#1
ok i copied and pasted two or three posts that i thought would be helpful and printed them out. i understand them up to this point. my question will be after the post:


Now, let's return to our unison idea for a moment. It's safest to play the notes in the chords - A B C D E F G. We find the key that matches the closest using our Co5, rearranging the notes if necessary, and we come out with the key of C for your example, C D E F G A B C. Our key is C… now what?
Well, we use the 7 modes derived from the C major scale to fit over our chords. Those would be C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian, and B Locrian. We match root notes and our scales would be:
Am - A Aeolian
C - C Ionian
F - F Lydian
G - G Mixolydian

However, for the most part you can just think 'key of C' when playing. You just have to be aware of where the root note is when, and adjust accordingly.

The second approach gives you a broader range of tonal options, since you're not limiting yourself to one key.
Since only one chord is playing at a time, we really don't have to stick to all those other notes (the ones that aren't in the ONE chord) when the one chord is playing. That is, when Am is playing we don't have to stick to the notes of the G chord as well, we just have to stick to A C E!
We analyze one chord at a time.

Am = A C E. We must now find any scale whose root is A and contains the notes A C E. There are many to pick from; some of the more common ones are A Dorian, A Phrygian, A Aeolian, A Harmonic minor, and A Melodic minor. There are many more than those 5.

C = C E G. Any scale with root of C and contains C E G. A few possibilities are C Ionian, C Lydian, C Mixolydian, C major pentatonic, or C Lydian Dominant.

F = F A C. You know the drill by now! Suggested: F Ionian, F Lydian, F Mixolydian, F major pentatonic, etc.

G = G B D. G Ionian, G Lydian, etc.

So your possible scales for Am C F G might look something like this:
Am - A melodic minor
C - C Lydian Dominant
F - F Lydian
G - G Ionian

It can end up sounding a bit strange since you can end up changing scales so often, but you have more options.

When you run across a chord that is not in key, or doesn't fit into a key with the rest, you can play in key for all chords but that out-of-key chord and choose your own scale for it; combine the two methods!

What Chords Are In What Key, And Why?
What chords are in what key, and why? This lesson assumes basic knowledge of the Circle of 5ths.
Part 1: Basic Triads.
Each diatonic scale has 7 different notes, which gives way to 7 possible triads for each key in music. A triad is the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of a scale played simultaneously to form a chord.
All chords are formed based on their respective major diatonic scale. A C chord is built on a C major scale, a D chord is built on a D major scale, etc.
There are 7 chords for each key, which correspond to the 7 notes in each key's scale. Some chords can be in more than one key - for example, a D major chord can be in the keys D, A, or G.
I'll use the key of C as an example:
The key of C includes the notes C D E F G A B C.
Each note of the scale corresponds to a scale degree as shown:

..Note: C D E F G A B C
Degree: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1

You can form 7 basic chords (triads) from the notes in the key of C. Each different note is the root of a different chord.
There are 3 combinations of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes that will be covered in this lesson. There are 3 more, but they are not included.

Major triad: 1 3 5
Minor triad: 1 b3 5
Diminished triad: 1 b3 b5

Your first chord will be a C chord, because C is the first scale degree. Now, since this is a C chord, it will be based on the C major diatonic scale. Take scale degrees 1 3 5 as shown below:

..Note: C D E F G A B C
Degree: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
........*...*...*

This gives you notes C, E, and G. Since all 3 of those notes are in the key of C, you do not have to modify them to fit, and you have a major triad (1 3 5). So your first chord is C major.

The second chord will be a D chord, because D is the 2nd scale degree. It's based on the D scale, which is D E F# G A B C# D. Now, take 1 3 5 of this scale:

..Note: D E F# G A B C# D
Degree: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
........*...*....*

This gives notes D F# A. This presents a problem - F# is not in the key of C! In order to keep this chord in key, we have to flat the F# (lower it by 1/2 step) down to F natural. This gives D F A, which is scale degrees 1 b3 5 of the D major scale. 1 b3 5 is the formula for a minor triad. Therefore, your second chord is D minor.
The seventh chord will be a B chord, because B is the 7th scale degree. It's based on the B scale, which is B C# D# E F# G# A# B. Now, take 1 3 5 of this scale:

..Note: B C# D# E F# G# A# B
Degree: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
........*....*....*

This gives notes B D# F#. D# (3) and F# (5) are not in the key of C, and must be flatted to D (b3) and F (b5), respectively. This gives us scale degrees 1 b3 b5, which is the formula for a diminished triad.
Based on these examples, you can figure out the rest of the chords. However, they always follow a pattern:

1 - major
2 - minor
3 - minor
4 - major
5 - major
6 - minor
7 - diminished

By applying this pattern, you can quickly figure out that the chords in the key of C are:
Cmaj
Dmin
Emin
Fmaj
Gmaj
Amin
Bdim

All the notes contained in the above chords will be in the key of C.
This pattern works for any of the keys in the Circle of 5ths. It does not, however, cover any scales that are not the major scale (such as the harmonic minor scale, for example. That has its own pattern of chords).
Part 2: Extended chords.
Okay, so you've got the basic triads down? Great! Now on to extended chords. First, you must learn the formulas for the 4 types of 7th chords.

