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Tudorp
03-29-2011, 11:44 AM
Over the past few days, I been playing allot of freestyle stuff.. Off the cuff sort of speak. I started putting together some chords, some made up, and come up with a really cool tune that I am trying to put into a song. No lyrics to it, just music. A few people heard it while I was playing with it, and said it sounded really odd, but really cool. I was thinking that myself before a couple people said it. Now most of you know, I do NOT know therory, or even what alot of chords are. I know allot of them, and how they sound, but calling them out, can't tell ya most the time what chord it is. Just one I learned, and goes there.. So, I have NO idea what it is I am doing, but this stuff I have been coming up with the past few days sounds really cool, and I am going to put some of these riffs in an on paper song.

Anyway.. The question is, does anyone else use out of the box chords and notes in their stuff to give it a unique flavor? I know that I have always done it not thinking about it for the years I have played, but never really conciously. There a fast progresion of chords I am bouncing around right now with an alternating "weird" but very pronounced note in it, that how it was said to me "makes your ears perk up.." They said it is a disturbing, but cool note in the chord that gave it a sinister tone to it.. It is kinda cool. If I can get some video of it, I'll try and catch it and share it. I just have a hard time with videos, because the way I have to sit to play. But, I'll try..

Anyway.. I don't know how to end this post, or where I am going.. Just wondered if anyone else does some weird but cool stuff with notes..

thejumpingflea
03-29-2011, 11:58 AM
All the time.

I frequently use chord substitutions to get unique sounds. Things like using an Am7b5 in place of an F7 or using an Em7 in place of a Cmaj7.

Tudorp
03-29-2011, 12:14 PM
All the time.

I frequently use chord substitutions to get unique sounds. Things like using an Am7b5 in place of an F7 or using an Em7 in place of a Cmaj7.

See? I have not a CLUE what you just said.. hahhah..

I have always had a mental block when it comes to learning and reading music. I have played bass and guitar for over 30 years, and the Uke for about 5. But, every time I tried to actually learn music, it boggs me down, and I can't play. Everytime I tried to play with music, people would stop me, and tell me to get rid of the music sheets, and just play as I normally do, hahhah.. Weird, because I play, and have for years by ear, and muscle memory. If I "think" about it, I mess up.. If I just play and feel it, it works.. Don't ask me why.. lol

OldePhart
03-29-2011, 12:19 PM
I frequently use very odd chords and notes...but not intentionally! :(

OldePhart
03-29-2011, 12:23 PM
Come to think of it, on the serious side, I sometimes substitute a sus4 chord for the first beat or two of a chord when it can be done easily (E7, E7sus, for example). I think I've picked that up from seeing/hearing it so often in worship music, but I guess it's fairly odd outside of that genre.

John

Tudorp
03-29-2011, 12:27 PM
I frequently use very odd chords and notes...but not intentionally! :(

I had a clock set to when that was gonna come up... hahha.. The most genious discoveries were all by accident.. So, it's not a bad thing.. ;) I mean you Phart is the prime example of that.. Accidently knocking a huge hole in a Mainland, and covering it up with a coffee can was genius my friend.. hehheh

Tudorp
03-29-2011, 12:29 PM
Come to think of it, on the serious side, I sometimes substitute a sus4 chord for the first beat or two of a chord when it can be done easily (E7, E7sus, for example). I think I've picked that up from seeing/hearing it so often in worship music, but I guess it's fairly odd outside of that genre.

John

Yep.. I do that allot too.. always have.. Or sometimes Bend into the proper chord or note has always been a style of mine.. Kinda cool sound, and hell, people love it... So, If it gets ya a free beer, do it..

Canoe Lady
03-29-2011, 01:00 PM
Ah, the free beer line really showed your mid-western roots! We do love our free beer!

Tudorp
03-29-2011, 01:05 PM
Ah, the free beer line really showed your mid-western roots! We do love our free beer!

hahah.. I guess so.. Free Beer, Brauts, and Da Bears.. good weekend, <check>

Dougf
03-29-2011, 01:49 PM
I've posted this chord to a couple of different threads, but that's because I think it pretty cool. Sorry if you've seen this on the other threads.

The chord is fingered 3301, and if you play it by itself, it is quite dissonant. However, if you first play a Bb minor, 3111, and then 3301, it takes on sort of a bluesy or middle eastern flavor.

