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#1
I'm a dumbass when it comes to theory so bear with me please

Is there some kind of theory when it comes creating tension? I want to build up this huge tension in the middle 8 and release it to Am in the chorus and I could use some pointers.
#2
Check out Dance Gavin Dance's song And I Told Them I invented Times New Roman. After the first verse, theres a quieter part, with the first chord being a good tension builder. Using swelling volume and a drum part that increases in speed would help, too.
#3
dissonance
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#4
tempo change and/or dissonance = win!


Edit: ^Damn you!!!
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#5
Hold a chord and get some feedback going, with the drums getting progressively louder?
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#6
^crescendo
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#7
i do not know a lot about this subject so this might not make sence lol

but let's say for ease i am harmonizing chords to Cmaj(just ion case we get more into it)


1 of my chords i use a note that would create a tritone in the scale would that create tension

EDIT this is more of a question than an answer
#8
A deceptive cadence maybe? (with a m7b5 chord for instance)
Or some dissonance, or crescendo and accel (lol I don't know the whole word) a cromatic run with the guitar and have another cromatic run a minor second higher with another guitar and have the bass do some pinch harmonics...

Ehh, I don't know...
#9
Quote by gonzaw
A deceptive cadence maybe? (with a m7b5 chord for instance)
Or some dissonance, or crescendo and accel (lol I don't know the whole word) a cromatic run with the guitar and have another cromatic run a minor second higher with another guitar and have the bass do some pinch harmonics...

Ehh, I don't know...

accelerando?

and it's "chromatic" Good idea there, i didn't think of that.
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#11
Quote by metal4all
accelerando?

and it's "chromatic" Good idea there, i didn't think of that.


I didn't know the italian word...
O yeah, forgot the h...

I don't know how many ways there are of creating tension without using dissonance, chromatism, and deceptive cadences....
#14
Something as simple as ascending lines can be used to create tension
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#15
I just noticed this, but what about Santana's Black Magic Woman? It gets quiet then gets intense later.
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#16
Tension can be caused harmonically, rhythmically and dynamically.
i) grab a chord that causes that effect.
ii) a change of rhythm or subdivide a rhythm
iii) Volume changes up or down/a change in your vibrato/ repetition of a note/lick with increasing intensity.

There are many ways.
#17
Quote by Derk4397
Is dissonance like I and VI playing at the same time in a major key?

Dissonance is usually described as an unnatural or weird/non-pleasurable (is that a word?) sound to the ear. It's really just a or a group of un-resolved notes.
“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

☮∞☯♥
#18
Quote by Derk4397
Is dissonance like I and VI playing at the same time in a major key?


Kind of I guess - but if you wanna see some real dissonance just play a tritone!
#19
Semitones. Get any chord/note you like, and just go up by semitones (with a crescendo[progressively getting faster] if you like as well)

For example.

A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E etc.
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#20
Quote by Alter-Bridge
(with a crescendo[progressively getting faster] if you like as well)


Actually, crescendo means to get louder. It's accelerando that means to get faster.
#21
You create tension by giving a sense of the unfamiliar. Think of whats unfamiliar and whats unusual?

Diminshed notes
Changes in time
All the ones done here
Maybe chromaticism (start playing the riff chromatically one up from where your original riff is?)

If i had more detail about chord progressions id do something more specific perhaps

(My favourite) begin a build up and then when it sounds like its going to peak go quiet and then release it at an unexpected point. Not strictly tension in the harmony sense but good for giving a huge sense of surprise when the tension gets released (this all sounds nasty...forgive me).
#22
A great way to build tension is to hold on to a non-chord tone for a LONG time. This will make the listener expect it to be released, and if you keep holding onto it, he will keep getting fooled about when its going to be let go of. also If you start trying to phrase your ideas in ways that a listener would not normally hear, that will also create tension.
#23
I use the 4th or 5th degree

Key of C
F>C
or
G>C

5th to tonic resolve is more satisfying.

You can also replace the dominant V with a V7 or sus4.


Strum these to get the basic idea.
Resolve to C Major.
Am>Em>F
Am>Em>G
Am>Em>G7
C>Am>Dm>G7
C>Am7>Dm7>G7

In G Major
Resolve to G
G>Cadd9>D>Dsus4

D is the 5th in G Major so You can sub D7 there as well.
#25
it seems to me that ascending chromaticism(?) builds a lot of suspense and tension
<Raven> I got so baked last night
<Raven> that I WOKE UP high o_o
<Raven> Do you have any idea how euphoric that is?
<Raven> I felt like I was being born.
#27
I'd say put something screaming in the song were people least expect it.. THAT would create tension.
#28
Quote by Braincheese
I'd say put something screaming in the song were people least expect it.. THAT would create tension.


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#29
it's all in the....


...


...


...timing.

Obviously it's not all in the timing, bit don't underestimate the importance of rhythm and pacing in the role of creating tension as well as purely melodic ways.
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#30
I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but never underestimate the power of repetition. Also an accelerando can create as much tension as a ritard or vice versa. It depends ENTIRELY on the context.


