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Old 2nd March 2018
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
Can you please give me an example of how you cycle through circle of fifths to make modal chord progressions?
This is more important.

Here are the standard harmonized scales for each of the seven modes in major/minor/diminished triads:

Ionian: I ii iii IV V vi viidim
Aeolian: i iidim bIII iv v bVI bVII
Dorian: i ii bIII IV v vidim bVII
Phrygian i bII bIII iv vdim bVI bvii
Spanish Phrygian: I bII bIII iv vdim #V bvii (i is changed to I)
Mixolydian: I ii iiidim IV v vi bVII
Lydian: I II iii bVdim V vi vii
Locrian: idim bII biii iv bV bVI bvii
Harmonic Minor: i iidim bIII iv V bVI viidim
Melodic Minor: i ii bIII IV V vidim viidim

But this just looks looks like a mish-mash of chords without any clue as to how to use them.

So to learn to use each, start by concentrating on the primary chords in each sequence:

Ionian (major): I IV V
Dorian (minor): i ii v
Phyrgian (minor): i iv bvii
Lydian (major): I II V
Mixolydian (major): I IV bVII
Aeolian (minor): i iv v
Old 2nd March 2018
  #32
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Okay, because you are a gluten for punishment, now the cycle of fifths. Derive the cycle of fifths by moving a 5th higher to arrive at each new degree chord in the sequence. This will result in 12 chromatic chord possibilities.

In key of C Ionian:

Seq/Chord/Degree:

1. C I
2. G V
3. Dm ii
4. Am vi
5. Em iii
6. Bdim vii-
7. F# bV
8. Db bII
9. Ab V#
10. Eb b3
11. Bb b7
12. F IV

A mish-match of nonsense, so how do you make sense of it?

Chords closest to the Root, being C, going either backwards or forward thru the cycle are often most relevant, meaning that the best C progressions will usually involve these chords:

I
IV
V
ii
b7
vi
b3

All of this is kinda sorta. The farther you get away from the root the less meaningful things becomes. That's about all you can say. You can move forward or backwards in sequence or skip around.

Some common sequences:

I vi ii V I (Backwards)
I IV b7 (Backwards
I b7 IV (Similar)
I IV V (Immediate chords surrounding the root in either direction)
Old 2nd March 2018
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
This is more important.

Here are the standard harmonized scales for each of the seven modes in major/minor/diminished triads:

Ionian: I ii iii IV V vi viidim
Aeolian: i iidim bIII iv v bVI bVII
Dorian: i ii bIII IV v vidim bVII
Phrygian i bII bIII iv vdim bVI bvii
Spanish Phrygian: I bII bIII iv vdim #V bvii (i is changed to I)
Mixolydian: I ii iiidim IV v vi bVII
Lydian: I II iii bVdim V vi vii
Locrian: idim bII biii iv bV bVI bvii
Harmonic Minor: i iidim bIII iv V bVI viidim
Melodic Minor: i ii bIII IV V vidim viidim

But this just looks looks like a mish-mash of chords without any clue as to how to use them.

So to learn to use each, start by concentrating on the primary chords in each sequence:

Ionian (major): I IV V
Dorian (minor): i ii v
Phyrgian (minor): i iv bvii
Lydian (major): I II V
Mixolydian (major): I IV bVII
Aeolian (minor): i iv v

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
Okay, because you are a gluten for punishment, now the cycle of fifths. Derive the cycle of fifths by moving a 5th higher to arrive at each new degree chord in the sequence. This will result in 12 chromatic chord possibilities.

In key of C Ionian:

Seq/Chord/Degree:

1. C I
2. G V
3. Dm ii
4. Am vi
5. Em iii
6. Bdim vii-
7. F# bV
8. Db bII
9. Ab V#
10. Eb b3
11. Bb b7
12. F IV

A mish-match of nonsense, so how do you make sense of it?

