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Music Theory Q and A Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Tab & Music Forum' started by davidKOS, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    OK, after seeing how the various threads on music theory have gone belly-up, I'm going to try something.

    Perhaps this thread could be a open question and answer session/discussion for anyone at any level to ask each other questions about points of theory.

    So this thread has no formal book nor specific agenda, other than to foster a safe environment for beginners to professionals alike in which they can all share knowledge or ask for help.

    SIMPLE RULES -

    1. No whining or complaining about the nature of a response; be prepared for complex answers to simple questions because that's just how theory is. Same goes for questions, people may ask what you think is a silly or dumb question but there are no wrong questions, either, so no attacking the poster.

    2. Be civil and courteous. This goes without saying, but we're just discussing music, not your mother's virtue or your own psychic validation. There is no reason to get bent out of shape about any topic in music theory, history or performance practice.

    That's it! The door's open.....y'all sit down and get comfy.
     
    gwjensen and Omar like this.

  2. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    27 views and no takers....evidently I'm giving a party and no one's coming.:rolleyes:
     
    David Garner likes this.

  3. orpheoet

    orpheoet Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 4, 2012
    Cleveland, Oh
    Tritone substitution ;) my favorite way to chromatically move through a chord progression. Any thoughts?
     
    Nate D likes this.

  4. ZlurkCorzDog

    ZlurkCorzDog The Artist Formerly Known As gt Strat-Talk Supporter

    The interested parties haven't found this yet. At the risk of asking a dumb question, here goes. Hybrid, "ghost chords", any familiarity with these?
     

  5. Hugh

    Hugh Needs Mo Motown Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 26, 2009
    Louisville (KY)
    I google "ghost chords" and get nothing but tabs to songs with "ghost" in the title.
     

  6. Hugh

    Hugh Needs Mo Motown Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 26, 2009
    Louisville (KY)
    Another one I had to google. I found a video that explained it, but I'll wait for comments to post it.
     

  7. ZlurkCorzDog

    ZlurkCorzDog The Artist Formerly Known As gt Strat-Talk Supporter

    I got the term from the engineer one time i was in a studio. it seemed on one of my songs these elements came together creating a sound that shouldnt exist. Im trying to find examples of other songs where ive heard this enigma. One of them i found but havent located the right mix that has this effect.
     

  8. Suomy58

    Suomy58 Strat-Talker

    255
    Jul 26, 2013
    Nova Scotia
    I'll be here to participate, thanks for making a new thread David.
     

  9. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California

    Was the engineer referring to the effect of combination tones, where certain groups of notes will sound like other pitches are playing too due to the sums and differences of the harmonics involved?

    Combination tone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     

  10. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    This is a standard practice jazz trick, particularly on a string of successive ii - V's.

    Say you have:

    Am7 /// | D7 /// | Gm7 /// | C7 /// | F

    You could add passing tones to the dom 7 chords making them b5 chords:

    Am7 /// | D7 / D7b5 / | Gm7 /// | C7 /C7b5 / | F

    and use that chord for the whole measure

    Am7 /// | D7b5 /// | Gm7 /// | C7b5 /// | F

    and finally using tritone substitution,

    Am7 /// |Ab7b5 /// | Gm7 /// | Gb7b5 /// | F

    and you now have a chromatic progression.

    Why?

    D7b5 = D F# Ab C

    Ab7b5 = Ab C Ebb Gb

    The same pitches are used in both chords Ab, C, D or Ebb, F# or Gb, it's just spelled differently.

    This sort of "trick" is used by almost all jazz players and is a basic one, thanks for bringing it up, orpheoet.
     
    Percy likes this.

  11. Mouse

    Mouse The Knees of Rock Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Apr 25, 2012
    New Jersey
    Nice idea David. I'll certainly participate.
     

  12. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    Thanks...and I want us all to answer questions, the more input the better.

    Thanks to everyone for posting. Now the hors-d'oeuvres won't go to waste at the party.
     

  13. NEStrataholic

    NEStrataholic Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 8, 2012
    Massachusetts
    Arrgghhh! I screwed up and posted a question into the older "study theory by yourself" thread! Sorry David! I will get the hang of this modern technology soon! (Thanks for the answer!)
     

  14. ZlurkCorzDog

    ZlurkCorzDog The Artist Formerly Known As gt Strat-Talk Supporter

    I think that sums it up fairly well. It was my first time in a studio so I was pretty well intimidated by the whole process. Otherwise I may have picked his brain more about what he meant by the term "ghost chord".
     

