#1
A couple of times, people have suggested that i learn diatonic theory.
Everytime i look up info and lessons on diatonic theory, it's usually stuff i already know.

As far as I've gotten in these lessons is that diatonic theory is just the theory and methods of playing within a particular key/scale.
How the notes can be put together to make chords that fit within the key

but I haven't found any info that goes much further than the basics.
I already know how to play within a particular key/scale and how to derive chords out of a scale. i also know my modes (I'm not sure if this is part of diatonic theory)

what else is there to know, is there any more info (that's practical)?
where can I find more info?
#2
Sounds like you've already covered diatonic theory.

Modes are part of diatonic theory, because the modes use the same notes - you're just using a different one to establish the tonal center.

You may want to consider picking up a theory book and reading up.
#3
well, I've gotten theory from plenty of different sources
I feel like I know plenty, I just want something that will help improve my playing.
specific areas of theory that i haven't touched on, but i can't seem to find anything good
#4
Theory isn't about what you "know", it's not a list of boxes to tick off - it's about how well you understand and can use what you know, and that's a lifetime's work.
Actually called Mark!

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#5
The best thing for me to improve my theoretical understanding of music has been analysing other artist's music, and composing my own music. As far as I'm concerned, it's by far the best, and most practical way to learn. When you see something in someone else's music which you don't understand, study up until you understand it. Then experiment through applying it in your own music.

Sounds like long, hard work, right? That's because obtaining a solid understanding of music is a long process of hard work.

To summarise my ranting (of which I apologise sincerely!), start writing your own music, and find songs to really deeply analyse. Specifically, looking into and experimenting with different diatonic chord progressions might be a good idea.

Best of luck with your learning!
Not a huge fan of bees
Last edited by Gelato at Oct 1, 2010,
#6
Quote by dlfloyd
A couple of times, people have suggested that i learn diatonic theory.
Everytime i look up info and lessons on diatonic theory, it's usually stuff i already know.

As far as I've gotten in these lessons is that diatonic theory is just the theory and methods of playing within a particular key/scale.
How the notes can be put together to make chords that fit within the key

but I haven't found any info that goes much further than the basics.
I already know how to play within a particular key/scale and how to derive chords out of a scale. i also know my modes (I'm not sure if this is part of diatonic theory)

what else is there to know, is there any more info (that's practical)?
where can I find more info?


Sure, if I walked up to you on the street and said, how quickly can you tell me what the notes of an A# Major are? How long would it take you?

If I came up to you and said, "Transpose the IV of Db to the IV of Ab", how long would it take to tell me what the two chords are?

If I asked you at any point, to find a certain note on the neck on a certain string, how long would it take you, and would you be fumbling about awkwardly trying to pluck it from thin air?

If I asked you, what are the 5 notes of Eb minor 11th, could you tell me? If so, how long would it take?

If I asked you to write out the notes of a Gb Minor scale, how long would it take, and would you get it correct?

If I asked for a G# Augmented and an Ab Dimininshed, could you tell me what they are, and are they the same notes? Either way, how long would it take you to do so?

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Oct 1, 2010,
#7
Quote by steven seagull
Theory isn't about what you "know", it's not a list of boxes to tick off - it's about how well you understand and can use what you know, and that's a lifetime's work.
This. There's a lot of application and deeper comprehension even within diatonic harmony. You're not just done if you can harmonize a scale in thirds. I mean I realize you probably have a deeper understanding than that but there's always more application that can be done with theory. Try to focus just on applying what you already know for a while. After all, theory is meaningless without application. This may include composition or harmonic analysis.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#8
Good input from the thread so far, and I agree learning theory and understanding it is a completly different thing but I have an idea in the back of my head to write a lesson specifically for non-diatonic theory - involving passing tones, borrowing chords of the parrellel minor/major, descending/acsending basslines & voicings etc. etc. you kind of inspired me to get at it.
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#9
I think "diatonic theory" is kind of a misnomer isn't it?

I mean there's music theory.... and a term within that study is "diatonic".

what else should you know?

It's a big subject. I'd suggest trying a book or a class if you want structure /guidance. then you can ask specific questions here.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 1, 2010,
#11
Quote by Vendetta V
so whats the opposite of diatonic??? i mean the word... like enharmonic???


non-diatonic
shred is gaudy music
#12
Quote by Vendetta V
so whats the opposite of diatonic??? i mean the word... like enharmonic???
Chromatic.

