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#41
I would say that the b7 notes of those chords are just color notes. They don't really function as V7 chords. And really, the scale doesn't define the key. You can play whatever notes over a chord progression and the key doesn't change until the progression changes to something else. And I think the chords have the b7 note because of the melodies that add the b7 note. So the harmony really is I - IV - I - V - IV - I. And it resolves to the I chord. It's just the notes you play over that progression that makes it sound bluesy. But scales don't define the key, the chords do.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#42
Quote by Chronowarp

I thought it was very important for the OP to understand that, and alanhbs 'explanation' of "LOL ITS JUST ACCIDENTALS" was dangerously misleading, IMO.


And you think this because it doesn't explain the quasi-modal, non-functional tonality of the blues.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#43
Quote by AlanHB
And you think this because it doesn't explain the quasi-modal, non-functional tonality of the blues.

No, I think it because ... a major key doesn't have a tonic dom7 chord. Nor does a major key operate around outlining and microtonally manipulating the m3/M3,7th (and others) over the I, IV and V.

These discussions get so pedantic and stupid sometimes, so this make this really simple:

Boom, you're a guitar teacher.
You've just taught a student about diatonic harmony, and the concept of major/minor keys. You make it clear how chords are derived from scales, and the notes in a particular melody are usually associated w/ & relate specifically to the chord they occur over.

This kid goes home and tries to apply this to his favorite tunes. Like most guitar players, hes probably built a foundation on wanking his penta-doodle scale over some "blues". He:
a.Is confused about why all the chords are dom7s. Aren't dom7s only naturally built on the V in a major key, and they resolve to I? Don't secondary dominants tonicize a chord and then resolve to that? Why do none of these dom7s, except the V, 'resolve' like you taught me?
b.Doesn't understand why he can play the minor penta-doodle over a major chord. You said that the scale I choose is related to the chords I'm playing over. You told me this song is in A major...but why am I play A minor pentatonic, and the C sounds good over the A chord? I'm so confused. So I can play a major or minor third over any chord? OK!
c.You told me to practice playing the notes that go with the chord. It looks like mixolydian mode has the same notes as these dom7's, but if I play it over every chord it sounds like an irish jig, and nothing like duane allman! YOURE A BAD TEACHER! I HATE YOU!

Ok, so how would you explain to this kid what he needs to understand in order to distinguish a blues from a typical, major key?

This is your chance to really floor me, so please convince me...
Last edited by chronowarp at Sep 28, 2012,
#44
Quote by wolflen
Ya, you're right, but I don't think that was the crux of my point even if I did say it. I forced myself to compartmentalize my argument in order to make a clear distinction between what's perceived as a blues tonality versus a "major key", because those two constructs are not the same - aurally, or functionally.

does charlie parker know this is a non functional blues progression...

Cmaj7 Bm7-5 E7-9 Am7 D7 Gm7 C7 Fmaj7 Fm7 Bb7
Em7 A7 Ebm7 Ab7 Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 Am7 Dm7 G7 Cmaj7

blues does not have to be just dominate 7th based chords..for x#of measures each..but the tradional 3 chord version seems to upset your view of harmonic values..and you infer that these 3 chords are somehow not part of diatonic harmony..(lets say 20th century harmony..so we dont have to compare classical harmonic values with todays) the progression above is a classic parker approach to the blues...and a blues it is..it shows the "hidden chords" that are in a 3 chord version of the blues..

yep its diatonic harmony plus a kick in the ass...!!!!


That's most certainly not diatonic harmony, lol, but I understand what you're saying.

I don't think approaching a discussion of blues from a perspective of rhythm changes or heavily substituted Jazz-blues is the right approach. If you want to make that argument then you need to take it back and investigate how blues based harmony evolved into Jazz, and how it's still intrinsically similar.
#45
Quote by chronowarp
No, I think it because ... a major key doesn't have a tonic dom7 chord.

.....

Ok, so how would you explain to this kid what he needs to understand in order to distinguish a blues from a typical, major key?

This is your chance to really floor me, so please convince me...


It's been explained enough times in this thread. The blues doesn't resolve to an I7, it resolves to an I irrespective of whether it's played. I would not distinguish it from any song in a major key.

And you'll disagree and put it somewhere in quasimodal (Hunchback of Notre-Dame?) land. I've read the rest of the thread.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#47
Bro. Stop this cryptic bullshit. I can't stand it.
I'm giving you the opportunity to engage in discussion here, it's not about right or wrong. Explain to me how you would approach teaching that distinction to a student in the format I presented.

