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Anybody else struggle with theory? Anyone NOT struggle? Anyone wanna help this guy?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. About 45 at a time is about the best I could ever do...….
    Wasnex likes this.
  2. I learn those modulation exceptions. I give em names from the songs they appear in.

    Night and Day
    Groovin High
    All of Me
    The Letter
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  3. John j

    John j

    Dec 20, 2018
    Start with some easy songs.
    Don't know what your preference is, but
    Rock from the 80's, like Billy Idol, is basically root notes.
    Or classic country, which uses root
    Geezer Butler started as a guitarist, so you may like some Black Sabbath songs like the bluesy Warning from the
    first album, or War Pigs from Paranoid.
    Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers would also be a good starter.
    Far as your bass choice, take a tuner with you to Guitar Center, pick something out, tune it up, and have fun.
  4. Jam sessions are a good way to test and improve your ear.

    I can fumble through most stuff, although "Carry on Wayward Son" was not pretty.
  5. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002

    Jam sessions are critical IMO. unfortunately these days I am finding fewer and fewer people who want to just get together and jam...What I mean by that is getting together with folks and exchanging and building on musical ideas. These days what I usually get are gigs with no rehearsals where I feel like I am hanging on by the seat of my pants (not into that), or "jam sessions" that consist of running through songs everyone already knows.
  6. Go to different jams with a different crowd and they will have different songs.

    I keep a wall of shame on my text messages of songs that bit me the first time they got called, like

    World Go Round in Circles
    I wish
    What a beautiful world
    Thats life
    Carry On Wayward Son
    Just a Gigolo
    Dont forget
    Obscure Tom Petty Songs
    Long Tall Woman
    Run to you
    Take 5
    How deep is your live
    Now is the time of our life dirty dancin
    Wasnex likes this.
  7. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    I think we got slightly "out-jammed" by the "ear-improving" specialists in our "theory-is-hard" thread.

    Here is what I'd expect from a Music Theory class/course or lessons, etc...

    Let's say, somehow I was able to "discover" the following chord progression:

    (Where the Underscore symbol _ is equals to one beat/quarter note.)

    It's in C.

    Cmaj7_ _ _ | F#dim(7)_ / B7_ | Emin7_ _ _ | Emin7 _ / Ebmin7_ | Dmin7_ _ _ | Bb7 _ / C7 _ | F(9) _ _ _ , etc...

    My first question would be about that notating of F#dim7.
    Why don't we call it - Gbdim7?
    The theory lesson/s should be able to answer my question.

    My next question is about the "appearance" of F#dim7 and B7 in C major.
    (The "only Roots" bass player do not need to worry about my question.)

    What notes other than the chord notes would be appropriate to include with those two chords?
  8. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    You sure?

    All of it?
    Whousedtoplay likes this.
  9. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    IHMO F#dim7 is (ii) in E min, and I would interpret F#dim7/ B7 / Emin7 as (ii)/ (V)/(i).

    B7 would have D# and F# with all other possible notes natural (most likely, although the melody might suggest something else).

    The F#dim7 has F# and D# spelled as Eb. I believe this makes it an altered chord (Ultralocrian mode) that we expect to see as a #vii in harmonic or jazz minor.

    In this instance I would still call it (ii) in E minor....however F#dim7 in this instance is really just a sub for B7b9. IMHO, you could easily play B7b9 over the entire bar.
    Whousedtoplay and Mushroo like this.
  10. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    This is the correct answer, of course. :)

    I'd also add, I don't like seeing Gbdim in the key of C Major, because it requires Dbb (D double flat). F#dim has the more sensible C natural (which fits the key signature). But this is me expressing a preference, not a "music theory rule."
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
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  11. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Maybe you should add Friday Night at the Cadillac Club to the list. I used to have it memorized, but played it entirely by ear. Thirty-something, living in, and touring around Europe...those were the glory days, and I had no idea how good I had it at the time.

  12. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    P.S. I could not end that "no-music-value" just a harmonic tongue-twister with 12 measures; therefore, with a button on GP, I've added four more bars in order to acquire 16 measures. :hyper:
    This time, my aging ears forced me to end on some kind of strange chord - C#m9/E (???).

    Also, I could not figure out how to add more complex chords on Guitar Pro without a keyboard, just with a button.
    I find/enter a chord on Guitar Pro that are for the guitar player; therefore, those notes do NOT look correct/proper/nice on the piano. Those chord voicings are TAB for the guitar.
    Those chord voicings look terrible as the piano chords - no need to call piano players.
    Once again, I name a chord (but not too dificult), push a button on GP, and get some sonic notation of my chord.


    A soundclip from GP.

