#1
So I currently do not understand much about the circle and it's somewhat above the theory level I'm at (I'll probably approach it and key signatures in 4-6 weeks) but I'd still like a general understanding of it so I can jam with friends smoothly.

I understand that with major keys the ones immediately beside them (in the circle) will generally sound good together, so if you're in the key of G major then D and C will sound good, and the relative minor of G (Em) will also sound good, and the relative minors of D and C will also work but should be used sparringly, and if you use a D7 chord it resolves to G.

Does it work the opposite way with minor keys? If I'm in the key of G minor, the relative major would be Bb? So can I use Dm and Cm and their relative majors but sparringly? If I use Dm7 will that resolve to Gm?

Thanks guys...

And regarding key signatures I understand how to create them and why there are X sharps or flats, how does the sharps in a key relate to what chords I can play in it?
#2
Quote by -TM-
So I currently do not understand much about the circle and it's somewhat above the theory level I'm at (I'll probably approach it and key signatures in 4-6 weeks) but I'd still like a general understanding of it so I can jam with friends smoothly.

I understand that with major keys the ones immediately beside them (in the circle) will generally sound good together, so if you're in the key of G major then D and C will sound good, and the relative minor of G (Em) will also sound good, and the relative minors of D and C will also work but should be used sparringly, and if you use a D7 chord it resolves to G.

Does it work the opposite way with minor keys? If I'm in the key of G minor, the relative major would be Bb? So can I use Dm and Cm and their relative majors but sparringly? If I use Dm7 will that resolve to Gm?

Thanks guys...

And regarding key signatures I understand how to create them and why there are X sharps or flats, how does the sharps in a key relate to what chords I can play in it?


Well...without being all technical about it, yea Dm and Cm are fine with Gm, since it's the iv-v scale degree of G...only difference is it's minor.

Well for every scale there's a set of chords that you play within it...like in G major (1 #) you use G, am, bm, C, D, em, f dimished...roman numerals it'd be like I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-viio The tricky part is the diminished chord obviously, but most songs generally avoid that chord anyways
#3
all the sharps means is that if you play a note that isn't part of the key signature (say theres B natural and you play B flat) then its not guaranteed it'll sound good, as it wont be part of the key. and yes, relatives work the other way around, and Dm7 fits into the key of g major, however a lot of times what you hear people do is when you're playing the fifth in a minor key, they make it major (so in g minor, play d major) and it'll create more tension. you're doing good for someone whos just getting into theory, keep it up
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#4
Quote by justaramsfan
Well...without being all technical about it, yea Dm and Cm are fine with Gm, since it's the iv-v scale degree of G...only difference is it's minor.

Well for every scale there's a set of chords that you play within it...like in G major (1 #) you use G, am, bm, C, D, em, f dimished...roman numerals it'd be like I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-viio The tricky part is the diminished chord obviously, but most songs generally avoid that chord anyways

How do you figure out what chord to make diminished?

And in G minor what diminished chord would be used? I love diminished/augmented chords.
#5
Quote by -TM-
How do you figure out what chord to make diminished?

And in G minor what diminished chord would be used? I love diminished/augmented chords.


It's the 7th scale degree (the seventh note of the MAJOR scale) so in Gm it'd be A diminished since in Bb major A is the 7th note...in A major it'd be G dim, and in D major it'd be C dim
Last edited by justaramsfan at Jul 5, 2010,
#6
Quote by justaramsfan
It's the 7th scale degree (the seventh note of the MAJOR scale) so in Gm it'd be A diminished since in Bb major A is the 7th note

Other than memorizing that it's the 7th scale degree what is the reasoning behind it? Unless it's too complicated for my current understanding I'll just memorize it for now.

So when looking which diminished chords should sound good in a minor key we look to its relative major key (so G minor's relative major is Bb major) and construct that major scale then whichever note happens to be the 7th degree of said scale?

Damn I wonder who first discovered all this stuff.
#7
The 7th note in the scale is played as a diminished chord. So in C major the diminished would be B.
#8
Quote by -TM-
Other than memorizing that it's the 7th scale degree what is the reasoning behind it? Unless it's too complicated for my current understanding I'll just memorize it for now.

So when looking which diminished chords should sound good in a minor key we look to its relative major key (so G minor's relative major is Bb major) and construct that major scale then whichever note happens to be the 7th degree of said scale?

Damn I wonder who first discovered all this stuff.


Yea that's right--as a shortcut you could just go up a note...I'm not really sure why the 7th is diminished to be honest. It may be because the viio-I turns out to be a good ending for a song, and if the seven was major/minor it wouldn't fit as well.

It took a couple hundred years for someone to discover this stuff It's really after analyzing a bunch of patterns in music written by the greats like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, the obvious guys
#9
Quote by nutinpwnsgibson
all the sharps means is that if you play a note that isn't part of the key signature (say theres B natural and you play B flat) then its not guaranteed it'll sound good, as it wont be part of the key. and yes, relatives work the other way around, and Dm7 fits into the key of g major, however a lot of times what you hear people do is when you're playing the fifth in a minor key, they make it major (so in g minor, play d major) and it'll create more tension. you're doing good for someone whos just getting into theory, keep it up

Ok that makes sense I tried it out using major keys and the fifth to root does sound very nice but it sounded less good when trying it with minor keys.