Chords closest to the Root, being C, going either backwards or forward thru the cycle are often most relevant, meaning that the best C progressions will usually involve these chords:

I
IV
V
ii
b7
vi
b3

All of this is kinda sorta. The farther you get away from the root the less meaningful things becomes. That's about all you can say. You can move forward or backwards in sequence or skip around.

Some common sequences:

I vi ii V I (Backwards)
I IV b7 (Backwards
I b7 IV (Similar)
I IV V (Immediate chords surrounding the root in either direction)

Many thanks for the reply!

I am currently experimenting with Dorian mode. Some of what you say in the first part seems to be right on target-

So What by Miles Davis uses i7-ii7
Moondance by van Morrison uses ii7 - i7

It is said that this is a very typical use of Dorian, in a funky vamp...

However, I Wish by Stevie Wonder uses i - IV vamp

and then

Scarborough Fair by Simon and Garfunkel uses i - bVII - i - IV - i - IV V etc...

Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day uses i bIII - bVII IV

so no primary chords here but they are still very Dorian...

In the second example the chords you give will indeed work well-

I
IV
V
ii
b7
vi
b3

b7 is borrowed from parallel minor (I think!) and b3 is usually used as either approach or passing diminished chord. V and iii are close so that more or less gives us the whole scale... so I am not sure how the circle of fifths helps other than assist you work out notes in a major scale... and I do not see how well this applies to Dorian and other modes.

I really appreciate your help but as you can see I still find it a bit confusing...although from some experiments I did i can make things sound Dorian just that it is not terribly fluid at the moment...

Last edited by dc_r; 2nd March 2018 at 12:31 PM..
Old 2nd March 2018
  #34
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Quote:
.... as you can see I still find it a bit confusing
Which element specifically are you finding confusing - maybe I can help?
Old 2nd March 2018
  #35
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Okay...Dorian.

Most progressions have only 2, 3, or 4 primary chords and don't use the entire harmonized scale. For example, the most common progression in Ionian is I IV V, which is used in countless songs.

So let's look at Dorian. Since Ionian is so well understood, we can apply Ionian sequences to Dorian because often the same theoretical concepts apply. For example, what is the Dorian equivalent of Ionian "I IV V"? Well, here are some methods to logically create Dorian chord progressions.

(1) : Cycle of Fifth examples that convert Ionian progressions to Dorian:

Ionian: I IV V
Dorian: i IV v (Take the 1st, 4th, and 5th degrees of Dorian)

Ionian: I ii V I
Dorian: i ii v i (Take the 1st, 2nd, and 5th degrees of Dorian)

Ionian: I vi ii V I
Dorian: i vidim ii v i (Take 1st, 6th, 2nd, and 5th degrees of Dorian)

Ionian: I bVII IV
Dorian: i VII IV (Take the 1st, 7th, and 4th degrees of Dorian)

Ionian: I bVII IV
Dorian i bVII IV (Take 1st, flatted 7th, and 4th degrees of Dorian)

(2) : Sequential examples that convert Ionian progressions to Dorian:

Ionian: I ii iii IV
Dorian: i ii bIII IV

Ionian: I ii IV V
Dorian: i ii IV v

By itself:
Dorian: i bVII v IV

(3) Since Ionian I IV V has all major chords, and Dorian is a minor scale, play only the minor chords of Dorian: i ii v.

(4) Play opposing major and minor chords. In Ionian, play the root as Major and then add all Minor degrees. In Dorian, play the root as minor and then add all Major degrees. This works well in Dorian because it delivers a very good major rock sound to it while still being completely in minor.

Ionian: I ii iii iv I
Dorian: i bIII IV bVII i

In sum, the trick is not to play all seven chords of the harmonized scale, but to reduce it down to something more useful. I'll leave it up to you to come up with others.

Last edited by Deleted User; 2nd March 2018 at 05:35 PM..
Old 2nd March 2018
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Which element specifically are you finding confusing - maybe I can help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
Okay...Dorian.

