#1
So what I'm wondering is this...

Say you're writing a song, and you've got a great part written out for the lead guitarist, and then when it comes to putting together chords to accompany the lead part, you get stuck.

What I'm wondering is how do you know when it is conveinient and/or necessary to have a chord change?

Say you have something like this (I just chose random notes from the A Major Scale, this isn't an actual piece of music, and I don't have my guitar in front of me, so I have no idea what this sounds like either)...

e|-------------------------------------|
B|-------------7-9-10------------------|
G|-----------7----------6--------------|
D|-4-6-----7----------5----------------|
A|-----4-5----------------9-11---------|
E|-----------------------------5-4-2-0-|


How do you know when to go from one chord to another, and how do you figure out what chord it is? I know that there are patterns such as I, IV, V used, but what if one of those patterns does not work well, and you need to come up with something that does?

Thanks.
#2
I normally do the progression first. That's weird how difficult it is for me to think of it the other way around.

If you can find an example of a good lead part, I could walk you through how I would come up with chords. Right now, the subject is too vague for me to give you much useful information.

In the meantime, I'm going to at least try to come up with something for the random bit you posted.
(Slightly outdated) Electronic and classical compositions by m'self: Check 'em out
#3
Thanks.

Well, basically I'm working on rewriting the music for The Allman Brothers Band's "You Don't Love Me", but playing it in A Sharp Minor, rather than A Minor (and slowing it down so that it sounds similar to the way that The Grateful Dead would play it live when they would cover it).

It's the verses that are giving me trouble... coming up with a rhythm part that is. I know that usually the lead is made based off of the rhythm, but I'm doing it the other way this time.

Basically, and example of what I have for one of the verse lines is this...

e|-------------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------------|
G|--------------------------6(1/4 Bend)-6----|
D|-8~-8~-6h8~/------6-8p6-----------------8~-|
A|---------------/8-------8------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------|


Note that this isn't meant to match the lyrical flow of this particular verse (the very first one, and just to put it out there the second verse has a very similar structure, too), but rather just works as a "backdrop" to the lyrics.

It sounds quite nice with the way I play it.

I've already put some chords down for this, but noticed I've basically changed the chord with each change of a note, and decided that it probably isn't necessary.

Also, the 1/4 bend of the 6th fret on the G-string is just there for some flavoring. It seems to work well for me.
#4
Hmm, here's a technicality, you probably want to refer to the key as Bbm. Just for ease in me writing out chord names

I just listened to the song. It seems to be a bluesy thing with the IV i and V chords.

In a minor blues thing, you have a lot of chord options: I'll list a few that are appropriate here. Your i (Bbm), VII (Ab), IV (Eb), V (F), and possibly III (Db).

I don't know the rhythm of your lead. It could all conceivably fit over a Bbm, since it's all part of Bbm pentatonic. However, listening to the song that I have, they play IV - i (Eb - Bbm) during the verse a lot. You could possibly do Eb over the first 4 notes, and Bbm over the rest.

Another option: if your rhythm guy is quick with his fingers, he could mostly play Bbm, but wherever there is the note Ab, play and Ab chord. Without listening to the song, my initial reaction was to do this, but on the note with a 1/4 bend, switch from Bbm to Db, the III, and finally end on Bbm. A major chord a minor third above the root is used a lot in blues music.

You may notice I left out the major V, "F". While the F is a great chord for preparing the listener for a resolution, this passage does not contain the "leading tone" that would lead back into Bbm. The leading tone is the major 7th, which in this case would be A. A is the third of F, so if an A was there the V would make a lot of sense, but it isn't present in this case.


There are tons of other possibilities, but those are just a few to get you thinking. Let me know if anything was confusing
(Slightly outdated) Electronic and classical compositions by m'self: Check 'em out
#5
Damn, you know your theory.

Thanks for the help.

I'll have some more info on the song later, because I probably should tell you more about it so that you can have a better understanding of what I'm doing so that you can better help me.

(Oh, and check the comment I left on Jules.)
#6
i always write a progression and then improvise over it...ive never written a solo in my life
#7
Alright, here we go... (Sorry about the double-post)...

This is the main riff... Basically it's played the "normal way" except slower, and with more emphasis on the Bb, Bb, Gb (you'll see what I mean when you play).

e|---------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------|
G|-----------------------6---------------------------|
D|-----6---8---6-8---6-8-----------6---8-6-----------|
A|-6h8---8-------------------6h8-8---8-----8-7-6-----|
E|-----------------------------------------------9-6-|


So, basically you can see that is based off of the Bb Blues Scale, which, being a blues scale, a minor scale, played in Bb, makes the key Bb Minor.

Therefore, my chords available to me are...

Bb Minor, C Diminished, Db Major, Eb Minor, F Minor, Gb Major, and Ab Major.

Now, I've noticed some differences between my chords and yours in terms of being Major or Minor.

Correct me if what I'm doing is wrong (which is likely), but what I've done is, since this is in the key of Bb Minor, simply used the Bb Minor Scale to create each chord.

Similar to how C Major and A Minor contain the same notes, so do Bb and Db. Since the chord pattern that follows in the major scale is (starting on the root note)...

Maj., Min., Min., Maj., Maj., Min., Dim.

Basically, by simply adjusting so that your start on the root note of the relative minor, you get the same chords formed from basically the same pattern (though rather than starting on a Major chord, it starts on a Minor, and continues from there).

So basically, that's how I got my chords.

If I ****ed up anywhere, please point it out, and if by simply providing this nonsense helps, then I'm glad I posted it.
#8
You haven't done anything wrong... before I have a look at the riff, I'll explain the chords in a minor key first.

You have the correct chords for a natural minor (Aeolian) key. However, there is a scale you may know: the Melodic Minor Scale. In Bbm, this scale would be Bb C Db Eb F G A. Notice the G and the A: in Melodic Minor, the 6th and 7th degrees of the scale are raised a half step.

This allows you to have all the combinations of chords that could be built with either natural minor or Melodic Minor. This is why your chords clash with mine: both are actually acceptable.


Just another tip, many jam bands use Dorian instead of Aeolian. If you aren't familiar with this, Dorian starts on the 2nd degree of a major scale, while Aeolian begins on the 6th. With Dorian, you already have the major IV chord.


As for the actual progression you have, the band pretty much plays the i (Bbm) over it. However, since it's going to be slower, you could do this: for the first half, play Bbm, except on Ab's, which you play Ab over. For the second, descending part, you could do Bbm or maybe have the rhythm guitar double the riff.
(Slightly outdated) Electronic and classical compositions by m'self: Check 'em out
Last edited by psychodelia at Jan 13, 2007,
#9
Quote by psychodelia
You haven't done anything wrong... before I have a look at the riff, I'll explain the chords in a minor key first.

You have the correct chords for a natural minor (Aeolian) key. However, there is a scale you may know: the Melodic Minor Scale. In Bbm, this scale would be Bb C Db Eb F G A. Notice the G and the A: in Melodic Minor, the 6th and 7th degrees of the scale are raised a half step.

This allows you to have all the combinations of chords that could be built with either natural minor or Melodic Minor. This is why your chords clash with mine: both are actually acceptable.


Just another tip, many jam bands use Dorian instead of Aeolian. If you aren't familiar with this, Dorian starts on the 2nd degree of a major scale, while Aeolian begins on the 6th. With Dorian, you already have the major IV chord.


Interesting. I'm just starting to study modes now, actually, so all of this information your giving me is going to be helpful.
#10
I was editing as I went, so just check the last part of my post
(Slightly outdated) Electronic and classical compositions by m'self: Check 'em out