    And back to my pop songs.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  13. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    This morning, I've slowed down that harmonic tongue-twister to 94BPM, changed the drum rhythmic pattern, added lots of "reverb", chorus, and decided to call it "Learning Theory is Hard".
    It's amazing how much help an amateur (me - wutp) could get even from a simple Musical App.

    But, of course, there is NO bass line. :rollno: :thumbsdown:
    I'm still searching for bass notes.:(


    I'll clean up my mess soon.

    Attached Files:

  14. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    IMHO this tempo and beat works better with the progression. Not sure what you mean by 'no bass line,' as you have written out a bassline (IMHO).

    IMHO there are a couple of places where the bass could play alternate chord notes that work well, rather than just sticking to the roots and inversions you have chosen. Essentially the bass would simply parallel one of the (actual or implied) inner voices where there is strong movement. For example in bars 2 and 3, the bass could descend E, D, C, B.

    Although I won't get too far into it...many of the chords you have written are subs for other chords. It's a bit hard to see through the chaff when alterations and upper extensions are used to conceal the actual progression. For example the B at the end of my suggested bass line in bars 2 and 3 works because D#m7(#5) could be viewed as a sub for B9 which leads to Em7 in the following bar. Therefore, F#7-5/ D#m7(#5) / Em7 is actually ii/V/i with a bit of camouflage on the V chord.

    Here's how I get from D#m7(#5) to B9. D#m7(#5) includes D#F#A##C#. A## is B. Invert the tones and add the implied A natural and you have B9: BD#F#AC# If you don't want to use the A, I believe you could just call it Badd9.

    Hopefully I did that right :nailbiting:...IMHO dealing with this level of complexity is difficult for me and way over the top for anyone struggling with basic theory :whistle:.
    Whousedtoplay likes this.
  15. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    And besides, you want that root motion up a perfect fourth from the F#dim7 to the B7 to actually look like a perfect fourth, rather than some awkwardly permutated third.
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  16. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    Thank you for your interesting comment on my “tongue-twister” chord progression. I did not expect too much of analysis of it. It was more like, “what if we add this/that chord”, and “what notes I would/could use as a bass player, and/or as a "soloing"(used very loosely) musician.

    You have correctly identified that temp tonicization with F#dim, B7, etc...
    And that was one of the answers that any musician learning theory/harmony should acquire.
    Another thing is about the proper chord notation, and so on.

    I always like to see/play chords on the keyboard, hear those tiny nuances of the chords' voicings, etc...
    Guitar Pro app is capable of aurally producing chords - and it's good when you are outside with an iphone pushing buttons - but it’s impossible to create harmonically-proper chord voicings.
    (For me, it's the nuances that counts.)
    I enter the guitar chords on GP but I like the sound of piano; therefore, that standard (piano) notation looks less than attractive and totally disjointed.
    Also, there were some difficulties for me to enter more complex/jazzier chords on GP.
    (I know it's just me.)

    When I concocted four measures as a simple theory question about some notes, I decided to infuse some "tonic confusion" for the sake of exercise ONLY, and later added four more measures, plus, four more, etc...
    The idea of that chordified tongue-twister was to ask questions, "what if..."
    About that bass line (non-existing).
    Without proper voice leading/chord voicing, that one note (marked/played with the left hand) was more like some harmonic attachment/glue.
    The piano chord voicings don't work that way, but...
    As I've repeated, that exercise does not have any musical value - it's for critique reasons from a theory point of view.

    P.S. I've noted your excellent theoretical background. I always value your comments.
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  17. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    I think any theory lessons should clearly define it, explain it.
    We don't have too many exceptions; therefore, by learning one exception at a time, we can (slowly but steadily) lay a solid foundation of Music Theory.
  18. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Agreed, and basically another way of saying that F# (not Gb) is the ii of E minor.
    Bob_Ross likes this.
  19. Foundations are built upon consistency then garnished or decorated with exceptions. You don’t build a foundation of any kind on exceptions. Emphasizing exceptions before you are grounded on the fundamentals will stymie your learning of music theory because there will be gaps that can be bridged only with the knowledge you’re missing.
    (An odd analogy just hit me: with an understanding of theory you get a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. and without it you get Jar Jar Binks. Maybe not that extreme but ...)

    When exceptions are the focus the result tends toward dadaism. Not a common goal but worthy as long as it suits you and you do it well.
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  20. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    I think we both missed or misunderstood something.
    If you feel that I promote "exceptions" - my answer NO, NO, and NO, but...
    I will not spend any minutes of my life trying to argue about someone's misinterpreted perception of my "right-in-front-of-you" comment with specific notation.

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