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#1
Apologies first of all if this fairly newbie question offends anyone.

I am a pre-intermediate level hobby guitarist and am trying my hand at composition. I am quite interested in basic theory and the idea of evoking certain moods by using minor keys. However, I have been told that most songs , (obviously discounting metal which I think is generally in E / A / B Minor), and when I have looked up the open chords in a minor chords and tried to put something together, it does not really sound natural (and obviously I lack the technical knowledge to make it so). I am also aware that many melancholy songs are actually in major keys (Radiohead's 'Creep' in GMajor for example). I know many people will say just to pick up a guitar and go with what you feel, but I am really interested in working within a structure. I would like some pointers to proceed.

I was thinking of maybe getting a chord chart of a major key alongside a chord chart of its relative minor together (say Eminor and GMajor), and just pick chords from both to make sequences that sound good to my ear. Do you think this might be a loose framework to allow me to play around with composition? If anyone has a better notion for someone of my limited knowledge, I am open to suggestions.
#2
The chords will all be the same for E minor and G major. No point in putting them both up, they're both the same. The difference is where "home base" is i.e. where it resolves to. If E minor sounds like home it's in E minor; if G sounds like home it's in G major.

There are some well-known minor chord progressions.

i VI VII sounds pretty good (to me). In E minor that'd be E minor, C, D. Try that and it should sound "minor".
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#3
trying to force progressions from theory is going to serve to do nothing but make your music sound as stoic and uninteresting as your sense of diction (pre-intermediate hobby guitarist? lol)

just experiment. play. find something that sounds good to your ears, then figure out why/how the chords work together, and make a mental note of it. we all had to do it. there's no shortcuts to understanding chords
#4
Learn Cadences.

Study Diatonic Harmony,

And then learn outside chords, that also work withing a key, even if they don't come from the scale that the key is derived from.

Then, apply your hand at breaking down and analyzing the chord structures and the progressions of songs that you like, or that move you, and use these observations to lean some compositional strategies.

Best,

Sean
#5
Yeah man the "minor songs are sad" thing is rubbish. You hear it a ll the time. But its bollocks. Creep is a perfect example.
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
#6
A good starting point is just to learn the basic chords in a key to start with. You can break the rules better when you know them in the first place lol.

So briefly, u mention eminor/Gmajor. As Dave MC pointed out, they contain all the same notes/chords.

So to find the notes in a major scale you start with the root note and then you follow this formula. WWHWWWH W=whole step, H=half step Whole step is 2 frets, half step is 1 fret

so u want G major? ok

GABCDEF#G

(that will be $50 please)

oh, u want the chords too? ok. Starting from each note in the scale take every other note for 3 notes total (or 4 notes if u want to figure the basic 7th chords)

So start on G and take every other note for 3 total notes. G B D. There is your nice Gmajor chord. If you want to know the 7th chord for Gmajor do every other note for 4 notes. GBDF#. Thats a Gmaj7th chord.

So you do the rest for the other chords

G=GBD G major
A=ACE A minor
B=BDF# B minor
C=CEG C major
D=DF#A D major
E=EGB E minor
F#=F#AC F#with a flat5 (also called F# half diminished)

So there are the basic chords within the G major scale.

for your homework, figure out the 7th chords and what kind of chord are they (maj7th, 7th, minor7th???)

Thats a few years of lessons right there, normally that be around $2000 but im thinking $500 is about right since we are on the same forum together etc


Peace, JP
Last edited by JohnProphet at Aug 18, 2014,
#7
Don't write from theory. Theory isn't meant to be a presecription, but rather a description. In other words, don't sit there and go, "Well...theory says, 'A good example is X'. So, I'm going to write it like X". NO! Don't do that.

Write whatever you feel like. If it works as similar to X, fine. If it doesn't, fine. The important thing is to write what you FEEL.
#8
^ Don't make me post that "right in the feels" meme again
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#10
In the long run, what you have to do is train your ear so that you can think in music. Thinking in music doesn't mean your brain says: "I'll go G to D to F!" It means "Bee woo doo!"

That being said, training your ear to do this isn't hard, but it takes a long time. It takes dedicated work and practice.

