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Any Theory Buffs Want To Crack This Progression???????????????

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Jay Terrien, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. I am in the process of writing some chord charts out for a new composition.

    My 6 string fretless bass is tuned (low to high) DADADE. The piece is primarily in D minor and it has fits of angry 15/8 to 7/8 to a comfy 16/8 at the end.

    Technique-wise, I am tapping an open string harmonics triplestop chord at the 12th fret with my right hand (on the top 3-4 strings) while my left hand is comping the basic bass line on the bottom 2 strings around the 8th fret. Tab-wise, the 4 note bass line would be ascending 8-9 fret on the A string and 7-8 fret on the D string, with the four bass notes being F G A Bb.

    The particular chord progression in question is as follows, with the initial low note being the bass note and the next 3 notes are all tapped harmonics (kind of like a pedal tone droning sustained chord, which in this case, is syncopated) at the 12th fret. As the lowest bass note moves, I change the chordal tension by dropping down a 4th to the next set of harmonics. So below, I have listed the 4 chords with their notes and underneath that, I have notated what I think the correct spelling of these chords might be:

    FM6 (add 7)

    G sus2 (add 13)


    BbM7(add 10)

    So, if you were thinking from strict piano theory, how would YOU spell out/notate these chords, and would that change if you were labeling them from a GUITAR/BASS perspective????????

    Ah, the joys of notating alternate tunings!! BLAH!! I just want to make sure that other players can play this stuff! ;)
  2. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    3 questions.

    M = Major?

    What is AM4?

    BbM7(add10) - why would you add a 10th when you already have a Major 3rd?
  3. Sweet, some hope finally!

    1.) M = Major

    2.) AM4= A Major 4 (Well, it's a major chord but it doesn't have the normal 3rd, 5th, notes, it just has a root and a 4th. )

    3.) BbM7 (add10)= The normal spelling of a chord of this quality consists of Bb,D,F,A. But my chord doesn't have the 5th, it's notes are Bb, D, A, D. The top A makes it a Major 7th, but then what do I do with the added D on top.

    Would you simply consider this a simple BbM7 and just ignore the upper voice quality of the 10th? ;)

    If I was spelling these chords out for a piano player, and I just wanted to write out the 4 notes, stacked as they are on two staves, what would you call that chord?

  4. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    I would leave it as Bbmaj7.

    I would write AM4 as - Asus or Asus4

    And I would write Gsus2 (add13) as - G6 sus2
  5. Yes, you never add a 10th in that situation, it's always considered a duplication of the 3rd.

    You could call your 2nd chord G69(no 3).

    You could call your 3rd chord Asus4(no 5).
  6. Sweet, this will make my charts read much better.

    I want all my chords to read as "G69".


  7. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Since you have no 5th on that chord, I'd write D/A rather than Asus4...
  8. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    An alternative look at the chords. To me is seems like an almost static harmonic change with a downward bass line.






    Write it out. See how your keyboard player responds (how he/she reads it) and make any adjustments that you need to.
  9. But most people seeing that would probably want to stick an F# in there, and Jat doesn't have one. SO maybe D(no 3)/A?

    Po-tay-to, po-tah-toe.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Isn't it easier to just say it's not a chord!! ;)
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I am tempted to quote Mingus :

    "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."
  12. Not if you're charting it out and want to tell somebody else what to play. He's not doing this as an academic exercise, he's trying to find the most efficient and clear way of communicating what he wants to other musicians.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Isn't that what standard notation is for? ;)

    From the evdience of the thread, it sounds like it's not the kind of thing that suits a chord chart and it's going to lose something by being squeezed into this format - I see no chord symbols on my score of "The Rite of Spring"....:eyebrow:
  14. No, not necessarily. Haven't you ever gotten a chart that was just chord symbols? I get them all the time.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I've got hundreds and hundreds of them - but there are many where there are written lines as well - it can't always be covered just by chord symbols, is all I'm saying!! :)
  16. God, you have no idea how many times I have tried this: "It's not a 'real" chord (IT'S NOT A TUMOR!)! :)

    I'll probably just notate the piece (a frickin' nightmare), but for now, I'll just writing it out in Finale as a basic chart with "fretboard" diagrams that depict the quality/fingering of the chord.

    What I really want to do is get down a basic chart notation methodology that a KEYBOARD player OR a GUITAR/BASS player can digest without too many issues. But as you can see, there are some subtle differences between what a jazz, classical, and even a straight up "whiskey rocker" would want to see/can handle when it is stuck in front of them to "read". :)


    Bass Chuck, compositionally-speaking, it is a "static harmonic change with a downward bass line" and other keyboard players have mentioned the same "/ chord OVER chord" notation as you suggested:





    Is it me or does Finale BLOW? It just doesn't seem to be as intuitive as it should be. Then again, keyboard players have a distinct advantage here, when it comes to the hyperscribe keyboard entry.

  17. Bruce, now that you've contributed to this thread, I trust that you can provide me with TWO World Cup tix for England V Paraguay on June 10th in Frankfurt!?? LOL!

  18. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY


    D5 (simple D power chord)

    Bbmaj7 (no need to specify 10th)
  19. I know very little about theory, but I'd love to hear this song when it's finished, if you could post a recording of it that is:D?
    Judging from the technique you described, the time changes, and the chords (I'm not totally clueless), it sounds like it should be pretty sweet when it's done.
  20. Go listen to "Judging By The Size Of Carnie" on my MySpace page. The tune, called "CRUSHAGE", is shaping up to be along those lines.


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