......Major 7th: 1 3 5 7 - Abbreviation: maj7
......Minor 7th: 1 b3 5 b7 - Abbreviation: min7
...Dominant 7th: 1 3 5 b7 - Abbreviation: 7, dom7
Minor/Major 7th: 1 b3 5 7 - Abbreviation: min/maj7

Now, let's return to our first chord. We know it's a major chord from Part 1. We can now figure out what type of 7th chord it is using the same method.

..Note: C D E F G A B C
Degree: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
........*...*...*...*

Your notes are C E G B, all in the key of C. No changes are needed to the notes, and so this is a maj7 chord.
Our second chord was a minor chord in Part 1. Let's take it to the next level, a 7th chord.

..Note: D E F# G A B C# D
Degree: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
........*...*....*...*

The notes are D F# A C#. F# (3rd) and C# (7th) are not in the key of C, and must be flatted on down to F natural (b3rd) and C natural (b7th). Therefore, your scale degrees for this chord are 1 b3 5 b7. This gives us a min7 chord.
Our 5th chord is a G chord - let's find the 7th.

..Note: G A B C D E F# G
Degree: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
........*...*...*...*

Our notes are G B D F#. F# (7th) must be flatted to an F natural (b7). Our scale degrees are 1 3 5 b7, which is the formula for a dominant 7th chord. Our 5th chord is G7!
The seventh chord is a Bdim chord as shown in Part 1. Extending this chord, we find that it is a min7(b5) chord.

..Note: B C# D# E F# G# A# B
Degree: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
........*....*....*.....*

This gives notes B D# F# A#. The D#, F#, and A# are all flatted 1/2 step to give degrees 1 b3 b5 b7. This is the formula for a min7(b5) chord, also known as a half diminished chord.
Using the same method you can figure out the other chords. They also follow a pattern. That pattern goes as follows:

1 - maj7
2 - min7
3 - min7
4 - maj7
5 - dom7
6 - min7
7 - min7(b5)

And, as you may have guessed by now, the chords in the key of C are:

Cmaj7
Dmin7
Emin7
Fmaj7
G7 OR Gdom7 (they are the same chord)
Amin7
Bmin7(b5)


OKAY if Am - A Aeolian, C - C Ionian, F - F Lydian, and G - G Mixolydian is the key of c then why is C made up of C E G? Why isnt E in the key of C? Yes i am probably a moron, idion, retard and everything else but im also a slow but thorough learner and don't like to over look things that bug me.
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#3
^*cough*

OKAY if Am - A Aeolian, C - C Ionian, F - F Lydian, and G - G Mixolydian is the key of c then why is C made up of C E G?


The chord C is made up of C E G because they are the root, major third, and perfect fifth of the C major scale.

Why isnt E in the key of C?


The note E is in the key of C. The mode E Phrygian is in the key of C. The chord E minor is in the key of C lol.

This is SD's lesson on What Chords are in What Key and Why ain't it
#4
ok well if C is made up of C E G and Am - A Aeolian C - C Ionian F - F Lydian G - G Mixolydian is the key of C then why isnt E in that?
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#5
ok thank you, sorry you posted before my last
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#6
This section eliminated for idiocy. (EDIT: I guess it works for most people, but it does not work for me. Apparently it is quite popular)

By the way, the following notes are in the key of C:
C D E F G A B
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Ignore everything you learned in that except for this:
Major triad - 1 3 5 from the respective major scale (OR 1 #3 5 from the respective minor scale)
Minor triad - 1 3 5 from the respective minor scale (OR 1 b3 5 from the respective major scale)

From that you can derive that the C major triad is C E G, the first, major third and perfect fifth of the C major scale. The chord with root note D in the C major scale will consist of the major second (D), the perfect fourth (F) and the major sixth (A), which gives you a D minor chord*.

*(confused? The D minor scale consists of the following notes - D E F G A Bb C D; as previously established, the D minor chord consists of the root, the third, and the fifth of the D minor scale, aka D F A. It is not D major because D major contains the notes D F# A, and F# is not in the key of C).