In the interim there's nothing wrong with learning some basic theory and applying that, as you get basic sounds in your head. There's a very easy chord chart to find, which are the chords that are diatonic to the key. (In the key of C, it is C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major, A minor, and B diminished). This is a fine place to start, so long as you understand that it's where you start: that is the BEGINNING of basic harmony.

So many people learn that chart and think it's the end of basic harmony, and anything else is "breaking the rules" or something. Nonsense. That chart is day one of an intro theory class. Or maybe day two. And there's nothing wrong with learning it.

So get the chart. Use it. But don't stop studying theory once you have the chart. And remember that you do not know a theoretical concept until you can hear it in practice, so keep working on your ear.
#11
Quote by HotspurJr
That chart is day one of an intro theory class. Or maybe day two.


True, but isnt it amazing how many people can be on a music forum for months and years and never get exposed to the basics. Im just trying to get the man to first base
#12
Quote by JohnProphet
True, but isnt it amazing how many people can be on a music forum for months and years and never get exposed to the basics. Im just trying to get the man to first base



Oh, sure. Not trying to discourage anyone. And lots of guitarists get to theory late.

Just trying to avoid a problem we see a lot, which is that people get confused and held back by that same chord chart. They start thinking of it as a proscriptive - "can't do anything but what's the the chart."
#13
Always impressed by Hotspur Jr - listen to that guy.

I have the chart he was talking about and I'll post it...and then I'm going to show you some tricks to get you started with creating diatonic chord progressions
It will help a great deal if you know basic intervals and interval inversions. Scales and basic chord construction (at least how the the basic major and minor triads are constructed)


Chord progressions come in many different shapes and sizes. The basic diatonic chord progression (diatonic meaning that we stick to the notes that naturally occur in the key).

The chart above shows all the chords that are diatonic to each major key.

Now a little bit (or a lot) about basics of diatonic harmony.

There are three basic functions in diatonic harmony. They are the Tonic, SubDominant, Dominant. These functions are named after the scale degrees upon which the chords that perform these functions are built.

The tonic is the fundamental sound. It is the stable home against which the rest of the chords are heard.

The SubDominant pulls us away from the tonic. It pulls us away from the tonic toward itself thus creating a sense of harmonic movement. We feel like we are going somewhere.

The Dominant provides a sense of heightened tension that we have a natural desire to hear resolved. Moving back to the tonic (directly or indirectly) satisfies this desire for resolution and solidifies the role of the tonic as our harmonic home.

These three functions are present in just about all music. Getting used to hearing them, and paying attention to how they are used, is a very good idea.

Now obviously the chords that the functions are named after fulfil those functions. The I is the tonic, the IV is the subdominant and the V is the dominant.

You can arrange these three chords in all sorts of different ways and if you have been playing guitar for any length of time you will already have come across some I IV V progressions. Here are some really basic ones that you've probably come across before...and I'm going to colour code them by function...

I I IV V

I I V IV

I IV I V

You'll find a whole lot of songs that use these three chord tricks. Some songs are built entirely out of a three chord trick, others use a three chord trick in the chorus.

You can start to create longer progressions as well by making patterns over eight, twelve, sixteen, or thirty two bars (or however many bars you want - there's no reason it has to be a multiple of four).

The 12 bar blues is an example of exactly this. There are numerous variations on the 12 bar blues structure but they are all quite similar and they almost all use nothing more than I IV V.

12 bar blues... (note "/" just means to repeat the chord for that beat.
|I / / / |I / / / |I / / / |I / / / |
|IV / / / |IV / / / |I / / / |I / / / |
|V / / / |IV / / / |I / / / |I / / / |

This is such a common progression that you will be already familiar with it. You should play through it in a couple of different keys and and listen to how the tonic sub dominant and dominant chords function.

Then try coming up with some of your own I IV V progressions. Start with two bars then four bars then eight bars and just colour code each bar according to function and write the I IV V above each bar.

You can play it however you want. Try playing the same chord over multiple bars, try changing chords for half a bar to introduce a faster harmonic change for more energy. It's really up to you but at this stage just stick to I IV V and get the hang of those basic harmonic functions.

When you have a bunch select a couple that you like. It doesn't matter how long they are but select two or three.

Here's the one I'm going to use as an example
|I / / / |IV / / / |I / / / |IV / / /|
|I / / / |IV / / / |V / / /|V / / /

Eight bars and nice and simple.

