yoyoloto
Blue dreams
Join date: May 2011
1,217 IQ
#1
We all know about how solo improvising goes, but what about chords ? It doesn't work in the same way as scales, or so I've heard, each style has different progressions which depend on scale degrees, but I have no clue of where to begin with (I never improvised chords before).

So let's say you want to jam, and you got a drum and bass backtrack that's begging for a chord progression, what would you do ? (in any genre)

And for trollers, I'm already laughing.
KG6_Steven
Eats ponies for breakfast
Join date: Nov 2006
3,163 IQ
#2
So, what would I do? It all depends on the feel of the bass and drum backing track. Does it have a country feel? Does it have a jazz feel? Maybe a rock or a pop feel? Each one of those genres is going to cause me to play a different chord progression. In jazz, it will more than likely have one or more ii V I progressions, along with some others. If it's rock, it's probably going to have a I IV V in the verse. If it's country, it may have the same thing, or it could even have a I IV V vi. Or, it could use none of those at all. There really is no one specific answer that's right. I'm going to play something that sounds good and fits the backing track. Same thing when I play with my group or to a backing track. My style fits the song.

Chords do work in the same way as scales, to answer your question. The intervals I mentioned above are straight out of the major scale. But, I could also insert a chord that isn't diatonic to the scale. Why? Because it sounds good.

Hope I helped to answer some of your questions.
bangoodcharlote
Fractal
Join date: Jun 2003
855 IQ
#3
The bass track should imply chords. There are simple implications like AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCGGGGGGGG; these are all 8th notes. (I hope that you see this as implying Am C G.) Some are more complicated and that's why I don't write bass parts.

I've never heard the term "improvise chords". Where did you hear it? It seems to me like you're trying to write a song via improv.
BradIon1995
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2012
127 IQ
#4
Pretty much based on the major scale:
I is a major 7th
II is a minor 7th
III is a minor 7th
IV is a major 7th
V is a major 7th
VI is a minor 7th
and VII is a half-diminished.

So if you wanted a I-IV-V chord progression in C Major, you'd play C7, F7, G7. Hope this helps a bit
Ibanez TSA30 < Boss OS-2 < Custom Frankenstein Strat w/ scalloped board and Epi LP pickup
bangoodcharlote
Fractal
Join date: Jun 2003
855 IQ
#5
Quote by BradIon1995
you'd play C7, F7, G7. Hope this helps a bit
I don't think that you meant for those to all be dominant chords. X7 is never maj7.

A blues in C will use those chords, but that's not in C major, at least in the sense of remaining within the C natural major scale.
rockingamer2
Larmarky Remark
Join date: Nov 2006
408 IQ
#6
Quote by BradIon1995
Pretty much based on the major scale:
I is a major 7th
II is a minor 7th
III is a minor 7th
IV is a major 7th
V is a major 7th
VI is a minor 7th
and VII is a half-diminished.

So if you wanted a I-IV-V chord progression in C Major, you'd play C7, F7, G7. Hope this helps a bit

Those dominant sevenths in your example progression all contain the m7 interval, even though your chart shows IV and V should diatonically use major 7ths. It's pretty common to make them dom7 though, just wanted to clear that up.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
Last edited by rockingamer2 at Dec 30, 2012,
rockingamer2
Larmarky Remark
Join date: Nov 2006
408 IQ
#8
Quote by bangoodcharlote
OMFG I get him get away with capitalizing ii, iii, vi, and vii! Those are not major chords! They should be lowercase!!!!

Aw man, now I just feel unobservant.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
IbanezMan989
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2012
575 IQ
#10
i prob would use a power chord if the beast was really fast. Other then that i would create something most likely on my taste of music which are alot of minor 9th 7th and other chords. Its really up to you man
yoyoloto
Blue dreams
Join date: May 2011
1,217 IQ
#11
Well no obviously I know how the chord construction thingy works, I really meant how to improvise them. It does sound crazy, yes, but it isn't improvising a song if the backing track is provided, right ? bangoodcharlotte implies that you should copy the bass line, so pick the notes from the bass and arrange chords with them so that they fit the style you play.

