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Emaj, Amaj, Bmaj... Dmaj?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by pepito, Mar 11, 2003.


  1. I sat down to write a bass line to a simple garage punk ditty my guitar player wrote, thinking with four chords and eight bars it ought to be easy to come up with a good "Attractions" type bass line.

    Emaj /Amaj /Bmaj /Amaj /Emaj /Amaj /Dmaj /Bmaj

    The line came pretty easily, so I decided to work with it a little more and try to write it out in standard notation. I assumed it should be written in Emaj, at first, but where does that D major chord come from? It sounds right. Why won't it write right?:bawl:
     
  2. because Dmaj is not diatonic to a song in the key of Emaj. The 4th of D is G, which is the b3 of E, so they dont jive diatonically. You could just use accidentals there, or do a key change there (although that may not be appropriate)

    You sure those are all major? Just because it has a major 3rd does not mean it is necessarily a major chord (maj3, maj7), it could be a dominant (maj3, b7). I know a lot of people who make this mistake - call the chord a major when it is actually a dominant. In the case of the Bmaj in your tune, I would suspect that is a dominant (a major chord has a natural/maj 7, not a flat 7). It would be diatonically correct then (you would have A instead of A#). Is that the case?
     
  3. Honestly, I don't think my guitar player knows about 7 chords yet.:D

    My biggest problem with this progression is that there should not be a D chord of any kind . The 7th scale degree of E major is D#. The 3rd of the Bmaj chord is D#. How can you have a D natural and D# in the same four chord, eight bar punk rock song?:bawl:
     
  4. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I assume he's talking about triads here, and when he says major, he means major triad - and is not talking about whether the chords are maj7 or dom7.

    Goodness! You mustn't think like that! This is music - there's no should/shouldn't about it!

    The D chord is not diatonic in the key of E - so what? That's not a problem!

    Of course you can have 7 (D#) b7 (D natural) in the same sequence! There are no rules here!

    Is this what people are talking about when they talk about theory "holding you back"? If so, then the reason is that you're misusing theory. Theory isn't there to tell you what you should & shouldn't do.

    As it happens - this kind of chord progression is pretty common, pepito. That is - at the end of a sequence, going to the major chord on the b7 (i.e. D), then to the dominant of the key we're in (B) - is not unusual at all. It gives a nice resolution, where you temporarily move away from key (by going to the D chord), then bring it back round with the dominant chord (the B chord). And it gives a nice little chromatic inner part - the D of the D chord rising to the D# of the B chord, then rising to the E.

    But please, please stop thinking things like "there shouldn't be any kind of D chord"!! :)
     
  5. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    I analyzed the progression a little bit, and came up with a slightly different variation than Moley.

    The D sounds like a great resolution to the B because of the strong interval movment. Even without a b7 played on the B, the B's role is still to be the dominant eventually resolving back to the tonic. (E). The D chord is comprised of D, F#, and A. F# is the 5th of B, which is both a very stable interval, and a strong chord movement. The A is the 7th of B. The D moves to B, which is a 6th. 6th's are also very strong chordal movements.

    I know it's a pretty bizarre way of anaylzing it, but that's what I came up with.:oops:
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    This is what I mean when I say that any discussion of the process of music composition is actually a discussion about music theory!! ;)
     
  7. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Your progression is:1-4-5-4-1-4-b7-5...the b7 is a passing chord leading to 5,a very common move,the b7 comes from 3,as an applied chord, in this case,a tri-tone substitution,simply put you're delaying the move to 5...adding tension,but not losing 1 as your tonal centre.
    (I really need a gig;) ;)
     
  8. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    How do you figure that's a tritone sub? :confused:

    How does the b7 come from the 3? In E, chord 3 is G# minor.

    IME, a tritone sub is done with two dom7 chords, and it works because they share the same "guide tones" i.e. 3 & b7.

