Help me get out of this chord progression

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by thevisi0nary, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. thevisi0nary

    thevisi0nary SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    13
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Whats up. So one thing I've come to notice in my writing is that I am very often deferring to what I call a "1 to 2 and 1 to 2" chord progression, there's probably a much more legitimate name for this. In a basic sense it involves doing a chord or riff based on one note for either a whole measure or half a measure, then going up or down to another one for the same amount of time. It doesnt sound bad, but I just do it way too often, even if I am doing a complex riff it is still based on this progression. I dont know a lot about theory and would like to know any tips and techniques people have for making different or more interesting progressions.

    Here is an example of what I'm talking about

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo7pV3MDac8

    It can either be for a half measure like this or for a whole measure, and it can be either chords or riffs but I am still am doing this too much. When I try to attempt something different it works out sometimes but I feel as if I dont really know what I am doing. I dont really know theory in a way that I can apply to this.
     
  2. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

    Messages:
    778
    Likes Received:
    25
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2016
    Location:
    Albany, OR
    I think that's a 1 -> perfect 4 in your video....

    You just need to work on other intervals, and develop an ear, much like scale interval research.

    Try some of these common progressions:

    1 - 4 - 5 - 4 (and similar)

    I am fond of this one:

    Phrygian 1-2-5-2-1 (alternatively written, based on major set 3-4-7-4-3)

    Gotta love that flat 2 chord. IT is a dead give away for Phrygian every time....
     
  3. thevisi0nary

    thevisi0nary SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    13
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Thanks a lot. Do you by chance have any videos you could show me as a reference for some of these progressions?
     
  4. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

    Messages:
    778
    Likes Received:
    25
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2016
    Location:
    Albany, OR
    Videos, no, but a chart, yes!

    https://endofthegame.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/major-chords.jpg

    This will make it easier to determine if a chord should be maj or min in the progression.

    For major, your root chord is the 1.
    For minor, your root chord is the 6.

    You should make your own progressions, and then decide what you like.
     
  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    17,411
    Likes Received:
    6,664
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    Those chords are G and D.

    This progression is called I - V (one to five), and it's the best two chord progression. Embrace it.

    Then try three chord progressions, like I - IV - V (one four five) (G C D). Four chord progressions have a lot more variety.
     
  6. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

    Messages:
    778
    Likes Received:
    25
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2016
    Location:
    Albany, OR
    If you play the 5 "under" the 1, isn't it considered a "perfect fourth"?

    Circle of fourths and all? This is just semantics, but I think this is correct....
     
  7. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

    Messages:
    5,089
    Likes Received:
    914
    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    G∆ D∆. Reminds me of Ventura Highway by America.

     
  8. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Location:
    France
    So many possibilities.... Simplify your chords first, if you can't find a solution with simple triads, it'll just be harder with all those extensions.

    Vocaroo | Voice message
     
  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    17,411
    Likes Received:
    6,664
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    It depends what you consider the root note, then everything is relative to that. If the root note is D, then G - D is IV - I.
     
  10. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Location:
    France
    hum hum....

    The chords are Am9 and Em9. So the closest tonal progression is VI III.


    e-I-9-I---I---I---I
    b-I---I-7-I---I---I
    g-I---I---I-5-I---I
    d-I---I---I---I-3-I
    a-I-5-I---I---I---I
    d-I-T-I---I---I---I
     
  11. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    17,411
    Likes Received:
    6,664
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    What is that tab?

    I may well be mistaken, but I thought the chord shapes were like an open C chord, barred up the neck.

    Also, what kind of progression never has a I chord in it?!
     
  12. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Location:
    France
    - It's the chord he uses. The numbers are the degrees (obviously).

    - Well, if we have to describe modal progressions on a tonal system, it's common sense to refer to the closest tonal progression. If a theory says otherwise, maybe it's time to change the theory.
     
  13. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    17,411
    Likes Received:
    6,664
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    Wat? Degrees? Like, when you put what looks like an e-string with a nine on it, that's the ninth degree of the e-scale? Meaning E minor? Then, what is the "T" on the d-string, or whatever it is that looks like a d-string? The Tth degree? This is either way over my head or we mean two different things by "degree."

    Take a look at the guy's fingers. Also try playing along with it. That isn't even the correct tuning in the tab. Also, I don't see him stretching from the third fret to the ninths fret, also, he's playing chords, also, there are two distinct chords. I have too many issues with your tab, in relation to the youtube video, to even get a grip on what you are saying with it.

    Closest tonal progression to what? I am very confused. If a piece of music resolves to a major chord, say, in this case, G major, then that piece is in the key of G major, so G major is the I chord. If there is an alternate way that makes more sense than that, please explain it as thoroughly as possible.

    I'm not a theory mastermind, like Mr. Big Noodles, but this is pretty basic stuff to me, so I don't expect to be this easily confused. Only you can solve my confusion by explaining what you are saying.
     
  14. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Location:
    France
    The chords are

    E--7------2--
    B--8------3---
    G--9------4---
    D--10----5---
    A--7------2---
    D--7------2---

    The chord pattern is therefore


    e-I-X-I---I---I---I the 9th degree
    b-I---I-X-I---I---I the 7th
    g-I---I---I-X-I---I a 5th
    d-I---I---I---I-X-I the 3rd
    a-I-X-I---I---I---I another 5th
    d-I-X-I---I---I---I and the tonic, 1st degree

    To summarize,

    e-I-9-I---I---I---I
    b-I---I-7-I---I---I
    g-I---I---I-5-I---I
    d-I---I---I---I-3-I
    a-I-5-I---I---I---I
    d-I-T-I---I---I---I


    No, those chords are minor and exactly what I show you. If you hear them major, you have a problem. As I said, the progression is Am9 Em9 and it can't be otherwise. Sorry but you're just that easily confused.
     
