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Old 05-07-2013, 08:01 AM   #1
20Tigers
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1 7 ♭7 6 ♭6 5 ...

A chromatic descending line. It is one of the most simple musical concepts and yet can be the basis for some very beautiful music.

Two of the most celebrated intros in rock guitar use a chromatic descending bassline.

Stairway to Heaven
Code:
e----------5--7--------7-8--------8--2--------2-0---------0- b-------5--------5----------5-----------3---------1-----1--- g----5--------------5----------5-----------2---------2------ d-7-----------6----------5-----------4----------3----------- a----------------------------------------------------------- e-----------------------------------------------------------


Hotel California
Code:
(Capo 7) e|-----------0-------|-------2-----------|-------0-----------|-----------0-------| B|-------0-----------|-----0---2-4-------|-----3-----3-------|-------0-----------| G|-----0---0-----0-2-|---2---------------|---2-----2----2----|-----0---0---------| D|---2---------------|-1-----------------|-0-----------------|---2---------------| A|-------------------|-------------------|-------------------|-4-----------------| E|-0-----------------|-------------------|-------------------|-------------------| e|-----------0---------|-------3----------|-----------0------------|-----------2-| B|-------1-------------|-----0-----0------|-------1----------------|-------0-----| G|-----0---0---------0-|---0-----0--------|-----0---0--------------|---0-2---2---| D|---2---------2-0h2---|------------------|---2--------------------|-------------| A|-3-------------------|-2----------------|-0----------------------|-2-----------| E|---------------------|---------------3--|--------------0---------|-------------|


I'm looking for any other good examples if you have them.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:24 AM   #2
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This musical device actually has a wiki article devoted to itself
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:42 AM   #3
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My Funny Valentine has a C pedal tone that plays under a moving partial bass (as i like to call it since it functions melodically) with chord voicings of C maj 7, C min 7 C6 and Ab maj first inversion.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:33 AM   #4
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:50 AM   #5
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:22 PM   #6
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Half of power metal bands use it at some point
Kvelertak - Fossegrim (bridge)
Leverage - Rider Of Storm (verse)
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:32 PM   #7
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It's really not a bassline but yeah, it's basically the same. The chord tones form this kind of chromatic line (E-D#-D-C#-C-B-A#-A).
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:08 PM   #8
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Over-used in my opinion, hurts my ears.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:59 PM   #9
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very tasteful descending line
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:10 PM   #10
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20Tigers
A chromatic descending line. It is one of the most simple musical concepts and yet can be the basis for some very beautiful music.

I'm looking for any other good examples if you have them.


Something by The Beatles

Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen; has some parts during the solo
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:47 AM   #12
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Awesome, thanks guys. A nice range of results and some really nice examples there and just the kind of responses I was hoping to get.



Quote:
Originally Posted by griffRG7321
Over-used in my opinion, hurts my ears.

Most music is built around recycled ideas that are used again and again. Some of those ideas are very effective and can be used as a foundation upon which more elaborate musical structures are built. While I understand that poor execution of such common concepts can result in stale or cliché sounding music, it worries me that you would take offense at an effective musical device rather than the inability to make the proven idea sound fresh an interesting.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:42 PM   #13
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Hotel California is hard. I never learned to fingerpick, but even the chords shapes are weird, and compressed so far up the neck. It would take a long time to get that sounding fluid.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingSomethin
Hotel California is hard. I never learned to fingerpick, but even the chords shapes are weird, and compressed so far up the neck. It would take a long time to get that sounding fluid.


you never learned how to play barre chords?
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:36 PM   #15
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It doesn't take too long. I don't use a capo though, I barre the seventh.

{edit} - too slow
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:23 PM   #16
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The very beginning has a 1-b3-2-b2-1 motion in the big guitar-ish synth.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nietsche
This musical device actually has a wiki article devoted to itself

You sure that's the right article there? That looks like moving down the chords of a diatonic scale one by one to me, not going full chromatic on it.
Disregard that, I can't read. Sleep dep; not even once.

I guess I'll try and make a contribution as compensation for my affront, not quite what you're looking for but if you're looking for inspiration walking basslines that are found all over jazz and blues often have pedalled chromatic walks in there. For example to move from C to G you could pedal C in eigths while chromatically walking from E up to G in between them; with a bit of experimentation you can do a similar thing (moving up whole tones is fun too) to get to pretty much anywhere you want to be. Same idea applies walking down, you can also get fancier by walking your pedal along something that isn't chromatic, say the major scale; that one gives you a far tenser, creepy effect if my memory recalls- haven't checked since I can't be noisy in the library. Or doing two separate walks, one up and one down. It can be horrid to play but it makes for a really fresh plaything.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingSomethin
Hotel California is hard. I never learned to fingerpick, but even the chords shapes are weird, and compressed so far up the neck. It would take a long time to get that sounding fluid.

What?!


It takes practice, sure. But it's not hard.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:45 PM   #19
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Nick Drake - Day is done
Led Zeppelin - Babe I'm gonna leave you
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Radiohead - Exit music (for a film)
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:53 AM   #20
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Tommy Emmanuel has a lot of interesting Bass voice leading in his playing, and a lot of chromatic nuances.
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