View Full Version : Theory Dissection of Strange DeJaVu by Dream Theater

05-13-2003, 01:59 AM
Hola everyone,

I'm wondering if someone could help me understand what key(s) Dream Theater is using in the song Strange DejaVu off the Scenes From New York Album.

The opening progression (that is the basis for the first 2 verses) goes: Af5 C5. So, that could be in Ef...

But then there's this riff that comes after the first strumming of Af5 and Af(f5):

4 G||--8-8-8-8---8-8-8-8---7-7-7--|----7-7-7-7--------------------|
/ D||--6-6-6-6---6-6-6-6---6-6-6--|----6-6-6-6-------6-------7-----|
4 A||-----------------------------|-------------------7-6------7-6-|

Ok...that riff throws me, because it seems like it fits best into A.

Then there's the second part, around the C5 and C(f5)


(sorry for the way the tabs come out, for a clearer version, go to http://www.dreamtheater.net/tab/strange_dejavu_guitar.htm )
This part here seems like it's in C, with the #4 thrown in...

In the second verse JP works with diads again, alternating within that Af C progression, using the Af5, Af(f5), Af6 and Af3 diads, then the corresponding ones in C...Is there a rule in theory that allows him to work with this, or is he just going out on his own here?

Thanks for taking the time to read this rambling first post :p


05-16-2003, 09:30 AM
That tab is not 100 % accurate.
The song is written in F minor (F, G, Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb).

There is used an A and an E, which don't belong to the scale (nondiatonic). But that is it.

And the explanation to the use of those nondiatonic notes in the song could be: the use of E is diatonic but to F harmonic minor, and often is used in composition to combine Natural minor and harmonic minor, or natural and melodic, or melodic and harmonic. (Or so I've read).

But what I believe is the best explanation, consists that the original tab book always puts the name of the chord above it on the partiture-tablature (if there is any) and in a run or a riff, as sometimes it doesn't fit any key or it constantly changes within the measure, they put instead of the name of the chord, N.C., which means no chord is used, so the played notes don't belong to the key. (well, some of them).

As John Petrucci says:"Let your ear be the judge!".

So, if you create something, and you like it, then it's good, and no theory applies then.

05-20-2003, 12:44 AM
Gracias :)

I'm going to have to go get the tab book now...

05-28-2003, 04:29 PM
De nada. :) (you're welcome)