  15. sezna

    sezna undermotivated

    Messages:
    1,333
    Likes Received:
    607
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle
    You're confusing intervals with chords, a D chord will always be a V chord in the key of G, but the individual note D could be a fifth or a fourth from a G, depending on if you go up or down.
     
  16. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    17,411
    Likes Received:
    6,664
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    Ok, I understand your notation now.

    I'm hearing major seventh chords, but perhaps it due to lack of bass response from small speakers.

    You didn't really address my questions, but that'should fine.

    If the chords are major, it's I - V. If they are minor, it's i - v. Either way, it's a one to five progression. There's no such progression with no tonic in it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  17. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Location:
    France
    There are plenty of progressions with no 1st degree in them. We don't need to revolve around "I" since "I" refers to the first degree of the major scale.
     
  18. thevisi0nary

    thevisi0nary SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    13
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    That clip is nice, so what is the science behind making that? Especially in regards to the "minor" sounding part if that's what that is.

    I'm in a weird position where I can write things based on what I've learned from other songs, but I legitimately don't know what's going on as far applied theory and I often fall into similar patterns. I'm in the position now where I'm about to start learning theory. There's just a lot that doesn't make sense to me though.

    Here's an example of that same progression, more technical but same 2 chords. I like the song a lot but I can find a bunch of other files that do the same principle. And I wouldn't be able to take this somewhere else tonaly.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3g8-URhURw

    There's even times when I write stuff that sounds like it's minor but I don't get how you go from a basic chord progression to complex riffs or jazz progressions.
     
  19. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    538
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    As english is not my native language and I'm trying to keep this short, this might be a little hard to explain but I'll try my best.

    Intervals:

    You have twelve notes to choose from.

    1, b2, 2, b3, 3, 4, b5, 5, b6, 6, b7, 7.

    Your root (1) can be any note on your fretboard and the rest follow. For example power chord includes 1 and 5.

    |---|---|---|
    |---|---|---|
    |---|---|---|
    |---|---|---|
    |---|---|-X-|
    |-X-|---|---|
    (1)

    Each scale typically includes seven intervals.

    Major:
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Minor:
    1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7

    Triad has root, minor or major third (this defines whether your chord is minor or major) and a fifth.

    sus2 = 1, 2, 5
    sus(4) = 1, 4, 5
    maj7 = 1, 3, 5, 7
    7 = 1, 3, 5, b7
    m7b5 = 1, b3, b5, b7


    So...

    I'll use C major as an example. It has 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 intervals which are C, D, E, F, G, A and B.

    C major chord progression with the roman numerals (capitals are major and lowercase letters are minor), triads and seventh chords is as follows:

    I - C - Cmaj7
    ii - Dm - Dm7
    iii - Em - Em7
    IV - F - Fmaj7
    V - G - G7 (dominant 7th)
    vi - Am - Am7
    vii - Bm(b5) - Bm7(b5)

    And each of those chords represent a mode, but I'm sure it'll take you awhile to understand all I said before so I'll just write it here quickly :lol:

    I - maj7 = ionian mode (major) = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    ii - m7 = dorian mode = 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7
    iii - m7 = phrygian mode = 1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7
    IV - maj7 = lydian mode = 1, 2, 3, #4, 5, 6, 7
    V - 7 = mixolydian mode = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7
    vi - m7 = aiolian mode (minor) = 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7
    vii - m7(b5) = locrian mode = 1, b2, b3, 4, b5, b6, b7

    Best way for me to start to get my head around all this was to just listen some blues. Learn the I-IV-V chord progression and just listen some blues and play over it. In a C major scale the chords would be Cmaj7, Fmaj7 and G7 and in a relative minor (A minor - the sixth degree of the major scale) Am7, Dm7, Em7.

    If you have any questions, just shoot and I'll try to answer them the best I can.
     
  20. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Location:
    France
    It's a science of practice, my way to build musical intuitions, in one's mind, not on paper. Theories are there to rationalize what is built, so it comes next. I guess I can explain how I practiced composition over the years. Basically I started by exploring the connections between two triads, then three, then all.

    1- I explored the horizontal and vertical connexions between any pair of triads, to imagine and hear what are their common scales, and how it moves horizontally (voicings). I noticed that some pairs of triads had two pedals, some one, some none.. which corresponds with how harmonically far they are from each other ; so I also dig the extensions that can be used as an extra pedal.

    2- Then I explored the triplets of triads I could consider to be stable objects, where two triads can revolve around another one. And added the extra pedals in the process.

    3- After that, I connected those triplets horizontally by gathering all their tonics on a same scale (let's call it a group scale), all thirds on another group scale etc.. I noticed how those group scales actually give the resulting harmony its colors and cohesion, which I found very fascinating.

    4- I added another level to my horizontal game, by changing progressively the group scales and playing with the horizontal patterns, for example in the clip you can hear that the highest notes on each chord are forming a descending chromatic scale. That kind of game.
     

Share This Page