#1
In the song "Defeated" by Breaking Benjamin, is that a key change when it transitions from the intro to the verse? In the opening riff, it seems as if C is the tonic, but it resolves on the F when it transitions to the verse. Why does the resolve still sound natural even though they are resolving the opening riff with an F instead of a C? They seem to do this in a lot of their songs and I just want to know what exactly is going on. Thanks!
#2
I assume that the guitar is tuned a whole step down and by C you mean Bb and by F you mean Eb .

The opening riff has a Bb Phrygian dominant sound, but it resolves nicely to Ebm because it also functions as the dominant of Ebm. Why do you hear the Bb as the tonic at first? Because it stays on the chord for some time. I think it may also have to do with the b2 scale degree that resolves down to the tonic. The "leading tone" (D) doesn't really sound like the leading tone because it doesn't behave like one in that riff. It doesn't really sound like it "wants" to resolve to Eb.

I'm not sure if I would call it a "key change". You could call it a tonicization of the dominant (in Eb minor), at least in this particular song (because the riff is not that long).

It's kind of the same thing as the B section in "Misirlou" (when the trumpet starts playing). The main riff is in E (it uses the double harmonic scale), but the B section starts with Am, and temporarily that chord does sound like the tonic - it sounds like the E is the dominant and resolves to the tonic, Am. But then the E major becomes the tonic again.

Another good example is "La Fiesta" by Chick Corea. The A section is in E Phrygian dominant, but when the B section starts, the E major chord becomes the dominant of A major.
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
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#3
MaggaraMarine Yes drop Bb my bad. I appreciate the reply. I've been looking at the songwriting of some bands I like and every now and then I see things I don't really understand. I have another question actually if you have the time. Assuming they are playing in drop Bb, I notice many of their songs uses C# as the tonic, yet they use the open Bb power chord for that heavy sound even though Bb would be the 6th in the C# major scale. I know they play their songs in minor, so why does it still sound ok when they do this?
#4
Do you have any examples of songs that use what you are describing?
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
Medicate is C# E#m (=Fm) A G# (BTW, this progression has kind of a Nirvana vibe to it). It is in C# major and borrows the A major chord from the parallel minor. The chorus is in E major. The song uses the A major chord to change keys. E major and C# major are still pretty closely related. C# minor is the relative minor of E major. And as I said, the A major chord already comes from C# minor, so the modulation to E major works pretty smoothly.

Borrowing the bVI chord from the parallel minor is really common. I would say it's one of the most common non-diatonic chords in pop music. "Kiss from the Rose" is a good example of a song that heavily uses the bVI chord. The song has a major tonic, but borrows the bVI and bVII chords from the parallel minor. Another good example is "Unchained" by Van Halen (the main riff). IIRC, it's in D major, but the chords in the main riff are D Bb C D F C. The tonic is D major, but all of the other chords come from D minor. Same thing with Ratt's "Lay It Down" (it's also in D major and uses the Bb and C major chords in the main riff).

Until the End has an A# minor verse and modulates to C# major in the chorus. A very common modulation between relative keys. All of the chords are diatonic to the key. It's not in C# minor, it's in A# minor and C# major.

Unknown Soldier is in C minor and again modulates to the relative major (Eb) in the chorus. There is one non-diatonic chord, though, and it's the Db major chord. In this case we are in the key of C minor so it's the bII chord. It's a pretty common non-diatonic chord in a minor key. The bII chord is also used in Dream Theater's "Pull Me Under" and Steve Vai's "For the Love of God". Just two songs off top of my head.


Edit: corrected some typos.
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 Dec 11, 2016,
#7
You definitely know your stuff man. That really does clear up quite a bit for me. Thanks a bunch.