Music theory questions

silversky

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2013
Messages
103
Reaction score
4
:thumb: Hey guys, Im a theory noob still.. and you may need to explain it to me very simply :laugh2: ......

:hmm: When you improvise on guitar and a song is in the key of F major and you'd usually just improvise with a Dminor.Fmajor scale around the neck, Would it be possible to solo in different keys? (besides the relative minor) like if you had a 1 4 5 chord progression - Fmajor, Bbmajor, C major.. Would you just solo with the one Fmajor/Dminor key? Or could you play a C major scale, Bb major scale along with this since the chords are those? If so would it had to be played only when those chords are played? Or is it when your in that one key your stuck with only the one scale/ Key to improvise with? Im a theory noob.. lol


And Can somebody name every single type of chord there is?
Im confused about this too.. Somebody told me theres such thing as a minor Dominant and a major dominant chord? I thought a Dominant chord was a whole OTHER type of chord, just like how theres no such thing as a minor-Major chord or Major-minor chord (lol you know what I mean right)
And what about Augmented chords? Are there minor and major augmented chords? Like I know theres minor diminished chords and such but I just thought some chords were just as they are by them selves and there was no minor or major added to it ?


If theres such thing as Augmented minor chords and such would the formulas go like- 1 b3 b#? Oh and are there 7ths added to it? if so would it be 1 3b 5# 7b?.... lol very confusing to me..

:cool:And... what are dominant chords exactly?
Off topic again but can someone please give me the formula to EVERY single formula to chords... 9th, 11th chords and such aswell? :fingersx:

Btw Does anyone know of some really good chord books that show every single position along the neck for every chord? :laugh2: Please..


Another thing.. I thought the F note was exactly the same as Fb and E#? like how A# is exactly the same as Bb.. And what about B? Is B also B#/Cb??
 

huw

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Messages
3,595
Reaction score
4,884
:thumb: Hey guys, Im a theory noob still.. and you may need to explain it to me very simply :laugh2: ......

I'll try and explain it, but will you promise to read it if I do? I'm seeing the same questions in multiple threads...

...:hmm: When you improvise on guitar and a song is in the key of F major and you'd usually just improvise with a Dminor.Fmajor scale around the neck, Would it be possible to solo in different keys? (besides the relative minor) like if you had a 1 4 5 chord progression - Fmajor, Bbmajor, C major.. Would you just solo with the one Fmajor/Dminor key? Or could you play a C major scale, Bb major scale along with this since the chords are those? If so would it had to be played only when those chords are played? Or is it when your in that one key your stuck with only the one scale/ Key to improvise with? Im a theory noob.. lol

Just answered this in one of your other threads.

...And Can somebody name every single type of chord there is?

Why? There are conventions to naming, and it's better to learn how chords are constructed/named, then you can work it out for yourself. Have a look at:

Dolmetsch Online - Music Theory Online - Triads & Chords

Dolmetsch Online - Music Theory Online - Chords in Detail

Dolmetsch Online - Music Theory Online - 12 tone chords

That's a lot to read, but it would have been a lot for me to type, too... :cool:

...Im confused about this too.. Somebody told me theres such thing as a minor Dominant and a major dominant chord? I thought a Dominant chord was a whole OTHER type of chord, just like how theres no such thing as a minor-Major chord or Major-minor chord (lol you know what I mean right)

Ok - that was me, so I'll try again. The problem is the distinction between what's technically correct, and common usage.

"Dominant" is the name of the 5th note of the scale, so in C it would be G. With me so far?

So, in the key of C, if you build a chord on the dominant note, G, it is known as the dominant chord.

In C major that would be a G major chord. In C minor it would be G minor. So the dominant chord is major or minor depending on whether the key is major or minor. With me so far?

