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Chord's

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by DevinI, Apr 24, 2004.


  1. DevinI

    DevinI

    Apr 1, 2004
    i dont understand what the ii-iv-ii stuff means i see it around but i dont know what it is? its a chord progression right? but i dont know what that means can you help?
     
  2. Hello Devin,

    It's called a "turnaround" which is based on the harmonised (chord) version of a scale. The ii - V - I is a very common turnaround. It's full sequence really is vi - ii - V - I. The Roman numerals represent the scale degree of the chord. If they're in capital (ie "I"), it means that it's a major chord, but if they're in lower case (ie "i"), it means that it's a minor chord.

    As for the harmonised scale, here's one for C major:

    C - I, Dm - ii, Em - iii, F - IV, G - V, Am - vi, B half dim - vii.

    Now match the roman numerals of the sequence with the corresponding chords:

    vi - ii - V - I becomes Am - Dm - G - C ;)

    It's strong because of the constant movement of fifths (aka the cycle of fifths). That means that the previous chord goes to another chord a fifth below (or a fourth above) it.
     
  3. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Guitarrista,
    I think that Devin is looking for a more basic answer -

    Devin,

    Often times, the harmony (chords preogresion) is notated with Roman Numerals rather than the actual chord names. Each Roman Numeral responds to a chord built on that degree of the scale. A chord built on the 1st degree (the root) is "I", a chord built on the 2nd is "II", etc.

    This is a nice way to look at things because you can talk about harmony, transpose tunes, etc easily, you can see the way each song is similar and different.

    Guitarrista's harmonized sclae is a great example, except for the fact that it is not really a circle of fifths. For it to be a circle of fifths, each chord would have to be a dominant chord.

    The I chord is a Major/major 7th chord
    The II chord is a Minor/Minor 7th chord
    The III chord is a Minor/Minor 7th chord
    The IV chord is a Major/major 7th chord
    The V chord is a Major/dominant 7th chord
    The VI chord is a Minor/Minor 7th chord
    The VII chord is a diminshed/diminshed 7th chord

    The reason for this is that each chord is built on thirds, starting from the root and using ONLY the notes of the particular scale.

    Hope this helps

    Mike
     
  4. DevinI

    DevinI

    Apr 1, 2004
    ok ive been reading up on this stuff, i understand them now, but now im on to somethin new, im having trouble when to put modes to work, how do i know when to use modes?
     
  5. You mean:
    "The V chord is a Major/minor (or dominant) 7th chord"
    presumably...?
     
  6. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"

    NO!
    The V chord is a major triad and a dominant 7th. The V chord is NOT a minor chord. Even in minor keys, where the V would naturally be minor, the 7th degree of the scale (the 3rd of the V chord) is raised to create the harmonic tension of the dominant chord, hence the harmonic minor scale.

    Mike
     
  7. Ummm.... maybe I'm misunderstanding your terminology....
    My understanding was that 7th chords are formally named after the base triad (e.g. major, minor or diminished) and the interval the 7th forms above the root (e.g. major, minor or diminished). So, a dominant 7th chord (i.e. the diatonic chord formed on the 5th scale degree) is, in principle, a "major/minor 7th chord". (Although the name is not generally used of course.)

    I definitely don't understand what you mean by "a major triad and a dominant 7th" which seems to imply that a "dominant 7th" is an interval!

    Cheers.
     
  8. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Sapceman,
    sorry for the confusion. I was talking about the chord qualities of the Triad/seventh chord. not the triad then the seventh. Now I see what you are talking about and you are correct that a dominant 7th chord is a major triad and a minor 7th.

    Mike
     
  9. No, my fault for misunderstanding what you wrote - which is pretty obvious in retrospect!
     
  10. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
  11. DevinI

    DevinI

    Apr 1, 2004
    i know its off topic but i dont want to create a whole new thread so does anyone know?
     
  12. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Ah ... the modes.

    Just as there is a chord for each note in the major scale, there is a mode for each note as well

    I - Ionian (major scale)
    II - Dorian
    III - Phrygian
    IV- Lydian
    V - Mixolydian
    VI - Aeolian (natural minor)
    VII - Locrian

    For exampe:
    Key of G, chord is A minor. Since A is the second degree of the key of G you would play A Dorian

    another example:
    Key of C, chord is A minor. Since A is the sixth degree of the key of G you would play A Aeolian or natural minor.

    This is the introduction to a rather large topic called Functional Harmony - knowing how a chord functions within a tune.

    Mike
     
  13. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Hummmmm...we are giving you some pretty basic info on some pretty advanced stuff here...you need to read up on this stuff, but...A 7th chord is defined by 4 notes. These notes are a minor or major tiad apart. A scale is 7 notes. These notes are a half step or whole step apart. The sound of a chord is based on the location of the minor and major triads in the chord. The sound of a scale is based on the locations of the half and whole steps. You can make chords out of a major scale by starting with each of the seven notes of the scale and building up the chords with the triads in the scale. You can make scales out of a major scale by starting with each of the seven notes and building up the scale with the notes of the scale. If you do this with each of the seven notes in a major scale, you have seven chords and seven scales. The chord and scale starting on the same starting note sound similar. We call those seven different scales the modes of the major scale.

