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Thread: Theory help?

  1. #1

    Theory help?

    Alright guys..

    I hate to be asking about this, but I do need some serious help.
    As far as music theory goes this is what i know:

    There are 12 tones.
    7 are majors.
    I know what a whole step is.
    I know what a half step is.

    Thats about it =/ pretty sad, I know.
    What I can't seem to grasp the concept are, the minor 3rds, and such. Intervals basicly.
    Then theres chords, and keys and making sweeps/melodies. and ugh.

    Am I a bad player? Not at all. I can sweep anything thats infront of me, I'm fast(if i know what im playing..or dont). I can write riffs and such. I know plenty of scales.

    Someone, or everyone, please help me =[ simple terms would be best haha.

    And incase anyones wondering, I have looked up lessons..just not interactive enough, and noone around me gives lessons for this kinda stuff.

  2. #2
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    http://www.8notes.com/theory/

    Actually there are 15 major scales (at least 12 if you won't count the enharmonic equivalents).
    You could say that 27 major keys exist counting the rarer major scales with double sharps and double flats. This is advance theory though, so think of it as 12 major scales for now (you said it yourself: 12 tones, from each one you can start a scale)

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  3. I like 8notes.com too but Ive also found jazzguitar.be to be really helpful. Even if you arent a 'jazz player', the website has a lot of theory ideas that are good for all types of music.

  4. #4
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    Here are the formulas for the 7 major modes. Ionian-w-w-h-w-w-w-h. W= whole H=Half.
    Using this as a starting point. Move to the next note and start from there. EX. Dorian W-H-W-W-W-H-W. Then Lydian H-W-W-W-H-W-W. And so on one step at a time. 3rds are the third note in a scale EX C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C E is the third step/note in the scale so a C third chord would be spelled out C-E-C (variation of a 5th or power chord). The 5th or power chord would be C-G-C. In both cases the Second C note is an octave higher than the Root C note. Normally you would add the 3rd or 7th or sus2nd or sus 4th to the chord. A 13th is the scale written out repeatedly until you have 13 or more notes. EX C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C. First C is root/start, second C is octave, Third Cis 2nd octave. The 13 is the second A. To get a 13th chord you would add that note to the major chord or a fifth chord (ie. C-G-C-E-A). This is how I was taught. Still gets to me and if I am wrong please someone let me know.

    Hope this helps and If you have anymore questions on simple stuff let me know. You can PM me if you want.
    Last edited by musicman_72751; 04-03-2010 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Spelling

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  5. #5
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    Dude! No offense, but most of what you said is wrong!

    Quote Originally Posted by musicman_72751 View Post
    Here are the formulas for the 7 major modes.
    He never mentioned "7 modes" but "7 major scales" (I believe he has some work to do with simple major/minor tonal harmony before jumping on the modes)

    Quote Originally Posted by musicman_72751 View Post
    Ionian-w-w-h-w-w-w-h. W= whole H=Half.
    Using this as a starting point. Move to the next note and start from there. EX. Dorian W-H-W-W-W-H-W. Then Lydian H-W-W-W-H-W-W. And so on one step at a time.
    After Dorian there's Phrygian H-W-W-W-H-W-W. Your Lydian is wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by musicman_72751 View Post
    3rds are the third note in a scale EX C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C E is the third step/note in the scale so a C third chord would be spelled out C-E-C (variation of a 5th or power chord).
    A 3rd is simply an interval between two notes. The 3rd of a scale is called 3rd degree)
    A 3rd is NO VARIATION of a power chord! A powerchord always has the interval of a perfect 5th.

    examples:
    • E is the 3rd of C
    • G is the 3rd of E
    • F is the 3rd of D
    • F# is the 3rd of D
    • F is the 3rd of Db


    Quote Originally Posted by musicman_72751 View Post
    The 5th or power chord would be C-G-C. In both cases the Second C note is an octave higher than the Root C note. Normally you would add the 3rd or 7th or sus2nd or sus 4th to the chord.
    What?? You make no sense. A powerchord has 1 and 5 in its structure. In your example there's a C5 powerchord. The 5th of a C5 is just G, not C-G-C. If you want to keep the powerchord you have to stay with 1st and 5th. Could be, C-G, C-G-C, G-C, C-G-C-G-G-C or whatever with just those two notes
    If you add 3, 7 etc in it, then it's not a powerchord no more. It's called powerchord because of the strong interval of the perfect 5th (or the inverted perfect 4th).

