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Old 10-21-2012, 08:23 PM   #1
yoyoloto
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So I'm just terrible at chord construction...

Hey guys,

So what's this thread about ? Who is this guy ?

Well, I'm a guitar player who seeks to play jazz, open to some blues, and attempts desperately to construct chords that would fit the style, but fails.

I'm clueless about commonly used chords in blues, but, in fact, that's not my problem here. I want to actually make a chord using theoretical knowledge, and I want that chord to sound as jazzy as possible.

I play some blues scales on my guitar, then I feel like the F# has a nice feel today, so I decide to make it the key for my song. I write down the F# blues scale, pick the 1 3 and 5 degrees, and make the F# B c# chord, with some notes added. It sounds awesome, I like it a lot and start looking for other chords to add.

Then I make an A blues chord, sounds alright too. So I strum my 2 new chords thrice each, all sounds good.

And that's it, all the other chords I try to make from the F# blues scale sound like horse poop, and I just wasted half an hour of my life trying to figure out how to do something that may just be out of my league.

So, how do you guys do to make your chords ?

Please help a bro out
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:27 PM   #2
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you answerd it yourself, learn theory
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyoloto
I write down the F# blues scale, pick the 1 3 and 5 degrees, and make the F# B c# chord

and there's your first problem
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyoloto
Then I make an A blues chord

the hell's an a blues chord
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:32 PM   #3
yoyoloto
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Write down the A blues scale, pick the 1 3 5 degrees, look for some notes worth adding, and there you have it.

Last edited by yoyoloto : 10-21-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyoloto
Write down the A blues scale, pick the 1 3 5 degrees, look for some notes worth adding, and there you have it.

Let's call it Aminor, happy ?

Is it actually an a minor?
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:03 PM   #5
yoyoloto
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twenny: You were quick on the trigger, no it's not, my bad. I'm guessing that making chords out of pentatonic was a very bad idea.

But let's go back to constructing chords, how do you guys do it so that they fit the style you wanna play ?

I think that at this point I have proved that I'm an idiot, so less about me, more about you
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
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you don't really construct chords from pentatonic or blues scales. at least not until you develop an understanding of functional harmony, unless you're an illiterate blues god.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyoloto
But let's go back to constructing chords, how do you guys do it so that they fit the style you wanna play ?


by training your ear, listening to the music you want to emulate, applying what you're able to discern, and writing.

if you're interested in chord construction, your knowledge of the basics isn't yet sufficient. start learning from the bottom up, solidify your knowledge, and then tackle new concepts that will enable you to progress. until you do that,

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you answerd it yourself, learn theory

AWedit: and train your ear


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Old 10-21-2012, 09:23 PM   #7
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Chords do not sound bluesy or jazzy. Chord progressions do.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:27 PM   #8
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The blues uses three chords, I, IV and V. They aren't built from the pentatonic scale though, they are built from the major scale. The blues scale isn't a "self contained" scale, it's a stripped down minor scale with a passing tone. It omits the 2nd and 6th of the minor scale and adds a b5 passing tone for flavor.

Note that the blues mixes major and minor, so it doesn't follow the ideas of "regular" theory.

Learn the basics of theory, like chord construction and harmonization and a bit on major and minor scales, then go and look at blues lessons. All the while listening and playing the blues and using your ear.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:38 AM   #9
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Let's say in C:

Major: 1 3 5 (C E G)
Minor: 1 b3 5 (C Eb G)
Maj 7: 1 3 5 7 (C E G B)
Dominant or simply 7: 1 3 5 b7 (C E G Bb)
Min 7: 1 b3 5 b7 (C Eb G Bb)

Common blues progressions: I IV V (C7 E7 G7)

Hopefully that makes sense. (I apologise if it doesn't)
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyoloto
Write down the A blues scale, pick the 1 3 5 degrees, look for some notes worth adding, and there you have it.


That's what TS is doing, and exactly where he's going wrong.

The standard blues is in a major key, so you build chords off the major scale.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macabre_Turtle
Chords do not sound bluesy or jazzy. Chord progressions do.


I disagree, some Jazz chords sound A LOT like jazz with just strumming one chord.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:17 PM   #12
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a blues chord
git it grl
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Forty6and2SDMF
I disagree, some Jazz chords sound A LOT like jazz with just strumming one chord.


Take that chord you're thinking of, crank gain and distortion on your amp and start chugging on it. Still sound like jazz?
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:11 AM   #14
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if it's a 7#5#9, ya probably.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:03 AM   #15
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:44 PM   #16
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then they'd call it djent/jazz metal.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:50 AM   #17
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Spend a weekend reading through the Beginner to Advanced Series here: http://lessons.mikedodge.com/

It's turned many boys into men

Before you understand chord construction you should have a good background in Intervals. That link has a comprehensive lesson on Intervals and Chord Construction. Read them in that order or you're putting the cart before the horse and will still be behind.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronowarp
then they'd call it djent/jazz metal.


Last edited by mdc : 10-24-2012 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:03 PM   #19
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If you want to play jazz, learn your 7th chords

Major 7
Minor 7
Dom 7
Half diminished 7

Start with those. Learn to play major, minor, and dominant 7th chords so that you can play any each of those given any note on the fretboard as a root.

Then learn the notes on the fretboard so you can play essentially any chord you want whenever.

Use descending fifths a lot in your chord progressions.

C7, F7 and G7 are the three chords in a very basic 12 bar blues
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHB
That's what TS is doing, and exactly where he's going wrong.

The standard blues is in a major key, so you build chords off the major scale.

The guy you were replying to was the TS. But hopefully he read this post because it should solve his problem.
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