#1
Hello, I have recently started to read about music theory, however the theory doesn't add up. I play all my songs by ear and they sound great, but I tried the theory on two songs and it didn't add up.

Song 1 - Knockin' On Heavens Door - Guns N' Roses Version
I play this song 1/2 step down but am using standard tuning to explain it as its easier.

Chords in the song include: G, D, C, Am

Therefore I believe the song to be in the key of G Major: G, A, B, C, D, E, F#

The Major scale triads are as follows:
G Major - I
A minor - ii
B minor - iii
C Major - IV
D Major - V
E minor - vi
F#dim - viio

However, when doing the chord progressions, the song starts with a G Major, then goes onto a D Major then goes to a C Major, but a D Major (V) can't go into a C Major (IV), it can only go to a vi chord which is an E minor?

What have I got wrong here? Please Help


Also,

Song 2 - Cryin' - Aerosmith
This song is in standard tuning

For this song, I haven't figured out the chords yet as I want the theory to help me do so. I instead figured out the bass notes and a few notions (that's how I start with every other song).

But the notes sounded good when playing to the recording, however, there are eight different notes:

B, C, D#/Eb, E, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A

Is that right? The scale pattern would be W, W+H, H, H, H, H, H,
Also, would this song be in the Key of B Major?
#2
wow, it would be nice to know that stuff. I usually figure out a as song's scale by finding the minor or major (they're relatives, as pop/rock songs are usually minor or major).

I do this by ascending chromatically on the guitar (low E-12th E), and then when i hear a note that work i play the minor scale and if all the notes sound good then TA DA, i found the scale.

I'm sayin this incase ur lookin at the wrong scale and it's always good to use ur ears to help ur theory.

Hope that helped.

Toodles!
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#5
for the first question:
chords in a particular key don't go in an "order" they can be used whichever way round you like
as for the aerosmith one:
those notes aren't in any particular key
any questions i haven't answered
i don't know the answer to lol
ah well
#6
Quote by Nitro89

What have I got wrong here?


Your interpretation of chord progressions. First, there are NO rules whatsoever. If i think that 12 different descending minor chords sound good together, so be it. Theory is not there to make up what you're writing, but to understand what others are. Second, like the guy above me said, I V IV is a very common progression so read that theory book again.


Quote by Nitro89

But the notes sounded good when playing to the recording, however, there are eight different notes:

B, C, D#/Eb, E, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A

Is that right? The scale pattern would be W, W+H, H, H, H, H, H,
Also, would this song be in the Key of B Major?


The notes are incorrect anyways. The chords in this tab are pretty good.
The song modulates from intro to verse, that's why the notes dont add up
to one scale. Think the intro's in Gm and the verse in A major.
#8
Quote by Absinthe750mL
even Bach broke the rules quite a bit


That's the point i was trying to make: there are no rules. Composing music which doesnt completely fall into a certain convention doesnt mean it's not obeying by the rules, cause there arent any. There are rules for naming chords etc. but not for how to use them.
#9
Quote by deHufter
That's the point i was trying to make: there are no rules. Composing music which doesnt completely fall into a certain convention doesnt mean it's not obeying by the rules, cause there arent any. There are rules for naming chords etc. but not for how to use them.

exactly. music theory is just the foundation for some basic guidelines. it also kinda creates a language for musicians to speak, define and relate to their music, so you can say things like "man, i wrote this riff where i use a bunch of parallel octaves and then i jump into a neapolitan chord before a V/V chord to modulate..."

what my music theory teacher always told me was that music theory is something to teach you to color inside the lines first, so that you can later go off do what you want.

so learn the theory, but dont get hampered down by it. after everything is said and done, dont think that all the music you play or write has to abide by some sort of strict regulations. keep in mind theory is mostly practical today only in talking about or describing what is going on in music.
#10
Quote by Nitro89
Hello, I have recently started to read about music theory, however the theory doesn't add up. I play all my songs by ear and they sound great, but I tried the theory on two songs and it didn't add up.

Song 1 - Knockin' On Heavens Door - Guns N' Roses Version
I play this song 1/2 step down but am using standard tuning to explain it as its easier.

Chords in the song include: G, D, C, Am

Therefore I believe the song to be in the key of G Major: G, A, B, C, D, E, F#

The Major scale triads are as follows:
G Major - I
A minor - ii
B minor - iii
C Major - IV
D Major - V
E minor - vi
F#dim - viio

However, when doing the chord progressions, the song starts with a G Major, then goes onto a D Major then goes to a C Major, but a D Major (V) can't go into a C Major (IV), it can only go to a vi chord which is an E minor?

What have I got wrong here? Please Help


Also,

Song 2 - Cryin' - Aerosmith
This song is in standard tuning

For this song, I haven't figured out the chords yet as I want the theory to help me do so. I instead figured out the bass notes and a few notions (that's how I start with every other song).

But the notes sounded good when playing to the recording, however, there are eight different notes:

B, C, D#/Eb, E, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A

Is that right? The scale pattern would be W, W+H, H, H, H, H, H,
Also, would this song be in the Key of B Major?