Quote by GuitarMunky
non-diatonic
That could work as well.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#13
Quote by food1010
Chromatic.

That could work as well.


actually, not to argue, BUT.....

I would say that while chromatic clearly isn't diatonic, the term non-diatonic is the specific opposite.

heh anyway.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 1, 2010,
#14
Quote by GuitarMunky
actually, not to argue, BUT.....

I would say that while chromatic clearly isn't diatonic, the term non-diatonic is the specific opposite.

heh anyway.
Obviously it all depends on the context.

In some cases "chromatic" is more correct, whereas in come cases "non-diatonic" is more correct.

For example, a secondary dominant is a "chromatically" altered chord (compared to a diatonic chord)

Whereas if you were to speak in general about harmony that contrasts the diatonic system you would be more correct in describing that as "non-diatonic" (compared to diatonic harmony)
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Oct 1, 2010,
#15
Quote by food1010
Obviously it all depends on the context.

In some cases "chromatic" is more correct, whereas in come cases "non-diatonic" is more correct.

For example, a secondary dominant is a "chromatically" altered chord (compared to a diatonic chord)

Whereas if you were to speak in general about harmony that contrasts the diatonic system you would be more correct in describing that as "non-diatonic" (compared to diatonic harmony)


Well, the way I see it. The opposite of being something, is not being something. So to me diatonic VS non-diatonic is about as opposite as you can get.

the chromatic scale falls within the realm of that opposite thing, but im not convinced that it defines it.


at least thats where I'm coming from.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 1, 2010,
#16
Quote by GuitarMunky
Well, the way I see it. The opposite of being something, is not being something. So to me diatonic VS non-diatonic is about as opposite as you can get.

the chromatic scale falls within the realm of that opposite thing, but im not convinced that it defines it.


at least thats where I'm coming from.
Yeah I see your point.

I personally don't define chromaticism based on the chromatic scale, because as you said, it doesn't really do a good job of defining it. In fact, it's more like a bridge between diatonic and chromatic harmony. In a diatonic context, the chromatic scale is really only partly chromatic. Its true purpose is to introduce the chromaticism to a diatonic scale/progression.

I think it's incorrect to define chromaticism as "anything that is derived from the chromatic scale," as that's really misleading. As a result, I prefer to define it as "anything that is a departure from traditional diatonic structure."

To be honest, there are a lot of gray areas when it comes to terminology.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#17
Quote by food1010
Yeah I see your point.

I personally don't define chromaticism based on the chromatic scale, because as you said, it doesn't really do a good job of defining it. In fact, it's more like a bridge between diatonic and chromatic harmony. In a diatonic context, the chromatic scale is really only partly chromatic. Its true purpose is to introduce the chromaticism to a diatonic scale/progression.

I think it's incorrect to define chromaticism as "anything that is derived from the chromatic scale," as that's really misleading. As a result, I prefer to define it as "anything that is a departure from traditional diatonic structure."

To be honest, there are a lot of gray areas when it comes to terminology.



fair enough, but out of curiosity would you say something like a borrowed bVI chord is "chromatic"?

From my point of view thats an instance of a non-diatonic chord (opposite of diatonic chord), yet I wouldn't consider chromatic.

Chromatic to me does imply use of the chromatic scale in a sense. Like if you were to move chords chromatically (ex: A7-Ab7-G7-Gb7-F7), all the voices would be moving "chromatically".

and when I think of a chromatic line, it generally consists of 3 or more notes each a half step apart. (moving up or down obviously)


Anyway, I'm not saying you're wrong, but it's interesting that we have these slightly different takes on the terminology.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 1, 2010,
#18
Yawn...

GM, the whole thing is splitting hairs. Theres nothing wrong with identifying a system within music theory as Diatonic Theory, and if it fits within a larger system, and thats how one organizes and develops their knowledge, so what?

There's plenty of Theory, as it relates to Diatonic Scales, Keys and Harmony. There's no dogma whatsoever governing the use of the words "Diatonic Theory".

Let it go.

Sean
#19
Quote by Sean0913
Yawn...

GM, the whole thing is splitting hairs.


Theres nothing wrong with identifying a system within music theory as Diatonic Theory, and if it fits within a larger system, and thats how one organizes and develops their knowledge, so what?

