#1
I'm not sure how to approach this subject, so here goes nothing.
what's it called when you're playing in a major scale, but instead of a major IV, you diminish the major 3rd and play a minor IV instead?
for example: say you're playing in the key of E major. so you strum A major (the IV) and then strum A minor, diminishing the major 3rd and making it a minor 3rd. then, you resolve it with E major. I've seen this passage being used in lots of songs but I can't find the theory behind it anywhere. for example, in She's Thunderstorms by Arctic Monkeys, which is in the key of G major, the C is minor, but when playing the other chords, such as A minor or E minor, the E note isn't diminished to D#. the guitar solo starts off minor-sounding, with a B-C-D-D# progression, characteristic of minor scales, but then it assumes a more major character, without the G-G#-B-C leaps. I want to know what this type of scale is called and what the theory behind it is, if anybody knows what I'm talking about.
sorry if that doesn't make a lot of sense, I'm really grasping at straws here because I, admittedly, don't know what I'm talking about.
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#2
Couple things. First, "diminished" has a particular meaning in music that isn't this, so just say flatted or lowered third. Second, you'll likely hear a lot of long winded explanations for this, but at the end of the day it's just a minor IV. It's a chromatic alteration of the IV chord that creates a different colour. There's no scale or mode or whatever, it's just altering the third of the IV chord so that a major chord becomes minor.
#3
Quote by fetusrobot
I'm not sure how to approach this subject, so here goes nothing.
what's it called when you're playing in a major scale, but instead of a major IV, you diminish the major 3rd and play a minor IV instead?
sorry if that doesn't make a lot of sense, I'm really grasping at straws here because I, admittedly, don't know what I'm talking about.


ok..there is nothing "diminished" in your question..the term does not apply..

let me see if this is the essence of what your asking:

chords: E A A minor E

you want to know about the A to Amin and what if anything it is called

It is commonly called a Plagal cadence..or an amen or church cadence..In most cases it is just the IV chord to the I chord..but the IV to IVmin is also accepted

just play the chords and see if you hear the "amen or church" feel

the term cadence meaning the end of a musical phrase..

hope this is what you are asking
play well

wolf
#4
I know this has nothing to do with diminished chords, but I didn't know what else to call it. and I definitely hear the church vitality in the resolution, but I was wondering if there is some kind of major scale where the IV is minor and the V is major. as per She's Thunderstorms (G major, C minor, D major). and if there was, what other nice "tricks" I could do on such a scale, what other nice passages are possible in such a scale. thanks for the help.
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#5
an accidental
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#6
Don't worry about how scales work into it. It's really just a note that isn't in the scale, called an accidental. Just remember that 3rd of the IV is flat and you're golden.
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#7
I think the theory is actually rather simple, there's nothing terribly complicated about flattening the third of the IV and resolving, but on the solo for She's Thunderstorms they seemed to be playing based on a set scale, and I wanted to learn it because I find it so charming. or can I just flatten the note in question like playing a "blue note"? (which as I understand is an augmented fourth. if you're playing on a scale such as E pentatonic, the blue note would fall on A#)
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#8
update: I'm not sure if this is a formally, you know, established scale, but if I try to map out the scale (basing myself on B) I get B - C# - D# - E - F# - G - A - B, and it sounds familiar, so I guess I've found my scale, even if it's not exactly "official". thank you for the replies
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#9
You can get a minor IV chord by borrowing it from the parallel minor. Why are you concerned with scales anyway?
#10
There is no one diatonic scale that would work over all of the chords. No diatonic scale has both a minor and a major sixth in it.

Minor 6th is one of the most common accidentals in a major key.

How to play over it? Just alter the 6th of your scale to fit the chord. If you are in B major, just play B major over everything else, but over the Em chord play a G instead of a G#. You don't really need to do anything else than that and it will work over the chords (not saying you shouldn't - you can always use whatever accidentals you like).

If there is a non-diatonic chord in your progression, look at the chord tones. Those are the only notes you need to change from your scale when you are playing over them. Over diatonic chords use the key scale.
Quote by AlanHB
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#11
Quote by fetusrobot
update: I'm not sure if this is a formally, you know, established scale, but if I try to map out the scale (basing myself on B) I get B - C# - D# - E - F# - G - A - B, and it sounds familiar, so I guess I've found my scale, even if it's not exactly "official". thank you for the replies
Compared to major, that scale has a b7 as well as a b6. It's a mode of E melodic minor, which may be why it sounds familiar.
In a B major key tune that featured an Em chord, E melodic minor would be the scale that would probably fit best on that chord. But that doesn't mean it would apply elsewhere in the song - almost certainly it won't. (If the song has an F# chord, then that has an A# in it.)

