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#1
I'm still kind of newer to the whole theory of chord progression. I'll tell you what I know so far so you can help me out. I understand the Major Scale and Minor Scales (harmonic, melodic, natural). I also am somewhat familiar with modes but haven't exactly used them. I have a good grasp at the four basic triads, and I believe thats most of what I know of music theory.

Anyways my questions lies with Chord Progressions. I've written two little songs (accessed on my profile) as I was simply messing around with the scales but then I noticed something. How come there are chords that have notes that lie out of the range of the scale I wish to use? Do chord progressions relate to the scale you are in other than the root note? I understand using any chord, but according to theory don't you have to stay within the scale of the key you are in?
#2
you just play whatever sounds good with what your tryin to create in a song and make it fit with lyrics if you have any
Ima Dude Dressed Like Another Dude Playing As Another Dude
#3
I'm no singer xD I'll stick with the instrumentals for now. But my aural skill is not too great so what "sounds" good would require me randomly trying to figure out chords as because I have yet to memorize the notes on the fretboard. Thanks for your advise, but its not quite the answer I was looking for.
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#4
I'm not quite sure what you're asking but I'll give you an answer anyway. Diatonic* chords are generally constructed by skipping over every other scale degree in the scale. So in a major scale you would construct the chord by choosing the root note which can be any of the seven scale degrees, skipping over one note and including the third degree, and skipping over yet another one and including the fifth degree. Depending on what notes you got out of this formula the chord is going to be either major, minor, augmented or diminished. A major scale does not necessarily have all major chords, nor does a minor scale have all minor chords. Remember it like this: the first, fourth and fifth chords are major, the second, third and sixth are minor and the seventh is diminished. In a minor key the first, fourth and fifth chords are minor, the third, sixth and seventh are major and the second is diminished. Of course that doesn't mean that these are the only chords you can use it just means that a chord which isn't of these exact qualities is non-diatonic, and that does not always sound good.

*I believe this usually means "within the scale".

EDIT: Your "song" was very nice by the way (I'm referring to the one in C minor). It really isn't as off-key as you make it out to be. It has tasteful use of accidentals, none of them are really that jarring.
Last edited by Sóknardalr at Jul 27, 2010,
#5
That cleared some things up... but I still fine some questions unanswered. One question is that for chord progressions do the chords all have to contain the notes within the scale? Like for the key of C instead of using the diatonic chords is it possible to use a minor C chord? The notes wouldn't be within the major scale, so I always thought that you could not use it. Another example (still in the key of C) lets say we build the chord C11#9. A sharp ninth clearly is not within the scale and is an accidental, but can I use that? If so why?

And another thing, is the chord construction built based off of the current scale you are using? Still in the key of C, would you build the G major chord based upon the intervals of the major scale of C?

Sorry if I'm asking a lot of questions, I've been pondering this and looking at guides and it has yet to help.
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#6
Everything relates to the tonic of the key. That's what our system of music is based upon.

Let's say you had a progression that went Eb - Ab - Bb7 - Edim - F. The Edim is definitely not within the scale... either is the F. If you were analyzing this, it'd be I - IV - V - #io - II in Eb Major. It all relates back to the tonic.

You can use notes outside of the key whenever you want, as long as it sounds good. A general rule of thumb is small movements between the notes of a chord = good progression. Of course, this doesn't always apply, but it works.

Quote by 7grant2
That cleared some things up... but I still fine some questions unanswered. One question is that for chord progressions do the chords all have to contain the notes within the scale? Like for the key of C instead of using the diatonic chords is it possible to use a minor C chord? The notes wouldn't be within the major scale, so I always thought that you could not use it. Another example (still in the key of C) lets say we build the chord C11#9. A sharp ninth clearly is not within the scale and is an accidental, but can I use that? If so why?

And another thing, is the chord construction built based off of the current scale you are using? Still in the key of C, would you build the G major chord based upon the intervals of the major scale of C?


You could use any chord in any key you want.

You can use it... because it sounds good.

You would build a G Major chord based upon the intervals that make up a major chord, but starting at a G. Same goes for a minor chord. And diminished. And augmented. And everything else.
#7
Thanks for clearing up my questions DiminishedFifth, I can actually continue my studies once again now that this is out of the way
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#8
Quote by 7grant2


And another thing, is the chord construction built based off of the current scale you are using? Still in the key of C, would you build the G major chord based upon the intervals of the major scale of C?



The scales you can use are ALWAYS based on the tonic chord.
However, every chord has a scale that goes with it.

so in the key of G if you play a D chord you can play your Mixolydian mode over it. That just means you play your G scale starting from the D

Now as far as the more complex chords. For instance Amin (b5).

this means over that chord you may play an Amin scale with a a flatted 5th tone.