There's plenty of Theory, as it relates to Diatonic Scales, Keys and Harmony. There's no dogma whatsoever governing the use of the words "Diatonic Theory".

Let it go.

Sean


well terms have meanings, and we were having a polite discussion, not an arguement. (at least thats how Ifelt about it). Im genuinely interested in foods perspective.

and btw, I did let it go, it's you that just continued it and injected an argumentative (and rude) tone.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 1, 2010,
#20
Quote by GuitarMunky
fair enough, but out of curiosity would you say something like a borrowed bVI chord is "chromatic"?

From my point of view thats an instance of a non-diatonic chord (opposite of diatonic chord), yet I wouldn't consider chromatic.
Yep. I consider it chromatic because it borrows notes from outside the diatonic scale/key signature.

Quote by GuitarMunky
Chromatic to me does imply use of the chromatic scale in a sense. Like if you were to move chords chromatically (ex: A7-Ab7-G7-Gb7-F7), all the voices would be moving "chromatically".

and when I think of a chromatic line, it generally consists of 3 or more notes each a half step apart. (moving up or down obviously)
Yeah, and to be honest, I can't say I disagree with you. If you were to tell me to play a progression that moves chromatically, it would probably end up moving along the chromatic scale in some way or another. I wouldn't say C Bb F G C moves chromatically, but I would say it uses chromaticism.

This is how I define chromaticism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromaticism

I usually describe movement along the chromatic scale as either a chromatic run, chromatic motion/movement, or a term I just came across while writing this post: linear chromaticism. In fact, I came across a book on Google books that I want to find the time to read: Elements of the Jazz Language for the Developing Improviser. Sounds like a good read.

Quote by GuitarMunky
Anyway, I'm not saying you're wrong, but it's interesting that we have these slightly different takes on the terminology.
Yeah I think it's interesting as well. It's always good to challenge and question your knowledge. I don't feel like you should ever be completely comfortable with what you think you know, as someone may present it in an intriguing way you've never heard, and you may miss out if you don't have an open mind. My knowledge on certain definitions/topics changes pretty often.

Quote by GuitarMunky
well terms have meanings, and we were having a polite discussion, not an arguement. (at least thats how Ifelt about it). Im genuinely interested in foods perspective.
Yeah that's how I feel as well. We're both sharing with each other our perspectives on these terms. We're not arguing or debating.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Oct 1, 2010,
#21
Chromatic is definitely not the same as non diatonic. Diatonic and non-diatonic are both proper subsets of chromatic. Non diatonic and diatonic share no elements hence non diatonic and chromatic are not the same. Furthermore, chromatic and non diatonic sets share elements as non diatonic is a proper subset and therefore they are not opposites. The set of all elements in the chromatic set which are not diatonic are found in the non diatonic set hence the set non diatonic is the complement of diatonic (and therefore its opposite).
Last edited by onethreesixfive at Oct 1, 2010,
#22
Quote by food1010
Yep. I consider it chromatic because it borrows notes from outside the diatonic scale/key signature.

Yeah, and to be honest, I can't say I disagree with you. If you were to tell me to play a progression that moves chromatically, it would probably end up moving along the chromatic scale in some way or another. I wouldn't say C Bb F G C moves chromatically, but I would say it uses chromaticism.

This is how I define chromaticism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromaticism

I usually describe movement along the chromatic scale as either a chromatic run, chromatic motion/movement, or a term I just came across while writing this post: linear chromaticism. In fact, I came across a book on Google books that I want to find the time to read: Elements of the Jazz Language for the Developing Improviser. Sounds like a good read.

Yeah I think it's interesting as well. It's always good to challenge and question your knowledge. I don't feel like you should ever be completely comfortable with what you think you know, as someone may present it in an intriguing way you've never heard, and you may miss out if you don't have an open mind. My knowledge on certain definitions/topics changes pretty often.

Yeah that's how I feel as well. We're both sharing with each other our perspectives on these terms. We're not arguing or debating.


