#1
*****Your experience****

Are 80% (speculative) of most songs (outside of metal) played in 1 - 4 - 5?

For example. The Key of A.

Suggestive song would be in A, D, E. Any other chords in the Key of A will be played in Minor.

Am I thinking correctly?

I know it's not a hard and fast rule, but at a basic level...

and what's the deal with the flatted 7?
Last edited by rcapilli at Jul 22, 2014,
#2
Quote by rcapilli
Are 80% (speculative) of most songs (outside of metal) played in 1 - 4 - 5??


No. Lots of songs have at least one minor chord, usually vi (think the tried and true I-V-vi-IV or other similar progressions such as I-vi-IV-V) or ii (such as the ii-V-I that jazz musicians seem to love so much).

Also there are many non-strictly diatonic major chords thrown that are commonly thrown in in certain genres (such as II and III).

Quote by rcapilli
Suggestive song would be in A, D, E. Any other chords in the Key of A will be played in Minor.

Am I thinking correctly?


Looking from a strictly diatonic harmony theory sort of perspective, the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th would be minor and the 7th would be diminished, but this is sort of only from the aforementioned theory point of view and often in certain types of music this is not the case.

In other types of music, such as country and bluess, it is very common to use a IV-I-II-V progression, especially for the bridge of a song. Also III is often used to follow up the tonic in many songs, such as "Nobody Knows You [...]" and "On the Road Again".

The flat 7th is also commonly used (G major if we are playing in A), but since you asked specifically about that:

Quote by rcapilli
and what's the deal with the flatted 7?


In a lot of American folk (blues, Appalachian music, western music, etc) music you just liberally flatten the 7th degree of the major scale just for whatever reason. People dig the sound of it. Also the 3rd and 6th degrees could be flattened as well, which is sometimes described as giving the music a "worried" feeling as is the case with the blues.

Also lowering our 7th degree would allow for a major chord to naturally occur on our new b7 degree (since our A B C# D E F# G# A would now be A B C# D E F# G A, and a G chord would be G B D, which we have there with the b7).

You can also kind of liberally flatten all the 7th in your I and IV chords, which is, again, can of just an old blues thing that was done because I don't know why. It sounds kind of neat, I guess.

And so all the music that was influenced by the folk music (ragtime, country, bluegrass, jazz, etc) and all the music influenced by that music (rock, etc) still retain this element to some extent.

I hope that answers some of your questions.
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#3
Thanks for that in-depth explanation. That answers my question, plus some