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Old 12-31-2016, 07:54 AM
cisco7 cisco7 is offline
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Default Minor Modes and Chords - books advice

Hello acoustic fellas,

I'm headed towards a new chapter of my guitar journey: Minor Modes and Chords. I love the minor sounding tunes like "summertime", "autumn leaves" and i would like to learn some minor mode related music theory. Does anybody know of some "proper" books with good explanation of the minor modes? Subjects like minor Scales harmonization, chord progressions and cadences would be very interesting. Any suggestion is welcome.

Many thanks and have a nice day!
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Old 12-31-2016, 09:07 AM
zhunter zhunter is offline
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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Lots of other stuff too.

hunter
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Old 12-31-2016, 09:32 AM
cisco7 cisco7 is offline
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Originally Posted by zhunter View Post
Thanks hunter... really lots of stuff
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:32 PM
JerrysGuitarBar JerrysGuitarBar is offline
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Because you call the minor chords a new chapter, it sounds as though you may already know the chords of the harmonised major scale:

I ii iii IV V vi vii(dim) I

(In case that's not familiar upper case is major and lower case is minor)

and to put it in the key of C:

C Dm Em F G Am Bdim C

So, the first thing to learn about about the minor is that the scales are the same as the major but they start on the 6th:

vi vii(dim) I ii iii IV V vi

which you may see written (to reflect the fact that they key is minor so the 'one' should be minor)) as:

i ii III iv v VI VII i

Or in the key of A minor (which has the same chords as the key of C):

Am Bdim C Dm Em F G Am

May be a helpful start or may be a patronising load of you-know-what because you already knew all that
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:35 PM
FwL FwL is offline
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I've never had much luck finding in-depth minor mode / minor key discussion. It seems that everybody spends most of the time going over major key stuff and just sort of glosses over minor key stuff.


You might try asking some questions here and see if folks here can jump in and give you some ideas to work with.
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:32 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco7 View Post
Hello acoustic fellas,

I'm headed towards a new chapter of my guitar journey: Minor Modes and Chords. I love the minor sounding tunes like "summertime", "autumn leaves"
Those are minor key tunes, not modal. (Summertime has an arguably modal melody, being blues influenced, but the harmony of both tunes is functional, not modal.)

IOW, it's important to understand - with major keys and modes too - that there are two kinds of harmony and chord progressions, two ways of using chords in compositions: (1) Tonal or functional (major and minor "keys") and (2) non-functional (major and minor modes). In modern music the two are often mixed together, but in standards such as those two the harmony is totally functional. Modes didn't appear in jazz until 1959.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco7 View Post
and i would like to learn some minor mode related music theory. Does anybody know of some "proper" books with good explanation of the minor modes? Subjects like minor Scales harmonization, chord progressions and cadences would be very interesting. Any suggestion is welcome.
Here's a very basic guide to how minor keys differ from minor modes - taking key of A minor as an example.

Chords in key of A minor:
Am(6), Bm7b5, C(maj7), Dm(7), E(7), F(maj7), G#dim7

Chords in A aeolian mode:
Am(7), C, Dm, Em, F, G. (Potentially Bdim too, but very rarely used.)
Same chords as key of C major, meaning the Am chord needs more emphasis, and C chord would be used rarely, and only on a weak beat. Typical aeolian sequences would be Am-Dm-Em-Am, or Am-F-G-Am.

Chords in A dorian mode:
Am(7), Bm, C, D(7), Em, G.
Same chords as key of G major, meaning G would not be used often, or used in a weak position. A typiocal A dorian sequence is only 2 chords: Am7-D7, or Am7-Bm7.

Chords in A phrygian mode:
Am, Bb or Gm, Dm. Other chords very rare.
Same chords as F major, and (as with dorian) a typical sequence would be only two chords: Am and Bb, most likely.

As I said, it's quite common for keys and modes to be mixed together, but normally it makes most sense to see the music as being in a key, but with modal inflections or additions - so you might often see an A minor key tune with a Bm or D chord in it, without it being a wholly dorian tune (because it might also have F and E major chords). House of the Rising Sun is a classic example (Am C D F E). Summertime, too, often uses a minor ii chord in place of a m7b5.
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Last edited by JonPR; 01-02-2017 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:49 AM
FwL FwL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
Summertime, too, often uses a minor ii chord in place of a m7b5.


People play that tune in all sorts of imaginative ways, but as originally written the chord progression alternates between Bm6 and C#m6 for the i and ii chords during the first part of each verse.

Then Em7- E7 - G - Em7 - B7b13 - F#7 - C#7#9 - F - C#11 - C7#11 for the 1st and 3rd turnaround

And Bm11 - E5(#11) - D - E - A11 [A(add9)sus] - Bm - E7 - E7b5 for the 2nd turnaround

And Bm11 - E5(#11) - D - E - A11 [A(add9)sus] - D - G9 - C - F13 - Bm for the ending.


As you know, most people transpose the tune down to A minor and Gershwin did the same when the tune shows up a second time in the original opera.
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Last edited by FwL; 01-02-2017 at 09:10 AM. Reason: screwed up chords
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:16 AM
FwL FwL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco7 View Post
Hello acoustic fellas,

I'm headed towards a new chapter of my guitar journey: Minor Modes and Chords. I love the minor sounding tunes like "summertime", "autumn leaves" and i would like to learn some minor mode related music theory. Does anybody know of some "proper" books with good explanation of the minor modes? Subjects like minor Scales harmonization, chord progressions and cadences would be very interesting. Any suggestion is welcome.

Many thanks and have a nice day!
Quote:
Originally Posted by FwL View Post
People play that tune in all sorts of imaginative ways, but as originally written the chord progression alternates between Bm6 and C#m6 for the i and ii chords during the first part of each verse.

Then Em7- E7 - G - Em7 - B7b13 - F#7 - C#7#9 - F - C#11 - C7#11 for the 1st and 3rd turnaround

And Bm11 - E5(#11) - D - E - A11 [A(add9)sus] - Bm - E7 - E7b5 for the 2nd turnaround

And Bm11 - E5(#11) - D - E - A11 [A(add9)sus] - D - G9 - C - F13 - Bm for the ending.


As you know, most people transpose the tune down to A minor and Gershwin did the same when the tune shows up a second time in the original opera.

Answering my own post for the OP.


How's your chord theory? Are you able to understand what those chord symbols mean and how each turnaround is basically a series of II7-V7 chords leading back to the minor tonic chord?

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Last edited by FwL; 01-02-2017 at 09:18 AM. Reason: why not?
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2017, 09:23 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Default Harmonising the Scale

If it is of any interest, after being shown this, I created an excel spreadsheet to work out every chord (and notes) in all major and minor chords.

PM me with your email address ,and I'll gladly send it to you.
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2017, 09:54 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FwL View Post
People play that tune in all sorts of imaginative ways, but as originally written the chord progression alternates between Bm6 and C#m6 for the i and ii chords during the first part of each verse.
Yes, that's what I was thinking of. It implies melodic minor harmony there (despite the minor pentatonic melody).
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