This would work in theory, but in practice I'd want to get starting on something that utilizes a little less ''ear''. I'm not at the level at which I can just guess notes and quickly make up a proper chord. (And honestly, my ear kinda sucks)

What I'm looking for, I guess, is a intro to what progressions are most utilized by different styles. Specifically, I'm looking for things that are blues, jazz or psychedelic.

Ibanez: So for you, you would even pick a specific type of chord (seventh, 13th and whatnot) depending the style of what is being played. What do you do with the root note then ? Use your ear or got some trick ?
Last edited by yoyoloto at Dec 30, 2012,
rockingamer2
Larmarky Remark
Join date: Nov 2006
408 IQ
#12
The only thing that comes to mind right now is doing a solo jazz song where you get to mess with the harmony without worrying about clashing with the other rhythm players, like in Art Tatum's Over the Rainbow (though I don't know how improvised it is):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuc3MYjBm2U
This link can give some insight to his performance: http://people.virginia.edu/~skd9r/MUSI212_new/diagrams/over_the_rainbow.html
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
Last edited by rockingamer2 at Dec 30, 2012,
bangoodcharlote
Fractal
Join date: Jun 2003
855 IQ
#13
Quote by yoyoloto
(And honestly, my ear kinda sucks)
Until you change that, you're going to have a hell of a time improvising anything.

No worries...everyone's ear sucks until they train it.

Once you develop your ear, I think that you'll be able to ask a better question than how to improvise the writing of a song.
HotspurJr
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
191 IQ
#14
Quote by yoyoloto

This would work in theory, but in practice I'd want to get starting on something that utilizes a little less ''ear''. I'm not at the level at which I can just guess notes and quickly make up a proper chord. (And honestly, my ear kinda sucks)


You can not improvise well without a good ear. You just can't.

Ear training will do much more for your ability to improvise than anything else you can do.


What I'm looking for, I guess, is a intro to what progressions are most utilized by different styles. Specifically, I'm looking for things that are blues, jazz or psychedelic.


Do you know the 12-bar blues pattern?

So for you, you would even pick a specific type of chord (seventh, 13th and whatnot) depending the style of what is being played. What do you do with the root note then ? Use your ear or got some trick ?


You don't improvise by making academic choices based on the style of what's being played. You improvise by hearing something in your head and playing it on your guitar. The better your ear is, the more complex types of chords you'll be able to hold in your head, and thus improvise with.
yoyoloto
Blue dreams
Join date: May 2011
1,217 IQ
#15
Quote by HotspurJr
You can not improvise well without a good ear. You just can't.

Ear training will do much more for your ability to improvise than anything else you can do.


Do you know the 12-bar blues pattern?


You don't improvise by making academic choices based on the style of what's being played. You improvise by hearing something in your head and playing it on your guitar. The better your ear is, the more complex types of chords you'll be able to hold in your head, and thus improvise with.



I have heard about 12-bar blues, as well as 16 and 24, but I never could find a good source to study these things, UG has way too many chord progression lessons and I have read some of them, but mainstream stuff isn't really my stuff.

You're right about the ear, I'm working on it, you may as well have replied to one of my other threads on which I was asking about training programs. But in the meantime, why should I not try to sharpen my arsenal and learn more about progressions, you know ?
rockingamer2
Larmarky Remark
Join date: Nov 2006
408 IQ
#16
Quote by yoyoloto
I have heard about 12-bar blues, as well as 16 and 24, but I never could find a good source to study these things, UG has way too many chord progression lessons and I have read some of them, but mainstream stuff isn't really my stuff.

You're right about the ear, I'm working on it, you may as well have replied to one of my other threads on which I was asking about training programs. But in the meantime, why should I not try to sharpen my arsenal and learn more about progressions, you know ?

12 bar blues, every numeral is a measure:

I - I - I - I

IV - IV - I - I

V - IV - I - I


When you want to repeat the progression, play V on the last measure instead of the I. The I is for when you want to end it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-bar_blues
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
mdc
UG's Mr Chord Man
Join date: Feb 2008
722 IQ
#17
Quote by yoyoloto
We all know about how solo improvising goes, but what about chords ? It doesn't work in the same way as scales, or so I've heard, each style has different progressions which depend on scale degrees, but I have no clue of where to begin with (I never improvised chords before).

