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Old 03-12-2013, 03:33 AM   #1
In-Ghost
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Major sixth instead of a chord tone

Hi,
so I came up with a melody and then started messing around with the rhytm guitar - I just recorded the melody in a loop and tried various power chord progressions under it, without really analyzing it much beforehand. I found one that I like very much for how it alters or complements the feel of the melody.
Thing is, the most prominent tone became a major sixth of the chord under it and upon playing it to my guitar teacher, he said that he thinks this tone is standing out too much for it not to be a chord tone.
So I need to determine whether I like it because my ear isn't that developed yet, or whether you think it actually works.
It's going to be a part of a melodethish song, if genre specification is of any relevance here...

Thanks a lot
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File Type: gp5 OR melody.gp5 (2.5 KB, 35 views)

Last edited by In-Ghost : 03-12-2013 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:35 AM   #2
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Where's my dictionary...brb

Nope acordic???

Do you mean he said it is too prominant in the melody to not be a chord tone?

Which would mean that in his opinion the chord underneath should contain that tone..?

And what is melodethish?? or whatever that other word was??

GuitarPro sucks man. Can you post the proper recording?

I think it sounded alright but I couldn't really listen properly for all the bleeding out of my ears.



Are you talking about the third bar - the A over the C5?
No problem there man.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:04 AM   #3
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Chances are your teacher is probably an inexperienced noob. I haven't looked at your file because I don't have Guitar Pro, but hearing a Major 6th the way you described it. I would immediately be thinking in basic terms, either a minor chord in first inversion, or a major chord in second version, depending on what else I hear.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:13 AM   #4
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uhm sorry, gonna fix those right away and thanks ("accord tone" should have been OK as well, so I wasn't that far off with this one)

And regarding the chord tone, I meant that the chord underneath should contain that tone, if it was a triad based of the same root note as the power chord is. So a third would be regarded as a chord note as well, even though it's not contained in the power chord.

melodethish - an a seems to have slipped me(even though I think I've seen it written as "melodeth" before) - supposed to be a melodeath song, but I'm not going to be obssessed with squeezing in the genre
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:43 AM   #5
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Yeah that's what I figured you meant. I know what a chord tone is bro

Honestly though I don't think it is a big deal. If you think it sounds good then that's fine. It sounded okay to me (for a GP file that is )
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:00 AM   #6
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I don't see why you should only use chord tones. That sixth just makes it a C6 and I think it's used a lot. If you wanted to change it, you could change that C chord to A. But I think it sounds good this way, you don't need to change it. I don't think that sounded dissonant at all. And if you think this chord progression feels the best, use it. It's about what sounds best to you because it's your song.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:56 PM   #7
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Based on the fact that you've got a C and G in your rhythm guitar and an A in your melody, and based also on the fact that the melody doesn't sound at all out of place, I'd say it's more likely that you're indicating an Am7 chord with no 5th in first inversion (3rd in the bass) than a C6 chord. In order for a C6 chord to make sense, you'd at least need an E in the chord to give it a third - it's much more natural to have an Am chord with the 5th (E) missing than a C6 chord with the 3rd (E) missing. Anyway, just tell your teacher it's an Am7 chord and that the A fits just fine.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:20 PM   #8
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If it resolves down to G while the C is still playing underneath, it's an appoggiatura - hitting a note a step above the chord tone, then resolving down like a suspension.

If not, it's just a major 6 chord.

The root-5 relationship is too strong ignore, so calling it an Am7 kind of ignores that the chord really doesn't achieve the minor 7 sound.

Leaving out the third isn't exactly standard practice, but it doesn't necessarily change what your ear hears as the root of a chord.

Last edited by cdgraves : 03-14-2013 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:09 PM   #9
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^ Except it doesn't resolve down to G while the C is still playing, it resolves down only after the measure ends and the D chord comes in, at which point the G it resolves to isn't a chord tone either. Not an appoggiatura. And although the root-5 relationship is strong, if there's a potential root-3 relationship to be found in the chord, that will typically trump any apparent root-5 relationship. Furthermore, the Am7 "sound" doesn't have to be brought out, it just has to keep the G chord tone from sounding out of place, which it doesn't if you play an Am7 chord. Minor 7 chords are used all the time as predominants of bVII chords, even though it doesn't sound like a Minor 7 chord in the jazzy sense. I'll admit that neither chord is wrong, but the Am7 seems to make more sense from a more traditional approach, which is what this sounds like it's going for.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:05 AM   #10
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I can't really analyze it completely without seeing or hearing the progression. Depending on the treatment, it's either a maj6 or m7.
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:27 PM   #11
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Basically a i bVI bVII i
With an A note over the bVI.
To my mind this is the simplest explanation and when multiple explanations are available and fit I prefer the .

