Root note and chord progressions

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by ZeroS1gnol, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. ZeroS1gnol

    ZeroS1gnol SS.org Regular

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    Hey all,

    I'm stuck! Well, only just a little bit, but maybe you can get me on the right track to get some new ways of writing stuff. There's two bits:

    1) A lot of my riffs and chord progressions follow minor scales. No matter how I write, A LOT of the progressions follow the same schemes, some examples:

    a)D-Bb
    b)D-Bb-F
    c)D-F-Bb
    d)D-A-Bb-F

    I could throw in a Db every now and then.

    2) When writing a song, I'm usually a bit stuck on the root note, D minor in this case, which means that a lot of riffs either start with it or work towards is. That's just boring in a song, it needs some variation. So to me the most obvious progression for e.g. going from a verse to a chorus would be to go to a Fmajor root note. Sometimes I would then throw in a bridge that in a phrygian dominant scale, in A. This all makes a lot of sense to me.

    Now my questions to you:

    Concerning 1) Could you give me some of your chord progressions within a minor scale? These don't necessarily need to start with the root note. I'm particularly sick of the D-Bb progression, which to me seems as the western music trope for minor scale progressions.

    Concerning 2) A bit more complicated, I experiment with following up sections with non-logical progressions. The example progressions above, the Fminor and A phrygian dominant are actually both very much in the same scale as the D minor. Now how would you follow up a D minor section with root note and scale that hits a lot of notes that aren't in the D-minor scale and still make it sound good?
     
  2. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Rather than thinking about progressions of different chords, try cycling different inversions and alterations of D minor.
     
  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Maybe something over the harmonic minor scale for a change (raise the seventh interval a half step from the natural minor).

    i IIĀ° V is nice, you could try Dm Em7b5 A7

    or

    i VI iv V, like Dm Bbmaj7 Gm7 A7b9

    The scale, for reference is D E F G A Bb C# D

    For phrasing, try to play through the arpeggios over the chord changes for exercise. If you can find a balance between choosing the notes right out of the scale and choosing the notes right out of the arpeggios from the chord changes, you can make a basic solo with satisfying phrasing. Once you have that down, then experiment until you come across a lick that stands out, and write it down. Often times you may find that the tastiest licks are not difficult to play and that once you have two or three of those, the rest of the solo will be easy to engineer.
     
  4. EverDream

    EverDream SS.org Regular

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    I'm going to throw out some ideas for your 2) question:

    B C# D# E# F# G# A (B Overtone Scale) only has 2 notes (E# and A) from D minor scale.
    C# D# E# F# G# A B (C# Hindu Scale) same notes as B Overtone, just a different root.
    B C# D# F# G# (B Pentatonic Major) 5 note scale, has no notes from the D minor scale!
    G# B C# D# F# (G# Pentatonic Minor) relative Minor scale of the one above.

    Some other roots for the Overtone scale that have minimum amount of notes from the D minor scale:

    A B C# D# E F# G (only 3 notes from D minor scale: A, E, and G)
    E F# G# A# B C# D (only 3 notes from D minor scale: E, A#, and D)

    Another scale I like a lot is the Overtone scale but with an Augmented 2nd (so if the root were E for example, it'd be the notes: E F## G# A# B C# D

    I also love Hungarian Major and Minor. Basically... any scale that is very European feeling and gypsy, folksy, Russian, medieval, Gothic, Victorian, dark, romantic, quirky, exotic sounding I love. :)

    I'll try to answer your 1) some other time, this took me a while to come up with some scales and write out this reply and I have other things I want to do right now, lol.
     
  5. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    Stop writing from a chord progression, and start writing from melody.

    It's hard to describe, but I recommend doing some walking and humming.

    The underlying chord progression should be secondary to great melody.

    My $0.02
     
  6. ZeroS1gnol

    ZeroS1gnol SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the replies!
     
  7. Emperor Guillotine

    Emperor Guillotine The Almighty Ruler

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    I actually just did something similar in a song that I've been writing over the past few days.

    The song is in the key of D minor (so, the D minor scale). I found myself simplifying the writing process by repeating a tiny handful of chords, but just adding additional voicings onto the chords (not changing the quality of the chords) and then going through the various inversions. This allowed me to not have to worry about using a ton of different notes and a ton of different chords while trying to appear technically complex. I was able to rely on a tiny handful of chords, but I still got a ton of different "colors" throughout the song, if that makes sense.

    For example, I relied on the v (Am) and VI (Bb) a lot in the song. First, I would add voicings onto the chords (ex: make Am into Am#5, Amaddb13, etc.), and then I would use the inversions of the chords (ex: use the second inversion of Bbmaj7 and raise the fifth up four semitones from F to A, which is an octave above the new root --> this chord could also be thought of as a root position Asus4addb9 with the fifth removed, but the chord itself doesn't give that feel or that resolution that you typically get from the dominant [v or V] of a scale, which is why I am thinking about it as a second inversion Bbmaj7).
     
  8. nollyflip

    nollyflip SS.org Regular

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    Interesting. Can you tab out what you mean, better yet a vid?
     

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