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Major to dominant chord

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by 68Goldfish, Jan 5, 2018.


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  1. 68Goldfish

    68Goldfish Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    Port Orchard WA
    Hey fellas. I’m working on a tune and I’m curious what some of you guys would do or how you would play through a particular kind of chord change. The chords in question have the same root note but it’s when the chord changes from say a D major to a D dominant. The song I’m working on is “I saw the light” by Todd Rundgren. I believe the key is C. There’s a part in the song that goes (one bar each) F-Em-Am-D-D7-G7-C
    I can see that the D-D7-G is a voice leading thing where the D (root) note goes to the C (minor 7) then to the B (maj 3rd of the G chord).
    Question is....if you were playing through this progression what would you do when the D changes to the D7. Would you just stay on the D or would you try to somehow add in the minir 7th to help emphasize it. Or should it just be something the guitar plays by itself while we stick to the root note. I know there’s a hundred ways to play something, I was just curious what others might think about this.
     
    J_Bass likes this.
  2. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    In the part you are questioning try playing FM7 - Em7 - Am - then try the change as D7 into Dm7 - G - CM7 - Dm7 - and so on.
    Try these voicings a see if you can hear any clearer the change and of course the movement.
    For me as a rule in this song i would stay on the D to reinforce the root a part of the rhythm rather than the melody as there are other instruments doing that job.
    I would add if there are no other instruments doing it i would help out in some way, but it would need to be with the rhythm of the movement.
     
  3. Jeff Elkins

    Jeff Elkins Supporting Member

    I'd listen carefully to what the rest of the band is doing. Would stepping through the D-C-B-C add a pull (toward the C resolution) that is helpful or necessary?

    Generally, when faced with the major and 7th chords in a row, I find that, as @Fergie Fulton says, my job is to hold the root. But I'll often use the octave (up or down, depending on how much I want to emphasize the root--it can often be more dramatic one direction or the other) to make the listener "hear" the chord change better. If necessary or appropriate.
     
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  4. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota

    As said it add a dramatic effect, i like that description.
    Two songs spring to mind that use this to great effect are, 'Drive' by The Cars using B Major to B Major 7 while the B root is played as its motif, and 'How Long' by Ace, where the C minor to the Bb Major is played over a Bb root as its motif.
    Lots of great examples out there but those two always spring to mind major and minor ones.
     
    Jeff Elkins likes this.
  5. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    TB should automatically insert that sentence as the first response to every question about "What Should I Play?"
     
    Billyzoom, ryco, Jeff Elkins and 2 others like this.
  6. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Cincinnati
    I don't know that song, but if you're doing a cover, cover the bass part.
    However in general, that kind of shift is not uncommon. Some things to try: D/D (play the root) to D7/C, play the 7th, but more than likely you'll want to move then to G/B as the seventh in traditional practice, resolves to the 3rd of the next chord. Lastly playing D7/F# is very effective moving in a leading tone way to the root of the G chord.
    The shift from D to D7 is a momentary modulation, in other words the song is for a short moment shifting to a different Key. Depending on the nature of the song and what else is going on at that time, you may want to strengthen the feeling of the key change or just let it go as a bit of harmonic color.
     
    Fergie Fulton likes this.
  7. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Cincinnati
    yup... that's a tool of a momentary modulation.
     
    Fergie Fulton and Whousedtoplay like this.
  8. Dirt simple answer. Depends on the music you are playing. Praise is 99% roots to the beat so D to D7 would be just two D's. Country would play the R-5 or D-A and ignore the C. What I'm getting to ......

    You do not have to play the complete spelling of the chord in most of the music we "good ole boys" play.
    You did bring up a good point. Just sound the D root and let the guitar guys get the b7 (C). Not only the guitar guys, how about the piano and any other solo instrument. Yep stay out of their way so they will leave the bottom end to you.

    We are to play some of the notes of the chord, how many is kinda left up to our skill level and the music itself. Roots just by them selves work and harmonize. The root and five adds value. Yes you could bring in the 3 as it is a major chord and also have the b7 as it is a major dominant chord - R-3-5-b7 would work - if you have time for a full four count chord. If you only have two counts - the D and D7 in the same bar - you could use R-3 (D-F#)for the D and then R-b7 (D-C) for the D7. Again it's your bass line.....

    Yes I think and play in A, B, C and 1, 2, 3's........ Find my root in first position and if I need a 5 it will be up a string and over two frets. If I wanted the 3 it would be up a string and back a fret. The b7 is up two strings from the root same fret as the root.

    Happy trails.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  9. 68Goldfish

    68Goldfish Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    Port Orchard WA
    Thanks for all the reply's! Listening to it a little closer I think that it is moving from a D to a D minor! I thought it was the D to the flatted 7th I was hearing but it's actually the change to the minor third. Still it sounds like staying on the tonic is probably the best option or maybe under the Dm hit the D (root) F (minor 3rd) A (fifth) ending on the G for the chord change.
     
  10. Without going to a bass or piano, I think : F-Em-Am-D7-Dm-G7-C

    BTW, big Rundgren fan here.
     
    tradernick likes this.
  11. tradernick

    tradernick Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    You beat me to it. Good ears!

    Your idea of outlining the Dm chord is good if you want some movement.

    As Fergie Fulton and bassliner50 point out above, it's usually D7 in the bar before Dm, as in the following TR version. In the first pass of the section, Zev Katz uses the root followed by C natural then back to D in that bar, thus conveying the 'D7-ness' of the chord. Have you heard Todd's version from Live At Darryl's House? If not, check it out.

     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
    Fergie Fulton likes this.
  12. 68Goldfish

    68Goldfish Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    Port Orchard WA
    That's a great version. It's like those two guys are meant to sing together.
     
    Fergie Fulton likes this.

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