    However, here, chord 3 is minor... I don't see your logic in saying that the D chord is a tritone sub for chord 3? I wouldn't say it's functioning that way at all. In this case, neither 3 or b7 are dom7 chords - the b7 is major, and the 3 is minor. Even if you were talking about the 3 as a dom7 chord (i.e. G#7) - it doesn't make sense!! When do you see I III7 V? Not often, I can't think of any examples off the top of my head.


    I'd say the b7 chord here is more likely a sub for a 2 chord - i.e. the D is a sub for F#m. Thus, instead of 2-5-1 (i.e. F#m B E), we have b7-5-1 (D B E). This makes much more sense to me, as D and F#m are what I call "similar chords" - i.e. they have two notes in common. The difference being that the D chord has the non-diatonic D natural, which adds the interest, and creates that D-D#-E rising chromatic line.

    Any comments from anyone else on this? Durrl, Pacman?
     
  9. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    The progression as it stands, not even dealing with the diatonic-ness of it, is pretty strong, up a fourth, up a second, down a seventh, down a fifth, up a fourth, up a fourth, up a sixth and up a fourth back to the tonic. The E - A - D can be looked at as a 2 5 1 in D, followed by a 5 chord to set up the tension to be released by the 1 chord which would be the E. The last 4 bars of the B section of "All the things you are" uses this approach.
     
  10. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    I was looking at the root movement since there seems to be ambiguity about the chord quality,all major 7th chords in a punk tune??I'm aware of the rules for tri-tone subs and I bet that's a D7 not major,implying that the 3 would be dominant as well.Instead of 1-4-1-5,they go 1-4-b7(3)-5,the 3 subbing for 1,a common compositional device,no?
     
  11. yeah, I seriously doubt that they are all MAJOR chords. Maj 7s with lots of distortion sound like crap - dissonance between the natural 7 and the root.
     
  12. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    The don't have to be Maj7 chords, though they could be all Maj or Dom7 chords.
     
  13. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Huh? That's making no sense to me! First off - no, I don't suppose that the D would be a dom7. That would mean putting a C - another diatonic note in. That's not a problem in itself, but generally when this b7 to 5 trick is used - the b7 chord is major, not dom7, IME.

    And, it seems to me you're looking at it the wrong way round! You're assuming the D is a dom7 (which I disagree with), and then assuming that the 3 would be a dom7, so you can make it a tritone sub! That makes no sense at all!

    As for 3 subbing for 1 - yes a common compositional device, but is that what's happening here? I don't think so. And, at anyrate, you were suggesting that the 3 would be a dom7 (because you seem to insist on making this a tritone sub, for some reason) - are you saying here that we've got a dom7 3 chord subbing for a 1?!?

    Lemme get this straight. You're saying that what we've got is a G#7 sub for E, being subbed with D7? That makes no sense!!

    Do you not think it makes far more sense that it would be 1 4 2 5, and the b7 chord is a sub for the 2 chord?

    You say you were talking about root movement. Even just looking at root movement - wouldn't you say it's much more likely the D is subbing for an F# than a G#? 2-5-1 is gonna be more likely than 3-5-1, no?!?
     
  14. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    This isn't Jazz here - we're not assuming 7ths. I'm pretty sure the original poster intended these to be triads, with no 7ths.

    You gotta take it in context - look at what the poster said - is it not obvious to you that when he said the chords were major, he didn't mean they were maj7 chords, he was just trying to say they are major triads.
     
  15. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    I agree with you...triads were what he implied,that's a given...gotta stop reading Harmony and Voice leading(Aldwells book)specifically uses for III,VII and expansions of I:D
     
  16. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    So what are you saying?
     
  17. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    stop overanalyzing and look for the obvious,like I said I really need a gig:oops: :oops:
     
  18. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Overanalyzing? You're the one trying to say this is a tritone sub! Not particularly obvious given the chords we're dealing with.
     
  19. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    no,no,I meant me...I'm really bored...you can only practice and study so much.No gigs this month!!!
     
  20. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Go get some gigs then! :D