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  #31  
Old 11-21-2019, 07:59 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caddy View Post
Figured bass can be used to show chord progressions that can be played in any key. Jazz players in particular have used it fairly often so that they can use it to play in any chosen key.

Represented by Roman numerals, caps being major chords, lower case being minor chords (the 7th is a diminished chord).

Looks like this in a major key:
I ii iii IV V vi viidim

Sorry don't have the symbol for dim.
Careful, that's not figured bass, nor does figured bass really figure into what DesertTwang is learning... We're getting into that "not helping the OP anymore" territory, folks.
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  #32  
Old 11-21-2019, 09:50 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Guys, this is just absurd. A diminished chord, and diminished seventh chord are pretty common in many styles of music
Yes - but they're rare in rock and folk music. Different styles have different sets of common practices.
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Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
they are a pretty basic part of music of the Western culture. They are not difficult to play on a guitar.
Well, the dim triad is not exactly difficult, but it is more akward than the common dom7 chords which tend to be used instead (in those styles)
Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Sure, some songwriters just play what they like and then try to figure out what they played after the fact. However, there are many who are well versed in traditional music theory and use it to assist in their composition.
No quarrel at all there.
Indeed, plenty of other songwriters play what they like and don't bother to figure it out afterwards. Why would they?
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Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
One of the very common uses of a diminished seventh chord is as a pivot chord from one key to another. The four notes (pitches) that comprise a diminished seventh chord can be named in four different ways depending upon what came before the chord and what comes after it. That is, the same four notes function differently depending upon context.
True, but beside the point I was making.
This is not about what can be done - what is possible - but what is commonly done.
The lesson we're talking about here was offering a set of common chords in the key of G major, in certain common styles of popular music.

It would be a fair criticism that he didn't explain diatonic theory a little more, or why an F major chord might be more useful or preferable, and what kinds of music he was talking about - but he did not say "don't use an F#dim chord".

There's no value judgment there. The fact a certain chord is rare is not to say it's no good, or is not interesting or useful at certain times.
Personally I would have much preferred him to explain how F#dim is contained in the D7 chord, which would be a good reason why F#dim is so rare.
At a real basic level of beginning to understand "chords in keys", as applied to common rock songs, it makes sense to look at the kinds of chords commonly used in the most simple beginner songs.
In fact, I might not have chosen the key of G, because the F barre chord is a bete noire of beginners. bVII chords are much more likely to be encountered in the keys of D, A and E.
Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Here is one of many, many examples of popular songs where a diminished seventh chord is used: Jim Croce's New York's Not My Home.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf8fi86SPHQ
Thanks, another one for my collection.
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Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
[As an aside, the guy in the video lesson identifies the chord as Fdim7. It isn't. It is G#dim7. They are exactly the same four notes, but named differently. Named correctly, they are a diminished seventh chord built on the seventh degree (VII), G#, in the key of A major. The notes are G#, B, D, F.
Right. His excuse would presumably be that F is the bass note, but I agree with you it's clearly vii in this case. (BTW, your link wasn't to the lesson in question, but I did find it.)
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Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
It is an example of exactly the question asked by the OP.
Actually the OP asked "why is the 7th chord in the key flatted?" - i.e., why does this guy say it is, when it "should" be some kind of F# chord?
The OP didn't ask for examples of dim chords, let alone dim7 chords. (That was me! ) But hopefully he appreciates the useful opening out of the topic.