I wrote three songs featuring this chord, the one that I think uses it to best effect is "these walls we don't see". Here's a link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlRuhbya8HI

Doug

Tudorp
03-29-2011, 01:55 PM
I've posted this chord to a couple of different threads, but that's because I think it pretty cool. Sorry if you've seen this on the other threads.

The chord is fingered 3301, and if you play it by itself, it is quite dissonant. However, if you first play a Bb minor, 3111, and then 3301, it takes on sort of a bluesy or middle eastern flavor.

I wrote three songs featuring this chord, the one that I think uses it to best effect is "these walls we don't see". Here's a link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlRuhbya8HI

Doug

thats exactly what I am talking about. That chord is weird as hell by itself, but placed stratigically it can give some real cool flavor. I'll have to play with that one too, and see where I can put that one too..

Hippie Dribble
03-29-2011, 03:28 PM
hi Tony

I do too mate. It's what I like to call my series of "suspended disbelief" chords that work in any key. The trick is to make people believe I actually meant all those dodgy mistakes...he he :o

OldePhart
03-29-2011, 04:48 PM
hi Tony

I do too mate. It's what I like to call my series of "suspended disbelief" chords that work in any key. The trick is to make people believe I actually meant all those dodgy mistakes...he he :o

Heh, heh. I've discovered that the key is to make the mistake over and over. A sour note once is a mistake, the same sour note in every stanza is art.

:biglaugh:

John

sukie
03-29-2011, 04:55 PM
All the time.

I frequently use chord substitutions to get unique sounds. Things like using an Am7b5 in place of an F7 or using an Em7 in place of a Cmaj7.

Oh, Matt. I have so much to learn. :-(

Sanagi
03-29-2011, 10:45 PM
One of my favorites is 3200. Technically it's a Bb major seven with suspended sharp four. Works great as a transition between chords in F major or as a destination all its own.

It's also fun to mess around with augmented triads and V7 flat fives, which are like mirror images of each other. Example: 1223 (D7 flat five) and 4332 (G aug).

Tudorp
03-30-2011, 01:55 AM
One of my favorites is 3200. Technically it's a Bb major seven with suspended sharp four. Works great as a transition between chords in F major or as a destination all its own.

It's also fun to mess around with augmented triads and V7 flat fives, which are like mirror images of each other. Example: 1223 (D7 flat five) and 4332 (G aug).

<blank stare>

Kimosabe
03-30-2011, 03:34 AM
If you go to i-tunes and you look up Stockhausen Monkeys and specifically Here I Am Again you'll find some very avant-garde uke playing, all uke though it doesn't sound like it.

Dougf
03-30-2011, 05:46 AM
thats exactly what I am talking about. That chord is weird as hell by itself, but placed stratigically it can give some real cool flavor. I'll have to play with that one too, and see where I can put that one too..

The way I finish up that phrase, after alternating a couple times between 3111 and 3301, is to go to 3311, which I think is F7sus4, and then 2310, an F7, before returning to 3111.

I also like the 7b5 chords as mentioned by Sanagi. You can move these shapes by either half steps or whole steps for cool little runs.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
03-30-2011, 08:39 AM
Interesting thread.

Might I make a request/suggestion especially for those of us who are
challenged by some of the chord names, that the fingering (numerics)
also be given?

Example: C = 0003, F = 2010, etc.

This way all of us can learn the chords and try them out for ourselves.

I think it's a good idea to use these "chord numerics" since it seems to
communicate what's relevant to all of us. Just as long as we're using
the 'umerics' conventionally (GCEA order) per the examples above.

Thanks,

uke4ia
03-30-2011, 10:41 AM
I started a similar thread about "bizarro chords" on the Tips, Tricks, & Techniques board last week. This is a copy of what I posted there:


A few years back, I worked out an instrumental arrangement of the Peanuts "Christmas Time Is Here" from piano sheet music. It has the hardest chord I've ever played:

A: open
E: 3rd fret
C: 3rd fret
G: 6th fret

I figured out that it's an Eb7(b5) with the A note on top. It's hard to reach over there with my pinky and nail that G string. I'm using a low G. With re-entrant tuning, I don't think you could play all four notes in the chord and still have the A as the highest note, so you'd be free to find an easier voicing to use.

--------------------------------------------

I've also got a song I wrote called "Held Prisoner" that starts with a chord I stumbled onto one day while strumming. It's easy enough to play, but I can't figure out what it should be called. It's just a D, G, and C#. It has a sort of suspended sound, and I go from that chord to a Dm7. Maybe it's a Dsus4maj7(no5).

