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Learning when to use "wrong" notes

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.

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Nanakai
KVRian
 
592 posts since 3 Oct, 2011

Postby Nanakai; Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:45 pm

emerable wrote:
Nanakai wrote:Go through this series. Play the chords on an instrument. See, feel and hear:

http://audio.tutsplus.com/tutorials/mus ... s-piano-1/

Knowing the theory means nothing if you don't have primary experience.


Thank you! This looks like it's going to be extremely useful!


As far as experimenting without theory goes, I do that all the time. The problem is that sometimes i'll come up with an interesting chord progression that includes some non diatonic notes, but I won't really know what's going on to properly write basslines and melodies on top. Are the "wrong" keys I'm hitting just passing notes, am I changing scales for one bar, am I changing scales for one bar then changing again for the next? I'm not being lazy, I just prefer to have a more clear understanding of the musical direction of the song so I can confidently build on it.


Yeah, I know the feeling. What I like about the series that I linked is that the author goes through every alteration of every diatonic chord and discusses the logic of each. I went through the series recently at my piano and it was a great learning experience. Playing the examples solidified some otherwise murky concepts and I feel much more creative and fluid now.
Bobbotov
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1001 posts since 14 May, 2008, from Tralfamadore

Postby Bobbotov; Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:25 pm

jancivil wrote: "Because"; how did McCartney come up with such sophisticated part writing with no theory study?



I don't think it was any accident that the only cover of a Broadway musical song the Beatles ever did was "Til there Was You," from the Music Man. You can tell McCartney really listened and analyzed the structure of these types of songs. His genius was in being able to take that knowledge and imbue his own songs with the same alluring qualities. It is natural, innate talent at a high level. Something no book on theory can give you. He took from blues, Motown, pop, country and just about every popular genre (not to mention the Beach Boys for vocal harmony) and distilled into it his own unique interpretations. Complemented with John Lennon's own talent the results were legendary.
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vurt
addled muppet weed
 
33849 posts since 25 Jan, 2003, from through the looking glass

Postby vurt; Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:40 am

if someone is learning something, does it matter "how" they learn it?
cant we each offer advice based on what helped us individually, without dismissing others experience?
its not brain surgery, theres no real right or wrong way to learn, and no one dies if you mess up :shrug:

(
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codec_spurt
KVRAF
 
3417 posts since 20 Sep, 2005

Postby codec_spurt; Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:23 pm

https://www.google.co.uk/search?client= ... 24&bih=591

Don't ever do that!
And if you do, don't couple it with lyrics like this:
What is this that stands before me? Figure in black ...


It's just WRONG!
You'll be pleased to know, I'm knocking it all on the head.
tapper mike
KVRAF
 
3667 posts since 19 Jan, 2008

Postby tapper mike; Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:28 pm

You don't have to read music to perform it. And you don't have to study notation to figure out different sections. Wes Mongomery had a great ear. He never learned to read music but he'd listen to the song over and over and over and over again and then he'd play it out over and over and over again till he got it right.
jancivil
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9700 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:29 pm

vurt wrote:if someone is learning something, does it matter "how" they learn it?
cant we each offer advice based on what helped us individually, without dismissing others experience?
the questions I address are by people that aren't getting something, typically these days having restricted themselves to reading so I offer some words out of the experience I have in a life in music. I don't think there is anyone's "experience" of having restricted themselves to reading about music {"most of it has been the same information I've heard reiterated in different ways"} that has done the trick here or there would not be these posts. :shrug:
skipscada
KVRian
 
766 posts since 22 Oct, 2004, from Schmocation

Postby skipscada; Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:35 pm

To OP:

If you work with lyrics, consider linking key moments of the lyrics with "wrong" notes, as you call them. In other words, use conspicious notes to emphasise lyrical content.
VicDiesel
KVRAF
 
2782 posts since 2 Mar, 2003, from The only civilized county in Texas

Postby VicDiesel; Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:15 pm

skipscada wrote:To OP:

If you work with lyrics, consider linking key moments of the lyrics with "wrong" notes, as you call them. In other words, use conspicious notes to emphasise lyrical content.


How very JSB...

Victor.
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codec_spurt
KVRAF
 
3417 posts since 20 Sep, 2005

Postby codec_spurt; Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:47 pm

You'll be pleased to know, I'm knocking it all on the head.
itsJacuzzi
KVRer
 
7 posts since 30 Jan, 2013, from United States

Postby itsJacuzzi; Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:36 am

klawire wrote:
deastman wrote:How would you suggest he acquire this knowledge, if not from studying theory? Bashing about on the keyboard in hopes of an epiphany is surely not the most direct route.

One of the most important things I've learnt while studying in university is, that even the best theories are not as good as the reality. What I mean with that is, that while knowing some theories may in some cases be a good starting point, you actually learn much more by practical experience. Theories can only get you so far. Experience gets you a lot further. This applies especially well to music: if you have a good ear, just play, listen to music, and analyze it. Try out things. That's how most people learn the best.