Dissonance is usually described as an unnatural or weird/non-pleasurable


Hate to be a stickler here, but a more accurate definition of dissonance is unresolved discords (tense, unstable notes) which wish to become concords (stable notes). To call dissonance "unnatural" or "un-pleasurable" would be very un-PC, and uncool in light of modernist compositional techniques =).
#31
Quote by steven seagull
it's all in the....


...


...


...timing.

Obviously it's not all in the timing, bit don't underestimate the importance of rhythm and pacing in the role of creating tension as well as purely melodic ways.


+1 It's not all about the notes (well it is but....)

....repetition licks help to create tension. Then when you move away from that repetition the tension is released or resolved.
#32
Quote by Erc
Hate to be a stickler here, but a more accurate definition of dissonance is unresolved discords (tense, unstable notes) which wish to become concords (stable notes). To call dissonance "unnatural" or "un-pleasurable" would be very un-PC, and uncool in light of modernist compositional techniques =).

You obviously didn't read the rest of my post.
“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

☮∞☯♥
#33
Quote by TroM
I use the 4th or 5th degree

Key of C
F>C
or
G>C

5th to tonic resolve is more satisfying.

You can also replace the dominant V with a V7 or sus4.


Strum these to get the basic idea.
Resolve to C Major.
Am>Em>F
Am>Em>G
Am>Em>G7
C>Am>Dm>G7
C>Am7>Dm7>G7

In G Major
Resolve to G
G>Cadd9>D>Dsus4

D is the 5th in G Major so You can sub D7 there as well.



Did ANYONE read my post. Lol
It couldn't be any easier.
#34
Quote by Erc
I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but never underestimate the power of repetition. Also an accelerando can create as much tension as a ritard or vice versa. It depends ENTIRELY on the context.


Hate to be a stickler here, but a more accurate definition of dissonance is unresolved discords (tense, unstable notes) which wish to become concords (stable notes). To call dissonance "unnatural" or "un-pleasurable" would be very un-PC, and uncool in light of modernist compositional techniques =).


Why do people use the gerund forms of Accelerare and ritardare?
I also get confused when people write rit. don't know if they mean ritardare or ritenuto...

Also, I would say that dissonance is the interval in which the sounds' frecuency ratios are not "harmonic", or have high numeral fractions (256/243 unlike consonance (3/2) (you know, the pythagorean ratios and such, although he made them regarding his own "sense" of stability and pleasure, which comes down to the tense stuff again).
The sense of unstability has to do with neurology and such, so using neurology would be a better way to define dissonance....
#35
Definitely use chromatic stuff.. like check out some of Phish's instrumental bits for a great lesson in tension building. Like listen to Geulah Papyrus (spelling?) on Picture of Nectar (great album)... the middle is this weird fugue form that feels like you're on a roller coaster.

Eventually the brakes go and you start to plummet... it's musical genius. Fugue writing is great for tension as well because you start with a theme that then gets carried out... then there's counterpoint! oh Man, anyways ideas are out there so just think and get inspired.
#36
Building tension is easy. You can use altered dominant chords, such as 7b5, 7b5#9. Once you play them, you'll notice that they are very dissonant, some more than others.

The real art in using these chords is learning to resolve them correctly and where to place the altered intervals. You usually, I've never seen it done any other way, place the b5, #9, whatever the changed interval is at the highest note or the last one you strum. The flatted intervals need to resolve downward and the raised intervals upward.

Pretty much just mess with them, look online for some lessons involving altered dominants. Hope this helps at least somewhat.
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#37
Quote by Alter-Bridge
Semitones. Get any chord/note you like, and just go up by semitones (with a crescendo[progressively getting faster] if you like as well)

For example.

A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E etc.

that's the best recomendation
with some drums in the background.
#38
hit something over and over until it's about to get annoying.
Just before it gets annoying, jumped to that A minor chord.
You don't even have to hit a dissonant chord. Just hit things longer than expected.
Destroying expectancies is the greatest dissonance
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#39
I think the basic things you can use are the following:

Repetition (of a rhythm, pitch, beat or anything else you want)
Ascending lines (or descending, as long as you stick to one or the other)
volume increases (or staying quiet for an unexpectedly long time)
Faster rhythms
Introduce new chords to the piece, and different progressions
Change what registers the instruments are playing in - if you have vocals, take them higher.

They're just a few I can think of at the moment.




#40
Why do people use the gerund forms of Accelerare and ritardare?
I also get confused when people write rit. don't know if they mean ritardare or ritenuto...


It's a publishing/editing sin really, but I think any good edition of a work will have "riten." for ritenuto, and if not, it's useless.

Also, I would say that dissonance is the interval in which the sounds' frecuency ratios are not "harmonic", or have high numeral fractions (256/243 unlike consonance (3/2) (you know, the pythagorean ratios and such, although he made them regarding his own "sense" of stability and pleasure, which comes down to the tense stuff again).
The sense of unstability has to do with neurology and such, so using neurology would be a better way to define dissonance....


Only if we accept harmony and it's derivatives to be in it's most literal sense, rather than the more inclusive working definition of "one or more tones played together." I think otherwise syntax becomes an issue and we reach a rather ironic end to our pursuit.

You obviously didn't read the rest of my post.


It's both amusing and distressing that I managed to overlook such a disclaimer. Oh well, no damage done, it never hurts to expose technical jargon for what it really is. My apologies.
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