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#1
Hi guys,

Backstory I've been playing guitar for about 9 years now. I hated it for the first 4 years and couldn't be bothered with theory for the 4 years after that. I just wanted to learn songs and somehow still become an epic guitarist. Now I've got my head out of my arse, and know and want to get learning scales, and modes and improvisation and stuff, I'm a bit stuck from where to start. I've passed my grade 5 theory exam with merit, but it was all learnt to pass an exam. I've got the stuff in my head, but It's not really useable. Technique-wise, I'm pretty competent, but all i can do is play bits of songs and it's tiring me out. All I have in my very small guitar theory bank is a position one major scale shape, blues scale shape and pentatonic scale shape.

It's the summer holidays, and now I have a lot time to really knuckle down and get learning stuff. Unfortunately, it is also my guitar teacher's holiday, so I can't get lessons from him and my attempts to get skype lessons have failed with no one answering my emails. I've tried to teach myself with online videos and other bits on the internet, but there's so much stuff, I don't know where to start. I really need some kind of online course that can teach me a little chunk at a time that I can take away and practice to death and lodge it in my brain before I move on to the next bit and slowly build my arsenal and slowly become a musician instead of some guy who can play the guitar.

Anyone got any ideas?

Thanks so much to anyone who can help

bchampion96
#2
I used to love to write out fretboard diagrams on yellow legal paper. I would pencil across 7 horizontal lines and then pencil down like 24 lines or whatever and then id fill that "grid" in with the notes of a scale all over the fretboard.

Say u want to do the A minor scale. So u write out all the notes first.

A B C D E F G A

So u fill out all those notes all over the diagram u made

Then u write out all the chords using the 1 3 5 formula (or u can write out all the 7th chords using 1 3 5 7 etc)

Aminor=ace
Bminor flat5=bdf
C=ceg
dminor=dfa
eminor=egb
fmajor=fac
gmajor=gbd

(just right there u know more theory than the avg player lol.) Each scale or mode has 3 minor and major chords etc

Then u look at your fretboard diagram and u try to "see" all of those chords etc even though the diagram looks like chinese because its covered with all the notes in the various positions and octaves

you should study and "live" with that full fretboard diagram. Notice things about it like "hey, I actually have THREE minor pentatonic box shapes"...one for each minor chord

then u can do stuff like, say, write out just the a minor chord. So that means u write out the a-c-e notes all over the fretboard. Boom, u just diagrammed EVERY possible a minor arpeggio. There are no others. With that u know how to play the chord or arpeggio in every position.

Obviously you can do the same with all the 7th chords.

----

learn your modes the same way. for instance your a minor diagram already has ALL the modes and shapes related to a minor.

A aeolian
b locrian
c ionian
d dorian
e phyrgian
f lydian
g mixolydian

little lights go off in your head after a while. like "wow, if Im playing over a chord progression that Gmajor to d minor, thats really G mixolydian and all I have to do is use my same ol' a minor shapes all over the fretboard!" or, "this dude always wants to jam in f lydian and I never know what to play. oh snap, all I have to do is play a minor!"

stop paying for lessons lol. teach yourself
#3
Speaking as someone who learns best this way (writing and drawing stuff out), I can confirm this is exactly how I did it, many, many years ago.

Important to couple it all with an actual guitar, so the sound and feel get added to the visual imagery.

Good luck.
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#4
Quote by JohnProphet

little lights go off in your head after a while. like "wow, if Im playing over a chord progression that Gmajor to d minor, thats really G mixolydian and all I have to do is use my same ol' a minor shapes all over the fretboard!"


John, some stuff you said is correct and other parts are not.

If you are playing over a progression that goes G - Dm, it is in D minor. Not G mixo.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#5
Consider learning more about this stuff in this order:

Musical intervals (Difference in pitch between two notes- they have names and are the building blocks of scales)
Note duration and time signatures (Experiment with different rhythms and note durations)
Minor scales (Natural and harmonic minor are pretty common choices)
Building chords off of scale tones (For example, do you know what the V chord in C major is? What about adding other intervals like 7ths?)

