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Hey Paul : How Bout a Theory Forum?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by john turner, Aug 25, 2000.

  1. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i thought i'd try and run this up the flagpole again, see if anybody salutes.

    how about a theory forum, where the discussion would center around the objective and subjective application of music theory in bass part and song composition.

    for instance, why is G Major considered a "light colored" key, why do heavy metal musicians make such heavy use of flat 5th, how are tri-tone substitions best, or often used, what must one consider when arranging a bass line around existing music and what is meant by "arranging" in general, how can one create feels with time signature?

    i know that some of these topics could very well be discussed in General Instruction, but that to me sorta implies a "right" and "wrong" answer, and some of these topics are pretty subjective.
  2. Ktulu


    May 8, 2000
    I think John has a good idea there. I don't know a whole lot about theory (JT blew my mind w/ some of the above stuff :D), and I want to try to learn more. A forum devoted to it would be very helpful to me and a lot of the members here. Whaddy'all think? (Besides the fact that my Southern accent is showing :)).
  3. I'll add my vote for a Theory Forum. But I promise not to show my hairy a$$, unlike Sir Kung-Fuqua :D (not giving any promises about the ugly mug though....). Combining Theory and Technique could work too, though. Giving Theory a specific place would be a bang-up idea.
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...here we go again! :D
    Question #1-Heavy Metal musicians employ the b'd 5 'cause they haven't mastered the whole step "stretch" quite yet. ;)
    Really, I suppose the flatted 5th is dissonant; back in the MIddle Ages, playing it in Church would get you excommunicated...nowadaze, everybody's using it(it's "almost" consonant).

    Question #2-Tritone subs
    Often used in the 4th bar of a 12-bar Blues(at times, preceded by its ii chord.
    Ex-/G7.../C7.../G7.../G#m7.C#7./C7.../ etc

    Also used in the last 2 bars(turnaround)of a 12-bar Blues. One possibility:
    Ex-/G7.../Em7.../Am7.../D7.../ becomes
    Isn't that called a "Tadd Dammeron turnaround"? Ed...?

    The time signature question...whew, that can take up some time(no pun intended). One can play in different feels(straight 1/8s, swing 1/8s, shuffle 1/8s, etc, 1/16 note feels, tripletted feels, etc)WITHOUT altering the time signature. It's too deep for me.
  5. Doug


    Apr 5, 2000
    Buffalo, N.Y.
    I'm there, let's do it!!!!
  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    jim, come _OOONNN_!!! you're not supposed to answer the damn questions!! ;) those were SUPPOSED to be driving examples for the need for a theory forum!!! :D


  7. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    this is why I wanna start taking lessons....WHAT IS A FLAT 5TH??? :D
  8. Ktulu


    May 8, 2000

    My thoughts exactly.

    I thought if I hung around here, some theory might transfer to my brain through osmosis or something, but so far it ain't working. :D
  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga

    there are 8 notes in the major scale, 1-7 and the octave.

    in the key of c these would be : C D E F G A B C

    modifying these notes from the major determines many kinds of scales, and often times these scales are described by the way they differ from the major scale.

    so, a minor scale has a flat 3rd - the 3rd note of the major scale is moved one fret, one 1/2 step, flat.

    another take on this are modes, where one takes the major scale of a certain key, but begins on a different note other than the major root note.

    the actual modes are ( all starting on C):

    Ionian (major scale) C D E F G A B C all major and perfect intervals

    Dorian C D Eb F G A Bb C minor 3rd and 7th

    Phrygian C Db Eb F G Ab Bb C minor 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th

    Lydian C D E F# G A B C augmented 4th

    Mixolydian C D E F G A Bb C minor 7th

    Aeolian C D Eb F G Ab Bb C minor 3rd, 6th, 7th

    Locrian C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C minor 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th,
    diminished 5th

    minor denotes a 1/2 step flat, as does diminished, and augmented denotes a 1/2 step sharp.

    so, also, you can see that C major is the same as A aeolian minor, if you start on A and flaten the 3, 6 and 7, you get the same scale, but centered on different notes. you wouldn't play A aeolian the same way you would play C major.