    If you are in a particular measure, and you are in a particular key, and you know that you have run accross a chord that is built up from the second note of that key, you have a ii chord, and you can play ii chord notes and ii scale (dorian mode) notes in that measure. That is the sound...the function...of that measure.

    The point of this is to play a line in that measure. That line can sound vague in that it contains random "correct" notes from within the key, or that line can sound strong in that it puts 1, 3, and 7 chord tones in strong places. Thinking about the mode and the chord tones for that measure helps to build a strong line that implies the harmony. If you were on a game show, and they played four chords in four measures, you would hear the chord progression, and then if they then played four different strong lines from four different chord progressions, you would be able to pick out the line that matched the chord progression because you could hear the chord progression implied in the line.

    One last thing, since there are seven notes, seven chords, and seven modes, but just four sounds (major, minor, diminished, and dominant) (or three sounds if you call diminished minor), then for any chord there is more than one scale choice. The scale that is based exactly on the chord, or a different scale that has a similar sound or function.

    This means that you can start learning this by just learning to use the ionian mode on major chords, the dorian mode on minor and diminished chords, and the mixolydian mode on dom 7 chords.

    One more thing, just like any "rule", better players use, bend, and break this rule. You play vague by playing bunches of key notes, you play strong by playing strong chord notes in strong places along with key notes, you play "outside" by playing notes that are not in the key, not in the chord, and not in the melody.

    Please be kind to me and correct any errors I have made. The main reason that I have posted this is to try to help this person see the modes as different sounding scales related to the chords, instead of simply the major scale starting at different places. The D dorian mode is not just the C major scale starting on D, even though it is, but it is more, it is a scale with its own sound, different from the other 7 scales.

    tim99.
     
  14. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    because is the level that it needs to be at. This is the wrong place and time to give a theoretical treatise on functional harmony.
    Not all scales are 7 notes and not all are defined by half steps and whole steps .... an I am not talking about some obscure scales from far off lands. Just normal western scales that go back to JS Bach, i.e. The Harmonic Minor Scale.
    right on, except for the fact that although a mode is a form of a scale, it does not use that terminology - I don't know why - just isn't done.
    absolutley, as long as you actually can figure out the function. It is not always as it seems. For example, an A minor 7 chord in the key of C - is it always a VI chord? Very often it functions as a II - you have to know the chord in context. If that Am7 is followed by a D7, than that Am7 is past of a II-V and functions as a II chord. This is extremely common, especially in jazz. That is why functional harmony is a whole book all by itself.

    You cannot call diminished minor - it has a VERY different tonality.

    If it were that simple, I would not have to write all these books, lesson articles, etc. I do like dorian but it really cannot be used over all minor and diminished chords, if you do, you loose the function of the chord within the harmony. If he already knows the modes than he should apply them, all of them. There are no shortcuts to doing it right. ... and to be honest, this is a bit of a shortcut. The study that he wants is months and years, not a few posts on talkbass.

    This is an interesting point. Perhaps you might want to think about it in this way. The rules are created to codify what the great players, composers, etc have already done. Bach had no rules. It wasn't until 150 years later that his music was codified into rules. Charlie Parker had no rules. We took what he did and made rules from that. jaco had no rules and redefined, forever, the role of the bass.

    I could not agree more with this statement. Having done this "ask the pro" thing for a while (as well as Master classes, lesson articles, teaching, blah, blah, etc, etc) I sort of learned that these kind of questions need to be answered slowly abd be directed by follow up questions. It is like the lesson that you try to tech and give someone everything you know in an hour 0- it just is too much, too soon.

    Thanks for the input, you made some great points. I hope you don't take offense at my response. I have a need to be accurate. I also have some unique ways of teaching these concepts that I truly believe are more effective than the way too old and stogy pedagogy that we are unfortunatly stuck with these days

    Mike
     
  15. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Thanks for your quick response and corrections. This is good stuff.

    tim99.
     
  16. DevinI

    DevinI

    Apr 1, 2004
    hm this helped some, im still kind of confused. if im in the key of g, and i play an a the ii of g, would the mode to use be the dorian or the mixolydian (or the 5th mode of major scale i think its mixolydian) or am i way off
     
  17. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Since A is the second degree of the G major scale - you would have an A minor chord. The appropriate mode for the A minor, in the key of G, is Dorian.

    Keep asking these kind of questions, it allows a bit more perspective on my side. Thanks

    Peace
    Mike
     
  18. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    DevinI, you are getting from Mike Dimin the best advice and the most consistently worded explainations you will find on this topic. Take his advice and keep asking questions. You have a good mind, it is the puzzle pieces that are fuzzy. But realize, this is not like learning history and taking a test tomorrow. I think Yoda said...time it takes.

    tim99.
     
  19. DevinI

    DevinI

    Apr 1, 2004
    is the reason you use the dorian because it is the 2nd note of the G major scale so i take the 2nd mode? or is it because its minor ?
     
  20. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    It is the mode based on the second degree of the G major scale. The chords based on the third and sixth degree are also minor chords but they have different modes. The mode based on the third is the phrygian and the mode based on the 6th is the aeolina (natural minor scale)

    Mike