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Dumb Music Question

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Due to my tone deafness and musical stupidity I fall into these traps of thinking about the notes on melodyne too deeply. Then I get confused. I'm terribly confused. My brain is saying one thing, my ears the other. 

This is the opening line -

G  chord     

Go A-

C chord

Way sweet 

G chord



I made a quick MP3. It's the word CASE I'm not sure about. I know which version I like. But, I can be musically wrong.  Also, it's 5 or 10 seconds of uneq'd lines,



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Not quite sure where you're trying to go here, but in any key there are exactly three chords which matter most of all:  #1, #5, and #4.


In the key of "C", that's "C," "G," and "F."  "Three chords and the truth."  It's technically possible to harmonize anything using just these three chords.  And yet, you'll notice, even with these three chords, that the #4 "F" chord has a certain sense of "pull."  While #1 and #5 could bounce between each other all day long, #4 wants to resolve to one of the other two.


When you're working out the harmony possibilities for any song, it's perfectly all right to "try all twelve," or at least "all seven."  Most will sound dreadful in context, but a few will sound acceptable, and a few more will sound exotic.  And, as you play the chords that you've worked out in succession, once again you'll feel that some of them sound "settled," while others are "unsettled" – they want to resolve to something else.  That sense of "rest and unrest," "tension and release," is the secret-sauce that drives a lot of music.


Another very interesting thing to experiment with is flattened/sharpened notes.  Any "major" chord will consist of the 1st, the 3rd, and the 5th note of the scale.  (A "minor" chord will flatten the third. You can also flatten both the fifth and the third, and you can sharpen notes in like manner.


Yet another thing to try is adding notes to the so-called "triad."  The 7th note ("B"), the 9th (wrapping around, now, to "D" of the next octave), and so on.


Yup, there are a lot of different directions to explore, once you venture beyond "three chords and the truth."

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  • 1 month later...

Jimmy Webb wrote an entire book – TuneSmith – on this subject, and I fair-warn you that the center chapters of that book are a textbook:ph34r:


Once you grok the – actually, very mathematical(!) – principles which govern the Western musical scale, there are actually all sorts of ways that you can go with it, because the entire thing is based on "equal temperament."  There are only twelve tones in all, and there's actually quite a bit of "voodoo mathematics(!)" that went into the assignment of sound-frequencies to notes.  So, you can "substitute" notes for another, and chords for another, and do all sorts of other things that are the meat-and-potatoes of classic jazz improvisations.  If you care to go there.

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