Chord Progression Questions - April 04, 2022

  1. what scale is best used with phrygian dominant? i want to use phrygian dominant in music but not entirely.

  2. I recently came across a song with a chord progression that I couldn't exactly figure out. I understand that there was a modulation from the minor key to the parallel major but don't really understand the mechanics (eb to Eb to Gb, Gb appears to not be related to Eb and is more closely related to eb). It then proceeds to borrow from C minor before leading to 2 chords I cannot identify (c to (g or Eb or Bb) to (either ab or fm7b5 )) and finally resolving to Eb. Can someone explain the chord progressions to me?

  3. Yesterday I started messing up with some arpeggios on the guitar and started to try to connect them together. So after a while 2 chords clicked for me and I wanted to try to develop a full progression a little further, but I don't really know where to go with them.

  4. You can really think of either as the tonic if you’re looking for potential chords to try out. That means you can try chords from the one or two sharps key signatures, borrowed chords like Cmaj7 or Fmaj7, ii - V’s like C#ø - F# or F#ø7 - B7. etc.

  5. You’re looking at the progression the wrong way. It’s a line cliche with a descending bass line in a minor key. There’s a minor chord, then the bass line goes down until it hits the dominant (D).

  6. Hi all, so I am breaking down Wicked Games by the Weeknd. In the intro, there seems to be a guitar part that plays a bass note with an arpeggio on top of each bass note: B in bass, with B-F#-B-D-F# (Bm), A in bass, with A-F#-B-D-F# (I guess a D6/A? Not sure), Ab in bass, with F#-D-B-F#-B (another Bm? But Ab bass??), and finally a G in bass, G-D-G-D-G (G5).

  7. This is called a line cliche. Static harmony with a moving line, usually the bass falling chromatically. I call the chord Bm/G# because IMO it’s really functioning as the tonic Bm with that spicy G# bass note. Technically it’s a G#ø7 borrowed from B Dorian.

  8. Mixing one or several parallel minor key chords in is definitely a common thing. Like when Debussy sneaks in bIII: Db - Fm - Fb/Ab from Clair de Lune. And the Byrds “It Won’t Be Long” is E followed by a string of E minor chords. Naked Eyes “No Flowers Please” is mostly A minor chords but tonic always major.

  9. You're spot on pointing out that it's essentially an A minor chord progression where the A chord is, instead major quality. This is a pretty solid example of modal mixture, "borrowing" chords from a parallel key. In this case, the A mjor chord is "borrowed" from A major while the rest of the progression is in A minor.

  10. Those are all secondary dominants. The I7 is a secondary dominant of the IV. The III7 is a secondary dominant of the VI7, which is a secondary dominant of the II7, which is a secondary dominant of the V7. Secondary dominants can tonicize a major or a minor chord. They are often found in strings like this.

  11. I wrote a funky thing that starting F#m using a progression of i - v - IV - i - III - VII - i. The major IV threw me off when thinking about it but it sounds fun in the progression. What would you call this minor with the added major IV?

  12. Borrowed IV from Dorian is common in funk, but Bmaj7 is not from Dorian but rather Ionian. Still modal mixture and if you like the sound 👍.

  13. Could anybody explain how the harmony for That's Life by Frank Sinatra works? I've only recently started to try and learn some music theory and I'm kinda baffled.

  14. I’ve not heard the tune but if Nelson Riddle arranged it I would seek out a simpler version for getting your head around the basics.

  15. So to outline the basic chords (the passing chords are functionally chromatic): A section |C |E7 |A-7 |D7 | |C |A-7 |D9 |D-7 G7| Bridge |C7 |C7 |F |F | |D7 |D7 |G7 |G7 |

  16. I'm sure we can all agree on how much of a brilliant wizard Prince was. I discovered, while listening through his entire catalogue again shortly after his passing, that the chord progression in the bridge of "This Could Be Us" might be my favorite chordal thing that I've ever encountered in music.

  17. I'd go A minor to E minor (i-V, I heard that as being in a minor) for the first two phrases and any variation of pre-dominant to dominant at the end could work. For the last two chords flat II (B flat major) to I (A major) could also be cool.

  18. How are chords beyond 7ths used in music? Right now I understand how up to 7ths are used in the standard 4 voice writing (1 chord tone for each of the 4 voices), but after that I don’t know.

  19. One theory for why chord extensions exist in the first place is that the extensions themselves were historically dissonances that got "stuck" and became "frozen" as part of the chord's identity. There are other theories of course, like Rameau's theory of Supposition, but I like this frozen dissonance theory because it explains the typical behaviour of the extensions.

  20. Ninth chords in 4 parts (SATB - assuming this is for traditional music theory/harmony) work fairly similarly to sevenths. Like sevenths, they have to be prepared in the previous chord and almost always fall when they resolve.

  21. The answer here is multifaceted. If you are doing part writing, I'd assume you meant this in the sense of common practice classical music. In jazz you are more likely to see chordal extensions used in recognizable patterns.

  22. I can't find a reference to that symbol anywhere online! What instrument is it for? Is there any chance they're meant to be ties, and whoever made the sheet music couldn't figure out how to flip them over in the proper direction?

  23. In jazz the 7(b13) confuses me, tried googling my question but googles not really getting it. It’s named as a 7th chord, but seems to function as a minor chord in certain spots, specifically as the V chord in a minor key progression. Like say a IV - V - I in E minor: Am9 - B7(b13) - Em7.

  24. So I'm a bit confused about your wording here. I'll try to start this out by detangling a lot of jargon and hopefully that not only gets us on the same page but also answers your question(s). A lot of it will probably be boring re-explanation and for that, I'm sorry. Still, read through my response below and let me know which parts still present any confusion for you!

  25. In the following timestamped video by David Bennett you see him explaining this particular chord progression that's used frequently in music:

  26. I found it made thinking about modal mixture simpler. bIII can be used in major right alongside iii and III (aka V/vi). “VI V” is a completely different sound in major vs minor if you don’t use the explicit flats. I prefer different sounds look different and similar changes look the same.

  27. I think it’s because a lot of people thinking in terms of chord loops often don’t think in terms of key signatures, so writing it the way he did allows a wider audience to realize that the second chord is on the b7th compared to the i, and the third chord is on the b6th compared to the i.

  28. Recently wrote a chord progression that goes: Gm, A#, D, Cm. In the chorus i switch it up to Gm, A#, Cm, D. I assume this is in G minor? The Dmaj doesn't fit in G minor tho? How would this progression be written in roman numerals and what is the function of the D chord in this progression?

  29. I was trying to learn the song by the Kingsmen called "Louie Louie" earlier today which I assumed was a straight forward I-IV-V chord progression in the Key Of A major.

  30. In this case I'd probably say Em is borrowed from A mixolydian. It'd sound a little strange to play G F E over that Em.

  31. I'm making a drum & bass tune, for a background pad I threw together some simple triads without much thought to it: Bm - A#m - G#m - A#m & the bass mostly plays B and that first chord.

  32. It's not in any one key, but it's 3 minor chords. Having a chord progression with only 1 chord type (minor in this case) is called parallelism.

  33. These chords would not be uncommon in F# major (Bm a borrowed iv), but that doesn’t mean anyone is going to hear that as the tonic. But I think when chords work in one key it helps them sound less foreign in another, or when the tonic is less clear.

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