Most progressions have only 2, 3, or 4 primary chords and don't use the entire harmonized scale. For example, the most common progression in Ionian is I IV V, which is used in countless songs.

So let's look at Dorian. Since Ionian is so well understood, we can apply Ionian sequences to Dorian because often the same theoretical concepts apply. For example, what is the Dorian equivalent of Ionian "I IV V"? Well, here are some methods to logically create Dorian chord progressions.

(1) : Cycle of Fifth examples that convert Ionian progressions to Dorian:

Ionian: I IV V
Dorian: i IV v (Take the 1st, 4th, and 5th degrees of Dorian)

Ionian: I ii V I
Dorian: i ii v i (Take the 1st, 2nd, and 5th degrees of Dorian)

Ionian: I vi ii V I
Dorian: i vidim ii v i (Take 1st, 6th, 2nd, and 5th degrees of Dorian)

Ionian: I bVII IV
Dorian: i VII IV (Take the 1st, 7th, and 4th degrees of Dorian)

Ionian: I bVII IV
Dorian i bVII IV (Take 1st, flatted 7th, and 4th degrees of Dorian)

(2) : Sequential examples that convert Ionian progressions to Dorian:

Ionian: I ii iii IV
Dorian: i ii bIII IV

Ionian: I ii IV V
Dorian: i ii IV v

By itself:
Dorian: i bVII v IV

(3) Since Ionian I IV V has all major chords, and Dorian is a minor scale, play only the minor chords of Dorian: i ii v.

(4) Play opposing major and minor chords. In Ionian, play the root as Major and then add all Minor degrees. In Dorian, play the root as minor and then add all Major degrees. This works well in Dorian because it delivers a very good major rock sound to it while still being completely in minor.

Ionian: I ii iii iv I
Dorian: i bIII IV bVII i

In sum, the trick is not to play all seven chords of the harmonized scale, but to reduce it down to something more useful. I'll leave it up to you to come up with others.

Many thanks to both of you for your help!

I think the main problem I have is that I am used to writing and playing in a way that is related to minor blues- so this can be viewed as Aeolian or minor mode.

When I play chords of harmonised major scale in sequence they make sense to my ear- when I play whole harmonised Dorian scale it sounds a bit odd.

I remember reading somewhere (a forum or YouTube comment), when someone tried to explain modes, someone say "oh, just don't try explaining that using triads..."- I think this person was trying to say that triads alone would not provide enough colour to harmonically outline a mode.

Another thing I do, and I think this may also be wrong, is to take my minor blues pentatonic (which is really really expanded pentatonic which includes all major scale degrees and lots of passing notes that I fit in by ear) and play the same licks over Dorian progression.

Is this a big mistake? Do all these licks need to be shifted a whole step because the tonal center has shifted? I hope this makes sense.

On the other hand- this tip to start with Ionian progressions and then translate them to Dorian really helps!

What I meant when I said that the whole thing is confusing is that when I try to come up with progressions in Ionian (for example C, but I take Am as a tonal center and play Am Pentatonic over it) I can do it easily- when I try to shift to Dorian it all starts to sound less flowing...

Any more tips would be greatly appreciated!
Old 2nd March 2018
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
I remember reading somewhere (a forum or YouTube comment), when someone tried to explain modes, someone say "oh, just don't try explaining that using triads..."- I think this person was trying to say that triads alone would not provide enough colour to harmonically outline a mode.
See, I'm the other way around, and don't really like Major 7ths, so I don't use them as much as I could. I'm more apt to extend a chord using a 2 or 4 suspension, or turn it into a dom7 or diminished triad. I love simple diminished triads because they are so useful as passing chords, especially on the b5 and b2 degrees. You don't need to only play them on the 7th degree as is typically done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
Another thing I do, and I think this may also be wrong, is to take my minor blues pentatonic (which is really really expanded pentatonic which includes all major scale degrees and lots of passing notes that I fit in by ear) and play the same licks over Dorian progression.

