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stepping out of keys?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by jtsam, Oct 11, 2005.


  1. jtsam

    jtsam

    Apr 11, 2005
    i play in a rock band and i have parts that i like pretty well on most of the songs, but in most of them i step out of the key at points...i've been trying to figure out why stuff like this works but i dont really understand it, modes perhaps?
    for instance, on one song i play in D dorian, but i also use a F# and an Eb fairly regularly---another is in D minor but i put a F# in at spots...a B in D phygian?? our guitarist usually plays some pretty weird stuff and doesnt really use major keys...so maybe i can just play weird stuff because he does too...but theres gotta be some explanation!
    thnx.
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Congratulations! You made a major breakthrough in your playing...the odd notes you used worked because you were listening to what was going on around you and reacting to it rather than blindly following modes. Modes are great building blocks for playing, but in the end, you have to trust your ears and know when to step off the modes and react to what other people in the band are doing.
     
  3. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    UK
    it ain't so surprising that the universe doesn't implode in on itself if you play a note that's not diatonic (i.e. in the key of the piece).. what you get is a certain amount of harmonic tension...

    and music's all about tension and release... harmonic, melodic, rhythmic, lyrical... and if you create ugly sounding harmonic tension by throwing in 'wrong' notes, then provided you go somewhere satisfying with it, it can work... often the more tense, ugly and dissonant the note, the more skilled you have to be to extract something interesting from it

    the reason 'bum notes' can make you wince is that they usually arrive totally out of context, and usually don't resolve anywhere...
     
  4. jtsam

    jtsam

    Apr 11, 2005
    hm, yeah...i guess that does make sense. i have always enjoyed dissonance a fair amount. i was just curious if there was something more to it theory wise than putting in dissonance and resolving it, hehe, oh well guess i can stop trying to figure it out now and just play what i hear! thanks a ton for your imput.
     
  5. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    You could do that, but probably not best to! :) You can nearly always explain why thinsg sound the way they do after you play them, and while it doesnt make what you playde any more or less valid to understand it, it might help you remember it which might help you replicate a sound if you want to use it again in the future.
     
  6. jtsam

    jtsam

    Apr 11, 2005
    thats kinda what i was hoping for origionally
     
  7. RhythmBassist01

    RhythmBassist01

    Aug 31, 2005
    These notes are non-harmonic, meaning note out side the key. e.g. Key is C Major - Bb is the minor 7th interval of C Major, which is non-harmonic tone.
     
  8. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    I think you mean non 'diatonic', meaning outside of the strict key signeture? 'Non harmonic' doenst really mean anything, to me at least :)
     
  9. RhythmBassist01

    RhythmBassist01

    Aug 31, 2005
    Fundamental Harmony is a chord, or a chord progression.
     
  10. Voice leading is where it's at. The bass more than anything other instrument in the band has the possibility of incredible voice leading. You mentioned Eb or F# when you were using the Dorian mode. Those notes would work great before a chord built on D and G respectively and actually would be MORE useful for voice leading purposes than just hanging out on diatonics. Bebop jazz bass lines are nothing but voice leading. :hyper: