#1
I found a bunch of chords I liked, and wrote them down. I was thinking of just making a backing track of these chords and playing over those. I'm not sure how to use these chords though. I was hoping someone could offer some advice on what to do with these chords or how to use them better.

Here's the progression:

Dm, Fadd11, C, Gm, Am, F, Dm, D7sus2, G7sus2, Asus4, BbMaj7, Dm, Gm, Fsus2, F, Bb, Dm, Gm, C, F, Bb, Am7, C, Am, Dm.


It's long, but I like it a lot.

Any critiques or improvments?
#2
The Gmin bugged me, try a Gmin7, that sounded a bit better the way I was playing it.

that Am7 at the near end is a bit weird, I think it's because the G is in both that and the C chord afterwards.

I tihnk it also sounds nice if it ends on an F rather than a Dm. But it really (really) depends what you are going to do with this progression.

but, thats a cool progression, it would be easier for us to understand it if you told us what style you were playing it in.

EDIT: after a bit more trial and error, the G7 sound ok where that Amin7 is.
#3
Quote by gtmustang2006
how to use them better.

Only use the ones that can fit together in one key. Just throwing a jumble of random chords together can have a cool spacey sound but it'd be hard to work with.
#4
Mdwallin, thank you for your input. The G7 does sound better there.

pwrmax, all of these chords occur in the natural and melodic scales of Dm.
#5
There's no such chord as D7sus2. If there is a third (or an inverted sixth) in a chord, name it as if it's a minor or major chord. Usually a third (in a chord) will establish the root of the chord and normally, you can't just pick any note in the chord and call it a root.
Call that D7sus2 an Amadd11/D and the same with the G7sus2, it's actually a Dmadd11/G

Except for that, it's a mostly good progression. It's be interesting and difficult to write a melody to it (so many chords), so good luck to you.

I didn't like it when the progression moved in thirds though, like when it went from Dm to Fmaj. I don't usually use that sort of movement since both chord contain some of similar notes. Whatever.

Also, the progression didn't really resolve in the end. When you wish to resolve (finish), the general convention is that you use an authentic cadence of some sort. Without going into too much detail, this usually means a V - I or a V - i movement. Those V chords are called dominant chords. I would use an A7 in place of that Am (A7 to Dm is a V - i movement), so the progression actually resolves.

You might also want to research predominants, which you can use right before dominant chords so dominant chords move better to tonic chords.
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#6
Quote by gtmustang2006
pwrmax, all of these chords occur in the natural and melodic scales of Dm.

Ahh, my bad. I read that D7sus2 as a plain D7.
#7
Quote by demonofthenight
There's no such chord as D7sus2. If there is a third (or an inverted sixth) in a chord, name it as if it's a minor or major chord. Usually a third (in a chord) will establish the root of the chord and normally, you can't just pick any note in the chord and call it a root.
Call that D7sus2 an Amadd11/D and the same with the G7sus2, it's actually a Dmadd11/G

That's an interesting theory.

I feel quite the opposite. I feel the third establishes a specific sonority to a chord but it is the fifth that will really establish the root.

I believe there are many things that establish the root. Context, Voicing, Octave Doubling and a P5 are all stabilising features that can act to establish the overall root sound of a chord.

Once that root is established the third and seventh provide all the juicy flavour of the chord.

The rest of the notes provide that little extra to spice things up.

But that's just the way I see it.
Si
#8
The way I've been taught is that the fifth is the most unimportant note in a chord. If you can remove anything, remove the root.

If you're writing voicings for a whole band, I've been taught that the most important notes are the third and the tonic and possibly the seventh and the last note in an extended chord.

If you're using playing voicings on the guitar and you have a band accompanying with you, the most important note is just the third and you can even omit the root.

Regardless, I just don't like suspended chords. The whole lack of major/minor quality irks me.
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#9
Quote by demonofthenight

If you're writing voicings for a whole band, I've been taught that the most important notes are the third and the tonic and possibly the seventh and the last note in an extended chord.

Regardless, I just don't like suspended chords. The whole lack of major/minor quality irks me.

I think the most important notes are the third and seventh.
here are some F chords.
Maj7 = F, A, C, E
min7 = F, Ab, C, bE
dom7 = F, A, C, Eb

if we take the third and seventh out, theyre all the same. we don't know WHAT theyre meant to be (like a powerchord)
BUT, if we take the fifth and tonic out, we can see what the quality of each chord still is.

when taking out notes from a chord for any reason. the first to go is the fifth, then any unnecasary extensions, then the root.

unless you have a suspended chord, you will never take out the third.

and i like sus chords. they sound great!
#10
^Well, if you take out the F and the A(b) you get what looks like a C minor or major chord. Completely not the chord we were looking for. Even if you just take out the F, you'll get an A(b) chord of some quality.

EDIT: Also, sounding great is only one part of music. If I can't do something with a chord, like write a melody over the top of it or lead it to another chord, it doesn't matter if that chord sounds like heaven, I still won't use it.
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[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
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[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
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        L.
Last edited by demonofthenight at Jul 15, 2009,
#11
Well a qualifier first - this isn't what I've been taught. It's nothing more than what I've observed and considered reasonable by piecing together other concepts I've picked up through my studies.

