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Posted: 12/2/2007 6:16:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: Hemi-Cuda]
I want to dedicate this thread to Music Theory.

Every song you listen to has a basis of theory within it, a lot of musicians make it just fine without knowing any theory what so ever but knowledge of these things will put you on a pedestal above others.

Want to improvise guitar solos? You can't do it without basic theory in music.

Music is a language much like English except it's built up off of many formulas. The understanding of music theory, is similar to understanding English. Most people don't have to take classes to learn English, but those who do are much more eloquent.

So let's get a music theory thread going.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 6:30:51 PM EST
[#1]
Good thread.

I remember how to read "normal" sheet music, from my band days back in middle and high school, but guitar stuff is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.  I've been picking up Guitar World mags and the way the sheet music is written in the back of the book is totally alien to me, but I'm sure it's second hand to a guitarist.  Wanna break it down for me?
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:01:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: Hemi-Cuda] [#2]
Chord Progression

What is chord progression?

A chord progression is usually provided for, by a rhythm player and played behind a riff to support the sound.

Let's start with the good old 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression which looks like this:

I - I - I - I

IV - IV - I - I         <- All three lines, will take 16 quarter notes which would be a 4 x 4 setup (4 bars / 4 beats), thus making it 12 bars and 48 beats for the entire progression.
V - IV - I - I

Now for Roman Numeral I, this is known as a Tonal Chord.

A tonal (or tonic) chord is the first chord or note that you play that will set the scale for the rest of the progression.

Roman Numeral IV, this is known has a Sub dominant Chord.

The Sub dominant chord is the 4th degree of the scale you are playing in.

So for example is your Tonal Chord is an A chord (which indicated that you will now be playing in a A Major scale), that would make your Sub dominant Chord a D.

Roman Numeral V, this is known as your Dominant Chord.

The Dominant chord is the 5th degree of a scale.

So, this would mean if your Tonal Chord is an A chord (A Major scale), then your Sub dominant chord would be D chord (4th degree), and that would leave the 5th degree to be the next note up, which would be the E chord.

A-D-E, would be a proper 12 bar blues chord progression. A few other are C-F-G, B-E-F, etc.

So, now lets take the chords I used, the A-D-E and turn that into a chord progression based on the 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression. Our Music sheet would look like that following:



If you have a hard time reading that, in textual chord form it would look like:

A - A - A - A - A - A - A - A - A - A - A - A - A - A - A - A - D - D - D - D - D - D - D - D - A - A - A - A - A - A - A - A - E - E - E - E - D - D - D - D - A - A - A - A - A - A - A - A

Guitar Pro Users, I created a tab of this for you to play along to: www.killingismybusiness.com/Chordprogression.gp5

Got a question? Ask me.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:02:13 PM EST
[#3]

Originally Posted By Quintin:
Good thread.

I remember how to read "normal" sheet music, from my band days back in middle and high school, but guitar stuff is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.  I've been picking up Guitar World mags and the way the sheet music is written in the back of the book is totally alien to me, but I'm sure it's second hand to a guitarist.  Wanna break it down for me?


Can you scan it up or something, so I can have a look?
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:03:17 PM EST
[#4]
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:22:27 PM EST
[#5]

Originally Posted By MrsGloftoe:
Why do notes an octave apart sound the same?

Why is (Western) music on an 8 note scale?


I didn't know the answer to your first question before I researched this, but here is a cool guide which explains it:



There is one note and a note an octave higher. Notice the octave has a frequency twice as high as the note before it but yet the amplitude and crests are the same. They're basically different versions of the same note.

--

I thought Western music was on a 12 note equally spaced scale?
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:26:11 PM EST
[#6]
An octave represents halving or doubling the frequency of a wave.

A simple note at 400hz would increase one octave at 800hz.

The time that the actual wave (lets say for example a sine wave) starts over again just halved.

An octave down would be 200hz, and it would take twice as long for the wave to complete on the graph.

Man this is hard to explain without something to draw on

So I made a diagram for you.

The following is a 400 Hz sine wave, followed by a 800 Hz sine wave:




The vertical dotted line is at the same point on both. For the first, it is halfway through one completion of the wave. For the second, since it takes half as long to complete, it is at one full completion of the wave, if this make sense.

I hope this answers your question
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:26:59 PM EST
[#7]
Damn you Hemi!

It took me too much time getting all high-tech
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:27:59 PM EST
[#8]

Originally Posted By kap_x:
Damn you Hemi!

