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  #1  
Old 2008-05-14, 14:43
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Confused about progresions&chords in Maj. scale

Right, so I understand the deal with the Major scale, how it's divised into modes, that consonant chords and progresions are all derived from the Major scale.

There is just something I need to understand in regards to progresions before I can let it sink in..

What's the rocket science between chord progresions?
The chord's notes that are used come from the scale, but if I was to make my own progresion, would I just dick around on the guitar until I find one? How does one 'make' a progresion, if you get what I mean.

Also, chords..

So I understand this:

Code:
C Major Scale Interval Mode Chord I C Ionian Major ii D Dorian minor iii E Phrygian minor IV F Lydian Major V G Mixelodian Major vi A Aeonian minor vii B Locrian diminished


I got that correct?
So, if the chords in the scale are mostly standard Maj or min chords, with one dim chord, where do all the fucked up sus4 Maj7 dim6++ whatever chords come in?
Is the min/Maj thing just a guideline, as a basechord, with 'added flavas' you can put in yourself?
Should I look at the C scale, or the relative modes for added intervals?
Yeah, I know it's the same notes, but the intervals change with the context right?
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  #2  
Old 2008-05-15, 04:28
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If you make your own progression, the key would be to follow the chord especially if your chords are extended chords (Am7, Cmaj7add9). For example, A Cmaj7 chord is 1 - 3 - 5 - 7 so C Ionian and C Lydian would work well over this chord because both modes contain that arpeggio, but if it was a Cmaj7#11 then C Lydian would be the best choice because Lydian contains the #4 (#11) and the major scale doesn't. Suspended chords are a little different because they don't contain a 3rd so if you were to play a Csus4 chord, which is 1 - 4 - 5, then C Mixolydian would all work well because a sus chord is basically a dominant chord (why we use the Mixo mode) with the 3rd suspended. So to summarize, yes all chords are basically some base chord. The changes (added notes/notes removed) from the chord change the overall properties of the chord which allow for different scales or pieces of scales to work well with em. Alot of times, I'll just break down a chord into the individual notes and basically make a scale out of the contained notes.
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  #3  
Old 2008-05-15, 05:34
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You've made that pretty clear, thanks!

Is there a site out there with chord + mode combinations?
Having to look at every mode everytime I'm playing around with a weird chord doesnt strike me as very efficient.

But I'm still a bit confused about progresions.
You say they follow the chord, but I'm not realy sure how they are constructed in theory.

There's loads of charts with progresions out there, and as long as you stay in key you have a progresion, but if there's no theory behind them, it all seems very arbitrary and random.
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  #4  
Old 2008-05-15, 09:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brainsforbreakfast
You've made that pretty clear, thanks!

Is there a site out there with chord + mode combinations?
Having to look at every mode everytime I'm playing around with a weird chord doesnt strike me as very efficient.

But I'm still a bit confused about progresions.
You say they follow the chord, but I'm not realy sure how they are constructed in theory.

There's loads of charts with progresions out there, and as long as you stay in key you have a progresion, but if there's no theory behind them, it all seems very arbitrary and random.

To be honest alot of chord progression stuff you'll see is a shit load of already established progressions.

And you most definitely don't need to "stay in key." This is something i've learned playing jazz. The only time you ever need to stay in key is something like you're just run of the mill metal or stuff like that. Its all built on triad chords or power chords which doesn't yeild much theory needed outside of just knowing a scale or 2.

In jazz they use 7 chords alot. C7, CMaj7 and Cmin7. When playing a song made of all 7 chords close to none of the chords are in the same "key" as the key you are playing in.

If you like me to go more into the theory i've been painstakingly been working on for the last few weeks. (sometimes close to 4 hours a day, 15 hours a week) let me know.
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  #5  
Old 2008-05-15, 10:21
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I really like making proggy stuff.. I don't really want to get über technical, but intresting chords and progressions are what I'm looking into.

I kinda understand that everything is built on each other, however most sites/instruction just look at modes, scales, chords, progressions as seperrate things. They never really explain how everything works together, it's like they tell you "this is a chord. Now figure it out what to do with it."

Theory sites and instruction just go all over the place, like they give you some interesting tips or relations, but for the beginner it's never quite clear how things relate.
I mean, a while back I've read a theory book that started off interesting about intervals and how they are stable or unstable, and suddenly they jump of to circle of fifths and how as the circle progresses you have more flats and sharps.