  15. Suomy58

    Suomy58 Strat-Talker

    255
    Jul 26, 2013
    Nova Scotia
    In regards to harmonizing a scale, is this the correct approach?

    Say we have a 1/6/4/5 progression in C Major. This would give us C/A/F/G. Now we take C and build a triad off that. A triad consists of 1/3/5. This would give us a chord compromised of C/E/G. Next we go to the A. This give us a chord compromised of A/C#/E. We build a triad off the remaining notes in the progression. We also need to take into consideration the quality of the chord pertaining to each degree, so our 1st, 4th and 5th would all be Major chords while the 6th would be a minor.

    Is this correct?
     

  16. stradovarious

    stradovarious Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 14, 2010
    Shangri-La
    I think maybe because as in one theory thread, they were working systematically through a text book; the material at hand needs to be understood before you can move forward; this prompts questions and discussion.

    In other words, the structure basically forces various questions/ discussions. Maybe if someone asks a question like "how do I know if I am playing in a certain key"?

    Or

    "How do I know what notes to play over a certain chord?"

    I think maybe people need that structure, I know I certainly did. I think "interested parties" should buy the text book that they were using on the music theory study group thread, open the book, try to learn what's in it, then come here and ask the questions that will inevitably come.

    It was a great thread and it's a great book. Google will bring it up if they enter "Strat-Talk music theory study group" .

    This would give them the book's title and they could order it.

    Another way would be to resurrect that thread, but some people may prefer the option of just popping in here to ask questions now and then.

    Everyone is different of course. Personally, I needed a strictly structured class, from beginning to end. I am sure plenty of people are the opposite so what I would love to see would be for the theory study group thread to get revived and for BOTH threads to prosper.

    The theory whiz's can stay out of the study group, and those who want input from said whiz's can come here.

    Good idea?
     

  17. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    Maybe so.

    I'm in favor of any method that will work for you to learn - and me too, I'm still learning.

    Get the book, or another one, and read it a lot.

    This thread is just an open environment to discuss theory. Learn from it if you can, and use any and all other sources to learn too.

    So the study group could use a text, I'd stay out of it, and perhaps the group will ask for help if needed at all on this thread?
     

  18. NEStrataholic

    NEStrataholic Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 8, 2012
    Massachusetts
    Close. The A chord can't use the C# (as you are defining harmonizing a scale) since C# is not in the C scale. The chord then would be ACE - the root is A, the third is C, and the 5th is E. And that, as you say, is a minor chord - A minor.
     

  19. Suomy58

    Suomy58 Strat-Talker

    255
    Jul 26, 2013
    Nova Scotia
    So the triads we're building when harmonizing a scale must be taken from the root scale, in this case C Major. This would mean that every triad we form must use notes from the C Major scale, even when the note is in the root scale of what we're forming the triad from? I'm thinking chord quality has a lot to do with determining the notes used in the triad?
     

  20. stradovarious

    stradovarious Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 14, 2010
    Shangri-La
    Yes. This is how chords are said to be "in the key of C Major"...the chords will always consist of notes taken from the C Major scale if you are trying to strictly harmonize that scale for these purposes. This is when building triads.

    On the V chord, later on, you'll learn about adding the flat 7 which is better left for a different day...that's called a dominant 7th chord.

    However, we are talking triads here, and triads are not 7th chords, they are TRIADS.

    So, yes, if you are harmonizing a C Major scale, even if you are building a chord starting on the note B, the seventh note of the C major scale, you start with B and add the third note up from B; AS IT EXISTS IN THE C MAJOR SCALE. Then you do the same with the 5th note up from B.

    In that case the notes will be B-D-F ; all 3 are notes taken from the C major scale;l you started on the 7th degree of the C major scale and built a triad there, in the key of C Major.

    If you analyze the quality of this new chord that you have created, you have a minor third (3 half steps) from B to D and another minor third from D to F. This gives you what we call a "diminished triad".

    Thus the chord built on the 7th degree of ANY major scale, when strictly obeying the notes associated from that scale, will always be diminished.

    This is why we say that in a major key, the vii chord is diminished.

    The opposite actually. The notes used in the triad determine the chord quality. I know that's probably what you meant but when harmonizing a scale this is an important distinction. You are beholden to the notes of the scale, period.

    For this exercise and for these purposes, that is.