Is this a big mistake? Do all these licks need to be shifted a whole step because the tonal center has shifted? I hope this makes sense.
Yeah, if I'm reading you right then shifting Ionian to get to Dorian works and is what I do as well. I'm also very aware of what I'm playing in terms of intervals which helps me know what the next note can potentially be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
What I meant when I said that the whole thing is confusing is that when I try to come up with progressions in Ionian (for example C, but I take Am as a tonal center and play Am Pentatonic over it) I can do it easily- when I try to shift to Dorian it all starts to sound less flowing...
Good lead playing always comes down to PHRASING. Look at it that way rather than always trying to fit a lick exactly to a scale or mode. Your licks are basically sentences that you are speaking to the audience. And sentences can be broken into phrases. There is a very small but audible rest put between sentences and phrases that makes your music breath. You do the same when you speak as well.

So what works is to come up with small phrases, string them together into sentences, and then paragraphs. I'm always cognizant of phrasing and a great phrase is always a great lick. And if you are wondering, a phrase is typically 5-7 notes long, but can be shorter, or in some cases even longer. A common mistake is to make a phrase too long.

Here's an example of Superb phrasing. This is what I strive for. I can't play as good as this guy but I'm working on it.

YouTube

Notice how short each phrase is. Notice how they all fit together into sentences, and then paragraphs. Also notice the touch sensitivity in his playing, going from thickly distorted to slight overdrive and then back again. Notice how his playing breathes by including lots of short rests. Besides a space, a rest can be a simple hang on a note slightly longer than normal. He is primarily playing both Pentatonic Major and Pentatonic Minor at times.

Last edited by Deleted User; 2nd March 2018 at 11:08 PM..
Old 3rd March 2018
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
Any more tips would be greatly appreciated!
A "Scott's Bass Lessons" video I recently saw pinpointed why I had so much trouble with modes. Because we are usually introduced to them as "starting on a different note of the scale", we don't actually hear them as the mode, we hear them as the base scale.

To better explain... We start with the C major scale, a.k.a. C Ionian. Then, we're told to get the Dorian mode, start the C major scale on the D. So we play that.

The problem is that our ears are calibrated to that major scale, so when we (OK, I) play C Ionian followed by D Dorian, we (I) hear D Dorian as the C scale starting on D.

What Scott suggested is to compare two modes starting on the same note, i.e. play C Ionian followed by C Dorian. Or C Lydian followed by C Aeolian. Makes it really easy to hear the sound of each mode.
Old 6th March 2018
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
Okay...Dorian.

Most progressions have only 2, 3, or 4 primary chords and don't use the entire harmonized scale. For example, the most common progression in Ionian is I IV V, which is used in countless songs.

So let's look at Dorian. Since Ionian is so well understood, we can apply Ionian sequences to Dorian because often the same theoretical concepts apply. For example, what is the Dorian equivalent of Ionian "I IV V"? Well, here are some methods to logically create Dorian chord progressions.

(1) : Cycle of Fifth examples that convert Ionian progressions to Dorian:

Ionian: I IV V
Dorian: i IV v (Take the 1st, 4th, and 5th degrees of Dorian)

Ionian: I ii V I
Dorian: i ii v i (Take the 1st, 2nd, and 5th degrees of Dorian)

Ionian: I vi ii V I
Dorian: i vidim ii v i (Take 1st, 6th, 2nd, and 5th degrees of Dorian)

Ionian: I bVII IV
Dorian: i VII IV (Take the 1st, 7th, and 4th degrees of Dorian)

Ionian: I bVII IV
Dorian i bVII IV (Take 1st, flatted 7th, and 4th degrees of Dorian)

(2) : Sequential examples that convert Ionian progressions to Dorian:

Ionian: I ii iii IV
Dorian: i ii bIII IV

Ionian: I ii IV V
Dorian: i ii IV v

By itself:
Dorian: i bVII v IV

(3) Since Ionian I IV V has all major chords, and Dorian is a minor scale, play only the minor chords of Dorian: i ii v.