Then I wonder, why the fuck is the number of flats and sharps relevant?
They don't explain that..

I guess what I'm trying to say is.. learning about theory when you don't know a lot is frustrating. Instead of getting an overview with things going into details later, you'll just get bombarded with hundreds of rules, relations, inversions, tables full of sharps and flats, and you feel none the wiser after reading any of it.
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  #6  
Old 2008-05-15, 10:42
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Included i have given this chart that i made that took awhile to find the information i needed. Before you read and look at this chart you need to start working on circle of 5ths. I've found that is the stepping stone to get anywhere. YOU NEED TO KNOW THE FUCKING KEYS. Start with a couple of them. C, G, D, A, F, Bb. Start there then move out. Make sure you know them before moving on. I can't stress this enough. When i picked up sax i forced myself to learn these keys in particular it paved the way big time and i'm thankful i put in enough memorizing hours.

Since you will be playing guitar don't learn shapes. I'm telling you, don't do it that way. Learn it by the notes of the scale. I don't know how much theory you have learned but from now on unless you are talking about a particular offball scale always refer to scales by the diatonic names. C major = (C, D, E, F, G, A, B)
not B#, D, Fb, F, G, A, Cb. It overly complicates and retards the ability to memorize. There IS a reason why C# is not the same thing as Db. I don't care what anybody says. Its not the same thing, except as an individual frequency.

This relates to mode formulas and chords. (go to the bottom to get the chart and read along)
How to read this document:
On the left side is the listing of modes, (i have included a few scales at the bottom). On the left side tells you their position in the major scale, the letter that corresponds to them from the C major scale and then it tells you the formula of how to make that mode FROM the ionian mode.

The key thing is to know the formulas. I swear by these things now. You first start off with you ionian mode of whatever key you want to do. Lets say D major. It has an F# and a C# in the ionian. (major). Say we want to play a D Aeolian mode. Its formula is 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7, 8. So.. apply that formula to the ionian mode where the numbers correspond to the position of the notes.
D Ionian
1 = D
2 = E
3 = F#
4 = G
5 = A
6 = B
7 = C#
8 = D

D Aeolian
1 = D
2 = E
3b = F
4 = G
5 = A
b6 = Bb
b7 = C
8 = D

With guitar playing its much easier to learn the shapes of the modes then move it around. I kind of think that is a bad habit to get into as you end up not getting the full effect and knowledge of how its all built together, almost rendering you useless if you're actually trying to apply music theory.

Well back to the chart. The top left series is by their position in the major scale while the one below it is in terms of BRIGHTNESS. (look at their formulas, notice how the top one has all regular positions AND a sharp, then after that they go downwards by adding flats to the scale)

Next is the right hand side which (trust me this is a gem.) This is a basic listing of the scales you can use with the different chords. If you have a Cmaj7 chord you can play C ionian, C lydian, and C Mixolydian scales.

Thats pretty progressive trust me. The only ones i've even used is ionian, mixolydian and dorian. The rest i've kind of thrown to the way side. Except maybe Lydian and Aeolian. I'll eventually get to that. But the ones i use when i see these chords i know exactly what scale i can play.

Maj, Maj7 = Ionian
min, min7 = Dorian
7 = Mixolydian

This is a basic overview of how Circle of 5ths (keys), Modes, and Chords fit together. And yes you are right, they all fit together extremely cohesively.
Attached Files
File Type: zip mode chart.zip (5.6 KB, 152 views)
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Last edited by tmfreak : 2008-05-15 at 10:52.
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  #7  
Old 2008-05-15, 23:15
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When I say follow the chord, I'm basically saying that while your overall progression doesn't have to adhere to a strict key, the chord does. Meaning, each chord you play has a unique set of notes or scale to play over. This is obviously changing as the chord changes. So an example like Am - F - E I could deduce that C major is the key and see Am would give me Aeolian, but Dorian would work just as well and A Dorian is actually the key of G major. Now if I were to play a Am with a major 6th in there which is a Am6 then Dorian is the only one that will work because a flattened 6th of A Aeolian will sound sour over that chord. Same with that F...Fmaj I can play F Ionian, F Lydian, or F Mixolydian over it, but if I play a F7, then I need to play F Mixo over it because it contains the flattened 7th and Ionian and Lydian don't contain that note. Likewise if I play a Fmaj7, I can play Ionian or Lydian but not Mixo (because Mixo contains the flattened 7th, not a major 7th), but if I play a Fmaj7#11, then I must play Lydian because that perfect 4th in Ionian will sound sour over it. That's following the chord... playing a unique scale for each chord in your progression while your overall progression doesn't necessarily have to follow a certain key.
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  #8  
Old 2008-05-16, 11:28
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Dave, tmfreak, thank you! your posts have been extremely informative.

that chart by the way rules!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmfreak
This is a basic overview of how Circle of 5ths (keys), Modes, and Chords fit together. And yes you are right, they all fit together extremely cohesively.


