#1
Hi ,
I am currently trying to get deeper in music theory and have been troubled with a song's chord proggression- Virginia Moon -Foo Fighters.
I would be happy if you help me identify which scale is used here and how, and explain to me as well so i could learn from it.
Thank you, Ron.

Link to the chords

http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/f/foo_fighters/virginia_moon_crd.htm?ab_group=player_combo&utm_expid=18438345-117.Xl9Y1cGLRGGq9QYsTE9P2A.1&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.de%2F
#2
It's in B major. Though I would say it starts in F minor (even though F minor is not played) - the first chords are Dbmaj7 and C7 which sounds like a VI-V in F minor. But then it goes to Ebm and Bb major. You could also look at this as a short modulation to Bb major (though it's pretty short and calling it a "modulation" may not be the most correct term to use - I would say it's more like a tonicization). Why Bb major? The Ebm6 sounds like a minor iv chord to me (m6 chords are usually iv chords) and it resolves nicely to the Bb major chord (iv-I is a pretty common chord progression). It modulates at "Stay there, soft and blue." when they play the C#m7 chord. Look at the progression that starts with C#m7. It is a ii-V-I in B major (C#m7-F#7-Bmaj7). The chorus is in B major. The chorus also uses a iv minor chord (Em) after the E major chord and a bVI chord (G major). Both are borrowed from the parallel minor (B minor).

But yeah, there is no one scale that would fit all of the chords in the song. It uses non-diatonic chords and modulation.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#3
Thank you for your explanation!
another question, if the scale for the first two chords is Fm isn't the C chord "supposed" to be minor? Can yyou explain to me how it "transposed" from cm to Cmaj? Thank you.
#4
Often in minor keys you make the v into V, because the raised third creates tension towards the key's tonic.

So you take the diatonic Eb and raise it to an E.
E is the note "right before" F (we call E the leading tone in this context) so it can pull very strongly towards a resolution to F.

So yeah, C major is a common and "natural sounding" chord in F minor.
#5
V7 chord is actually more common in minor than the v (minor) chord. The V7 (dominant) chord just has a "stronger" function - it has a strong pull towards the tonic.

So in minor key raising the 7th note of the scale is really common.

You could say that the V7 chord comes from the harmonic minor scale. Or the harmonic minor scale comes from the usage of the V7 chord, I don't know.

I talked about borrowed chords in my post and you could also look at the V7 as being borrowed from the parallel major.

Dominant chords are always major V (with a minor 7th if you want to add the 7th) or diminished vii chords (which could be treated as a rootless V7 chord).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#6
Thank you very much for your explanations. I guess that this chord progression is still above my level to analyze. Any tips about how I can get better at analyzing music?
thanks again for your kind help.
#7
Maybe start with more simple stuff (that stays in one key). You also need to have good ears to do it properly. You don't always see what's happening by just looking at the chords. You need to listen to the song. Learn to recognize most common chord progressions and that kind of stuff.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#8
Quote by MaggaraMarine
V7 chord is actually more common in minor than the v (minor) chord. The V7 (dominant) chord just has a "stronger" function - it has a strong pull towards the tonic.

So in minor key raising the 7th note of the scale is really common.

You could say that the V7 chord comes from the harmonic minor scale. Or the harmonic minor scale comes from the usage of the V7 chord, I don't know.



This is a big reason why why to me, the harmonic minor scale, is the 3rd most important pattern to learn. I would start pentatonic, and then the 7 modes pattern, and then harmonic minor. It is actually very common. But, it's most common usage last for one chord, and it is only different from the modes pattern, by one note moved over. So, not quite as crucial to know the pattern as strongly, but still common enough that I find it is important to learn for any style of improv guitarist.
#9
Quote by ronavr88
Thank you very much for your explanations. I guess that this chord progression is still above my level to analyze. Any tips about how I can get better at analyzing music?
thanks again for your kind help.


It depends on the person how, in a way. My method is uncommon. But no matter what the method, I think it is important to know the key, harmony, and to know these by sound.

There are lots of ways you can look at how music works together on pages in a book. But imo, what you really want to do, is know them on your instrument, and how they sound. The terms and theory, are just compliments to that end. This takes some practice. Reading theory in a book is fast, but the secrets of music are not words on any page. It would be difficult to become a great cook, by only reading cookbooks, and never tasting the ingredients. It's not enough to know that orange and chocolate works. It is important to know how that tastes. Because it is the experience of that flavour that you are creating. Not just something that "works".

So, My recommendation for this, for you, is to learn a lot of music, play a lot of music, and identify the key and roman numerals of all the chords in every song you learn. Notice common things, learn those, when you got those down, study the strange ones. Don't get caught up on the strange things until you get the common ones down. That's what I would recommend anyway.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Oct 13, 2014,