After that, you might want to try some minor scales and see what you can build off of them. That should give you something to study for a bit!
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#6
Quote by AlanHB
John, some stuff you said is correct and other parts are not.

If you are playing over a progression that goes G - Dm, it is in D minor. Not G mixo.


hmm, gotta disagree with you there. If it resolves back to G its in the key of G, period. It would be G mixolydian due to the F note in the dm chord.

It COULD be D dorian if it resolved to the d chord.

Obviously it depends on how the chords are played. Pick up a guitar and strum 3 bars of G and then 1 bar of dm. Then tell me what key it is in. A V chord still resolves back to a 1 chord even if the V is a minor chord
#7
^^^ I've played it, had a listen. It doesn't feel resolved on G.

In any case if it did resolve to G, it would definitely NOT be in G mixo.

I also don't think there's any benefit talking about modes to a beginner. Hopefully we can agree on that point.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#8
Quote by AlanHB
I also don't think there's any benefit talking about modes to a beginner. Hopefully we can agree on that point.


Dude asked about theory lol.

Quote by AlanHB
In any case if it did resolve to G, it would definitely NOT be in G mixo.


Dunno what to say to that bro, I mean, its not a matter of opinion. You'd be in Gmajor with an F note. The only thing it COULD be is G Mixo.

Peace
#9
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ I've played it, had a listen. It doesn't feel resolved on G.

In any case if it did resolve to G, it would definitely NOT be in G mixo.

I also don't think there's any benefit talking about modes to a beginner. Hopefully we can agree on that point.


I dropped into this thread hoping to learn something. I'm in the same boat as the TS. I know how to play pretty well. While at the same time being pretty weak on actually knowing how things go together theory wise.

The talk about modes just confused me.

I read tab really well but know next to nothing about standard notation.
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#10
Quote by JohnProphet
Dude asked about theory lol.


There's no point going into modes until you have a solid grasp on the fundamentals. I'm not even sure at this point what your own understanding is in relation to borrowed chords, accidentals, and their effects on keys.

In relation to our G - Dm vamp:

Quote by JohnProphet
Dunno what to say to that bro, I mean, its not a matter of opinion. You'd be in Gmajor with an F note. The only thing it COULD be is G Mixo.


No it couldn't because it would not abide by the rules of harmonization for the mode of G mixo. Does it feel like it resolves to G7? Like you said, it's not a matter of opinion.

It could be that it's just in the key of D minor and the G major is borrowed from the parallel major. If you want it to resolve to G, it could be G major with the D minor borrowed from the parallel minor. If you need it to be a mode, it could be a D dorian vamp.

However I don't see why you must immediately jump to the least logical conclusion - that it's the mode of G mixo when it clearly is not. I think you're just saying that because (a) the notes of the chords are diatonic to the G mixo scale and (b) it starts on G.
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#11
AlanHB you're correct. If it's modal it doesn't move from its tonal center. The second you grab G7, it wants to resolve to the I (C). As soon as you change chords, if you don't know what you're doing, you moved the Tonal Center. If you can play a C and it feels resolved, there's a reason.

You cant just say "There's an F and no F#, thus...Mixolydian"

A person will sorely mistake the way modes work if you look at it from a diatonic standpoint and simply try to match the profiles of the chords to the scales.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jul 30, 2014,
#12
splitting hairs IMO. U guys are jazz players maybe?

Im approaching from the standpoint of a guy standing in front of an audience trying to play. You can say this or that about tonal centers blah blah...to me, if im using a G mixo shape then thats all I need to know. Im going to call that G mixolydian and solo to my hearts delight. If my ear cant tell a good note from a bad one then it doesnt matter what scale I use or what I call it.

If the band is playing a G chord in the key of G, then yes, I can play G major or G mixolydian.....or G lydian if I want to be weird about it. IMO the minute they go to a dm chord, the easiest thing for me to do is use G mixolydian and keep on soloing without missing a beat. I cant keep on using G major nor can I use G lydian

you guys feel my understanding is wrong.... then tell me what YOU would play. or are we just having a semantics discussion about what to CALL something? in that case its less interesting.
#13
Quote by Sean0913
AlanHB you're correct. If it's modal it doesn't move from its tonal center. The second you grab G7, it wants to resolve to the I (C). As soon as you change chords, if you don't know what you're doing, you moved the Tonal Center. If you can play a C and it feels resolved, there's a reason.

