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How to treat chords

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cheesesilk, Sep 25, 2004.


  1. I'm writing down the intervals of songs, and I'm not sure how to treat the numbering. In F mixolydian, say I'm writing down (or thinking thru) the intervals, and the notes are Bb F Bb (octave). should I write that as 1 5 1, or should I keep the notes relative to the key: 4 1(8) 11
    Is there a set way to do this?
     
  2. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    All chords are described relative to the tonic of the key.

    So that would be IV I IV in a major key. Don't worry about octaves- a IV is a IV no matter where it's voiced.
     
  3. hmm, let me try to clarify.
    I'm writing down the intervals note by note, so where Bb is the IV chord of F, should I reset the Bb to 1, and number the notes played over this chord with respect to Bb, or should I keep the note numbers relative to F instead of shifting them over each chord. I think what I'm doing is just a lazy way of transcribing something.
     
  4. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    OK, I think I gotcha.

    When playing over the F chord, all notes are referred to by their intervallic relationship to F.

    When playing over the Bb chord, all notes are referred to by their intervallic relationship to Bb.

    But I think you're making it much more difficult than it has to be. By writing down numbers in relation to a chord, you're reinventing the wheel.

    It will be much easier and more productive for you to learn how to read and write standard notation.
     
  5. I'd like to jump in on this if i can. I would imagine it would make more sense to use the numbers relative to the key. That way your voice leading would be more easily visible when trying to modulate or return to I. But i suppose you would also have to keep the type of chord in mind while doing this...i confused myself. anybody else have a perspective?
    and by the way, having the fortune of knowing the good cheesesilk, i can guarantee you he can read and write standard notation.
     
  6. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    But interval numbers relative to the tonic of a key are useless if the chord you're playing over isn't the tonic.
     
  7. wrong!

    If you are in F mixo, that is really the DOMINANT of the major key ... so isn't the 'key' really Bb major?

    just to throw in some confusion. :meh:
     
  8. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Well, that isolated set of cadences could indicate Bb, but I don't know the context of those cadences in the music he's looking at, and I didn't want to confuse the issue.
     
  9. The tune is Herbie Hancock's 'Watermelon Man'. Also, is there always a tone center? I mean, if the ii isn't always a min7 (or some other 'compatible' chord) or the V isn't always a dominant 7, can most changes be understood in terms of substitutions relative to a tone center?
     
  10. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    I'm not a big Hancock fan, but I listened to the track, and other than being very groundbreaking for 1963, it just sounds like a modal vamp loosely based around blues changes.

    More of a series of riffs than "changes" if that makes sense, with shifting tonal centers, and an emphasis on syncopation and rhythmic variation on basic ideas.

    I don't have time to really analyze it (I'm sure it's already out on the web somewhere), but it sounds like a lot of mixolydian stuff with a lot of chromatic passing notes thrown in.
     
  11. Correlli

    Correlli

    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand

    Chord Degrees

    I - C
    II - Dm
    III - Em
    IV - F
    V - G
    VI - Am
    VII - Bdim

     
  12. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    Yep, it's in volume 54 (?) of the Aebersold series "Maiden Voyage" which is pretty much all modal stuff.
     
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    If you need to write out the song in numerics, write roman numerals with chord values (II-7, V7, I, etc) relative to the key of the moment and then use numbers (R, 1, 9, 3, 11, 5, 13, 7) to represent the melody notes.

    So D-7 / G7 / CMaj7 becomes II-7 / V7 / IMaj7

    And minims: F, A / G, B / C, B becomes 3, 5 / R, 3 / R, 7 over those chords
    Although the actual chords and the actual notes might be a better way to go, using standard notation.

    Watermelon Man is just a blues in F, it contains 3 chords I7 (F7) and IV7 (Bb7) and a V7 (C7).
    F7 is the tonic chord which happens to be the dominant from the key of Bb, but that's not relevant in terms of the functional harmony. It's mainly just uselful for finding your way around the instrument.

    My 2ps anyway :)