And while you're add it explain to me how a blues resolves to a I chord that isnt a dom7, even though you've never, and probably will never, hear a blues player play a maj7 over the I chord in a blues...what do they play...ah a b7! What about the IV7 as well? Shouldn't that resolve to bVII?
#48
Quote by jazz_rock_feel

protip: 7th aren't color extensions, as most would describe it...afterall the 3rd&7th are the defining qualities of a sonority...and usually a direct insight into its function.

But ya, I love using a b7 as "color" when I voice my Imaj7 chords.
#51
Quote by chronowarp

you've never, and probably will never, hear a blues player play a maj7 over the I chord in a blues

*cough*
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#54
Quote by Hydra150
It's a blues.

its a heavily substituted jazz blues.

But again, I'm not sure what you're talking about in this tune, since he ends tons of his lines in the first chorus with an Eb...are you talking about in the head when there's an E?

I guess the distinction here is that the chart is specifically descriptive in not treating the I as a dom7 in the head, but, again, its a jazz blues and which opens a whole can of worms in relation to what to expect. But you can hear as the solo picks up he continuously treats it as such.
Last edited by chronowarp at Sep 28, 2012,
#55
That F is an F△. I think, I haven't really checked these performances I posted but I know the bird changes start with a maj7.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#56
Quote by jazz_rock_feel


So ... you're saying that the 7th isn't a component of the identifying structure of a chord, and is irrelevant to the function? So all this time when I'm playing maj9s I could have been playing 7#5#9's? Shit. I'll try that tonight
#57
Quote by chronowarp
Ok, so how would you explain to this kid what he needs to understand in order to distinguish a blues from a typical, major key?

This is your chance to really floor me, so please convince me...

I don't know about Alan, but I'd tell the kid he needs to learn blues songs.
#60
guys pls

Loving the BB king. He's the best person.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Sep 28, 2012,
#61
I don't really get what you're driving at here. You keep accusing others of being pedantic when you seem to be the one trying to complicate the issue.
Last edited by TheHydra at Sep 28, 2012,
#63
Quote by TheHydra
I don't really get what you're driving at here. You keep accusing others of being pedantic when you seem to be the one trying to complicate the issue

It certainly gets complicated when the UG legion of nitpickers gets involved, maybe that's my fault for being too unspecific, but my real intent was to simplify the concept and generalize the concept to the point of making it extremely simple for a beginner to understand.

...you really think in the situation I presented, one I've been in many times when teaching, it's best to explain blues as "bro, shits just a major key wit sum accidentals, and dont you worry about how none of the notes in that scale you're using match the chords lol".
#64
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#65
Quote by Hydra150

I'd probably call you lljampere and agree with you to a certain extent, though I would argue that perhaps that message is too extreme for most to latch onto & appreciate fully.
#66
Quote by chronowarp
I'd probably call you lljampere and agree with you to a certain extent, though I would argue that perhaps that message is too extreme for most to latch onto & appreciate fully.

Okay.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#67
Quote by chronowarp
So ... you're saying that the 7th isn't a component of the identifying structure of a chord, and is irrelevant to the function?

Where did I say that? I said you can add extensions to a chord without having it affect the function. For instance, in a blues progression all of the chords are x7 chords, but other than the V7, they don't function as x7 chords, they just function as major chords with the dominant seventh colouring.
Quote by chronowarp
So all this time when I'm playing maj9s I could have been playing 7#5#9's? Shit. I'll try that tonight

It'll sound like two completely different chords, but they could ultimately function in the same way.

I've lost interest in this, so I'ma go.
#68
You said...a 7th is color, color in every context I've been taught refers to various extensions that don't alter the basic function of a chord. In other words...if I change the 3rd or 7th I've changed the chords basic character, and if its the spot in a tune then I've changed the function. Taking a C7 and playing a C7#5#9 is adding "color" the same as a a C6/9 versus a C major triad...the function is still intact. Cmaj7 v. C7 has completely different functions...and aren't interchangeable sonorities.

Are you talking about how melodically, not vertically in the harmony, using a maj7 is color? Ok, sure. I can dig that lingo, that's cool & makes more sense. But do you really want to say using a maj7 over a I in a standard blues is stylistically correct, or will sound good?
Last edited by chronowarp at Sep 28, 2012,
#70
Quote by chronowarp
Boom, you're a guitar teacher.
You've just taught a student about diatonic harmony, and the concept of major/minor keys. You make it clear how chords are derived from scales, and the notes in a particular melody are usually associated w/ & relate specifically to the chord they occur over....

