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Thread: Help Identify Chord Pattern (Broken chord)

  1. #1

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    Help Identify Chord Pattern (Broken chord)

    Hi all

    Pls help me explain where I can find information on the below broken chord pattern for keyboard :
    C: CGCE
    CGBE
    F: FCFA
    FCFA(flat)
    Em: EBDG
    Am: AEAE
    C/G: GEGE

    None of my Piano Chord book or theory book has such pattern and I cant seem to find such pattern on Net. Any theory on how the above broken chord/arpeggios comes about is much appreciated. Is it possible someone just simply improvise ?

  2. #2

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    Re: Help Identify Chord Pattern (Broken chord)

    C - Cmaj7 - F - Fm - Em7 - Am - C/G

  3. #3

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    Re: Help Identify Chord Pattern (Broken chord)

    Hi SingHifi,

    You can refer to Cheez's breakdown of the chords.
    If you look at the chord spelling of each chord, you will realize each broken chord pattern is made up of the notes of each chord.

    E.G
    C Major Chord Spelling: C-E-G
    Notes Used in Pattern: C-G-C-E

    Cmaj7 Chord Spelling: C-E-G-B
    Notes Used In Pattern: C-G-B-E

    F Major Chord Spelling: F-A-C
    Notes Used In Pattern: F-C-F-A

    F Minor Chord Spelling: F-Ab-C
    Notes Used In Pattern: F-C-F-Ab

    E Minor Chord Spelling: E-G-B
    Notes Used In Pattern: E-B-D-G

    A Minor Chord Spelling: A-C-E
    Notes Used In Pattern: A-E-A-E
    (In this case, the notes used does not completely reflect the A minor nature because the C note is not included in the pattern. However, based on the other chords being used, once can infer that this is in the key of C, in which case, the chord with the 'A' root note should be a minor one.)

    C/G Chord Spelling: G-C-E (Still C chord but starts on a G root)
    Notes Used In Pattern: G-E-G-E
    (Does not include C root note in pattern, but still implied.)

    The above patterns are not found in theory books as these are arrangements based off the basic chord patterns to add more "color", as opposed to the usual "textbook" use of chords.
    Someone probably did improvise and arrange it, but it is likely to have been done with understanding of how the chords are related.

    If all the above seems too difficult for you, I can teach you what I know.
    Just drop me a PM!

  4. #4

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    Re: Help Identify Chord Pattern (Broken chord)

    Thanks Cheez

    Edwin I PM you. Many thanks for sharing with me. I could not find any resource on how this comes about. Right now I am simply given it without any explaination on the logic behind it. I dont like to learn things without understanding the theory behind.

  5. #5

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    Re: Help Identify Chord Pattern (Broken chord)

    For most chords, there is a 1, a 3 and a 5. Just figure out which one is the 1, the 3 and the 5. (If you're playing jazz, there can be a 7, a 9, and 11 and maybe even a 13)

    The 1 indicates which key the chord is in.

    The 1, the 3 and the 5 may not be in the right order. If they are switched around (ie the "1" is 1 octave higher so that it is the highest note) then it's called an inversion. So CEG is the root, EGC is the first inversion, GCE is the 2nd inversion, etc etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inversion_(music)

    So for the C chord, C is the 1, E is the 3 and G is the 5.
    For the F chord, F is the 1, A is the 3 and C is the 5.

    Understanding all this stuff is the basis of the ability to listen to music and understand the structure of harmony in music. Everything boils down to these simple rules.

    All this will be mentioned in any theory book. If you don't recognise it, then you probably haven't learnt it well enough to apply it.

    A note about music theory: music theory is just theory. Real music is all about instinct. In real music there is only "does this sound right?" Everything else is people just inventing theory. After you learn all the rules, break them one by one and see for yourself what happens.
    Last edited by centralcatchment; 17-04-13 at 11:32 AM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Help Identify Chord Pattern (Broken chord)

    Hi CentralCatchment,

    Those std 1st and 2nd inversion is easy enough. However the chords is improvise on the leadsheet, just trying to find some resources how it comes about. None of the theory books or teach your self kind of books touch on this subject so I see if there is any free internet resource for me to learn improvision.