(At this point it's worth mentioning -before someone else chips in - that in a minor key it is quite common to use a major dominant chord, ie to use G major as the dominant chord in C minor. This is borrowed from the major key with the same tonic note, ie C major. But just because it's common, doesn't mean that it's a rule :) )

Anyway, back to the major dominant: if we extend all the chords of a key beyond the basic triad - that is to say, if we make them into 7th chords instead of just major/minor triads - we get these:

In C major: Cmaj7, Dm7, Em7, Fmaj7, G7, Am7, Bm7b5

Just looking at the major chords, see how C & F have both become maj7 chords (root, 3, 5, 7), but G has become a G7 (root, 3, 5, b7).

Because of this, the chord construction root, 3, 5, b7 is sometimes known as a "dominant 7th".

People will often call these chords dominant 7ths regardless of whether they are actually built on the dominant note.

eg they would call G7 a "dominant 7th" chord, regardless of whether it was in the key of C.

A simple example is in blues, where it's common to use 7th chords for all the chords:

A7 /// //// //// ////
D7/// //// A7/// ////
E7/// //// A7/// ////

In this blues in A it would be quite usual to call all the chords dominant 7ths, even though only the E7 is actually the dominant of the key.

Still with me? :)

...And what about Augmented chords? Are there minor and major augmented chords?

No. An augmented triad is root, major third, augmented 5th. Always.

... Like I know theres minor diminished chords and such...

No - a diminished chord is it's own thing. It's similar to minor, because it has a minor third, but it's a different thing. (I know it's confusing - we've inherited a system of naming things that evolved over a long time, without a planning committee).

There are three types of diminished:

simple diminished triad: root, b3, b5

then when we extend to the 7th we get either...

"half diminished", aka m7b5: root, b3, b5, b7
or
diminished seventh: root, b3, b5, bb7. That's a double flatted 7th, two frets below a major 7th (which give the same note as a major 6th, by another name).

Off topic again but can someone please give me the formula to EVERY single formula to chords... 9th, 11th chords and such aswell? :fingersx:

Earlier in this thread I posted some links to a very good theory site on chord construction.

...Another thing.. I thought the F note was exactly the same as Fb and E#? like how A# is exactly the same as Bb.. And what about B? Is B also B#/Cb??

I answered that yesterday in one of your other threads.

One more time:

F is the same as E# - yes.
F is not the same as Fb.
A# is the same as Bb - yes.
B is not the same as B#
B is the same as Cb.

Any note can be sharpened (raised by one fret) or flattened (lowered by one fret).

Most natural notes have a gap between them. Eg A & B are two frets apart. So that the note inbetween is either A# or Bb.

But, there is no note between B & C, or E & F. Eg E & F are only one fret apart.

So in those two cases there is an overlap: B# = C; Cb = B; E# = F; Fb = E.

:wave:
 

JonR

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2010
Messages
2,889
Reaction score
2,578
Just a couple of footnotes to huw's comprehensive reply:
And Can somebody name every single type of chord there is?
No, but here's the basic formulas:

POWER CHORDS: 1 type, just root and perfect 5th (either one possibly doubled).

TRIADS: 4 types: major, minor, diminished, augmented. Some people argue that sus4 and sus2 make two additional triad types. (I'm inclined to agree.)

SEVENTH CHORDS: 6 types:
Maj7 (1-3-5-7); Dom7 (1-3-5-b7);
Min7 (1-b3-5-b7); min(maj7) (1-b3-5-7)
Half-dim or m7b5 (1-b3-b5-b7); Dim7 (1-b3-b5-bb7)
Those are based on 3 triad types (maj min dim), each with two types of 7th added.
There are possible variants - eg altered dom7s, maj7#5, 7sus4, etc - but those are the basics for jazz at least.
In rock, add9 chords are also common (9ths added to maj or min triads).

Adding extensions (9, 11 13) makes many more types of course, but understanding the above is where to start.