Of course you always apply the the mode rule so in the key of G if an Amin(b5) was played you would be in the Dorian mode (G scale started from A) with a flatted (5th) tone...

hoped that helped in addition to the info you already had
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#9
Quote by Angusman60
The scales you can use are ALWAYS based on the tonic chord.
However, every chord has a scale that goes with it.

so in the key of G if you play a D chord you can play your Mixolydian mode over it. That just means you play your G scale starting from the D

Now as far as the more complex chords. For instance Amin (b5).

this means over that chord you may play an Amin scale with a a flatted 5th tone.

Of course you always apply the the mode rule so in the key of G if an Amin(b5) was played you would be in the Dorian mode (G scale started from A) with a flatted (5th) tone...

hoped that helped in addition to the info you already had
If I understood it I'm sure it will xD I'm not too familiar with modes or theory in general in that matter. Once I understand the concept of Modes I'm sure to find this of a bit more use. As of now, though, I want to memorize the basics of theory before moving on.
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#10
Quote by Angusman60
The scales you can use are ALWAYS based on the tonic chord.
However, every chord has a scale that goes with it.

so in the key of G if you play a D chord you can play your Mixolydian mode over it. That just means you play your G scale starting from the D


Nope. If you are in the key of G major, and play a G major scale, you are playing a G major scale. Even if it's over D major. The tonic has not changed, it is still in the key of G major, so it's the G major scale. Not a mode.
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#11
Unless you're writing a medieval chant, it's ok to use notes outside the key.
#12
I'd suggest learning about how to harmonise the major and minor scales and then learning about how to use chromatic (out of key) notes in harmony (secondary dominants, borrowing from the parrallel minor ect.).

I liked the song in C minor but in parts the melody didn't fit that well (notably the passage starting aroun 0:29). Learning about harmony should help you alter these parts (or leave them if that's what you were going for!) and a better understanding of harmony will help you to transfer ideas from your head onto paper.

Edit:
A similar clash occurs in the passage beginning 0:19. Again, if you want it to clash like that then leave it as it is but if it's supposed to be more consonant then learning about harmony should help. To me it seems gives the impression of lots of melodies created separately and then put together which results in it not quite working.

I think that the songs, especially the one in C minor, are good though - this is just constructive criticism.
Last edited by 12345abcd3 at Jul 28, 2010,
#13
Quote by AlanHB
Nope. If you are in the key of G major, and play a G major scale, you are playing a G major scale. Even if it's over D major. The tonic has not changed, it is still in the key of G major, so it's the G major scale. Not a mode.


go learn what a mode is and get back to me
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#14
Quote by Angusman60
go learn what a mode is and get back to me


Pray tell what you think they are. You may learn something.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#15
Quote by Angusman60
go learn what a mode is and get back to me
He's right. If you had the progression G D Em C you wouldn't be playing G Ionian, then D Mixolydian, then E Aeolian then C Lydian, you would just be playing G major.

For you to be playing D mixolydian the tonal centre must be D but in a G Major progression the tonal centre is, by definition, G.
#16
Quote by Angusman60
go learn what a mode is and get back to me

I suggest you look in to modes yourself, since Alan is correct.

If our progression is C, F, G, you cannot for all intents and purposes, play F Lydian or G Mixolydian over it.

It doesn't make a bit of difference what note you start on when you're playing over a chord progression. The difference between C major and G Mixolydian is that one resolves to C and the other resolves to G. If they share the same notes and resolution (which they would if you did what you posted above) it would simply be a C major scale, played starting on different notes.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
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#17
what defines a mode is the note of the scale you start on. its been that way for ages.

I ionian
ii dorian
iii phrygian
IV lydian
V mixolydian
vi aolean
vii locrain

so when you tell me your in C and you can't play a Mixolydian mode of the V chord...that is obviously false.
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#18
Quote by Angusman60
what defines a mode is the note of the scale you start on. its been that way for ages.

I ionian
ii dorian
iii phrygian
IV lydian
V mixolydian
vi aolean
vii locrain

so when you tell me your in C and you can't play a Mixolydian mode of the V chord...that is obviously false.


Either you're trolling us all or you really misunderstand the modes. I could have a piece in G major and improvise starting every phrase on a D note, but it's still in G major.

That being said, I'm going with troll.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Who's going to stop you? The music police?
Last edited by FacetOfChaos at Jul 28, 2010,
#19
Quote by Angusman60
what defines a mode is the note of the scale you start on. its been that way for ages.
What defines a mode is the tonal centre. In a progression in the key of G, the tonal centre is G major. This means you can't play D mixolydian or C Lydian because the tonal centre is not D or C, it is G.
#21
Quote by Angusman60
Learn how to use modes in context.

D E F G A B C D could be D Dorian. It could also be C major starting on D. Context is key (no pun intended).
#22
i figured i'd site some outside sources...as you can see in those links its all based off the scale degree...idk what everyone else thinks it is based off of...
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#24
haha what?
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#25
Quote by Angusman60
what defines a mode is the note of the scale you start on. its been that way for ages.