Its crazy, though. Have you noticed if you "invert" the Major scale you'll get a weird kind of pentatonic scale?
Well, it's kinda obvious, 12 - 7 = 5, but I was tinkering around, having the idea that if you can define something with what things are in it, you can in reverse devine something by what is not in it.

Also, getting kinda philosophical here, but you could see the Major scale, or any scale for that matter, as a mode of the chromatic scale.
So in a way, everything has to fit in cohesivly somehow..

Today, I'm puzzling around on my notebook and try out 'meta-progresions' and scales.
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  #9  
Old 2008-05-18, 17:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brainsforbreakfast

Also, getting kinda philosophical here, but you could see the Major scale, or any scale for that matter, as a mode of the chromatic scale.
So in a way, everything has to fit in cohesivly somehow..

I'm not sure to the truthiness of this.

Davy is right on the money. Its weird how i never really knew this before. I always thought the notes came from the key. Little did i know this is very far from true. The chords come from the Key and the notes come from the chords.

In most cases since powerchords are only 1 5 8, one can imagine the amount of notes one could play over that. You only need fucking 2 notes. The more notes you add to the chord, Triad = 3, 7th = 4, and so on it narrows the scale/mode down to a few choices, if not only one.

But this shouldn't limit you either. There are some cool things you can do to really go above and beyond. These things add serious fucking "color" to a lead/melody/solo. I am working on this blues jazz song (making a melody to a simple blues beat/rhythm) and on a V chord i play an Altered 9th or something. I don't have my reference by me to name exactly what it is. But it plays a #9 followed by a b9. Good fucking shit. Love playing the scale as it fits perfectly over what i'm trying to do.

Altered Scale
here is a link to what i basically play. Instead of playing in D i play it in C major if i remember correctly. (or at least i start on C and follow up the scale shown)
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  #10  
Old 2008-05-18, 18:01
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Holy shit Davy you make things seem so obvious The extent of my knowledge of music theory is amateur at best
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  #11  
Old 2008-05-18, 18:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalThrashingMad
Holy shit Davy you make things seem so obvious The extent of my knowledge of music theory is amateur at best

To be honest it seems most peoples are. (i'm not discluding myself)

I've noticed Davy definitely knows his shit.

I've got into it recently and next semester i'm signed up for a Jazz Improv class. (its a theory class not a performance class) While taking this class i plan to definitely solidify the stuff i've been learning and hopefully more.

To me it seems that when you work on music theory you have to learn alot more than just your "instrument" and or normal "scope" of music playing. Basically i'm refering to chords, scales, and progressions. Basically everything that composes music.

For the longest time I have stuck to things i inherently found to be good sounding (chord progressions), basic triad chords and the basics of keys. Alot of this seems overwhelming and it may be to some people but i think after working on these concepts and topics they seem to come "second nature" and make alot of good sense for PRACTICAL application. This is something that I didn't really believe was going to happen from studying theory.

Another really positive thing about STUDYING theory is it forces you to PRACTICE your instrument. Not playing your instrument but actually practicing, therefore making you better at it, and not just at composing or improv soloing.
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  #12  
Old 2008-05-19, 01:24
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Thanks for the props on this guys. I've been taking lessons on and off from a really good guitar teacher who basically illustrated this taking on chords. I always followed chords according to key as well in the past. Once I started following the chord instead of the key, I noticed my progressions got deeper with chords like Am6 and Cmaj7#11 to really let the true sound of the mode come out. Pick out an Am6 chord or arpeggio and doogle A Dorian over it... you really get a feel for the mode as opposed to it's neighbor modes Aeolian or Phrygian... that major 6th defines the mode. Same with Lydian... pick out a Cmaj7#11 or Cadd11 arpeggio or chord and play C Lydian over it, I hear... Joe Satriani shred all in my head. This take on chords will really expand your arsenal.
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