Understanding INTERVAL terminology will help in understanding chord terminology, because chord names derive from the names of their most significant intervals.
Like I know theres minor diminished chords and such but I just thought some chords were just as they are by them selves and there was no minor or major added to it ?
The diminished triad - like the augmented triad - takes its name from its 5th interval.
Code:
HALF-STEPS: |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
MAJ TRIAD:  1          M3       p5    ([U]major 3rd[/U], perfect 5th)
MIN TRIAD:  1       m3          p5    ([U]minor 3rd[/U], perfect 5th)
AUG TRIAD:  1          M3          a5 (major 3rd, [U]augmented 5th[/U])
DIM TRIAD:  1       m3       d5       (minor 3rd, [U]diminished 5th[/U])
huw's described the two kinds of 7th chord formed from the dim triad:
DIM7 (dim triad with diminished 7th - half-step lower than b7)
HALF-DIM, or m7b5 (dim triad with b7) - so called because it only has one diminished interval (b5), while the dim7 has two (b5, bb7).
Another thing.. I thought the F note was exactly the same as Fb and E#? like how A# is exactly the same as Bb.. And what about B? Is B also B#/Cb??
No: B=Cb, and C=B# (sounds like).
The rule is that a scale must have one of each note letter, and only one.
F major scale: F G A Bb C D E
B major scale: B C# D# E F# G# A#
Both contain the A#/Bb note, but the other notes determine which name that one has. (No A# in F major, because there's already an A, etc.)

When it comes to scales like F# and C# major, we need the notes E# and B# because obviously we already have F# and C#, so can't have "F" or "C".
This is partly so that each scale note has its own place on staff notation (A and A# would appear on the same line), and partly so that the note-counting system that theory depends on can work properly.
This is where interval names come in.

C-G = perfect 5th (5 notes, 7 half-steps)
C-Gb = diminished 5th (5 notes, 6 half-steps)
C-F# = augmented 4th (4 notes, 6 half-steps).

C-Gb and C-F# sound exactly the same, but occur in different scales: Db major and G major.

All the COMMON chord types come from common scales.
The maj, min and dim triads all come from the major scale (and its modes);
The aug triad comes from harmonic and melodic minor (III degree);
Maj7, dom7, min7, min7b5 all come from the major scale;
min(maj7) comes from harmonic and melodic minor;
Dim7 comes from harmonc minor (vii degree).
 

silversky

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2013
Messages
103
Reaction score
4
I'll try and explain it, but will you promise to read it if I do? I'm seeing the same questions in multiple threads...



Just answered this in one of your other threads.



Why? There are conventions to naming, and it's better to learn how chords are constructed/named, then you can work it out for yourself. Have a look at:

Dolmetsch Online - Music Theory Online - Triads & Chords

Dolmetsch Online - Music Theory Online - Chords in Detail

Dolmetsch Online - Music Theory Online - 12 tone chords

That's a lot to read, but it would have been a lot for me to type, too... :cool:



Ok - that was me, so I'll try again. The problem is the distinction between what's technically correct, and common usage.

"Dominant" is the name of the 5th note of the scale, so in C it would be G. With me so far?

So, in the key of C, if you build a chord on the dominant note, G, it is known as the dominant chord.

In C major that would be a G major chord. In C minor it would be G minor. So the dominant chord is major or minor depending on whether the key is major or minor. With me so far?

(At this point it's worth mentioning -before someone else chips in - that in a minor key it is quite common to use a major dominant chord, ie to use G major as the dominant chord in C minor. This is borrowed from the major key with the same tonic note, ie C major. But just because it's common, doesn't mean that it's a rule :) )

Anyway, back to the major dominant: if we extend all the chords of a key beyond the basic triad - that is to say, if we make them into 7th chords instead of just major/minor triads - we get these:

In C major: Cmaj7, Dm7, Em7, Fmaj7, G7, Am7, Bm7b5

Just looking at the major chords, see how C & F have both become maj7 chords (root, 3, 5, 7), but G has become a G7 (root, 3, 5, b7).

