#1
So I'm trying to learn as much as I can, but one thing I've discovered is the people here are generally much more skilled than I am, so I'm wondering if any of you can help me out. What I'm trying to figure out is how instruments play together, I can sort of understand how each intsrument does it's own thing, however I have a terribly underdeveloped ear for notes unlike some of you here. So what I'm trying to understand is whether or not the instruments in certain sections are playing in key sort of, or if they are playing almost the same thing, I'm not sure if I can explain what I mean. So this video has what I am asking

http://youtube.com/watch?v=JWnapx502uQ

at about 4:55 he starts the second solo, and I am trying to understand if he's hitting the same notes as the keyboard in the background on certain spots or if the reason they sound good together are because they are playing similar rythms. Certain spots I can tell they aren't the same when Gilmour is staying in one spot with 2 notes while the keyboard and the bass move around, but other parts they will hit a beat and a note at the same time but I can't tell if this is just luck or if it's planned.
Last edited by farcry at Apr 17, 2008,
#2
What is sounds like your asking if, if two people are playing something different, how does it sound good together?

The answer is they are playing in the same key, so another instrument, say a bass could be playing the rhythme in the same key as the guitarist is soloing in. So it sounds good.

Does that help?
#3
when playing together, one can either play what's called a harmony: playing the same thing together usually in different octaves i think, or one can play a certain key or chord progression or something to that nature and the other person can play a scale/mode/box in that key usually hitting the same root note as the key being played...in my experience, that could differ from other's.
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#4
Quote by rockinsk8r91
when playing together, one can either play what's called a harmony: playing the same thing together usually in different octaves i think, or one can play a certain key or chord progression or something to that nature and the other person can play a scale/mode/box in that key usually hitting the same root note as the key being played...in my experience, that could differ from other's.


ahh that sort of makes sense, does the root note of the progression have to be played by the person playing overtop at the change or what? I'd really like someone that's versed very well in music theory to come on here. I wonder where I could find information about the topic, that's my problem usually, just finding the information.

edit:

here's another perfect clip for what I'm talking about,

http://youtube.com/watch?v=nGujRQh1FBU

at 1:30 a bass comes in, so is he paying attention to the bass and when it changes notes, or is he just playing in the same key/scale/whatever?
Last edited by farcry at Apr 17, 2008,
#5
Quote by farcry
ahh that sort of makes sense, does the root note of the progression have to be played by the person playing overtop at the change or what?

I admittedly didn't watch the video (slow connection), but could you just explain this a little more clearly?
#6
Quote by :-D
I admittedly didn't watch the video (slow connection), but could you just explain this a little more clearly?


say the progression goes Am, G, F. I meant, does he hit the A the G and the F at the first note of each change or do you just change the notes you are playing.
#7
Quote by farcry
ahh that sort of makes sense, does the root note of the progression have to be played by the person playing overtop at the change or what? I'd really like someone that's versed very well in music theory to come on here. I wonder where I could find information about the topic, that's my problem usually, just finding the information.

edit:

here's another perfect clip for what I'm talking about,

http://youtube.com/watch?v=nGujRQh1FBU

at 1:30 a bass comes in, so is he paying attention to the bass and when it changes notes, or is he just playing in the same key/scale/whatever?



OHHHHHHHHHHHHH


I finnally get wtf your asking (I think)

A lost of solos will be based off the notes being played by the rhytme and will often change when the ryhtme notes change.

You can do either of what you just said, it's up to you, but both ways are used.
#8
Quote by farcry
say the progression goes Am, G, F. I meant, does he hit the A the G and the F at the first note of each change or do you just change the notes you are playing.

You don't have to emphasize the tonic; hitting any chord tone will give you a solid motion through the progression. For example, if you're playing a C at the end of the Am section, you can go down a half step to B to accentuate the change to G. You don't have to make it blatantly obvious by holding it out or anything (unless you want to), just use a strong chord tone on the downbeat as the beginning of a particular sequence when moving through the progression.

That's a bare-bones idea, please post any other questions.
#9
does the root note of the progression have to be played by the person playing overtop at the change or what?
No it doesn't have to be played. However it will be a very consonant sound.

so is he paying attention to the bass and when it changes notes, or is he just playing in the same key/scale/whatever?
Even if I watched the video, I'd have no idea whats going on in his head. You may follow the bassline/chord progression and target chord tones, or you may forget about the chords and just play notes in the key. Generally you will do some mixture of those two methods.
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Quote by MudMartin
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Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
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#10
Quote by :-D
You don't have to emphasize the tonic; hitting any chord tone will give you a solid motion through the progression. For example, if you're playing a C at the end of the Am section, you can go down a half step to B to accentuate the change to G. You don't have to make it blatantly obvious by holding it out or anything (unless you want to), just use a strong chord tone on the downbeat as the beginning of a particular sequence when moving through the progression.

