#1
Ive been looking at the late Jeff buckleys songs recently, in particular dream brother. The chords are genius. Where does the theory of these chords and progressions come from? Where can i get influenced by these kinds of strange chords and learn about them in terms of theory and in influences?

Thanks very much.
Last edited by RedFez64 at Nov 30, 2008,
#2
Quote by RedFez64
Ive been looking at the late Jeff buckleys songs recently, in particular dream brother. The chords are genius. Where does the theory of these chords come from? Where can i get influenced by these kinds of strange chords and learn about them in terms of theory and in influences?

Thanks very much.



The chords itself are not so genius. It's the harmonic movement that's genius. Just learn his songs, and see how he uses em.

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#3
Quote by xxdarrenxx
The chords itself are not so genius. It's the harmonic movement that's genius. Just learn his songs, and see how he uses em.


Surely there has to be something to keep in mind? I'm quite interested in his chord progressions as well, so yeah. Any pointers would be appreciated.
#5
Jeff Buckley's genius, lies in it's originality. There's noone (at least no one that I know off) That has a similiar style to his music. His rhythms, harmonies and note choices are so tastefull blended in a weird (in a good way) style.

You should learn his songs really.

What I heard so far, is he uses alot of altered and diminished/augmented tensions, mixed with alot of maj/min/dom 7th chords. It's a bit of a jazzy approach, but also not. It's really unique mix of styles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WolmjxD4hn4&feature=channel

Harmonies of this song are sooooo beautifull imo.

this song perfect example of using tonality differently. I don't know if this song is sad/happy/weird/mysterious/hopefull/desperately. It makes me feel all of the mentioned moods.

It's called so real, but imo he should have called it surreal, cause that's what I really feel. Or maybe he means that, I dunno,

He was quite a special guy.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Nov 30, 2008,
#6
I'm afraid I don't really know very much about Jeff, but before anyone can help, we need to know what you know.

Can you construct chords? Create alternate voicings? Do you understand how they are related to scale degrees? Can you change key with confidence? Would you be able to play me a C chord? Dmaj7? G#alt? Fmajadd#11?
#7
Quote by Freepower
I'm afraid I don't really know very much about Jeff, but before anyone can help, we need to know what you know.

Can you construct chords? Create alternate voicings? Do you understand how they are related to scale degrees? Can you change key with confidence? Would you be able to play me a C chord? Dmaj7? G#alt? Fmajadd#11?


Check out the songlink I posted in my post above ^^.

Can you explain me in theory how that works. There are all altered chords, major chords minor chords, out of key notes, yet it works.

I tried to understand why it works, but I dunno. I really wanna know if there's a theoretic approach to create such a song. I mean in that song he totally ignored all the rules of harmony, yet it works. The Verse resolves to a somewhat augmented or diminished chord, but doesn't resolve at all, yet aurally it does in it's own way. It's so weird and genius at the same time.

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#9
Quote by Freepower
I'll write up a post when/if I get that done, but it's far from ignoring the rules of harmony.


Yes, I don't mean ignoring, but bending/playing with the rules.

Those chord progressions are so unorthodox. In my opinion it's quite genius how he makes it all work.

He made a song with the most unorthodox progression's and key changes thay my mom likes. And my mom only likes pop music.

That still amazes me lol

I honestly won't be surprised if in 20 or so years people see him as a genius as people see hendrix now.

When Hendrix started out playing music, american's didn't care for him or his music so he went to england, where he scored his first hit "hey Joe". Now 3 decades later all the American's see him as the biggest guitar hero ever. Funny how things go.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Nov 30, 2008,
#10
Okay, to "use theory" to create this kind of song, it's all about creative dissonance. Just having the balls to play a few nasty chords and trust that the listener will arrange them sensibly in their head and think "ooh, that's pretty!".

Attached is an annoted version of the song, it's not complicated by any means, it just uses deliberate jarring chord changes.
Attachments:
so_real annotated.zip
#11
Oh god i really want that but have you got it in a power tab format or in a HTML?

Jeff buckley must have had influences whove used those kinds of strange chord progressions in the past. Even if someone can just tell me who influenced TIM buckley then that would help.

Yes i do know enough about chord progressions so you can tell me the genius in a chordy format if wanted
#13
^ yup.

Quote by RedFez64
Oh god i really want that but have you got it in a power tab format or in a HTML?


No, I used the "add text" feature of GP. Can you get a copy of the GP demo and give it a look?
#15
Quote by RedFez64
Oh god i really want that but have you got it in a power tab format or in a HTML?

