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Theory; Beyond the Sound


Theory; Beyond the Sound

This group is for discussing theory, harmony, and breaking down the walls of trying to better understand musical concepts.

Website: http://www.mikegurzi.com
Location: Online
Members: 36
Latest Activity: Oct 2, 2014

C, E-flat and G go into a bar...

The bartender says, "sorry, but we don't serve minors." So E-flat leaves, and C and G
have an open fifth between them. After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished and G is out flat. F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough.

D comes in and heads for the bathroom saying, "Excuse me. I'll just be a second." Then A comes in, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor. Then the bartender notices B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and says, "Get out! You're the seventh minor I've found in this bar tonight."

E-Flat comes back the next night in a three-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bartender says, "you're looking sharp tonight. Come on in, this could be a major
development." Sure enough, E-flat soon takes off his suit and everything else, and is a natural.

Eventually C sobers up and realizes in horror that he's under arrest. C is brought to trial, found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of D.S. without Coda at an upscale correctional facility.

Discussion Forum

Help with vii chord 5 Replies

Started by Dan Forney. Last reply by Roger Ferguson Sep 30, 2014.

The Major Scale Theory 4 Replies

Started by Michael Gurzi. Last reply by Michael Gurzi May 19, 2009.

How to make a Minor Chord 2 Replies

Started by Michael Gurzi. Last reply by Michael Gurzi Apr 17, 2009.

Comment Wall

Comment by Dave Warner on November 27, 2008 at 6:13am
How about a discussion of some common chord substitutions? I had a class with Jeff Jenkins that covered some of this to a degree. One thing he covered that I didn't catch was the idea of a "tri-tone" substitution. I understand (I think) what a tri-tone chord is, but I don't know how that helps you figure out what chord to sub when.
Comment by Dave Warner on November 27, 2008 at 8:00am
Thanks, Michael. So the dominant seventh chord of which the root note is the tritone, is generally only used as a sub for the V chord? Hm, there must be a better way to say that.

A V-I movement is generally when the tritone sub is used? You wouldn't use a tritone sub for the IV, or the ii, etc...?
Comment by Michael Gurzi on November 27, 2008 at 4:09pm
I think the concept is that you can use the tritone as a movement to a target chord. If you had a situation where enroute to the ii chord, say Dm7 and it was preceded by an A7 (which would be functioning as a 5 of 2 in C) then if you wanted you could use a Eb7 as the tritone sub for A7. It really depends on the sound you want, and how it fits, but you could. Therefore it is not limited to just the V-I movement, but to any chord where a V of something is being played.

In that situation we call any V chord that is not the actual keys V (like G7 in the key of C) then it is called a secondary dominant. So in the above, the A7 to Dm7 in the key of C is a secondary dominant. If you used Eb7, it would be a tritone sub to the secondary dominant.

Crazy stuff

Comment by Michael Gurzi on November 29, 2008 at 10:00am
Great points Tim. One thing for all to note, is that if you learn all of your min7 chords and their inversions, you are also learning the relative Maj6 chords and their inversions. There are 4 inversions of each on each 3 string sets: String set 4,3,2,1; 5,4,3,2; 6,5,4,3 - thats 12 chord forms, but since they can function as or sub for each other, thats 24 chords!!

Also, on your Am7 sub for the D7, yes it sounds like a D9, but the bigger idea is that you can always put a minor ii chord in front of a V. This gives you much more harmonic interest. You can always use that walk down too. great stuff. Thanks Tim!!
Comment by Mike Bunting on January 22, 2009 at 12:48pm
Good stuff, I love messing with those tritone subs.
Comment by Tim Pulley on January 23, 2009 at 7:11am
Hello all,
I can tell that I will enjoy this group.
Michael, I read your post of Jan 12, boy you hit the nail on the head with that one. I am guilty as charged, I have been working on approaching songs from different angles, but I think that sometimes at jams, either my body or more likely my mind will get lazy, I guess the path of least resistence. I work on the songs up and down the neck, across and in combinations, but get me to a jam it feels like stay with what you know. Thanks for the post, it will serve as a reminder to me to use different positions.
Also, since this is Theory, I would like to learn more about the different modes. I am not much of a theorist, but would love to learn more and more.
Comment by Chad Fette on January 24, 2009 at 5:15am
I love this discussion group. I have a question that I think will be easy to answer. How do I figure out the chords in a minor key? For instance, how do I convert D major to D minor?
Comment by Chad Fette on January 26, 2009 at 7:29pm
Okay, I can kind of see a bit of what you are saying. I understand about scales, but if something is in say, the key of Dm, what chords would it require in a basic progression?
Comment by Michael Gurzi on January 26, 2009 at 9:08pm

If you review my post from Jan 24, I wrote out the 3 minor scales and the chord progressions from each. Pull the chords from those examples to create a progression. Most of the time the V chord is converted to Dom7 but the I and IV remain minor. Therefore a basic minor progression in Dm would be; Dm - Gm - A7.

The III, VI & VII are flat in a natural minor scale, so those would be F, Bb & C. So try any of those chords too.

Maybe something like: || Dm | C | Bb | Gm - A7 | Dm |

Look up some minor tunes like, Gypsy Swing, House of the Risin Sun, House Carpenter. Or the minor blues where in its basic form, all the chords are minor. In Dm that would be:

||Dm | Gm | Dm | Dm |
|Gm | Gm | Dm | Dm |
|Am | Gm | Dm | Dm ||

Hope this helps,

Comment by Tim Pulley on January 27, 2009 at 6:48am
Now I remember why I didn't apply to Berkeley!

What an explanation on modes Michael, thanks. I really enjoyed that, but will have to read it several more times to get it to sink in. I am sure I will have questions, or maybe I'll just hold them until after the next installment. I liked the statement of Joe Pass, however I am trying to, like you said, understand. I think that understanding will lead to better pickin' and that's why I'm here.
Thanks again Michael for the time and effort.


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