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Author Topic: Understanding the Number System, Part 2  (Read 7076 times)

Offline T-Block

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Understanding the Number System, Part 2
« on: October 04, 2011, 11:02:51 PM »
This post is all about how to come up with right hand chords to go with the bass notes in progressions. To start off, hereís a crash course in chords (kinda long because Iím going in order of steps, just skip what u know, and learn what you donít):

Chords are built in 3rds, i.e. every other note. There are 4 basic types (major, minor, diminished, augmented). Each type is built using a different formula:

major = 1-3-5
minor = 1-b3-5
diminished = 1-b3-b5  *also the fully diminished = 1-b3-b5-bb7
augmented = 1-3-#5

Since you should know all your major scales, figuring out these basic types using every note is a piece of cake. Examples:

C major = C-E-G
C minor = C-Eb-G
C diminished = C-Eb-Gb  *C fully diminished = 1-b3-b5-bb7
C augmented = C-E-G#
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Now, once you are familiar with these basic chords, then comes the part where you combine them with bass notes to form musical chords & eventually progressions. To start off with, each note of the major scale has a chord formed off of it, using only the notes of that particular major scale. For every key, the formula is:

1 chord = major (1-3-5)
2 chord = minor (2-4-6)
3 chord = minor (3-5-7)
4 chord = major (4-6-1)
5 chord = major (5-7-2)
6 chord = minor (6-1-3)
7 chord = diminished (7-2-4)

Using the C major scale, it looks like this:

C=1     D=2     E=3     F=4     G=5     A=6     B=7

1 chord = C major (1-3-5), C-E-G
2 chord = D minor (2-4-6), D-F-A
3 chord = E minor (3-5-7), E-G-B
4 chord = F major (4-6-1), F-A-C
5 chord = G major (5-7-2), G-B-D
6 chord = A minor (6-1-3), A-C-E
7 chord = B diminished (7-2-4), B-D-F

You should learn this for every key. Here is some more links with information on scale degree chords:

Scale Degree Chords: http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,53951.0.html

Scale Degree Chords Part 2: http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,53958.0.html

Scale Degree Chords Chart/Practice (3-note chords): http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,54353.0.html
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After you are familiar with scale degree chords, next comes progressions. When you form a progression (1-4-5, 2-5-1, etc.) the name tells you the bass notes, but not the chords. To figure out chords, you start with the scale degree chords of the bass notes being used. Example:

1-4-5 progression

1 / 1 chord
4 / 4 chord
5 / chord

Key C

C / C-E-G
F / F-A-C
G / G-B-D

Here is a link with more basic progressions to learn and practice:

Basic Progressions: http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,80928.0.html
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Once you got a good handle on those basic progression, next comes experimenting with different chords to take these basic ones to the next level. There are only 3 ways to get a different chord; either you add a note(s), take out a note(s), or change the notes that are present. The easiest one is adding notes. So, this brings in the 7th chords:

Major 7th = 1-3-5-7
Minor 7th = 1-b3-5-b7
Dominant 7th = 1-3-5-b7
Half-diminished 7th = 1-b3-b5-b7
Diminished or fully diminished 7th = 1-b3-b5-bb7  *you should already know this chord

Now, you would think that adding in these chords is a hard task, but it really isnít. Letís revisit those scale degree chords using the key of C. The hard way is to take each scale degree chord and pair them with different bass notes of the major scale. For example:

1 / 3 chord,  C / E-G-B
4 / 6 chord,  F / A-C-E
7 / 2 chord,  B / D-F-A
_______________________________________ ______________________________

Once you got a list made, go through and see what chords sound good with what bass notes. If you come across some good sounding ones, chances are you have some kind of 7th chord. Look at that C / E-G-B chord above. You know what 7th chord that is? It is a C major 7th chord. In fact, major of those 7th chords are built using basic chords paired with different bass notes. To save you some frustration, here the ones I found:

1 / 3 chord, major 7th chord,            C / E-G-B
2 / 4 chord, minor 7th chord,            D / F-A-C
3 / 5 chord, minor 7th chord,            E / G-B-D
4 / 6 chord, major 7th chord,            F / A-C-E
5 / 7 chord, dominant 7th chord,      G / B-D-F
6 / 1 chord, minor 7th chord,            A / C-E-G
7 / 2 chord, diminished 7th chord,    B / D-F-A

So, you add these to the progressions you learned ealier. For example:

3-6-2-5-1 progression

E / D-G-B
A / E-G-C
D / F-A-C
G / G-B-D
C / G-C-E

Here is a post I did utilizing this idea of scale degree chords with different bass notes:

Basic Progressions 2: http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,65920.0.html
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From then on, you just add more notes to form chords like 9ths, 11ths, 13ths, add9, sus4, etc. Then you take those chords and change/alter the notes to form chords like dom7 (#5/#9), min7 (b5), etc.

Hereís a link to just about all the chords you will ever encounter in music:

Chord Chart: http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,43117.0.html
_______________________________________ _______________________________

The songs that I post on LGM are filled with those altered type chords. You just have to go through and find them. Since the pros from the CD have figured these out for you, all you have to do is learn and practice them so that you can use them in your playing. This is more or less the way I learned to use altered chords. I just used the theory to explain what was being played then learn it in every key.

So, what I suggest you do is take an easy song I posted, and put them in number format. Use the theory to explain what kinds of chords are being played. Go through enough song posts and you will start to see patterns. Before long, knowing what chords to use will be instinctive and automatic. After that, you will be able to make up your own progressions.

I know it's gonna take some time to digest all of this information. If at anytime you need any more help, just ask and I will try to break it down even more. God bless!!!
Real musicians play in every key!!!
Music Theory, da numbers work!

Offline T-Block

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Re: Understanding the Number System, Part 2
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2011, 11:03:50 PM »
If anyone has anything to add (or correct, lol) feel free to do so.
Real musicians play in every key!!!
Music Theory, da numbers work!

Offline micthepoet

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Re: Understanding the Number System, Part 2
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2011, 09:33:16 PM »
This is awesome!! Are there basic progressions for older gospel songs?

Offline T-Block

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Re: Understanding the Number System, Part 2
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2011, 10:03:01 PM »
This is awesome!! Are there basic progressions for older gospel songs?

Basic progressions are for ANY kind of song in any genre. Gospel, R&B, pop, jazz, etc. you name it there's a basic progression for it.
Real musicians play in every key!!!
Music Theory, da numbers work!

Offline musallio

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Re: Understanding the Number System, Part 2
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2011, 06:04:34 PM »
Thanks T-Bone.

I'm coming back to these- always good to go back where one started.

Sounds as sweet as ever!
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Offline Virtuenow

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Re: Understanding the Number System, Part 2
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2013, 02:20:12 PM »
Another good less T-Block.  I'm bumping this one for all re-beginners to see!!!
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