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#1
Hey everyone!

I'm a freshman majoring in Jazz Studies, and I want to make sure I am absorbing all of this information correctly.

Today in Jazz Theory class, we talked about what chord extensions (9's, 11's, 13's) sounded good in each chord. So, I will use the C chord as an example:

In a CMaj7 chord: the 9, #11 (because the natural 11 is the 4th, a half step away from the M3, doesn't sound good) and the 13

In a Cmin7 chord: the 9, 11, and 13

In C7 (dominant): The b9, 9, #9, 11, #11, b13, and 13 all sound good. This is what I was most confused about. How can the b9 sound good if it is a half step away from the tonic? Wouldn't this use the same kind of rule with the natural 11 not sounding good in the Maj7 chord because it is a half step away from the 3rd?

In Cmin7 b5: The 9, 11, and b13

In Cdim7: The 9, 11, b13, and the 7 above the b13 (which turns out to be Bbb)

And in Cmin Maj7 (or harmonic minor): The 9, 11, and 13.

My teacher didn't go over C half diminished... I'm not sure why.

Is all of this correct? Am I understanding this correctly? I am extremely grateful to anyone who can help out. I may update this post when I feel that I am not fully absorbing the material, and am seeking help from theory (specifically, jazz) veterans.
#2
First of all, everything seems to be right there, but see what others say as my theory isn't 100% fantastic. I can't comment on the Cdim7: I don't know about the extensions involved with diminished chords.

Second of all: the dominant 9th chords. try not to think of things in terms of "sounding good", but in terms of consosance and dissonance. b9 chords are dissonant, but they can still sound good: it's all about the context they are placed in. Even tone clusters can be made to sound awesome in the right context.

It's all about wavelengths: consosnant (i cant spell that word, sorry) intervals include the major 3rd, the minor 3rd, the perfect 5th and the major and minor 6th. mild dissonance occurs with the major 4th, the b5 (okay, the same depending on context) and the minor 7th. "strong" dissonance involves intervals like the Major 7. Suffice to say, in intervals like the major 7, the wavelengths of each note are close to each other, and this makes them clash with one another.
Quote by EndTheRapture51
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Last edited by Banjocal at Sep 1, 2011,
#3
Cmin7b5 is half diminished.

A C7b9 is an altered chord, which are used to create tension, add dissonance, or facilitate smooth voice leading.

Most dominant chords will be altered because the V chord is the least stable and tends to resolve to tonic.

Generally you don't want that kind of dissonance in the tonic chord.

I think it depends on the context of the song, progression and key. I would not use a C maj7 #11(which is also a half step from the 5th) for the I chord unless it was part of the melody or as previously stated for voice leading. I would use an F maj7 #11 because the #11 is diatonic to the key of C.
MARTY FRIEDMAN--"It’s a lot easier to be technical than it is stylized; it really is... But I think it’s a lot more rare to have someone who’s really got their own sound because that’s something you can’t practice."
#4
everyone's already covered the main bases...

...but i've never seen a use for extensions in a diminished chord. really, it's completely pointless. if you have a diminished ninth chord (in theory, of course), you'd have the notes (on C, for ease) C Eb Gb Bbb Dbb. that would technically be a diminished ninth chord, but why bother? it's the exact same thing as the diminished seventh chord. the diminished eleventh (Fb) and the dimninished thirteenth (Abb) would also achieve the exact same results. so it's completely pointless to consider them as extensions -- they are chord tones of the underlying triad.

anything else over a º7 chord would simply be considered a non-chord tone.

good luck with jazz theory -- it's extremely useful to be able to apply theory to jazz but i feel that the concept of jazz theory itself is intrinsically just one giant crock after another.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#5
Oh yeah, you're right. Cmin7 b5 IS C half-diminished, haha whoops.

Wow, thanks a lot guys. Jazz theory seems like a big beast to concur... I may post back when I have more questions!
#6
Quote by AeolianWolf
...but i feel that the concept of jazz theory itself is intrinsically just one giant crock after another.