(4) Play opposing major and minor chords. In Ionian, play the root as Major and then add all Minor degrees. In Dorian, play the root as minor and then add all Major degrees. This works well in Dorian because it delivers a very good major rock sound to it while still being completely in minor.

Ionian: I ii iii iv I
Dorian: i bIII IV bVII i

In sum, the trick is not to play all seven chords of the harmonized scale, but to reduce it down to something more useful. I'll leave it up to you to come up with others.
I found the comment I was referring to-

"To me it does feel as a F# minor tonicization (not modulation). But he did make an 8-minute video out of what could've easily been a 1-minute video, assuming it's targeted towards intermediate musicians. If it's not, maybe he should've spelled out the actual extended chords he plays (min9, min11, etc.), which is what makes it work so nice and smooth. I wouldn't like to see the face on a beginner after trying this out with triads and hearing how it sounds."

It comes from here-

Old 8th March 2018
  #40
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Hmm. Most of the previous discussion seems to be terminology, which doesn't much interest me. You can call it boodleydoo as long as you know how to play what sounds good. But what sounds good? Well, around the turn of the 20th century Maurice Ravel was playing around pentatonics because the normal septatonic scale contains a few avoid notes around the half note asymmetries (you know, playing an 11th against a major chord?). He removed the avoid notes and wound up with pentatonics. He figured out that:

1) On any major chord, you can construct melodies based the minor pentatonic scales starting on the 6th, 3rd and 7th degrees of the scale.
2) On any minor chord, you can construct melodies based on the minor pentatonic scales starting on the 1st, 5th and 9th degrees of the scale.

So, in Ravell's context, playing modally means something like this. The chords are just a distribution of a pentatonic scale. You can re-arrange them in lots of ways and they function the same harmonically. The only difference is color, which is situational as well as subjective. The scales you use now are contain all consonant notes, which makes it safe to run around without tripping over yourself. But it also presents a problem. How do you create tension when everything is consonant? But perhaps that's a different discussion...
Old 13th March 2018
  #41
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I'm surprised nobody's mentioned multi-modal playing. That's what guys coming out of New York these days like Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea are up to. Whereas modal playing is actually quite simple, multi-modal playing places a lot of demands on the accompanist because of the large number of harmonic possibilities you have to process in real time. You gotta use your ears and it takes a while even at that.
Old 13th March 2018
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttippie View Post
Hmm. Most of the previous discussion seems to be terminology, which doesn't much interest me. You can call it boodleydoo as long as you know how to play what sounds good. But what sounds good? Well, around the turn of the 20th century Maurice Ravel was playing around pentatonics because the normal septatonic scale contains a few avoid notes around the half note asymmetries (you know, playing an 11th against a major chord?). He removed the avoid notes and wound up with pentatonics. He figured out that:

1) On any major chord, you can construct melodies based the minor pentatonic scales starting on the 6th, 3rd and 7th degrees of the scale.
2) On any minor chord, you can construct melodies based on the minor pentatonic scales starting on the 1st, 5th and 9th degrees of the scale.

So, in Ravell's context, playing modally means something like this. The chords are just a distribution of a pentatonic scale. You can re-arrange them in lots of ways and they function the same harmonically. The only difference is color, which is situational as well as subjective. The scales you use now are contain all consonant notes, which makes it safe to run around without tripping over yourself. But it also presents a problem. How do you create tension when everything is consonant? But perhaps that's a different discussion...
I'm not sure if I understand this entirely but it sounds interesting and goes inline with my own experience- when playing along with radio tunes I found I could often use pentatonic scale in few different positions, all of which would give slightly different sound.

Are you saying that, for instance, in C major, if you take its major chords, Cmaj, Fmaj, perhaps also Gmaj and BbMaj, you can play A minor pentatonic, E minor pentatonic, and Bb minor pentatonic.