If you repeat this for every chord in the scale, you'll get that the following chords are in the key of C:
C Major C E G
D Minor D F A
E Minor E G B
F Major F A C
G Major G B D
A Minor A C E
B Diminished (What's a diminished chord? A diminished chord is two minor thirds -- a three semitone (or fret) difference -- stacked on top of each other. In the case of B, that's B D F)

All major scales will follow this pattern (major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished. Minor scales follow a slightly modified, seemingly reversed pattern (minor, diminished, major, minor, minor, major, major).

As for the various modes of the major scale (Dorian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Ionian, Aeolian, Phrygian, and Locrian), these are a bit more complicated of a concept if you have not yet grasped the concept of the major scale. Each of these modes represent a "shift" in all of the notes in a given key. This is easily represented with the C major scale (C D E F G A B C) although it is quite difficult to explain.

These modes apply to any diatonic scale.
C Ionian Mode (Unison) - C D E F G A B C (Yes, this is the C major scale)
D Dorian mode (Second) - D E F G A B C D (The C major scale starting from D and ending at D. All of the notes are in the key of C. Protip - this is the natural minor scale of D with a sharpened sixth)
E Phrygian mode (Third) - E F G A B C D E (The C major scale starting from E and ending at E -- the third of the scale.)
F Lydian mode (Fourth) - F G A B C D E F (The C major scale starting from F and ending at F -- the fourth of the scale. Starting to detect a pattern?)
G Mixolydian mode (Fifth) - G A B C D E F G (The C major scale starting from G and ending at G.)
A Aeolian mode (Sixth) - A B C D E F G A (The C major scale starting from A and ending at A. Protip - this is AKA the A (natural) minor scale.)
B Locrian mode (Seventh) - B C D E F G A B (The c major scale starting from B and ending at B.)

It doesn't really get any more difficult than that. To understand how this applies to chords, take a look at the chords I listed above and the various mode. If you take the root, the third and the fifth of the D Dorian mode, you get the second chord of the C major scale (D F A - D minor). If you take the third and the fifth of the E Phrygian mode, you get the third chord of the C major scale (E G B - E minor). If you continue along this pattern, you'll be able to find all the chords of the scale.

If you need help with this, PM me.
Last edited by Me2NiK at Aug 9, 2006,
#7
Quote by Me2NiK
That is seriously the worst explanation of the various modes of the major scale I have ever read.


What was?
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#8
I couldn't follow that post at all. If there are people out there similar to me (who cannot follow theory, any kind of theory, when it's written in a standardized fashion), and they might have problems reading it like that, I made some sort of attempt to teach it the way I learned it. Maybe I'm wrong and no one else finds any problem with that but I couldn't follow it. (That's not to say it's incorrect because as far as I can tell it is correct)

EDIT: The information itself in my post and in the first post as far as I can tell are exactly the same, except mine is significantly shorter -- although I'm not a teacher, you may not be able to understand mine just as well as I may not be able to understand the initial post.
Last edited by Me2NiK at Aug 9, 2006,
#9
Well it looks like it lost some formatting in the copy-paste process. Looked nice when SD submitted it as an article...
Looking for my India/Django.
#10
Asthetics are nothing, the ugliest people are usually the smartest. =P
#11
it seemed like it could have been simplified for clarity.

I understand theory quite well and I found it confusing.

he started talking about a unison idea , but never really explained what it was , or if he did , I missed it.

also , the one thing about triads having to be played simultaneously as chords is not really correct.

triads can be played as individual notes , ( arpeggios or portions of arpeggios ) their definition is not that they must be played as chords.
Last edited by stringzzz at Aug 9, 2006,
#12
Quote by Me2NiK
That is seriously the worst explanation of the various modes of the major scale I have ever read.

Just because it doesn't work for you, doesn't mean it's the worst explanation ever. I've seen countless people get helped with that single article.

Ignore everything you learned in that except for this:
Major triad - 1 3 5 from the respective major scale (OR 1 #3 5 from the respective minor scale)

A major triad isn't 1#3 5. This makes you the last one to listen to when you're explaining something here.

That probably came over worse than I meant, though.
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#13
I know, I edited my post. I was rash in posting that and I'm sorry.

Read it over. If you have a minor scale but not the major (and are incapable of calculating the major scale for some reason), you can obtain the major triad by sharpening the third.
Example. If given the C minor scale: C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
The C major triad can be obtained from the minor triad (C Eb G) and sharpening the third (C Enat G).
#14
No, that's not correct.

The minor triad is based of the notes 1-b3-5. The third is clearly flatted here. When you want this triad to become major, you deflat the third, which makes it a natural 3. NOT a sharpened third.

Another way to think about it: If you think about major chords in a minor key as 1-#3-5 (like you clearly do).. What does happen when you're playing in a major key? You'd probably play the major chords there like 1-#3-5.
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