It took me too much time getting all high-tech


Hell, your explanation dwarfs mine.

Glad I got a partner over here to help me out.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:29:19 PM EST
[#9]
For the second question, western Music uses 12 notes.

The octave is split into these 12 notes in a process known as Equal Temperament.

Logarithms are involved
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:30:52 PM EST
[#10]

Originally Posted By kap_x:
For the second question, western Music uses 12 notes.

The octave is split into these 12 notes in a process known as Equal Temperament.

Logarithms are involved


Yup, all of which if were played in one octave would result in a Chromatic scale.

Look at the way the dominoes are falling in order!
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:32:05 PM EST
[#11]
If you combine a diminished chord form with an augmented chord form, is the result a demented chord?





CJ
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:33:15 PM EST
[#12]

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
If you combine a diminished chord form with an augmented chord form, is the result a demented chord?





CJ




Haven't heard that in years.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:36:38 PM EST
[#13]

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Quintin:
Good thread.

I remember how to read "normal" sheet music, from my band days back in middle and high school, but guitar stuff is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.  I've been picking up Guitar World mags and the way the sheet music is written in the back of the book is totally alien to me, but I'm sure it's second hand to a guitarist.  Wanna break it down for me?


Can you scan it up or something, so I can have a look?


Perhaps he's referring to tablature?
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:38:58 PM EST
[#14]
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:39:44 PM EST
[#15]

Originally Posted By kissfan:

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Quintin:
Good thread.

I remember how to read "normal" sheet music, from my band days back in middle and high school, but guitar stuff is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.  I've been picking up Guitar World mags and the way the sheet music is written in the back of the book is totally alien to me, but I'm sure it's second hand to a guitarist.  Wanna break it down for me?


Can you scan it up or something, so I can have a look?


Perhaps he's referring to tablature?


If you're referring to a tablature, I've sent you a guideline on how to read them Quintin.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:41:34 PM EST
[#16]

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Quintin:
Good thread.

I remember how to read "normal" sheet music, from my band days back in middle and high school, but guitar stuff is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.  I've been picking up Guitar World mags and the way the sheet music is written in the back of the book is totally alien to me, but I'm sure it's second hand to a guitarist.  Wanna break it down for me?


Can you scan it up or something, so I can have a look?

Dang nabbit, no havey scanner.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:43:15 PM EST
[#17]

Originally Posted By Quintin:

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Quintin:
Good thread.

I remember how to read "normal" sheet music, from my band days back in middle and high school, but guitar stuff is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.  I've been picking up Guitar World mags and the way the sheet music is written in the back of the book is totally alien to me, but I'm sure it's second hand to a guitarist.  Wanna break it down for me?


Can you scan it up or something, so I can have a look?

Dang nabbit, no havey scanner.


Check your private messages.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 10:54:50 PM EST
[#18]
Tag. I learned a bit of the basics from my friend and have been self-teaching a little bit.

Do they make a "music theory for dummys" book?
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 12:44:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: Hemi-Cuda] [#19]

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:
Tag. I learned a bit of the basics from my friend and have been self-teaching a little bit.

Do they make a "music theory for dummys" book?


They probably do, but I'm not familiar with it. I self taught myself on theory. I'm sure we'd be able to help you out in this thread more than a book will.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 12:59:19 AM EST
[#20]
ok now do counter-point
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 2:24:15 AM EST
[#21]
I would just like to say.  As having around 20 years of formal musical training.  You certainly know your shit.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 4:47:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: Hemi-Cuda] [#22]

Originally Posted By Enigma102083:
I would just like to say.  As having around 20 years of formal musical training.  You certainly know your shit.


Who, me?

Thanks, I think?
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 5:43:23 AM EST
[#23]

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:
Tag. I learned a bit of the basics from my friend and have been self-teaching a little bit.

Do they make a "music theory for dummys" book?


They probably do, but I'm not familiar with it. I self taught myself on theory. I'm sure we'd be able to help you out in this thread more than a book will.


They actually do, and it's not a half-bad book. (I have a copy.) The included CD is pretty well setup to give you an idea of what the author is talking about in each chapter. It would definitely help to have someone to bounce questions off of for some of the material, but it really shines as refresher to someone who hasn't touched theory in years. I'd recommend it to anyone in combination with this thread, honestly.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 7:51:49 AM EST
[#24]

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Enigma102083:
I would just like to say.  As having around 20 years of formal musical training.  You certainly know your shit.


Who, me?

Thanks, I think?