An similarly over Dmin, Emin, and Amin you can play C minor pentatonic, A minor pentatonic, and D minor pentatonic?

Is this correct?

(and how do you build tension then?)
Old 14th March 2018
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
I'm not sure if I understand this entirely but it sounds interesting and goes inline with my own experience- when playing along with radio tunes I found I could often use pentatonic scale in few different positions, all of which would give slightly different sound.

Are you saying that, for instance, in C major, if you take its major chords, Cmaj, Fmaj, perhaps also Gmaj and BbMaj, you can play A minor pentatonic, E minor pentatonic, and Bb minor pentatonic.

An similarly over Dmin, Emin, and Amin you can play C minor pentatonic, A minor pentatonic, and D minor pentatonic?

Is this correct?

(and how do you build tension then?)
Close, but not exactly. I will try and clarify. This would be easier at a piano on video.

Let's take an example. You're playing a tune which has four bars of C Major 7th. You can play the minor pentatonic scales starting on A, E and B. But the choice isn't without constraints. You have to listen to what the chording instruments are playing. Let's take a couple of voicings and match them up to a scale.

1. You are playing a root position CMaj7 voiced 1,3,5,7. (I rarely do this unless playing solo because in a combo I is the bass player's job and 5 is ringing in the overtones.) In that case, your avoid notes are I or C. So, you might just pick your left hand up and leave space, thus removing the worry about avoid notes. If the root position CMaj7 voicing is ringing, you might pick the E minor pentatonic, which contains E, G, A, B and D. Alternatively, he might play the B minor pentatonic, which contains B, D, E, F# and A. In both cases you successfully avoid C or I. (If you're a classical guy and are having trouble with I being an avoid note, don't worry. It's par for the course.)

2. You are playing a quartal voicing, specifically a C69 voiced 3, 6, 9. Your voicing does not produce any avoid notes, so you can pick any one of the minor pentatonics that suit your ear.

3. You are playing a quartal voicing voiced #11 , 7 and 3, or F#, B and E. You voicing does no produce any avoid notes, so you're good to go.

Note that when I say avoid notes, it's not cast in stone. People pass through avoid notes all the time, especially when playing fast. But they are not going to hit a strong downbeat on it without it sounding bad...until...you get to Oliver Messiaen. But that's another thread.

Now, having said all that, please note that this harmonic palette overlays or extends previous harmonic universes. People flit between traditional harmony, modal harmony and the blues for example, all the time. Sometimes switching things up keeps the music from getting boring.

It has probably been said before, but I'll repeat it here. Harmony and theory are justifications after the fact of what sounds good. They help, especially early on.
but in the long run, your ear is almost always ahead, and you should learn to trust it and explore where it takes you.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #44
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This an incredible forum. Havent found a single site elsewhere that speaks
Knowledgeablely about music theory. I should remark on one error though.
Locrian is half diminished. Diminished is a whole other chord.
Neal
Old 6th April 2018
  #45
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Would anyone be able to clarify what is meant exactly in this video???

Old 6th April 2018
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
Would anyone be able to clarify what is meant exactly in this video??
All he's just doing is the cycle of fifths. The key is to remember is that the cycle of fifths moves chromatically forward by counting 7 half steps forward. It's easier to see this on piano than guitar because on piano you just count 7 keys forward to get to the next 5th in the cycle. Each piano key forward is a half step.

So here's the cycle of fifths in the key of C:

(1) Start on the root of the key of C to get the I degree root chord.
(2) Count 7 half steps forward, which then gets you to the V degree chord in the key of C.
(3) Count another 7 half steps forward from there, which gets you to the ii degree chord in the key of C.
(4) Count another 7 half steps forward from there, which gets you to the iv degree chord in the key of C.
(5) Count another 7 half steps forward from there, which gets you to the iii degree chord in the key of C.
(6) Count another 7 half steps forward from there, which gets you to the dimvii degree chord in the key of C.

