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I have a theory question...

Music Theory
Jkshoe  
29 Aug 2013 04:28 | Quote
Joined: 15 Mar 2012
United States
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Yet again, I fail to understand the basic fundamentals of music theory.

Anyway, I've been diddling around a lot and I couldn't help but notice two chord progressions that sound very similar, and I was hoping someone could help clear this up for me.

http://youtu.be/Jve-oTuwUpI

The first progression is B5, G5, D5, A5. Power chords.

The next one is B Minor, G Major, D Major, A Major.

Looking at it, obviously, I can tell that it's B, G, D, A. What I don't understand is why the two sound the same, even though the chords are different.

I feel like a dumbass for not understanding this, but if someone could try and break it down for me I'd much appreciate it.
Empirism  
30 Aug 2013 12:09 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
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they contain same notes

"power chords" are "chords" with no thirds. Just two notes 1st(root) and 5th. Third's define if its Minor or Major and therefore add 1 note. Thats why they sound the almost same, but only with 1 note difference.

Sorry im not good explaining things :D.

Emp
Jkshoe  
1 Sep 2013 20:10 | Quote
Joined: 15 Mar 2012
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Right. Power chords are just an octave and the Fifth, you said.

So the only difference that a major and minors contain a third as opposed to another root note.

I'll keep this in mind. I much appreciate the feedback. I'm an idiot so it helps when others can break stuff down for me.
btimm  
1 Sep 2013 22:05 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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It's not so much that you are an idiot, but rather that learning music takes time. It's fairly complex I think and can be overwhelming. I have been playing (sparingly due to a family and career) for a few years and I feel as if I have just scratched the surface. The beautiful things about music though is that is fun to learn music! Always remember that and approach it that way. It sounds so cliche, but it really is about the journey and not so much the destination. Keep asking away!
btimm  
1 Sep 2013 22:15 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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I agree with Emp also, lol

But I think that it is also based on the context of the progression. Like your progression is in the key of D. I know that the D chord is major and the G and A chords are major (4th and 5th). The second and third chords in the chord scale are E and F which would expect to be minor. The 6th (B) would be minor as well. I forget what the 7th is off the top of my head, I think it is augmented or something but don't quote me. I also apologize if I am confusing, because I feel scatter-brained at the moment.

Anyways, your ear has been trained over the years while listening to music. Because the progression is in D major and your ear intuitively knows this, then your ear "hears" the B power chord as being minor, because that is what "fits" the progression.

I could be wrong here, but that is just what it seems like to me. It's almost like when you have a progression that needs resolution and you just feel like the progression needs to resolve and you can basically tell that without even knowing any music theory. It's the same here. You just know what the context of the power chord should be. Hopefully I made sense, but I am sure someone else here can write what I just said much more eloquently. lol
J.R.M.30  
3 Sep 2013 18:25 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Karma: 1
Well with a lot of songs, they are stripped down, meaning usage of power chords, intervals, a mixture of both or in some parts no chords, so you can build a chord progression up in complexity or strip it down IN MOST CASES but there are exceptions to the rules.
Empirism  
4 Sep 2013 16:47 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
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yeah, btimm is darn right. As myself Ive been head in hands looking those lessons from Gs, Missy and others explaining damn easy stuff, but I just dont get them! lol. frustrating? hell yeah, and I felt myself stupid many many times.

But when you twig things, you just conquer them and it will lead you into others, and by time you start to realize the connections of them. Talking about simple things here, not some matrixes I heard in this forum, that have been blessed by so knowledgeable people of theory and music.

Guitarslinger124  
4 Sep 2013 20:41 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
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Moderator
This post is kinda out of order, but here you go:

Empirism was right enough.

Naturally, if you use the same notes in a chord you will more than likely get a similar sound. Of course there are exceptions.

What you really need to think about is the melodies, which could be in the form of vocals. Some melodies need to be held together by specific chord shapes and sounds, other don't.

Everything uses intervals... well everything that is more than one pitch. An interval is just the space between two notes. And I don't mean physical distance. Think harmonies, or if you're into math and science, think about it in terms of hz or change in vibration distance, whatever.

Another thing, a second (or a fourth or third or first or fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth or thirteenth) are only and can only be nominated as such based on the root key or note. In the key of C, D is only the second because that is what it is. I know that seems obvious, but I find a lot of people get hung up on that.

Major and minor chords do contain a third. But it isn't the same third. This is the same concept as above.

Power chords are a misnomer. They aren't really chords. By definition, a chord has at least three notes of unequal pitch. A power chord is merely a harmony of root and fifth usually with the octave as well.

I think what Btimm was getting as was this:



1st - Ionian - Maj
2nd - Dorian - Min
3rd - Phrygian - Min
4th - Lydian - Maj
5th - Mixolydian - Maj
6th - Aeolian - Min
7th - Locrian - Dim



One of the most important things moving forward should be understanding practical application. Learn your rights and your wrongs, but also learn that you can make a wrong fit with a right and a right with a wrong through correct application which comes with understanding, as Btimm was saying, context.

I know the post was a mess, sorry.

Hope that helped.

btimm  
5 Sep 2013 16:29 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Yeah basically. To make it short, I was saying that since it is in the key of D, your ear hears that the B should be minor, even though the power chord has no third. If it was in the key of B, I am sure it would sound like a major chord, even without the third.


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