#1
I'm trying to write some dissonant lead/melodic riffs to make my songs a little more interesting but whenever I play a note that isn't in key it just sounds like crap. I know all about key changes, but I'm not trying to change the key, just play a few notes that aren't in key. Can anyone help me out?
Last edited by TMVATDI at Jul 19, 2010,
#2
try playing with a diminished scale. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiYNW8MxGtE a good example of this scale being use in rock is "real" by Ron Thal; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWGKzgUCNzs

either that, or add in blue notes; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_note

personally, i love a chormatic sound, so i have writen my own scale (which has 10 notes in it :P), so it may have ot be somethign you make yourself
Quote by EndTheRapture51
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#3
Well, there are many scales that require accidentals. But I guess that might not be what you are looking for.

When picking out dissonant notes it normally sounds better if you quickly move back to a note that is in-key. Let me show you two examples of picking dissonant notes.


   E E E E Q Q
E|------------
A|------------
D|------------
G|------------
B|-6-3---5----
E|-----6---2-3


   E E E E E H H H Q
E|-----------------
A|-----------------
D|-----------------
G|-----------------
B|-------3-5-4----
E|-3-5-6-------4-3


I'm pretty sure there are ways in theory to make other dissonant notes that sound good, but if you just mess around by playing out-of-key notes, you might find something interesting.
#4
-Get a tab of your favourite dissonant riff
-Analyse what is going on
-Write riffs using that method of dissonance for practice
-Repeat with other riffs
...
-Repeat some more
...
-Write you own riffs in your own style, taking influence from what you have learnt.

Edit: Finding out how to write something based second hand information and others interpretation of what's going on is nothing compared to actually doing it yourself. And not to mention that you'll learn more from it as well.
Last edited by MapOfYourHead at Jul 19, 2010,
#5
i dont really understand that scale, like what are the intervals between each notes? if the major scale is 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, whats the diminished scale?
edit: people replied while i was typing...
#6
Quote by TMVATDI
i dont really understand that scale, like what are the intervals between each notes? if the major scale is 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, whats the diminished scale?
edit: people replied while i was typing...

I am not 100% sure, but I think there are two diminished scales. Whole-Half, and Half-Whole. Basically Whole-Half you just go a whole tone from your root note, than a half tone from that note, and repeat. And the Half-Whole is the same expect starting with a half. I am not 100% sure on this though. So do not take my word.
#8
Quote by SWAS
I am not 100% sure, but I think there are two diminished scales. Whole-Half, and Half-Whole. Basically Whole-Half you just go a whole tone from your root note, than a half tone from that note, and repeat. And the Half-Whole is the same expect starting with a half. I am not 100% sure on this though. So do not take my word.

oh i think ur right, my progressive rock guitar book taught me the whole-half and half-whole scales, i just assumed that since banjocal and his link didnt say "whole-half" or "half-whole" it must be a different diminished scale.
#9
the tab for the diminished scale goes like this:
E|-----------------------------------------------------6-7-9-10-|
B|------------------------------------------5-6-8-9--------------|
G|-------------------------------3-4-6-7-------------------------|
D|---------------------2-3-5-6-----------------------------------|
A|-----------1-2-4-5---------------------------------------------|
E|-0-1-3-4-------------------------------------------------------|

Try to figure out something that only uses half-steps and minor thirds. Possibly add in some tritones.
#10
Quote by The Hunger
the tab for the diminished scale goes like this:
E|-----------------------------------------------------6-7-9-10-|
B|------------------------------------------5-6-8-9--------------|
G|-------------------------------3-4-6-7-------------------------|
D|---------------------2-3-5-6-----------------------------------|
A|-----------1-2-4-5---------------------------------------------|
E|-0-1-3-4-------------------------------------------------------|

Try to figure out something that only uses half-steps and minor thirds. Possibly add in some tritones.

so thats the half-whole diminished scale, right?
#11
Quote by TMVATDI
so thats the half-whole diminished scale, right?

Yes.
#12
Sounds like crap? Well, that's dissonance for you.
"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."

~Leonardo da Vinci
#13
Quote by Banjocal
personally, i love a chormatic sound, so i have writen my own scale (which has 10 notes in it :P), so it may have ot be somethign you make yourself


right, but chances are it's already a scale (or possibly a mode) of some sort, simply with chromatic notes as inflection notes, like the blues scale. if that's truly not the case, then harmony would become extremely impractical within the confines of the 12TET system (unless you're going into your own class of harmony).

that said, he does have the right idea. generally the easiest way to add out of key notes is to use chromatics.

and who says you have to change key to create dissonance? you don't consider a Bdim chord dissonant?
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#14
Quote by AeolianWolf

and who says you have to change key to create dissonance? you don't consider a Bdim chord dissonant?


Just played that chord and man is it ugly.
And augmented chords. I personally can not find a use for them, but that's me. I'd love to see a chord progression that uses some aug or dim chords.
"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."

~Leonardo da Vinci
#15
^^ If they don't seem practical that way, try playing for example an Em chord with the b6 an octave higher, or a D#sus4 chord with a b9 in the base (ie. x 7 11 8 9 6) as an arpeggio (although it might be better to think of it as a C#sus2add6 chord instead). So yeah, just add in out of key notes like b5s, b6s, b9s, 7s (in a minor chord) etc. and go nuts.
#16
Quote by c_foster88
Just played that chord and man is it ugly.
And augmented chords. I personally can not find a use for them, but that's me. I'd love to see a chord progression that uses some aug or dim chords.


Play the whole tone scale over it and it can have a very mysterious and cool sound. Check out some Spastic Ink and Blotted Science for some good use of augmented and whole tone stuff.