That gives you 5 forward chord progressions of in key of C:

I -> V
I -> V -> ii
I -> V -> ii -> vi
I -> V -> ii -> vi -> iii
I -> V -> ii -> vi -> iii -> dimvii

That gives you 5 backward chord progression of in key of C:

V -> I
ii -> V -> I
vi -> ii -> V -> I
iii -> vi -> ii -> V -> I
dimvii -> iii -> vi -> ii -> V -> I

All are in the key of C (Ionian) if you resolve the progression to the I root.
All are in the key of D (Dorian) if you resolve the progression to the ii minor.
All are in the key of A (Aeolian) if you resolve the progression to the vi minor.
..and so on, and so on.

You choose which chord in each progression you want to resolve to. Also, we started in the key of C by calling C the I chord. You could likewise choose to do this entire cycle in the key of D (or any other chromatic note) by starting at D instead and calling D the I chord.

You can use any of these progressions to make music. Shorter progressions of four or less chords are more useful than the longer progressions for songwriting.

If you keep on counting forward this way in jumps of 7 half steps, you will eventually cycle thru all 12 notes of the chromatic scale, meaning you will come up with a progression of 12 chords. But after counting past the dimvii, it becomes pretty useless because the progressions become too long.
Old 6th April 2018
  #47
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And I'll add:

The cycle of fifths is only one of many ways to come up with nice progressions. Nothing is set in concrete saying that the cycle of fifths can never be violated. You do what sounds good. The cycle sounds good, but so does moving step-wise forward or backwards thru the harmonized scale. Violating the cycle and playing major chords where minors are called for, and vice-versa, also can sound good depending on circumstances. You do what sounds good to you.

Also:

When you deal with the cycle of fifths, many songwriters take the liberty of making chord substitutions. Most common is substituting the IV chord for the ii chord, giving you:

I -> vi -> IV -> V

Or you can keep both the substituted chord and the original chord:

I -> vi -> ii -> IV -> V

Or you can throw some of the chords in the sequence out:

I -> vi -> V


None of this is sacred. That's the point.
Old 6th April 2018
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
All he's just doing is the cycle of fifths. The key is to remember is that the cycle of fifths moves chromatically forward by counting 7 half steps forward. It's easier to see this on piano than guitar because on piano you just count 7 keys forward to get to the next 5th in the cycle. Each piano key forward is a half step.

So here's the cycle of fifths in the key of C:

(1) Start on the root of the key of C to get the I degree root chord.
(2) Count 7 half steps forward, which then gets you to the V degree chord in the key of C.
(3) Count another 7 half steps forward from there, which gets you to the ii degree chord in the key of C.
(4) Count another 7 half steps forward from there, which gets you to the iv degree chord in the key of C.
(5) Count another 7 half steps forward from there, which gets you to the iii degree chord in the key of C.
(6) Count another 7 half steps forward from there, which gets you to the dimvii degree chord in the key of C.

That gives you 5 forward chord progressions of in key of C:

I -> V
I -> V -> ii
I -> V -> ii -> vi
I -> V -> ii -> vi -> iii
I -> V -> ii -> vi -> iii -> dimvii

That gives you 5 backward chord progression of in key of C:

V -> I
ii -> V -> I
vi -> ii -> V -> I
iii -> vi -> ii -> V -> I
dimvii -> iii -> vi -> ii -> V -> I

All are in the key of C (Ionian) if you resolve the progression to the I root.
All are in the key of D (Dorian) if you resolve the progression to the ii minor.
All are in the key of A (Aeolian) if you resolve the progression to the vi minor.
..and so on, and so on.

You choose which chord in each progression you want to resolve to. Also, we started in the key of C by calling C the I chord. You could likewise choose to do this entire cycle in the key of D (or any other chromatic note) by starting at D instead and calling D the I chord.

You can use any of these progressions to make music. Shorter progressions of four or less chords are more useful than the longer progressions for songwriting.