Well I have to say It's nice to converse in this way. I really appreciate your views, and that goes beyond just this thread.
shred is gaudy music
#23
no piece of music stays diatonic does it ?

majority of tonal music will have outside notes weather in the chords or melody right ?
#24
Quote by ssob
no piece of music stays diatonic does it ?

majority of tonal music will have outside notes weather in the chords or melody right ?

oh there's plenty of purely diatonic music. I don't have any statistics, but it's prevalent enough.
shred is gaudy music
#25
Hey guys.. woah didnt know my question would bring to this discussion... pretty interesting one let me add.. so yeah let me try and join this discussion


Quote by GuitarMunky
oh there's plenty of purely diatonic music. I don't have any statistics, but it's prevalent enough.


true enough. but hmm do you think its worth calling a piece chromatic or non-diatonic for just a couple of notes that doesnt fit diatonically? like something not crucial as chord progression or something...
also another question here. does a key change make a song chromatic?
#26
It's good to see this thread got some attention
a lot of good ideas

I do agree that i should listen to my music more deeply
I always listen deeply but over time of learning and playing I actually know what aspects to look for and how other musicians put parts together.
#27
also-randomly

on the chromatic debate, I'd say when you are talking in the concept of a particular scale or key and you use chromatics, then it would be non-diatonic
but if you are just talking about the chromatic scale in general, then it would be diatonic
#28
Diatonic chord substitution is a good place to visit next.
Then you want to start branching outside into the non diatonic territory. Borrowing chords from the parallel major/minor, progressions built from the cycle of fifths or cycle of fourths, chromaticism, altered cords etc.

And just to throw my two cents in, there is plenty of stuff that I would consider non-diatonic that I wouldn't consider chromatic. I guess I've always considered "chromatic" as a subset of "non-diatonic". An example the chords in Hey Joe are non diatonic but I wouldn't describe them as chromatic. There is however a nice chromatic run in there and I have always thought of the whole run as chromatic even though there are steps in it that are not half steps.

I guess the way I see it chromatic is by definition non diatonic but non diatonic is not necessarily chromatic. The W H diminished scale (among others) is non diatonic but it is not chromatic for example. Yet chromatic is always non diatonic.

But really I just posted because I think the TS is in a great place to check out diatonic chord substitution (common tone chord substitution using chord families) and then other kinds of substitution and that other stuff I mentioned.

Good Luck

EDIT: A key change does not make a song chromatic or necessarily non diatonic. Chromatic is (in my definition) a term used to describe two or more half steps in a row by the same voice. Diatonic defines a specific kind of scale in which there are five whole tones and two half tones AND the two half tones are separated by three whole tones on one side and two whole tones on the other (W W H W W W H). You can change key and the whole piece could still be called completely diatonic but it goes from being diatonic in one key to being diatonic in another key.

Also if there was a single non diatonic note way in a borrowed major chord you wouldn't necessarily say the whole song was non diatonic but you might say that particular chord or note was non diatonic.


There are different things to consider. Using Hey Joe as an example again the root movement in the chord progression is diatonic even though it follows a cycle of fifths (the key is Em and the root progression is C G D A E) you see he doesn't go far enough around so that the roots become non diatonic.

Yet they are all major chords so some of the chords themselves are non diatonic (The G C and D are diatonic to Em but the E major and and A major aren't).

Then the run that appears is chromatic. There's enough to say the song is non diatonic even though there are some aspects that we could consider diatonic.

Don't know if that helps answer your later questions but that's how I see it anyway.

EDIT II: I see where Food get's his definition from - I just use the term differently than that wiki article suggests.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Oct 2, 2010,
#29
Quote by Vendetta V
true enough. but hmm do you think its worth calling a piece chromatic or non-diatonic for just a couple of notes that doesnt fit diatonically? like something not crucial as chord progression or something...
If a song is mostly diatonic with a bit of chromaticism, I would specify that. The notes that aren't diatonic, I would definitely call chromatic, but I would say that everything else is diatonic.

Quote by Vendetta V
also another question here. does a key change make a song chromatic?
Not necessarily. You can have a song that you would characterize as "diatonic with modulations." The simplest example would be a relative key modulation. You can use only notes from one key signature if you want (since two relative keys share a key signature). But even if you change key signatures, it's still entirely possible to remain diatonic to those key signatures. One way is through pivot chord modulation (using one or more mutual chords in a transition). A lot of modulations, however, transition using chromatic elements.

Diatonic modulations are more common between closely related keys (or in shift or phrase modulations) and chromatic modulations are more common between less-closely related keys.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modulation_%28music%29#Types This should clear up anything I didn't explain.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea