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> Theory Quick Tips, Bite Size Theory Morsels to Quench Your Mental Appetite!
The Professor
post Jan 27 2013, 12:33 AM
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In this thread I'll be posting quick tips to build your theory chops and fill the gaps with regards to chords, scales, harmony melody and all the other building blocks of music theoretical goodness.

Here's the first Theory Quick Tip


Each note in the major scale has a triad and a 4-note chord associated with it.

So, since you have 7 notes in any major scale, you have 7 triads and 7 four-note chords that fit into that scale.


The order for these chords is:

Triads - Maj-min-min-Maj-Maj-min-dim

Four-Note chords - Maj7 - m7 - m7 - Maj7 - 7 - m7 - m7b5


Knowing these triads and chords will not only give you more fuel for your next original song, but it will help you recognize groups of chords in a key when analyzing songs, especially for building soloing strategies over tough progressions.


*Assignment*


To better your ability to recognize chords in a key, write out the triads and four-note chords for each major scale, all 12 keys.

I will get you started with the key of C and you take it from here.

If you want to post your work for me to check go for it. I'll look it over and let you know if you're on the right path.


Triad in C - C Dm Em F G Am Bdim C

Four-Note Chords in C - Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5 Cmaj7


Now your turn smile.gif


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casinostrat
post Jan 27 2013, 02:17 AM
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QUOTE (The Professor @ Jan 26 2013, 11:33 PM) *
Triads - Maj-min-min-Maj-Maj-min-dim

Four-Note chords - Maj7 - m7 - m7 - Maj7 - 7 - m7 - m7b5


Knowing these triads and chords will not only give you more fuel for your next original song, but it will help you recognize groups of chords in a key when analyzing songs, especially for building soloing strategies over tough progressions.

Just a quick question about this, I notice that for the four note chords you charted out the 5th has just a 7, rather than a Maj., Min., or Min7 b5. Does this have to do with the fifth being dominant?


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sammetal92
post Jan 27 2013, 05:56 AM
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Key of A
Triads - A Bm Cm D E Fm Gdim A
4-note chords - Amaj7 Bm7 Cm7 Dmaj7 E7 Gm7b5 Amaj7

Key of B
Triads - B Cm Dm E F Gm Adim B
4-note chords - Bmaj7 Cm7 Dm7 Emaj7 F7 Gm7 Am7b5 Bmaj7

Its like that, right Proffesor? biggrin.gif

Also, the fifth having just a 7 is confusing me as well.


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klasaine
post Jan 27 2013, 07:55 AM
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Close.
Before we worry about triads v. 7th chords it might be good to go over major scale construction.

In A - A Bm C#m D E F#m G#º (or m7b5 for the 7th chord)

In B - B C#m D#m E F# G#m A#º (or m7b5)

*Sharps and flats are very important.

Major scale intervals are ... Whole:Whole:Half:Whole:Whole:Whole:Half

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jan 27 2013, 07:57 AM


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sammetal92
post Jan 27 2013, 07:59 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 27 2013, 06:55 AM) *
Close.
Before we worry about triads v. 7th chords it might be good to go over major scale construction.

In A - A Bm C#m D E F#m G#º (or m7b5 for the 7th chord)

In B - B C#m D#m E F# G#m A#º (or m7b5)

*Sharps and flats are very important.

Major scale intervals are ... Whole:Whole:Half:Whole:Whole:Whole:Half


Oh right, I forgot about the sharps and flats, I've always had a problem with them whenever I write out a scale or chord on a staff :/


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The Professor
post Jan 27 2013, 09:27 AM
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QUOTE (casinostrat @ Jan 27 2013, 01:17 AM) *
Just a quick question about this, I notice that for the four note chords you charted out the 5th has just a 7, rather than a Maj., Min., or Min7 b5. Does this have to do with the fifth being dominant?



That's correct. The 5th chord in a major key is a Dominant 7th chord when you have a four-note chord.

So, if you are in the key of C major, the fifth note is G.

If you build a chord from that note you get G B D F

Or the intervals Root - 3rd- 5th - b7th. Making it a G7 chord.


As a quick rule to live by, the 5th chord in any major key is a 7th chord when you build a four-note voicing.

QUOTE (sammetal92 @ Jan 27 2013, 04:56 AM) *
Key of A
Triads - A Bm Cm D E Fm Gdim A
4-note chords - Amaj7 Bm7 Cm7 Dmaj7 E7 Gm7b5 Amaj7

Key of B
Triads - B Cm Dm E F Gm Adim B
4-note chords - Bmaj7 Cm7 Dm7 Emaj7 F7 Gm7 Am7b5 Bmaj7

Its like that, right Proffesor? biggrin.gif

Also, the fifth having just a 7 is confusing me as well.


You are close. You got the order of the chords right, but not the names of the notes in the keys right.

As was said in another post, to build a major scale you use the intervals:

Whole Step - Whole Step - Half Step - Whole Step - Whole Step - Whole Step - Half Step


So, if you are at a point where you need to review or work on the notes in a major scale in any key, instead of writing out the chords in different keys, try writing out just the notes to begin with and posting those instead. The I can check to make sure you are on the right path, and once you've got the interval structure down for major scales, then you can just add the chord types inot your scale notes from there.

QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 27 2013, 06:55 AM) *
Close.
Before we worry about triads v. 7th chords it might be good to go over major scale construction.

In A - A Bm C#m D E F#m G#º (or m7b5 for the 7th chord)

In B - B C#m D#m E F# G#m A#º (or m7b5)

*Sharps and flats are very important.

Major scale intervals are ... Whole:Whole:Half:Whole:Whole:Whole:Half



Yes, for those that are still working on building major scales, writing out the notes of the scale before moving on to the chords is a good place to start.


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The Professor
post Jan 27 2013, 12:28 PM
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I posted a short primer on building major scales or identifying major key signatures for those that are looking to explore that topic further.


You can find it here.



https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=47641


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sammetal92
post Jan 27 2013, 12:30 PM
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Well,if I use the circle of fifths in a matrix form, I have no problem sorting out the sharps. Like this (this is just how I learned it):

C D E F G A B C
G A B C D E F G
D E F G A B C D
A B C D E F G A
E F G A B C D E
B C D E F G A B
F G A B C D E F

Then I turn the 7th notes of each key into a sharp. And That particular note gets turned into a sharp into all the keys below the key I'm on:

C D E F G A B C
G A B C D E F# G
D E F# G A B C# D
A B C# D E F# G# A
E F# G# A B C# D# E
B C# D# E F# G# A# B
F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#

That's a shortcut I was taught smile.gif This is can also be done with circle of fourths. So I don't need to think how many semitones are there between two notes, but I guess that produced a weakness :/


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The Professor
post Jan 27 2013, 12:32 PM
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QUOTE (sammetal92 @ Jan 27 2013, 11:30 AM) *
Well,if I use the circle of fifths in a matrix form, I have no problem sorting out the sharps. Like this (this is just how I learned it):

C D E F G A B C
G A B C D E F G
D E F G A B C D
A B C D E F G A
E F G A B C D E
B C D E F G A B
F G A B C D E F

Then I turn the 7th notes of each key into a sharp. And That particular note gets turned into a sharp into all the keys below the key I'm on:

C D E F G A B C
G A B C D E F# G
D E F# G A B C# D
A B C# D E F# G# A
E F# G# A B C# D# E
B C# D# E F# G# A# B
F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#

That's a shortcut I was taught smile.gif This is can also be done with circle of fourths. So I don't need to think how many semitones are there between two notes, but I guess that produced a weakness :/


yep, that is a great way to think about it for the sharp keys. I just talked about this in the link above as well.

If you do this for sharp keys, what is your approach for naming the notes in keys that have flats?


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sammetal92
post Jan 27 2013, 12:37 PM
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I'll check the link out, I attended a music theory workshop where I learned the basics smile.gif that's where I got that from.

They talked about the flats in the next class because they ran out of time in the first one, but I couldn't make it to class that day as I got sick, so I have no clue on how to figure out flats :/

This post has been edited by sammetal92: Jan 27 2013, 12:37 PM


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The Professor
post Jan 27 2013, 12:40 PM
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QUOTE (sammetal92 @ Jan 27 2013, 11:37 AM) *
I'll check the link out, I attended a music theory workshop where I learned the basics smile.gif that's where I got that from.

They talked about the flats in the next class because they ran out of time in the first one, but I couldn't make it to class that day as I got sick, so I have no clue on how to figure out flats :/



Ah! Tough luck on the flats. Yeah, just check out the link as it should fill in the gaps you may have in working out flat keys on paper and/or on the neck.


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sammetal92
post Jan 27 2013, 12:42 PM
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QUOTE (The Professor @ Jan 27 2013, 11:40 AM) *
Ah! Tough luck on the flats. Yeah, just check out the link as it should fill in the gaps you may have in working out flat keys on paper and/or on the neck.


Doing it now sir! smile.gif


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The Professor
post Jan 27 2013, 12:47 PM
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QUOTE (sammetal92 @ Jan 27 2013, 11:42 AM) *
Doing it now sir! smile.gif


smile.gif


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The Professor
post Jan 28 2013, 06:21 PM
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As we got into chords and scales on the previous quick tip, let's take a look at triads and how the 4 main triads are built.

There are 4 main triads in modern music, some would argue that any 3-note chord could be called a triad, but here are the main ones.

Major - R 3 5

Augmented - R 3 #5 (Major Triad with #5)

Minor - R b3 5 (Major Triad with b3)

Diminished - R b3 b5 (Major Triad with b3 and b5)


When written from the note C, these notes would be

C E G - C Major

C E G# - C Augmented (Major Triad with a raised 5th)

C Eb G - C Minor (Major Triad with a flat 3)

C Eb Gb - C Diminished (Major triad with a flat 3 and flat 5)


So, if you know the major triad for the note you are on, you can then work out the other three variations as they can be seen as alterations of the major triad.

Here is an assignment for all those looking to solidify your triad knowledge. I will write out the notes for all the major triads, then you can take those and write out the related min, dim and augmented triads.

If you want to post your results go for it and I'll review them to make sure you are on the right path.

Here are the different major triads, and I've done all four in C for you, the first note of each is the root. Then you take it from here!


C E G - C E G# - C Eb G - C Eb Gb
C# E# G#
D F# A
Eb G Bb
E G# B
F A C
F# A# C#
G B D
Ab C Eb
A C# E
Bb D F
B D# F#
C E G

Alright, grab a pen and paper and see if you can write out the other three triads, minor, diminished and augmented for each of these major triads.


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The Professor
post Feb 13 2013, 07:43 PM
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It's time for a new Theory Quick Tip!

In today's quick tip, we'll be looking at an easy and quick way that you can remember the order of sharps and flats when it comes time to applying them to key signatures.

Let's start with sharps. The order for sharps when using key signatures is:

F# C# G# D# A# E# B#

So, to help remember this, you can use a sentence where each word starts with those letters. Here's the one I was taught as a kid:

Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle

So, if you know that the key of E has 4 sharps, and you want to figure out which ones those are, you can just say the sentence up to the fourth word, so you would get.

F# C# G# D#

The four sharps in the key of E Major.

To memorize the order of flats in any key signature, you just say the sentence backwards, as the order is:

Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb Fb

Or, as a sentence that would be:

Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father

Kind of a neat and easy way to remember the order of sharps and flats.

What do you think of this quick tip? Have any questions? Share your thoughts below.


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The Professor
post Feb 21 2013, 09:33 AM
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This week I had a few emails about what chords do you solo over for each mode, so I decided to post a little quick tip lesson to help anyone out that is struggling with the same questions.

Here are the major modes, and the triad and 4-note chord that you can use for each one. So, for example, if you see a Cmaj7#11 chord, then you could use Lydian so solo over that chord change. OR, if you see C and want to produce a Lydian sound, you could use that mode to produce the #11 chord in that instance. There are two sides to approaching these sounds in your solos.

Major Modes and Chords

Ionian - Major Triad and Maj7

Dorian - Minor Triad and m7/m6

Phrygian - Minor Triad and m7/m7(b9)

Lydian - Major Triad and maj7/maj7#11

Mixolydian - Major Triad and 7th chords

Aeolian - Minor Triads and m7/m7(b6)

Locrian - Diminished Triads and m7b5


Hope that little list is helpful. If you have any questions about this or anything else, feel free to post below or PM me and I'll answer it right away.


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The Professor
post Feb 24 2013, 10:25 PM
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In today's Theory Quick Tip, we'll be building on the last post regarding which chords can you solo over using different modes, although this time we'll be looking at the different modes of the Melodic Minor scale.

Here is a quick reference list that you can use to determine which chord lines up with which mode of the Melodic Minor Scale.

Mode 1 - mMaj7 chord and minor triad

Mode 2 - 13sus4(b9) chord and minor triad

Mode 3 - Maj7#11 chord and augmented triad

Mode 4 - 7#11 chord and major triad

Mode 5 - 7b13 chord and major triad

Mode 6 - m7b5 chord and dim triad

Mode 7 - 7alt chord and dim triad


Check it out and feel free to bookmark this and use it as a quick reference as you explore these modes/chords further in your practice routine.


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The Professor
post Feb 27 2013, 09:49 AM
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Had a few questions about how to use Diminished Scales when soloing recently, so thought I would post a Theory Quick Tip to help clear things up for anyone that exploring the Dim sound in your soloing ideas.


There are two Diminished scales, one that alternated Whole and Half-Steps, which is called the Whole Half Diminished Scale, and one that alternates Half and Whole Steps, which is called the Half Whole Diminished Scale.

The Whole Half Diminished Scale can be used to solo over Dim, Dim7 and DimMaj7 chords, so basically if you have a Diminished chord of some kind, your go to scale is the Whole Half Diminished.

Here's an example fingering for this scale in case you want to check it out further.


Attached Image


If you have a 7, 7b9 or 13b9 chord, then you can use the Half Whole Diminished Scale as it brings a dominant 7 chord sound with a b9 to the mix.

Again, here are a few fingerings to help you get started on the Half Whole Diminished Scale.


Attached Image


Both scales are worth checking out in the practice room, getting them into your ears and under your fingers, just make sure that you go to the right scale when soloing to avoid any odd looks from the band/audience if you grab the wrong one.


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