#1
I've started working on my theory and I've came up with a chord progression that I'm hoping you guys can tell me whether it's correct according to theory. I wanted the progression to be in eminor. The chords are eminor, f#dim, and gmaj. The progression is
i, iio, III. Im not sure if i like the way it sounds yet. I just came up with a riff using the single notes e, f#, and g and tried to build chords out of them. How did I do? Am I correct?
#2
Those chords are in E minor, if that's what you're asking. You can't really make a wrong chord progression though. If it sounds good, sweet, theory just explains why and helps you make one in the first place.
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#4
Quote by bangoodcharlote
The progression resolves to G. Don't use the diminished chord.


Ok. What made it resolve to G and what would best to replace the diminished chord with? Thanks
#5
^ BGC is right, it kinda wants to resolve to G, maybe add a Bm to make it want to resolve back to Em
#6
Quote by rockadoodle
Ok. What made it resolve to G and what would best to replace the diminished chord with? Thanks

F#dim is the leading tone (7th note/chord) of G major and thus wants to go to G major or "lead" there. That's the one thing you have to be careful about when writing in something other than a major key (especially modally) is that you might make it resolve to the relative major key.


Edit: It really matters how you play it. You can play that progression so it goes back to Em and you can play it in a way that makes it go to G, it just depends.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
#7
Quote by z4twenny
^ BGC is right, it kinda wants to resolve to G, maybe add a Bm to make it want to resolve back to Em
Em Bm G Em works very well.

However, that B chord is usually major, and why is more information than necessary right now.


For now, I'd prefer to stick to the notes E F# G A B C D but not play any B chords. I'm feeling Em C D Am. Any objections?


TS, please try coming up with your own progressions.
#8
Quote by metal4all
F#dim is the leading tone (7th note/chord) of G major and thus wants to go to G major or "lead" there. That's the one thing you have to be careful about when writing in something other than a major key (especially modally) is that you might make it resolve to the relative major key.


Edit: It really matters how you play it. You can play that progression so it goes back to Em and you can play it in a way that makes it go to G, it just depends.


What determines whether it goes back to minor or goes to major? And what can I do to "lead" it to minor or major?
#9
Quote by rockadoodle
What determines whether it goes back to minor or goes to major?
Where it sounds best resolved.

Quote by rockadoodle
And what can I do to "lead" it to minor or major?
Mess around and figure it out.
#10
^Yeah, pretty much.

If you emphasize the G chord too much or play it for too many bars or don't play the Em chord enough or if the rhythm is different for one of the chords then it might emphasize it a little more. Little things like that can change where it wants to resolve.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
#11
or

Em, G, D, F#dim

i think that would be a good progression that ends in the F#dim but leads back to i
#12
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Em Bm G Em works very well.

However, that B chord is usually major, and why is more information than necessary right now.



I would really like to know why you say this is so please.
#13
I found an article that really helped me to understand leading chords and stuff of that nature. It cleared some things up and now I see why my chord progression was wanting to resolve to G. Here is a link to the article if anyone wants to take a look

leading chords
#14
Quote by farcry
I would really like to know why you say this is so please.
It borrows the D# note from the E harmonic minor scale which allows for a very nice V7 - i (B7 Em) resolution. However, extensive use of the harmonic minor scale is often a bit too exotic, so after that B7 chord, you generally go back to natural minor.
#15
^thanks BGC,
edit: what's the drawback of sounding too exotic, dissonance or losing the tonal centre?

wow, thanks rockadoodle. Right now, that's exactly what I was looking for. And nice name by the way, I loved that movie. I'll always remember that part where they're chanting chanteclaire.
Last edited by farcry at Jun 23, 2008,
#16
Quote by bangoodcharlote
It borrows the D# note from the E harmonic minor scale which allows for a very nice V7 - i (B7 Em) resolution. However, extensive use of the harmonic minor scale is often a bit too exotic, so after that B7 chord, you generally go back to natural minor.

I wish i knew more about little things like that. Basic theory is only so interesting. I need to start reading my jazz comping and structures books by Andrew Green
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
#17
Quote by farcry
edit: what's the drawback of sounding too exotic, dissonance or losing the tonal centre?
It sounds foreign and weird.