Agreed 100%

The answer to composing is not always theory, yes picking a minor/major scale to write a melody to is a great starting point, but don't restrict yourself every time to the keys in your scale. There are times where a note will feel greatest when followed by a note out of key. Practice playing/creating music more often so that your feel for tension/release develops greater.
https://soundcloud.com/itsjacuzzi/jacuzzi-feud
Hiphop Producer from Honolulu, Hawaii

Keep an eye out for my Trap EP coming this February
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codec_spurt
KVRAF
 
3417 posts since 20 Sep, 2005

Postby codec_spurt; Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:25 pm

itsJacuzzi wrote:
The answer to composing is not always theory, yes picking a minor/major scale to write a melody to is a great starting point, but don't restrict yourself every time to the keys in your scale. There are times where a note will feel greatest when followed by a note out of key. Practice playing/creating music more often so that your feel for tension/release develops greater.



This makes me think of my harmonic theory breakdown and why me and theory had to go our sweet separate ways.

I mean, THAT minor scale where the notes you play ascending are different to the ones you play descending.. Is it natural minor it's called?

No point in bullshitting especially after admitting one's ignorance:
https://www.google.co.uk/search?client= ... el=suggest

Some great links there explaining what I mean.

Up to that point it was all the right notes in the right places with mathematical precision. Something happened around the 15th or 16th century that upset this sensibility, but then again I may be very very wrong about this. Please feel free to point out where I've gone wrong in my understanding.

But please, do not ask me to play a scale a different way if I am going down the neck as opposed to up it.


But then again!

What I found when I got deep into classical guitar that these notes are pretty much inter-changeable, there is no such thing as a scale. Everything is relativity and yes, a wrong note, might very well be the very right note.
You'll be pleased to know, I'm knocking it all on the head.
schnapsglas
KVRian
 
996 posts since 14 Jun, 2012, from Toronto, Canada

Postby schnapsglas; Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:29 pm

In my experience I learned what notes sounded like when I really focused on intervals. There are no wrong notes, just that there are notes with too much character. And over time I think it becomes clearer when one is required.

More specifically to OP, (this may sound horribly rudimentary to some) for major scale, you can use modes to see what a certain scale sounds like. If you know some blues, you know when the tritone comes in handy. Each scale has one of those (or more) and that might be a good starting point. But don't get too caught up in modes, chord progressions, or scales. If you want to do things proper, you want a book in harmony and voice leading. And I think it is good to know theory. Why not?

I agree with jancivil here, he gives very good points. You can learn theory but it will be confusing. Lot of info on the web are confusing and to pointed. If you want to really learn theory, you have to either believe in yourself or do it properly.
JumpingJackFlash
KVRian
 
1147 posts since 10 Oct, 2004

Postby JumpingJackFlash; Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:16 pm

codec_spurt wrote:I mean, THAT minor scale where the notes you play ascending are different to the ones you play descending.. Is it natural minor it's called? ...
I may be very very wrong about this. Please feel free to point out where I've gone wrong in my understanding.


You're thinking of the Melodic Minor.
What exactly is your problem with it? I'd be happy to explain it, but I'm not sure exactly what you (mis)understand already, and you probably won't care anyway.
Unfamiliar words can be looked up in my Glossary of musical terms.
Also check out my Introduction to Music Theory.
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9700 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:26 pm

codec_spurt wrote: please, do not ask me to play a scale a different way if I am going down the neck as opposed to up it.
The terms of the ascending vs descending melodic minor are drawn from practice, there is a certain kind of feeling for each, a musical reason, an actual idea that became described/codified in 'music theory'. A certain pull ^6 ^7->8, b7 b6->5 for instance. it isn't arbitrary. following your consideration of that thing as if arbitrary, you state that you feel the very idea of 'scales' is arbitrary, as though ultimately people make guesses? that's just inchoate.

It occurs to us you appear confused and maybe ought to be asking rather than telling.
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vurt
addled muppet weed
 
33849 posts since 25 Jan, 2003, from through the looking glass

Postby vurt; Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:12 am

jancivil wrote:
vurt wrote:if someone is learning something, does it matter "how" they learn it?
cant we each offer advice based on what helped us individually, without dismissing others experience?
the questions I address are by people that aren't getting something, typically these days having restricted themselves to reading so I offer some words out of the experience I have in a life in music. I don't think there is anyone's "experience" of having restricted themselves to reading about music {"most of it has been the same information I've heard reiterated in different ways"} that has done the trick here or there would not be these posts. :shrug:


thats all well and good jan, but i was kinda talking to deastman for the way he dismissed the idea of "bashing away at the keys" in that i beleive much can be gleamed from just learning how each note sounds, either i isolation or relative to other notes, and that if a person does learn this way does it matter? so log as they are learning along the way?

it also doesnt help a thread to dismiss others ideas, we all got where we are through "experience" and if we found omething that helped us, we should be able to share that without being called out on it.
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