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Clashing chords?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Depth_Charge, Sep 28, 2008.


  1. My band covers Madonna's "Like A Virgin" and there is a part on the bridge where they go from D# to G# a few times, then to round the last bar out they play like a "doomp, boomp boomp" (technical speak haha). It's at 2:05 on the recording I have.

    The fill is a simple octave skip from the high G# (6th fret D string) to 2 low G#'s(4th fret E string).

    One guitarist always plays C# over that, and it clashes to my ear. He insists its right, saying C# works with the chord. I recently asked him to just play G# and sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't so I am getting somewhere on the musical side of things, but when he plays the G# he always screws his face up.

    I'm wondering whether there might be some theory I can review and use as part of the argument next time it comes up. I'm not big on theory but I think it's naturally resolving to the lowest note in the chord/scale if that makes sense. I'd like to be in a position to explain it over just telling him to play it, if possible, but my self taught theory isn't providing the answer my ear screams at me :)
     
  2. bassplayertom77

    bassplayertom77

    Sep 24, 2008
    What key are you playing the song in?
     
  3. I'm not familiar with that part of the song, but a C# on G# is just a second inversion chord and does work 'theoretically.'

    The guitarists voicing would make a big difference as to how right it sounds though...

    Hopefully, someone more familiar with the tone will chime in with the exact part...
     
  4. The same as the recording? :D

    Keys are a weak point of mine but I'll do my best to break it down rather than just play by ear :)

    I play this to open:
    G|---------------------|
    D|-4-------4-4---------|
    A|----6-4-------6-4-6-|
    E|---------------------|

    Which is either F# or Gb. Either way the natural notes are Gb, Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, F

    Provided I've actually got the right key it's starting to make a lot more sense, thanks.
     
  5. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    Actually your guitarist is probably right to play C# there. The "key" of that song is F#. Technically, C# will be the dominant resolving to F#. Since you are playing G# there you could look at it as you are playing the 5th of C#7. Ask your guitarist which chord he thinks it is. I hear that chord as C#7 and he should tell you the same.

    Actually, Gb is probably more correct. I personally allow for the 7th to be called E# but most people wouldn't think that way, I guess. On the other hand this is one key where you have to either allow for Cb or E# so it's up to you how you want to look at it.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I hear it as a C#sus4 myself.
     
  7. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    I think you are right, actually. I would still justify it as the V - I though.
     
  8. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    On the other hand C#Maj would work too. You could maybe have C#7(add11) ???
     
  9. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    Oh, the possiblities. Now all we need is for Havic to join in.....
     
  10. onlyclave

    onlyclave

    Oct 28, 2005
    Seattle
    Why not just use the double flat?
     
  11. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    Well I would have but then I would have had to resolve the 7th sideways. That and Danger Danger would never use a double flat.
     
  12. This is a primary reason I don't bother with theory as much as I probably should - if a C# theoretically works, why does it sound like *&^% when I play a C# on the bass over the recording when it "should" work, and sounds like *&^% when he plays the C# at practice while both me and the rythm guitarist play G#? Maybe being a bass player I am too one-dimensional about what a chord is. ie E is 2nd Fret E, 2nd Fret A, open D. A is the same one string up etc. :)

    All that said I think the guitarist wants me to shut up about it - he sent me an email today saying I'm right.

    And I reckon you theory buffs enjoy having some fun at the expense of us who don't know any different with all those "possibilities" being discussed as well :) While I asked about the theory, I should have just said I am primarily interested in what is happening on the recording itself. But I loved getting lost in inversions and degrees and stuff. I only really knows me major scale by box pattern alone and still manage to learn songs and help pack dancefloors :D :D :D
     
  13. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    Sounds fine to me. This sounds to me like a case of your expectations being challenged and you don't really understand what's going on. The song itself doesn't have the C# in it and when you hear it as a P4 in a close voicing you are probably thrown by it. If you heard that played enough times you would probably get used to it. To me, if anything this is a good reason to learn more about theory. Also being a bass player is not to blame for being one dimensional, we are all "bassplayers" here, after all.

    Try this for an experiment though, instead of you playing the G# have both guitarists play it and you play the C#, just to see how it sounds.
     
  14. Fair call mate. Probably.

    I have to admit I'm not sure what "P4 in a close voicing" means. But I know what "thrown by it" means. Everytime he plays a C# I get thrown and think it's wrong.

    We're a cover band. I'm not sure if it's good thinking from a musicians perspective but I don't want to get used to things that throw me. I want them played as per the recording and I don't think he is. I'm just worried that if I'm thrown, then maybe our audiences are too...

    Thanks. I will try that experiment out and see what comes of it.

    And you're right. I should blame my own laziness for not learning theory, not my chosen instrument. I have the tools in my music room (books, dvd's, a guitar, a keyboard etc).

    I just can't stand playing them for more than a minute and go back to bass, or drums :D
     
  15. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    I think at the end of the day, you have the best justification of all for why your guitarist shouldn't play that C#. If you are aiming for authenticity, it's just not on the recording.

    To be honest I could probably make some kind of theoretical justification for playing almost any note, but when it comes down to it, what matters is that you are hearing it played differently to how you think it should be and you are going for a certain thing which playing that note clashes with.
     

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