^made me laugh!!! Should be sig'd!!
MARTY FRIEDMAN--"It’s a lot easier to be technical than it is stylized; it really is... But I think it’s a lot more rare to have someone who’s really got their own sound because that’s something you can’t practice."
#7
As for the C dominant 7th confusion:

The key word here is dominant. C is the dominant of F. The b9 (Db) is a half step away from C, which is the 5 of F. As C7 resolves to F, Db resolves to C.

Hope that helps.
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Sep 1, 2011,
#8
The notion of extensions over diminished chords (beyond the b7 that is in a minor7b5/half-diminished chord) definitely is not common. The only context in which I've personally found myself approaching something like that is really as a suspension that resolves to a normal minor7b5. Like this: x5658x to x5656x. The G resolves down to F, which is the 3rd. There is no "half-diminished 11" going on here.

I suppose you technically can think of half-diminished chords as having extensions, but the results are quite dissonant. The 9 would be a b9 - and with there being a minor 3rd and a b5 already, it doesn't sound that good. Without using chromaticism in the key, the 13 would be a b13 as well, which doesn't sound too hot either. The 11, to my ears, is the only one that sounds good, and it wants to be a suspension leading back to the 3rd.

Indeed, I'm willing to bet that almost whenever you see something in a piece that looks like it might be an extended minor7b5, it's probably a suspension and immediately afterwards you'll see the b9 resolve down to the root, the 11 resolve down to the 3rd, or the b13 resolve down to the b5.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Sep 1, 2011,
#9
Quote by WesM.Vaughan
^made me laugh!!! Should be sig'd!!


let me put it this way: if you're going to tell me that i should be playing G mixolydian over my G7 chords, you don't quite know theory as well as you think you do.

are you a theory instructor, too?
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#10
Quote by AeolianWolf
let me put it this way: if you're going to tell me that i should be playing G mixolydian over my G7 chords, you don't quite know theory as well as you think you do.

are you a theory instructor, too?

I think the problem is that a lot of instructors say to do this and it's completely right to do that. G Mixo over a G7 would work just fine... where the problem comes in is when the instructor fails to mention it's STILL in C Major and you're just using the G Mixo scale as a "guide" of sorts to help you visualize the best notes to play with.

I've recently begun using CST and it's helped my improvising a lot... but I still know that I'm soloing in C Major even if I'm using the F Lydian scale to help me solo over the IV easier.
#11
I think the problem is that a lot of instructors say to do this and it's completely right to do that. G Mixo over a G7 would work just fine... where the problem comes in is when the instructor fails to mention it's STILL in C Major and you're just using the G Mixo scale as a "guide" of sorts to help you visualize the best notes to play with.

I've recently begun using CST and it's helped my improvising a lot... but I still know that I'm soloing in C Major even if I'm using the F Lydian scale to help me solo over the IV easier.

well, yeah, CST is a fantastic tool, but without the proper understanding (as you clarified), it has major drawbacks.

and i don't even see the point of doing that in C major. i don't see the point of using CST in diatonic contexts in general -- if we're in Eb major and a Gmaj7(#11) comes in, sure, there's some clear benefit to using "G lydian". you're not just talking about the positions, are you?
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#12
Quote by AeolianWolf
well, yeah, CST is a fantastic tool, but without the proper understanding (as you clarified), it has major drawbacks.

and i don't even see the point of doing that in C major. i don't see the point of using CST in diatonic contexts in general -- if we're in Eb major and a Gmaj7(#11) comes in, sure, there's some clear benefit to using "G lydian". you're not just talking about the positions, are you?

Oh of course not for something diatonic. If I'm soloing in C Major and a G7 comes up **** CST I'm using C Major! I just used it for the sake of example.

And no I'm not just talking about the positions.

Like you said though, if in Eb and a GM7(#11) comes up then G Lydian is the best option. I was talking more in the realm of stuff like this though, when you have weird extended chords from parallel/relative keys/modes
#13
Quote by AeolianWolf
let me put it this way: if you're going to tell me that i should be playing G mixolydian over my G7 chords, you don't quite know theory as well as you think you do.