...Ok, so how would you explain to this kid what he needs to understand in order to distinguish a blues from a typical, major key?


What I would tell that student...
Music has a long and rich history of development through both time and space. Thoughout this history there have been a huge variety of trends and fashions that have occurred in different eras and in different localities.

Each of these trends will have it's own set of defining characteristics. Some of those defining characteristics are things like the use (or non use) of specific dissonances, specific song structures (forms), or instrumentation to name a few.

What you have observed here are some of the characteristic features prominant in Blues music.

One of those observations you have made is the use of a concept that can be seen as far back as baroque music and is known as "false relations", sometimes called "cross relations".

False relations are the occurence of a dissonance caused by the sounding of two chromatically contradicting notes at the same time (or in near proximity to each other) by two different parts of the music. Note that the choromatic contrdiction comes from the fact that the two notes in question are of the same letter type but a half step apart and being payed at the same time or in close proximity to each other.

The blues players had a great taste for this particular dissonance created by false relations. This dissonance was so appealing to the early blues players and the meloncholy message they wanted to convey in their music that it became a characteristic feature of blues music to play a minor third in the melody while at the same time we have a major third in the harmony.

You will note that it is not just two notes that are a half step apart such as a perfect fourth and a major third or a major seventh and an octave but more specifically two notes that seem to contradict each other such as a major third and a minor third sounding at the same time.

Another characteristic feature of the blues is the structure. The basic 12 bar structure and it's variants including 8 bar blues and 16 bar blues. The call and response and the turnaround are also very important characteristics in the blues style of music. Another strong feature of the blues music is the tend to turn any chord into a dominant seventh chord type.

As you point some of these characteristics seem to be at odds with what I have been teaching you so far. They are characteristic features of the blues style. And as I said earlier each musical style throughout the tradition of western music has it's own set of characteristic features that define it and set it apart from other musical styles from a different time and/or place.

None of that music is found in isolation though. It is all a long dialogue between the muscians throughout history: a dialogue of changing tastes; of rebellion against what went before; or of trying to improve upon what went before; a dialogue between of the convergence of different musical tradition;, of new intstruments; and of the exploration of innovation and curiousity.

So while each musical style has it's unique characteristics it is all part of the same long dialogue. As such there are some basic underlying principles of western music upon which the vast majority of these styles are grounded. When understood properly these basic underlying principles of western music will give us the foundation upon which we can build and understand in greater depth what and how a specific musical style works.

This foundation is what we have been looking at so far in our study. We are at a point in our study where that understanding is starting to unify itself in your mind into a system of how music works. What you are finding out is that this is only the beginning and that there is a whole lot more to be explored.

I am very impressed with your observations and ability to notice that what is occurring in this music is different than what we covered in our lessons so far. It shows me that you are not only paying attention but understanding as well. Most importantly it tells me that you are the kind of student that will go far because you are curious as well as observant.

Hopefully you also noticed in this same music that you were looking at there are not only things that don't seem to fit with what we have looked at so far but a whole lot of things that DO fit with what we have looked at so far.

- Then I would continue lessons with the focus on continuing to build his foundation in diatonic theory while recognizing that he is ready to start exploring some more advanced concepts as well.

So chronowarp, is your argument that the minor third in the melody suggests a minor tonality while the major third in the harmony suggests a major tonality and that result of the competing influences make it neither major nor minor? Or is it that the third in the melody is often bent down to somewhere between a major and minor third that makes it neither major nor minor?

My argument against either of these would be that the harmony clearly establishes a strong sense of tonic on the major I chord that the majority of blues is in a major key (except in the case of a minor blues which is pretty much the same but uses minor i and iv chords).

Or is your argument that the dominant seventh use on the I and IV chords destabilises the tonic feel which creates some kind of tonal ambiguity? This just doesn't fit with me. There is a strong and clear sense of resolution when we hit the I chord. In a typical 12 bar blues there is no question as to the tonic chord - it is so vividly clear that to suggest that it isn't there will provoke exactly the kind of bewildered response that you have enjoyed in this thread.

If you took a song that vamped on a I - vi for long periods then you could argue that it might be tonally ambiguous. But the Blues? - c'mon man. The clear undeniable sense of resolution to the major tonic chord puts it in a major key.