The perfect fifth is widely taken for granted. It's role is pretty much to reinforce the tonic. It does this through it's strong harmonic relationship with the tonic (overtones and harmonic series and all that). To realize just how important it is just see what happens when you shift it one semitone in either direction - instant instability.

In it's role reinforcing the tonic the P5 is at it's most effective when played in a close position a P5 above the lowest root note but still works anywhere else in the voicing - to a lesser degree. But it doesn't work quite as well when it is inverted.

I believe the perfect fifth is often considered the least important note in a chord because it is pretty much just reinforcing the tonic (and is somewhat implied in the harmonic overtones of the root itself). It doesn't provide the chord any distinguishable flavour. If the other things are there to establish a solid root (such as context, octave doubling, voicing etc) then the perfect fifth is not essential.

Take a power chord for example - a root and a perfect fifth. It's not a chord of course but the perfect fifth is there because it boosts that root note by being so damned harmonious with it giving it a big set of balls.

Look also at one of the first rules of counterpoint, namely, you can start a counterpoint line with a note a P5 P8 or P12 above the first note of the cantus firmus but NOT a P5 below the first note of the cantus firmus (which should be the final).

The reason for this is that the P5 and octave intervals firmly establish and reinforce the root while a P5 interval below will give the impression that the root is in fact that lower note creating the impression that the final is a P5 lower than it should be. The true final of the cantus firmus will act as a P5 to the lower note and tonicize the lower note.

Nevermind the power of the dominant tonic relationship that permeates western music that's too much for right now.

(EDIT: The point being when a P5 interval is present in a chord it tends to reinforce the lower note of the interval and provide it with some prominence in the overall chord sonority. Not saying that it instantly determines that note as the root but it does go someway toward doing so. All those other factors I mentioned earlier are pretty important and in some cases more important than the presence of a P5. Should all those things be equal I would put the presence of a P5 interval ahead of the presence of a third interval as far as establishing the root of a chord goes. But like I said - that's just me.)

When it comes to leaving out various chord tones when accompanying a band - it doesn't even have to be when accompanying a band!

One could consider a dim7 chord that serves a dominant function in a harmonic progression could be seen as a rootless dom7♭9 chord. Even when there is no accompaniment to play the missing root. It can be considered implied by context. It is the function of the chord and the context that is important.

It is my belief that one can leave out the third just as easily as any other note provided the important notes of a chord are in tact. What determines the important notes is purely a matter of context and understanding what is driving a particular harmonic movement.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Jul 15, 2009,
#12
Quote by 20Tigers

When it comes to leaving out various chord tones when accompanying a band - it doesn't even have to be when accompanying a band!

One could consider a dim7 chord that serves a dominant function in a harmonic progression could be seen as a rootless dom7♭9 chord. Even when there is no accompaniment to play the missing root. It can be considered implied by context. It is the function of the chord and the context that is important.

What determines the important notes is purely a matter of context and understanding what is driving a particular harmonic movement.

this
#13
Quote by 20Tigers
Well a qualifier first - this isn't what I've been taught. It's nothing more than what I've observed and considered reasonable by piecing together other concepts I've picked up through my studies.


For someone who hasnt been "taught", you seem to have this spot on!
#14
^thanks. Well I ask a lot of questions, then try to find the answers through reading and testing ideas on my instrument with my own ears. Then I take lots of notes on what I think I am hearing and what I think is going on. And that's about the extent of my music theory education.

mdwallin - i see what you did there I'll have to pull out my guitar tomorrow. I had my first full session playing on the steel strings today since I sliced my fretting finger a while back.

I have to catch up on some writing but I'll make a point of playing around and test my theory as to whether I can effectively leave out the third of a chord if the context is right.

I may well find that it can't be done or that doing so requires some unnecessary theoretic agility to justify the left out note as a third but I guess I'll see how it goes tomorrow. At this stage I'm thinking I will probably start by messing around with some kind of altered chord, probably an altered fifth, and see how I go with that. Either way I'll come back with any ideas I come up with.
Si
#15
Wow, guys!Thank you so much to every one who answered.


@

demonofthenight - I'm just going by the name Guitar Pro gave it. I would call it a Amadd11/D, too after looking at it. The reason I chose to using almost a circular progression with thirds is because I'm wanting something that climaxes in a sense. I know all about cadences, dominants, subdominants, and all of that. I'm having a problem "grounding" that progression if you will. Even an authentic cadence does not "close" it to me. I'll trying leading to the dominant with the subdominant, though. Thanks for reminding me of that =D


20Tigers - I agree with the fifth helping the chord. Because the fifth is so harmonious to the root, it does establish stability.

demonofthenight - From what I've been taught, the fifth should be omitted whenver possible, too. The voicing kind of decides when to omit, but, my teacher said whenever possible.

===

This thread has been somewhat enlightening to me, seeing how others veiw extended chords and whatnot. Thank you.
#16
Quote by demonofthenight
The way I've been taught is that the fifth is the most unimportant note in a chord.

I believe the fifth is the most present overtone (except the octave) in the root note so it can be removed but still implied in the chord. Well, I guess technically then it would be the 12th but it still has the same function.