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Thread: Modulation

  1. #1
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    Default Modulation

    How does one modulate from one key to another key? I am especially interested in how to go from key of C to key of Db, and then to key of D. What chords or rules does one follow to do this.

    Also I searched and could not find anything on this subject here on the forum, but I feel sure there must be some. Any help would be appreciated,

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnysmash View Post
    How does one modulate from one key to another key? I am especially interested in how to go from key of C to key of Db, and then to key of D. What chords or rules does one follow to do this.

    Also I searched and could not find anything on this subject here on the forum, but I feel sure there must be some. Any help would be appreciated,
    C and Db are so far apart, that there is no need to any finesse. Just start same song with intro/chords music played first a semitone higher and then comes the melody song verse in that semitone higher key.

    Will piss of most ukulele players though, if he/she can't transpose the chords a semitone up on the fly hehe

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

    Myself I too think that kind of thing is most a show off: That WE CAN play this tune like that.
    Last edited by Jarmo_S; 10-29-2019 at 09:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    What you haven't told us is your ending point in one key and your starting point in the next. I'll assume you end one section on a C chord and want to start the next section on a Db chord.

    There are a whole bunch of ways to modulate. For instance:

    Just jump directly from the end chord into the start chord with no preparation:
    C > Db.

    Jump to the V7 chord of the destination key, which then "announces" the new key and proceeds to its tonic chord:
    V7-I: C > Ab7 > Db

    This concept can be extended backwards in the fifths progression pattern, so that you have two or three chords establishing the new key, turn-around fashion:
    ii7-V7-I: C > Ebm7 > Ab7 >Db
    II7-V7-I: C > Eb7 > Ab7 > Db (using a "secondary dominant")
    vi7-ii-V7-I: C > Bbm7 > Ebm > Ab7 > Db

    You can also use other standard progressions in a similar fashion:
    IV-V7-I: C > Gb > Ab7 : Db
    iim6-I: C > Ebm6 > Db

    Diminished 7th chords have so many possible interpretations, you can use one as a "pivot chord", which is a chord shared between two keys but having a different interpretation in each key. So you could use:
    C > Dbdim > Db
    Dbdim is also a rootless G7-9 in the key of C. This variant also works well:
    C > Cdim > Db
    Here, Cdim is also a rootless Ab7-9, a V7 in the target key of Db.

    I think of dim7 chords as being "roundabout" chords (Americans, think "traffic circle"): you can enter in one key and emerge in another, without giving any advance signal about where you're headed. When there's no obvious direct path between two keys—no shared chords—you can usually modulate effectively using a dim7 chord—and there are only three variants to try. In this case, the third variant (Ddim) doesn't work so well, but if it were built into a longer transition, it could.

    There are two places in the major scale where degrees are separated by only a half step. It's easy to use a IV degree in the key of C as a III degree in the key of Db. In a major scale, the IV chord is typically major while the III chord is typically minor, but it's quite common to "borrow" a minor IV chord from the parallel minor key. Here you might use a step-wise progression rather than a fifths progression, because in the latter you'd have to go through more chords (iii-vi-ii-V-I):
    I-iv=iii-ii-I: C > Fm > Ebm > Db
    Playing this in first position butchers the progression; it sounds too random to get across how these chords are connected. It's better to start the Fm voicing high enough that the chords consistently descend, like this:
    0003 > 10 8 8 8 > 8666 > 6544
    If you don't want to go so high, this would also work okay (but not as well, in my opinion):
    0003 > 5543 > 3211 > 1114

    For a four chord variant, you can slip in a V7 chord (or its tritone substitution):
    iii-ii-V7-I: Fm > Ebm > Ab7 > Db
    iii-ii-bII7-I: Fm > Ebm > D7 > Db

    Speaking of tritone substitution, it allows for other back-door modulations, like these little sequences:
    C > Am7 > D7b5 > Db
    C > Em[7] > Am6 > D7b5 > Db
    C > Em7 > Eb7 > D7[b5] > Db

    Anyway, lots of choices.
    Some good stuff, but see I gave you that some to add.

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    Thank you Jamo_S. That looks like what I need. When I studied piano in Philippines my instructor gave ma a piece of music. Memories in C with instructions to play second time thru in Db and third time thru in D. In two or three places in the piece he entered a C scale run and indicated that I should use this run to modulate to the next key. I left the Philippines before completing this lesson. Now I want to try it on baritone ukulele., It is suppose to make the song sound good. Memories is from the movie Cats but I play it slower and more dreamy, however I never learned to modulate. Thanks again my friend. Now time to practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnysmash View Post
    Thank you Jamo_S. That looks like what I need. When I studied piano in Philippines my instructor gave ma a piece of music. Memories in C with instructions to play second time thru in Db and third time thru in D. In two or three places in the piece he entered a C scale run and indicated that I should use this run to modulate to the next key. I left the Philippines before completing this lesson. Now I want to try it on baritone ukulele., It is suppose to make the song sound good. Memories is from the movie Cats but I play it slower and more dreamy, however I never learned to modulate. Thanks again my friend. Now time to practice.
    In terms of able to play melodies in any key and intuitively, that means hearing something in your head and able to find and produce the same notes on keyboard, it is easiest to avoid the open strings.

    Of course we should be able to use the lowest notes possible with our quite limited instrument range, because it is in the melody range. Re-entrant, but also with low G ones. Remember we as humans have also a limited singing range too, and sometimes need switch octave down or up. So it is too especially with re-entrant soprano with limited number of frets

    Some think of "boxes" in the fretboard, but I rather think also of sliding up and down the fingerboard changing "positions". Or just play something with a one string, if that helps to get the idea.

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

    Another thing is that an uke or mandolin or an electric guitar higher up the neck, while all them are then in the melody range. They won't have exactly the purity in notes.

    In C or any key the 5th (G) and 4rth (F) notes are fine, but other notes and also in relation to them, D, E, A and B, leaves much to be desired in terms of intonation, accidentals too if some different kind of scale, because of our equal temperament 12 tone fretting system.
    That and also the usual intonation problems, because of the strings like mostly in C string if uncompensated saddle and anyways, bridge error etc. in general for all strings. We also have a tendency to bend them sharp in error.

    Blues being simple and those 4rths and 5ths being in good intonation mostly and are most important, and the others can be achieved with bending what wanted to work beautifully in tune. Not that usually they even are, because depends a lot of the bender. Not with mandolin of course

    Other music is always just so and so in terms of melody play. Compared to human voice or violin. No 12 equal toned tempered instrument is really fine for fine melodies. Be it keyboard or whatever.

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

    This is wonderful by this Brazilian duo:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXGjOrHvyNU

    We can only play with our mediocre capabilities and love the music we produce, compared to them
    Last edited by Jarmo_S; 10-30-2019 at 03:11 AM.

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