I'll try playing the fifth as a major then resolving it with the root to see if that sounds better.


And thanks, it's pretty daunting at first but it's (so far) not as hard as it seems, but there's still tons left to learn before I have even a decent understanding of theory. However even the small bits I have under my belt have helped tremendously, like building chords and scales etc.
#10
Quote by justaramsfan
I'm sorry but if you're playing in a minor key, you play the fifth as a minor too...that guy's wrong...it'll sound ok in some situations because in g MAJOR d MAJOR does fit, but it should be Dm in Gm

Ok so can you still resolve by playing the fifth as a seventh chord (in this case a minor seventh) then moving to the root (in this case a minor chord)?

It didn't sound as pleasing to me as when playing a dominant seventh fifth and then switching to the root if it's a major key...
#11
Quote by -TM-
Ok so can you still resolve by playing the fifth as a seventh chord (in this case a minor seventh) then moving to the root (in this case a minor chord)?

It didn't sound as pleasing to me as when playing a dominant seventh fifth and then switching to the root if it's a major key...


If it's Gm, just play Dm-Gm
#12
Quote by justaramsfan
It's the 7th scale degree (the seventh note of the MAJOR scale) so in Gm it'd be A diminished since in Bb major A is the 7th note...in A major it'd be G dim, and in D major it'd be C dim


in A major, it's G#º. in D major, it's C#º. huge difference - it's a totally different chord.

Quote by justaramsfan
If it's Gm, just play Dm-Gm


i'm guessing you've never studied classical music (and even then, this is hardly a trademark of classical and classical alone -- it's in a lot of music) but generally speaking, the V is borrowed from the harmonic minor. i don't like saying that the harmonic minor is the basis of structural analysis because III is more common than III+ and bVII is more common than viiº (in minor keys, of course) -- so you neglect to borrow 2 chords and borrow only 1 -- this is why i prefer to think of minor keys as having no scale basis of structural analysis other than simply being a free combination of the three minor scales. but i digress.

Gmaj (or G7) - Dm is more common (and generally has a stronger resolution) than Gm - Dm.
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#13
Quote by justaramsfan
Yea that's right--as a shortcut you could just go up a note...I'm not really sure why the 7th is diminished to be honest. It may be because the viio-I turns out to be a good ending for a song, and if the seven was major/minor it wouldn't fit as well.

The reason the seventh degree of the major scale is diminished is because the triad formed from the seventh degree is diminished (1 b3 b5).

This link (and the whole website) explains it well: http://classic.musictheory.net/43
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Last edited by rockingamer2 at Jul 6, 2010,
#14
Quote by AeolianWolf
in A major, it's G#º. in D major, it's C#º. huge difference - it's a totally different chord.

Ive seen this happen alot, I think he used the # symbol, but a different codec, so it doesnt show to most of us, know what I mean? Ive seen it happen before when someone said Fdim in Gmajor. But i know you were just trying to help ;D
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#15
Quote by AeolianWolf
in A major, it's G#º. in D major, it's C#º. huge difference - it's a totally different chord.


i'm guessing you've never studied classical music (and even then, this is hardly a trademark of classical and classical alone -- it's in a lot of music) but generally speaking, the V is borrowed from the harmonic minor. i don't like saying that the harmonic minor is the basis of structural analysis because III is more common than III+ and bVII is more common than viiº (in minor keys, of course) -- so you neglect to borrow 2 chords and borrow only 1 -- this is why i prefer to think of minor keys as having no scale basis of structural analysis other than simply being a free combination of the three minor scales. but i digress.

Gmaj (or G7) - Dm is more common (and generally has a stronger resolution) than Gm - Dm.


Ironically I googled this same question and got the result you just wrote out...so I knew I was probably wrong, even though I thought it was v-i when it's minor, but yea thanks for calling me out on that one b/c that was misinformation
#16
Quote by justaramsfan
Ironically I googled this same question and got the result you just wrote out...so I knew I was probably wrong, even though I thought it was v-i when it's minor, but yea thanks for calling me out on that one b/c that was misinformation


well, the thing is you're not really wrong. constructing chords from the natural minor scale, you actually would get a v. however, it's common practice to borrow the leading tone from the major scale (which resulted in the scale we now know as the harmonic minor). the triadic harmonization in this scale is the same as it is in the natural minor scale except in the three chords where the leading tone is present, and they are III+, V, and viiº. of these, V is by far the most common, then viiº. III+ is not quite so common. if you apply tetradic harmonization to the harmonic minor scale, it effects one more chord, and that is the imaj7 chord (not to be confused with the Imaj7 chord).

so really, you're not wrong, but it's more common to find a V than a v. this is not to say that v cannot be used -- i, personally, love the sound of a minor dominant chord.
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