They should work well enough on their own. And you might actually prefer to keep them as I IV V progressions which is fine. But we will look at how we can start to bring the rest of the diatonic chords into the mix while keeping to the same harmonic structure - a process known as reharmonization.

We do this through an understanding of diatonic chord families and using diatonic chord substitution. Sounds impressive but it's quite simple.

Basically the chords that are diatonic to a key are related to each other depending on the number of chord tones they share with either the tonic subdominant or dominant.

So let's use the key of C as an example and have a look at some of these chord relationships.

The tonic is C. It is made up of the notes C E G.

If we look at the mediant or iii chord in the key of C it is Em built off the third degree of the scale. It uses the notes E G B. Note that both C and Em share two notes in common (E and G).

So when we change between C and Em there is very little harmonic movement. Just one note changes. Consequently these chords are considered related.

The Am chord is also in the key of C. It is the sub-mediant or vi chord built off the sixth degree of the scale.

Am is made up of the notes A C E. Again it shares two notes with the tonic chord C and again changing between these two notes provides very in the way of harmonic movement.

Because these chords are both so closely related to the tonic chord they are considered part of the tonic family and primarily serve a tonic function.

The tonic family is made up of the tonic I, the median iii and the submediant vi chords.

Of the remaining chords the ii chord shares two notes in common with the IV and serves a subdominant function.

The vii* shares two notes in common with the V and serves a dominant function.

So we have our chord families. Notice the deliberate colour coding in the chord chart above.

Now that we know the harmonic function of the other diatonic chords we can start injecting them into our I IV V chord progressions and create a whole lot of new progressions that still serve the same basic function.

You can replace the whole of the chord with another chord from the same family or just replace part of the chord. What I mean by that is if a chord were played for one bar you could replace the chord for the entire bar or just for a few beats.

Using my eight bar I IV V example...I could do a few different things...

|I / / / |ii / / / |iii / / / |IV / / /|
|vi / / / |ii / / / |V / / /|V / / /

in the key of C that's...
|C / / / |Dm / / / |Em / / / |F / / /|
|Am / / / |Dm / / / |G / / /|G / / /

Or maybe I'll do...
|I / / / |IV / / / |vi / / / |ii / / /|
|I / / / |IV / / / |V / / /|V / / /

In the key of C...
|C / / / |F / / / |Am / / / |Dm / / /|
|C / / / |F / / / |G / / /|G / / /


or maybe something like...

|I / vi / |ii / IV / |I / iii / |ii / IV /|
|I / vi / |ii / IV / |V / / /|V / / /

in the key of C...
|C / Am / |Dm / F / |C / Em / |Dm / F /|
|C / Am / |Dm / F / |G / / /|G / / /


Even just one or two chords can be enough to spice things up and add interest.

The thing to remember is that although these observations can almost act like a paint by numbers you are still reliant on your ear at every stage and for every substitution.

Note that this is only a tiny little piece of the pie in regards to what you can do. We haven't discussed cycle progressions, we haven't looked at what I call pentatonic progressions, we haven't looked at voice leading, we haven't looked at any non diatonic chords at all, we haven't looked at other kinds of chord substitutions, borrowed chords, secondary dominants etc etc.

The range of what you can do is limited only by good taste. This is not even scratching the surface

And yet it is still enough to keep you going for a lifetime. In fact some very successful songwriters' rarely venture too far beyond what can be accomplished using diatonic chord substitutions as explained above.

Hopefully this wasn't too confusing.
Have fun.
Si
#14
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
...Do it!


(I practically set it right up for you...)


ah but now it'd be too much. i don't want to get a reputation for just posting funny memes and bad jokes

Quote by 20Tigers
Always impressed by Hotspur Jr - listen to that guy.


agreed, good post.

yours too, i'm always impressed by your posts as well.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 19, 2014,
#15
Quote by HotspurJr
Oh, sure. Not trying to discourage anyone. And lots of guitarists get to theory late.

Just trying to avoid a problem we see a lot, which is that people get confused and held back by that same chord chart. They start thinking of it as a proscriptive - "can't do anything but what's the the chart."


yeah, I totally agree. Thats called the "Theory Trap"

Many of the absolute TOP musicians either dont know any theory or they only know a little.