It's not that it "doesn't add up"....... it's that you don't understand enough theory to make sense of it yet.

Keep studying, stop worrying about it.
shred is gaudy music
#11
Quote by Mike_Atherton
what do you mean the D major cant go into a C major....I, V, IV is a very common progression...


Quote by Myshadow46_2
Where did you get the idea that one chord can't go into another? It's in G maj.


Key of G Major: G, A, B, C, D, E, F#

The Major scale triads are as follows (also shows where they lead to):
G Major - I [Can appear anywhere and lead anywhere]
A minor - ii [V or viio chords]
B minor - iii [IV or vi chords]
C Major - IV [ii, V, or viio chords]
D Major - V [vi chords]
E minor - vi [ii, iii, IV, or V chords]
F#dim - viio


As for Aerosmith, I don't know the song, but I would guess that accidentals are used ie. notes outside of the scale being used.

How would I go about finding out what key and scale a song is if so many accidentals are used?


First, there are NO rules whatsoever. If i think that 12 different descending minor chords sound good together, so be it. Theory is not there to make up what you're writing, but to understand what others are. Second, like the guy above me said, I V IV is a very common progression so read that theory book again.

I thought theory can help you improvise and help write songs?


The notes are incorrect anyways. The chords in this tab are pretty good. The song modulates from intro to verse, that's why the notes dont add up
to one scale. Think the intro's in Gm and the verse in A major.

That's what I thought, is there a rule on how to change keys?


And thank you for the input guys, I am nearly finished reading the theory book, just using what I have learned so far to see if it works. Eventually, I want to be able to produces solos and riffs etc.
#12
Quote by Nitro89

I thought theory can help you improvise and help write songs?


It can, but that's not what i said. I said (maybe not clear enough) that theory doesnt
make you do stuff, it only helps you. If i'm writing in A major, i can choose to use chords outside the A major scale, there are no rules for it. There are a couple of conventions though i can stick with, like using bIII instead of iii or bVII instead of vii* But i dont háve to, i can do something completely different.


Quote by Nitro89

That's what I thought, is there a rule on how to change keys?


No, not really, again there are a couple of conventions like these:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modulation_(music)
#13
Quote by Nitro89
Key of G Major: G, A, B, C, D, E, F#

The Major scale triads are as follows (also shows where they lead to):
G Major - I [Can appear anywhere and lead anywhere]
A minor - ii [V or viio chords]
B minor - iii [IV or vi chords]
C Major - IV [ii, V, or viio chords]
D Major - V [vi chords]
E minor - vi [ii, iii, IV, or V chords]
F#dim - viio


There is a fair bit of teaching out there that will claim "here's how to write a chord progression. Just follow these simple guidelines and you can't go wrong blah blah blah"

Even when I was a complete noob I stayed away from that kind of thing. I realised there must be more to it. why do those chords lead to each other? That's what I wanted to know. So I kept looking and hunting down real theory behind the music.

What you really need is a good guide to music theory that tells you about harmonic function, maybe a little about voice leading, some discussion on building and resolving tension, and a description of various cadences that explains a little about how hey work. Maybe learn a little about chord substitution. This was helpful to me when I started...http://smu.edu/totw/toc.htm

Tell me are you going to listen to some numb nuts that wrote a book on music or are you going to listen to the music itself. If a writer tells you this is how music works but what he's trying to tell you doesn't fit with what you actually hear in music then the writer is full of crap - the ear always wins.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Oct 8, 2009,
#15
TS, I understand where your coming from. For the most part, especially in classical music, V usually goes to I (because thats the strongest resolution). But it doesnt HAVE to go to I, and in more contemporary music, it often doesnt. Pretty much, the only chord that HAS to go to another is viidim. You can say what you want, but 99% of the time, viidim sounds best going to I
#16
Quote by 20Tigers
There is a fair bit of teaching out there that will claim "here's how to write a chord progression. Just follow these simple guidelines and you can't go wrong blah blah blah"

Even when I was a complete noob I stayed away from that kind of thing. I realised there must be more to it. why do those chords lead to each other? That's what I wanted to know. So I kept looking and hunting down real theory behind the music.

What you really need is a good guide to music theory that tells you about harmonic function, maybe a little about voice leading, some discussion on building and resolving tension, and a description of various cadences that explains a little about how hey work. Maybe learn a little about chord substitution. This was helpful to me when I started...http://smu.edu/totw/toc.htm

Tell me are you going to listen to some numb nuts that wrote a book on music or are you going to listen to the music itself. If a writer tells you this is how music works but what he's trying to tell you doesn't fit with what you actually hear in music then the writer is full of crap - the ear always wins.


I have the music theory for dummies book, it does have sections on what you just mentioned, i've only read it through one, might give it another go. I will also read the link you posted too. The book does have examples of where the chord progression was used like Sebastian Bach and Beethoven.
#17
The main thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong. Music theory is used to describe and understand music. It tells us how it is not how it should be. From there we can find the essence of what we think is good music and use it in our own musical adventures.

Best of luck.
Si