Discussion in 'music, bands, clubs & festies' started by xenon, Nov 14, 2017.
Three chords and the truth according to Bono.
NB. Other musicians:
Spoiler: Fez don't read this
I've fudged the distinction between tonic and root because of the way I think Fez wants to use modes. But if you're thinking the ii, V, I chord sequence only has one tonic, you're absolutely right. But I didn't want to go there in the context of the question asked.
Fez909 Can I ask? Are you familiar with chord theory? I, IV, V, I etc? I'm a bit concerned that you're leaping into modes without certain foundations you might have been wiser having first...
Can't remember if I posted in this thread already but: I do believe that for the vast majority of people some kind of weekly lesson with teacher, starting early in the learning process, gives you FAR more chance of sticking with an instrument and getting good. It give you a strong foundation and discipline; after you've got that properly then it is there for good, and you can go off and do whatever crazy thing you want.
This is exactly what my teacher said when I asked her what a mode was. Unfortunately, I'm a dick when it comes to stuff like this...tell me "not yet", and it'll just make me want to know more.
I even mentioned it in my question on this thread that it's rushing ahead, but I want to know
I'm still prepared to put the work in on the foundational stuff, of course, but it doesn't mean I can't ask questions...
And no, I don't know chord theory: I don't know anything yet.
OK. So your C major scale. The white notes. Number them in order. With your right hand, put your fingers down on 1, 3 and 5. This is a C major chord. It has a root, C, a major third (E), and a perfect fifth (G). Think of those as being (major) 3rd and (perfect) 5th in relation to the C (which is under your thumb).
(To make it C minor, play Eb instead of E. This is the difference between a major and a minor chord: a major chord has a major 3rd, and a minor chord has a minor [flattened] third).
Move your thumb to F (the fourth note in the scale). Make the major chord shape. (Thumb on F as 1, middle finger on A as your major third, and pinkie on C as your 5th). This is an F major triad.
Now do the same with your thumb on G. (G, B, D). This is a G major triad.
These chords are still in the key of C, because they're built on scale degrees in your C major scale. And we number them in Roman numerals: I, IV and V. (So that we can do the same thing in any key). This is what people mean when they say you only need three chords. These are the three chords. They have technical names too, to do with their function. But for now listen to their relationship with each other as you play I, IV, V, I. (Or I, IV, I, IV, V, I. or whatever).
Preferably do that before trying out the mode stuff I posted last night.
Thanks, I kind of knew all that, but not really the names for them.
So, the root note is the lowest note of the chord. Makes sense (hence 'root'). How does that differ from the tonic? I assumed (probably wrongly), that they were two names for the same thing.
Now this is awkward. I didn't want to tell you.
OK, think of it this way: tonic is the note a scale is named after and root is the note a chord is named after.
Actually, this isn't even true, is it...because you can play the C one octave higher and it's still a C chord?
OK, I think I get it: so in C Major, the tonic is always C, but the root could be a G (if playing GMaj in C)?
If you promise not to tell your tutor, I'll tell you. The root is the lowest note of your triad when it's in root position. But you can play your triad like this:
C, E, G. (root position). [root in bass]
E, G, C' (1st inversion). [major 3rd in bass]
G, C', E' (2nd inversion). [perfect 5th in bass]
A C major triad is a C major triad in any octave. (And so on).
OK, yep, this all makes sense, thanks
Separate names with a comma.