A: 4th fret
E: 3rd fret
C: 2nd fret
G: open

Dougf
03-31-2011, 04:41 AM
Back to the 7b5 chords, I was playing around and found something interesting. A typical way to play an Eb7b5 is 2334 (6330 works but is harder for me to finger). This can also be used as an F7#5, although it is rootless with a 9th added. This will work as a dominant 7 in the key of Bb, as you can see by trying this little progression: 0211 (Bb6) 3333 (Cm7) 2334 (F7#5), then back to 0211.

pulelehua
03-31-2011, 10:01 AM
2334 = A Eb G Db is, as you say Eb7b5 (not F7#5 as you note elsewhere). It can ALSO be A7b5 if you read it A C# Eb G. Kind of a tritone substitution of a different sort. Reading in semitones 0 4 6 10. But if you treat 6 as 0, then it's still 0 4 6 10. Sorry, Tudorp. Sure I lost you there. ;)

One of the interesting things about the ukulele is the closedness of so many chords. The notes are all really close together, and it's often unclear just what chord you're playing (where on a piano, you MIGHT really separate the bass note down low; Eb or A in the first example). For instance, 0211 is Bb6. But it's also Gm7.

Lyle Ritz spends a lot of time reinterpreting chord shapes to suit different situations. It adds a lot of flexibility to chord soloing.

Tudorp
03-31-2011, 10:07 AM
Tudorp. Sure I lost you there. ;)



Ya did.. I'm just gonna go back and play.. ;)

Dougf
03-31-2011, 11:08 AM
2334 = A Eb G Db is, as you say Eb7b5 (not F7#5 as you note elsewhere).

Well, I didn't really say it WAS an F7#5, I said it could be used AS an F7#5. Adding a ninth and dropping the root is pretty common in jazz.

OldePhart
03-31-2011, 11:51 AM
The interesting thing is that on a uke you only have four strings so it's not that unusual to find cases where the root, fifth, or even both are omitted. After all, if you want to do anything more complex than a 6th or 7th (dom, or maj) you're going to have to drop something (or be really good at hammer-ons and pull-offs, I suppose).

In some ways that makes playing jazz uke far more challenging than playing jazz on a guitar or piano. Or, maybe I should rephrase that, it makes arranging jazz for solo uke much more challenging than for guitar or piano. If you've got other instruments playing with you they can cover the root and fifth for you, but if you're out there winging it only the context of the song will hold the music together when you try to go out side the box.

That's one more good reason for me not to attempt jazz - I'll stick to my nice simple, blues. LOL

John

Tudorp
03-31-2011, 11:58 AM
(or be really good at hammer-ons and pull-offs, I suppose).

Actually I do allot of hammer-on/off as well as bends on the uke. I guess I get it from my geetar roots, because I always loved using em on a geetar too...

pulelehua
04-01-2011, 10:11 AM
Well, I didn't really say it WAS an F7#5, I said it could be used AS an F7#5. Adding a ninth and dropping the root is pretty common in jazz.

Dropping roots is fine when you have another instrument to pick them up, but I think we can mislead ourselves into thinking we're playing extended chord X, when the audience, and our ears, are hearing slightly more dull chord Y. It's like what TJF was talking about: playing E7b5 instead of C7. This doesn't really make it a C9, even though you COULD say it is without the root. Just like when Bach plays a vii chord, it's NOT a V7 chord without a root. Unless there's a contextual reason for us to think it is.

Sorry, Tudorp. Settling into an OT rut here. I'd love to hear Dougf's reply, but I'll shut up. :)

Tudorp
04-01-2011, 10:16 AM
No worries, I asked for it, by starting a "note" thread.. What could I have been expecting? lol It's all for the sake of open discusion..

Go.. discuss... ;)

mmorris1333
04-01-2011, 11:20 AM
A real nice way to "jazz-ify" or "spice" your chord playing up is to simply play 6 or 9 chords. For example: a C chord is CEG. a C6 chord is CEGA a C9 chord is CEGD. very easy ways to sound good.

if you don't understand the whole concept on 6 or 9... just count upwards starting at the root. Major chords have 1,3,5. 6's have 1,3,5,6. 9's have 1,3,5,9.

hope this helps

thejumpingflea
04-01-2011, 11:44 AM
A real nice way to "jazz-ify" or "spice" your chord playing up is to simply play 6 or 9 chords. For example: a C chord is CEG. a C6 chord is CEGA a C9 chord is CEGD. very easy ways to sound good.

if you don't understand the whole concept on 6 or 9... just count upwards starting at the root. Major chords have 1,3,5. 6's have 1,3,5,6. 9's have 1,3,5,9.

hope this helps

This is great advice.