Because of this, the chord construction root, 3, 5, b7 is sometimes known as a "dominant 7th".

People will often call these chords dominant 7ths regardless of whether they are actually built on the dominant note.

eg they would call G7 a "dominant 7th" chord, regardless of whether it was in the key of C.

A simple example is in blues, where it's common to use 7th chords for all the chords:

A7 /// //// //// ////
D7/// //// A7/// ////
E7/// //// A7/// ////

In this blues in A it would be quite usual to call all the chords dominant 7ths, even though only the E7 is actually the dominant of the key.

Still with me? :)



No. An augmented triad is root, major third, augmented 5th. Always.



No - a diminished chord is it's own thing. It's similar to minor, because it has a minor third, but it's a different thing. (I know it's confusing - we've inherited a system of naming things that evolved over a long time, without a planning committee).

There are three types of diminished:

simple diminished triad: root, b3, b5

then when we extend to the 7th we get either...

"half diminished", aka m7b5: root, b3, b5, b7
or
diminished seventh: root, b3, b5, bb7. That's a double flatted 7th, two frets below a major 7th (which give the same note as a major 6th, by another name).



Earlier in this thread I posted some links to a very good theory site on chord construction.



I answered that yesterday in one of your other threads.

One more time:

F is the same as E# - yes.
F is not the same as Fb.
A# is the same as Bb - yes.
B is not the same as B#
B is the same as Cb.

Any note can be sharpened (raised by one fret) or flattened (lowered by one fret).

Most natural notes have a gap between them. Eg A & B are two frets apart. So that the note inbetween is either A# or Bb.

But, there is no note between B & C, or E & F. Eg E & F are only one fret apart.

So in those two cases there is an overlap: B# = C; Cb = B; E# = F; Fb = E.

:wave:

So there is only one dominant chord per key?
Meaning there's no formula for it because its just the 5th of the key example- F major key- the dominant chord is a normal C major chord? and thats all? And when they say dominant 7th chord its a major with the 7th added?- C E G Bb?
1,3,5,b7 dominant chord so start from the fifth of whatever key your in and apply this formula?
....
1,3,5,7 -normal major 7th chord

and 1,b3,5,b7 for the minor 7th chord

correct?

.....Another question, When chords are constructed are they built in order on the strings of the guitar starting on the 1st from the low E , 3rd on the string below and 5th on the bottom string? or would a C major chord be a C major chord matter what, though would it become some sort of inversion?

Lastly,so Augmented and Diminished chords are there own thing? and 7ths could be applied to chord type including augment- 1,3,5#,7? and for dominant augmented 7th chords- 1,3,5# b7? and since augmented chord are its own thing would it work with minor chord progressions as well as major chords? like how would you know when it would sound good? or in a minor chord if you sharped the 5th -1,b3,5# would it became a minor augment chord?

Thanks for your help
 

tdearn

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
650
Reaction score
538
Also if you play in different keys over your progression you get modes which are good for adding a different flavour to your improvisation. For example, if you play a cmajor scale over a d progression you will get the Dorian mode which works particularly nicely with minor 7 chords IMO. Depending on which scale you.play you get a different mode. I would go through them all but if you Google it you will.probably get a better explanation!
 

Thumpalumpacus

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
76,200
Reaction score
187,691
So there is only one dominant chord per key?
Meaning there's no formula for it because its just the 5th of the key example- F major key- the dominant chord is a normal C major chord? and thats all? And when they say dominant 7th chord its a major with the 7th added?- C E G Bb?
1,3,5,b7 dominant chord so start from the fifth of whatever key your in and apply this formula?
....
1,3,5,7 -normal major 7th chord

and 1,b3,5,b7 for the minor 7th chord

correct?

A dominant7 chord is one which had a natural third and a flat seventh in it:

1 - 3 - 5- b7

That is not a dominant chord in the sense that Huw was pointing out. That's a different usage of the same word.