You want to argue that it is more Mixolydian in nature on account of the I7 chord then that is fine you can do that I won't argue but that doesn't mean it's not in a major key.
Si
#71
I know shit all, but I do know that blues is tonic. So lol, you're a tom hessian.

Freepower should be the only crafty article adbot on this site, because he knows shit.
#73
Quote by 20Tigers
What I would tell that student...
Music has a long and rich history of development through both time and space. Thoughout this history there have been a huge variety of trends and fashions that have occurred in different eras and in different localities.

Each of these trends will have it's own set of defining characteristics. Some of those defining characteristics are things like the use (or non use) of specific dissonances, specific song structures (forms), or instrumentation to name a few.

What you have observed here are some of the characteristic features prominant in Blues music.

One of those observations you have made is the use of a concept that can be seen as far back as baroque music and is known as "false relations", sometimes called "cross relations".

False relations are the occurence of a dissonance caused by the sounding of two chromatically contradicting notes at the same time (or in near proximity to each other) by two different parts of the music. Note that the choromatic contrdiction comes from the fact that the two notes in question are of the same letter type but a half step apart and being payed at the same time or in close proximity to each other.

The blues players had a great taste for this particular dissonance created by false relations. This dissonance was so appealing to the early blues players and the meloncholy message they wanted to convey in their music that it became a characteristic feature of blues music to play a minor third in the melody while at the same time we have a major third in the harmony.

You will note that it is not just two notes that are a half step apart such as a perfect fourth and a major third or a major seventh and an octave but more specifically two notes that seem to contradict each other such as a major third and a minor third sounding at the same time.

Another characteristic feature of the blues is the structure. The basic 12 bar structure and it's variants including 8 bar blues and 16 bar blues. The call and response and the turnaround are also very important characteristics in the blues style of music. Another strong feature of the blues music is the tend to turn any chord into a dominant seventh chord type.

As you point some of these characteristics seem to be at odds with what I have been teaching you so far. They are characteristic features of the blues style. And as I said earlier each musical style throughout the tradition of western music has it's own set of characteristic features that define it and set it apart from other musical styles from a different time and/or place.

None of that music is found in isolation though. It is all a long dialogue between the muscians throughout history: a dialogue of changing tastes; of rebellion against what went before; or of trying to improve upon what went before; a dialogue between of the convergence of different musical tradition;, of new intstruments; and of the exploration of innovation and curiousity.

So while each musical style has it's unique characteristics it is all part of the same long dialogue. As such there are some basic underlying principles of western music upon which the vast majority of these styles are grounded. When understood properly these basic underlying principles of western music will give us the foundation upon which we can build and understand in greater depth what and how a specific musical style works.

This foundation is what we have been looking at so far in our study. We are at a point in our study where that understanding is starting to unify itself in your mind into a system of how music works. What you are finding out is that this is only the beginning and that there is a whole lot more to be explored.

I am very impressed with your observations and ability to notice that what is occurring in this music is different than what we covered in our lessons so far. It shows me that you are not only paying attention but understanding as well. Most importantly it tells me that you are the kind of student that will go far because you are curious as well as observant.

Hopefully you also noticed in this same music that you were looking at there are not only things that don't seem to fit with what we have looked at so far but a whole lot of things that DO fit with what we have looked at so far.

- Then I would continue lessons with the focus on continuing to build his foundation in diatonic theory while recognizing that he is ready to start exploring some more advanced concepts as well.

So chronowarp, is your argument that the minor third in the melody suggests a minor tonality while the major third in the harmony suggests a major tonality and that result of the competing influences make it neither major nor minor? Or is it that the third in the melody is often bent down to somewhere between a major and minor third that makes it neither major nor minor?

My argument against either of these would be that the harmony clearly establishes a strong sense of tonic on the major I chord that the majority of blues is in a major key (except in the case of a minor blues which is pretty much the same but uses minor i and iv chords).

Or is your argument that the dominant seventh use on the I and IV chords destabilises the tonic feel which creates some kind of tonal ambiguity? This just doesn't fit with me. There is a strong and clear sense of resolution when we hit the I chord. In a typical 12 bar blues there is no question as to the tonic chord - it is so vividly clear that to suggest that it isn't there will provoke exactly the kind of bewildered response that you have enjoyed in this thread.

If you took a song that vamped on a I - vi for long periods then you could argue that it might be tonally ambiguous. But the Blues? - c'mon man. The clear undeniable sense of resolution to the major tonic chord puts it in a major key.

