Author Topic: Three Chord Trick  (Read 3500 times)

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grubstewart

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Three Chord Trick
« on: November 08, 2012, 12:08:23 am »
Hi Guys,
I purchased the Intermediate Package and am up to Foundation 3 which has been great but there is a bonus DVD that I just cannot grasp, I have even searched the web on this for more information but couldn't find the answer. I totally get the I  IV  V chords in any key sound great together but then Justin goes one step further and its this next paragraph that I just can't get my head around.

"So what that means is you can "harmonise" any melody note with one of the chords... if you have a G
melody note you could play either a C or a G, if you have an F melody note, you'd have to play F chord...
and A note, and you'll have to play F chord, a B note and you would have to play G chord... you get it?"

I thought when it came to melody notes you can play any notes in that scale? And I know Justin does it to make things simpler for us to understand but he always gives examples in the key of C how would this paragraph above equate to another key say Emaj for instance with 4 #'s  I=E   IV=A  V=B.

If anyone can shed a little light on this subject it would be greatly appreciated. As I said I totally get the I  IV  V  chords but its that paragraph about playing melody notes and what chords can be played with them that I don't get.

Cheers Graham from Oz

Offline misterg

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Re: Three Chord Trick
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2012, 01:11:46 am »
Hi Graham,

I think the point is that with only 3 chords, you can provide a harmony for every note in the scale - i.e. no matter what melody note is playing, at least one of the 3 chords can be played which also contains that note.


The E Major scale is:

E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D#

The corresponding '3 chords' are:

I chord: E Major (notes 1, 3 & 5):  E, G#, B

IV chord: A Major (notes 4, 6 & 1): A, C#, E

V chord: B Major (notes 5, 7 & 2): B, D#, F#

Hopefully you can see that each note in the scale appears at least once somewhere in the above 3 chords.

Any help?

Andy


grubstewart

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Re: Three Chord Trick
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2012, 01:56:19 am »
Hi Andy thanks for the prompt reply.

I think your opening comment switched the light on :)

"I think the point is that with only 3 chords, you can provide a harmony for every note in the scale"

Using those three chords enables you to play every melody note in the scale. But I thought if you were soloing over any of the chords in the Emaj scale for example, that provided you played any notes from the Emaj scale it would sound fine? So if that were true I don't understand why Justin would need to make that comment? Does that mean if someone else was playing an Amaj chord that I am restricted only to playing certain notes in the scale to acompany that chord?

Cheers Graham from Oz

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Three Chord Trick
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2012, 02:50:47 am »
C F G

C E G
F A C
G B D

Melody
C G C C A F F A B D D G C

Notice that the first few notes are going to work over the C chord. Then the next few notes work on the F chord and the G chord and finally back to C chord.

Yes you can use other notes. Those other notes, depending on which chord is playing, will be chord extensions. they will have a different sonic effect per chord.

IOW we didn't use the E note in our melody. Let's say we throw it in when the F chord is playing. That is going to effectively make the F chord an Fmaj7 chord F A C E.  That's a really strong chord and it sort of makes you wonder ok which is my tonality C or Fma7

On the other hand if you played it over the C chord it will be fine. You have to remember that your ears and brain will remember things and make up things. So if you start playing C F G your brain expects and anticipates that tonality. If you put a certain note in a certain place it can reinforce, pull away, make you wonder if something else is going to happen. Sometimes it's a good idea to do that and sometimes it's not. It all depends on what you are trying to set up.

You want the listener to be comfortable. Keep it fresh. throw them a few curve balls, but not take them someplace where they are totally lost.
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Offline sophiehiker

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Re: Three Chord Trick
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2012, 12:39:29 pm »
But I thought if you were soloing over any of the chords in the Emaj scale for example, that provided you played any notes from the Emaj scale it would sound fine?

Most of the note will sound fine over all the chords, but a couple won't   Best example is the fourth note in the major scale will sound a bit off unless you're on the IV chord.   The same is said of the seventh note (although I can hardly hear any dissonance). 

Give it a try and see.   :)




...where the deer and the antelope play.  Well, they're not really playing.  They're fleeing in terror.

Offline shadowscott007

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Re: Three Chord Trick
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2012, 02:41:07 pm »
Well big part part of music is the tension that happens when you play notes NOT in the chord, and the release of that tension when you go to a note that is in the chord.  That is way simplified, but is the reason you don't only play chord tones over a chord.  The melody needs to move and create tension and release.  Some notes create more tension against the chord than others.

That is why you can use notes completely out of key.  Harder to do, where you put them, how long you hold them, and where you go after you play them all combine to either make it sound good or just sound like a bad note.

That is where the art lies.

Shadow
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Three Chord Trick
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2012, 04:29:40 pm »
Thanks... I'm stealing that for my new book as well..

If art lies is it really art?©


========
@SH  -- do you not hear the tension in the major 7? One fret from root. You're not playing the b7 are you? Mixolydian. That doesn't have that tension. But that maj7 usually has that "I need to go home now" feel.
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Offline misterg

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Re: Three Chord Trick
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2012, 04:59:21 pm »
... I thought if you were soloing over any of the chords in the Emaj scale for example, that provided you played any notes from the Emaj scale it would sound fine? So if that were true I don't understand why Justin would need to make that comment?

AFAIK, the '3 chord trick' relates to it being possible to play some sort of chord accompaniment to a melody in any key using only the I, IV and V chords. It's about fitting chords over a melody, rather than fitting a melody / solo over chords, if you see what I mean.

It's how to 'busk' songs...

(Others have covered the note choice thing...)

Andy

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Three Chord Trick
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2012, 07:43:53 pm »
I haven't looked at the lesson but that would make sense. In fact if a complex melody section came up you could play an interval ( 1-5, 1-3, ) or even a single note ( 1 or 5 most likely ).

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Offline PattheBunny

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Re: Three Chord Trick
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2012, 09:34:37 pm »
C F G

C E G
F A C
G B D

Melody
C G C C A F F A B D D G C

Notice that the first few notes are going to work over the C chord. Then the next few notes work on the F chord and the G chord and finally back to C chord.

Yes you can use other notes. Those other notes, depending on which chord is playing, will be chord extensions. they will have a different sonic effect per chord.

IOW we didn't use the E note in our melody. Let's say we throw it in when the F chord is playing. That is going to effectively make the F chord an Fmaj7 chord F A C E.  That's a really strong chord and it sort of makes you wonder ok which is my tonality C or Fma7

On the other hand if you played it over the C chord it will be fine. You have to remember that your ears and brain will remember things and make up things. So if you start playing C F G your brain expects and anticipates that tonality. If you put a certain note in a certain place it can reinforce, pull away, make you wonder if something else is going to happen. Sometimes it's a good idea to do that and sometimes it's not. It all depends on what you are trying to set up.

You want the listener to be comfortable. Keep it fresh. throw them a few curve balls, but not take them someplace where they are totally lost.

Nice post TB. 
Realism is relative.

 

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