Theory really isn't my specific focus.  I'm more schooled in performance and interpretation, but that doesn't mean I don't have a solid grounding in it.  If you're really self-taught as you say, then you did a pretty good job based on what I've seen you post in this thread.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 12:07:34 PM EST
[#25]

Originally Posted By Enigma102083:

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Enigma102083:
I would just like to say.  As having around 20 years of formal musical training.  You certainly know your shit.


Who, me?

Thanks, I think?

Theory really isn't my specific focus.  I'm more schooled in performance and interpretation, but that doesn't mean I don't have a solid grounding in it.  If you're really self-taught as you say, then you did a pretty good job based on what I've seen you post in this thread.


Thanks, again.

I guess I spent way too much time on it.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 7:37:54 PM EST
[#26]
Here is where the roman numerals come from.


Take a C scale, the white notes on a piano keyboard



1-2-3-4-5-6-7
C-D-E-F-G-A-B


A chord is basically the root (1) 3rd and 5th of the scale

C-D-E-F-G-A-B

Now, make a grid using the C scale notes like this:


7 B-C-D-E-F-G-A
6 A-B-C-D-E-F-G
5 G-A-B-C-D-E-F
4 F-G-A-B-C-D-E
3 E-F-G-A-B-C-D
2 D-E-F-G-A-B-C
1 C-D-E-F-G-A-B
   1 2 3 4 5 6 7

and going from bottom to top, you get seven different scales, all built from the notes of the C scale.

If go go through each of those scales, and pick out the 1, 3, and 5. You get the different chords that he's calling the I V IV, root dominant, subdominant, etc. of the key of C.

7 B-C-D-E-F-G-A
6 A-B-C-D-E-F-G
5 G-A-B-C-D-E-F
4 F-G-A-B-C-D-E
3 E-F-G-A-B-C-D
2 D-E-F-G-A-B-C
1 C-D-E-F-G-A-B
   1 2 3 4 5 6 7


1=C-E-G
2=D-F-A
3=E-G-B
4=F-A-C
5=G-B-D
6=A-C-E
7=B-D-F
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 2:35:57 AM EST
[#27]

Originally Posted By dog-meat:
Here is where the roman numerals come from.


Take a C scale, the white notes on a piano keyboard



1-2-3-4-5-6-7
C-D-E-F-G-A-B


A chord is basically the root (1) 3rd and 5th of the scale

C-D-E-F-G-A-B

Now, make a grid using the C scale notes like this:


7 B-C-D-E-F-G-A
6 A-B-C-D-E-F-G
5 G-A-B-C-D-E-F
4 F-G-A-B-C-D-E
3 E-F-G-A-B-C-D
2 D-E-F-G-A-B-C
1 C-D-E-F-G-A-B
   1 2 3 4 5 6 7

and going from bottom to top, you get seven different scales, all built from the notes of the C scale.

If go go through each of those scales, and pick out the 1, 3, and 5. You get the different chords that he's calling the I V IV, root dominant, subdominant, etc. of the key of C.

7 B-C-D-E-F-G-A
6 A-B-C-D-E-F-G
5 G-A-B-C-D-E-F
4 F-G-A-B-C-D-E
3 E-F-G-A-B-C-D
2 D-E-F-G-A-B-C
1 C-D-E-F-G-A-B
   1 2 3 4 5 6 7


1=C-E-G
2=D-F-A
3=E-G-B
4=F-A-C
5=G-B-D
6=A-C-E
7=B-D-F


Great post.
Link Posted: 12/9/2007 1:26:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: Gone_Shootin] [#28]
Hemi & Dog-meat, you've both made some sense of things I never could get through my head. Every time I try to learn things the right way, my brain goes numb, but this worked, thanks!

And by the way I would love to solo. I've already written one that's slow, but I have no real idea if I used proper notes. I just kinda felt it out with my ears & hands. It sounds alright, but it'd be nice too know for sure.
Link Posted: 12/9/2007 2:25:15 AM EST
[#29]

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
Hemi & Dog-meat, you've both made some sense of things I never could get through my head. Every time I try to learn things the right way, my brain goes numb, but this worked, thanks!

And by the way I would love to solo. I've already written one that's slow, but I have no real idea if I used proper notes. I just kinda felt it out with my ears & hands. It sounds alright, but it'd be nice too know for sure.


I'll be adding more asap.
Link Posted: 12/12/2007 9:41:55 PM EST
[#30]

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
Hemi & Dog-meat, you've both made some sense of things I never could get through my head. Every time I try to learn things the right way, my brain goes numb, but this worked, thanks!