.....Another question, When chords are constructed are they built in order on the strings of the guitar starting on the 1st from the low E , 3rd on the string below and 5th on the bottom string? or would a C major chord be a C major chord matter what, though would it become some sort of inversion?

Not always, and chord-building conventions aren't built around guitar patterns. They are abstract. A chord is built by stacking intervals together and striking them simultaneously. Generally, the intervals are all thirds, either major or minor thirds. Thus, a dominant seventh chord is built by stacking a natural third and then 2 minor thirds, in sequence, onto a root note:

A [natural third] C# [minor third] E [minor third] G

Note that if you continue to stack thirds onto this construct, you will be building the jazz extensions (9ths, 11ths, etc).

Lastly,so Augmented and Diminished chords are there own thing? and 7ths could be applied to chord type including augment- 1,3,5#,7? and for dominant augmented 7th chords- 1,3,5# b7? and since augmented chord are its own thing would it work with minor chord progressions as well as major chords? like how would you know when it would sound good? or in a minor chord if you sharped the 5th -1,b3,5# would it became a minor augment chord?

Thanks for your help

Aug and dim chords have their own rules of construction. Augmented chords are two major thirds stacked consecutively, and diminished chords are two minor thirds stacked consecutively. An augmented chord is major, a diminished chord is minor, by definition, because in the augmented chord the third is natural, and in the diminished the third is flatted.
 

JonR

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2010
Messages
2,889
Reaction score
2,578
So there is only one dominant chord per key?
Yes.
Meaning there's no formula for it because its just the 5th of the key example- F major key- the dominant chord is a normal C major chord? and thats all?
Yes.
And when they say dominant 7th chord its a major with the 7th added?- C E G Bb?
Yes. That's a minor 7th, btw, meaning it's 10 half-steps above the root.
1,3,5,b7 dominant chord so start from the fifth of whatever key your in and apply this formula?
Yes.
....
1,3,5,7 -normal major 7th chord
Yes.
Major 3rd and major 7th (11 half-steps) = "maj7" chord. Found on I and IV degrees of major scale. The "maj" in the same refers to the 7th, not the 3rd.
Major 3rd and minor 7th = "7" chord - aka "dom7", because it's only found on the dominant (V) step of the scale. (Major and harmonic minor, btw.)
and 1,b3,5,b7 for the minor 7th chord

correct?
Correct. Minor 3rd and minor 7th makes a "min7" chord. The "min" or "m" refers to the 3rd, not the 7th. You can have a "m(maj7" chord too:
1 b3 5 7, eg A C E G#.
.....Another question, When chords are constructed are they built in order on the strings of the guitar starting on the 1st from the low E , 3rd on the string below and 5th on the bottom string? or would a C major chord be a C major chord matter what, though would it become some sort of inversion?
A C major chord is formed from the notes C E and G wherever you can find them. If C is not the lowest note, then it's an inversion.
Lastly,so Augmented and Diminished chords are there own thing? and 7ths could be applied to chord type including augment- 1,3,5#,7?
Yes; happens on III degree of harmonic and melodic minor scales.
and for dominant augmented 7th chords- 1,3,5# b7?
Those chords occur, but are a special case. They don't derive from a normal scale, because no scale runs #5-6-b7. Derivation-wise, they are really "altered dominant" chords, rather than augmented chords with b7 added.
and since augmented chord are its own thing would it work with minor chord progressions as well as major chords? like how would you know when it would sound good? or in a minor chord if you sharped the 5th -1,b3,5# would it became a minor augment chord?
It's possible, but actually it would sound like an inverted major chord. A-C-E# sounds like A-C-F, an inverted F major triad.
 

huw

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Messages
3,595
Reaction score
4,884

huw

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Messages
3,595
Reaction score
4,884
Also if you play in different keys over your progression you get modes which are good for adding a different flavour to your improvisation...

