when you play the same thing in a song but repeat it a note higher. I hate it
Wise Man Says: The guitar is obviously female, she's got hips, breasts... and a hole.
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This probably goes into more detail than you want, but it explains modulation.

Quote by FretboardToAsh
when you play the same thing in a song but repeat it a note higher. I hate it
That's chromatic ascension. It's a specific type of modulation.

You should not hate it. It is a great way to build tension.
i wouldn't buy that, modulation is when you take a song & "modulate" or change to a different degree in the key, its easier to see when notated or tabbed out. i can tab out an example if its needed
Modulation is simply movement to another key. Most of the time this is accompliched by moving through chords common to both keys or through the use of secondary dominants. It is done in nearly any piece of music that you will hear. Most common example is how the typical tune will modulate to the dominant key for the B part, in pop music this is known as the "chorus" (A part ususally verse, B part ususally chorus).

Below is a simple modulation on the phrase level:

Key C: I vi iim7 V7 I iii vi II7 V
C Am Dm G7 C Em Am D7 G
Key G: IV vi ii V7 I

The second measure, consisting of the final 4 chords , Contains the note F# in what up until now was a D minor chord, but raising the F# makes it a D major, since it is building to a cadence in the key of G, The 7th was added to the D Major, making it a D7 chord, V7 of G. We hear the Am preceeding the D7 as the ii of G, rather than the vi of C, the function it had performed in the previous measure. The first hint that a modulation is occuring is the iii chord in C, which, once the key of G has been confirmed, is heard as the vi of G rather than the iii of C.

This is a commonplace simple modulation involving both common chords and the principle of secondary domianants. Jazz progressions employ this principle throught entire tunes, sometimes with a modulation every two beats!! Proper use of modulation can actually reinforce the key center you are modulating from. Normally a piece of music begins in one key, works it's way through a few, and finds it's way home again in the end. One cool thing here is that this is a scalable structure. The chords used may as easily represent key centers of entire phrases as they can single chords withing a phrase.This kind of structure is makes harmony a powerful organizing force in our music.
For an example of a song that modulates, Layla by Derek the Dominoes starts in D Minor and switches to E Major for the verses, and it might modulate again for the piano bit at the end.
Feel free to ignore my ranting.

Member of the Self-Taught Club.

A recent study shows that 8% of teenagers listen to nothing but music with guitars in it. Put this in your sig if you're one of the 92% who isn't a close-minded moron.
Quote by FretboardToAsh
when you play the same thing in a song but repeat it a note higher. I hate it

dont listen to this guy