And by the way I would love to solo. I've already written one that's slow, but I have no real idea if I used proper notes. I just kinda felt it out with my ears & hands. It sounds alright, but it'd be nice too know for sure.


I'll post some shit on pentatonic scales this weekend that will help get you going soloing.
Link Posted: 12/12/2007 9:42:53 PM EST
[#31]

Originally Posted By dog-meat:

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
Hemi & Dog-meat, you've both made some sense of things I never could get through my head. Every time I try to learn things the right way, my brain goes numb, but this worked, thanks!

And by the way I would love to solo. I've already written one that's slow, but I have no real idea if I used proper notes. I just kinda felt it out with my ears & hands. It sounds alright, but it'd be nice too know for sure.


I'll post some shit on pentatonic scales this weekend that will help get you going soloing.


I'll start writing some shit up on the pent scale, and you'll add to it. Unless you want me to cover another scale?
Link Posted: 12/12/2007 9:45:57 PM EST
[#32]
Go for it ... my knowledge of theory is very shallow so I won't have much more to add.


Link Posted: 12/12/2007 9:48:01 PM EST
[#33]

Originally Posted By dog-meat:
Go for it ... my knowledge of theory is very shallow so I won't have much more to add.




We'll tag team each other out.
Link Posted: 12/13/2007 7:31:05 PM EST
[#34]

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:
Every song you listen to has a basis of theory within it,


Yep, I only like the good kind of theory, you know, only good music.

Neat thread, thanks Hemi.
Link Posted: 12/14/2007 9:28:08 PM EST
[#35]
I know the open E & G chords. I also know the minor pentatonic & blues scales. I'm trying to learn this mini poster that came in whatever issue of Guitar World that had Trivium in it back before Dime got shot & Matt Heafy was still playing Les Paul Customs. I'm still working on the open chords in phase 1.

I guess my biggest problem is knowing what scales to play over a given chord. Do you just play the scale with the same name as the chord? I've also heard something about playing the scale that is the major this or the minor that, but I don't understand that either.
Link Posted: 12/14/2007 9:34:56 PM EST
[#36]

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
I know the open E & G chords. I also know the minor pentatonic & blues scales. I'm trying to learn this mini poster that came in whatever issue of Guitar World that had Trivium in it back before Dime got shot & Matt Heafy was still playing Les Paul Customs. I'm still working on the open chords in phase 1.

I guess my biggest problem is knowing what scales to play over a given chord. Do you just play the scale with the same name as the chord? I've also heard something about playing the scale that is the major this or the minor that, but I don't understand that either.


You can play any scale, as long as its in the same tonal scale as the rhythm.

If you're playing a C chord, then you want to play a C major scale pentatonic lick. So and and so forth.
Link Posted: 12/14/2007 10:08:04 PM EST
[#37]

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
I know the open E & G chords. I also know the minor pentatonic & blues scales. I'm trying to learn this mini poster that came in whatever issue of Guitar World that had Trivium in it back before Dime got shot & Matt Heafy was still playing Les Paul Customs. I'm still working on the open chords in phase 1.

I guess my biggest problem is knowing what scales to play over a given chord. Do you just play the scale with the same name as the chord? I've also heard something about playing the scale that is the major this or the minor that, but I don't understand that either.


You can play any scale, as long as its in the same tonal scale as the rhythm.

If you're playing a C chord, then you want to play a C major scale pentatonic lick. So and and so forth.


Okay so I'm playing over a an open C, can I play off of notes other than C that are in the chord?

Also do I have to keep up with the chord progression?
Link Posted: 12/14/2007 10:25:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: Hemi-Cuda] [#38]

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
I know the open E & G chords. I also know the minor pentatonic & blues scales. I'm trying to learn this mini poster that came in whatever issue of Guitar World that had Trivium in it back before Dime got shot & Matt Heafy was still playing Les Paul Customs. I'm still working on the open chords in phase 1.

I guess my biggest problem is knowing what scales to play over a given chord. Do you just play the scale with the same name as the chord? I've also heard something about playing the scale that is the major this or the minor that, but I don't understand that either.


You can play any scale, as long as its in the same tonal scale as the rhythm.

If you're playing a C chord, then you want to play a C major scale pentatonic lick. So and and so forth.


Okay so I'm playing over a an open C, can I play off of notes other than C that are in the chord?

Also do I have to keep up with the chord progression?


