Chord over A minor harmonic scale?

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JackOnTheRocks
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Chord over A minor harmonic scale?

Post by JackOnTheRocks » August 24th, 2015, 6:45 am

Hello,

Quick question ....

I decide to go with the key of A harmonic
minor where the scale notes are:

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

My chord progression goes from A minor chord to
E minor chord. Over the E minor chord I decide
to riff a lead solo with notes B, C and G#.

Question:
What notes should be make up the E minor chord?
I am presuming, E, B, G#.
So why do articles say: E, B, D and G ???

http://guitar-scales.learn-guitar-asap. ... cale.shtml

Thank you so much for your help.

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dhodge
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Re: Chord over A minor harmonic scale?

Post by dhodge » August 24th, 2015, 11:58 am

Hi there

The notes of an Em chord are E, G, and B. This Guitar Noise article tells you why:

http://www.guitarnoise.com/lessons/the-power-of-three/

When you add a D to those three notes, you get an Em7. E, G#, and B make up the E major chord.

Hope this helps.

Peace

JackOnTheRocks
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Posts: 13
Joined: August 20th, 2015, 10:48 am

Re: Chord over A minor harmonic scale?

Post by JackOnTheRocks » August 24th, 2015, 2:34 pm

Hello dhodge,

Thank you for replying ...

I understand the E, B and G#, but why oh why
the D?

What is it with music theory that is so obsessed
with adding a 7th to all the chords all over the place.

Even at this following article all the chords from
all the scales (except major scales) mostly
all have 7ths in them. Why?

look here:
http://guitar-scales.learn-guitar-asap. ... cale.shtml

and here:
http://guitar-scales.learn-guitar-asap. ... ales.shtml

and everywhere else these 7ths keep creeping up in all the chord progressions....
and not one of the dozens of articles/videos I watched explain why!

Back to my example.... what would be wrong if I
would simply play a good old E minor with a raised
3rd like this:

E,G#,B

I'm sure it the harmonic riff would sound just as good
with omitting the 7th (D note) right?

all feedback/help is appreciated.
Thanks

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dhodge
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Re: Chord over A minor harmonic scale?

Post by dhodge » August 24th, 2015, 3:11 pm

Hi again

It's truly not an obsession with the seventh chord as much as it is a musical convention based on different kinds of music being played over the centuries. Think about it - if solos used only notes of the chords of a progression, they would be pretty but a little lifeless. The melodies of songs and other musical pieces rarely sit solely on the notes of the chord being played at the time. This is especially true if the song only uses basic major and minor chords. It's the moving from notes of the chord (harmony) to notes not part of chord (varying degrees of dissonance or "tension", if you will) and then back to a note of the chord (resolution) that makes music breathe, that gives it motion, depth, and interest.

While these varying degrees of tension or dissonance can come from any note of the scale (that's not a note of the chord in question) or even from a note outside of the scale, sevenths get used a lot because they provide a dissonance that usually leads the listener's ear in a specific direction. If you play a C and then follow it with a C7, the chances are incredibly good that the next chord is going to be an F chord of some sort. Sevenths serve as lead-ins to four chords - C to F, G to C, D to G, and so on. Even minor sevens will function in this way.

Another reason why they tend to pop up all over the place may be because of how you can look at their construction. Our harmony is based on thirds. In a C chord, C is the root, E is the third, and G is the fifth. But you can also think of G as the minor third of E. If you were to stack another interval of a third onto the G, you would have either Cmaj7 (C, E, G, and B - B is the major third of G) or C7 (C, E, G, and Bb - Bb is the minor third of G).

But back to your example:
Back to my example.... what would be wrong if I
would simply play a good old E minor with a raised
3rd like this:

E,G#,B

I'm sure it the harmonic riff would sound just as good
with omitting the 7th (D note) right?
First off, you'd be playing an E major chord, not an Em chord with a raised third. It's going to be either major or minor. That, however, doesn't mean that you have to play the D note. Try playing it both ways. Without the D it should sound perfectly fine. But with the D, you're going to get more of a rock or blues or jazzy flavor to the riff (depending on the other notes and style of the riff). It's up to you as a player to decide which of the styles and feels that you want the riff to have. You could play C# (which is the sixth) instead of the D and give the riff an entirely different feel, much more of a pop song. Likewise, playing D# (the major seventh) instead of the D will give you still another different feel - this one a little more jazzy.

Most articles are simply trying to help give you a grip of the basics, but it's important not to think of any one article (or group of articles) as a "hit yourself on the head because every musical question that you've ever had has been magically answered." Ultimately it's down to the musician to make musical choices based on his or her preferences. Play around and listen to what you like.

Hope this helps and I look forward to chatting with you again.

Peace

JackOnTheRocks
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Posts: 13
Joined: August 20th, 2015, 10:48 am

Re: Chord over A minor harmonic scale?

Post by JackOnTheRocks » August 24th, 2015, 6:44 pm

Hello dhodge,

aahhh that was insightful.... I thank you very much for you your explanation.

"First off, you'd be playing an E major chord ...."

and yes that would of been an E major sorry about that.

Thanks for for your much appreciated reply....

looking to chat and be guided by you in future posts....

cheers

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