Was this directed towards me?
MARTY FRIEDMAN--"It’s a lot easier to be technical than it is stylized; it really is... But I think it’s a lot more rare to have someone who’s really got their own sound because that’s something you can’t practice."
#14
Quote by WesM.Vaughan
Was this directed towards me?


if and only if you play G mixolydian over a G7 in C major.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#16
I'm not sure if it has been mentioned, but aside from the issue of which extensions sound "good," something to be mindful of is how you voice the chords.

Here's a quick example. Suppose I want to play an Emaj7 chord. Here are 3 ways I could play that chord.

-11--11-12-
-12--9--9--
-13--9--8--
-14--9--9--
-----------
-----------


Even without extensions, these three inversions all sound different to my ears. Each has a different flavour of texture because of where the notes of the chord are in relation to eachother. The same is true in chords with extensions, it's not just the extension that matters, how you voice the chord is also important.

As for "Jazz Theory," I suppose it's really just a collection of conceptual tools that you may or may not find helpful. I personally find Chord Scale Theory helpful, particularly when soloing over a progression where the concept of a key isn't that helpful.

One issue I have with the system however is that if we consider a particular scale, let's just say the major scale for the sake of simplicity, and we then consider it's "modes" (in the CST sense), each mode is really just a cyclic permutation on the same underlying set of intervals. Viewing each "mode" as something different from the last can obscure the fact that they're really just different faces of the same overall structure.

I do to some degree like the idea of naming chords after a suitable scale to play over them, maybe referring to an Fmaj7#11 chord as "F Lydian," for example. I'm also quite fond of using hand gestures to indicate keys.
My name is Tom, feel free to use it.
#17
Quote by AeolianWolf
if and only if you play G mixolydian over a G7 in C major.


Oh so you were speaking to anyone in general?

Yeah I have learned the difference between using modes as scales over diatonic chords and true modal playing. I was agreeing with your comment about jazz theory and found it amusing.
MARTY FRIEDMAN--"It’s a lot easier to be technical than it is stylized; it really is... But I think it’s a lot more rare to have someone who’s really got their own sound because that’s something you can’t practice."
#18
Quote by WesM.Vaughan
Oh so you were speaking to anyone in general?

Yeah I have learned the difference between using modes as scales over diatonic chords and true modal playing. I was agreeing with your comment about jazz theory and found it amusing.


..that was an agreement? i saw it as a sarcastic challenge.

...unless this is also a sarcastic challenge.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#19
it was an agreement...maybe I just come off as an asshole idk...

EDITan hour later after a !!!RARE!!!intoxication) I have followed many of your posts, and have nothing but RESPECT for your knowledge of theory you have helped me before on my analysis of jazz charts even though I am no longer playing jazz.

your comment, in a way, clarified the thought in the back of my mind,..."no sense makes sense". In other words, there is no definite way to speculate, characterize jazz music? I mean, to say "crock" or in other words bullshit...what applies in one situation does not apply in others? The comment you made resounded with me in a way I cannot describe., however it made sense. If I am completely off then feel free to correct or educate me as I have no intention to deceive anyone in the MT forum.
MARTY FRIEDMAN--"It’s a lot easier to be technical than it is stylized; it really is... But I think it’s a lot more rare to have someone who’s really got their own sound because that’s something you can’t practice."
Last edited by WesM.Vaughan at Sep 3, 2011,
#20
Quote by WesM.Vaughan
it was an agreement...maybe I just come off as an asshole idk...

EDITan hour later after a !!!RARE!!!intoxication) I have followed many of your posts, and have nothing but RESPECT for your knowledge of theory you have helped me before on my analysis of jazz charts even though I am no longer playing jazz.

your comment, in a way, clarified the thought in the back of my mind,..."no sense makes sense". In other words, there is no definite way to speculate, characterize jazz music? I mean, to say "crock" or in other words bullshit...what applies in one situation does not apply in others? The comment you made resounded with me in a way I cannot describe., however it made sense. If I am completely off then feel free to correct or educate me as I have no intention to deceive anyone in the MT forum.


thank you for the praise. i appreciate it.