If you keep on counting forward this way in jumps of 7 half steps, you will eventually cycle thru all 12 notes of the chromatic scale, meaning you will come up with a progression of 12 chords. But after counting past the dimvii, it becomes pretty useless because the progressions become too long.
Not sure what is meant by "modes and modulation"?

For instance, C-F7-Bb or ii-V7-I , what does this have to do with Dorian mode? Does it take us to or from the Dorian mode?
Old 6th April 2018
  #49
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
Not sure what is meant by "modes and modulation"?
Modulation is a whole topic in itself. Modulation means to change key during the song. So how do you change key? The easiest way to change key is simply to change key at a strategic point in the song that fits the key change perfectly. Here's one of my favorite examples. At :47 he changes key from C to F, meaning he moves the key five half steps upwards. If you listen carefully, he did it using a three note pickup into the F chord. You could just as well use a quick three chord sequence from the cycle of fifths in the key of F major (the new key) into the F chord to do the same thing. In this case you would use the cycle of fifths derived for the new key, not the old. If you play the cycle of fifths for the old chord, the song will want to stay in the old key.

YouTube

He then modulates back down to C at 1:32 using a different set of notes/chords. His modulations are so slick that you don't even notice them and at first and just think he merely changed chords, but in reality he changed key by modulating.

You can just as well modulate serially through the harmonized scale from above or below, meaning there is nothing sacred about using the cycle of fifths to move to another key within a song, only that it is a very common way of doing it.

Last edited by Deleted User; 6th April 2018 at 03:18 PM..
Old 6th April 2018
  #50
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
For instance, C-F7-Bb or ii-V7-I , what does this have to do with Dorian mode? Does it take us to or from the Dorian mode?
The D Dorian harmonized scale begins on the ii of the harmonized scale for the key of C. Western music likes to make reference to the key of C very often in deriving these things. So the first chord in C Ionian harmonized scale is I C major. The first chord in the D Dorian harmonized scale is ii D minor in the key of C. If you specifically notate the song in the key of D then you would call the ii in the key of C, the i in D Dorian key. Notice that Dorian is just the same as the C Major Ionian harmonized scale that starts at the second degree instead of the first. It's all the same stuff, just with a shift in the tonal center.

Maybe this will help:

D Dorian mode notated in the key of C Ionian is: ii iii IV V vi viidim I

D Dorian mode notated in the key of D Dorian is: i ii bIII IV v vidim bVII

That's because D Dorian is simply the same as C Ionian with a tonal center shifted two half steps forward to the second degree of C Ionian. So which notation do you use? If you write a song in D Dorian, you ultimately should notate in the key of D. Though the two notations look different and confusing, the important thing is that the interval spacing, meaning the number of half steps between degrees, is exactly the same in both cases. Also, the chord type, being either major, minor, or diminished, appears in the same place in each sequence.

When you look at it that way, everything I said previously about modes that appears at the top of this page is in sync with what the guy in the video is saying. I notated directly in the modal key itself. The video notated in the key of C. It's all the same stuff. You just have to make the conversion in your mind.

Last edited by Deleted User; 6th April 2018 at 03:45 PM..
Old 27th April 2018
  #51
Gear Nut
 

I was a music major in College 20+ years ago. I'll admit, 90% of my theory has fallen out of my head. I'd like to thank Frank Case for his many posts here, as it's been both a great refresher for me, as well as giving me a different or new perspective on quite a few things. Thank you for taking your time.
Old 29th April 2018
  #52
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
How bizarre, I've just hopped over here after much time away and find a thread that I don't even remember starting.

The funny and quite exciting thing is that I now know enough and have enough experience on the piano to be able to understand and play through a lot of the concepts so generously presented here by Frank and co. It's my belief that one can write great songs without all these gubbins but it doesn't hurt to know this stuff and be able to deploy it in selected circumstances.

Thanks.
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