So let's say you want to jam, and you got a drum and bass backtrack that's begging for a chord progression, what would you do ? (in any genre)

And for trollers, I'm already laughing.

you need to study chord viocings, CAGED, then you can improvise with chords all over the neck.

G7 blues vamp, experiment with all these G7's.

-----------3-7-10-13
-3-6-8--12-6-6-12-12
-4-7-10-10-4-7-10-12
-3-5-9--12-
-----------
-----------


Now do the same for the IV7 AND V7. That there is a few months worth of work.... and a life time to perfect to improvise at an intuitive level...

... and that's just over a standard blues form.

Now try jazz blues form. See you in a few years...


To actually answer your question, you need a strong knowledge of key based harmony.
Last edited by mdc at Dec 31, 2012,
ThTylrBllmn
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2010
171 IQ
#18
I think he means making up chord voicings for the written chords on the spot rather than memorizing multiple shapes per chord like guitar players usually do. Closer to what piano players do.
yoyoloto
Blue dreams
Join date: May 2011
1,217 IQ
#19
Quote by rockingamer2
12 bar blues, every numeral is a measure:

I - I - I - I

IV - IV - I - I

V - IV - I - I


When you want to repeat the progression, play V on the last measure instead of the I. The I is for when you want to end it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-bar_blues


I'm starting to get into the concept, thanks. I think I may have found a website that explains that in detail and exercises.

mdc: Yeah that'll keep me busy for a while lol. What is nice with CAGED is that it also helps with improvising solos, I'm not very good with it but it's worth it, thanks for the reply.
HotspurJr
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
191 IQ
#21
Quote by yoyoloto

You're right about the ear, I'm working on it, you may as well have replied to one of my other threads on which I was asking about training programs. But in the meantime, why should I not try to sharpen my arsenal and learn more about progressions, you know ?


I guess I'm a little confused. I'm not exactly sure what it is you're trying to do here, because learning chord progressions and improvising chords don't really seem that connected to me.

Part of the issue is that, let's say the bassist and drummer are already jamming away, and I want to join: chances are good that the bassist is already playing with an implied chord progression - he's merely arpeggiating and implying the chords rather than strumming them.

If not, if he's playing primarily melodically, then what I want to do is harmonize his melody.

A lot of backing tracks you find online don't really have a chord progression. The bass is essentially arpeggiating out one chord. Sometimes two.

If he's doing one chord, it can be hard to put a progression on top of what he's doing since he's not going anywhere. eg, if he's doing a riff bassed on A C and E (an Am chord) then I might be able to play an Am or a C major over it, but beyond that it gets tricky.

eg, the most obvious places for me to go are a Dm and an E chord, right? But that Dm is D A F, so you've got a pretty significant clash between the E and the F, and a smaller not trivial between the C and the D. Alternatively, I could play an E major chord, but now we're dealing with the clash between the G# and the A, and the B and the C. It's going to be hard to make that all sound good.

The best you're likely to do is to copy his chord progression and then mix up your choices from within the chord families. eg, in key of C, when he's playing a C major, you play a C major, E minor, or A minor. He plays an F and you can play a Dm or an F. He plays a G you can play a G or a B diminished.

It turns out there are lots of different ways you can sub different chords to make interesting things happen (C6/9 for C, G13 for G7 for example) but this is really diving down the jazz rabbit hole. And, in one of those things that's hard to understand, it really doesn't work that well when your starting point is an academic one, rather than hearing the sound in your head you want to play.
food1010
Bassist
Join date: Jun 2007
1,660 IQ
#22
Ultimately all it takes is a solid understanding of functional harmony and a solid ear.

Really it's quite easy to improvise a simple progression if you have the vocabulary under your belt. I do it all the time when I play acoustic sets with my band.

What really impresses me is how my singer comes up with verses/choruses (including lyrics) and basically feels her way through an entire song structure in real time. It blows my mind how good it sounds. Now, her lyrics aren't anything groundbreaking, but they sound good still...
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
cdgraves
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
44 IQ
#24
Time to break out the old triad inversion exercises.

Learn chord progressions starting on different chord voicings. How many different ways can you play a basic A D E progression? Can you play multiple forms of each chord?