Jeff buckley must have had influences whove used those kinds of strange chord progressions in the past. Even if someone can just tell me who influenced TIM buckley then that would help.

Yes i do know enough about chord progressions so you can tell me the genius in a chordy format if wanted


Jeff Buckley's influences were all over the map. As a teen, he was into and played a lot of prog, jazz and fusion in various bands. Stuff like Rush, Yes, Genesis, Al Di Meola, Coltrane, Miles, Duke Ellington.

He also went to MIT after high school. His classmates said, while they were off partying every other night, Jeff would often be sitting in his apartment transcribing a Steve Morse guitar piece or whatever. Here's another fun fact: "On graduation night, Jeff and 2 other students closed the ceremony by playing Weather Reports 'Pearl On The Half Shell.' Renowned Jazz guitarist Joe Pass, who was attending the ceremony, watched Jeff intently and was so impressed that he congratulated the young guitar hot shot and shook his hand."

Basically, he wanted to be the best guitarist/musician he could be. He was said to "be able to instantly rattle off the names of obscure chords." Obviously, during his cafe days, he lost interest in all that, but you could still hear the years of practice and knowledge bleed through.

Anyway, there's no easy way. He got what he had from constantly practicing and learning theory.
Last edited by Acoustic#3 at Dec 4, 2008,
#16
Quote by RedFez64
Ive been looking at the late Jeff buckleys songs recently, in particular dream brother. The chords are genius. Where does the theory of these chords and progressions come from? Where can i get influenced by these kinds of strange chords and learn about them in terms of theory and in influences?

Thanks very much.



learn about numeric formulas in music and modes after that have fun

i know lots of musicians play on a note that is incorrect numerically but its usully a trill or something quick so the ear wont pick it up. its sounds good too. look into numeric formulas and try to listen more closely to music so you can pick out what key is being played throughout the music if you can do this you will be a better guitarist.
Last edited by Squish at Dec 4, 2008,
#17
I know this is ooold, but Jeff has the BEST chord movements and voicings.


So the chords in the first verse of So Real, with the A# that moves to a B, would that make it in the key of E minor?

E F# G A B C D E


Oh, FreePower, I'm loving these lessons man Thank you so much!

EDIT:

Also in the annotated gp file, it's talking about how the chords are centered around the key of D with a D-C cadence and that M7 and 8th notes build the tension that starts back up again in the verse

I'm not sure I understand it because the chords are Bm, F#m (at least that's what I've figured them out to be) G and then those two chords have a G shape but they're just BCG and BG
And we will weave in and out of sanity unnoticed
Swirling in blissfully restless visions of all our bleary progress
Glowing in radiant madness
Last edited by TDKshorty at Apr 22, 2010,
#18
Wow, this is old.

I would probably look at those sections differently now... let me see.

So the chords in the first verse of So Real, with the A# that moves to a B, would that make it in the key of E minor?


Yeah, I'd think of it as in Em (or E blues...)... that thing where the #4 moves to the 5 is a pretty common device in rock/metal. Think of "Wake up" by RATM - same thing, different context.

And the D chord center - if you look at the bass notes, they go D A G - I'm seeing the B5 as the 3rd and 6th of a D chord, then there's the same thing over the A, the G has no 3rd (it's a powerchord) and then we have a "kind of" C and what I'm seeing as a "kind of" G -

Which being D A G C G then going back to our Em section is pretty normal - it's the tensions and voicings that make it sound like Jeff - you'd have to ask him what he was thinking to get solid answers on how to think of it yourself, there's a few chords I look at as Cmaj6 that he may have been thinking of as Am7 or vice versa. What'd make life easier is if there was a bass part - it'd give you a much more solid idea of what to call the chords.
#19
That clears it up!

Man I'm loving your lessons btw, I'm training my intervals right now, but I'm about to move on to the next one

Do you have anything for learning sheet music, or am I not looking far ahead enough in the lessons?
And we will weave in and out of sanity unnoticed
Swirling in blissfully restless visions of all our bleary progress
Glowing in radiant madness
#20
Nah, I'm not good at reading myself (in fact, I'm terrible at it! well out of practice ) - although if you know the way reading music in general works and you've got the notes of the fretboard down, then you can get started.
#21
Quote by Freepower
Nah, I'm not good at reading myself (in fact, I'm terrible at it! well out of practice ) - although if you know the way reading music in general works and you've got the notes of the fretboard down, then you can get started.

Well I know the notes, but when it comes to actually reading it, I just... my brain shuts down hah!
And we will weave in and out of sanity unnoticed
Swirling in blissfully restless visions of all our bleary progress
Glowing in radiant madness