#1
What a lovely snappy thread title, don't you think?

Anyway.

I was playing guitar (you should try it, it's fun), and came up with this little acoustic fingerpicked thing. Nothing special, just a ridiculously easy little progression that might make a nice verse in a ballad or something.

It went:


  D5             F3             F5         G3
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------2--------------2-------------5-----------4------------------------------------------------------
---0--------------3-------------3------------5---------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 |--x4--|       |--x4--|     |--x4--|      |--x4--|
All eighth notes btw. 


I then thought it through, and realised that, as it was in D Minor, I should have made the 3rd on the final G into a minor third instead - IE a Bb instead of a B. So I tried this, and ...well, try it for yourself. It sounds rank.

Now obviously I could just say "okay then, it's in D Dorian", and that would be everything solved. I was just wondering why, in what's apparently a D Minor setting, a note from outwith the Dm scale would sound so much more "in place" that the right one.

The only thing I can thing of is that with the F3 being a minor third, the ear expects this one to be as well, so lend some aural symmetry to the piece - is this all it is?
Quote by adamrandall
ahh yes SRV. i got the intro on texas flood (easy) and then he's like twangledoodleblopdebloo dun dun dun dun DA dun DA and im like *dead*.


The Unholy plays a Jackson Warrior X through a Metal Muff

Squigglymetal!
#2
I think it sounds good both ways
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Quote by MudMartin
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#3
The Bb doesn't sound wrong to me. It just has a darker sound than the B. I suppose that the Dorian sound has been used enough in popular music that it sounds "better" than the minor variation.
#4
No? Are you playing it the same as me? As in thumb and first finger alternating, all eighth notes?

The Bb sounds really kinda jarring to me. I mostly play minor-key metal, so I wouldn't have thought a "darker" sound would put me off. Maybe I just had a pre-conceived idea of what this progression should sound like or something, but as soon as I changed the B to the Bb it was just a bit eeuuugh.
Quote by adamrandall
ahh yes SRV. i got the intro on texas flood (easy) and then he's like twangledoodleblopdebloo dun dun dun dun DA dun DA and im like *dead*.


The Unholy plays a Jackson Warrior X through a Metal Muff

Squigglymetal!
#5
It sounds fine, though, depending on the context (e.g. over a imin7 chord) the b6 can actually be an avoid note, making dorian a more pleasing choice.
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#6
^Agreed.

Also, remember that not all notes in the key sound good all the time. You probably wouldn't want to follow an E on the 7th fret of the A string with an F on the 10th fret of G. Even though both fit in the key of C major, the b9 interval is dissonant and jarring.
#7
Quote by TheUnholy

The only thing I can thing of is that with the F3 being a minor third, the ear expects this one to be as well, so lend some aural symmetry to the piece - is this all it is?


F3 is a major third, unless youre saying its a minor third up from the d
#8
Tophue - yeah, I meant major third. My fingers must have typed it wrong. Bad fingers.

Oh well, it looks like it's just me that dislikes the Bb in there then. There's no real context - I haven't written it over any chords, just picked it up and started playing. I can't see the interval being jarring, either, seeing as it'd be going either G-Bb (m3) or G-B (M3), neither of which aren't exactly no-go intervals.

So end of the story is my ears are rubbish and I've wasted everyone's time

EDIT: Edg, don't be patronising, I use the harmonic minor scale plenty. Note that there's a C in the original progression though - so it hasn't got the raised 7th of the harmonic minor. Thanks for the suggestion though.
Quote by adamrandall
ahh yes SRV. i got the intro on texas flood (easy) and then he's like twangledoodleblopdebloo dun dun dun dun DA dun DA and im like *dead*.


The Unholy plays a Jackson Warrior X through a Metal Muff

Squigglymetal!
Last edited by TheUnholy at Apr 8, 2008,
#9
Quote by TheUnholy

EDIT: Edg, don't be patronising, I use the harmonic minor scale plenty. Note that there's a C in the original progression though - so it hasn't got the raised 7th of the harmonic minor. Thanks for the suggestion though.


Doh! My mistake. I seem to have my V chords scrambled this morning....

I think the upshot is you have a Dorian vs Aeolian tonality. The both sound ok
to me, just different. Depends how you want it really.
#10
i III iv just isn't a strong progression and in this case it may sound better for it to be dorian. Much like how in a major key something like...I iii viidim, while being in key, just doesn't sound especially pretty. Generally, in a diatonic scale, minor chords are your weaker chords and majors are the ones that you can dwell on. This is partially why the harmonic minor scale exists in the first place. The v i just isn't as satisfying or full of resolution as V i.
#11
As much as I am an avid advocate of learning theory, there is a certain value in "if it sounds good, it is good."

All the theory in the world can claim that something is "wrong" just like all the physicists in the world can come up with all sorts of reasons why it is impossible for bumblebees to fly, but our perceptions and our experiences are quick to discredit either.

Bon Jovi made a zillion dollars out of the progression D (sus4/sus2), F, C.... on Wanted Dead or Alive. Conventional theory says that the D should be minor. Ah, well....

CT

(yes, all modal analysis aside.... )
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