    this goes into the realm of what i would like to see in the theory forum (just to get back on topic :D )
  10. Sean, now that John has give you the real deal on that question, I'll give you "theory for dummies." (Sorry John, I know this isn't helping your cause!)
    A flat 5th is like this. Take a note.. G, for example. 3rd fret on the E string. The 5th is always one string higher and two frets up.. in the case of G, the 5th is D (5th fret on the A string). So, the flatted 5th of G would be C#, one fret down from D.
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    First off, man...what an ANSWER! :D
    Now, SOMETIMES a "minor denotes a 1/2 step flat" & SOMETIMES a 1/2 step flat "denotes" diminished. Right?
    Sometimes, a diminished is 1/2 step flat + 1/2 step flat...with me?
    The 4th & 5th degrees of the scale are "Perfect"; flat them a 1/2 step & they become DIMINISHED. Those are the only two intervals where one 1/2 step yields a diminished.

    The 2, 3, 6, & 7 intervals-
    Flat these a 1/2 step yields a MINOR; flat these another 1/2 step yields a DIMINISHED(1/2 + 1/2).

    Raising any of the degrees by a 1/2 step yields an AUGMENTED...is that right?

    I remember butting heads with my college professor about "naming the interval". He said something to the effect of "G to A#"...I immediately thought about what/how that looked on my bass. It's a minor 3rd, right? No..Dammit, yes it is. It "sounds like a minor 3rd".
    ...DOH! "G" to "A" is only 2 & not 3. Theoretically, it is a raised 2nd(though it is enharmonic to a flatted 3rd).
    I'll tell you that was damn embarrassing! :D
  12. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Count me in. I'll bring the beer if whoever it was will bring their enharmonically incorrect paper plates...

    I'd love to see this area have it's own forum (I know enough theory to get me into trouble, but often not enough to get me out). I'd also like to see threads pertaining to different genres, i.e. jazz, funk, latin, metal, etc. You could go sub-threads of bebop, straight-ahead, east/west coast, salsa, death metal, speed metal, etc. More than just "theory" I think most folks want application - what notes do I play, what rhythm do I use to play a merengue, for example. Personally, I like to know WHY something I'm playing sounds like it does - that way I can repeat it in any key.

    And I'll pose a question to FunkMaster JimK right now, while I'm here. If a 5b (and b7 and b3) is a "blue" note, what would be considered a "funk" note? What type scale is typically employed in funk? I know 5 and b7 are key, but they in themselves don't define the sound. Experimentation (and copping some of your stuff on ActiveBass) leads me to think that 3 and and 6 (especially moving from b3 to 3 and 6 to b7) are really what put the boogie in your butt. But is there a common "funk" scale or progression(s)?
  13. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    there, see? we could definitely use a theory forum :D

    i remember the enharmonically incorrect paper plates. that was funny. wish we could dig that thread up, where was that, on the old board?

  14. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    My theory is pretty rusty...so a place to come and brush up here would be cool. Count me in!
  15. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I would really appreciate a place to post theory questions and think Turner's suggestion is an excellent one. I just hope I can understand the answers. :)

    Also, the person who said that showing us how to put theory into practice or how to use it in the context of a song or particular style of music would be very helpful...that is a good idea too.

    Jason Oldsted
  16. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yeah, that was the other half of the equation, in my mind. :D
  17. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    No one has talked about theory before, so why should Paul start a new forum to have it happen now? Just take a look at all the forums in the Upright section that don't get posted to very much. Maybe if you guys would show Paul that a theory forum is actually needed then he would consider it. I could use the traffic in General Instruction anyway. That stuff about General Instruction being for yes or no questions mentioned earlier is just crap, anyone who thinks they know it all and have nothing more to learn on bass is just kidding themselves.

    Chris A.:rolleyes:

    P. S. This post is not meant to flame anyone, just making a suggestion.
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    OK, John, how about this. How come we have Ionian and Dorian modes, but no Corinthian? And did they name the modes after the columns, or vice versa? BTW, thanks for the concise rundown on the modes ... I needed that.
  19. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
  20. ross

    ross Guest

    Mar 17, 2000
    theory forum sounds like a hang out place for old guys that know to much about theory :.actually i am currently working on theory so i gonna stay away from you people confusing me for now.

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