You cant just say "There's an F and no F#, thus...Mixolydian"

A person will sorely mistake the way modes work if you look at it from a diatonic standpoint and simply try to match the profiles of the chords to the scales.

Best,

Sean


Lets say a band plays a G chord vamp. The soloist, or singer, sings melodies with an F note, and/or the notes gabcdef. I assume then that you would call that G major with a borrowed F note?

It would be hard for me NOT to call it G mixolydian since I look down and I find myself using a g mixolydian scale and the whole thing resolves on the G root.
Last edited by JohnProphet at Jul 31, 2014,
#14
Quote by AlanHB
I think you're just saying that because (a) the notes of the chords are diatonic to the G mixo scale and (b) it starts on G.


yeah, exactly. Im approaching from the point of a player playing.

its like a Monte Python sketch. Girl sits in audience and digs the band playing its G to dm vamp which the soloist plays his G mixolydian shapes over. It sounds basically like happy summertime music. The she comments to someone "oh, I always like mixolydian mode."

The two music teachers sitting at the next table hear her and lean over and say "oh no, technically it is in d Dorian so its really sad and mournful, it only SOUNDS happy."
#15
Quote by JohnProphet
splitting hairs IMO. U guys are jazz players maybe?

Im approaching from the standpoint of a guy standing in front of an audience trying to play.


I'm not a jazz player. When I say that the progression is in D minor, it means the average person in the audience will hear a progression that resolves to D, no matter what the guy infront of them is saying.

You had some examples too:

Quote by JohnProphet
If the band is playing a G chord in the key of G, then yes, I can play G major or G mixolydian.....or G lydian if I want to be weird about it. IMO the minute they go to a dm chord, the easiest thing for me to do is use G mixolydian and keep on soloing without missing a beat. I cant keep on using G major nor can I use G lydian


As I've explained I don't think that this progression resolves to G, but lets for arguments sake said it did. Notably you said this is in the "key of G" so there are no modes involved and all notes outside are accidentals. Let's assume you didn't mean to say that too.

You say you can play basically anything you want over the G maj, but when it comes to the D min you freeze up and can only play certain scales. You say you "can't" play certain notes. Why? The only person stopping you is yourself.

Quote by JohnProphet
Lets say a band plays a G chord vamp. The soloist, or singer, sings melodies with an F note, and/or the notes gabcdef. I assume then that you would call that G major with a borrowed F note?

It would be hard for me NOT to call it G mixolydian since I look down and I find myself using a g mixolydian scale and the whole thing resolves on the G root.


It may be in G mixo depending on the voicing of the chord. It is also possible that it is in G major as you are playing a G major chord for the entire song. G mixo resolves to a G7 chord, so it is really dependent on the interaction of the melody and chord.
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#16
yeah, u r correct. over the d minor chord I can play anything I want..there is no gun to my head making my play this or that. Most people though would feel that something like a sustained f# note played over a dm chord would be a little odd

now we are going to over over what the word "key" means? wow. again, im picturing some guys playing. Bass player is thumping a G. Guitar player plays g mixolydian scale. Song resolves on the G. To me, thats in the key of G for like 99% of the population

I see whats coming now. You will tell me that a G vamp with a dm thrown in cant resolve to G? Or if I use a Mixo scale we cant resolve to G? Okay, I guess we will have to bust out the reaper, lol

Like u said, I can play anything I want. I can easily make it resolve to G even after I play a thousand f notes. The music stands on its own..people can argue fr years over how to label it

nice discussion, hope it stays civil
Last edited by JohnProphet at Jul 31, 2014,
#17
Quote by JohnProphet
now we are going to over over what the word "key" means? wow. again, im picturing some guys playing. Bass player is thumping a G. Guitar player plays g mixolydian scale. Song resolves on the G. To me, thats in the key of G for like 99% of the population


Yes we agree. As I mentioned above, the melody and chords may interact to create a G mixo progression rather than the key of G.

