Ear Training(chord movements)

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by FoodSexMusic, May 23, 2014.

  1. FoodSexMusic

    FoodSexMusic Banned

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    Training my ear again... looking for good examples of songs with the following chord movements in them:

    Two minor chords a fifth apart(I don't know if I should describe that as a 2-6 movement or a 1-5 movement?).
    The only time I know I've heard this movement was in the Pink Floyd song, 'Fat Old Sun', under the lyrics; 'sing to me'!!

    And two major(or 7th chords) chords a tritone apart! I came across this movement in the Beatles song, 'do you want to know a secret'. I rare I know, but good for the ear
     
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  2. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    Should be fairly common, because two minor chords a 5th apart (up or down) can be in the same key. Off the top of my head:
    Losing My Religion (Am-Em, i-v in Aeolian)
    Black Magic Woman (Dm-Am, ditto)

    Dom7 chords a tritone apart are usually subs for each other, so it would be rare to find them together (you'd usually have one or the other).

    "Do You Want To Know a Secret" does it in the intro, as you say - because they're kind of playing with a parallel key relationship (E minor > E major).
    So the intro, in E minor, ends with a G chord going down to F, as if they're thinking about modulating to C major - but no, in comes the B7 to pull it back to E. (They could have stuck with an F7, which would have resolved to E major nicely, but the melody note of B - the #11 - might have been a step too far for the jolly moptops in those early days, and a B7 felt stronger.)

    I can't think (right now) of other examples, but I know of a couple of examples of minor chords going to a major a tritone away, which is perhaps even stranger:

    The Kinks "Tired Of Waiting" (written just a year or two after Do You Want to Know a Secret). The bridge chords are G-Bm-F-D, one bar each, twice.

    Bob Dylan: "Lay Lady Lay": A-C#m-G-Bm.
     
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  3. FoodSexMusic

    FoodSexMusic Banned

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    yeah, you see I'd hear them as being a 4th apart as opposed to a fifth if you know what I mean!

    Thanks
     
  4. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    Yes - just depends which direction you listen in...;)

    A 4th interval is smaller than a 5th, so you might well hear them as 4th down rather than 5th up.
    It's also quite likely that a bass player would move the smaller distance too, which would make you hear it more strongly as a 4th descent.

    Theoretically it's the same thing of course.

    If it's a rise of a 5th you want to learn to identify, you're better off listening for melodies, not chord moves. With chord moves, what matters is functional relationship: which is why a 4th down (root-wise) is the same as 5th up; doesn't matter which way you hear it. But it does matter (to the song at least) whether its i-v, ii-vi or vi-iii ;).

    BTW, I remembered another example of two major chords a tritone apart: Karma Police, by Radiohead. There's an F#(7) followed by C in the "this is what you get" bridge: |C-D-|G-F#7-|C-D-|G-F#7|C... etc.
     
  5. FoodSexMusic

    FoodSexMusic Banned

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    Interesting.

    Come on guys, JonR isn't the only one with a brain on this forum!!
     
  6. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    Prove it.

    :cool:

    (Just kidding. It might be the school holidays that are keeping things quiet. I know that's why I'm not here, probably others too being run ragged being chauffer, cook, entertainer & bodyguard to the little angels :) )
     
  7. houston

    houston Senior Member

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    Was going to suggest Oye Como Va, but I think that's more i-iv-i-iv-etc. The bass may go down a 5th, instead of up a 4th (as JonR mentioned, same difference), which I would say is typically done to create some nice counterpoint motion. But I think it's more accurate to say those chords are a 4th apart, rather than a 5th. (Although I think it's more conventional to talk about chords in their relation to the tonic, rather than in terms of intervals.)
     
  8. FoodSexMusic

    FoodSexMusic Banned

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    The change from the verse to the pre chorus involving C#m to G

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCQGnVrTsAM
     
  9. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    Yes, good one.
    As in the Dylan song, it's a potential result of including a bVII chord in the key (rock convention), along with the diatonic iii (traditional convention). Sooner or later, those chords are going to rub up against one another! ;)
     
  10. FoodSexMusic

    FoodSexMusic Banned

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    Yeah, I think in this song there's a tritone movement. The change from the last chord of the main riff(E major) at 0:17..... to what I think is a Ab minor(at 0:18)

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk70wuIYBBE[/ame]

    It always amazes me the way artists come up with such wonderful stuff. They not only need to be good song writers, but good musicians. With myself for example, whenever I get an inspirational feeling, I wouldn't know how to translate it to music even if I could play better by hear! I might know what song I feel like listening to, but no other melody just comes into my head.

    It's not the best song in the world, but the way the chords in the intro are arranged makes it addictive. Your brain doesn't know whether the Ab minor chord(at 0:18) is the resolving sound, or the starting sound. Because by the time it hits the Ab minor again, you want to hear more. I wonder did Joe Jackson just hear this in his head, or did he just fiddle about on the piano a bit and realise that something sounded good!

    Far better than any blues or metal music that guitar player are so into!!
     
  11. FoodSexMusic

    FoodSexMusic Banned

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  12. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    Ah, not quite!
    The key is C major, but the chord actually preceding the Gbadd9 is F (albeit with a single C note on the last beat).
    So he's just going up a half-step.
    Still an interesting and unusual way of working his way back to C, via the Ab and Bb (standard borrowings from C minor).
     
