#1
I've been studying some music theory lately but one thing i haven't been able to find much info on is chromatics. As far as chromatics are used with improvising, songwriting, or whatever, is there a rule you have to follow in order to use chromatic licks? Do you have to establish what key your in first or can you just use chromatics at will?
#2
There are no "rules" to music; do whatever the hell you want if it sounds good.

However, over the last 500 years or so, we've figured out some of the things that sound good and some of the things that don't.

I suggest learning the basics before you mess around with chromatics.
#3
their are rules to music and you should learn them but you should also learn how to break them. For example would I flick-off a cop if I new I wasn't supposed to? NO!!!!!!!!!
Durka
#4
Quote by VelvetFireBC491
their are rules to music and you should learn them
Yes, you should learn theory, but no, theory is not rules. Theory is descriptive; it describes what was played.
#5
Theory is a set of guidelines. It tells us what sounds pleasing to the ear.

But it is just a theory. There are places it works and places it doesn't. It works for some and doesn't for others.


Edit: To contribute to the original question, I don't think there are any rules for chromatics. They just sound good or don't. I could be wrong though, so don't quote me on it.
#6
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Yes, you should learn theory, but no, theory is not rules. Theory is descriptive; it describes what was played.



No theory is a set of rules most of ithem based out of the baroque period For Example no parallel fifths or octaves(which is broken in almost every rock song might I add), if you ascend or descend by then a forth or more you should go the opposite direction step-wise. I can go on for pages................
Durka
Last edited by VelvetFireBC491 at Apr 4, 2008,
#7
^No no no, a rule would be a mathematical statement or fact, something that is always true and cannot be broken. Theory does not fit that description; the guidelines are violated all the time.

However, the guidelines should be learned, as they are a collection of ideas collected over the last 500 years.

I'll go into some guidelines for chromatics tomorrow morning if no one does it first or posts a statement to which I object.
#8
Quote by bangoodcharlote
^No no no, a rule would be a mathematical statement or fact, something that is always true and cannot be broken. Theory does not fit that description; the guidelines are violated all the time.

However, the guidelines should be learned, as they are a collection of ideas collected over the last 500 years.

I'll go into some guidelines for chromatics tomorrow morning if no one does it first or posts a statement to which I object.


Well there are still rules governing nomenclature, same as with math. In math you are not forced to choose to multiply 2 and 3 rather than 2 and 4, but if you choose to, your product will be 6.

With music, you are not forced to play 1, 3, and 5 rather than 1, b3 and 5, but if you do, you will always be playing a major triad.
#9
Quote by isaac_bandits
With music, you are not forced to play 1, 3, and 5 rather than 1, b3 and 5, but if you do, you will always be playing a major triad.
Okay, that's a rule, but as far as saying you shouldn't play a Bb chord in the key of E major, that's not a standard chord, but it's hardly a rule not to play that chord.

And for a sec, I thought you meant 2x4=6!
#10
rules are standardizations that are NORMALLY accepted as being true. Do not jaywalk is a rule but it is not a fact, cause you see people ignore the walking signals all the time!!!
Durka
Last edited by VelvetFireBC491 at Apr 5, 2008,
#11
Quote by VelvetFireBC491
rules are standardizations that are NORMALLY accepted as being true. Do not jaywalk is a rule but it is not a fact, cause you see people ignore the walking signals all the time!!!
No, because J-walking is still illegal and you can be fined for it.

I'd say it's more like the rule "Thou shall not lie." It's accepted that honesty is better than dishonesty, but what do you say when your 6-year old son asks you what his older, 16 year-old brother meant when he overheard him say, "I got blown while I was on blow."

?
#12
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Okay, that's a rule, but as far as saying you shouldn't play a Bb chord in the key of E major, that's not a standard chord, but it's hardly a rule not to play that chord.

And for a sec, I thought you meant 2x4=6!


Nah, I was referring to 2x3.

But I still don't like your analogy. Saying that nothing says you shouldnt play Bb in E is more like saying you shouldn't multiply 238 with 4. Its unlikely that someone will, but both are possible.
#13
Quote by isaac_bandits
but both are possible.
Well yeah, that's my point. Standard theory says that Bb is as far removed from the E chord as possible (Circle or Fifths, w00t!), but try B7 Bb7 A7 in an E blues; it will sound wonderful!

That's probably the 8th semicolon I've used on here today; what a great piece of punctuation!
#14
Quote by bangoodcharlote
No, because J-walking is still illegal and you can be fined for it.

I'd say it's more like the rule "Thou shall not lie." It's accepted that honesty is better than dishonesty, but what do you say when your 6-year old son asks you what his older, 16 year-old brother meant when he overheard him say, "I got blown while I was on blow."

?


It sounds like you are agreeing with me that music theory is a set of rules that are broken and stretched all the time. Im Confused
Durka
#15
I'll go as far as saying that it's a set of guidelines, ideas about sonic pleasure collected over the last 500 years, and that those rules are violated plenty, but to call theory a rule is just wrong. F=ma is a rule.
#16
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Well yeah, that's my point. Standard theory says that Bb is as far removed from the E chord as possible (Circle or Fifths, w00t!), but try B7 Bb7 A7 in an E blues; it will sound wonderful!

