#1
Hello guys,

I hope for you it would be a simple question, but as I do have lack of music education I cannot figure it out by myself...

No surprises by Radiohead

First verse, he sings:
A[G] heart[A] that[C] ...

And it is [F] chord that is played.

Question is: what is the principle behind, why these particular notes sound well with the chord? Especially I'm curious about the [A] note, as it seems to have most... dunno how to say, it is like the most important note in his "vocal chord" for me.

And the very end of the song, when he sings "please" it is the same note as the chord [F]. This is what I am used to more or less, but it is obvious there are other ways to harmonize. What part of music theory it is? Where can I read about it?

Thanks in advance!
#2
And the very end of the song, when he sings "please" it is the same note as the chord [F]. This is what I am used to more or less, but it is obvious there are other ways to harmonize. What part of music theory it is? Where can I read about it?


I'm not sure exactly where you would go to learn about this, but you're thinking about it backwards.

Almost always, the melody comes first, and the chords are harmonizing the melody.

The principle of harmonizing a melody is pretty simple. You pick chords which contain the emphasized notes in the melody (which are usually the same as the stressed syllables if you were speaking the lyrics, but not always).

THe easiest way to do this is to for a A chord under an A note, etc. But more advanced songwriting involves finding more sophisticated ways to pick chords. eg, an A major chord contains an A, C#, and E - so you could use it under any of those notes. An A7 chord contains the A, C#, E, and G, so that gives you even more note options.

Picking the notes that are in the chord will create a more harmonious sound. Picking notes that are outside the chord but diatonic to it will be less harmonious, and picking notes that don't fit with the chord diatonically will tend to be even more dissonant.

The next way to get more sophisticated is to sing a note that harmonizes with the chord, but isn't part of it - eg if the guitar is playing an A major, and I sing a G ... we're making an A7 chord together. Neat, huh?

I guess you'll find information about this mostly in books on songwriting. But, of course, you don't need to be strict about this. One song I've written has a part of the melody which contains the notes E, F, D, and C. Normally this is played over and F major chord (which contains an F and C) but at one point in the song I repeat the phrase while the chords shift from F major to Bb major (Which has an F and a D) to a G major (which has a D). One might also note that the F chord in the melody turns the G into a G7, which serves well since after that section we go back to the top which is a C major chord. So here I'm using the dominant function of the G7 chord to propel the song forward into the next section - so that's an example of picking chords to help direct the flow of the song, rather than just picking chords which contain the notes you want.

It's an art, which means there aren't many rules which can't be broken, and one of the best things you can do is to study songs that appeal to you.
#3
Quote by jack171
What part of music theory it is? Where can I read about it?

Thanks in advance!

Study Chord Melody playing.
#4
what HotspurJr said is basicly the best way.

Learn either about chord progression and jam so you will find that you often you use the chord tones as the longest and strongest notes.

or do a melody, try to keep an overview what scale you use and then do some chord over it.

if you find the chord progression knowledge about strong cadences in these you are mostly 'right'.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IF YOU READ 'H' I MEAN 'B'

GERMAN H = AMERICAN B

#5
Quote by jack171
A[G] heart[A] that[C] ...

A example of everything above would be Abmaj7 - Gm9 - C13 - Gb7♯11 - Fmaj7
-3-5-5---
-4-3-3-1-1
-5-3-3-3-2
---3-2-2-2
-----3---
-4-3---2-1

Chord tones are always good. But the melody note doesn't always have to be a chord tone.

It can also act as a extension or a tension note.
#6
Quote by jack171
Hello guys,

I hope for you it would be a simple question, but as I do have lack of music education I cannot figure it out by myself...

No surprises by Radiohead

First verse, he sings:
A[G] heart[A] that[C] ...

And it is [F] chord that is played.


Double check that first note bro. Isn't it an F? My CD got stolen a few years ago but I still have the sheet music for that song.
Si
#7
Quote by 20Tigers
Double check that first note bro. Isn't it an F? My CD got stolen a few years ago but I still have the sheet music for that song.

Yup, it's an F
#8
Thank you a lot guys, I have a lot of things to work on. I find this stuff fascinating.
I guess it is an F, I did my best to figure out these notes.

Again, thank you very much for very informative answers!
#9
Just have to get used to knowing what you hear. Start with the notes of the chord and branch out from there. In addition to what others have added, the A sounds important because it's the third, the note that defines the chord as major or minor.
Ultimate Guitar is also Ultimate Piano!