that's actually a fairly good way to look at. it kind of ties in with zen buddhist philosophy (which i try to adhere to even though i'm not religious in the slightest) in that "everything is nothing", etc. theory is theory. to classify it based on the application is, in my opinion, restrictive. jazz theory is basically a few cats (who, don't get me wrong, are incredible musicians without any doubt) naming fancy names and putting things where they wouldn't otherwise go, even though the sound they're getting could easily be explained by classical theory.

generally speaking, it's better to be flexible than constricted (e.g. play a mixolydian scale here, the only scale that works over this is B superlocrian, etc.). CST is a great tool for visualizing accidentals -- but it's just a tool. nothing more. most of the concepts i've seen described in jazz theory are just a more complicated way of describing everything that could easily and more clearly be explained using classical theory.

the style of theory i use is basically just classical theory updated to include concepts we get from jazz, which makes the use of jazz theory redundant. i see music as a whole, and apply that "theory" (neither jazz nor classical) as a whole. this is how i see it. using one system that is able to encompass and explain everything is better than bringing in separate systems to look at separate concepts. it's like wearing a pair of glasses that only has one lens.

that's my view of things. i hope it makes sense.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#21
Quote by AeolianWolf
jazz theory is basically a few cats (who, don't get me wrong, are incredible musicians without any doubt) naming fancy names and putting things where they wouldn't otherwise go, even though the sound they're getting could easily be explained by classical theory.

.



"jazz theory" "classical theory" = pretty much the same thing:

pretentious terms that give the user a feeling/illusion of greater importance or knowledge.

it's all music theory.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 3, 2011,
#22
Quote by GuitarMunky
"jazz theory" "classical theory" = pretty much the same thing:

pretentious terms that give the user a feeling/illusion of greater importance or knowledge.

it's all music theory.


they're about as similar as the major scale and the ionian mode.

your attitude isn't as zen as you seem to think, and your constant failure to acknowledge even the slightest amount of objectivity in music is irritating.

the fact that it's music theory is the point that i was trying to make. jazz theory is just a bunch of people who don't really understand theory assigning scales to chords, chords to scales, achieving a result no greater than that which would be achieved using musical sense, a good ear, and a broader knowledge of theory. the holistic approach encompasses more and is therefore far better.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Last edited by AeolianWolf at Sep 6, 2011,
#23
I'm not aware of any special thing called "jazz theory" really. I do know that there's something we could call "music theory applied to jazz", which accounts for idiosyncracies of the idiom. Perhaps some people out there do throw around terms like "jazz theory" in a pretentious way.

But at the same time, I'm not sure about the existence of some cabal of jazz-heads who don't know what they're talking about. There is a phenomenon of guitar players on the internet who didn't learn theory quite properly and jump ahead of themselves in their zeal to be advanced (particularly the frenzy to discover new scales), but that's another (much broader) issue entirely.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Sep 6, 2011,
#24
Quote by AeolianWolf
they're about as similar as the major scale and the ionian mode.

your attitude isn't as zen as you seem to think, and your constant failure to acknowledge even the slightest amount of objectivity in music is irritating.



Dude, no need to be this harsh in a post in the musicians thread. We're all here for the same reason, we want to expand our knowledge and share ideas.

Anyway, I don't see any reason to see a jazz musician's concept of music theory as inferior. Most jazz players these days study at the universities, and universities still have a curriculum that includes the study of classical theory. We analyze Bach Chorales and learn voice leading principles just as everyone else does.

Hell, even going back to the bop era...do you honestly think someone like Bud Powell had merely a rudimentary understanding of music theory.

Jazz musicians know theory, we just apply it in a different manner; we actually extemporize using our knowledge of theory and harmony.
I couldn't think of a thing that I hope tomorrow brings
#25
Quote by thegloaming
Dude, no need to be this harsh in a post in the musicians thread. We're all here for the same reason, we want to expand our knowledge and share ideas.


whether it's harsh or not is irrelevant. if i feel that i'm being offended, i'm going to fight back.

Quote by thegloaming
Anyway, I don't see any reason to see a jazz musician's concept of music theory as inferior. Most jazz players these days study at the universities, and universities still have a curriculum that includes the study of classical theory. We analyze Bach Chorales and learn voice leading principles just as everyone else does.

