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#1037638 - 11/28/08 09:55 PM Chord progressions that don't start on the root.
simpleshinji Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 7
This always confused me, say you're playing II-V-I in C, what's to say you're really not just playing I-IV-bVII in D.

How does the root note stick out when it's not the main tone is what I guess I'm asking.

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#1037639 - 11/28/08 10:52 PM Re: Chord progressions that don't start on the root.
quiescen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 215
Loc: San Diego
Hi Simpleshinji,

I'm sure there are other's here that can explain this better, but in the 2-5-1 progression, the root is implied. Usually by the melody played.

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#1037640 - 11/29/08 03:14 AM Re: Chord progressions that don't start on the root.
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
You can't tell out of context. But by listening to what comes before and after the 2-5-1, its function is obvious. And by "root note" I think you mean the tonic.
_________________________
Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax

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#1037641 - 11/29/08 04:54 AM Re: Chord progressions that don't start on the root.
bluemarine Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/06
Posts: 121
Loc: Croatia
 Quote:
Originally posted by simpleshinji:
This always confused me, say you're playing II-V-I in C, what's to say you're really not just playing I-IV-bVII in D.

How does the root note stick out when it's not the main tone is what I guess I'm asking. [/b]
e.g.:
because II in C is a minor chord, while I in D is a major (different modes)
got it?
_________________________
Living well is the best revenge.

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#1037642 - 11/29/08 05:31 AM Re: Chord progressions that don't start on the root.
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by bluemarine:

because II in C is a minor chord, while I in D is a major (different modes)
got it?
Not always true. Many songs use II (major) as a secondary dominant. (dominant of the dominant of the tonic)
_________________________
Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax

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#1037643 - 11/29/08 02:31 PM Re: Chord progressions that don't start on the root.
bluemarine Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/06
Posts: 121
Loc: Croatia
don't you mark it then as "V of V", and not "II"?
_________________________
Living well is the best revenge.

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#1037644 - 11/29/08 03:31 PM Re: Chord progressions that don't start on the root.
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
Some academic purists do when they are trying to analyze the chord function instead of just identifying the chord. But chord charts written for session musicians mark it as what it is (II).

Imagine charting a song like "Five Foot Two" that has a cycle of fourths I, III, VI, II, V, I. The III would be V of V of V of V. That would be a little difficult for a musician to interpret when he is playing the song. All he needs to know is the root of the chord based on the scale degree of the tonic. And whether it's major or minor, diminished, augmented, and extensions like 7th, 9th, etc.

BTW if it were minor it would be marked ii instead of II. Lower case roman numerals for minor and caps for major.
_________________________
Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax

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#1037645 - 11/30/08 06:12 PM Re: Chord progressions that don't start on the root.
simpleshinji Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 7
You know, I got so wrapped up in the progression itself, I forgot there were other parts of the song, like the intro and chorus and what not.

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