  7. #7

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    Re: Help Identify Chord Pattern (Broken chord)

    Quote Originally Posted by SingHifi View Post
    Hi CentralCatchment,

    Those std 1st and 2nd inversion is easy enough. However the chords is improvise on the leadsheet, just trying to find some resources how it comes about. None of the theory books or teach your self kind of books touch on this subject so I see if there is any free internet resource for me to learn improvision.
    If all of the rules have to be written down somewhere it is not improvisation. Improvisation means there are some rules the rest is tikam tikam. If you think it's nice, play it. Otherwise play something else.

    After you have learnt the basic rules there is only one resource. Listen to other people playing, and if you can, play what they're playing. Or you get a friend and you can start arguing with him what is "nice" or "not nice". Learn to judge for yourself. Trial and error. Nobody tells you what the answer is in improvisation. If you try that and it doesn't work out maybe you should switch to classical music or something.

    This is why we Singaporeans and our "just follow law" culture are incapable of producing great musicians in spite of so many people taking lessons.

  8. #8

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    Re: Help Identify Chord Pattern (Broken chord)

    Two more things.

    1. In order to learn improvisation, the ability to play by ear is crucial. Not trying to discourage you from learning improvisation if you don't have that ability, just making sure you avoid - wasting time doing things where you aren't going to succeed.

    2. Look at all the quotes here about jazz.

    http://musicbrainz.org/doc/Jazz/Quotes

    This should explain to you why there are no "books" about the "rules" behind "learning improvisation". If you have to ask what jazz is you'll never know. I don't have a definition of what jazz is. You're just supposed to know it when you hear it. Talking about music is like dancing about architecture. These are the masters talking. Hopefully you understand that I'm not making things up when I say there are not rules out there which are written. There is no alternative to listening to music, playing it, and learning from the process.

    Music theory is like learning the rules of grammar. Improvisation depends on your ability to understand music. Understanding music is like being able to tell a good story. As you know, knowing grammar and being able to tell a good story have very little to do with each other and similarly, knowing music theory and understanding music also have very little to do with each other.
    Last edited by centralcatchment; 18-04-13 at 01:17 AM.

  9. #9

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    Re: Help Identify Chord Pattern (Broken chord)

    Sorry. I beg to differ slightly about improvisation. Yes, it's about being "free" and "creative", but there are certain rules, or framework. Many people may think they are "improvising", but either they still improvise within a set of framework (unconsciously), or it's rojak.

    Take any language for example. Grammar is the framework. You can be creative in your writing and speaking, but you don't stray from grammar. Otherwise, nobody can understand what you.

    Theory provides the framework. Don't underestimate the importance of it.

    It will be difficult to learn improvisation on paper. You'll definitely need practical guidance. In fact, trying to explain by typing is difficult enough! You need to "see" it. There are video guides - some good, some not so good. They may be a good place to start.

  10. #10

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    Re: Help Identify Chord Pattern (Broken chord)

    I suppose I knew that there was going to be some misunderstanding somewhere along the line.

    There is music theory. SingHifi earlier on clarified that he understood music theory. So what he was asking about improvisation is the "other stuff". The stuff that goes beyond music theory. Stuff that goes into why you made certain aesthetic decisions.

    Further on, I attached a lot of quotes that said, "I can't explain it to you".

    "I can't explain it to you" does not mean "there are no rules". It sometimes means "there are too many rules" or "the rules differ from person to person" or "it's really about your instinct rather than the rules."

    Take classical music for example: classical music can teach you a lot of the rules. So much of jazz is based on classical music. But there is an overemphasis in classical music: you only play what's written down. You only write down what you can play. Some of the rules aren't strictly necessary. The augmented 4th was taboo until 200 years ago. Then it got introduced. Now it's everywhere in jazz. In improvisation there is the framework but there are a lot of things which aren't pinned down by rules. And there are the "rules behind the rules" that determine what is pinned down and what is not. So it's more complicated, which is why it's not written down.

    In improvisation, rules are made to be broken. But you have to understand them before you break them. So following the rules may be optional, but understanding the rules is crucial.

    Thanks for bringing this up.
    Last edited by centralcatchment; 18-04-13 at 12:39 PM.

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