Hell, even going back to the bop era...do you honestly think someone like Bud Powell had merely a rudimentary understanding of music theory.

Jazz musicians know theory, we just apply it in a different manner; we actually extemporize using our knowledge of theory and harmony.


then the noose is getting tighter with each generation. the musicians i'm forced to teach and/or play with get stupider every year.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#26
Quote by AeolianWolf

then the noose is getting tighter with each generation. the musicians i'm forced to teach and/or play with get stupider every year.


It's not your fault, we stupid Americans hate having to sit down and learn something :P
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#27
Quote by AeolianWolf



then the noose is getting tighter with each generation. the musicians i'm forced to teach and/or play with get stupider every year.


Let's just say there have been great classical musicians and great jazz musicians and leave it at that, yes?
I couldn't think of a thing that I hope tomorrow brings
#29
Quote by AeolianWolf
they're about as similar as the major scale and the ionian mode.



C Major scale = C D E F G A B

C Ionian mode = C D E F G A B

yup, I agree with you.


Quote by AeolianWolf


the fact that it's music theory is the point that i was trying to make.


I know, and I was agreeing with that point, but then you went on to imply that not only does it exist as a separate theory, but that there is also a classical theory. (and that classical theory is correct and that jazz theory is a bunch of misinformed people)

If you actually made the point you intended I would have been agreeing with you.


Anyway, you know as well as I that Jazz and classical are styles of music, not theories.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 7, 2011,
#30
Quote by GuitarMunky
C Major scale = C D E F G A B

C Ionian mode = C D E F G A B

yup, I agree with you.


come on, dude. i know you're smarter than that.


Quote by GuitarMunky
I know, but instead you implied that not only does it exist as a separate theory, but that there is also a classical theory. (and that classical theory is correct and that jazz theory is a bunch of misinformed people)


who says it isn't just a bunch of misinformed people? i'm not saying they can't play. i'm just saying they took the theory and edited it just to match scales with chords.


Quote by GuitarMunky
Terms like Jazz theory and classical theory are for the pretentious who need fancy terms to throw around in an argument.


Jazz and classical are styles of music, not theories.


so why do we even have this thread? why do music universities have classes called "jazz theory II"? so what you're saying is that i'm pretentious, this thread is pretentious, and every university that offers courses in jazz theory is pretentious.

again, you only see music as subjective, but it's far more than that.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#31
Quote by AeolianWolf
come on, dude. i know you're smarter than that.




If you want to draw a distinction between the two, you have to look at compositional practices.

There is no difference between the scales themselves.


Quote by AeolianWolf

so why do we even have this thread?



I don't know

Quote by AeolianWolf

why do music universities have classes called "jazz theory II"?

Marketing


Quote by AeolianWolf

so what you're saying is that i'm pretentious, this thread is pretentious, and every university that offers courses in jazz theory is pretentious.


Not exactly, but you're on to something.


Quote by AeolianWolf

again, you only see music as subjective, but it's far more than that.

You don't know how I see music. and that kind of condescension is what I'm talking about.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 7, 2011,
#32
This thread seems like an overblown and overly aggressive argument over whether the classical approach to theory, or the jazz approach to theory is inferior or superior, all the while claiming to be objective about it, when it is an entirely subjective opinion because one person may think the way a jazz musician applies scales to chords is good, while another thinks it is bad, both claiming to be objective and entirely correct.

Come on guys...
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Last edited by Banjocal at Sep 7, 2011,
#33
who says it isn't just a bunch of misinformed people? i'm not saying they can't play. i'm just saying they took the theory and edited it just to match scales with chords.


I'm really curious about who this "they" is. The instructor at the community college I went to who both teaches analizing classical music, jazz history class, and jazz guitar? At best, there are some misinformed youngsters who play shred-ish phrases over a dorian vamp, or discover melodic minor modes without knowing how to use them, and call it jazz.

But it sounds like you're taking issue with something like this (particularly starting at 0:48): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQNoxNJ29NQ

So he suggests certain modes over each chord. What about this is so bothersome to you? It musically works. It doesn't look like already existing theory is being "edited" to produce something seemingly fancy and pretentious - it's being applied. Perhaps it's being applied in a way that isn't as conventional as you're comfortable with, but it's not arbitrarily done without knowledge.

so why do we even have this thread? why do music universities have classes called "jazz theory II"? so what you're saying is that i'm pretentious, this thread is pretentious, and every university that offers courses in jazz theory is pretentious.