Cmaj6 and Am7 in first inversion are enharmonic equivalents.

I don't agree that root-third trumps root-fifth in chord construction. I do not think it is at all sound enough to put forward as any kind of rule of thumb.

The perfect fifth scale degree is called dominant for a reason. It creates the most dominant sound and relationship against the tonic/root.

One could argue that when faced with enharmonic equivalents, such as the maj6 m7 relationship, that root position trumps first inversion. But even this rule is wrong.

The question isn't over what to call it; the question is does it work. In my opintion, yes it's fine.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:03 AM   #12
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Don't have GP any more... But here's something (This is not meant to be a progression):
Code:
5|--7--|--9--|--8--|--7--| 6|--5--|--5--|--5--|--3--|

By bar:
1. Notes are A and E, it's an A power chord. (major/minor not present)

2. Notes are A and F#. This is distinctly F# minor*. Why? A is a minor 3rd above F#. If you put a C# on top, you'll have a full F# minor triad.

3. Notes are A and F. This is F Major*. Same reason as above, A is a Major third above F.

4. Notes are G and E. This is E minor*. Its the same shape as #2 I just wanted to vary the first example, this time moving the bottom note down.

*These are not end-all answers. There are times #2 will be A6 and #4 will be G6. But in a functional sense, it will make much more sense to look at it as the names I suggested.

An E minor progression with these 6ths may look like:
Code:
....Em...CMaj..DMaj..BMaj. 4|--9--|--10-|--7--|--9--| 5|--7--|--7--|--5--|--6--|



Christ... After reading this thread I guess it's a question of relationship between rhythm guitar and melody. I don't know if it sits on an A over a C and G in the rythym guitar but not every note in the melody has to fit with the chords. Otherwise you'd have melodies consisting of arpeggios and would end up sounding angular and/or boring. Tension and release are what makes melodies interesting.

Also, when using roman numerals in reference to chord qualities, I think it's generally accepted that when you're talking in minor (using i instead of I) that the scale is implied. For example, saying
e: i vi VII i
Implies:
Em Cm D Em because the 6th is flatted from the parallel major, but a minor quality and in natural minor the 7th is " " " " ", but a major quality.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Of Suede
Also, when using roman numerals in reference to chord qualities, I think it's generally accepted that when you're talking in minor (using i instead of I) that the scale is implied. For example, saying
e: i vi VII i
Implies:
Em Cm D Em because the 6th is flatted from the parallel major, but a minor quality and in natural minor the 7th is " " " " ", but a major quality.

Yeah I've seen it both ways. I prefer to specifiy the roman numerals in relation to the major scale even when in a minor key. In the same way that one does so for the arabic numerals that reperesent the scale degrees.

The reason I do this is because there are times when I might not stick to the diatonic chords which can create an issue...
if you are going to assume that when the tonic is minor then VI refers to the chord built off a minor sixth root how would you represent a chord built off the major sixth root?

For example if you were in Em and VI represents C major how do you represent a C#m chord with a roman numeral?

The solution I use is to use the roman numerals in reference the major scale. So bVI always refers to the chord built on the minor sixth and VI always refers to the chord built on the major sixth scale degree.

I have seen authors use bVI and bVI and bIII in a minor key in the same way that I do. There is not a consensus either way. I just chose to use the method that made the most logical sense to me.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20Tigers
For example if you were in Em and VI represents C major how do you represent a C#m chord with a roman numeral?

I understand the rest of your post and it makes sense and it's fine.
If you're in Em and theres a C#m chord, that would suggest some sort of modulation (as C#m has a G# in it... Kinda the anti-Em =P)

So in doing a Roman Numeral analysis of something, you have to look at where the chords go and label them appropriately. For example a C#m might indicate a modulation to B Major, especially if the chord after C#m is an F#Maj.
You'd go along as:
e: i ... ... ... B: ii V I ... ... ...
(With the B bracketed) under the music

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Old 03-16-2013, 09:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Of Suede
I understand the rest of your post and it makes sense and it's fine.
If you're in Em and theres a C#m chord, that would suggest some sort of modulation (as C#m has a G# in it... Kinda the anti-Em =P)

So in doing a Roman Numeral analysis of something, you have to look at where the chords go and label them appropriately. For example a C#m might indicate a modulation to B Major, especially if the chord after C#m is an F#Maj.
You'd go along as:
e: i ... ... ... B: ii V I ... ... ...
(With the B bracketed) under the music


Not necessarily. For example if you look at Light My Fire by The Doors. The verse progression is Am - F#m. There are only two chords in the verse and it stays in one key, A minor.

Another example: Progression Am - G - F#m - F (- E). It stays in A minor all the time.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine : 03-16-2013 at 09:32 AM.
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