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GMC Forum _ THEORY _ Quick Theory Question.

Posted by: K1R Aug 27 2011, 12:22 PM

Hey there!
I have a chord progression: F/C#dim/Dm/Eb/Bdim/Cm
As you see the progression is pretty strange so I don't know which scale can I use... Would you suggest some? smile.gif

Posted by: Ivan Milenkovic Aug 27 2011, 02:23 PM

Depending on how you look at the progression (since these are all simple triads), you have two main options: F major key and Bb major key.

You can start with Bb key right away, but I would go with F major because the first part of the harmony seems more natural that way. F-Dm is I-vi move. If you go with F major key, you start with straight F Ionian:

The move F-C#dim-Dm can be looked as F-Dm (I-vi), while the C#dim is just a transitional chord that creates tension/leads into Dm. I'm not aware of the rhythmical function tho, so it would be best if you could provide backing. Then all would be clear.

While you are on C#dim, you can work your way to Dm chord by using F major key notes, G and E in particular, because they are contained within C#dim chord.

When on Dm, you are on straight vi, then key shifts to Bb, which is pretty much the same as F major, except it has Eb instead of E, check out the patter and compare it to the F major, you'll notice the slight difference. This doesn't change much in your playing tho:

You now have Eb note (on the fretboard you see it as D# because scale generator only generates sharps). On the Eb chord, you have Eb, G and Bb notes, so sticking to those notes, while retaining the F major pentatonic base would be a good idea.

Bdim chord is another transitional chord, you don't have to pay too much attention on it, playing Bdim arp, or just focusing on F, A or D notes while on it will make it pass nicely. It's a lead into the Cm which is the last chord, and also dorian chord of the Bb key.

When practicing improvisation over this one, I strongly suggest that you go through each of the chords individually before starting to combine them into a progression. If you didn't have experience in following these types of progressions, it's best to take it step by step, and make yourself comfortable on each chord in particular.

Loop a chord and start playing on top of it, limiting yourself to playing only corresponding mode up&down, then arpeggio of that chord, then pentatonic scale. Then move on to the next, and do it again. Then connect two together, and practice forming melodies while retaining the focus on the chordal notes etc..

Posted by: K1R Aug 27 2011, 04:22 PM

Thank you, Ivan smile.gif I attached the progression here...
 chords.mp3 ( 1.2MB ) : 79

Posted by: Ben Higgins Aug 27 2011, 06:47 PM

And this is why Ivan is THE man when it comes to theory !! cool.gif

Posted by: Ivan Milenkovic Aug 27 2011, 06:52 PM

Exactly what I was thinking. It's a fast moving change. Well, like I said, you have several options, and at first it's best to keep things very simple in order to find your way around this one.

One good exercises that always helps is following the root notes over given chords. This helps with understanding root note positions better when harmony is moving rapidly. Then apply the method or practicing as I described in the last passage of a previous post. If you have any problems, just let me know smile.gif

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