2 examples.

George Lynch. He plays lots of odd shapes because they fit his fingers and he can play them fast. He plays stuff that a heavy theory guy would be hard pressed to play. He said that when he auditioned for Ozzy someone told him that it was a "reading gig" and he said he was on the plane trying to learn to sight read lol.

Eddie Van Halen. He took piano lessons as a kid but he said he never learned to read, or much theory and that he simply copied stuff by ear and pretended to sight read in front of the teacher lol. He does MANY chord progressions that dont fall neatly into this or that mode and he says he thinks its stupid when people say "wow, he went from a this to a that chord" etc.

In songs like "Im the One" he uses symmetrical shapes across 5 strings which as we all know isnt any scale lol. He often does a lick on the high e, then the same exact lick on the b, then the g lol...again, using no "scale."

He also had a few licks where he did a solo shape loosely based on an arpeggio lick and then he just went up 2 frets and did it again, whether it "fit" into an exact diatonic chart or not. Im pretty sure he has no idea.

As a result he has in own sound that hasnt really been duplicated yet and it doesnt have a lot to do with the tapping...its more in the harmonic content where he mixes various scales and modes together etc. I used to listen to a lot of it at half speed and it is way more pronounced when it is slowed down enough to hear.


To contrast that, people say Vito Bratta was a VH clone. Yes and no. He used tapping and whammy and some fast legato stuff etc but he wasnt quite as sonically adventurous as Eddie. My thinking is that Vito was WAY more into theory than Eddie and it showed in his solos. At certain points it seems Vito was trying to be a little too clever and show he he could highlight EVERY chord change with a note from the chord etc. It got to be a little too mapped out at some point.


In any case, the theory hasnt held back Vai or Satch much
#16
Quote by JohnProphet


In songs like "Im the One" he uses symmetrical shapes across 5 strings which as we all know isnt any scale lol. He often does a lick on the high e, then the same exact lick on the b, then the g lol...again, using no "scale."

He also had a few licks where he did a solo shape loosely based on an arpeggio lick and then he just went up 2 frets and did it again, whether it "fit" into an exact diatonic chart or not. Im pretty sure he has no idea.



Actually, I think you're sort of missing my point.

Theory absolutely encompasses playing the same lick on a E string and then on the B string. (Playing a lick from the tonic an then the 5th?)

Theory absolutely encompasses taking an idea and moving it up a whole step. You see this all the time with pentatonic riffs and if you don't think in terms of shapes it's really easy to see why this works.

"Non-diatonic" doesn't mean "non-theoretical."
#17
Quote by HotspurJr
Actually, I think you're sort of missing my point.

Theory absolutely encompasses playing the same lick on a E string and then on the B string. (Playing a lick from the tonic an then the 5th?)

Theory absolutely encompasses taking an idea and moving it up a whole step. You see this all the time with pentatonic riffs and if you don't think in terms of shapes it's really easy to see why this works.

"Non-diatonic" doesn't mean "non-theoretical."


By "theory" I generally refer to diatonic patterns. I am sure the word "theory" covers an infinite variety. What area of theory are u specifically referring to?

Im coming from the point where VanHalen probably isnt thinking about any such term as tonic, dominant, subdominant etc. I doubt he has ever had the thought "I played this on the tonic, now if i'll play it on the 5th, then ill play it on the major 3rd." Pretty sure he just plays fast smooth licks and then moves them somewhere convenient. Down a string, up 2 frets, down chromatically etc. Its very hard, for instance, to picture him playing a Paul Gilbert type lick where it moves up the fretboard hitting the various different diatonic shapes.

I have never heard him mention any such terms. I have never heard him mention modes. The interviewer asked him about scales and it was obvious Eddie wasnt a "scale" player. So the interviewer said something like "I see you as more of a pattern player" and Eddie said "To me 'pattern' sounds like 'scale'...im more of a 'wing it' player."

I dont think he is thinking in terms of theory at all. I think its more like "this lick sounded cool, let me try in on the next string down....yeah, still sounds cool"

If you listen to "Cathedral" its pretty much just taking one major chord shape and moving it all over the place. Im not really seeing that as being theoretical. Im seeing that more as a guy trying out simple things and seeing what sounds cool.

