#1
Hey!

This maybe a little bit of a newbie question but I'm having difficulty figure this out.... and I think it's something incredibly obvious, but I can't see it....
I'm trying to analyse this song (Millencolin - Afghan), and I can play the whole song and all the parts, but I'm trying to figure it out theoretically and harmonically, with the Roman numerals, etc...

What I have is a |F#m - D| in the intro with a little harmonic interval bit with the second guitar, and the verse has the same |F#m - D| chords. These are all power-chords by the way... Then, in the chorus it moves to |B - D - F#m - E|. The bridge or middle 8 is |D - F#m|

SO....
Intro / Verse : |F#m - D|
Chorus: |B - D - F#m - E|
Bridge: |D - F#m|

How would I denote this into Roman numerals? Also, would I consider it in a minor key (F#m) or in a major key (A) just starting on the vi chord? How do you work these things out with power chords?
Thanks for any help!
Cheers,
#2
analyzing*
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#3
Quote by SnowFire
analyzing*


Yeah, that's what I thought, but the auto-correct thing on my mac says different.... (Mac's american.... could be why)
#4
You would do it in the same way you would with a progression built on major/minor triads or extended chords. Figure out the resolution, and go from there. To me it resolves to the F#m, so I would say it's in the key of F#minor. From there you can assign these chords their functions:

Intro/Verse:
i - VI

Chorus:
iv - VI - i - VII

Bridge:
VI - i
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#5
Quote by Jimmy_Page_Zep
You would do it in the same way you would with a progression built on major/minor triads or extended chords. Figure out the resolution, and go from there. To me it resolves to the F#m, so I would say it's in the key of F#minor. From there you can assign these chords their functions:

Intro/Verse:
i - VI

Chorus:
iv - VI - i - VII

Bridge:
VI - i


Okay, that makes sense. Thanks.
#6
Oh, and can this also work for modal (Dorian, etc...) kind of progressions? (still with power-chords).... and, if the song starts on a minor chord and ends on a major, what then?

Thanks for the help
Last edited by disuse at Aug 14, 2010,
#7
Quote by disuse
Oh, and can this also work for modal (Dorian, etc...) kind of progressions? (still with power-chords)....


Not entirely sure what you're asking here. This isn't a modal progression, it's tonal. It resolves to F#minor, so it is in F#minor. You can't be playing A Ionion, B Dorian etc., because that's not how this piece works. Modes require modal progression and structure. I'm sure if you did a one-chord 5th chord vamp you could make it modal because you would have a lot of freedom, but you would be relying on the lead to give you your modal qualities. Maybe someone else can elaborate on this.

Quote by disuse

if the song starts on a minor chord and ends on a major, what then?


A song in F#m doesn't have to end on F#m, although ending on this chord would give you the most resolution. You can end on any chord that sounds good to you, regardless of whether it resolves or creates tension.
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Quote by Jackal58
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#8
Well, what I mean by modal, is you can imply a Mixolydian sound or Dorian sound or what have you, using power- chords, can't you? Obviously, making sure the lead/melody follows that modal sound.


Anyway, another example is Happiness for Dogs - Millencolin

Intro: Am riff with A drone
Verse: Am - F
Chorus: C - G - Am - F
Interlude: F - G - Am - Em
The songs ends on C.

Primarily, the song sounds minor, with a major chorus and resolves to C.
Do I write this out as vi - IV for the verse, etc?
#9
Quote by disuse
Well, what I mean by modal, is you can imply a Mixolydian sound or Dorian sound or what have you, using power- chords, can't you? Obviously, making sure the lead/melody follows that modal sound.


If you know what you're doing, I don't see why not. But you would have to keep your progression very simple or it would just pull back itself back to a major or minor feel. This is why I gave the example of a one-chord vamp. You could play something like an E5 over and over again, playing any mode over top of it to get that modal feel. This is definitely the simplest way of using power chords in a modal context, but you'd have to keep everything really simple or risk it resolving to a major/minor.

Quote by disuse

Anyway, another example is Happiness for Dogs - Millencolin

Intro: Am riff with A drone
Verse: Am - F
Chorus: C - G - Am - F
Interlude: F - G - Am - Em
The songs ends on C.

Primarily, the song sounds minor, with a major chorus and resolves to C.
Do I write this out as vi - IV for the verse, etc?


This is in C major, so analyze it as such. The intro is just a vi vamp, don't let it trick you into thinking that its in A minor.
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Quote by Jackal58
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#10
Quote by disuse
Oh, and can this also work for modal (Dorian, etc...) kind of progressions? (still with power-chords).... and, if the song starts on a minor chord and ends on a major, what then?

Thanks for the help


as long as you know the key of the song, it will work for anything.