Sometimes it sounds great, but in general, it doesn't provide that sound your ear likes. For instance, if you play strictly in A natural minor, the C chord is major and often played in the key of Am. If you play strictly harmonic minor, it's C+5.

Quote by metal4all
I wish i knew more about little things like that. Basic theory is only so interesting. I need to start reading my jazz comping and structures books by Andrew Green
[No intentional arrogance] When I say things like that, do I sound god-like? I mean, if I were to interview for grad school and start discussing music (assume an informal interview where this is appropriate) and I started saying things like that, would the person interviewing me think, "Holy crap this chick knows her stuff!" because I post stuff like that and think, "Ho, hum, of course that's how it works!"[/No intentional arrogance]
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Jun 23, 2008,
#18
well, how often do you find yourself corrected by anyone about music theory? My guess is it's probably never, if that's the case and you wanna go for it, I'd encourage you to go if I knew you. I mean, there's people on here with music degrees already, you seem to know as much as them. Which leads me to wonder, where the heck did you learn all this anyway?
#19
Quote by farcry
Which leads me to wonder, where the heck did you learn all this anyway?
I have a PhD.

No, no I don't, though I've said that a few times (music theory three or four times, and even theoretical physics one!) to show that ridiculous claims can be made over the internet. However, I learned my theory by several years of private instruction and hanging out here; Cas, Beat, Redwing, Deffy, and a few others have taught me a lot.
#20
A lot of this stuff is simply describing stuff your ears already know, if that makes sense. You'll have heard most things and you'll know they sound good, and can probably even reproduce them vocally...this is just the next step, actually understanding why it all works makes it a lot easier to play with ideas and find the sounds you want. Like the V7-i resolution BGC mentioned, it's one of Paul McCartney's favourite tricks...check out the chords for Hey Jude.
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#21
Quote by bangoodcharlote
[No intentional arrogance] When I say things like that, do I sound god-like? I mean, if I were to interview for grad school and start discussing music (assume an informal interview where this is appropriate) and I started saying things like that, would the person interviewing me think, "Holy crap this chick knows her stuff!" because I post stuff like that and think, "Ho, hum, of course that's how it works!"[/No intentional arrogance]
Open question? By no means god-like, but I would be THRILLED to meet someone like you in real life(well, other than my school band directors and stuff). I hang out with primarily band people and THEY get annoyed when I tell them the chord progression of a song.

TS, it is "correct" in the sense that all the notes are in key. However, there is no correct or incorrect. The note are just in key. Moving on, generally speaking, taking a melody and just building chords on top of it results in arbitrary chord progressions that may not resolve anywhere or resolve ambiguously. Rather than looking at each note in a melody as a harmonic island, try to figure out the harmony that groups of notes imply. For instance, if a melody goes E C G E D B G D C, instead of just using each melody note as a chord and using the progression (Em C G Em Dm Bdim G Dm C), I would notice that the first four notes are those of a C major triad, the second four of a G major triad, and the last note resolves back to C. I would play these chords accordingly.
#22
Quote by grampastumpy
For instance, if a melody goes E C G E D B G D C, instead of just using each melody note as a chord and using the progression (Em C G Em Dm Bdim G Dm C), I would notice that the first four notes are those of a C major triad, the second four of a G major triad, and the last note resolves back to C. I would play these chords accordingly.
Another nice thing to try is simply playing the chord of the notes played on some of the downbeats. For instance, in the key of C, a lick may go C G C F C G C B with the bold notes being on the downbeat. I would play chords containing those notes on the downbeats, so C, F, C Bdim. Except, Bdim is goofy so I would play G or Em instead.


Another thing that's helped me is that I play and compose a LOT.
#23
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Another nice thing to try is simply playing the chord of the notes played on some of the downbeats. For instance, in the key of C, a lick may go C G C F C G C B with the bold notes being on the downbeat. I would play chords containing those notes on the downbeats, so C, F, C Bdim. Except, Bdim is goofy so I would play G or Em instead.


Another thing that's helped me is that I play and compose a LOT.
Yes on both counts. I totally forgot to mention playing chords that include the melody note. And yeah, no matter how much you read, it will take some experimentation before you can write strong chord progressions and learn to get specific sounds out of them.