That's probably the 8th semicolon I've used on here today; what a great piece of punctuation!


That it is!

And there are standard punctation rules preventing me from ending this sentence with one of those, unlike music theory.
#17
I disagree because if you take or have taken formal music training in composition their are rules and you are penalized if you break them.
Durka
Last edited by VelvetFireBC491 at Apr 5, 2008,
#18
From a lesson of mine...

Chromaticism:

First try and see the chromaticism as an applicable concept to all other musical concepts...

ok...

First apply it to the modes:

(by doing this you fill in some of the gaps of whole steps within the scales...)

It's not filling in EVERY whole step but certain ones...

Chromaticized Dorian for guitar in two octaves (3rd fret, 6th string):
G-G#-A-Bb-C-D-D#-E-F-G-G#-A-Bb-C-C#-D-E-F-F#-G

In tab:

---------------------------------5-6-7-8
-------------------------3-5-6-7-
-----------------3-5-6-7-
--------3-5-6-7-
3-4-5-6-

Notice that if the finger pattern (on single string) has only one whole step, I filled it in.
If it has two whole steps, I filled in the second one leaving the first open...

You can do this throughout each mode in the key...in fact, you want to practice this first as it will give you a broad sound through the entire modal system...

So take each mode and fill in the only whole step in a single string finger pattern and the second of two whole steps within a single string pattern...

You can chromaticize any scale with this approach:
melodic minor, whole-tone, 1/2-whole diminished (or whole-1/2), etc...

Melodic Minor:

the notes in parenthesis are the natural 7, needed to produce the Mel Min sound from the Dorian Mode...(to truly utilize the chromaticism, you must accent the identifying tones along the way...)

---------------------------------5-6-(7)-8
-------------------------3-5-6-7-
-----------------(4)-5-6-7-
--------3-5-6-7-
(2)-3-4-5-6-

Chromaticism can be applied to triads, chord tones, intervals...

To do this, understand that chromaticism is more than a scale in half-steps, it's the movement ofanything in half-steps...

The key to this type of approach is tying it all together seamlessly with resolution as the glue...

All the best,

Scott


#19
Quote by VelvetFireBC491
I disagree because if you take or have taken formal music training in composition their are rules and you are penalized if you break them.
Well if you're instructed to write a song using the D Dorian mode and you write it with a mix of dorian and aeolian, you should be penalized. However, the song may sound good regardless.
#20
I talking about more generalized rules, For Example if I'm instructed to write a short piece, for a soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, and is full of crossed voices. I am penalized even tho no where in the instructions does it state not to cross voices.

P.s. I like the change in icon
Durka
#21
^There are conventions regarding what we call things, how we write things, but theory does not dictate what sounds good together; it merely describes what we have found has sounded good in the past, but it never says, "This will sound bad."
#22
Quote by VelvetFireBC491
No theory is a set of rules most of ithem based out of the baroque period For Example no parallel fifths or octaves(which is broken in almost every rock song might I add), if you ascend or descend by then a forth or more you should go the opposite direction step-wise. I can go on for pages................

That's not the defintion of music theory. Those are just some rules in counterpoint. Music theory is a much broader term.

Quote by VelvetFireBC491
I disagree because if you take or have taken formal music training in composition their are rules and you are penalized if you break them.

Maybe you would get "penalized" if you're in music training, but that doesn't mean you're breaking the "rules" of music theory if you do something different.
Last edited by werty22 at Apr 5, 2008,
#23
Quote by VelvetFireBC491
I disagree because if you take or have taken formal music training in composition their are rules and you are penalized if you break them.


I can play whatever notes in whatever order at whatever tempo I please on my guitar. There are no rules preventing me from doing so. However, theory guides me, letting me know which combinations are likely to sound pleasing.

There are no rules in music.

Quote by VelvetFireBC491
I talking about more generalized rules, For Example if I'm instructed to write a short piece, for a soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, and is full of crossed voices. I am penalized even tho no where in the instructions does it state not to cross voices.

P.s. I like the change in icon


That isn't theory though, that's a classroom assignment. That does have rules, but it isn't theory.
Quote by dudetheman
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#25
Quote by werty22
That's not the defintion of music theory. Those are just some rules in counterpoint. Music theory is a much broader term.


Maybe you would get "penalized" if you're in music training, but that doesn't mean you're breaking the "rules" of music theory if you do something different.


thats why I said "for example"

music training is the teaching of music theory and you get penalized when you break one of the rules

Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
I can play whatever notes in whatever order at whatever tempo I please on my guitar. There are no rules preventing me from doing so. However, theory guides me, letting me know which combinations are likely to sound pleasing.

There are no rules in music.


That isn't theory though, that's a classroom assignment. That does have rules, but it isn't theory.