Sorry mate, you only have half the information. Consider that if you play the notes of the C major scale in any order in a song in the key of C, you will still be playing the C major scale. Notice that the sound does not change in any way if you change the underlying chords, because the scale does not change - it's merely C major.
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#26
it is all about scale degrees. Yes it is always C major. Thats because we are talking about the modes of the C major scale. A mode isn't a different scale it is simply another form of the major scale.

think about it.

C D E F G A B C ionian
D E F G A B C D dorian
E F G A B C D E phrygian
F G A B C D E F lydian
G A B C D E F G mixolydian
A B C D E F G A aoleon
B C D E F G A B locrian

When a V chord is played in the key of C it is based on G. In many cases it is a 7th chord. This means the scale you can use for that can contain G B D F

GASP!!! those is in the Mixolydian mode!! Which is MODE of the C major scale!!

This is the way you use modes and it will always sound major because it is part of the major scale!
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#27
Quote by Angusman60
it is all about scale degrees. Yes it is always C major. Thats because we are talking about the modes of the C major scale. A mode isn't a different scale it is simply another form of the major scale.

think about it.

C D E F G A B C ionian
D E F G A B C D dorian
E F G A B C D E phrygian
F G A B C D E F lydian
G A B C D E F G mixolydian
A B C D E F G A aoleon
B C D E F G A B locrian

When a V chord is played in the key of C it is based on G. In many cases it is a 7th chord. This means the scale you can use for that can contain G B D F

GASP!!! those is in the Mixolydian mode!! Which is MODE of the C major scale!!

This is the way you use modes and it will always sound major because it is part of the major scale!

Alright. You understand how they're made... but you don't understand how to use them.

Mixolydian does not sound Major.

Also... based on what you're saying this would be in Phrygian since it starts on G# Octaves in C# Minor: the fifth scale degree of C# Minor.

Trust me. It's not in G# Phrygian. It's in C# Minor.

A Mode IS a different scale in the same way the Natural Minor is a different scale then the Major scale is. If I play the C Major scale starting on the E I could say 1 of 2 things: I could say I'm playing in E Phrygian, or I could say I'm playing in C Major starting on the 3rd scale degree. Fact of the matter is that the intervals that make up the scales are different... making it a different scale.
#28
do you all not understand that the scale degrees and the modes are the same thing? Modes are part of the major scale

D dorian is the same as C starting on D. It is the same thing.

This is the point i've been trying to make this whole time. If you read any music theory book it you will find that modes of with scale degrees just like chords do.

No matter what a mode is a major scale starting from a different point. And no different modes will not sound major. Do you know why? Modes were created so that you can have different sounds without changing keys. Hence why the Aoleon mode IS the natural minor scale

Hasn't anyone noticed this? Clearly there is misinformation on this website.

Would you like me to scan in my theory book and post it on here? Because I will.
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#29
Quote by Angusman60
do you all not understand that the scale degrees and the modes are the same thing? Modes are part of the major scale

While you're right... you're also wrong. Yes. The mode uses the rest of the major scale intervals... but they're NOT just the major scale starting on a different note. At least not in context.

D dorian is the same as C starting on D. It is the same thing.

Without context.

This is the point i've been trying to make this whole time. If you read any music theory book it you will find that modes of with scale degrees just like chords do.


Without context.

No matter what a mode is a major scale starting from a different point. And no different modes will not sound major. Do you know why? Modes were created so that you can have different sounds without changing keys. Hence why the Aoleon mode IS the natural minor scale


Modes were around before our tonal system of music came to be... if I recall correctly, there were being used from probably BC times (in things like ancient Greek music).

EDIT: I also must point out... you didn't say anything about any argument I gave you. Do you have nothing to say to my examples?
Last edited by DiminishedFifth at Jul 28, 2010,
#30
okay need context? In any major key there are 7 modes. As stated above.
Modes are based off the major scale...obviously. From this major scale you get all of your other scales. For instance the natural minor. Which is also the Aoleon mode. From the natural minor you get the Harmonic and the Melodic. The modes ARE NOT scales. they are Modes of the major scale. How is that different from what you are saying?

No D dorian is not major. But yes it contains all the same notes as C major.

In the key of C a D chord will be spelled DFA. It is the 2nd degree of the scale. Therefore. If improvising over it one would have the option of using the Dorian mode to fit the C major key signature and also the minor Chord. If needed I will type up a full lessons on modes later.
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#32
Quote by Angusman60
okay need context? In any major key there are 7 modes. As stated above.
Modes are based off the major scale...obviously. From this major scale you get all of your other scales. For instance the natural minor. Which is also the Aoleon mode. From the natural minor you get the Harmonic and the Melodic. The modes ARE NOT scales. they are Modes of the major scale. How is that different from what you are saying?


