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> Jvm's December Mtp Thread, Weekly assignments and uploads here
Pedja Simovic
post Dec 3 2009, 01:59 PM
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Hi JVM,

Welcome to your December MTP Thread. I read your Guitar CV and found some very interesting things in there smile.gif Since you asked me to push you more on theory (modal application) arpeggio shapes and chords, I have decided to focus on theory in your first assignment. Believe me when I say I have already created a full plan for you this month so if you follow the work I feel you will already have much better understanding in areas mentioned above!
Lets get started now smile.gif

Your 1st assignment for December is due week from today (10th of December)

Here is your assignment

Theory reading :

- I would like you to read my posts from links provided below.
- Once you read it all, memorize 3 and 4 part harmony in C major scale.
- Learn to apply scale degrees rather then numbers ( I in C major is C, IV in C is F etc).
- Write out in this thread all notes for 3 and 4 part harmony in C major.
- Explain to me how do we build chords in the first place?
- Write me what determines some chord progression to be in certain mode? How do we make a chord progression for D Dorian for example?

Here are the links:

Major scale harmony and chord functions

Cadences



Let me know if you have any questions and if I could help in any way!

Pedja


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JVM
post Dec 3 2009, 04:10 PM
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Awesome. I am going to take my time with this. I can do the three part and four part harmony easy enough, but I am going to take the weekend to digest the cadences. I'll let you know if I have any questions.


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Pedja Simovic
post Dec 4 2009, 12:49 PM
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If there is anything I could help you with, let me know JVM!


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JVM
post Dec 4 2009, 06:38 PM
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Here's a couple:

"The beauty of Sub dominant chords is to sound "little bit out" compared to Tonic type chords. They are very much needed to keep cadences happening because otherwise we end up with Tonic and Dominant chords !"

Can you clarify this a bit?

Also, can you clarify the function of the 4 note a bit more? It is used in sub dominant and dominant functioning chords, is it kind of neutral or what? What allows it to swing to either sub dominant or dominant 'assisting' function?

Thats all for now, thanks smile.gif


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Pedja Simovic
post Dec 5 2009, 01:20 AM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Dec 4 2009, 06:38 PM) *
Here's a couple:

"The beauty of Sub dominant chords is to sound "little bit out" compared to Tonic type chords. They are very much needed to keep cadences happening because otherwise we end up with Tonic and Dominant chords !"

Can you clarify this a bit?

Also, can you clarify the function of the 4 note a bit more? It is used in sub dominant and dominant functioning chords, is it kind of neutral or what? What allows it to swing to either sub dominant or dominant 'assisting' function?

Thats all for now, thanks smile.gif


Sure thing JVM.
If we just have Tonic and Dominant chords we get only perfect 4th or perfect 5th movement happening in harmony. G7 to C for example, that is up a perfect 4th or down a perfect 5th. That can be very restricting and predicting. With Subdominant functioning chords we extend and enrich harmony as well as chord cadence. I hope that makes sense?
Regarding 4th note in the scale, you are right it is used in both Subdominant and Dominant functioning chords. A thing to remember about dominant type chords is that they must contain most unstable note in the scale which is 7th scale degree (B in key of C major). Thats one of the biggest differences between Subdominant and Dominant type chords. Dominant types use 4 and 7 , Subdominant would use 2 4 and 6 of a sort.
Let me know if you have any more questions!


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JVM
post Dec 5 2009, 01:23 AM
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Perfect explanation, thanks smile.gif


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Pedja Simovic
post Dec 5 2009, 01:25 AM
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Sure thing man. You caught me right before bed time, I am glad I checked this thread smile.gif


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JVM
post Dec 8 2009, 06:45 PM
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Three part harmony in C major:

I - Cmaj chord, C E G = a perfect tonic chord.
II - Dmin chord, D F A = sub-dominant chord because of the VI and IV notes (A and F)
III - Emin chord, E G B = a tonic chord, but the tonic note ( C ) is replaced by the leading note ( B ) which weakens it's tonic appeal a bit.
IV - Fmaj chord, F A C = a great sub-dominant option with the VI and IV but also the I.
V - Gmaj chord, G B D = a dominant chord due to the VII and II.
VI - Amin chord, A C E = a strong tonic chord because of the I and III present.
VII - Bdim chord, B D F = a perfect dominant chord with II, IV and VII all in place.

Four Part Harmony:

I - Cmaj7 chord, C E G B
II - Dmin7 chord, D F A C
III - Emin7 chord, E G B D
IV - Fmaj7 chord, F A C E
V - G7 chord, G B D F
VI - Amin7 chord, A C E G
VII - Bmin7b5 chord, B D F A

We build chords by stacking thirds onto the notes of a scale. Triads have three stacked thirds (1 3 5) and seventh chords have four (1 3 5 7). I don't know about altered chords much, but I assume that you basically "alter" these triads and seventh chords by raising/lowering strategic notes in the chord.

To determine what chord progressions are in what mode, you need to know the characteristic note of the mode. First it is helpful to separate the modes into Major and Minor families, and distinguish minor modes from the minor scale and major modes from the major scale (am I right in that assumption?) Since D Dorian's characteristic note is the VI, which is sharp compared to D minor, our Dorian cadence should have chords that contain that VI note ( B ). You can build three chords out of this note, with B in the root position (Bdim or Bmin7b5), B in the third position (Gmaj, G7) and B in the 5th position, which is Em or Em7. Since Bdim is so similar to Dmin, we don't use it as it can confuse us (right?). In addition to using these characteristic modal chords, we should obviously include the tonic (Dmin or variation of it) in the progression.

If I got all that right, how do we go about practicing this effectively to get it to be instinctual? And if I got it wrong, point me in the right direction smile.gif

This post has been edited by JVM: Dec 8 2009, 07:03 PM


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Pedja Simovic
post Dec 10 2009, 01:38 AM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Dec 8 2009, 06:45 PM) *
Three part harmony in C major:

I - Cmaj chord, C E G = a perfect tonic chord.
II - Dmin chord, D F A = sub-dominant chord because of the VI and IV notes (A and F)
III - Emin chord, E G B = a tonic chord, but the tonic note ( C ) is replaced by the leading note ( B ) which weakens it's tonic appeal a bit.
IV - Fmaj chord, F A C = a great sub-dominant option with the VI and IV but also the I.
V - Gmaj chord, G B D = a dominant chord due to the VII and II.
VI - Amin chord, A C E = a strong tonic chord because of the I and III present.
VII - Bdim chord, B D F = a perfect dominant chord with II, IV and VII all in place.

Four Part Harmony:

I - Cmaj7 chord, C E G B
II - Dmin7 chord, D F A C
III - Emin7 chord, E G B D
IV - Fmaj7 chord, F A C E
V - G7 chord, G B D F
VI - Amin7 chord, A C E G
VII - Bmin7b5 chord, B D F A

We build chords by stacking thirds onto the notes of a scale. Triads have three stacked thirds (1 3 5) and seventh chords have four (1 3 5 7). I don't know about altered chords much, but I assume that you basically "alter" these triads and seventh chords by raising/lowering strategic notes in the chord.

To determine what chord progressions are in what mode, you need to know the characteristic note of the mode. First it is helpful to separate the modes into Major and Minor families, and distinguish minor modes from the minor scale and major modes from the major scale (am I right in that assumption?) Since D Dorian's characteristic note is the VI, which is sharp compared to D minor, our Dorian cadence should have chords that contain that VI note ( B ). You can build three chords out of this note, with B in the root position (Bdim or Bmin7b5), B in the third position (Gmaj, G7) and B in the 5th position, which is Em or Em7. Since Bdim is so similar to Dmin, we don't use it as it can confuse us (right?). In addition to using these characteristic modal chords, we should obviously include the tonic (Dmin or variation of it) in the progression.

If I got all that right, how do we go about practicing this effectively to get it to be instinctual? And if I got it wrong, point me in the right direction smile.gif


Fantastic work JVM!

I will correct you on couple of things but you pretty much nailed it man really great work. Lets look at this first : "We build chords by stacking thirds onto the notes of a scale. Triads have three stacked thirds (1 3 5) and seventh chords have four (1 3 5 7). I don't know about altered chords much, but I assume that you basically "alter" these triads and seventh chords by raising/lowering strategic notes in the chord."
We build chords by stacking diatonic 3rds or by using diatonic 3rds. This is the reason why that type of harmony is called Tertian harmony just like we have Quartal harmony (when we use 4ths!). Your observation is somewhat correct. We stack 2 not 3 thirds for triad ( 1 to 3 is one third and 3 to 5 is another so total of two thirds) and for 4 part chords we stack 3 thirds. When we talk about altered chords we pretty much refer to dominant type chords that have altered (changed) tensions. So lets say we have G7 chord that comes from C major scale originally (5th scale degree dominant 7th chord in major scale always). Now, natural tensions on G7 chord are 9 which is A note, 11 which is avoid note because it clashes with major 3rd B and the 11th is C which produces minor 9th interval which sounds very unpleasant, and finally 13 which is E note. So G791113 would be following notes G B D F A C E ! C being the avoid note for reasons I explained earlier. So we are left with G7913. Now we can just write G7 and then in parenthesis put chord tension something like this G7 (9) or G7 (13) or on the other hand we could just write G9 which would imply that we have G7 originally and that 9 is used same goes for G13 (G7 is there 13 is added to it). Altered tensions are everything but natural tensions! This means that our G7 can now have b9 which is Ab or #9 which is A# or #11 (C#) or b5 (Db) or b13 (Eb) or augmented 5th or #5 (D#). So thanks to altered dominant area we now get the freedom to do a lot of cool things and harmonize, reharmonize melodies with those great tensions. As rhythm accompanist we can now influence the mood of the song with the tension choices and variations we use. I will stop here with this as it will lead into hours of typing but we will get to that when time is right, lets move onto your final question now!

If I got all that right, how do we go about practicing this effectively to get it to be instinctual? And if I got it wrong, point me in the right direction smile.gif
You are on the right way! First you have to know this, review it over and over in your hand. You must know this by memory all these rules, it needs to be automatic, just like you know music alphabet has A B C D E F G or chromatic scale has 12 different notes and 13th that repeats the same as 1st, you must know structure of scales/modes, harmony in any given scale/mode, understand strong and weak chords, cadences and learn how this applies in real music. Final step is to apply this in your own writing and this is exactly what we will do!
Since you covered Dorian now, I will give you assignment to be creative with this information now. So you will need to based on everything you learn, create a backing track in Dorian mode (we can choose a root) and tempo of your choice. Once you get the backing down and you did your work with it, your next assignment will be to solo and record your work over it (by being free with it and by using restrictions in soloing). Again, this is something that awaits you in your following 2 assignments, I hope you are excited as I am about it - can't wait to see how you will do practically on all this!

Finally, your next assignment will be in this thread soon. If I don't manage to post it tomorrow please don't mind me, I will do it on Friday 100% ! I will be playing over and over these new classical pieces I have been working for tonight's performance so you will understand if I am not able to do it tomorrow. smile.gif


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JVM
post Dec 10 2009, 03:16 AM
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Great! I just as excited as you I think smile.gif I will keep reading and reviewing this info until I can tell it to you in my sleep. I have recorded a series of cadences in each mode for C and have done a little bit of playing over them. I can't decide which ones I like the most wink.gif And understood about your classical pieces - I'm going through finals at school right now so we're in the same situation.

This post has been edited by JVM: Dec 10 2009, 03:17 AM


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JVM
post Dec 11 2009, 06:24 PM
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Pedja,

I was looking at this thread and specifically post # 15 by Mr. T, where he asks if we have a Am, Dm, C chord progression going, and we play Cmajor/Aminor scale on top of it, what will it sound like? I tried to explain it to myself, but I came out a little confused. It's kind of backwards to the way I just learned. Am I right in thinking that Am is tonic, Dm is sub-dominant and C is (weak) tonic in this case? The progression lends a very minor sound to my lead playing when I play Cmajor/Aminor on it. So is this an aeolian cadence?