Heres and example with C Major vs D Dorian, so you can see how it just pretty much works the same:

Major          Dorian
C = I          Dm = i
Dm = ii        Em = ii
Em = iii       F = III
F = IV         G = IV
G = V          Am = v
Am = vi        Bo = vi
Bo = vii       C = VII 


Since C Major and D Dorian have the same chords in them, all you have to do is start at the root for that mode (Dm) and follow from there exactly like the Major scale, but starting with i at the root note.

If a song starts on a minor and ends on a Major, it doesn't change how you would analyze it.

If I take the key of C Major, and put in this chords progression for example:

Am - F - Em - C (starts as a minor and ends as a major)

then I would simply write it as vi - IV - iii - I, if the chord progression ends on a minor or a major shouldn't effect this part of analyzing at all.
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#11
Quote by sites.nick

Heres and example with C Major vs D Dorian, so you can see how it just pretty much works the same:

Major          Dorian
C = I Dm = i
Dm = ii Em = ii
Em = iii F = III
F = IV G = IV
G = V Am = v
Am = vi Bo = vi
Bo = vii C = VII


Since C Major and D Dorian have the same chords in them, all you have to do is start at the root for that mode (Dm) and follow from there exactly like the Major scale, but starting with i at the root note.


You had some good points later in your post, but this is NOT how modes work at all. You can't just start a major scale on a different note and say you're playing in a different mode. Modes are defined by the musical context, and require a modal structure.

By your logic, if I played a Dm - G - Am progression, that would be a simple i - IV - v in D Dorian. This isn't correct, because this progression does not resolve to the D minor chord. That progression would simply be in A minor, without any further context.
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Last edited by Jimmy_Page_Zep at Aug 14, 2010,
#12
Quote by Jimmy_Page_Zep
You had some good points later in your post, but this is NOT how modes work at all. You can't just start a major scale on a different note and say you're playing in a different mode. Modes are defined by the musical context, and require a modal structure.

By your logic, if I played a Dm - G - Am progression, that would be a simple i - IV - v in D Dorian. This isn't correct, because this progression does not resolve to the D minor chord. That progression would simply be in A minor, without any further context.


I wasn't trying to explain how to play Dorian modes, just how to analyze them. I could be wrong though, but aren't the chords used the same as in its relative Major scale? or is that just the notes?
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Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#13
Quote by sites.nick
I wasn't trying to explain how to play Dorian modes, just how to analyze them. I could be wrong though, but aren't the chords used the same as in its relative Major scale? or is that just the notes?


It's just the notes. You would want to use chords that emphasize the unique qualities of that mode without making the progression too complicated, or it would just pull to a major/minor resolution.
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Quote by Jackal58
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#14
Quote by Jimmy_Page_Zep
If you know what you're doing, I don't see why not. But you would have to keep your progression very simple or it would just pull back itself back to a major or minor feel. This is why I gave the example of a one-chord vamp. You could play something like an E5 over and over again, playing any mode over top of it to get that modal feel. This is definitely the simplest way of using power chords in a modal context, but you'd have to keep everything really simple or risk it resolving to a major/minor.


This is in C major, so analyze it as such. The intro is just a vi vamp, don't let it trick you into thinking that its in A minor.


Okay, so it's in C major.... how do I analyze it further to understand how the chords work / fit together and how the differ in sections? How does moving to the F chord in the interlude work? etc...
I really appreciate the help
#15
Quote by disuse
Okay, so it's in C major.... how do I analyze it further to understand how the chords work / fit together and how the differ in sections? How does moving to the F chord in the interlude work? etc...
I really appreciate the help


Haha, I'm not going to analyze your songs for you

You know it's in C major, so start by figure out each chords harmonic function in relation to C major, starting with C as the I chord.
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Quote by Jackal58
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#16
Quote by disuse
Okay, so it's in C major.... how do I analyze it further to understand how the chords work / fit together and how the differ in sections? How does moving to the F chord in the interlude work? etc...
I really appreciate the help


Do you understand scale degrees? (Tonic, Dominant, Subdominant etc.)

If not, I would suggest figuring that out before you try to analyze too deep.

Heres a good lesson on that, link
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Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
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#17
Quote by sites.nick
Do you understand scale degrees? (Tonic, Dominant, Subdominant etc.)

If not, I would suggest figuring that out before you try to analyze too deep.

Heres a good lesson on that, link


+1

Good lesson, and it will help TS understand chord movements and their relation to the tonic.
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#18
Cool, yeah, I kinda get them, but I don't really understand how to apply them to the songs I'm trying to analyze / write.
I know what each degree is called, etc.... but not really how the function nor how to learn how they function....
#19
http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_forum/index.php?showtopic=30271

Check that out. Maybe that will help you understand chord movement and how tonic, subdominant, and dominant chords function.
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Quote by Jackal58
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#20
Ok, I understand the concept... but what do they do?
In my example, what does it mean? How does it help? This is where it's bothering me, because I feel like I'm missing something incredibly obvious....
#21
It is very hard to explain, and if we do it for you, you won't really be learning anything, so how about you do the best you can, post it here, and we'll help you out from there?