    Quote Originally Posted by musicman_72751 View Post
    A 13th is the scale written out repeatedly until you have 13 or more notes. EX C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C. First C is root/start, second C is octave, Third Cis 2nd octave. The 13 is the second A. To get a 13th chord you would add that note to the major chord or a fifth chord (ie. C-G-C-E-A). This is how I was taught. Still gets to me and if I am wrong please someone let me know.
    It gets to you cause you made it complicated.
    Both JacobShredder and you, have to learn about chord structure. A simple chord is ALWAYS built up in 3rds.
    The basic chords are triads of 1 - 3 - 5.
    The next tone you'll add would be the 7th (building up in 3rds)
    Thus the next after the 7 is (counting a third: 7,8,9) a 9th.
    So then it's an 11 and finally a 13. There's no 15 cause that's the root again two octaves above.
    So a chord with all tensions would go up to a 13.
    1-3-5-7-9-11-13
    Be carefull as most chords contain avoid notes and this is moderate-advanced theory, you have to be familiar with terms such as:
    • avoid tones (any tension that causes a m9 clash with a chord tone)
    • chord tones (1-3-5-7)
    • tensions (9-11-13)
    • guide tones (3-7)
    • suspensions (remove a 3rd and place a 2nd or a 4th, making the chord neutral and spacey -neither major or minor)
    • omitted tones (5th and root)...


    You've been taught to put 13s in major chords cause in III- , VI- and VII-(b5) that's an avoid tone. You can still use it with caution in these chords [and in II- as it won't clash with any other note. But it's mostly used in dorian modal harmony, not tonal harmony].

    One more thing, you mentioned that you may use a 13 in a fifth chord. I assume that's the V of a scale. While that is correct for a major key, it won't work in a minor key cause it would be an avoid tone, clashing with the 5th (unless you omit the 5th) ex. C-Eb-G-(Ab) 1-3-5-(13)

    I may have come a little harsh on your post, please forgive me, once again no offense....
    I'm a little sensitive when things are taught wrong, especially in music.

    JacobShredder seek music theory lessons, not necessarily from a guitar tutor. Could be any musician that knows music theory/harmony.
    I was studying contemporary classical music theory and jazz harmny for a while with a saxophone player.
    Last edited by Trypios; 04-03-2010 at 09:26 PM.

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  6. #6
    rudymik Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Trypios View Post
    You've been taught to put 13s in major chords cause in III- , VI- and VII-(b5) that's an avoid tone. You can still use it with caution in these chords [and in II- as it won't clash with any other note. But it's mostly used in dorian modal harmony, not tonal harmony].
    The b13 in a vii-7(b5) chord is an available tension, it's a whole step above a chord tone, sounds great, too, not just in theory... you know your stuff, man, jazz theory is the best.

  7. #7
    all that is going to make my head explode.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rudymik View Post
    The b13 in a vii-7(b5) chord is an available tension, it's a whole step above a chord tone, sounds great, too, not just in theory... you know your stuff, man, jazz theory is the best.
    yeah you're right! But you know what? When you play a VII-7(b5,b13) it sounds like a dominant 9th inversion, that's why I'm mistaken. Thanks

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  9. #9
    Trypios thanks for the site man! Some of the more basic stuff is actually sinking in. Like the formula for a major+the 3 different minors.

    Now that ^^ stuff i have no freaking idea about yet but i'll get there soon.

    Where did you learn your stuff?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JacobShredder View Post
    Trypios thanks for the site man! Some of the more basic stuff is actually sinking in. Like the formula for a major+the 3 different minors.

    Now that ^^ stuff i have no freaking idea about yet but i'll get there soon.

    Where did you learn your stuff?
    University. I have a BA hons in classical guitar performance and then I had advanced composition lessons for 2 years. I'm not so good on electric guitar performance though.

    Now that you've learned the major key formula, try and learn by heart all the intervals. Or at least unison, major 3rd, minor 3rd, perfect 5th, diminished 5th, major 7th, minor 7th, diminished 7th for now. Then the chord structure will become understandable

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