#1
Hey guys!

I never quite got a good answer for this so here goes: I'm writing a song with a groovy A blues minor bass line. At bar 8, the drums and the rhodes kick in and basically the rhodes cycle through 2 chords. The first one being a classic A9 chord (with the 9th as the top note) for 2 bars, and the second chord being an Am7 chord (with the b3 as the top note).

It sounds good, but I always considered this a gray area. The blues minor scale technically has a minor 3rd, but it's always used with dominant 7th chords (which has a major 3rd). In this scenario, is it fine to switch between a minor and a dominant 7th root chord? And if so, why does it work?

Thanks!
Ibanez SIX28FDBG
ESP EC-1000 Deluxe
Ibanez AGR73T
Ibanez RG350DX
Ibanez AW
Peavey Triple XXX
BOSS pedals : TU-3 -> CS-3 -> NS-2 -> RV-5
#2
It seems like you're writing with theory rather than your ears. Listen. Does it sound good? If yes, then it IS OKAY.
#3
Of course it's fine. If it sounds good, it is good. But you also could see the Am7 chord as an A7#9 without the major third (it appears in the chord before it, so it's still kind of there, even though it's not played) or maybe a C6 chord.

Blues mixes minor and major, it is really common. It works because it sounds bluesy. I don't have any better explanation. Sometimes stuff just works. Why does ii-V-I work? I don't know. It just sounds good.

But yeah, mixing minor and major is really common.


If it sounds good, it is good. Nothing is against the rules and you should definitely not change something that sounds good to "fit theory". Theory is not a set of rules. Theory just explains what's happening in music. You are just mixing major and minor - that's the explanation, and it's totally fine. It's not against any rules.
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
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Mar 30, 2015,
#4
Thanks guys! I know that if it sounds good, it's usually good. But sometimes something that sounds good to your ear might sound weird to someone else's. So I don't know, making sure it works theory-wise is kind of a safeguard to me :P That and I also want to understand what i'm writing!

And thanks a bunch Maggara, didn't think of seeing it as a #9, which makes a lot of sense considering it's the top note!
Ibanez SIX28FDBG
ESP EC-1000 Deluxe
Ibanez AGR73T
Ibanez RG350DX
Ibanez AW
Peavey Triple XXX
BOSS pedals : TU-3 -> CS-3 -> NS-2 -> RV-5
#6
But the thing is, there's no such thing as "theoretically correct". A chord progression can be unusual, but it's never against the "rules" to write something unusual.

Theory can explain anything. It can explain things that sound bad and things that sound good. And neither of them is theoretically wrong. If it's hard to explain, it doesn't make it any worse or better.

A better way to figure out if it sounds good to other people's ears is to post a sound clip and ask people if they think it sounds good or if they would do something differently.

But as I said, mixing major and minor is very common.

Yeah, to my ears it sounded completely fine. Nothing really strange happening there. You don't need to see all of the notes as chord tones. I heard it more as a riff in A and notes played over the riff. There are really no chord changes.
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
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Mar 30, 2015,
#7
If no one ever deviated from the already known theory, would music/theory have ever advanced to where it is now? That's how the concepts were discovered. Some guy going yolo and others analyzing that shit.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Mar 30, 2015,