Monthly Archives: March 2018

Building diatonic chords (theory post)

This is an important concept that opened a lot of things up for me when I learned it. I’ve alluded to it in other posts, but it’s worth just laying out in one post that we can reference back to. “Diatonic” refers to the unaltered notes of a particular scale. For example, if you are […]

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In Memory of Elizabeth Reed – Allman Brothers

tldr: key of A minor, largely in the dorian mode. Main chords throughout the song are Am9, Am7, and D6, along with an E7#9 to end most sections. The second part has a brief modulation up to C minor before returning to A minor. In addition to the dorian mode, there is some A harmonic […]

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Hey Joe – Hendrix

tldr:  Hey Joe is a blues-based song in E major.  The intro and lead work primarily uses the E minor pentatonic scale.   The chord progression is C-G-D-A-E, which progresses by following the circle of fourths/fifths from one chord to the next (each chord’s root is a fourth above, and a fifth below, the subsequent chord’s […]

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Chord options (theory post)

I’ll just lay out my full understanding here. The basic chord palette is provided by the key and its associated key signature. If the key is G major, you know the tonic chord (G major) and that there is one sharp, F#, typical of the key. The primary notes you have to work with, then, […]

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