Contrast that to, say, Randy Rhoads.

In any case maybe I am missing the point. To me if a guy plays his whole career and he never really plays any songs strictly diatonic, I have to guess he isnt a heavy theory guy. I sort of doubt he is going by some "deeper" theory involving complex modulations or chord substitutions etc.

A guy tried to tell me that VanHalen knew all the modes etc and was just changing them really quickly blah blah. Its hard to see that since he has never mentioned anything like that AFAIK
#18
Theory doesn't restrict you. Theory is not the compositional process. Theory is observing and understanding music in practice.

Theory can certainly help with the compositional practice as you can see how other people have put together certain musical ideas and understand how those constructs work.

Theory does not in any way limit compositional freedom. The only limits in that regard are your own creativity and musical ability.

People that know very little theory can write great music, or very poor music. People that know a lot of theory can write great music, or very poor music. Blaming one's knowledge of theory for either outcome is erroneous.

EDIT:
If someone admits to knowing nothing about something why would you hold them up as some kind of expert about the benefits of knowing or not knowing that thing?

It's like someone saying - I never studied physics because if I did it would restrict me to stuff like the "law of gravity". I don't want my ideas restricted to that kind of limited thinking, I want to build planes and fly, I don't need no "law" telling me that I am stuck on the ground.

Quote by JohnProphet
Eddie Van Halen... he says he thinks its stupid when people say "wow, he went from a this to a that chord" etc.
If he said that then I think Eddie Van Halen is an idiot.

When listening to music there will be those rare moments where we hear something and say "wow, man that was awesome". When we try to figure how this wow moment was achieved we find "wow, they went from this chord to that chord". -What's so stupid about that?

Also Bob Dylan said pretty much exactly that. When asked about the Beatles music he said something like..."the chords they use are outrageous".

So Eddie would turn around to Dylan and say "man that's a stupid thing to say"? yeah right Eddie.
Si
#19
Quote by JohnProphet
By "theory" I generally refer to diatonic patterns.


And this gets to my exact point. Diatonicism is the beginning of theory, not the end of it.


Im coming from the point where VanHalen probably isnt thinking about any such term as tonic, dominant, subdominant etc. I doubt he has ever had the thought "I played this on the tonic, now if i'll play it on the 5th, then ill play it on the major 3rd."


I agree. The thing is nobody does that. Theory is the language we use to talk about music, not the language of music. Theory is a tool which helps us talk about concepts, and because of that it helps us learn concepts, although it's not the only way to learn those concepts.

Pretty sure he just plays fast smooth licks and then moves them somewhere convenient. Down a string, up 2 frets, down chromatically etc.


But the thing is, I would also bet that he's not thinking, "Okay, now I'll move this down a string. Now I'll move it up a two frets," either. On the contrary, I strongly suspect that he's thinking in sounds. He wants to hear something that goes like THIS and then goes like THAT - and so he plays that.

That you keep coming back to diatonic shapes suggests that you're thinking in terms of positions on the fretboard, but I don't think any great guitarists do this. They're thinking in terms of sounds.

(Incidentally: Am pentatonic: A C D E G. Up two frets, Bm Pentatonic: B D E F# A. Starting on the fifth: Em pentatonic: E G A B D; the only one of those notes that isn't diatonic to Am is F#, which, of course, is an extremely common note in the key of A major, which is usually what rockers are playing their Am pentatonics over; seems a little less crazy now, doesn't it?).
#20
Quote by HotspurJr
And this gets to my exact point. Diatonicism is the beginning of theory, not the end of it.


I agree. The thing is nobody does that. Theory is the language we use to talk about music, not the language of music. Theory is a tool which helps us talk about concepts, and because of that it helps us learn concepts, although it's not the only way to learn those concepts.


But the thing is, I would also bet that he's not thinking, "Okay, now I'll move this down a string. Now I'll move it up a two frets," either. On the contrary, I strongly suspect that he's thinking in sounds. He wants to hear something that goes like THIS and then goes like THAT - and so he plays that.

That you keep coming back to diatonic shapes suggests that you're thinking in terms of positions on the fretboard, but I don't think any great guitarists do this. They're thinking in terms of sounds.