"formal music training"


Sue I think we are just disagreeing on the term "RULE"
Durka
#26
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Well no, it's a rule that 1 3 5 is a major triad. Stuff like that is a rule, but that's about it.


I don't know if I would agree with you on that.

Saying 1 3 5 is a major triad is much more of a definition, not a rule.
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#27
Quote by seedmole
I don't know if I would agree with you on that.

Saying 1 3 5 is a major triad is much more of a definition, not a rule.



lets stop arguing on the definition of the word "RULE"
Durka
#28
Quote by VelvetFireBC491
lets stop arguing on the definition of the word "RULE"


It seems to be a pretty relevant thing to discuss, though. What's the point of asking whether or not there are rules in music if there's no commonly accepted meaning for the word "rule?"

I think of rules as things you are not allowed to break, like what you were saying about how you can't cross voices in traditional SATB compositions. Saying that a chord containing the 1, 3 and 5 is a major triad is much more of a definition than a specific, rigid, law-like instruction.

Likewise, I think of music theory as not having any rules, just definitions. That is what gives it its descriptive nature; all it does is describe and define different musical phenomena so as to help in organization and communication between musicians.
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#29
Quote by VelvetFireBC491
No theory is a set of rules most of ithem based out of the baroque period For Example no parallel fifths or octaves(which is broken in almost every rock song might I add), if you ascend or descend by then a forth or more you should go the opposite direction step-wise. I can go on for pages................


Good God.
Those are conventions. You don't know what music theory is.

With music, you are not forced to play 1, 3, and 5 rather than 1, b3 and 5, but if you do, you will always be playing a major triad.


That's not a rule. "Major triad" is simply a term used to describe those intervals played together.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#30
Quote by Archeo Avis
Good God.
Those are conventions. You don't know what music theory is.


That's not a rule. "Major triad" is simply a term used to describe those intervals played together.


I was going by the definition of "rule" that I stated earlier (standardizations that are NORMALLY accepted as being true)
Durka
#31
Quote by VelvetFireBC491
I was going by the definition of "rule" that I stated earlier (standardizations that are NORMALLY accepted as being true)


To me, that means "definition," not "rule."
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#32
Quote by seedmole
To me, that means "definition," not "rule."


I think of the rules as guidelines. sorta like blues bending the rules and free jazz throwing the rules out the window.

"the rules were made to be broken"
Durka
#33
Quote by VelvetFireBC491
I think of the rules as guidelines. sorta like blues bending the rules and free jazz throwing the rules out the window.

"the rules were made to be broken"


You are definitely entitled to thinking of rules that way, but I think of rules as things that you are not allowed to break. Look at sports as an example. In football, you are not allowed to cross the line of scrimmage before the ball is hiked, and if you do so, your team is penalized. That is a rule.

On the other hand, the conventions (as Archeo calls them - an accurate word choice) of western music theory, say what a plagal cadence is, among other things. That is a not a rule, it's a definition that has been made to describe an occurrence. It's not that plagal cadences never existed until they were invented by music theorists; on the contrary, they have existed as long as the notes they contain have been used in that same order, despite the fact that they might not have been called plagal cadences at that point.
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#34
You guys (and girls) are retarded. This thread is about chromatics. Now teach me.
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#35
Quote by seedmole
You are definitely entitled to thinking of rules that way, but I think of rules as things that you are not allowed to break. Look at sports as an example. In football, you are not allowed to cross the line of scrimmage before the ball is hiked, and if you do so, your team is penalized. That is a rule.

On the other hand, the conventions (as Archeo calls them - an accurate word choice) of western music theory, say what a plagal cadence is, among other things. That is a not a rule, it's a definition that has been made to describe an occurrence. It's not that plagal cadences never existed until they were invented by music theorists; on the contrary, they have existed as long as the notes they contain have been used in that same order, despite the fact that they might not have been called plagal cadences at that point.



I understand you view on what a rule is, but convention is a standard or norm and to say that a perfect authentic cadence is a convention doesn't make any sense. PAC is a musical term for something not a rule or a convention.
Durka
#36
Quote by ramm_ty
You guys (and girls) are retarded. This thread is about chromatics. Now teach me.
Litrally descrbibing when you use all 12 notes. Lately it's just a technique used in solos, riffs and melodys where you play one note after another in semitones like this:
--------------------
-------------------
-------------------
-0-1-2-3-4-5---(today is bass tab day)

Thats actually called a chromatic run, but I think thats what your after. Its usually used to play between 2 intervals that are usually consonant, like you would play a M3 than a chromatic run to say a M7, both consonant intervals harmonically.

I hope I answered your question.

And to the guy saying there are things you cant do and can do in music, no just no.
#37
Quote by ramm_ty
You guys (and girls) are retarded. This thread is about chromatics. Now teach me.
You asked if there were any restrictions on when you could play chromatics. I answered that question. If you are still confused, as a question; we do not respond to statements.

For instance, ask, "Sue, when would one use a chromatic lick?"
#38
Quote by ramm_ty
You guys (and girls) are retarded. This thread is about chromatics. Now teach me.


Read the thread, it's a definate education.