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> Chord Frustration
NickHugo
post Sep 26 2009, 01:03 AM
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For some reason i have an extremely bad writer's block and every time i try to write progressions i toss them all out due to the fact that everything i play just seems to sound the same and circle of 5ths-ish. I recently tried to expand my chord vocabulary by learning diminished, suspended, augmented, 6, 9, and a few others. Despite working these chords into my songwriting, i still cant seem to get the sounds i want sometimes. I try to reshape the chord note by note to create more interesting voicings but i cant ever seem to come up with anything. I was wondering if there was like a good order of learning chords. I have my open, barre, a couple inversions, and the chord types i mentioned earlier under my belt but i would like to know what else i should be trying to memorize. Thanks for your help. Sorry if this is kind of confusing. I'm awful at organizing my thoughts in message board posts.


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Tomas Santa Clar...
post Sep 26 2009, 01:20 AM
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QUOTE (NickHugo @ Sep 26 2009, 01:03 AM) *
For some reason i have an extremely bad writer's block and every time i try to write progressions i toss them all out due to the fact that everything i play just seems to sound the same and circle of 5ths-ish. I recently tried to expand my chord vocabulary by learning diminished, suspended, augmented, 6, 9, and a few others. Despite working these chords into my songwriting, i still cant seem to get the sounds i want sometimes. I try to reshape the chord note by note to create more interesting voicings but i cant ever seem to come up with anything. I was wondering if there was like a good order of learning chords. I have my open, barre, a couple inversions, and the chord types i mentioned earlier under my belt but i would like to know what else i should be trying to memorize. Thanks for your help. Sorry if this is kind of confusing. I'm awful at organizing my thoughts in message board posts.


same here my friend i have the same problem sad.gif
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 26 2009, 04:28 PM
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Hmm, do you know how chords are made out of a scale, and what is the chord progression within a key?


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NickHugo
post Sep 26 2009, 09:30 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Sep 26 2009, 04:28 PM) *
Hmm, do you know how chords are made out of a scale, and what is the chord progression within a key?


Yeah i know a good majority of the scale formulas but i dont ever think of my chord progressions in roman numeral terms if thats what you mean by chord progression within a key. It's kind of a weird problem to describe. Everything just sounds too generic i guess.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 27 2009, 12:15 AM
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Many popular hit songs have very limited chord progression. Unique chord progression itself is not something you want to hold as the only value of the song. For example, it is a lot more important to have a good catchy vocal line in the song, and good lyrics then to produce a complex chord changes. If you have a strong vocal line you can put anything behind it, complex simphony or just two chords, doesn't matter. The listener will be focused on the vocal line most of the time. It's important to find a good riff, and good vocal line, everything else should follow that. This is not always the case, but in most cases it is the fact.


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vampire18
post Sep 27 2009, 02:50 AM
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did you know an almost entire musical genre uses the same progression of chords?
punk rock has lmaot only one progression.
in progressions sometimes you get the best results if they are common, they are sort of the back bone of the song and you want to have simliratiy.
if you going for writing in a certein genre a great way to make it sound like it is to take common progressions from it


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NickHugo
post Sep 27 2009, 03:29 AM
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i know that a lot of stuff has to be recycled progressions but i want to be able to write progressions that are more melodic and suit modes well. I dont know if any of you have ever heard of jeff buckley or elliott smith but thats the kind of style im looking for. What would you guys recommend for a practice agenda for getting my chordal knowledge up to an advanced stage? Also what about key changes? I know how to change keys if im changing to the harmonic minor but how do you know what keys are available to change into based on the key you are in? Sorry about all the questions. I have a lot to ask because i've never had the money to go to a teacher unfortunately.

Would it help if i posted a link to an example of what im talking about?


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enforcer
post Sep 27 2009, 04:33 AM
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Than I advise you to learn modal chords... Like dom7th for mixolydian dim7 for locrian etc... And you can go for complex chords too, they have such a tonality that even with the same major construction you can build totally different songs buy alternating 7th 9th 11th and 13ths of the same triad...

Yeah people tend to like things they used to, so sometimes all the songs look alike... But those are about trends too guess.