Now if I could just get a clean tone when I played a C6! Gah, I get so much fret buzz.

Dougf
04-01-2011, 11:53 AM
Dropping roots is fine when you have another instrument to pick them up, but I think we can mislead ourselves into thinking we're playing extended chord X, when the audience, and our ears, are hearing slightly more dull chord Y. It's like what TJF was talking about: playing E7b5 instead of C7. This doesn't really make it a C9, even though you COULD say it is without the root. Just like when Bach plays a vii chord, it's NOT a V7 chord without a root. Unless there's a contextual reason for us to think it is.

Sorry, Tudorp. Settling into an OT rut here. I'd love to hear Dougf's reply, but I'll shut up. :)

We probably could get into an extended discussion here, and in general I agree that it certainly helps to have another instrument to sound the root. However, rootless chords can work quite well even in a solo setting. Best example is the 2020 D7, preferred by many.

Of course, preferences vary, but I often use the 2334 shape as an F7#5, and I think it sounds just fine, much jazzier than 2314.

OldePhart
04-01-2011, 12:09 PM
This is great advice.

Now if I could just get a clean tone when I played a C6! Gah, I get so much fret buzz.

BWAAA-HAAA - almost had me 'til I remembered it's 4/1 and the whole Middlezone thing. (Great job on that, BTW, guys.)

John

OldePhart
04-01-2011, 12:13 PM
...However, rootless chords can work quite well even in a solo setting. Best example is the 2020 D7, preferred by many.
...

I'd agree with this with one caveat - if you use too many rootless chords in a single piece it can become rather "uncentered" and ambiguous. Maybe it's just my rather unsophisticated ear but when I hear songs with lots of extended chords one after another on the uke (i.e. where many roots and fifths are being dropped) I just lose interest in the music and move on to something else.

OldePhart
04-01-2011, 12:16 PM
No worries, I asked for it, by starting a "note" thread.. What could I have been expecting? lol It's all for the sake of open discusion..

Go.. discuss... ;)

Heh, heh. Don't feel too bad. I thought I had a pretty good handle on theory until this discussion. LOL

Dougf
04-02-2011, 06:10 AM
At the risk of beating a dead horse, I'll make one last attempt to make my point about using 2334 as F7#5. This is a piece of a chord progression of a song I'm working on. First try it using 2314 for the F7#5, and then 2334. To me, 2334 sounds jazzier, and seems to hold just a bit more tension. It's also easier to finger :)

0211 (Bb6) 1212 (B dim) 3333 (Cm7) 2314 (F7#5)
vs
0211 (Bb6) 1212 (B dim) 3333 (Cm7) 2334 (F7#5)

pulelehua
04-03-2011, 11:28 AM
At the risk of beating a dead horse, I'll make one last attempt to make my point about using 2334 as F7#5. This is a piece of a chord progression of a song I'm working on. First try it using 2314 for the F7#5, and then 2334. To me, 2334 sounds jazzier, and seems to hold just a bit more tension. It's also easier to finger :)

0211 (Bb6) 1212 (B dim) 3333 (Cm7) 2314 (F7#5)
vs
0211 (Bb6) 1212 (B dim) 3333 (Cm7) 2334 (F7#5)

Tudorp, you said it was okay. ;)

If you play Bb7 (1211), for 4 bars, then 2334 for 4 bars, it sounds to me like 2334 is an Eb7b5. It definitely has that I-IV blues thing.

Yours is a different progression obviously, but on its own, I still hear it as an Eb chord, giving a IV-I, rather than V-I resolution.

Dougf
04-03-2011, 11:58 AM
Tudorp, you said it was okay. ;)

If you play Bb7 (1211), for 4 bars, then 2334 for 4 bars, it sounds to me like 2334 is an Eb7b5. It definitely has that I-IV blues thing.

Yours is a different progression obviously, but on its own, I still hear it as an Eb chord, giving a IV-I, rather than V-I resolution.

Context is very important -- good example is back to my 3301. By itself it hurts, but somehow *works* when used with Bbm (3111). And 2334 is definitely Eb7b5 in your progression, but I still think it is serving as an F7#5 in mine.