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Key question

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Dragzole, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. how does a(R-#2-4-b5) progression sound minor when it isnt in the minor scale? Like Am I Evil or Hey man nice shot?
  2. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    OK, you've used scale degrees to describe a chord progression, so we have no idea of the types of chords you are describing; hence, difficult to explain what it sounds like.

    Example using Dom7: C7 D#7 F7 Gb7.

    It suggests a chord progression based on Locrian, but again, without more clear context we're just flailing in the dark.
  3. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    Probably the strong root sound in the I and bIII ( R and #2 ) chords.

    Green Onions also can sound minor even when played with all major chords.

  4. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    I believe "R-#2-4-b5" refers to I #II IV bV.

  5. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    That's still ambiguous. I used Dom7 chords in my example above because you can't know the type of chord indicated if they are not diatonic to a key.

    Here's a specific example of how Major and minor are blurred and/or become clear or less clear due to context:

    Play the following two triple-stops back and forth:

    G string: 14th fret A
    D string: 12th fret D
    A string: 14th fret B

    and then

    G string: 14th fret A
    D string: 12th fret D
    A string: 13th fret Bb

    What you are playing is essentially Bmin7 to BbMaj7, but what you may hear (in the absence of other instruments) is G Major to G minor. So, voicings sound the way they sound in context of the other things happening (or, in this case, not happening).
  6. yeah i think your right about the locrian mode thing. Thx, as for specific keys id say like (E-G-A-A#)
  7. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    So are those major chords in the key of E, then?
    That is what I was assuming.

  8. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Let's make things nice and sparkling clear. I mentioned locrian not a as modal center but as a fundamental concept that might explain the chord changes you suggested. A set of chords based on a locrian concept. But your progression is not, in any fundamental way, locrian.

    While you might think me to be drifting into the literal or the absurd; no. Modes are not what many of you think they are. A chord progression of I #II IV bV is not modal, per se. It is only suggestive of a basis in locrian modality.

    Modal music is defined as a tonal center over which the melodic scale is not the most conventially used scale is utilized. For example, a piece of music centered on Dminor over which one plays a dorian scale or a phrygian scale. Dmin7 is the I chord in these scenarios, which is the important concept here.

    A large number of members here would love to convince you otherwise for various reasons. I have no agenda other than to try to further truth.
  9. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    What Major chords? You didn't clearly indicate what chords to which you are referring nor to which post.
  10. My $0.02 here:

    The song "Hey Man Nice Shot" has a bass line that goes E, G, A, Bb, back to A, repeat.

    That G is really a flat 3rd, rather than a sharp 2nd. A flat 3rd is indeed in a minor key, just as G is the 3rd note in an E minor scale. So there's one mystery solved.

    Now for the Bb:

    The Bb is the sole difference between the E Minor Pentatonic scale and the E "Blues Scale". It's an added note used primarily as a passing tone. So while the songwriters could have been influenced by the scale, as it's something many bassists and guitarists learn early on, even when playing them as a major chord or a power chord, it's not necessary or even advisable to think of that Bb chord as part of a key or scale.

    And Ritchie Blackmore had the same idea 40 years ago with "Smoke On The Water". Precedence trumps theory, every time. :)
  11. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    Was referring to post immediately above:

    "yeah i think your right about the locrian mode thing. Thx, as for specific keys id say like (E-G-A-A#)"

    I am wondering if these are chords, or bass notes beneath a single chord.

    Dragzole's original question did say "progression", although it didn't use chord symbols.
    So I am not sure.

  12. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Yes, a fair number of questions remain. The term "progression" should be reserved for chords, not notes, but a series of notes seems more like it's the case here.
  13. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    The other guys are talking way more theory than I know - but

    Just reading these as single notes #2 is the same as a minor 3rd (b3) and both that and the b5 are part of the blues scale (minor pentatonic + b5). Not sure why you think it's not a minor scale.
  14. It either sounds minor or it doesn't

    And as mentioned in other posts above the context is important

    I use to get hung up about theory and things either fit on this or that, but eventually I just got overwhelmed

    My teacher at the time explained he had a similar learning experience and it eventually comes down to using the ears and music is what it sound like irrespective of how we try to rationalise it within an academic or theoretical framework.

    A sharp major second though is a minor third and in spite of what sits on top it looks like it should sound minor of we use the post above as a theoretic reference point..... Lol... God help us...

  15. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    For God's sake people, this! ^^^

    /thread already! :rolleyes:
  16. Has tritone. Sounds minor. Done.