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18

If you're looking for a magic number upon which scales are based, take a look at 1.5. That's the ratio of an interval called a pure fifth. It's also called a just fifth; the terms are interchangeable. (They are not necessarily the same as a perfect fifth, however. And if you're wondering why they're called fifths at all, don't get hung up on that just yet. ...


14

As Bob mentions, this can be described as a descending chromatic bass line. If descending a fourth, from tonic to dominant, this can also be called a "Lament Bass". As a technique, it dates back at least to the early Baroque Era (famously used in Dido's Lament, that character's dying aria from Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and also in Bach's Crucifixus ...


14

No, it is still a B♭. The flat is just reminding you that the B is flat. This is typically done if the previous measure uses a B that was different then the one in the key signature or if there was a different quality of B used in the measure it is used to cancel out the other quality. In the key D minor, if you were ascending from A to D, a typical melody ...


13

In popular music, this device is usually called Line Cliché. It is a chromatic line over a static chord creating the illusion of harmonic motion. Line chlichés are most often found in a minor key. The line usually moves near the 7th of the chord. A very common descending line (over a minor triad) is: root -> maj 7th -> min 7th -> maj 6th. This is exactly ...


13

This will just be an embellishment of @user15077’s answer. This is the beginning of your piece as you’ve notated it: Here is what it would look like with a more standard approach: As you can see, many of the notes are expressed as tied notes now. For example, the quarter-note D-sharp in the first measure is written as a sixteenth tied to a dotted ...


9

Tritone substitution is as it says. The substitution of one chord for another, that is a tritone away from the one being substituted. Thus a V7-I ( G7 - C ) becomes Db7 - C. Because the Db is a tritone, or 3 tones away from the G. Exactly half way, as it happens. G7 is spelled G,B,D and F. Db7 is Db,F,Ab and Cb. The two common notes of F and B (Cb), being a ...


9

tl;dr: You can always guess what notes to play by ear and find what notes sound good, but at the end of the day you are playing in a scale and you should be aware of that. There are some guitarists that don't know scale (or music theory for that matter) and they tend to play by ear. They listen to the progression and try to play something over it and ...


9

Let's just pick the first bar apart which is pretty much a mess. I'll write down the note durations as fractions: 3/8 1/16 1/4 9/16 (bar line after 5/16 of that, the 5/16 written as 1/4~1/16). This does not look as much like "composing" as it looks like "let the notation program break the mess across bars and fix this up in the next measure". If this ...


7

To find the length in seconds of each beat for any given metronome marking in beats-per-minute (bpm), you would divide 60 (the number of seconds in a minute) by the bpm marking. For instance, if a piece has a metronome marking of crotchet (quarter-note) = 120, each crotchet beat is 0.5 seconds long (60/120). You can follow this simple rule to find the ...


7

Learning production is like learning any musical instrument in a lot of ways. You first need to practice a lot to become very familiar with your software. The software is your instrument, you need to know it inside and out to become proficient at creating songs. For instruments, daily practice is the fastest way to improve, and the same goes with digital ...


7

A series of pitches which move down by semitones is a descending chromatic scale. If this line is in the bass you could call it a descending chromatic bassline. If the harmony above this bassline remains unchanged, the resulting chords can be described as a series of inversions. In popular music terminology this is most easily achieved using ...


6

All simile marks basically say the same thing which is play what you just played. The only thing that typically changes from simile to simile is how much you play. With a single simile you would only play one note/chord, but the others take groups of notes or measures. The breakdown of all the similes in your post are as follows: Single - play last notated ...


4

"Impressionist composers should be banned from using water as inspiration. Just way too many notes." - don't shoot the pianist In these circumstances, the composer's manuscript is always a valuable tool to use to determine why a publisher made the decision to do something the way they did. In this case, the manuscript is fortunately available to us ...


4

The accidental ♭ does not combine with the ♭ in the key signature to produce a double-flat. Rather, the accidental is redundant. The easiest interpretation rule is that any accidental overrides whatever is in the key signature. The term for such usage is courtesy accidental: Although a barline is nowadays understood to cancel the effect of an ...