I don't know what you call context... but that's not context.

Modes ARE different scales. A scale is a set of intervals that repeats after the octave. If you're telling me that Dorian (WHWWWHW) is the same as the Major scale (WWHWWWH)... then, no offense, you're a bit of an idiot.

No D dorian is not major. But yes it contains all the same notes as C major.


Mk. Doing good so far...

In the key of C a D chord will be spelled DFA. It is the 2nd degree of the scale. Therefore. If improvising over it one would have the option of using the Dorian mode to fit the C major key signature and also the minor Chord. If needed I will type up a full lessons on modes later.


But, this would just be playing C Major starting at the second scale degree. It would NOT be D Dorian because it won't resolve to D.

Now, if the entire progression is just a D Minor chord, then D Dorian is a viable option. But if you're going to specify that it's in C Major and you're laying the ii... then you're just playing C Major over the chord. Also, when saying it's in C Major you're implying that's not the only chord in the progression. This ells us that it's NOT Dorian. At all.

Context dictates which is which. A D Minor chord vamp? Could possibly be Dorian. A ii - V - I in C Major? Definitely C Major over every chord.
#33
Quote by Angusman60
Modes were created so that you can have different sounds without changing keys. Hence why the Aoleon mode IS the natural minor scale

.


Modes were created BEFORE keys.

Quote by Angusman60
Clearly there is misinformation on this website.

Would you like me to scan in my theory book and post it on here? Because I will.


That may be true, and its generally from people that give out advice prematurely. For example they get a theory book, learn a tidbit of information, and then go online and give advice. So what you get is conjecture based on a small bit of information. (and sometimes complete fabrications)

So the question is, do you want to contribute to that?

if so continue posting in the same fashion.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 28, 2010,
#34
Okay so a ii V I in C.

That would be

Dm7 G7 Cmaj7...if we are staying simple.

Yes you could stay on the C major (ionian mode) for those three chords. It makes sense because they have all diatonic tones.

But why not mix it up? use the Dorian for the Dm7
mixolydian for G7
and then back to the major for the C

Yes, pieces can be based around a mode. Thus it would make sense to resolve that piece in this mode. Right now I thought we were speaking in terms on improvisation.

Heres a website that does a good job of explaining it.
Sorry if my advanced jazz theory confuses you.

http://www.zentao.com/guitar/modes/modes-4.html
2010 Gibson SG Honeyburst
I'm a musician, a composer, and a theory nut. Pleased to meet you! Check out my websites and drop me a line.

"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude. " ~ Freidrich Nietzche


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#35
Quote by Angusman60
Okay so a ii V I in C.

That would be

Dm7 G7 Cmaj7...if we are staying simple.

Yes you could stay on the C major (ionian mode) for those three chords. It makes sense because they have all diatonic tones.

But why not mix it up? use the Dorian for the Dm7
mixolydian for G7
and then back to the major for the C

Yes, pieces can be based around a mode. Thus it would make sense to resolve that piece in this mode. Right now I thought we were speaking in terms on improvisation.

Heres a website that does a good job of explaining it.
Sorry if my advanced jazz theory confuses you.

http://www.zentao.com/guitar/modes/modes-4.html

But... that wouldn't be mixing it up... at all. It would still just sound like C Major. I've done this. I've heard other people do this. It still just sounds like C Major because that's what you're playing. You're just calling it something else for the sake of sounding complex.
#36
well it is what it is. Obviously you just don't know enough about it to appreciate the value of using Modes for improvisation...
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I'm a musician, a composer, and a theory nut. Pleased to meet you! Check out my websites and drop me a line.

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#37
Quote by Angusman60
well it is what it is. Obviously you just don't know enough about it to appreciate the value of using Modes for improvisation...



it's you that could use some experience using modes for improvisation.

he was right, over a ii V I, those modes will only be heard as the parent scale.

try it out .... listen.

post an audio example in your profile if you want. In cases like these, sound is more convincing than words
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 28, 2010,
#38
Go look at the website i posted...I know i'm right. I don't play jazz professionally for no reason.
2010 Gibson SG Honeyburst
I'm a musician, a composer, and a theory nut. Pleased to meet you! Check out my websites and drop me a line.

"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude. " ~ Freidrich Nietzche


My Website
#39
Quote by Angusman60
Go look at the website i posted...I know i'm right. I don't play jazz professionally for no reason.


Obvious troll.
#40
Angusman60, what you're doing is using modally derived accidentals relative to the parent key signature.

You could make an argument that a ii-V-i in C major using extended vamping on each chord could be the akin to the modal jazz that appeared in the 50s, as it gives you ample time to explore modal sounds, but the fact that the song resolves to C major makes it C major.
Last edited by MapOfYourHead at Jul 28, 2010,
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