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Thread: theory question

  1. #1
    icystorm Guest

    theory question

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    For those who have more experience (and/or a background in music theory), I have a question about chord structure for a song I am working on...

    Is anything here technically incorrect below? It sounds fine to me, when played, but is it correct in music theory and could it be better with a slight refinement?

    Key of G, Tempo 100, 4 beats per measure

    Intro
    Em D C D
    Em D C D
    C D

    Verse
    G G G D
    G G G D

    Bridge
    Am Bm Em D
    C D Em D

    Chorus
    Em D C D
    Em D C D
    C D

    Middle (leading back to verse)
    G Bm Em C
    G Em C D

    Any recommendations for structural changes? If significant, I will credit you if I use it.

    I am somewhat unhappy with the chords in the verse, but the melody fits nicely over it.

    Comments welcomed.

    Cheers,
    Joseph

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    I don't see anything technically wrong, in fact, I have used the same elements in my songs. no funny weird chords or jumping out of key... pretty straightforward stuff.

    Having said that, you don't need to know music theory to make a song sound good or flow with a melody. Just write what works... If it doesn't sound good, change it. If it doesn't support the story line, change it.

    Have fun,

  3. #3
    icystorm Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Chili View Post
    I don't see anything technically wrong, in fact, I have used the same elements in my songs. no funny weird chords or jumping out of key... pretty straightforward stuff.

    Having said that, you don't need to know music theory to make a song sound good or flow with a melody. Just write what works... If it doesn't sound good, change it. If it doesn't support the story line, change it.

    Have fun,
    Thanks for commenting, Chili. I agree with you regarding "writing what works", but I have occasionally (not very often) been told (about another song), "that part doesn't resolve back to anything..." LOL. I guess that it "didn't work" for the listener. Heh.

    BTW, I was never told that in this group, but I wouldn't mind if someone did tell me that. I always prefer honesty rather than a soft-pedaling of the truth.

    Cheers,
    Joseph
    Last edited by icystorm; 02-06-2009 at 22:06.

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    if you don't resolve back to the root it will drive many people who do know theory crazy, having said that however, this is often used as a tool to grab someones attention or make the listener uneasy. The Beatles did stuff like this all the time. Ultimately, it is up to what you want to get across in your song.

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    write music that satisfies you, afterall..you're the one who's gotta feel it to play it

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    Quote Originally Posted by icystorm View Post
    Key of G, Tempo 100, 4 beats per measure

    Intro
    Em D C D
    Em D C D
    C D

    Verse
    G G G D
    G G G D

    Bridge
    Am Bm Em D
    C D Em D

    Chorus
    Em D C D
    Em D C D
    C D

    Middle (leading back to verse)
    G Bm Em C
    G Em C D
    The chords look fine.

    This 'unresolving' thing that you mention could be because everything ends on a D, and most songs would finish up somehow on the G (or Em).

    However, if you fading with repeats, then this makes absolutely no difference.

    But even if you have a definite finish on a D, this is fine.

    You were asking about refinements . . .

    Here are some things worth trying.

    1. The intro is Em D C D, so there is an E note in Em and C, so why not try one in the D as well, making it a D9. If you wanted to go a bit further, you could keep the B and E of Em going all the way through. The chords then become something like Em D6+9, Cmaj7 D6+9. However, my instinctive reaction when I just picked up my guitar now was to play a D and an E all the way through progression, i.e. Em7, D9, C9, D9.

    2 For the verse, there are some interesting things you can do with the root notes. For example G/G G/A G/B D/F# (where the note after the slash is the bass note). I'd also be inclined to keep a high G going through this, which means the D becomes Dsus4.

    3 For the bridge, after the AM and Bm, I'd experiment with again keeping D and E notes through the remaining chords. Am Bm Em7 D9 C9 D9 Em7 D9. If you wanted to try something a little different, you could make the final D chord in the bridge a B7, which leads neatly back to the following Em of the chorus.

    4 For the middle, what happens if you play the Bm before the G? That might make an interesting twist.

    Bear in mind, though, that I have no idea of the melody, and these ideas may not fit.

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    Also take everything Gecko has said then also play with various inversions of the chords on the keyboards.
    [QUOTE=dhollmusik;3463888] That is irresponsible posting, and reads like scaremongering.[/QUOTE]

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    Icy -- You've gotten some very good advice on this.

    Good luck!
    Larry

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    Also I would say ...with a ;-) ...so don't crucify me, please!

    Don't get too 'boffin' about it. Songs are for singing and listening to, it's the peoples music. It's not about theory, it's about what ears hear and the emotions you can reach through your music and words.

    So that chord doesn't normally fit there? So what?

    I've had a few theory types look at my stuff over the years and tell me to make changes but usually they have given me something that led me back to the obvious and the bland. Sorry!

    So welcome the boffin in by all means, but be just as 'open to' and simultaneously 'wary of', his views as you would any others.

    Try everything, but use what works for your ears.


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    frankie is right, but...

    whenever you do get the chance I would highly recommend reading up on theory. You don't have to change everything you have written to match that of the baroque period, however theory does help tremendously when you want to write something a certain way but don't know how. It gives you the tools to know how to write what you want. In other words, you have to know the rules before you can break them but don't just learn the literature, learn how to apply theory. I took about a year of AP theory in school, and learned a ton but never knew how to apply to anything but piano. Since then I've recently taken up advanced guitar lessons again, with someone who KNOWS how to apply theory, and it has made a huge difference. Scales are important, but if you really want to upgrade your playing applied theory is the way to go.

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