#1
I'm sorry for the title but I don't necessarily know what I'm looking for, but at the same time I do which probably doesn't make any sense. I guess the main question is how certain artists know what outside chords sound good with a certain key? Or sometimes not even stay in a key, but all over the place? I will provide examples because I know I'm confusing. I know about modulating from the V7 to the I of a new key. A7 - D for example. I also know chord extensions & such. & I guess I kind of understand some reharmonization but it seems that there are a lot of techniques to that. But again, main question is knowing all the different chords you can incorporate into a song that create complex, different sounding harmonies. Now for examples...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9j8JZMfs1A&feature=youtube_gdata_player

In this video I'm only curious about the first 15 seconds. The progression is amazing. But I have no idea what's going on theory-wise


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b0fdETmRng&feature=youtube_gdata_player

This is Sufjan Stevens & it's a pretty simple song I suppose but I can't for the life of me figure out what key it's in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp0iBMZ6bG4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Last one. Can someone better explain this method to me? Like does it matter if you choose major or minor, or what chord you choose as long as it has the melody note, or are you just going by ear?

I know these are all piano but I play guitar also. It's my first instrument & I've been playing for 6 or 7 years now. I have an example on guitar but I don't want to seem too overwhelming (If I haven't done that already) & I'd like to kind of figure that one out by myself. I just need some helpful advice in the right direction to get my brain going I'm kind of in a music rut & I know this would help me so if any of you could be so kind to assist I'd be greatly appreciative. Thank you.
#2
Quote by alee2117
I'm sorry for the title but I don't necessarily know what I'm looking for, but at the same time I do which probably doesn't make any sense. I guess the main question is how certain artists know what outside chords sound good with a certain key? Or sometimes not even stay in a key, but all over the place? I will provide examples because I know I'm confusing. I know about modulating from the V7 to the I of a new key. A7 - D for example. I also know chord extensions & such. & I guess I kind of understand some reharmonization but it seems that there are a lot of techniques to that. But again, main question is knowing all the different chords you can incorporate into a song that create complex, different sounding harmonies. Now for examples...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9j8JZMfs1A&feature=youtube_gdata_player

In this video I'm only curious about the first 15 seconds. The progression is amazing. But I have no idea what's going on theory-wise


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b0fdETmRng&feature=youtube_gdata_player

This is Sufjan Stevens & it's a pretty simple song I suppose but I can't for the life of me figure out what key it's in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp0iBMZ6bG4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Last one. Can someone better explain this method to me? Like does it matter if you choose major or minor, or what chord you choose as long as it has the melody note, or are you just going by ear?

I know these are all piano but I play guitar also. It's my first instrument & I've been playing for 6 or 7 years now. I have an example on guitar but I don't want to seem too overwhelming (If I haven't done that already) & I'd like to kind of figure that one out by myself. I just need some helpful advice in the right direction to get my brain going I'm kind of in a music rut & I know this would help me so if any of you could be so kind to assist I'd be greatly appreciative. Thank you.

It's all about ear training. You start hearing chord progressions that would fit some songs in your head when you have a good ear. What I don't like about that last video is that it really doesn't explain why he chose those chords. It seems pretty random but it really isn't. It's not randomly choosing chords that would fit. It's choosing the chords you like the sound of. Also the next chord needs to fit the last chord well.

But really just start experimenting. But I would listen to what I hear in my head. I think it's easier to do on piano than on guitar (because you can play melody and chords at the same time a lot easier and you don't even need to be a good pianist to do that - start with bass and melody only).

Sometimes simple things sound the best. It really depends. In hard rock you want things to be pretty simple and not use chords like A7b9. But in jazz you want to use "jazzy" chords.

Learn about functional harmony. That's pretty important.
Quote by AlanHB
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#3
Honestly, non-diatonic chords usually come in a few distinct flavors so long as you're in a rock/pop/folk context. Before I list them, I do want to second that you have to learn to hear these, rather than just know them as academic concepts, to really be able to use them well.

The big one is, obviously, the major V in a minor key, which is incredibly common and you may already know it.

After that, the most common are probably the borrowed-from-the-parallel minor. We often see the bVII, bIII, bVI, and iv chords in a major context. (We borrow from the parallel major less often, because doing so tends to make the whole song sound more major, but it's the same principle).

Then you get the secondary dominants. V of V, (eg, a II leading to a V) is the most common, but you see other secondary dominants as well.

However, then you start seeing non-functioning secondary dominants, which is to say a chord we're used to from a secondary dominant context which doesn't lead to the chord you'd expect. eg I II IV I from "A Hard Day's Night." Get used to functional secondary dominants first.

Then you get chords created by chromatic movement of a baseline. Often these are passing augmented or diminished chords.

Lastly - although it's very rare in popular music - you get tritone substitution, which is swapping a 7th chord for the 7th chord six semitones up which has the same internal tritone. Eg, the substitution for the V7 is the bII7. You mostly see this in jazz, although again sometimes you see it in rock contexts mostly as a surprising way or harmonizing voice lines.

There are others, of course (it's never ending) but if you master this stuff you'll have a very strong grip of the stuff you're going to run into in 99% of contemporary popular music.
#4
Thank you both for what you've shared. It's really helpful & I'll be sure to look into what you mentioned. I've heard of the V of ii & V of V stuff before. Although I cent remember where & I never looked into it. I honestly forgot about it until now. So, again thank you.