Depends on the song, at this moment I wouldn't worry about chord progression as much as building up your ability to blast through scales in key. Here is a Guitar Pro file I made for you with two guitarists. One will be playing a 12 bar blue chord progression and the other will be playing a pentatonic scale.

www.killingismybusiness.com/Chordprogression.gp5
Link Posted: 12/15/2007 9:40:40 PM EST
[#39]

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
I know the open E & G chords. I also know the minor pentatonic & blues scales. I'm trying to learn this mini poster that came in whatever issue of Guitar World that had Trivium in it back before Dime got shot & Matt Heafy was still playing Les Paul Customs. I'm still working on the open chords in phase 1.

I guess my biggest problem is knowing what scales to play over a given chord. Do you just play the scale with the same name as the chord? I've also heard something about playing the scale that is the major this or the minor that, but I don't understand that either.


You can play any scale, as long as its in the same tonal scale as the rhythm.

If you're playing a C chord, then you want to play a C major scale pentatonic lick. So and and so forth.


Okay so I'm playing over a an open C, can I play off of notes other than C that are in the chord?

Also do I have to keep up with the chord progression?


Depends on the song, at this moment I wouldn't worry about chord progression as much as building up your ability to blast through scales in key. Here is a Guitar Pro file I made for you with two guitarists. One will be playing a 12 bar blue chord progression and the other will be playing a pentatonic scale.

www.killingismybusiness.com/Chordprogression.gp5


My Windows Media Player won't play the file, is there a plugin, or other player that will? I poked around a little & found several places to get Guitar Pro 5, but the whole Christmas thing has drained the funds for now.

I'll find a WiFi hot spot when I'm on the road this week & download the demo for now. I won't even try to download it over this crappy dial-up connection.
Link Posted: 12/15/2007 10:10:37 PM EST
[#40]
You can download the demo, and crack it.
Link Posted: 12/15/2007 10:19:55 PM EST
[#41]

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:
You can download the demo, and crack it.


Crack it?
Link Posted: 12/16/2007 8:39:05 PM EST
[#42]

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:
You can download the demo, and crack it.


Crack it?



pirate the software ... a good way to get a virus on your computer if you don't know what you're doing.



damn, I got lazy and didn't write anything up this weekend.
Link Posted: 12/19/2007 1:23:22 AM EST
[#43]
Link Posted: 12/20/2007 4:53:27 AM EST
[#44]
Does any of this explain Meshuggah and/or Kerry King/Jeff Hanneman solos?
Link Posted: 12/20/2007 1:20:02 PM EST
[#45]

Originally Posted By The_Biased_Observer:
Does any of this explain Meshuggah and/or Kerry King/Jeff Hanneman solos?


If you want to play Kerry King guitar solos, just hit random notes really quick while destroying your whammy bar.
Link Posted: 12/21/2007 2:46:43 PM EST
[#46]
Well, I downloaded Guitar Pro, & I get it. You are keeping up with the progression. I don't have my speed up, but I understand it.
Link Posted: 12/21/2007 5:10:17 PM EST
[#47]

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
Well, I downloaded Guitar Pro, & I get it. You are keeping up with the progression. I don't have my speed up, but I understand it.



You can slow the tempo down until you feel comfortable playing it and raise it to whatever speed you want. There is no set tempo.
Link Posted: 12/21/2007 5:21:13 PM EST
[#48]

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
Well, I downloaded Guitar Pro, & I get it. You are keeping up with the progression. I don't have my speed up, but I understand it.



You can slow the tempo down until you feel comfortable playing it and raise it to whatever speed you want. There is no set tempo.


Okay, my next question, can you use the scale for any given note in the chord that you're playing over. For example an open G has (from low to high) G-B-D-G-B-G in it. Can a player also use B & D scales as well in this situation? I guess the B & D would be called the harmony notes, right?
Link Posted: 12/21/2007 5:24:27 PM EST
[#49]

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
Well, I downloaded Guitar Pro, & I get it. You are keeping up with the progression. I don't have my speed up, but I understand it.



You can slow the tempo down until you feel comfortable playing it and raise it to whatever speed you want. There is no set tempo.


Okay, my next question, can you use the scale for any given note in the chord that you're playing over. For example an open G has (from low to high) G-B-D-G-B-G in it. Can a player also use B & D scales as well in this situation? I guess the B & D would be called the harmony notes, right?


Well you want to follow the scale of the root note only. Any G chord will have a root note of a G.
Link Posted: 12/27/2007 2:12:09 PM EST
[#50]
Great explanations HC and DM. Will follow closely!
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