  13. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    I never got back to you on this one, but I've now transcribed it myself - fascinating chords. I get a lot of Donald Fagen influence from it - eg compare this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8zrKnkd6ss

    Anyway, this ties in perfectly with your thread on slash chords! :)

    The chords in Steppin' Out are pretty much all slash chords, at least the intro/chorus sequence.
    The key is F#, but mixes major and (parallel) minor.
    In the intro (and chorus), the bass is playing octaves in a riff that goes |F#-F#-B-C#-|F#-C#-B-C#-|. I.e, implying a I-I-IV-V every bar.

    The chords are indistinct at first (0:06), but then clearer at 0:09: Emaj7 and D#m7 over the repeating bass riff.
    So the Emaj7 falls on the F#, but then the D#m7 falls on the B-C#, and then sustains over the next bar (bass F#-C#-B-C#).

    At 0:12, the chords are |A-B-C#m|B---|(still over the same bass line). So the B and C#m coincide with bass notes playing the roots - but they're about the only chords that do.

    At 0:15 (still same bass line remember), the upper chords are D-E-A-E. (The A might be F#m7, hard to be sure.)

    Then you get the very sweet change at 0:18, which is F#maj7 - played as 2 voicings of A#m over the F#, the second one being sustained over the B-C# bass notes.

    After that, it's back to the same chords as from 0:12.

    Hard to give chord symbols to all this, because of the way the bass line keeps moving under the sustained chords. But it's definitely a tour de force of slash chords. Putting each chord over the bass line, it looks like this (the main chorus sequence):

    Code:
    |A#m     A#m  ______|________ (g#  a#)|
    |F# - F# - B - C# - |F# - C# - B - C# |
    
    |Emaj7   D#m7 ______|________         |
    |F# - F# - B - C# - |F# - C# - B - C# |
    
    |A       B     C#m  |B
    |F# - F# - B - C# - |F# - C# - B - C# |
    
    |D       E     A    |E
    |F# - F# - B - C# - |F# - C# - B - C# |
    Translated into the friendlier key of G, it would be this:

    Code:
    |Bm    Bm ______|______ (a   b )|
    |G - G - C - D -|G - D - C - D -|
    
    |Fmaj7 Em7 _____|________       |
    |G - G - C - D -|G - D - C - D -|
    
    |Bb    C     Dm |C
    |G - G - C - D -|G - D - C - D -|
    
    |Eb    F     Bb |F
    |G - G - C - D  |G - D - C - D -|
    
    (The lower case notes in the first line are the piano melody)

    The verse is a little simpler - no slash chords (unless you count where that bass line comes back in bars 5-6), just an F# major tonic, with the other chords from the parallel minor:
    |F# - - - |F# - - - |D - - - |E - - - |
    |F# - (/B /C#)|F# - (/B /C#)|D - - - |E - - - |
    |C#m - - - |D - - - |E - - - |C#m - - - |
    |D - - - |D - E7sus4 - |

    That E7sus4 makes a beautiful cadence into the F#maj7 of the chorus.
    The connection seems bizarre, until you think of E7sus4 as Bm/E, and F#maj7 as A#m/F#. Then the upper voices all descend by 1/2 step:
    -2--1------------
    -3--2------------
    -4--3------------
    ---------------
    ---------------
    -0--2------------
    Neat ;)

    bVII-I is what jazz musicians call a "backdoor progression", but in that case the bVII is usually a lydian dominant - 7#11 - not a 7sus4; makes quite a difference. Here's how a lydian dominant bVII would work:
    ----------------
    -11--9-----------
    -11--10------------
    -12--8-----------
    -11--9-----------
    -0---------------
    (E9#11 > F#maj9)
     
  14. Royal Crimson

    Royal Crimson Senior Member

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    This thread makes my brain ache.

    But I read it all. Maybe something will stick to the wall.
     
  15. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    Me too, just looking at it. :)

    You need to hear and understand the sounds first. The jargon is then just stuff we use to talk (or write) about the sounds - if we want or need to. None of it has to "stick".
    If it doesn't, it doesn't matter - you can play perfectly well without knowing any of it.
    If it does stick, it will be because you've seen a connection with a sound you're familiar, that you maybe use all the time. "Oh, that's what it's called!" ;)

    Of course, it may be that it could all be explained in simpler ways that wouldn't make you brain ache so much... (That's my personal project :))
     
  16. FoodSexMusic

    FoodSexMusic Banned

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    I tried the 7th String thing a bit with an iTunes file. But I wasn't able to come across anything that show the chords for the song. There's a few extra features under the Fx icon, like the tuning and loop features, but nothing about chords??
     
  17. FoodSexMusic

    FoodSexMusic Banned

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    Thanks,

    The synth backing is simly too fast for me to try and listen for a slash chord sound. I guess I subconsciously excluded the synth as being a separate entity when I tried figuring out the chords. Maybe when I get that Transcribe thing sorted, I might slow it down and see what it sounds like.
    Hmm, but it they sound like they're different inversions to the regular 5 string barre chords
    I got |A-B-A-E| instead of your "|A-B-C#m|B---|". I then presumed that the next batch of chords of |D-E-A-E| was a modulation of |A-B-A-E|
    So is it just notes that are played from 0:20-0:22? I just play G# A# D# C#, but I'd have thought there'd be chords there too
    Again, because I consider the synth as separate, and due to it being too fast, that explains why I heard the F#maj7 as a A#m chord, even though the maj7th sounds better.

    I don't know how he came up with the synth backing track. It must have been a team of people.
     
  18. To Need a Woman

    To Need a Woman Senior Member

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    Actually, the 5th chord of the intro here is a Bb which then moves to an E. That's about the only example you'll find

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQAOnkDWffw
     
  19. To Need a Woman

    To Need a Woman Senior Member

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  20. To Need a Woman

    To Need a Woman Senior Member

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    Tritone cadence at 1:26 -
     

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