Quote by JohnProphet
I see whats coming now. You will tell me that a G vamp with a dm thrown in cant resolve to G?


Yes.

Quote by JohnProphet
Or if I use a Mixo scale we cant resolve to G?


No.


I believe we may not be talking about the same thing when we say a song is "in a mode", leading to confusion on both sides. Also don't try to pass this stuff off as naming issues - we are talking about music theory, and as you said

Quote by JohnProphet
Dude asked about theory lol.


And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#18
Really helpful stuff everyone *sarcasm* Essentially all I'm asking is what theory guff should I teach myself first? I just need a path to follow with this stuff tbh
#19
Quote by JohnProphet
Lets say a band plays a G chord vamp. The soloist, or singer, sings melodies with an F note, and/or the notes gabcdef. I assume then that you would call that G major with a borrowed F note?

It would be hard for me NOT to call it G mixolydian since I look down and I find myself using a g mixolydian scale and the whole thing resolves on the G root.


I think you made two important points.

1. It's a Vamp

2. The notes are in the G major scale with an F natural note.

That fits the profile of what I'd call Mixolydian.

I'd further suggest that G and F/G would be the kind of vamp where it could NOT comfortably resolve to C, even though the melody carries the same notes that a C Major scale has.

So, in this example, I'd agree with you. Maintaining a tonal centre is NOT semantic at all. Your scenerio above maintains that tonal centre.

If you insist on G7 and Dm as your vamp, I'd suggest that you're never resolving the progression, you're hanging it. its a ii V in C. Play a C and it SOUNDS resolved...make sure you understand that. In your progression I can justify the C as the resolution. Test it out. Even if you don't play it, all you've done is not resolved it. You can unplug and break the guitars, and end it on G, but the little place where I might differ to you, is I would suggest that it doesnt SOUND finished, even if it "finished".

It's like a call cut off midstream. The conversation is over, but it never "ended".

But take an example like I suggested above as a vamp..you cant resolve it to a C, it wont SOUND resolved. End it on G and it will.

As far as my "perspective" I don't think it's me being a "jazzer" at all, because I'm not advocating CST in my points, and yes I have studied Jazz with Jimmy Bruno.

Rather I'm coming at it from a perspective as a teacher: I have hundreds of students around the world. I teach it for a living. Both in a brick and mortar school (10+ years now in South Texas), and an online version of it (since 2009). That's where I'm coming from.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jul 31, 2014,
#20
Quote by bchampion96
Really helpful stuff everyone *sarcasm* Essentially all I'm asking is what theory guff should I teach myself first? I just need a path to follow with this stuff tbh


u didnt see my first post? nothing there for you to study?

dude, thats several years worth of study without question:

scale patterns all over the neck
every chord mapped out
what to do when you arent playing a straight major or minor chord progression


Thats not enough meat to chew on?
#22
Quote by Sean0913
I think you made two important points.

1. It's a Vamp

2. The notes are in the G major scale with an F natural note.

That fits the profile of what I'd call Mixolydian.

I'd further suggest that G and F/G would be the kind of vamp where it could NOT comfortably resolve to C, even though the melody carries the same notes that a C Major scale has.

So, in this example, I'd agree with you. Maintaining a tonal centre is NOT semantic at all. Your scenerio above maintains that tonal centre.

If you insist on G7 and Dm as your vamp, I'd suggest that you're never resolving the progression, you're hanging it. its a ii V in C. Play a C and it SOUNDS resolved...make sure you understand that. In your progression I can justify the C as the resolution. Test it out. Even if you don't play it, all you've done is not resolved it. You can unplug and break the guitars, and end it on G, but the little place where I might differ to you, is I would suggest that it doesnt SOUND finished, even if it "finished".

It's like a call cut off midstream. The conversation is over, but it never "ended".

But take an example like I suggested above as a vamp..you cant resolve it to a C, it wont SOUND resolved. End it on G and it will.

As far as my "perspective" I don't think it's me being a "jazzer" at all, because I'm not advocating CST in my points, and yes I have studied Jazz with Jimmy Bruno.

Rather I'm coming at it from a perspective as a teacher: I have hundreds of students around the world. I teach it for a living. Both in a brick and mortar school (10+ years now in South Texas), and an online version of it (since 2009). That's where I'm coming from.

Best,

Sean


pretty much going in circles...hard to respond. I mentioned the G-dm thing off the top of my head as a simple example of something that wasnt pure major scale. I figured it would be easy enough for beginner to see.

I dont think I mentioned a g7-dm vamp

I use the word "vamp" very loosely because I dont play jazz. Im coming from a rock perspective. Vai/Malmsteen/Satch/Halen etc. I could play that for my whole life and not find a need for the word "tonal center" (possibly excepting some Satch stuff and then only a few brief examples)

Yeah, its obvious u r coming from a teacher perspective. More power to you I guess but to me it leads to getting the cart before the horse. The music comes first, the theory later. People played music for who knows how many hundreds of years before others began to try to find patterns in it etc

People who listen to music have no idea what a 4th or a 7th are.

Thank you for pointing out that ii-v7 resolves on C (sarcasm.) Yes, coming from a teachers point of view that would be a logical perspective...make sure everything is according to Hoyle and worry about making music later. My point of view is more like if I DO happen to have an instrumental in the key of G that has G-dm (again, I picked that at random off the top of my head to make an example), then I may choose to play G mixolydan scale shapes yet still make it feel resolved on G. No C chord involved at all

from your point of view it seems you say its impossible. But lets say someone does it anyway and the listeners enjoy it. What do you label it then? How do you call it anything but G mixolydian? Theres no real use in saying "it cant be done, it will hang." Yeah, it probably would if the person was sitting there playing an actual g7 chord the whole time, which would be silly IMO. I dont think I ever referred to a g7 vamp. I said G-dm. I can play the flat 7th in a melody but then play other notes etc to make it feel resolved on G. Whenever you say something is impossible u inevitably run across a song where someone did it, lol

Im speaking of playing....no concern whatsoever about staff notation


for my point I am going to chalk up the confusion to different perspectives leading to different meanings of words. One guy says "key" and it means one thing to him...to another guy it means something else

One guy says "mode" and he means he will solo using that scale shape over chords derived from that "mode" and he makes his music whereas to another guy the word "mode" brings in way more connotations of strict musical harmony rules and "correctness"


Interested to hear what u would think about a G5-D5 progression. You think that "hangs" also? I mean obviously one can play an F# over the D5 and (IMO) its giving the effect of a basic I-V7. I dont see then how its so radical to think that playing an f note over that same D5 would totally invalidate resolving to G
#23
yeah, I just gotta strongly stand by my main thesis, lol. Anyone can sit and strum G-Dm-C-G and it resolves like a charm to G. youd think the C chord would take over but it simply doesnt resolve to the C chord right there

now if I strum G7th for 1 bar, then dm for 1 bar, and then I sit on c major forever then yeah, the ear can hear it resolve there. Thats what I mean about the skill of the improvisor...he can make it resolve this way or that (within reason)


the song "Let it Rain" by Eric Clapton is pure Mixolydian IMO. You dont need to know the chords to hear the Mixo flavor. Its first 2 chords are D-am. Yes, the same relationship as my random G-dm. I-vm

The "Let it Rain" verse chords are D-am-C-G. Does it sound resolved on the G? nope, not at all. You can take out the C chord and try to call it V-iim-1 but it still doesnt sound resolved on G.

IMO you have to give some creedence to the fact that the progression starts and ends on a D in Let it Rain and a G in my example. Thats not a non factor. The ear hears the D first. Its up to the player to emphasize what he wants. If he wants to start on a D and make it sound like some sort of turnaround going back to a G then that is his prerogative...but its not correct to say that it HAS to resolve to a G.

In the same way, I can play a G mixolydian scale and I can make it resolve on G, or on C (obviously) or on A. All depends on how I play it
Last edited by JohnProphet at Jul 31, 2014,
#24
Quote by JohnProphet
Dunno what to say to that bro, I mean, its not a matter of opinion. You'd be in Gmajor with an F note. The only thing it COULD be is G Mixo.

No. Just no.

