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Old 04-27-2013, 10:50 AM   #1
superjack
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Theory beginner

Hey all,

I started out learning music theory for about a month ago and i have some unanswered questions...

Hope someone wont mind helping me out a bit.

So il try to be short. I learned playing in keys means concrete all players in the band are using chords/notes from the same scale. I know this doesnt always has to be and for example the melodie can be played with in other scales, right?

I also don't know if the chord progression has to be the same for every player in the band? Can everyone just start playing random notes or chords as long they are from the same scale? Also this will be dumb, but are "scales" and "keys" synonyms? Somethimes i get confused about this.

I also learned about the roman letters I, IV, VI etc. in C major this would be C, F, G if im not mistaking. I guess these are called progressions or patterns? I know how to apply them on other keys and stuff, but is there a rule for these patterns or a formula? Or are these roman letters just denominations? And there just isnt a rule for how to play chords in which order? Players just found out that playing in this order is a good progression and they just wrote it down like this?

Basically, should i grab my guitar start playing all chords from a scale and try finding out what are good progressions or do i have to memorize some patterns first based on western music theory?

I hope im making myself a bit clear

Kind regards, Kevin.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:08 PM   #2
sickman411
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superjack
I learned playing in keys means concrete all players in the band are using chords/notes from the same scale. I know this doesnt always has to be and for example the melodie can be played with in other scales, right?

Sort of. Generally speaking, the key indicates the chord to which the music resolves (i.e. where it "feels at home").
And it's definitely got nothing to do with concrete

For each note, there is a major and a minor key. The notes from the major and minor scales tend to sound more "natural" when used in the context of their respective keys, although you can use all the 12 notes.

Also, the key of a piece of music can change throughout it. This is called a modulation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by superjack
I also don't know if the chord progression has to be the same for every player in the band? Can everyone just start playing random notes or chords as long they are from the same scale?

Notes from different instruments don't exist "independently" of each other. There isn't, say "the guitar's chord progression" or "the keyboard's chord progression", there's just "the chord progression".

If different instruments play different chords, they will overlap and be heard as a chord made up of all the notes. For instance, if one instrument plays Am (whose notes are A, C and E) and another instrument plays Dm (D, F and A) at the same time, this will be heard as a Dm9 (which is a chord made up of D, F, A, C and E).

Quote:
Originally Posted by superjack
Also this will be dumb, but are "scales" and "keys" synonyms? Somethimes i get confused about this.

No. A scale is a set of notes that sound good together in a certain context. A key is what I said above. A key is a property of a piece of music and a scale is a tool you can use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by superjack
I also learned about the roman letters I, IV, VI etc. in C major this would be C, F, G if im not mistaking. I guess these are called progressions or patterns? I know how to apply them on other keys and stuff, but is there a rule for these patterns or a formula? Or are these roman letters just denominations? And there just isnt a rule for how to play chords in which order? Players just found out that playing in this order is a good progression and they just wrote it down like this?.

You mean V, not VI.
Like for notes, you can use whatever chords you like. They have different functions within a certain key and some are easier to fit in than others. Obviously, chords made up from the notes of the scale that corresponds to the key are going to sound good most of the time. These are:

I - ii - iii - IV - V - vi - vii
for major keys (uppercase=major; lowercase=minor; =diminished)

i - ii - III - iv - v - VI - VII
for minor keys (V is used more often than v though)

You can play them in any order you like and you are not limited to these chords. When you understand chord function better (it takes some time and experience) you'll know the best ways to order them and when to use out-of-scale chords.

A progression is a sequence of chords. Some progressions are used very often like the I - IV - VI you mentioned. Other examples include I - vi - IV - V and i - VII - VI - VII.

(I don't know how much you know about roman numerals and I apologise if this is too advanced; you did say you knew how to apply them in keys.)

Last edited by sickman411 : 04-27-2013 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:40 PM   #3
superjack
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Thanks alot for the effort. My english aint great and finding this stuff specific can be hard. I really apreciate it and everything is explained perfectly. Of to learning the major scale now!
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:15 PM   #4
TravisWright
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Hey Superjack...

Another piece to music theory, is not only learning what scales to play against what chords and chord progressions... but what emotions you'll be creating. Staying safe inside scales is different than knowing what to say and how it will make your listener feel. Good luck with everything.
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