(s) to the nearest chord tone of the next chord. They can resolve either up or down and usually by a 1/2 step, but not always. All you are doing is adding tension which needs to be resolved.
    Basic chord resolution examples:
    C7->F The Bb (b7) in the C7 will resolve downward to the 3rd-A, of the F chord.
    G7#5->C The F (b7) in the G7 resolves downward to the 3rd-E and the #5(D#) resolves upward to the 3rd
    G7b5->C The Db(b5) resolves downward to the root-C or upward to a Cma9 and the note would be D.
    G7#5b9->C The Ab(b9) resolves downward to the 5th-G and the D#(#5) resolves upward to the 3rd-E. Now you have contrary motion within the resolution.

    Also, you can use altered tones in "passing" and still stay on the basic chord to create simple chromatic passages within.
    Common examples:
    Am AmMa7 Am7 Am6
    Em Em#5 Em6
    D D+ D6 D7

    It seems everybody has a valid viewpoint to this chord.(LOL) Basic Harmony books will explain basic progressions and their resolutions in detail much better than the brief examples given.

    VidKid
    Last edited by VidKid; 03-04-2005 at 07:44 PM.

  12. #12
    Registered User underfaced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitboxer
    I've been messing around with this thing they call "voice leading" and I ran upon something. Is it common to lead an augmented iii back into the tonic? I was messing with it and it sounds okay, but I've rarely seen it in songs or articles on chord progressions. Another question that's bugged me- I know when people play a "Blues riff in G" the first chord is more than likely G7, and the mixolydian or pentatonic blues are used, something I do quite often, but why is it in G? If you rock the pentatonic, the minor 3rd in there should make it in Bb, am I wrong? Hit me up with knowledge.
    With classical theory its a rule not to use augmented chords...and whenever you use the tonic you always resolve it. That could be why you don't see it much....

  13. #13
    La vie carnivalesque salsainglesa's Avatar
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    an augmented triad is a symetrical chord, so, whenever you have one, and you rise ANY of its notes a half step, then the note you rised is the root of a minor chord.
    If you lower any note a half step, then that note becomes the 5th of a major chord

    for example:

    C E G#
    lets rise the C...
    C# E G#
    its a C#min
    now the E
    E# G# and B# (wich is the same note as C)
    now the G#
    (G##) A C E

    now, an example lowering the notes

    C E G#
    lowering G#
    C E G
    lowering E
    Ab - C - Eb
    lowering C
    E G# B

    so, it is mostly a passing chord, in chase you use it as a dominant chord, you have the augmented 5th tension., but then you need to add the 7th

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