In all honesty, it comes off like you simply don't like jazz and/or the language that jazz-heads sometimes speak, and you have some zeal to reduce everything to some tradition of music theory that "the jazz people" don't completely follow because they've conceptualized certain things in a different way. *shrug*
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Sep 7, 2011,
#34
Quote by Brainpolice2
I'm really curious about who this "they" is. The instructor at the community college I went to who both teaches analizing classical music, jazz history class, and jazz guitar? At best, there are some misinformed youngsters who play shred-ish phrases over a dorian vamp, or discover melodic minor modes without knowing how to use them, and call it jazz.

But it sounds like you're taking issue with something like this (particularly starting at 0:48): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQNoxNJ29NQ

So he suggests certain modes over each chord. What about this is so bothersome to you? It musically works. It doesn't look like already existing theory is being "edited" to produce something seemingly fancy and pretentious - it's being applied. Perhaps it's being applied in a way that isn't as conventional as you're comfortable with, but it's not arbitrarily done without knowledge.

In all honesty, it comes off like you simply don't like jazz and/or the language that jazz-heads sometimes speak, and you have some zeal to reduce everything to some tradition of music theory that "the jazz people" don't completely follow because they've conceptualized certain things in a different way. *shrug*


are you kidding? i'm crazy about jazz. it's a wonderful genre that has so much to teach everybody about...well, everything.

"they" are the terrible musicians i've seen all over the place. maybe the ratio of shitty musicians to good musicians is higher here.

and no. it doesn't "musically" work. it sounds like it works, yes -- it's akin to homophones, to compare it to languages. e.g. "do you want to go their, to?" obviously, what i want to say is "do you want to go there, too?" but if i was saying it, you wouldn't know the difference -- and how would you know if i know the difference?

i don't go by classical theory. i don't go by jazz theory. i go by theory. theory as a whole -- complete and unarguably logical. the people that further that kind of stuff (i.e., your backing track at 0:48) generally have little understanding or concept of keys outside of hearing resolutions. that whole section is in A minor.

i'm not interested in conventional or unconventional. i'm interested in correct and incorrect. it's possible to be conventional and unconventional while being correct, just as it is while being incorrect. and i'd rather be correct than incorrect. i'm interested only in logic. if you're not, great. if you don't get it, don't bother -- you seem like you have some system that works for you.

my view of music is very much akin to that of bach, if that helps. as for you guys, you're all free to do as you wish -- who am i to tell you otherwise? go by whatever system you feel is best. but i feel that a cold, logical approach is best -- it is far more flexible than it seems and i'll never truly be at a complete lapse of understanding; anything and everything can easily be analyzed and integrated as i see fit. obviously, i'm not the only musician who can do this, but you get the point.

tl;dr -- do what you want.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#36
Quote by AeolianWolf
i don't go by classical theory. i don't go by jazz theory. i go by theory. theory as a whole -- complete and unarguably logical. the people that further that kind of stuff (i.e., your backing track at 0:48) generally have little understanding or concept of keys outside of hearing resolutions. that whole section is in A minor.


could you explain that a little further please?
#37
The problem I have with the broader philosophy Aeolian is pushing is that music theory is most definitely not reducible to logic or mathematics. There is an undeniable element of convention to it in my view, which is why I percieve some of the views expressed here to be, for lack of a better word, anal. There is nothing objectively incorrect or illogical about the conceptual scheme known as chord-scale-theory. And there is no reason why music has to always be reduced to a tonal analysis - there are some comments I've seen here that basically define modal music out of existence.

Saying that what's suggested in the video doesn't musically work has nothing to do with "logic". It's an opinion. The "cold logic" is really someone being stubborn about their opinions IMO.

As an aside, I actually agree that the progression I linked is in A minor. I just don't think that that falsifies chord scale theory or makes the suggestions in the video incorrect.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Sep 13, 2011,
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