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Question about Music Theory (Chord Progressions)
andYMkIII
PostPosted: 10 September 2010 - 18:34:18 (815)  Reply with quote
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Okay, so I've been reading about music theory a lot lately, but now there's something I couldn't really figure out myself or with Google...

Let's say I write a song in Am (natural minor, no funny stuff), notes in this scale are A, B, C, D, E, F, G, chords are Am, Bdim, C, Dm, Em, F, G.

Okay, now let's take the good old boring overused i iv v progression, so we get Am - Dm - Em. Let's say I play these chords with a pad, and want to put a piano melody on top of that.

Here comes the question: Which notes can I play on the piano when my pad is playing the Dm or Em chord? Can I play any note of the scale I'm currently in or can I still only use notes of the scale my song is in (Am)? I guess the former, because even though the song might be in Am, at this point I'm in the Dm or Em scale, so I can play any note of that scale, even if it's not part of the Am scale, is that right?
So when I'm playing Dm on the pad, my piano melody on top of that could include an A# (but no B, even though the song is in Am, but B isn't part of the Dm scale).


Please no replies like "Do whatever sounds right", I'm asking this particular question cause I'm curious and want to learn music theory happy
Oh and if you notice any mistakes please point them out, thank you! cheers

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jkl27
PostPosted: 10 September 2010 - 19:24:54 (850)  Reply with quote
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grin2 i thought notes starts from C..

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rexone1
PostPosted: 10 September 2010 - 19:32:27 (855)  Reply with quote
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My understanding is you use the scale of the root note.
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varroa
PostPosted: 10 September 2010 - 19:41:01 (861)  Reply with quote
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I havn't learned this stuff since I was much younger, so I don't remember some of the terms but you can *technically* play any note on the scale, but for dominant notes in the melody, don't stray very far from the main chord progression
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Luminance
PostPosted: 10 September 2010 - 20:11:03 (882)  Reply with quote
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Yeah, generally speaking, you should be playing notes from the A minor scale. The reason why that D is a minor and the E is a minor is because they were built off of the original A minor scale.

Assuming that the rest of your layers are in key with those pads then you're going to get some sour sounds if you play, for instance, a B flat from the D Minor scale.

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Luminance needs help with another track
andYMkIII
PostPosted: 10 September 2010 - 20:51:09 (910)  Reply with quote
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Thanks a lot guys happy

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mnw
PostPosted: 11 September 2010 - 21:27:40 (935)  Reply with quote
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actually you can modulate to Dm or Em (you can use B-flat or F-sharp), it's very common in music theory
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Raveren
PostPosted: 11 September 2010 - 21:43:25 (946)  Reply with quote
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Any type of key changing is extremely rare in dance music in general, so playing notes strictly from the Am scale is what you want to do. ABCDEFG. Any sharps or flats will imply some kind of key shift to a different root other than Am, so that isn't what you want to do (unless it is, but that is a much more complicated music theory question).
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GbeTech
PostPosted: 18 September 2010 - 16:21:40 (723)  Reply with quote
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You should play on the Am notes.
The reason is because your chords aren't Am, Bdim, C, Dm, Em, F, G.

They are the following modes, from A to G: (links)
Aeolian, Locrian, Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixolydian.

Google musical modes.
Basically the Aeolian is identical to a minor scale, the Ionian is identical to Major. The rest are slightly different, but if you take each mode's 1st 3rd and 5th notes, they sound either as a minor, major or diminished (the locrian, because of the 5 flat).
That's the reason for the common misconception of "a minor scale consists of m, dim, M, m, m, M, M."


Btw, here is a nice tip. Let's define "keeping the scale" as playing whatever chords you like, within the limits of your chosen tonality. (Say Am) As we said, you only play the notes of Am. But changing your scale and tonality - i.e. playing notes that belong to a different scale (try A) makes things sound way more interesting, original and exciting.
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Igneous01
PostPosted: 18 September 2010 - 20:14:18 (884)  Reply with quote
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from what i can say, yes you can play notes from the dm or em scale even tho your in am. key changes may be rare in edm, but alot of good tracks now a days have very good and solid melodies thanks to certain keyswitches and scale shifts.



a really easy and obvious keyswitch thats overused would be:

chord: d#,g,c ----->d,g,b



where the b is not in the same scale of this progression, but bflat/asharp is
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