I think this would be the best way for us to teach you at this point.
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"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#22
Ok, well, since I already know the keys for the other songs, I'll choose a new one and analyze that...

Millencolin - Black Eye
Key: Bm

Intro: |i - bVI - bIII - bVII|
Verse: |i - bVI - bIII - bVII|
Chorus:|i-bVI - bIII - bVII|
*break between chorus & verse*: |bVI - bVII|
Bridge (Middle 8): |bVI - bVII - bIII - bVII|

That's pretty much it for the parts... let me know if there's anything else you need

P.S - I guess my question boils down to: I know my CAGED shapes, I know most of my theory, my ears are decent as in I can learn songs by ear, but my question is I think, what do I do now? How to I put it all together? I figured analyzing songs would help, but I don't what to look for or how to do it, I guess.... Thanks, again guys
#23
Quote by disuse
Ok, well, since I already know the keys for the other songs, I'll choose a new one and analyze that...

Millencolin - Black Eye
Key: Bm

Intro: |i - bVI - bIII - bVII|
Verse: |i - bVI - bIII - bVII|
Chorus:|i-bVI - bIII - bVII|
*break between chorus & verse*: |bVI - bVII|
Bridge (Middle 8): |bVI - bVII - bIII - bVII|

That's pretty much it for the parts... let me know if there's anything else you need

P.S - I guess my question boils down to: I know my CAGED shapes, I know most of my theory, my ears are decent as in I can learn songs by ear, but my question is I think, what do I do now? How to I put it all together? I figured analyzing songs would help, but I don't what to look for or how to do it, I guess.... Thanks, again guys


Never Heard that song before, it's pretty awesome!

Anyway, seems like you got the key and the chords right, which is good, cuz I messed up on the key when I just analyzed it until I rechecked it.

So the next thing you need to do is to ask yourself what else you want to learn this song. We were talking about scale degrees earlier, so lets try that, can you name the scale degree of each of the chords?
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Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#24
Yeah! Glad you liked it! If you like that, you should definitely check out more Millencolin (Home From Home album, especially)

Key: Bm
Intro: |i - bVI - bIII - bVII|
Verse: |i - bVI - bIII - bVII|
Chorus:|i-bVI - bIII - bVII|
*break between chorus & verse*: |bVI - bVII|
Bridge (Middle 8): |bVI - bVII - bIII - bVII|

i - Tonic
io - Supertonic
bIII - Mediant
iv - Subdominant
v - Dominant
bVI - Submediant
bVII - Subtonic

Intro / Verse: i (Tonic) - bVI (Submediant) - bIII (Mediant) - bVII (Subtonic)

Bridge: bVI (Submediant) - bVII (Subtonic) - bIII (Mediant) - bVII (Subtonic)

Is that correct?
#25
yup, thats right, now that you got that, you can start learning stuff from that.

One example, you were wondering what all the degrees meant, well they pretty much mean a certain sound of a scale (which is why it was hard to explain, I can't really explain sounds), and you now know which chords have which degree, so you can listen to those chords, and find out what that scale degree sounds like compared to the others.

It does get a little more complex then that, but thats the basics. you can also test that by playing it in another minor key. If you do it right, it should sound the same no matter what minor key you're in, because the scale degrees are all the same.

If you have any other questions, go ahead and ask, but to sum it up, when your analyzing, pick something you want to learn more about, and look at that in there song, you don't have to follow any analyzing patterns, just make sure you're getting something out of it.
Quote by leg end

"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#26
Right ok....
What if I have chords that move much quicker? Do I consider those just a riff? or do I analyze the same way?
Like I said before, I know my scales, well, major & minor, and the rest of it, but I'm having trouble understanding the music I like, and writing it myself...
#27
You can pretty much analyze that the same way, it depends on the song though.

If the chords are being used as a chord progression, you would analyze it like that no matter how fast it was going.

If its being used as a riff, solo, or some other kind of lead guitar thing, you could analyze it differently if you wanted, but a lot of it is kind of the same.

I haven't actually analyzed lead guitar stuff nearly as much, so I might not be a ton of help in that area...
Quote by leg end

"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#28
Right, I think I have a grasp over what to think about for the next while
Thanks very much, I really appreciate the help!
One more thing, can you check out the songs in my profile and maybe let me know what you think?
I know I can write some tunes, but I'm quite impatient with myself, and when something good comes up I don't know why it's good!
Anyways, thanks again.
Cheers!