Keys don't work this way. Neither do modes.

If you happen to have a progression in the key of G, it doesn't matter if there's an F note, a G# note, a note that's halfway between C & C# (a quarter tone), or whatever. If it is in the key of G, it resolves to G -- and we don't give a shit about the other notes in the progression.

OT:
I would start out by learning the basic major and minor scales, then move onto intervals, chords (how they're built -- not learning a hugeass amount of random chords), and diatonic (what that concept is).
#25
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
No. Just no.

Keys don't work this way. Neither do modes.

If you happen to have a progression in the key of G, it doesn't matter if there's an F note, a G# note, a note that's halfway between C & C# (a quarter tone), or whatever. If it is in the key of G, it resolves to G -- and we don't give a shit about the other notes in the progression.



thats pretty much what I was trying to prove the whole time. I stated that I was playing IN THE KEY OF G and RESOLVING ON G.....which the others started disputing. They were saying that because there was a dm chord that somehow I couldnt be in G and that I somehow HAD to resolve to C...which is ridiculous to me

Im not sure how this gets so confusing when it is so simple.
#26
Quote by JohnProphet
thats pretty much what I was trying to prove the whole time. I stated that I was playing IN THE KEY OF G and RESOLVING ON G.....which the others started disputing. They were saying that because there was a dm chord that somehow I couldnt be in G and that I somehow HAD to resolve to C...which is ridiculous to me

Im not sure how this gets so confusing when it is so simple.

Except your premise was wrong. You were saying, "It's in G mixo because there's an F note". Even if you were right (you're not), it wouldn't be in G mixo because of the F note. Your G - Dm progression resolves to Dminor; therefore, the key is Dminor. If we were willing to add a Cmajor chord, it would resolve to C.


But here's where you went completely wrong:
Quote by JohnProphet
hmm, gotta disagree with you there. If it resolves back to G its in the key of G, period. It would be G mixolydian due to the F note in the dm chord

As I stated before, the F note should have no consideration on what key it is in. You're acting like the notes used somehow determine the key or somehow mean we should call this a mode. No, they most certainly do not. (This applies to both those points.)

If your progression was a modal vamp, fine...we might be able to call it G mixolydian. (I'm not going to dwell on that too much; it's already been covered.)

But just because a progression has a non-diatonic note in it, that doesn't make it modal. In this case, the F note in the Dm chord does NOT cause the progression to become G mixolydian. If we ONLY have G & Dm in our progression, it will NEVER resolve to G.
#27
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Except your premise was wrong. You were saying, "It's in G mixo because there's an F note". Even if you were right (you're not), it wouldn't be in G mixo because of the F note. Your G - Dm progression resolves to Dminor; therefore, the key is Dminor. If we were willing to add a Cmajor chord, it would resolve to C.


But here's where you went completely wrong:

As I stated before, the F note should have no consideration on what key it is in. You're acting like the notes used somehow determine the key or somehow mean we should call this a mode. No, they most certainly do not. (This applies to both those points.)

If your progression was a modal vamp, fine...we might be able to call it G mixolydian. (I'm not going to dwell on that too much; it's already been covered.)

But just because a progression has a non-diatonic note in it, that doesn't make it modal. In this case, the F note in the Dm chord does NOT cause the progression to become G mixolydian. If we ONLY have G & Dm in our progression, it will NEVER resolve to G.


pretty much totally disagree with u. As stated by someone else in the thread on the backing track, not every1 uses the modal names to specifically refer to "modal" music. If Im in the key of G and im using a mixolydian scale shape and the chords are derived from that mixo scale shape....then for me its G mixolydian.

Pretty sure ive seen a host of pro musicians thru the years who use the terminology exactly as I have here.


yeah, as I stated at length in the other post G to dm can indeed resolve to G. So does G,dm,C,G resolve nicely to G. Or if one chooses, it CAN obviously be made to resolve on C if u rearrange things. Depends on how u play it.

