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Is this even in theory?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by geckoman1220, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. geckoman1220

    geckoman1220 TDPRI Member

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    So i was playing around on the tele, just strumming some chords to kill time when I strum an E major 7. without the high e string because i was being lazy.

    e--x--
    b--9--
    g--8--
    d--9--
    a--7--
    E--x--

    anyway i was stumming that and then moved it down to a D major 7. I think it sounds really cool when switching between then. But is it in correct theory to do? I dont know what key it would be, but i do know it could also sound cool to move it up to a g major 7 at the 10th fret sometimes.
     
  2. czgibson

    czgibson Tele-Afflicted

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    If it sounds cool, chances are it is cool. Theory doesn't have that much to do with it.

    For what it's worth, those two maj7 chords don't turn up in any of the harmonised major or minor scales, so your Emaj7 - Dmaj7 vamp isn't in a single key. If I was soloing over it I would use chord tones to guide me throught the progression. Those chord tones might in turn suggest scales; in this case using E bebop then D Lydian would work quite well. When the Gmaj7 chord arrives, again use chord tones from it to build melodies.

    Music theory isn't an attempt to establish "the laws of music", it's an attempt to describe and codify what musicians do.

    Those chords of yours sound pretty good to me. Follow what your ears tell you before you listen to what anyone else says.
     
  3. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    Very common.
    Check out Art Garfunkle's version of "I Only Have eyes For You"



    Theoretically why? ...
    When you drop any chord down a whole step and then bring it back up the lower chord is quasi functioning as either a IV or a V chord.
    If you want a name for it it's generally referred to as parallel motion or constant structure (the same shape moving around).
    In your case the Dmaj9 (the second chord) is sort of a IV chord - an A triad with D in the bass. So you 'could' think of that progression as Emaj9 to A/D - I to IV.

    *If you dropped down to a Dm or Dm7 chord you could think of that as a heavily altered V7 chord.
     
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  5. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Friend of Leo's

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    No it is not correct, don't ever do that again. ;)

    If something sounds good, theory can explain why. If it sounds bad, theory can explain why. You don't need to know the theory to know if it sounds good or not anymore than you need to understand gravity to know what's going to happen to your Les Paul when your strap breaks.

    But then again, knowledge is power. :cool:
     
  6. ctte2112

    ctte2112 Tele-Holic

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    Nothing is really "wrong", whatever sounds good is good.
     
  7. slowpinky

    slowpinky Tele-Afflicted

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    Dont be thinking theory is about what you cant or shouldnt do....quite the opposite. If something sounds good but defies (at some level) a theoretical understanding, its the fault of the theory , not the sound.
     
  8. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    As a young man, Schoenberg submitted a composition for some kind of award. But, nope, it was disallowed because it contained a chord that didn't exist in theory.
     
  9. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    What Ken said... It's a constant structure vamp. So yes, there is theory to describe what you're doing.

    Personally I think most theory comes after the fact. If you find something that sounds good, chances are that someone has tried to provide an explanation for why it sounds good. Since it's nearly impossible to PROVE that something sounds good, we call it "theory"... Not "fact".

    Where a lot of people get confused is with fundamentals. Things likes modes or key signatures aren't theories, those are fundamental facts.

    Many people lump any technical discussion of music or harmony under the heading "theory", but there is a difference between theory and fundamentals...

    Not that anyone asked... :oops:
     
  10. jackleg

    jackleg Tele-Meister

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    Beethoven was ridiculed for not "following" the rules....
     
  11. slowpinky

    slowpinky Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd LOVE to know what chord it was...wasnt something with Maj 3rd a b9 above a min 3rd by any chance?
     
  12. czgibson

    czgibson Tele-Afflicted

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    Was it the mythical sus3 chord one of my mates tried to convince us was real?
     
  13. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

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    Try adding an A in the bass and you can see how it is a substitute for the IVsus chord.

    This essentially makes your progression a I IV I IV which is about as common a progression you can have, just all dressed up with maj7th's and suspended 4's and 9's
     
  14. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I used to know what it was. Right now, I can't even remember the piece. But I think this is a pretty well-known bit of Schoenberg lore.
     
  15. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    If it sounds good, use it, theory be damned.

    Have you ever read any of the articles in the guitar magazines that talk about solos? They basically read like this: Ingmar von Boom starts out with a riff on the major smellatonic, then slides into a arepgiated minor suspect 9, then grooves on the unrooted Flemish forth inversion for sixty three bars, then finishes with an aldente diminished back third from the pike position.

    In other words, blah, blah, blah...

    I've learned a lot of theory over the past months, and things pop up in pieces that I can't resolve into an established chord but sound nice and fit the overall theme of the piece. So I just play it (or murder it :cool:) and just enjoy it.
     
  16. jmiles

    jmiles Friend of Leo's

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    "the lower chord is quasi functioning as either a IV or a V chord. "

    Remember, Gatton's favorite E7th chord was a D major!
     
  17. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Friend of Leo's

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    Why jump on someone who want's to understand the theory behind a cool sounding thing he's playing? If you choose to remain ignorant on such things, fine, but I don't get this constant vibe of "you don't need to know that stuff" amongst guitar players. :rolleyes:
     
  18. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    Unrooted Flemish 4th inversion ...

    Low to high: F# h E

    I like to use it as a C#m11.
     
  19. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    What the heck is your problem? Nobody jumped on anybody! What I wrote wasn't a criticism, wise crack, or superior attitude, and it certainly wasn't based in ignorance. After forty years of playing the guitar I have been taking lessons over the past eight months or so from an instructor who is a music professor with the emphasis being theory and sight reading from the staff. Why would anybody with a 'don't need to know that stuff' attitude subject himself to trying to learn a complex subject like music theory?

    And if you need any proof that many times pleasant sounding chords that don't fit any standard chord forms really do happen take a look at Ferdinando Carulli's Capriccio in C, just happens to be what I'm working on at the moment. That piece also has a fair amount of dischord in it from standard chord forms. It might even be available in tab somewhere...:mrgreen:

    Music theory goes a long way toward explaining what works and what doesn't, but it's not the last word on what makes music sound good. Music is an art, and thus subject to and tolerant of divergence from the formula.

    That, Charlie Brown, is the meaning of music.
     
  20. Bob L

    Bob L Tele-Meister

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    That would be E11. Burt Bachrach is fond of that as well.
     
  21. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Friend of Leo's

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    No problem here, we actually agree. But come on, I'm sure you've seen plenty of guys on forums claiming you don't need to know stuff and you should "just play by feel, maaaaaan" or "theory doesn't matter if it sounds good."

    My response was really about the first half of your post, "theory be damned" and "blah blah blah". I did see that you said you were working on this stuff, I was using "you" in the general sense when I should have said "someone". Sorry if I inadvertantly accused you of being "that guy". :cool:

    But I think the basic premise we all pretty much agree on in this thread is that whatever you play, whether it sounds good or not, can be explained by theory, often in more than one way. But this is kind of like not needing to understand the Theory of Plate Tectonics to know an earthquake is bad, though knowing it makes it more interesting.

    Thanks for the TAB crack though....while not a sight reader, I can read. ;)
     
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