(Incidentally: Am pentatonic: A C D E G. Up two frets, Bm Pentatonic: B D E F# A. Starting on the fifth: Em pentatonic: E G A B D; the only one of those notes that isn't diatonic to Am is F#, which, of course, is an extremely common note in the key of A major, which is usually what rockers are playing their Am pentatonics over; seems a little less crazy now, doesn't it?).


Yeah, if it was simply moving a penta shape around I wouldnt have commented because that probably wouldnt have stretched even diatonic theory much.

Here is one of the solos I am referring to. IMO if you listen to this he sort of makes every different note the bass player plays sound more like a modulation that simply another diatonic chord. To me, THAT is one of the hallmarks of the early VH sound that doesnt get mentioned much

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkJOZOOXJWk

The lick starting at 1:40 uses a shape outlining a major chord. As most people on this forum know a diatonic scale has 3 major chords...well Eddie uses that same shape to outline 4 different major chords (F,G then down to Bb,Cand then he uses harmonics to possibly outline other triads then ends up resolving to a open E. Actually the shapes outline both major and sus2 chords on each of those chords

Thats one of the areas where I think he is just going with what he thinks sounds cool...whereas maybe Vito Bratta would play the "correct" minor chord shape on some of those chords etc. But I dont particularly think Eddie was really consciously giving it that much thought. Id say in this thread we have already given the "theory" more thought than he did.

If u only knew how many nights I spent riding around buzzed in my first car listening to this on cassette lol!


A similar example is at 1:37ish in this solo. Hit a lick, move up 2 frets and hit it again. Signature VH. This one is just a bend though

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJM2paIyn2c


Here he just moves a major shape to several different positions. Personally I think he was a guitar genius. I dont think it was really a "studied" thing (see also--->Yngwie)

The rest of us have to work at it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2WRGVJLZu0
Last edited by JohnProphet at Aug 20, 2014,
#21
Quote by 20Tigers

If he said that then I think Eddie Van Halen is an idiot.

When listening to music there will be those rare moments where we hear something and say "wow, man that was awesome". When we try to figure how this wow moment was achieved we find "wow, they went from this chord to that chord". -What's so stupid about that?

Also Bob Dylan said pretty much exactly that. When asked about the Beatles music he said something like..."the chords they use are outrageous".

So Eddie would turn around to Dylan and say "man that's a stupid thing to say"? yeah right Eddie.


yeah, Ive seen more than one interview where he says that. I think its a case of he knows he isnt a theory guy so he sort of puts it down. Or he is really just trying to say "use your ears"....but I think its more of the former.
#22
Quote by JohnProphet

The lick starting at 1:40 uses a shape outlining a major chord. As most people on this forum know a diatonic scale has 3 major chords...well Eddie uses that same shape to outline 4 different major chords (F,G then down to Bb,Cand then he uses harmonics to possibly outline other triads then ends up resolving to a open E.


Again, sort of my point.

Nobody should be looking at the four chords F, G, Bb and C and saying "wait, what? there are only three diatonic major chords!" Almost no matter how you slice it, those are four really common chords to see together. The move to E is a little more rare, but this is EXACTLY my point:

If you think that there's something revolutionary about putting those four chords together, you're wrong.

Now, EVH, being a musical genius (not arguing with you about that) heard that grouping in other contexts and moved it into this one.

That's not anti-theoretical in any way, shape, or form. Grouping those chords together is still first-semester music theory class stuff.

And that gets to my second point: I've got no problem with people who don't know theory. Paul McCartney is one of my musical heroes and he didn't know theory, either. (And, like EVH, he was pretty damn revolutionary relying on his ear and his ability to transport sounds from other contexts into a rock context).

The problem I have is with the mindset that if you're not being diatonic, you're going against theory. That's the equivalent of someone saying, "Multiplicaiton? That's crazy. Everybody knows that arithmetic is just addition and subtraction! Anything else is anti-mathematical!"
#23
Quote by HotspurJr
Again, sort of my point.

Nobody should be looking at the four chords F, G, Bb and C and saying "wait, what? there are only three diatonic major chords!" Almost no matter how you slice it, those are four really common chords to see together. The move to E is a little more rare, but this is EXACTLY my point:

If you think that there's something revolutionary about putting those four chords together, you're wrong.