How would you denote the Clapton song "Let it rain?" The verse chords are D, am, C, G, D. The chorus is D,am,D,am,C,G,D. Isnt it pretty cumbersome to call it "D major with heavy usage of the C natural note?" If you solo, or sing, over that progression you are going to be using the C natural note. How then would you call it D major? (if by major you mean D Ionian)

The D,am resolving to D is the exact same thing as the G,dm resolving to G
#28
3 seconds on google.

http://www.ars-nova.com/Theory%20Q&A/Q144.html

Question: What are the essential differences between modal and tonal harmony? - Stephen

Answer: Phew. That's a deep one, but I'll wade in from the shallow end. First there's the historical distinction between mode and key. There's a fine book by Joel Lester, Between Modes and Keys, that provides interesting detail about the transition from modal to harmonic thinking. Modal music was primarily concerned with the horizontal or melodic aspects of music; "chord progressions" did not come along until later.

But I suspect you're really asking about the term as applied in jazz or folk music. In that case the term "modal harmony" really should just refer to building chords using the notes found in one of the old modes, rather than sticking to major or minor scales. This is not actually "modal" in the original sense of the word because the modes preceded chordal harmony. But the term could be used to describe chord progressions in which triads are built in the usual manner on notes of a scale, using the scale tones, except that the scale is not major or the usual minor, but one of the modal patterns.

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I more or less rest my case. MANY people use the terminology exactly as I used it in this thread.
#29
It's funny you mention the G - Dm vamp. I've got a song with this progression as the verse part. It then modulates to A minor and then A MAJOR but when the chorus comes what do you think I hit em with? Big ol' C major chord. It's expected. All that tension built up from going Dm to G and back means it doesn't matter what else I do, it only wants to go to C. It's a vector pointed right at C. We need C.

Whether you give em C or not is up to you but what you're doing is building tension towards it, putting yourself in a key, not a mode. The reason is that the Dm chord naturally leads to a G7, not a Gmaj7. This is known as a ii-V vamp in C. Its just what it is. Solo in the key of C major.
#30
I do think that you've pretty much settled upon what you're going to believe. Many of us do not ascribe to that way of thinking. In the end, I don't think, in your case it matters, really.

Play what you like and think how you like. If you enjoy music and creating what you think are modal ideas, and what you define as progressions, it really does not matter what we think. It's your life, and form of personal expression. I don't feel as if you need to defend this so rigorously.

And you can wholesale dismiss all of us and our comments, including mine, as wrong, and that's okay too. No offense at least on my end, is taken! Have fun with your music, because that's what matters.

Best,

Sean
#31
Quote by JohnProphet
yeah, I just gotta strongly stand by my main thesis, lol. Anyone can sit and strum G-Dm-C-G and it resolves like a charm to G. youd think the C chord would take over but it simply doesnt resolve to the C chord right there


The progression CLEARLY resolves to C, not G.

But that's the main issue right? You're confusing the chord that a song starts on with the chord it resolves to. It's not the same thing.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#32
Quote by Sean0913
I do think that you've pretty much settled upon what you're going to believe. Many of us do not ascribe to that way of thinking. In the end, I don't think, in your case it matters, really.

Play what you like and think how you like. If you enjoy music and creating what you think are modal ideas, and what you define as progressions, it really does not matter what we think. It's your life, and form of personal expression. I don't feel as if you need to defend this so rigorously.

And you can wholesale dismiss all of us and our comments, including mine, as wrong, and that's okay too. No offense at least on my end, is taken! Have fun with your music, because that's what matters.

Best,

Sean


the only things that get defended rigorously are things that are attacked rigorously.
#33
Quote by AlanHB
The progression CLEARLY resolves to C, not G.

But that's the main issue right? You're confusing the chord that a song starts on with the chord it resolves to. It's not the same thing.



It could resolve to Am as well.
#34
Quote by AlanHB
The progression CLEARLY resolves to C, not G.

But that's the main issue right? You're confusing the chord that a song starts on with the chord it resolves to. It's not the same thing.


None of this "conversation" has been confusing to me at all. It resolves on G just as pretty as you please just like "Let it Rain" resolves on D even though it has a minor v chord.

I guess you think "Let it Rain" resolves on G?? Sorry, it doesnt
#35
Quote by Sean0913
If you enjoy music and creating what you think are modal ideas, and what you define as progressions, it really does not matter what we think.