That's a bare-bones idea, please post any other questions.


ok, that sort of makes sense, the idea being that the B is in the G chord but not the Am. So that brings me to my next question, what notes sound good, that progression is in A minor, will playing notes in that key at any point not sound good or what, or do some people make backing progressions out of certain scales, I'm unsure of what notes the lead can play over the backing progression basically.
#11
one of the best things to take a look at when trying to wrap your head around how different notes harmonize well together is a fugue. Here is a great video visualization of the notes in the Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor by Bach, who was the king of fugues. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipzR9bhei_o

a fugue is a piece of music written for one keyboard (usually an organ). fugues are intended to combine both identical harmonies, and contrapuntal harmonies (different notes played in tandem which sound good together, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrapuntal). notes that sound good together are called consonant (as opposed to dissonant notes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consonance_and_dissonance).

hope this helps.
#12
Quote by blakwyte
one of the best things to take a look at when trying to wrap your head around how different notes harmonize well together is a fugue. Here is a great video visualization of the notes in the Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor by Bach, who was the king of fugues. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipzR9bhei_o

a fugue is a piece of music written for one keyboard (usually an organ). fugues are intended to combine both identical harmonies, and contrapuntal harmonies (different notes played in tandem which sound good together, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrapuntal). notes that sound good together are called consonant (as opposed to dissonant notes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consonance_and_dissonance).

hope this helps.


yeah that helped an assload. Now I'm just wondering how two instruments orchestrate the notes they play (as I already mentioned) , sticking to the notes in a chord or what
#13
Quote by farcry
ok, that sort of makes sense, the idea being that the B is in the G chord but not the Am. So that brings me to my next question, what notes sound good, that progression is in A minor, will playing notes in that key at any point not sound good or what, or do some people make backing progressions out of certain scales, I'm unsure of what notes the lead can play over the backing progression basically.

If the progression is something like Am-G-F, where all the notes are pure A natural minor, then the notes from A natural minor will never sound out of key; some will sound more fitting depending on the progression but they'll work. You can experiment with chromatics as leading tones to certain notes as well.
#14
and just fyi, probably the best illustration of the concept of a fugue starts around 2:55 in the video and lasts for about a minute.
#15
Quote by :-D
If the progression is something like Am-G-F, where all the notes are pure A natural minor, then the notes from A natural minor will never sound out of key; some will sound more fitting depending on the progression but they'll work. You can experiment with chromatics as leading tones to certain notes as well.


Can you give me an example of what you mean by a chromatic as a leading tone, or where I may have heard this in a song.
#16
Quote by farcry
Can you give me an example of what you mean by a chromatic as a leading tone, or where I may have heard this in a song.

Sure, an easy example would be to jump into a major seventh leading back into the tonic of a minor key. In A minor you have A B C D E F G, but if you're playing an F for example, you may play a G# to lead back into the A minor chord. This uses the major seventh found in the harmonic minor scale, and that scale is used commonly in classical music.
#17
Quote by farcry
yeah that helped an assload. Now I'm just wondering how two instruments orchestrate the notes they play (as I already mentioned) , sticking to the notes in a chord or what


when you write a harmony, the chords will be in a specific key, which defines which scale you use for the melody. for instance, in a harmony like this:

C - Am - F - G - C

you would be able to play any of the 8 notes in the C scale for the first chord, any of the 8 notes in the Am scale for the second chord and so on.

usually when you make a transition from one chord to another, you want to use notes that work well in both keys. in this example, probably the best notes would be a C, or an E, as they are both important notes in both scales.

when we're talking about basic chords (3 notes, major or minor) the "best" notes to play will be the root, the 3rd and the 5th. these notes make up the chord and define the key and will be exceptionally consonant as Ænimus Prime pointed out. however, any of the notes in the key will be consonant.
#18
In regard to chromatic movment leading to chord tones:

Moving up or down by a semitone onto a chord tone is a very strong movement.

eg over Am you might play F and go down a semitone to E, the fifth.
or you could play Eb/D# then E for a more dissonant example, but with stronger resolution.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
Last edited by Ænimus Prime at Apr 17, 2008,
#19
Quote by :-D
Sure, an easy example would be to jump into a major seventh leading back into the tonic of a minor key. In A minor you have A B C D E F G, but if you're playing an F for example, you may play a G# to lead back into the A minor chord. This uses the major seventh found in the harmonic minor scale, and that scale is used commonly in classical music.


holy crap man, a huge piece of the puzzle just fit together, F$CK me. That's probably the most valuable piece of music theory I've picked up in a while because it makes a lot of the confusion I've had about chromatic notes in the past make a lot of sense. I'll be listening to a song and it'll go along, come to the end of something, play a chromatic tone then start the pattern over again and I'm always sitting there going woah waoh woah, what the f was that and why didn't it sound awful.
#20
Quote by farcry
holy crap man, a huge piece of the puzzle just fit together, F$CK me. That's probably the most valuable piece of music theory I've picked up in a while because it makes a lot of the confusion I've had about chromatic notes in the past make a lot of sense. I'll be listening to a song and it'll go along, come to the end of something, play a chromatic tone then start the pattern over again and I'm always sitting there going woah waoh woah, what the f was that and why didn't it sound awful.

Haha, glad I could help. As Prime (I have no idea how to make the A-E thing ) said, the semitonal movement to a chord tone is a very strong resolution.
#21
C - Am - F - G - C

you would be able to play any of the 8 notes in the C scale for the first chord, any of the 8 notes in the Am scale for the second chord and so on.
If you wanted to play diatonically, you woudn't change the key for very chord, you'd play the notes from C major over that whole progression.

Thats not to say you can't change key with every chord though.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#22
Quote by Ænimus Prime
If you wanted to play diatonically, you woudn't change the key for very chord, you'd play the notes from C major over that whole progression.

Thats not to say you can't change key with every chord though.


do you mean you can change the key as in C to Aminor or do you mean that sometimes they will change from Cmajor to Fmajor. As in not enharmonically? And if so what song could I see this in, as I learn best by example.
#23
sorry, you're absolutely right about that. for a completely fluid sound, you would want to avoid notes like Bb and F# as they only occur in the F and G scales, and not in C.

that's not to say that you shouldn't add notes that aren't absolutely consonant. in fact, that usually spices things up. listen to jazz for more than a few minutes and you start to realize that theoretical rules are better bent in fact, i believe the second example you gave had quite a bit of dissonance in it, and it sounds just fine.