You want to argue that it is more Mixolydian in nature on account of the I7 chord then that is fine you can do that I won't argue but that doesn't mean it's not in a major key.

I appreciate the well thought out & excuted response. I think what I'm trying to communicate falls inbetween the two options you presented. Let me use this as an opportunity to more effectively articulate what I actually believe as opposed to how I chose to frame it for the OP. I certainly believe that blues is tonal, in that, it has a clear tonal center - that's the I chord. I don't think it's incorrect to say it's in a major key, if you want to very loosely define that as a maj triad tonic that is solidified by functional harmony (V>I), however, I find that explanation unsatisfactory and confusing when trying to articulate that concept to a beginner who doesn't have the tools to distinguish themselves. After all, I think we can both agree that the way blues music harmonically & melodically functions is absolutely different from what the examples we are exposed to when learning CPP music theory that calls upon baroque, classical, and romantic music, which can create a huge upset and confusion in the learning process.

Though I am tempted to argue that the origin of the ambiguous/variable third is more a feature of african vocal stylings pigeon-holed into the more rigid structure of european art music than deliberate cross relations between melody&harmony. But that's neither here nor there.
Last edited by chronowarp at Sep 29, 2012,
#74
Quote by chronowarp


Are you talking about how melodically, not vertically in the harmony, using a maj7 is color? Ok, sure. I can dig that lingo, that's cool & makes more sense. But do you really want to say using a maj7 over a I in a standard blues is stylistically correct, or will sound good?


http://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/97739224b9066b643634f856f3ca50420662a381

That's jazz but Major 7ths over a dominant 7th chord are used all the time as a passing/auxiliary note.

Accept the dissonance bro.
#75
Quote by chronowarp
however, I find that explanation unsatisfactory and confusing when trying to articulate that concept to a beginner who doesn't have the tools to distinguish themselves.


At the risk of prolonging an already painful discussion ...

Nit-picking isn't a good way to explain stuff to a beginner either.

The way to explain the blues to a beginner is to give them the 12-bar blues structure, the blues scale, a listening list as long as your arm, and let them loose on it.

Sod whether it's major or minor. Sod whether the harmony's functional or not. Sod whether chords with added 7ths are colouration or produce tonal definition. None of that matters.

Honestly, do you think BB King gives a shit 'bout any of this stuff?

Quote by Hail
oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
#76
Transcribe this.

Let me know what you find at 24 secs.

Lol, and let me know if you find more than one dominant 7th chord in there...
Last edited by mdc at Sep 30, 2012,
#77
Quote by Sleepy__Head
At the risk of prolonging an already painful discussion ...

Nit-picking isn't a good way to explain stuff to a beginner either.

The way to explain the blues to a beginner is to give them the 12-bar blues structure, the blues scale, a listening list as long as your arm, and let them loose on it.

Sod whether it's major or minor. Sod whether the harmony's functional or not. Sod whether chords with added 7ths are colouration or produce tonal definition. None of that matters.

Honestly, do you think BB King gives a shit 'bout any of this stuff?



Did I mention any of that in my OP? Nah...didn't see the point in going there, like you said, its esoteric and not particularly relevant to a beginner. It was nitpicking of my first, general, post that led down that winding road of semantics-based arguments!
Last edited by chronowarp at Sep 30, 2012,
#79
THE DOM7 CHORDS DON'T FUNCTION LIKE V7 CHORDS IN BLUES. ONLY THE V7 CHORD FUNCTIONS LIKE V7. THE OTHER b7 NOTES ARE THERE BECAUSE OF BLUES SCALE THAT'S PLAYED OVER THE CHORDS. That's why they shouldn't be called dominant 7 chords, they should be called major with b7 IMO. And you can play whatever scale over whatever progression. It doesn't change the chord progression.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#80
Quote by MaggaraMarine
THE DOM7 CHORDS DON'T FUNCTION LIKE V7 CHORDS IN BLUES. ONLY THE V7 CHORD FUNCTIONS LIKE V7. THE OTHER b7 NOTES ARE THERE BECAUSE OF BLUES SCALE THAT'S PLAYED OVER THE CHORDS. That's why they shouldn't be called dominant 7 chords, they should be called major with b7 IMO. And you can play whatever scale over whatever progression. It doesn't change the chord progression.

mdc likes this. *oh shit, I'm not on Facebook but anywayz*...

The blue notes (b3, b5 and b7) are there for expression. It's something that evolved within the melody in early blues history, such as call and response, field hollers etc.
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