I wrote a little thing that just uses augmented arpeggios, maybe it can give you some ideas. I personally love using it.

Here's a Spastic Ink piece to demonstrate some good use of it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOuLJvk7Y34

The solos and most of the riffs primarily use the whole tone scale, and the "verse" has a chord progression that has augmented chords.
Attachments:
whole.gp5
Last edited by Sóknardalr at Jul 20, 2010,
#17
Quote by c_foster88
I'd love to see a chord progression that uses some aug or dim chords.


They're quite common in jazz progressions.
well, not common, but they pop up alot mroe than in other genres. Even Frank Sinatra's 'Fly me to the moon' has a couple of diminished chords in it, you must have heard that.

But I agree that they're quite ugly alot of the time
#18
Quote by Sóknardalr
Play the whole tone scale over it and it can have a very mysterious and cool sound. Check out some Spastic Ink and Blotted Science for some good use of augmented and whole tone stuff.

I wrote a little thing that just uses augmented arpeggios, maybe it can give you some ideas. I personally love using it.

Here's a Spastic Ink piece to demonstrate some good use of it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOuLJvk7Y34

The solos and most of the riffs primarily use the whole tone scale, and the "verse" has a chord progression that has augmented chords.

Hmm, I have never heard of Spastic Ink. But I quite like them. For some reason they remind me of Endless Sporadic. They seem to be a very good example of dissonance.
#19
alot of blues progression have both dim & aug chords in them...and they can be very nice sounding...depends on context...and of course voice leading...

try "straight, no chaser" by T. Monk. a nice 12 bar blues....here is an example of sounding "out" when your "in" ...where your anticipated note does not show up or when an unexpected note does...it may sound dissonant but its not really...and the reverse is also true..the rythem can change the effect of a note alot...

play well

wolf
#20
Quote by AeolianWolf
right, but chances are it's already a scale (or possibly a mode) of some sort, simply with chromatic notes as inflection notes, like the blues scale. if that's truly not the case, then harmony would become extremely impractical within the confines of the 12TET system (unless you're going into your own class of harmony).

that said, he does have the right idea. generally the easiest way to add out of key notes is to use chromatics.

and who says you have to change key to create dissonance? you don't consider a Bdim chord dissonant?

i dont really remember any1 saying anything abt having to change keys to be dissonant. and if its in the key of Cmajor, i really don't consider the Bdim chord dissonant, because all of the notes are in key.

and my chord camp book explains a lot of cool ways to add in dissonant (or the consonant vii) diminished and augmented chords into progressions. so i can come up with dissonant chord progressions that sound alright, its the lead part i have trouble with.
#21
Quote by TMVATDI
i really don't consider the Bdim chord dissonant, because all of the notes are in key.


so if the notes are in key, it's impossible for them to be dissonant?

i'd rethink everything you know about dissonance.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#22
Quote by AeolianWolf
so if the notes are in key, it's impossible for them to be dissonant?

i'd rethink everything you know about dissonance.

well i can't really rethink it without more information to think about. every chord can be consanent made by a different scale or mode, if you made a chord from locrian, its a diminished chord, consanent in locrian, ir in its relative modes, or if you make a chord from some exotic scale with a #5 and a major 3, that augmented chord will be consanent.
if im wrong please explain and give me a new way to look at it, i can't change what i know without knowing something new, my brain doesn't work that way.
#23
Quote by TMVATDI
well i can't really rethink it without more information to think about. every chord can be consanent made by a different scale or mode, if you made a chord from locrian, its a diminished chord, consanent in locrian, ir in its relative modes, or if you make a chord from some exotic scale with a #5 and a major 3, that augmented chord will be consanent.
if im wrong please explain and give me a new way to look at it, i can't change what i know without knowing something new, my brain doesn't work that way.

Dissonance and consonance are not owned by scales or anything like that. They're subjective only to our ear (to an extent). An F# Major chord isn't in C Major... does that make it dissonant? Hell no. Not even if you played C - F# would it be.

Any diminished chord is dissonant. Any #/b9 chord is dissonant. Any augmented chord will be dissonant. Any tri-tone will be dissonant. And of course, there are a lot more dissonant things. It's the context that will sound consonant... not the chords necessarily.
#24
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Dissonance and consonance are not owned by scales or anything like that. They're subjective only to our ear (to an extent). An F# Major chord isn't in C Major... does that make it dissonant? Hell no. Not even if you played C - F# would it be.

Any diminished chord is dissonant. Any #/b9 chord is dissonant. Any augmented chord will be dissonant. Any tri-tone will be dissonant. And of course, there are a lot more dissonant things. It's the context that will sound consonant... not the chords necessarily.

well i just tried putting F#major in a chord progression in the key of C and my ears kind of heard that it was out of place, if that isn't dissonant then my ears have serious problems (probly cuz im always listening to my ipod on full blast). but i guess it depends on the context, like if i used a different progression maybe it'd work
edit: oh it sounded bad because i had a 5 chord and a 1 chord but they werent right next to eachother, they had a lot of interruption between them and that caused tension
Last edited by TMVATDI at Jul 21, 2010,
#25
Quote by TMVATDI
well i just tried putting F#major in a chord progression in the key of C and my ears kind of heard that it was out of place, if that isn't dissonant then my ears have serious problems (probly cuz im always listening to my ipod on full blast). but i guess it depends on the context, like if i used a different progression maybe it'd work

Well, it might sound out of place... but out of place =/= dissonant.
#26
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Well, it might sound out of place... but out of place =/= dissonant.

what would be dissonant then? could u give me some examples of dissonant and consanent songs or riffs?