Anyways, I know you're busy, but when you get a chance can you maybe look over the post and provide an explanation, either here or in the thread? Thanks biggrin.gif


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Pedja Simovic
post Dec 12 2009, 04:00 PM
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JVM, here we go with your 2nd assignment for December!


Dorian backing track and cadence

- Create a backing track using Dorian cadence for chord progression.
- Key and tempo of your choice.
- Backing track must contain at least bass and drums!
- Minimum of 16 bars is acceptable for this assignment.
- If you have completed assignment before deadline, upload it here for me to approve it. If I do so you can start working on soloing over it!

Deadline for your 2nd assignment is 18th of December!

Let me know if you got any questions JVM.

Pedja

P.S. I will respond in the thread regarding your question so that others can benefit from it as well smile.gif


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JVM
post Dec 12 2009, 09:25 PM
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Do you have any suggestions on how to record bass well? I don't have a bass, but I have an electro harmonix POG which can drop my guitar's output an octave. I have heard about some bass VSTs and such, but I don't know how to use them or which ones etc.


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Pedja Simovic
post Dec 12 2009, 10:19 PM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Dec 12 2009, 09:25 PM) *
Do you have any suggestions on how to record bass well? I don't have a bass, but I have an electro harmonix POG which can drop my guitar's output an octave. I have heard about some bass VSTs and such, but I don't know how to use them or which ones etc.


Sure thing JVM. If you are using Nuendo or Cubase, you will find under VST instruments bass something like vb-7. What you basically can do is type the bass line in Guitar pro, export it as Midi, import it into Nuendo/Cubase/Any other digital audio workstation software, assign bass virtual instrument (VST) and it will play back for you what you composed.
Which DAW (digital audio workstation) are you using currently ?


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JVM
post Dec 12 2009, 10:55 PM
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I use reaper. I don't have guitar pro, and I got tuxguitar one time but it didn't work well so I uninstalled it. But I can try again.


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Pedja Simovic
post Dec 13 2009, 12:00 AM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Dec 12 2009, 10:55 PM) *
I use reaper. I don't have guitar pro, and I got tuxguitar one time but it didn't work well so I uninstalled it. But I can try again.


I don't use Reaper but I am sure there is free Bass VST in there as well just like in Cubase and Nuendo. Also within Reaper look for something like Midi Editor. You will be able to type in notes on a piano clef and choose rhythm values on top (thats the way it works in Nuendo). By using tuxguitar or Guitarpro, you are actually going around while you can do all the things in Reaper. I just like doing things in Guitarpro because when I transcribe things for my lessons I provide students with bass part also along with guitar part so its just a habit for me plus I like the way Guitarpro platform looks for transcribing smile.gif


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JVM
post Dec 13 2009, 05:12 PM
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Cool. I have been playing around a bit with the midi editor in Reaper. It's going to take some getting used to but the assignment should be no problem smile.gif


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Pedja Simovic
post Dec 14 2009, 05:49 PM
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Great JVM. Look for some instructional videos on Youtube regarding Reaper or simply ask members here at GMC - a lot of them use Reaper!


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JVM
post Dec 17 2009, 07:21 PM
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Hi Pedja,

Since I've been busy all week (school is finally over), but I still wanted to get the assignment in on time, I've kept the key to C, so D dorian. The bassline is a bit crude I think, but it will work I guess. More practice needed there, but it's a lot of fun to be able to create "full" backings now, so it will be fun practice smile.gif Here is the backing I've come up with, let me know what you think:

Attached File  dorian.mp3 ( 2.19MB ) Number of downloads: 114


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JVM
post Dec 18 2009, 03:10 AM
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I just noticed I'm a little bit out of tune. I will re-record the rhythm guitar (and probably make some changes to the bassline too) when I do the solo, if everything checks out of course.


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