That's not really what modes are. The chord progression will be in a key already - looking at the notes contained in the chords will tell you what set of notes is in play. You can't just "force fit" one set of notes over another and expect it to work (without good reason).

eg chord progression 1: C /// Am /// F /// G ///

C = CEG; Am = ACE; F = FAC; G = GBD. Together = CDEFGAB = C major.

Playing the notes of C major will sound "in", playing anything else will sound "out".

Chord progression 2: C //// Am //// F //// Gm ////

Because the Gm chord has a Bb instead of the B in the previous progression, our set of "in" notes this time becomes CDEFGABb = C mixolydian.

... For example, if you play a cmajor scale over a d progression you will get the Dorian mode...

A Dm progression and a Dm chord are two different things...

If there is just a Dm chord for a few bars, then fair enough, "playing the C major scale" will give you the same set of notes as D dorian - DEFGABC (although I think that whole "thinking in a different key" approach is more work that necessary).

But a Dm progression could be something like this one, from Sultans Of Swing:

Dm /// Bb /// F / C / F / C /

Dm = DFA; Bb = BbDF; F = FAC; C = CEG. All together = DEFGABbC = D (natural) minor, aka D Aeolian. Not D dorian...

:)
 

huw

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Messages
3,595
Reaction score
4,884
...dominant augmented 7th chords- 1,3,5# b7? ...

...how would you know when it would sound good?

Adding to Jon's & Thump's answers:

2nd question is easiest to answer - trial and error. You try it out and see if it works.

After you've done that a few dozen/hundred times "for real" you'll be able to "hear" it in your head. You'll know the sound, and come to your own conclusions about how useful it is to you.

Let me give you just one example of where you could use a 7#5 chord, and why...

Say we have a tune in A, and at the end of a verse we have an E > A chord change to finish it off - a V - I.

E = EG#B
A = AC#E

Think for a moment how the notes of the E move to the notes of the A.

The E note is common to both chords, so doesn't need to move.
The G# rises a semitone to A (this movement, and the implied tension as we wait for it to happen, is the real "motor" driving this chord change)
The B note can rise a tone to C#, or fall a tone to A. (Because either of these movements is a tone, there is not so much tension/resolution as the G# > A semitone rise)

So far so good. Now let's make the E into an E7 (a dominant 7th in every sense :) )

E7 = EG#BD
A = AC#E

This time there is greater tension because the note D in the E7 falls by a semitone to the C# in the A. The semitone movement (both G# > A, and D > C#) sounds inevitable, like it was being pulled by gravity.

That B to either A or C# is still a bit weak, by comparison, isn't it?

How about... :hmm: ...we alter the E7 and make it an E7#5? :naughty:

So we'll go E7 > E7#5 > A.

E7 = EG#BD
E7#5 = EG#B#D
A = AC#E

Follow the path of that B note now - it rises a semitone to B# (the same pitch as C natural) in the middle chord, then rises another semitone to C# in the final chord.

Instead of being a note that could go up or down, one way or the other, we've given that B some direction, established movement, and created some tension along the way.

Ta - da!

:)

Oh - almost forgot....

...in a minor chord if you sharped the 5th -1,b3,5# would it became a minor augment chord?

Although, as Jon says, a m#5 chord on its own would sound like an inverted major chord, the minor character can survive in certain conditions, if the #5 is part of a moving line.

For instance, play this:

Code:
e - 0 - x - 0 - x - 0 - x - 0 - x
B - 0 - x - 1 - x - 2 - x - 1 - x
G - 0 - x - 0 - x - 0 - x - 0 - x
D - x - x - x - x - x - x - x - x
A - x - x - x - x - x - x - x - x
E - x - 0 - x - 0 - x - 0 - x - 0

...and repeat.

Sound familiar? Shaken, not stirred?

Because the #5 is part of a line, the progression can be heard understood as a B > B# > C# melody over an Em chord, and the second chord doesn't have to be thought of as a C major 1st inversion at all.
 

Latest Threads



Top