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-   -   relative keys + chord progressions that don't begin with I (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1571871)

kthxbi 11-07-2012 05:49 PM

relative keys + chord progressions that don't begin with I
 
hi there, first off - sorry if this is the wrong place. haven't been active on UG in a long long time.
also, if it comes across as rushed, sorry, i'm meant to be meeting someone... 15 minutes ago.
so!

i've got a tune i've been working on - and one thing which gets me 9 times out of 10 is i'll come up with an idea or two - say verse chords and lyrics and melody, and then am unable to transition it into another part. in this instance, i've got verse and chorus chords, and an outtro, but no way to transition between the two.
now my theory is rusty so bear with me.
the song itself is in Am - verse and chorus chords (shared) are Am, G, F#m, F. that's all fine. the outtro is either in Am or is in Cmaj (relative major) - this i'm not sure on but i don't know if it's particularly important either. the outtro chords are C, G, Am, F, finishing on an Am after 4 repeats of that.

now tell me! please! what kind of tricks do you guys do to - either to transition between relative minor and major, or to move into a chord progression which is in the same key but does not start on the I chord?

thanks a lot,
f

food1010 11-07-2012 05:57 PM

I hate to say it, but there's not really a specific trick to doing it. Learn a bunch of songs and look at how they do it. It's all about being able to hear where you want to go, and learning songs (especially by ear) will really help you do this.

As for transitioning to a chord other than the tonic, you could always try a secondary dominant. For example, if you are in C major and want to start the next section in A minor, you could use an E or E7 to transition. The G# from this chord is an accidental that acts as a leading tone to A minor. The effect this has is that it gives the Am chord a sense of resolution.

Sleepy__Head 11-08-2012 04:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by food1010
I hate to say it, but there's not really a specific trick to doing it. Learn a bunch of songs and look at how they do it.


This.

Learn.
Imitate.
Innovate.

In that order.

MaggaraMarine 11-08-2012 05:47 AM

If they are just chord progressions, you need to write some melodies or riffs. OK, you've got the melody, now write some riffs/the instrumental part. Sometimes two parts just don't go together. But I don't think it's only about chords because Am -> C is pretty usual key change. You need something else than just chords. If the parts have different feelings, they might not fit the same song. Try to write the rhythm part. Also that A G F# F thing is pretty usual, you could end it with an E major chord. But writing the background part (drums, guitar, bass, piano if you need it etc.) helps. For the background part you could try using the same rhythm throughout the song or some repeating thing that connects all the parts in the song. (For example sometimes there's only one bass riff and everything is built over it or one rhythm repeated throughout the song like in "Mr. Brownstone" by Guns N' Roses.)

To connect two parts you might need a chord (like E major) or drum fill or something. Sometimes two chord progressions just go together so well that you don't need anything between them.

Hail 11-08-2012 06:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy__Head
This.

Learn.
Imitate.
Innovate.

In that order.


excuse me, it's listen, learn, apply

don't be rippin on my mantra, slut

Sleepy__Head 11-08-2012 06:19 AM

Ah, but listen, learn, apply doesn't work if you read a book on theory. You'd have to read the words, then play the examples and listen to them as you play them (or - if you have the ability the reading would go hand-in-hand with reading the examples)

You'd have to modify that to be:

Read
Play & Listen
Learn
Apply

Or

Read & Hear the sounds in your head
Learn
Apply.

Behold! I destroy your mantra with logic! Har! Har! Har!

Hail 11-08-2012 06:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy__Head
Ah, but listen, learn, apply doesn't work if you read a book on theory. You'd have to read the words, then play the examples and listen to them as you play them (or - if you have the ability the reading would go hand-in-hand with reading the examples)

You'd have to modify that to be:

Read
Play & Listen
Learn
Apply

Or

Read & Hear the sounds in your head
Learn
Apply.

Behold! I destroy your mantra with logic! Har! Har! Har!


do i need to write a wikihow on how to read a music theory textbook to mock you on the internet cause you don't seem to realize how dedicated i am to these micro-squabbles on MT

Sleepy__Head 11-08-2012 06:39 AM

Yes. That is my requirement. You will write said wikihow. Then it will be brought to me, and placed at my feet.

kbakken 11-10-2012 06:22 AM

am7, dm9, fsus-gsus, cmaj

HotspurJr 11-10-2012 03:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kthxbi
the song itself is in Am - verse and chorus chords (shared) are Am, G, F#m, F. that's all fine. the outtro is either in Am or is in Cmaj (relative major) - this i'm not sure on but i don't know if it's particularly important either. the outtro chords are C, G, Am, F, finishing on an Am after 4 repeats of that.


Yes, it matters if its in Am or C major. They are different keys.

I think part of the problem is just that you're sort of throwing chord progressions together without any sort of cohesive organizing plan. A song is about a journey - the individual parts come together to the whole.

As a rule of thumb, let the melody be your guide. If you don't have a melody, that's your problem. Figure out the melody, and see where the melody wants to take you. You don't create songs by intellectually sticking different pieces together like legos - you follow them melody, the idea of the song.


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