There is a scale that has a major 3, minor 6 and major 7 - harmonic major - and a chord sequence such as G-Cm-D spells it out (in the chord tones). But it would be unlikely for that scale to actually be used (melodically) throughout such a song. (As you've noticed yourself in the Arctic Monkeys song.)

IOW, it's rare that one scale will be used exclusively throughout an entire song - and especially not if there are chromatic chords. It would make no sense to say the scale of the song includes E and Eb (not D#, btw). The song obviously does; but it might also include blue notes such as Bb, or F natural, or other melodic embellishments. It doesn't help to add them all up and spell out one mega-scale, because not all the notes will apply to all the chords.

The best way to analyse any song (at least when you're not sure of what theory might apply) is just to look at what notes are used chord by chord. Don't expect any of it to fit any theory you know. The song is always right, whatever it does! You just have to follow it. Improvise using the notes it uses (chord by chord). There's always enough there, but you can use your ears if you want more.
Last edited by jongtr at Sep 23, 2015,
#12
It's really really common to play the iv chord as a way of getting back to the I. Especially when it goes in between the IV and the I.

What you're doing is chromatically walking the 3rd of the IV chord down to the 5th of the I chord.

So in the key of C
chord: F - Fm - C

       F - F  - E
       C - C  - C
       A - Ab - G
       F - F  - C


It adds tension and makes you want to resolve it more.

Arctic Monkeys, the Beatles and Frank Sinatra all use it lots.
#13
thanks, you've all been very helpful.

and MaggaraMarine, when you say tones, are you talking about the 1st and 3rd notes in a chord? because if I follow the "scale" I mapped out, I come out with 3 major chords and 4 minor chords, like on a typical major scale. if I'm applying this "scale" to the key of B, I come out with B major, C# minor, D# minor, E minor, F# minor, G major, A major, and B major again.

jongtr, the harmonic major scale may be close to what I'm talking about, and it may even present the "theory" that I've been asking for, but for a major scale it sounds awfully minor to me. thank you for your explanation nonetheless.

declan87, I'm sure I had no doubts as to how the resolution works, melodically speaking I have ears, don't I?
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#14
Quote by fetusrobot


declan87, I'm sure I had no doubts as to how the resolution works, melodically speaking I have ears, don't I?


don't get cocky

plus 99% of newbies here in fact do not have ears
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#15
I'm not trying to be cocky, sorry if that's how I came off.
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#16
don't try to be humble either
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You win. I'm done here.
#17
to clarify: I wasn't actually confused about the melody in the resolution. I'm sure I was able to recognise the tension that comes with "minorising" a IV chord, and the catharsis of resolving it with the I. what I was actually curious about was whether there was some formal musical reasoning behind the passage (such as a natural scale) and if I could employ such reasoning in more interesting ways, such as a guitar solo as per She's Thunderstorms. I'm not very skilled at explaining myself, but your replies have all been very helpful.
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#18
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stop the fite... make love not war...
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#19
Quote by fetusrobot
thanks, you've all been very helpful.

and MaggaraMarine, when you say tones, are you talking about the 1st and 3rd notes in a chord? because if I follow the "scale" I mapped out, I come out with 3 major chords and 4 minor chords, like on a typical major scale. if I'm applying this "scale" to the key of B, I come out with B major, C# minor, D# minor, E minor, F# minor, G major, A major, and B major again.

I said play chord tones, which means you play the notes that are in the chord (not only the root and the third, but also the fifth, and seventh/extensions if the chord has those). If you want to add more notes to it, play the notes in the key scale. Those will usually work best, but adding accidentals can also work.

So what to play over an Em chord if we are in the key of B major? If you want a scale, play B major, but remember to change the G# to G natural, because the Em chord has a G natural in it.

If you see a non-diatonic chord, again, look at the chord tones. Which of them don't fit the key scale? The chord tones of Em are E, G, B. G is the only note that doesn't fit the key scale (B major), so that's the only note we need to change from the key scale when playing over that chord (not over all chords in the progression, just over the chord that is not diatonic to the key).
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 Sep 23, 2015,