#1
I'm just messing around with chords in C, and I played a really simple progression of C, C7, Am, F, G. It all sounds quite nice actually, however I noticed that the C7 has an A# in it, which obviously isn't in the key of C.

I'm not actually on the C7 for that long, it just seems to nicely change the progression up a bit. However, is going out of key like this completely wrong, or do people do it?
#3
Quote by demon.guitarist
as long as it sounds ok, its fine to break rules a little


This.

EDIT: If I'm not mistaken, including the flattened seventh is a really common be-bop thing
Quote by silent caution
When i was younger i used to pee in peoples shoes and blame their dog
Last edited by Chylyn at May 22, 2010,
#5
Quote by JackMorris
I'm just messing around with chords in C, and I played a really simple progression of C, C7, Am, F, G. It all sounds quite nice actually, however I noticed that the C7 has an A# in it, which obviously isn't in the key of C.

I'm not actually on the C7 for that long, it just seems to nicely change the progression up a bit. However, is going out of key like this completely wrong, or do people do it?


B flat actually (I know, same thing...). But man, every chord has its own character, if it sounds good and seems to fit within the whole progression there's nothing wrong there if you ask me.

And to the poster above, seventh chords are used very commonly in all jazz, not only be-bop. Open to any standard you like in the real book and chances are you'll see a handfull of them in there.
#7
I just called it A# because I'm used to writing in sharps instead of flats. Odd habit, I know. I guess Bb would have been more accurate since you're lowering the 7th (the B) by a semitone. Thanks for the help, I'll keep this in mind when I'm writing in the future.
#8
I prefer seeing notes in sharps as well, and whatever works for you is cool.

Just sometimes you get snobby people out there who will pick on every little thing like that. Not saying thats me, just saying in general.
#9
This is normal, your C7 will want to resolve to another chord which is exactly why it works. If you'd play a B instead of B flat the chord would not want to go anywhere.

While the B would be the "right" note for a 7th it's a common thing when playing a chord like that to make the distance between the 7th and the next C one octave up a whole note(so C to B flat). Instead of a half note distance, which would be C - B. The B flat is practically yearning to resolve to "legal" note which would in your case be the A.

It's a common thing in practically every style from classical to jazz, flamenco, metal. Seen it everywhere.

edit: Also, rules do not exist. Merely guidlines, and it's an art to first master the guidelines, and then to master ignoring them. Good luck with that.
Wise Man Says: The guitar is obviously female, she's got hips, breasts... and a hole.
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Last edited by FretboardToAsh at May 22, 2010,
#10
The b7 of C is a Bb. I'm one of those people who will tell you that Bb is not the same as A#, simply because Bb makes sense. It's not a C(#6) chord, it's a C7 chord.

Semantics aside, there's actually a really simple reason it works. Not only is the b7 a common note to add into a major key (it sort of "softens up" the half-step dissonance between the 7 and the 1), but in terms of this progression, it leads nicely into the Am because of the chromatic motion from the Bb to the A. Dominant seventh chords are unstable and have a lot of tension because of the tritone that occurs between the 3 and the b7, so they naturally want to resolve somewhere; in this case the Am is one place that works. The obvious choice would be to use it as a secondary dominant to the F (V7/IV), but going to Am works nicely as well.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#12
The C has a B implied in the second half of its duration in your progression, so your progression creates this line

C------C7------Am
Do-Si-Sib------La-


Harmonic movement derives from good voice leading, not the other way around. Which is why that's just fine.

Sticking to a key normally ensures that, but going one step around the fifths cycle is also pretty safe.
#13
Going a note or two out of key is perfectably acceptable. I find it's a good way to build interest in a piece of music.
#14
It's not more "acceptable" as anything else really; you can do whatever you want. Theory isn't a set of rules nor is a set of guidelines either, it's just a language and a history.
i don't know why i feel so dry
#15
Think of music theory as a way of explaining why your music sounds good, not as a set of rules. It is not a set of rules, there are no rules/