Now, EVH, being a musical genius (not arguing with you about that) heard that grouping in other contexts and moved it into this one.

That's not anti-theoretical in any way, shape, or form. Grouping those chords together is still first-semester music theory class stuff.

And that gets to my second point: I've got no problem with people who don't know theory. Paul McCartney is one of my musical heroes and he didn't know theory, either. (And, like EVH, he was pretty damn revolutionary relying on his ear and his ability to transport sounds from other contexts into a rock context).

The problem I have is with the mindset that if you're not being diatonic, you're going against theory. That's the equivalent of someone saying, "Multiplicaiton? That's crazy. Everybody knows that arithmetic is just addition and subtraction! Anything else is anti-mathematical!"


this forum is really sad man. All people want to do is argue. I just dont get it. Every simple viewpoint gets turned into something petty
#24
Actually, it generally goes quite swimmingly, provided people don't throw around misinformation.

Also, these "arguments"...there are usually opportunities for discussion, where one or both parties are educated in some manner. We're all here to learn and help others learn. But people have to be teachable (which sometimes means admitting you're wrong).
#25
Quote by JohnProphet
yeah, Ive seen more than one interview where he says that. I think its a case of he knows he isnt a theory guy so he sort of puts it down. Or he is really just trying to say "use your ears"....but I think its more of the former.

It could also be my bias toward the benefits of knowing theory.

John Lennon said
"Listen, writing about music is like talking about f*cking. Who wants to talk about it."
Although his next words were, "You know, maybe some people do want to talk about it..."

But I like that analogy because, lets face it, in both circumstances it's definitely more fun to do it than to sit around talking about it.

Quote by JohnProphet
this forum is really sad man. All people want to do is argue. I just dont get it. Every simple viewpoint gets turned into something petty
There are people that want to discuss and share musical ideas, but if you really feel that way...no one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to post.

Expecting the term music theory to include more than strict diatonicism isn't all that petty to be fair. If you want to discuss musical ideas that go beyond strict diatonicism I'd be happy to do that with you in new thread. This one is specifically asking for help regarding how to use diatonic chords to create chord progressions.
Si
#26
I doubt EVH is an idiot.


Yeah, that's about all I have to say right now...
#27
Quote by 20Tigers
It could also be my bias toward the benefits of knowing theory.

John Lennon said
"Listen, writing about music is like talking about f*cking. Who wants to talk about it."
Although his next words were, "You know, maybe some people do want to talk about it..."

But I like that analogy because, lets face it, in both circumstances it's definitely more fun to do it than to sit around talking about it.

There are people that want to discuss and share musical ideas, but if you really feel that way...no one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to post.

Expecting the term music theory to include more than strict diatonicism isn't all that petty to be fair. If you want to discuss musical ideas that go beyond strict diatonicism I'd be happy to do that with you in new thread. This one is specifically asking for help regarding how to use diatonic chords to create chord progressions.


But seriously, every little bitty comment has the be challenged and argued and dissected endlessly? Good Lord.


I make a simple comment about EVH not paying attention to diatonicism and all of a sudden people need to tell me they have a "problem" wih it? wtf???

Damn I thought it was music, does every single simple viewpoint have to go into a ufc style battle?

Then you also have to argue not only about what you SAID but then you have to spend precious tine trying to argue down what someone THINKS you said but you didnt really say?? Where did I say going outside of strict diatonics was REVOLUTIONARY????

Damn it gets overblown here
#28
Quote by evolucian
I doubt EVH is an idiot.


Yeah, that's about all I have to say right now...


perfect example. Who said anything remotely implying VH was an idiot? I said he was a genius

wth?
#29
Quote by JohnProphet
perfect example. Who said anything remotely implying VH was an idiot? I said he was a genius

wth?


Quote by 20Tigers

If he said that then I think Eddie Van Halen is an idiot.


And it was only based on an "if". My response was "I doubt" - therefore no one actually mentioned him being an idiot as it was only based on "if".

I too think he is genius and a pioneer, but that too is my opinion. As for "perfect example" as if to prove a point to something, I highly doubt that too.
#30
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Actually, it generally goes quite swimmingly, provided people don't throw around misinformation.

