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Old 12-07-2017, 05:27 PM   #1
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Aug, dim, 6, 7, ...

Hi everyone,

I call for your help to understand the relationships between major/minor chords and all the others.
I have a decent understanding of scales, standard chords and chord progressions but I yet didn't get my head around other chords and when to resort to them.

For starters, augmented and diminished chords. I never succeeded to make good use of those. I mean they have that strange sonic quality that makes them sound somewhat interesting on their own but rather awkward in a chord progression. What's your experience with them ? Do you have any example of fine sounding aug/dim chord in context ? Any thought to share ?

As for 6ths and 7ths. Can you play a m6 instead of its regular minor version whenever you feel like ? Are there scales that allow you to do so and others that wouldn't ? Any rules about that ?

Since learning new chords can be puzzling when you're considering all the possibilities, I'm looking for a limited range to start from. What are the essential chord types you would recommend to learn and for what purpose ? Which can be overlooked at first ?

Any insight, book reference, online resource or other form of knowledge is welcome here.

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Old 12-07-2017, 06:13 PM   #2
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Re: Aug, dim, 6, 7, ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sortilege View Post
Hi everyone,

I call for your help to understand the relationships between major/minor chords and all the others.
I have a decent understanding of scales, standard chords and chord progressions but I yet didn't get my head around other chords and when to resort to them.

For starters, augmented and diminished chords. I never succeeded to make good use of those. I mean they have that strange sonic quality that makes them sound somewhat interesting on their own but rather awkward in a chord progression. What's your experience with them ? Do you have any example of fine sounding aug/dim chord in context ? Any thought to share ?

As for 6ths and 7ths. Can you play a m6 instead of its regular minor version whenever you feel like ? Are there scales that allow you to do so and others that wouldn't ? Any rules about that ?

Since learning new scales can be puzzling when you're considering all the possibilities, I'm looking for a limited range to start from. What are the essential chord types you would recommend to learn and for what purpose ? Which can be overlooked at first ?

Any insight, book reference, online resource or other form of knowledge is welcome here.
First I wanna say that keep in mind I have zero musical training.

I've only used advanced chords on melodic intros and such. Basic minor/major chords and especially the power chord are enough for me for the most of the time.

One little thing I've noticed while trying to learn to read sheets, is that 7th/6th chords etc. are often used for variation. Like if you are playing a chord progression on a piano with 4 different chords, playing that same progression over and over can get quite stale. However, changing a few chords to completely different ones that still fit in the scale often sounds too obvious. So for instance, if the last chord on your progression is Em, switching it to Em7th every other time can help to keep the loop sounding fresh.

It also matters how you build your chords. Melodic chords on a piano can sound more "radical" than on a guitar, because on a guitar the chord is built on 5 notes, where those 3ths or 7ths etc. notes are just cherries on the top in the higher octave, when there's still the power chord (the first 3 strings) underneath. On piano, all notes of the chord are played in the same octave and that power chord is missing.

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Old 12-07-2017, 08:36 PM   #3
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Re: Aug, dim, 6, 7, ...

Thanks for that !

Right after I posted this, I found about Raven's guide to music theory which is incredibly insightful about it all. It already answered a lot of questions after a half hour read. Quite a few remains tho.
Renoise has this Scale finder tool which basically is an extensive collection of scales and many of the chords you can play for any of them. It indicates for instance
that for the harmonic scale of C you can play :
- Csus2, Csus4 and Cmin/maj7 instead of Cmin
- Fdim, Fsus2, Fmin6, Fmin7, Fdim7, Fmin7b5 instead of the Fmin
Considering both of the original chords are minor, why does it suggest that you can play 6 variations of F and only 3 variations of C ? Is it an arbitrary decisions ? Are their actual rules to enforce here ?
When is it ok to play a dim chord instead of a minor chord or an aug instead of a major (just curious, probably never gonna use that anyway) ?
What about mmaj7 ? It is said here you can throw it in instead of Amaj or Cmin.

Seriously, that stuff is so puzzling when you first get into it.

Last edited by Sortilege; 12-07-2017 at 08:42 PM..
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Old 17-07-2017, 07:41 AM   #4
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Re: Aug, dim, 6, 7, ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sortilege View Post
for the harmonic scale of C you can play :
- Csus2, Csus4 and Cmin/maj7 instead of Cmin
- Fdim, Fsus2, Fmin6, Fmin7, Fdim7, Fmin7b5 instead of the Fmin
Considering both of the original chords are minor, why does it suggest that you can play 6 variations of F and only 3 variations of C ? Is it an arbitrary decisions ?
Makes no sense to me. Are you sure you're not comparing the harmonic scale of C (major) and the harmonic scale of F minor? The root note doesn't affect the amount of available chords in the scale.

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