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Chord Borrowing - Aha Moment

Music Theory
btimm  
29 Jan 2012 21:34 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 16
So I know, I am not nearly as far along as I should be at this point in my learning - limited free time due to two toddlers will do that to ya, lol.

Anyways, I was trying to write my first ever actual song, and I use a chord progression of C-G-E-Am. That might catch your eye, as usually this progression will have an Em instead of the E. Well, I started doing a little researching on the internet and apparently this is call borrowing a chord. The Em technically "should" be there, since the Em chord is part of the C major chord scale. However, you can just borrow a chord from the C minor scale and replace chords to make it sound interesting. So now I have been tinkering a bit, and I kinda like the flow of these two progressions:

C-G-Em-Am
C-G-Eb-Am
C-G-E-Am
C-G-Eb-Am

C-G-Em-Am
C-G-Eb-Am
C-G-Eb-A
C-G-Eb-Am

I think it "works" because in the first progression the E major chord has the E, G, and A notes. The A minor chord has A, C, and E notes, so I guess the G kinda resolves to the C in the A minor chord. I am not totally sure on this, but I just know that it creates some tension and you do get that resolution in the A minor chord. And it certainly doesn't come from the E or A, since they are the same obviously. lol

I'll be honest - I have no idea why the swapping of A minor and A work, but it seems like it sounds pretty cool. Probably not nearly as good as the first progression though, which is what I might go with.

Anyways, I just thought I would share this with everyone. I know there are guitarists of varying skill levels, so some more experienced members may be able to add on to this thread, some other members may also have an "aha" moment like I did, and some members may be lost. lol TO those members who read this and seem lost, don't worry, you will learn so much with time and the journey is quite enjoyable!

If a lesson on this doesn't already exist, I may do some more research so I can really understand more about the topic and write a really interesting lesson.
tinyskateboard  
29 Jan 2012 22:19 | Quote
Joined: 28 Apr 2010
United States
Karma: 11
Cool man. I like your thought process.
gshredder2112  
31 Jan 2012 23:13 | Quote
Joined: 03 Sep 2010
United States
Licks: 3
Karma: 22
If your swapping Open Amin,for open Amaj,It could be the
Common tones in both chords(The open A and open high E) that allow it to switch from a Maj to min or vice versa even with the out
of key note(C# Aka,Maj 3rd of Amaj) Because possibly the tonal change is
somewhat drowned out by the other big sounding open notes/strings.

Just a thought.

Btw,Your part of the forum too. If its lacking,it comes down on
all members, we are all part of this issue, so we should all try
to solve it.

M/(*-+)
gs2112
btimm  
1 Feb 2012 06:55 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 16
Thanks for thoughts on why that works. The thing I really liked about the idea of chord borrowing - and I know this works with many other chords as well, like suspended chords - is that the chord just craves resolution, it's a pretty interesting sound.

gshredder2112 says:
Btw,Your part of the forum too. If its lacking,it comes down on all members, we are all part of this issue, so we should all try to solve it.


I really shouldn't have typed anything about that, it just has been eating at me. The thing is, writing that (and I can't delete it, maybe a mod can) is just preaching to the choir and to the members who are around and commenting. I agree we should try to do something to solve it, but I don't know how to go about solving it. I have tried to get some of my friends who play guitar to join the site, but they never follow through and sign. Disappointing to say the least, since I love the community aspect of this forum. It just sorta eats at me when no one ever posts or comments much anymore.
tinyskateboard  
1 Feb 2012 18:17 | Quote
Joined: 28 Apr 2010
United States
Karma: 11
I posted the same recently, and did not follow up by posting a bunch of cool questions, ideas or lessons or licks. It's human nature to notice things...and mention them. We just have too few people. I like a smaller group as opposed to a huge group.

But we are shy a few voices. I even read trpri a couple of times a week because of lak of traffic here.

I'll at least take a picture of my guitar this week and post that...and maybe some art or something.
btimm  
1 Feb 2012 18:48 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 16
That'd be sweet, I'd love to see your guitar!
Empirism  
5 Feb 2012 04:12 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
yeah, I noticed same thing Ive also seen my posts left without any replies, doh well... i dont care about it, but just rised eyebrows.. I dont know how the things changed, we got many new members... but still... doh well, atleast there are much more less offtopics than there were before, that could please someone.

Btw, to chord borrowing... I thought that many times, ive used that when composing by jamming random stuff and thought, hey that sounds ok even outside actual theory like we discussed many times... just didnt knew actual term for it, well now I know and can study that more. Cheers m8.
pxm  
10 Jun 2012 11:43 | Quote
Joined: 11 Jan 2012
Sweden
Licks: -3
Karma: 4
The chords in the examples first line can bee seems like inversions of the first C major chord. The chords are built of the saame notes ( If G is a dominant chord, which I suppose.)
An Eb would fit in the key if the progression was in Cminor.

Theres no scale to outline this progression whit and you will need to change to another scale over th Eb chord. Donīt make any sense to me but I maybe think of in too modal terms... Artist that breales the rules and make it sound good often gets legendary...

Paxom (Sweden)
pxm  
10 Jun 2012 11:45 | Quote
Joined: 11 Jan 2012
Sweden
Licks: -3
Karma: 4
Chord borrowing are named Modal Interchange och Modal Mixture. It allows you to borrow chords from other scales in the same key...


Paxom


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