Maybe its out of subject but if I may I would like to talk about something that I noticed about music...
Think of this I will make a horrible generalization but check this out:

Lets say average human life is for about 80 years... And during this time except the adolescence period speed of your metabolism gets slower and slower... Like the time between 0-5 years feels longer than the time between 40-60... So I can make a list like this:

0-5 Child songs lullabies
5-13 Easy listening childish pop
13-25 Metal-Rock or Disco Pop
25-45 More Complex Music (Jazz etc) - Blues - Ethnic - Rock
45-70 Easy Listening any kind

I know this is a very rough and flawed generalisation, but all I want to say is that, during human life, the style of music that people loves changes many times, that is why actually, as they totally change the style of music they used to listen, styles doesnt need to change much within themselves over large periods of time... Yes sound changes, instruments change, but the songs are merely repeating themselves because the older generation that enjoyed them would be on another phase by the time the new generation would need them.

Nowadays this repetition chain is changing as it is harder to forget about a song you listened 10 years ago compared how it was easy 30 years ago. That is why it is getting harder to develop new ideas, hence they are trying to change what we call music altogether... It came to my attention that, some producers are only combining little parts of older songs like patch works. You'll see all those traits on the new songs from famous names like Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Rihanna or such... On that new wave of music, there is no composition. Just a layer of rhythme and pieces of older hits.

We'll see what all this will be biggrin.gif

Can


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vampire18
post Sep 27 2009, 04:33 AM
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i suggerst andrews theory lessons, even thogh it seems your theory knowledge is pretty good, he has a very good lesson there on how to bring out the modal tone of each mode using its chords(mostly using 7th and things you will see if you read). chordal knowledge is mostly about theory and less about technique, if you will be very good at theory youll would be able to write more and more complicated chord progressions, and as far as sounding like a certein artist, what i would do is analyze what progressions does he use, and yes a link to what you mean will be helpful.


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Neurologi
post Sep 28 2009, 05:51 PM
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I recommend searching for the author Ted Greene on Amazon. In particular, his two books "Chord Chemistry" and "Modern Chord Progressions" both of which are available for purchase.

If my word is not enough to spur interest then maybe these guy's will:
Guitar virtuoso Steve Vai has praised Greene's musical knowledge and perceptiveness on this recording ("Solo Guitar" in 1977), stating that Greene "...is totally in touch with the potential of harmonic constructions" which allows him to create an "...organic and inspired listening delight." Josh Gordon from Just Jazz Guitar Magazine stated that the recording has a "...feeling of perfect proportion" and a "full spectrum of emotion and harmonic vision." Steven Rosenberg from the Los Angeles Daily Newspaper stated that "Greene managed to raise the bar for solo guitar." Source: Wikipedia

Sounds like this guy has his harmonic content down pat, does it not? He has put a lot of effort to relay that knowledge in the printed medium and could well help you to reach your goals.


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Pedja Simovic
post Sep 28 2009, 05:59 PM
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QUOTE (NickHugo @ Sep 27 2009, 04:29 AM) *
i know that a lot of stuff has to be recycled progressions but i want to be able to write progressions that are more melodic and suit modes well. I dont know if any of you have ever heard of jeff buckley or elliott smith but thats the kind of style im looking for. What would you guys recommend for a practice agenda for getting my chordal knowledge up to an advanced stage? Also what about key changes? I know how to change keys if im changing to the harmonic minor but how do you know what keys are available to change into based on the key you are in? Sorry about all the questions. I have a lot to ask because i've never had the money to go to a teacher unfortunately.

Would it help if i posted a link to an example of what im talking about?


May I suggest then reading my theory and harmony post on my instructor board?
You will find information there about modal harmony (cadences for modes in major scale) as well as other useful information. Check out my MTP board and things I am covering with Cael... We are talking about reharmonizing techniques and key changes - exact things you want to learn about.
Regarding chord knowledge, I just finished my part 3 lesson for Triads in major scale series. First 2 parts are already published and are on the site already. Here is a thread about it HERE
These lessons use string sets 654, 543,432 and 321 for all possible triads in C major scale! In part 1 root inversion is covered while in part 2 you have 1st inversion covered. When part 3 goes live you will have final 2nd inversion for triads.
4 string sets = 4 different ways how to play one chord inversion
3 possible inversions x 4 different ways = 12 possible ways how to play a single chord in C major scale!
Since C major scale has 7 chords ( C maj D min E min F maj G maj A min and B dim) you basically learned a lot of ways how to expand your chord vocabulary for triads. Remember this material for C major can apply to any other major scale as well!