I was doing some interesting reading on jazz. Its funny how many of them think they are playing modal music. Its also funny how many of the worlds top musicians think they are playing modal music. Its amazing how often the modal names are bandied about considering there isnt a lot of Gregorian chant these days

Its all good, I take no offense at passive-aggressive putdowns such as the above quote.

Seriously though, a quick read of the definition of "modal music" on the website of your choice shows that the word has a much wider sense than what you are trying to confine it to.


All the best, JP
#36
Quote by JohnProphet
pretty much totally disagree with u. As stated by someone else in the thread on the backing track, not every1 uses the modal names to specifically refer to "modal" music. If Im in the key of G and im using a mixolydian scale shape and the chords are derived from that mixo scale shape....then for me its G mixolydian.

And that's the issue. If you're referring to a tonal piece with modal terminology, then you're using incorrect terminology.

Pretty sure ive seen a host of pro musicians thru the years who use the terminology exactly as I have here.

And?


How would you denote the Clapton song "Let it rain?" The verse chords are D, am, C, G, D. The chorus is D,am,D,am,C,G,D. Isnt it pretty cumbersome to call it "D major with heavy usage of the C natural note?" If you solo, or sing, over that progression you are going to be using the C natural note. How then would you call it D major? (if by major you mean D Ionian)

You still don't seem to be getting it. I could play a progression or melody, that resolves to D, and only ever play a D note once. The fact that I do such doesn't mean this progression or melody is not in D. It doesn't matter how often I repeat the tonic note; all that matters is that the progression or melody resolves to the tonic note.

Also, by D major, I don't mean "D Ionian". Yes, calling D major "D Ionian" isn't technically incorrect, but it is kind of stupid. (I know 20Tigers might disagree, but I see no reason to refer to major as "Ionian" or minor as "Aoelian".)

The D,am resolving to D is the exact same thing as the G,dm resolving to G

Except...you know, the G - Dm thing resolves to Dminor. As has been explained many times to you.


Look, you need to stop insisting you're right. You're not. You need to go back and learn the fundamentals of harmony. I have no idea where you got this bunch of misinformation that you're spouting off. Go learn it correctly.
#37
Quote by JohnProphet
I was doing some interesting reading on jazz. Its funny how many of them think they are playing modal music. Its also funny how many of the worlds top musicians think they are playing modal music. Its amazing how often the modal names are bandied about considering there isnt a lot of Gregorian chant these days

Its all good, I take no offense at passive-aggressive putdowns such as the above quote.

Seriously though, a quick read of the definition of "modal music" on the website of your choice shows that the word has a much wider sense than what you are trying to confine it to.


All the best, JP


You couldn't be more wrong. No one was attacking you, and I was not being passive aggressive. In fact, seeing that you can't accept anyone's voice other than your own, and see fit to call my words out, clearly, the emerging evidence is that it's you that's doing the attacking.

You're vastly musically ignorant, and now proving to be immature at handling discussions, and accepting comments and points made sincerely. I find that telling.

Modes are the least of your problems, mate.

Best,

Sean
#38
Quote by crazysam23_Atax


Except...you know, the G - Dm thing resolves to Dminor. As has been explained many times to you.


It does not. resolves to C or Am
#39
Quote by Sean0913
You couldn't be more wrong. No one was attacking you, and I was not being passive aggressive. In fact, seeing that you can't accept anyone's voice other than your own, and see fit to call my words out, clearly, the emerging evidence is that it's you that's doing the attacking.

You're vastly musically ignorant, and now proving to be immature at handling discussions, and accepting comments and points made sincerely. I find that telling.

Modes are the least of your problems, mate.

Best,

Sean


cheers mate
#40
Quote by GuitarMunky
It does not. resolves to C or Am

G - Dm, just those 2 chords resolves to Dminor. Play just those chords. Which sounds like "home", out of just those 2 chords? Granted, it still "hangs" a bit, but Dminor is more "home" than G.

If we add either C or Am, it would resolve to either of those. This causes it to stop "hanging".


I already covered this, btw.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 1, 2014,
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