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what key and why does it work, and what song is playing in my head

Discussion in 'Tab & Music Forum' started by pyronym, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. pyronym

    pyronym Strat-Talker

    466
    May 14, 2013
    Baltimore
    so i've just messing around i found i really like Em G C B(or B7) the progression reminds me of something i've heard from a more recent song(last year or so) on an alt/classic rock station it's driving me nuts.
    the pattern is 1,2,3,4 and

    in the key of G or it's relative minor Em the chords should be G Am Bm C D Em F#dim G.

    so why does this progression seem to work is it from another mode that happens to have all the chords and i'm just not seeing it or am i able to/borrowing the b from another key since it has 2 out of the 3 notes from Bm? The Bm just doesn't sound right to me for some reason with in the progression.

    Obviously the song that i can't remember may be in a different key but i think the chord pattern is the same or really close.
     

  2. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    often in a minor key, the v is made into a V because it resolves back to the I much better. theory is only a guideline....its not written in stone. they have been doing this forever.
    just a little example of breakin the rules a bit.
     

  3. pyronym

    pyronym Strat-Talker

    466
    May 14, 2013
    Baltimore
    thanks!!! any help on the song?
     

  4. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California

    We've discovered the harmonic minor mode:

    in Am

    A B C D E F G# A

    the G# is "borrowed" from the major scale so as to give a V or V7 chord:

    A C E = the i chord, Am

    D F A = the iv chord, Dm

    but you have E G# B D (even F) giving a V7 chord, E7 (add the F and you get the 7b9 chord).

    in Em:

    E F# G A B C D# E

    i = Em
    iv= Am
    V7 = B7

    " Em G C B or B7"

    the G is the III chord, the C is the VI chord.
     

  5. ripgtr

    ripgtr Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 16, 2012
    austin
    You're over thinking it.

    I have studied a fair bit of theory, classical and jazz.

    Classical theory, a big part of it, was based on pipe organs in churches. The notes reverberated around the room, so you had to be careful of notes you had already played clashing with what you are playing now. Also, parallel 5ths were Highly discouraged, because of the tuning issues, but we do them all the time. Not going to get into it, but you can read about it if you like.

    The key is Em. The C is correct in some scales. Some Em scales the B is major and some minor. So, basically, you are mixing those up. Why? Because it sounds good. You are creating tension playing the C to B, yet the B is the 5th so it still feels right, and then you resolve to the Em and all is right with the world. Tension/release is an important concept.

    Also, pop music - blues, jazz, country, rock, samba, juju - they don't strictly follow western classical music theory. There are other musical theories around the world that are quite different from western theory, as well. I have not studied those but and familiar with some of the ideas.

    Anyway, theory is just a basic recipe. It explains why you might play something or suggest options. It doesn't tell you WHAT to play and it certainly can't tell what sounds good.
     
    heltershelton likes this.

  6. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    there is a song with a progression like that but its a little different....
    Em G Am C B7....the song i can hear in my head but i dont know the name of it.
    its almost the same thing.....the Am is subsituted for the C then the C is used only briefly as a passing chord.
     

  7. ripgtr

    ripgtr Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 16, 2012
    austin
    A LOT of resolutions I studied in high school classical theory were half steps. That was a big deal in classical. So, the D# to E, instead of D to E.

    But here is the fun thing. The Bm - Em - nice resolve, sounds kind of sweet. B - Em sounds a little nastier. More rock and roll. Grandma would probably like the Bm. Play the B major. ;-)
     
    heltershelton likes this.

  8. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer

    Sep 18, 2014
    Victoria TX
    Play a B Sus chord instead.
     
    alainvey likes this.

  9. pyronym

    pyronym Strat-Talker

    466
    May 14, 2013
    Baltimore
    so here's the melody excuse the ****ty whistling and the server fans in the background lol

    https://clyp.it/zspyqihk
     

  10. Jimi Lightning

    Jimi Lightning Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 21, 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    Darnny darn darn, now that progression is in my head with a guitar on my lap and its so familiar........o_O
     

  11. fezz parka

    fezz parka Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    Em = i
    G = III
    C = VI
    Bm = v.

    This is a natural E minor progression. The only difference is you're playing a V7, which would be the V in a melodic minor progression.

    As far as what song it could be, it could be any one of a hundred songs with a i/III/VI/v or V7. :D

    I'll bet you're thinking of Santeria by Sublime.
    -
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    Boognish and amstratnut like this.

  12. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 1, 2009
    My house.
    The raising the b7 to natural 7 in a minor key IS A THING. File it away in your tool box. It will come up again.

    Kudos to ya for figuring it out by ear.

    Borrowing chords from parallel key is also a thing.

    Also, anytime you want a strong resolution up a 4 or down a 5 you can change your chord youre coming from to a Dominant 7 chord. Its called a secondary dominant.

    You can also alter the dominant chord tones to make a smoother resolution.

    For exampe, I love to play a raised 5th in my 7th chord when Im gonna resolve to a minor chord.

    In your musical example the raised 5th in the B7 would be G. Typically would be played in an upper voice.
     

  13. pyronym

    pyronym Strat-Talker

    466
    May 14, 2013
    Baltimore

  14. pyronym

    pyronym Strat-Talker

    466
    May 14, 2013
    Baltimore
    So that's the song that I had in my head. Hearing the actual song I can tell the progression in my head is way off but it is what it made me think of. But all I had was an incomplete melody to go off of
     

  15. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    It's not the same progression exactly but I kept thinking of this old song:

     

  16. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    man thats the song I was trying to describe earlier in this thread. I didnt know what it was called or who did it.
     
    davidKOS likes this.

  17. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    Ten Years After, with the late Alvin Lee on guitar.

    wiki -"Between 1968 and 1973, Ten Years After scored eight Top 40 albums on the UK Albums Chart.[1] In addition they had twelve albums enter the US Billboard200,[2] "
     
    heltershelton likes this.

  18. fezz parka

    fezz parka Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter


  19. montemerrick

    montemerrick spiritual birthday, April 1 Strat-Talk Supporter

    that was an old standard of my gang in the 80s beer and acoustics in the basement... super fun song for the novice to rock out on....
     
    davidKOS likes this.

  20. montemerrick

    montemerrick spiritual birthday, April 1 Strat-Talk Supporter

    i dig Kurt Vile... pretty hysterical stage name too...