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Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Gabe, Jun 8, 2003.

  1. Gabe


    Jan 21, 2003
    I've been wondering what makes a chord. What kind of chords are there, how do you know which one to use. I think a chord is just a played together arpeggio, but, now that I think about it I don't understand those either.
    I have always just played what the composer put on the paper but now I would like to start some more composing of my own and maybe even learn to improvise.
    If someone could give me a Chord Theory for Imbiciles lecture I would be very appreciative.

  2. Seppie


    Aug 14, 2002
    Austria, Vienna
    i don´t want to explain the whole chord theory...
    cause i´m very bad in explaining...someone here in tb will be much better at that...and english isn´t my first choice language...
    but what you describe were my first steps leading me to jazz :spit: ...so have fun...

    gruesze sebastian
  3. jongor


    Jan 11, 2003
    Dude! THere's in orchestra in T2R6, Maine?

    ...do you play a washtub bass?

  4. From Webster's Dictionary:

    Pronunciation: 'kord
    Function: noun
    Etymology: alteration of Middle English cord, short for accord
    Date: 1608
    : three or more musical tones sounded simultaneously

    Okay, here is an easy chord.
    Place middle finger on 3rd fret, A string = C
    Place index finger on 2nd fret, D string = E
    Now play those two notes with open string G.
    You just played a C major chord!

    I'm sure someone else can go into more detail.
  5. Seppie


    Aug 14, 2002
    Austria, Vienna
    srry...but on db there are no frets...
    rpt....there are no frets...
    -all together-
    ...there are no frets...
    ...there are no frets...

    i think this would be a fine mantra :D

    gruesze sebastian :spit:
  6. Gabe


    Jan 21, 2003
    LOL. The orchestra is in Presque Isle. Washtub bass does sound like fun though.
  7. Oops. I failed to see that this was the Double Bass forum. My bad! :D
  8. Seppie


    Aug 14, 2002
    Austria, Vienna
    no prob...

    but it was good to bring this to an issue...
    chords are hard to play (to get a pleasant sound) on bg and even harder on db....
    but they are essential for all that improvising...line building etc...

    basicaly as said a chord is a conglomerate of different notes...
    basically the terz, quint, and sept...
    these give the chord the character!

    but i tried to teach (now ex) girlfriend (classical flute player) what a chord is...:eek:
    she stayed on the classic side :spit: with not knowing what a chord is...:bawl:

    gruesze sebastian
  9. Funny how you mention not knowing about chords. I played double bass in orchestra for 5 years before I picked up bass guitar is jazz band. That whole time in orchestra, I had no idea that my bass part was built upon different chord progressions. I guess you tend to take it for granted when every note is written on the page for you.

    When I started in jazz band and saw my first 12 bar blues progression with just the chords written above the measures, I was dumb founded.

    Hmm.. just to throw this out there. Why doesn't classical sheet music (for bass parts at least) show the chords written above the measures?? I don't think I've ever seen that.
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Before this conversation goes any further, anybody who hasn't yet done so should read this excellent article by Jazzbo:


    Feel free to ask questions about the content, but it is so well written that it should answer many of the questions that are about to come up, thereby saving everybody a LOT of posting time...which I believe was JB's original intent in writing and posting it. As a beginning scale/chord primer for theory newbies, this article deserves a six on a scale of one to five.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    The easy answer is the composer doesn't want you to improvise - just play the notes written!! ;)

    I mentioned this in another discussion recently - how Jazz really makes you think about theory when you try to play it, in a way no other type of music does - as you are creating the music yourself, by improvising.

    So - I did some classical theory and found it dull as you don't really apply it much - just play what's on the page!!

    So when taking Jazz classes I have met a few players from the classical world and their reaction was the same - what do I do with those chords!!?? :eek:

    So - they seemed like really good players, but ask them to improvise over a few chords and they had no basis for it!

    I think I learnt or rather got stuck in my head - more theory from improvising walking bass lines in Jazz in a few weeks, then I did in a whole year of studying classical theory academically - it just never stuck in a way that it did, when it was the basis of what you actually played.
  12. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    The chords are there, they just aren't written in chord notation i.e. CMaj7 etc, but if you look at the notes for a few of the parts you will see the chord on paper but more importantly you will hear the chord.
  13. Gabe;

    Here is my attempt at Chord Theory 101.

    If we use the key of C, the notes in order would be C, D, E, F, G, A, B, then 'C' again. 8 steps.
    A major chord uses the 1, 3, and 5 notes. If we start with a 'C' chord as an example, The root of the chord would be a C note, the 3rd note would be an E note, and the 5th note would be a G, creating a C major. If we flat the 3rd note to an Eb we would create a C minor chord. Adding a 7th note, in this case a B would create a Cmajor7th chord. Flatting the 7th note a half step to a Bb creates a Cdominate7. These would be written in order as a C, Cm, CM7 or Cmaj7, and C7. This same theory applies to any chord in any key.

    Adding other notes or sharping and flatting the intervals creates other chords. It is a long enjoyable subject to explore, and just one of the many facets of music education.

    I hope this helped.


  14. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I gather everybody in T2R6 has a washtub:)
  15. Chris;
    Somehow I missed reading your post, including the link from Jazzbo. It was late. I feel like such an amateur ( I am :) )

    Jazzbo, thanks for the work!

  16. Gabe


    Jan 21, 2003
    Shore we do, comes in wicked handy for boilin' an' cookin dem dead anmals we prides us in shootin 'round ere. Scares dem flatlanders somtin terrible too.

    I understand that playin washtub bass is very difficult. For one thing, one must own a very large tub to even accomodate a half sized let alone a three fourths sized bass.

    I also hear that the little bit of amplification gained from playin in a washtub is overshadowed by the problems that water can cause to instrument wood. It is also wise to use stainless steel strings when tubbing.
  17. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I will send an appropriate prize to the first person west of the Delaware River or south of New Jersey who can explain Gabe's address.
  18. Township 2 Range 6?? Township and range are part of the rectangular system of land measurement designed in the Land Ordinance of 1785 or 1787 (not sure of the correct year). Townships are 6 square mile blocks subdivided into 36 1 square mile sections. Those sections are then divided into quarter sections which are then divided into more quarters, etc.

    This may not apply to Gabe but it fits.
  19. mflaherty


    Oct 9, 2001
    or is it Big Moose Township?;)

    Moosehead Lake region, land of great summer fishing, gateway to Maine's Great North Woods.

    Did I miss anything?

    Looks like a beautiful area.

    I have read about fishing in northern Maine for years, going out with the guide in the big canoe. Hope I get to do it someday!
  20. Gabe


    Jan 21, 2003
    DING DING DING! Right on Stevo. We're in an unorganized territory so we don't get a town name, at least not one that anyone uses. In fact, I went to an EUT (that's education in the unorganized territories) elementary school which, at the time, had about 25 students pre-k through 5th. It was in our associate unorganized territory of Benedicta. I guess you could say T2R6 is a suburb of Benedicta. It's pretty impresive that you knew that.

    Sorry I took so long to verify your answer. I was on a trip to (drum roll please) an ORGANIZED TERRITORY (thats short for Rhode Island).

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