4

No it indicates B flat. Usually the flat is cancelling a natural (or sharp) earlier in the measure. Even if it's not cancelling, it has only been included by the editor to improve the readability of the passage.


4

I think the most important thing you need is to learn how to dive in your guitar's neck without getting lost. Moving around past a certain speed and without watching where your fingers are requires tons of practice. That practice relies in repeating some pattern over and over and over. You can try 1 million solos, practice them, improve and master them and ...


4

These are not the seventh chords of G harmonic minor, but just one possible collection of seventh chords in G minor. As you've noticed, only the V and the VII chord are from harmonic minor. The reason is that these chords (usually) have a dominant function where the leading tone (F#) plays an important role. The other chords are based on the natural minor ...


4

This kind of beaming often indicates that that very passage in Violin II has a displaced accent when compared to the other instruments: while they follow the time signature changes, from 2/4 to 3/4 and back to 3/4, the second violin keeps a metric accent likewise to 3/4 throughout all the selected excerpt. The beaming serves to guide the player through the ...


3

Tritone substitution is the substitution of one chord (almost always a dominant 7th of some sort) for one with a root a tritone away. For instance, you could substitute Db7 for G7 because Db is a tritone away from G. This works because the important notes in the chord that determine what it leads to (the third and seventh) are the same in both chords - in ...


3

Find an article or book about music theory. When you read about a new concept, put the book down and improvise with the new material you just learned. I'm doing this myself right now. I never actually learned many typical rock or traditional Western harmonies, preferring to use modal chords and exotic modes instead. A few days ago, I realized this was ...


3

You have to look at what you have and look at where you are going. Like you said, the A does not naturally exist in C major, however, I think it would be a stretch to say it borrowed from A major since there is such a big jump to the parallel major of the relative minor key especially since the Em doesn't make A seem like a temporary tonic and neither G7 nor ...


3

You seem to be mistaken in thinking that playing scales means you have to play the same scales as everyone else - you don't. In fact, even playing chords and/or arpeggios is a form of playing scales. A scale is, informally, nothing more than a system of dividing a range of frequencies into discrete steps. So saying you 'refuse' to learn scales is, in a ...


3

I agree, these are somewhat dubious designations, but there's a possible justification for looking at them more or less as analyzed in your example, in increasing order of dubiousness. The first example is actually just a deceptive resolution of the secondary dominant, akin to a primary V7 going to vi. V7/vi in C major is an E7 chord that wants to go to A ...


3

The I,III don't have their 7th lowered. The scale you are looking at is most likely the G natural minor scale and not the G Harmonic minor scale. The notes that are included in the G natural minor scale are the same that consist the Bb Major scale (Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A). The correct thing to say here is that on the V and the VII, some notes are raised. ...


2

To help you out: I've been figuring out how to make good "EDM" for many years now, and some of the things I've realized about it might be helpful to you. "Normal" music is different than dance music in a number of ways, although they're starting to swap traits in the past few years. 1) Almost all dance music NEVER progresses. What I mean is that there is ...


2

As the others have already given good explanations, here's a beautiful fingerpicking tune which gives a good impression of how this sounds in practice: (not really "jazz" though) This ...


2

Not learning scales is like being a weightlifter who ignores leg day. They are in some ways the most boring thing you can do, but fundamental in more subtle ways than you may realize. I would say scales are not important because they are the fundamental unit of music theory (which may be wrong but the first years of music theory pedagogy can imply it), but ...


2

Sometimes, beaming is used to indicate logical groupings of notes. See fore example, the motivic analysis of the piece asked about in this question: Why is the bass clef indicated twice on the same line in this Bartok piece?


2

A simple basic rule, not always followed, is that 4/4 bars can be split in the middle. It does make life easier for the people who have to read the dots, although good sight readers don't have a problem.We're not all GOOD sight readers, though... Shev's point about 4/4 is one that you need to address. In the early stages of writing, it's probably a good idea ...


1

There are plenty of arguments for learning scales, and some against. I've played with many,many musos (and loads of guitarists !!), some of whom know scales, some don't. It's often not possible to decide which camp an individual is in when they play. There are great players out there who play 'from the soul' and haven't a clue about scales, keys or theory of ...



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