#1
This is a little something I've noticed that appears in quite a lot of music, but I've never really understood how it's described theoretically. Here's some examples from some songs to help explain this easier.

E|---------|
B|---------|
G|---------|
D|-6--6--4-|
A|-7--8--4-|
D|-6--6--4-|


E|---------|
B|---------|
G|---------|
D|-7--7--2-|
A|-5--6--2-|
D|-4--4--2-|


These are two chord progressions from different songs I put together in tab. If you play this out, the first two chords seem to build tension. While playing that same chord again and moving one note from the chord up a half-step, it creates this tension. When the last chord is played, it feels resolved. What is this technique called? Sorry for not giving much more detail in terms of key and whatnot to help out, but this was just something quick I whipped up.

I believe it had something to do with Augmented chords being able to build tension between chord changes? I remember reading about it before but it's been a while.
Last edited by wheelz1045 at May 4, 2014,
#2
Ok, the first one only has two notes being played for each chord but it seems to imply:

E - E#dim - F#m (yes, E# is the same as F but calling it E# is more appropriate in this case)
(or maybe even E - C# - F#m, but that might be a bit of a stretch)

In any of these two cases you've got VII - [dominant chord] - i
The most prominent feature of the second chord is that it uses the leading tone E#: it's the root of the vii° (E#dim) (or the third of the V in the second possible case) and it's the note that's creating all the tension.

I'll get to the second example in a bit.

I don't know how much theory you know and I think my writing there was a bit clumsy there, so if you don't understand what I wrote just say something.
Last edited by sickman411 at May 4, 2014,
#4
Quote by sickman411
Ok, the first one only has two notes being played for each chord but it seems to imply:

E - E#dim - F#m (yes, E# is the same as F but calling it E# is more appropriate in this case)
(or maybe even E - C# - F#m, but that might be a bit of a stretch)

In any of these two cases you've got VII - [dominant chord] - i
The most prominent feature of the second chord is that it uses the leading tone E#: it's the root of the vii° (E#dim) (or the third of the V in the second possible case) and it's the note that's creating all the tension.

I'll get to the second example in a bit.

I don't know how much theory you know and I think my writing there was a bit clumsy there, so if you don't understand what I wrote just say something.


Note - I edited that second part sorry.

I have a decent base on theory so I understood your post.

I'm just trying to understand the nuances of certain progressions that musicians use. And this was one that always intrigued me with the odd one-note-change building up tension. Thank you for explaining that for me.
#5
Oh ok, you edited the first one. It was giving me a bit of trouble.
But yeah, as you have it now, it's D - D#dim - E (not taking inversions into account)

So it's basically the same thing you had in the other example.

EDIT: Em, not E.
Last edited by sickman411 at May 4, 2014,
#6
Quote by wheelz1045
Note - I edited that second part sorry.

I have a decent base on theory so I understood your post.

I'm just trying to understand the nuances of certain progressions that musicians use. And this was one that always intrigued me with the odd one-note-change building up tension. Thank you for explaining that for me.

Ok then, great!

One other thing then, those examples have that low power chord in the end that gives you that heavy hard rock/metal type sound on the i chord, but you'll also take an interesting sound out of voicing the chords in a way that makes the transition to the i chord smoother. Especially the b7 - #7 - 1 movement, which is pretty important in that progression and could maybe use some extra emphasis.

EDIT: Ugh, never mind, it does have said emphasis, but the 1 moves to the top of the voicing, that's what was throwing me off.
Last edited by sickman411 at May 4, 2014,
#7
Interesting...

In simplest (superficial) terms, it's basically bouncing from E to F or D to E w/ the diminished chord in between causing the tension.

So the progressions are basically...

VII - (???) - i
(???) - vii - I

Just trying to figure out where the E#dim and D are coming from in terms of key.
Last edited by wheelz1045 at May 4, 2014,
#9
Ohhh, haha.

So basically first is E - C#m - F#m (VII - V - i)

Second being... D - D#dim - Em (VII - vii - i)?

Trying to see how D#dim fits in key wise.
#10
The first example is the same as the second. They are both VII - #vii° - i
(Can anyone confirm if #vii° is the common name for it? Or is it just vii° since it's a natural seventh?)

I was asking if you were aware of how V chords were used in minor keys because that diminished chord is used for pretty much the same reason.

EDIT:
Here, TS:
http://www.musictheory.net/lessons/50
Last edited by sickman411 at May 4, 2014,
#11
I was only aware of the V/v. I see now thanks for the link.
Last edited by wheelz1045 at May 4, 2014,
#12
Yeah, that's it. Just like you use the V chord as you use it in major keys because of the leading tone, you use the diminished chord rooted on the leading tone like you'd use the diatonic vii° in a major key.

(Or you could explain it using the harmonic minor like the link does.)