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Thread: analyze my progression?

  1. #1
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    analyze my progression?

    i thought i'd turn to you guys, because for some reason i am having trouble figuring out what i did theorywise in my latest songwriting attempt.

    a bit of background: one of the bands i'm in dresses in costumes. it is a circus-rock band with a charismatic and unusual frontman. hence this strange song fragment, attached below as an mp3.

    here is the progression. i am really confused with this one.

    verse:
    the bass root progression is in c minor: i, v, bvi, iv
    c, g, bA, f

    prechorus:
    the bass root progression stays in c minor: i, bIII, ii
    c, bE, d
    (a blue note is introduced in the RH, if you can call the sharp four that.)


    chorus
    help! what's happening here? beginning with the first of four chords:

    chord one: the right hand plays an A major chord, but the bass hand plays the third of that chord, the c#. am i supposed to think of the A major chord literally as an A major chord, with a third in the bass? or as a c#m6 inversion? because that affects how the progression is ultimately 'called.'

    chord two is an inversion of d minor. the bass hand plays d, while the right hand plays, in ascending order, a chord made of: a, d, f

    chord three is an inversion of f minor. f is in the bass, and the right hand chord is, in ascending order: bA, c, f

    chord four is a c inversion. the third, e, is in the bass, and the right hand chord is, in ascending order: g, c, e.

    i am trying to figure out 1. what key the song as a whole is in 2. if there's a key change 3. if there are nondiatonic chords, and which they are. 4. why it sounds unusual. (should i just chalk that up to using slash chords or is there something in the actual chord choice?)

    thanks for any help
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by fortymile; 05-31-2005 at 06:56 PM.
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  2. #2
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    heh hehhh, nice. reminds me of a band we used to have round here called Grannies New Intentionz, good stuff.

    A quick question though 40mi dude, are you sure the verse is not in F minor?

    Haven't really checked it out but that verse sounds like a nice F Minor solo would fit nicely over it...hold on.

    Yes, it does. Could it be F Minor not C Minor?

  3. #3
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    the first bass note in the verse is c. the right hand riff over top of that (which goes through the whole progression) is simple: e flat, c, c, c, c, c, c, c, over and over again.

    i'm pretty confident the verse is in c minor. i have no idea why this song is so confusing to me.
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  4. #4
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    no one cares.
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  5. #5
    Registered User sixstrings121's Avatar
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    If the bassline is just Eb to C, its in Cminor. It really depends on what the chords are doing too though.

  6. #6
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    the verse is not the problem. i'm sure it's c minor. the chorus is very tricky to me, though. it begins with an a major chord, and there's other weird stuff in there too. will no one take a crack at the chorus?
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  7. #7
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    I can't get on with these keybopard voicings and inversions, they confuse the hell out of me. Sorry dude.

  8. #8
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    well, just in case someone else stops by, lemme simplify. you might not have to worry about the inversions too much. just look at the whole song as straight up chords. look at it this way:

    Verse: C min, G, bA, F

    PreChorus: Cmin, bE, D

    Chorus: Amaj, D min, Fmin, Gmaj

    now what does one 'say' about that theorywise? how can that A major and G major be in there?

    key of c min includes: c min, dmin 7b5, bE maj, F min, G min, bA maj, bB maj

    note: the chords listed above that do not have a maj/min designation are just bass roots--no thirds are present there, so thier maj/min tonality is ambiguous.
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  9. #9
    Registered User sixstrings121's Avatar
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    hm...No real theory in there. I'de treat it sort of like Dharmonic minor. Amajor Dminor and Gmajor are all in that key, but Ide just treat the Fminor as borrowing from the relative minor of Fmajor.

  10. #10
    Registered User sixstrings121's Avatar
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    Oops...my bad, Gmaj isnt in Dharmonic minor, But I would just use Glydian dominant over the Gmajor, because it keeps the C# and the F note. Your only changing the Bb to a B. Glydian dominant = G A B C# D E F Dharmonic minor= D E F G A Bb C# (question on this...would you call it C#? just wondering because I remember hearing somewhere that you cant mix b's and #'s in the same key.)

  11. #11
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    i'm not interested in soloing over this, in any way. it's not a matter of 'what to use.'

    it's a matter of understanding harmonically what i did with the progression, so that i can employ the trick in other ways in the future.

    specifically, that lurching step from the c minor prechorus to the first "slash chord," or whatever, of the chorus (the A major right hand chord, with the C# in the bass)--this sounds striking to me, and i want to know why--what the reason for this is.

    this is my first song, i believe, where i correctly used voice-leading in the chords, and also only the second one where the melody was written alongside the chords. i got better results than usual--with the naked progression, i mean--so i really want to understand what i did differently this time harmonically. because i wasnt thinking when i wrote this.
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  12. #12
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Maybe that's a point though, maybe it simply isn't a diatonic chord progression. That's fine too, not everything has to be in a key.

    my 2c.

    I can't figure it any other way even with the chords simplified.

  13. #13
    Registered User sixstrings121's Avatar
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    hmm...well the iv chord of Amajor (Dm) sort of acts like an augmented Amajor, because of the F note. Im not really sure how you want to analyze it. Its all over the place key wise. It doesnt stick to one key.

  14. #14
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortymile
    Verse: C min, G, bA, F

    PreChorus: Cmin, bE, D

    Chorus: Amaj, D min, Fmin, Gmaj

    now what does one 'say' about that theorywise? how can that A major and G major be in there?

    key of c min includes: c min, dmin 7b5, bE maj, F min, G min, bA maj, bB maj

    note: the chords listed above that do not have a maj/min designation are just bass roots--no thirds are present there, so thier maj/min tonality is ambiguous.
    OK, I'm going ot of my depth here, and there could be mistakes, but here goes.

    First thing is a minor point in that the II triad in a C natural minor harmonisation would be Ddim. And the second thing is to remember in minor keys that you have the harmonisations of the harmonic and melodic minor to play with.

    In terms of triads: you pick up Eb+5, Gmajor and Bdim from harmonic minor and Dmin, Fmajor and Adim from melodic minor. The Gmajor, Bdim and Dmin being the most useful (more or less in that order). After that the Amajor is your only non-diatonic chord.

    For the verse/prechorus if you filled in the thirds in line with the key then you be safely "in" Cminor with some alternatives.

    Then as you have been asking all along you have the chorus problem, I think you Key change to Amajor for that chord and then back again through the Dmin to Cminor.

    The ambiguous (no 3rd) D chord at the end of the pre-chorus could be a pivot to your Amajor as a sort of implied common chord, so that it can behave like a dim or minor triad to the old key and a major to the new key (does this move sound as effective if you add a minor third or even the diminished fifth??). Amajor can then act as a secondary dominant in the move to the Dmin - and note Dmin also lives in the key of Cminor from the melodic minor harmonisation. The move to Fminor I dont have a great reason for but I think this starts to link the Dmin back torwards Cminor since you are already back in the correct territory. Then it's followed by Gmajor which is the dominant in C minor and you're home and dry.

    Someone earlier mentioned borrowed chords, well in minor keys with the three harmonisations there's not really a need to rationalise it that way. Major keys are the place to borrow from the parallel key - I've been thinking about a strickly on exactly that subject.

  15. #15
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Respect for having a bash Ash!

    All looks/sounds feasible to me....which is great because I was still in Fminor...

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