It's a good question how much one needs or wants to dig into basic principles when describing "common practices". The OP was certainly interested in some digging, beyond what the guy in the video was saying. I was just trying to open out the idea of the common practice in question.
The diatonic major scale is a "rule" that is "broken" in a lot of very common and simple music - or rather, other rules are being followed, and the borrowed bVII is one of the most common. The bVII chord doesn't replace the vii triad functionally. The V7 does that. Inasmuch as rock music is interested in functionality anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
While there are many examples of chords built on, or using, notes that are not part of the key being played in, this isn't one of those: this is an example that demonstrates a traditional/common stereotypical use of a dim7 chord built on VII. It is VIIdim7 resolving to I, a very common progression.]
Yes. To be a little clearer, it actually comes from A minor, the harmonic minor vii7 chord. But it's a common borrowed chord in A major. At least in the kinds of sophisticated jazz or singer-songwriter styles like this.
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  #33  
Old 11-21-2019, 10:27 AM
Wissen Wissen is offline
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Well said. All of it.

Last edited by Wissen; 11-21-2019 at 10:28 AM. Reason: Formatting
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  #34  
Old 11-21-2019, 01:52 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Wow, you all went to great lengths to educate me on this, and I certainly appreciate it. I'm still reading through all the contributions and it will take some time sitting down with my guitar to digest the information, but I can already tell that you have boosted my understanding of chord theory in a substantial way. I'll print out this thread and pin it to the wall in my music room.

Thanks!
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  #35  
Old 11-21-2019, 07:54 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertTwang View Post
I can already tell that you have boosted my understanding of chord theory in a substantial way. I'll print out this thread and pin it to the wall in my music room.
Basic music theory is pretty straight forward and logical. What has been posted here starts in the middle and works outwards. That isn't the best, or easiest progression. Don't print out this thread and pin it to your wall.

Instead, start at the beginning and systematically work your way through basic music theory. Start with intervals, followed by scales (major, minor and chromatic), then chords. There are many sources of information on these - the theory is well documented with a long-used traditional systematic progression.

One no-nonsense, to the point, book is The Basis of Music, an inexpensive paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Basis-Music-H...4387542&sr=8-5
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  #36  
Old 11-22-2019, 11:20 AM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Basic music theory is pretty straight forward and logical. What has been posted here starts in the middle and works outwards. That isn't the best, or easiest progression. Don't print out this thread and pin it to your wall.

Instead, start at the beginning and systematically work your way through basic music theory. Start with intervals, followed by scales (major, minor and chromatic), then chords. There are many sources of information on these - the theory is well documented with a long-used traditional systematic progression.

One no-nonsense, to the point, book is The Basis of Music, an inexpensive paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Basis-Music-H...4387542&sr=8-5
Thank you! The thing is, I grew up with this stuff. I should be able to remember all these concepts, but for some reason, I find it difficult and confusing.

I started learning to read music at age 6, and where I grew up (Germany), music theory was part of the curriculum in both middle and high school. The teachers taught us how to analyze Bach's fugues and Beethoven's symphonies using the director's score, but they failed at giving us basic concepts that we could relate to, both with regard to music that we enjoyed listening to (pop, rock, country etc.) and in our individual instrument lessons, which most of us took on the side. I played instruments for most of my life, always relying on music notation. But only when I started playing guitar and seeking this information out by myself, I realized that none of my former teachers had ever managed to explain to me the concepts behind all the theory, or why it matters to my playing and the music I enjoy listening to. For example, when we were told to memorize the modes (Ionian, Dorian, etc.) in 8th grade or so, the angle that the music teacher took was purely historic. In Germany, the modes are actually called "Kirchentonarten," which translates to "church keys" and all we learned was how they came about and why they were important in the middle ages. No one explained to us why "I Know You Rider" sounds really good when you solo over it in D mixolydian. In other words, to us as students, it was a boring exercise in rote memory and completely uninteresting.

Because the way I was taught music theory lacked any relevance, I never put much effort into it, and for some reason, I struggle remembering all the concepts. Once I started playing guitar, I worked through a little book called "The Guitarist's Music Theory" by Peter Vogel, and much of that sounded familiar. But for some reason I find it very difficult to remember for example what a diminished chord is, even though I have read about it more than once.

I should probably pull that book off the shelf and simply work through it again. :-)
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Last edited by DesertTwang; 11-22-2019 at 11:31 AM.
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