Also, these "arguments"...there are usually opportunities for discussion, where one or both parties are educated in some manner. We're all here to learn and help others learn. But people have to be teachable (which sometimes means admitting you're wrong).


for someone who claims to have put me on ignore, u sure seem to want to comment on every word I say. U got a thing for me maybe?

You dont really strike me as someone who really wants to exchange ideas and learn. Someone who is open to others viewpoints isnt usually the type to tell people to "**** off" on open forums and/or the type to post really juvenile comments on peoples profile pages.

And yes the "FO" comment wasnt directed at me but still I dont see that type of attitude to be conducive to "learning and helping others learn."

ya know?

Peace, JP
#31
Quote by evolucian
And it was only based on an "if". My response was "I doubt" - therefore no one actually mentioned him being an idiot as it was only based on "if".

I too think he is genius and a pioneer, but that too is my opinion. As for "perfect example" as if to prove a point to something, I highly doubt that too.

My love for EVH goes about as far as "Jump"

But I was joking around, I don't actually think he's an idiot. I do think it's a silly thing to say though.
Si
#32
Quote by 20Tigers
My love for EVH goes about as far as "Jump"

But I was joking around, I don't actually think he's an idiot. I do think it's a silly thing to say though.

Yeah, we all have our own tastes in music - and various players we don't like or don't put on a throne. Personally I love EVH (as I feel he is throne worthy, but thats just for me) and his approach to soloing sometimes intrigues me but mostly baffles me.

Luckily I moved beyond "Jump" hehehehe

Quote by JohnProphet
for someone who claims to have put me on ignore, u sure seem to want to comment on every word I say. U got a thing for me maybe?


Lol, don't even worry about sam. He's ignored a few people and usually has some crap to say at times. Take it in stride
Last edited by evolucian at Aug 21, 2014,
#33
Quote by evolucian

Luckily I moved beyond "Jump" hehehehe

My siblings and I used to jump and dance around the living room to that song. It was pretty cool with just the right amount of cheese.
Si
#34
Quote by 20Tigers
My siblings and I used to jump and dance around the living room to that song. It was pretty cool with just the right amount of cheese.


jesus christ i didn't know our mods snorted H lol

EVH is actually pretty intense, definitely a musician amongst shredders
#35
Quote by JohnProphet
this forum is really sad man. All people want to do is argue. I just dont get it. Every simple viewpoint gets turned into something petty


That's pretty funny coming from a guy who just responded to a discussion of theory with an ad hominem attack.
Last edited by HotspurJr at Aug 21, 2014,
#36
Quote by evolucian
Lol, don't even worry about sam. He's ignored a few people and usually has some crap to say at times. Take it in stride

I'm not even sure why I bother. The people I ignore usually get quoted like 100 times a day anyway.
#37
I just do it the lazy way and use my Guitar Case Chord Book by Peter Pickow which has all the chords listed for each key. Music theory is for wimps
#38
Quote by arv1971
I just do it the lazy way and use my Guitar Case Chord Book by Peter Pickow which has all the chords listed for each key. Music theory is for wimps

Boo!

You're missing out on the beauty of non-diatonic chords, btw.
#39
Anyway.....

Unless someone has some strategies for the TS to help him construct diatonic chord progressions, I think this one's about done.
Si
#40
Truly many thanks for all those who offered constructive advice (as opposed to asinine attempts at literary criticism!), and especially to 20Tigers for his very comprehensive reply.

Of course I have played around by ear for composition before. Twenty years ago when I started playing guitar (I took a LONG sabbatical!), I came up with lots of stuff, but I noticed that the same chords came up again and again and often in the same progression. I tried to work out the key I seemed to be constantly using, and I think it is G Major. Basically, I wanted to understand a bit of theory so I can use it to structure some progressions and maybe stumble across a different way of thinking.

What I did back in the day was basically come up with a riff based on the root note and the fifth and then try and translate the powerchord riff to a key using chord maps for various keys. The problem I often found is that although it would mostly work, by using a key template for chords, I would be obliged to pick the odd chord that was little used and would make the progression turn a little weird. That is why I wanted to explore the idea of modified keys (someone told me once that exact minor keys are little used in strummed popular music), although that could just be myself absorbing misinformation.
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