Let me know if you have any questions. My instructor board is bellow in my signature!


Edit : typo

This post has been edited by Pedja Simovic: Sep 28 2009, 06:02 PM


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Neurologi
post Sep 28 2009, 06:05 PM
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Great stuff, Pedja! I wasn't aware of that series. Just what the doctor ordered for me also! smile.gif


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Pedja Simovic
post Sep 28 2009, 06:17 PM
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QUOTE (Neurologi @ Sep 28 2009, 07:05 PM) *
Great stuff, Pedja! I wasn't aware of that series. Just what the doctor ordered for me also! smile.gif


Great to hear that Neurologi smile.gif
Part 1 was on the site for 2 or 3 days but Part 2 went totally unnoticed as only Emir left a comment for it (it was in the lesson database not actual main lesson page). Anyways, these are really useful and can help a lot with chord vocabulary. I am working today on lesson that uses all inversions in a musical context (applying all this with actual chord progression). That lesson should help members understand how all that material can be actually applied in real musical context (doing rhythm for soloist or singer for example).


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Frederik
post Sep 28 2009, 06:22 PM
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Hey NickHugo:)
when i compose something i like the sound of, or when i am out of ideas i usually think of a concept and compose from there
Concepts could be:
-Drones
-Ascending or descending basline
-a specific mode
-jumping around ind the circle of 5th's
-Harmonize a melody
-modulations

Hope its usefull

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Neurologi
post Sep 28 2009, 06:24 PM
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Pedja:

Exactly. The practise of knowledge learnt in a musical context is key to access deeper levels of learning. I guess four note chord construction video lessons are only just around the corner then? wink.gif


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NickHugo
post Sep 28 2009, 06:24 PM
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Thanks for your help guys. I'll be sure to check out all your recommendations once my computer is working a little bit better. Here's those examples i was talking about. This has less to do with my question about using chords that complement modes but more so using interesting inverted chords.

I found two videos that emphasize two of my favorite artists style really well on youtube so dont mind the video part but could you guys tell me what theoretically makes these progressions sound different than usual too me?(besides lack of ear training haha)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0YrIPvWC0A - Elliott Smith's Seen how things are hard

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WolmjxD4hn4 - Jeff buckley's So real

I know Jeff buckley seems a bit simpler and not similar in style to the first link but theres something about his changes that gives him such a unique sound(at least to me)



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Pedja Simovic
post Sep 28 2009, 06:48 PM
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QUOTE (Neurologi @ Sep 28 2009, 07:24 PM) *
Pedja:

Exactly. The practise of knowledge learnt in a musical context is key to access deeper levels of learning. I guess four note chord construction video lessons are only just around the corner then? wink.gif


You got that right my friend smile.gif The problem with 4 note chords and inversions is that some things are impossible to play on guitar for example. This is why we use drop 2, drop 3 and drop 2 and 4 voicings.
Think about C maj 7 chord : C E G B
Can you play 3rd inversion as chord ? B C E G would be the order of notes... Impossible smile.gif But if we put B down an octave we get something that is playable (we unfortunately get b9 interval between B and C which is not good in that case smile.gif.
I will figure out a way how to cover 4 note chords, it will possible be as arpeggios and some sort of drop voicings smile.gif


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Neurologi
post Sep 28 2009, 06:59 PM
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I look forward to see what you come up with. In the meantime, always plenty to keep me busy ...


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Pedja Simovic
post Sep 28 2009, 07:26 PM
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QUOTE (Neurologi @ Sep 28 2009, 07:59 PM) *
I look forward to see what you come up with. In the meantime, always plenty to keep me busy ...


Great to hear that, glad you are keeping yourself busy in the meanwhile smile.gif


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djohnneay
post Sep 29 2009, 05:54 PM
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I also wasn't aware of those series, following them now though !

Thanks Pedja ! Also, what would be the difference between chords like
C :
|--0--|
|--1--|
|--0--|
|--2--|
|--3--|
|--x--|

Or C :
|--3--|
|--5--|
|--5--|
|--5--|
|--3--|
|--x--|

Thanks in advance !


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