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Thread: Needing Help With Cadence/Chord Resolution (Harmony in General)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    Unhappy Needing Help With Cadence/Chord Resolution (Harmony in General)

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    So I posted on reddit
    "How would this progression/loop resolve:
    i - VI - III - VII
    I feel like it sounds pretty good looped but as an end to a song or something VII - i sounds a bit unfinished. Would you say songs that use this usually fade out, change the VII, or change the i so it's VII - III (picardy cadence)? Or are my ears just bad, lol (to used to hearing the perfect/imperfect cadence."

    And someone replied with
    "8 bars
    i -- IV -- III -- ii
    III -- ii -- III -- (III)
    Drop 1 on the last major third.
    In d minor that would be d minor, b flat major, f major, e minor, f major, e minor, f major sustained"

    What??? I'm trying to make a modern sounding song, well, within the realm of feature beats like
    "Skrillex & Team EZY - Pretty Bye Bye" or "Kazukii - Hold On". I'm starting to feel like crap, lol, I can't seemed to make a good cadence unless its triads in major that use the V or IV chords.

    I also have a hard time dropping chords from a song, like i'll keep the same four chords (or however many I have) through the entire song. I was thinking maybe in the intro and verse i'll make the chords without their thirds, but then would that ruin the loop...

    I like making melodies that don't follow the chords, so I guess I like making melodies in a relative modal (i've read it's pretty common, A chord progression in A minor and melody in C major or even D dorian), the thing is they don't sound like they resolve, I know what's suppose to make them resolve, like in C it would be G, D, or B going back to C, but I dunno something feels odd. I can upload a short song to soundcloud or something that uses A minor with a D dorian melody, and maybe you can tell me if anything is wrong with the way it sounds.

    I dunno, maybe the lack of sleep and depression is distorting my view of my music.
    Anyway if you can point me to a book or to whatever might help, i'd really appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Thanked 134 Times in 125 Posts
    Firstly I want to let you know you don't understand modes. You are 100% making all your melodies in A minor, just starting the A minor scale on D doesn't make it a D dorian scale if you're playing an A minor chord underneath necessarily- it's hard to get across in without context but you are still playing 100% 'in key' with your chords. I wish I could think of a clear way to explain this but I can't at the moment- I'm sorry.

    Secondly your roman numeral notation isn't very clear and neither is the person who replied to you, but they did at least post the chords so they could be more clear. I presume you mean i - bVI - bIII - bVII for minor keys as shown on the wikipedia page here: Roman numeral analysis - Wikipedia

    If you're imitating all those artists who are imitating Burial repeating 4 chords throughout is probably acceptable. (You should listen to Burial btw, he pretty much invented that kind of emotional garage-style music)

    For changing between two chord progressions I suggest changing the instrumentation at the same time as the change in chord progression. This isn't 100% necessary but you might find it helps. You can also use a perfect cadence or similar to smooth over the transition, but you need to set it up the right way: if you post an example I'll try and get back to you with how to smooth over the change.
    Last edited by scrapheaper; 09-26-2017 at 05:22 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by scrapheaper View Post
    Firstly I want to let you know you don't understand modes.
    Happens to everybody first getting into it, definetly been there. Took me awhile to truly understand them. No one is really teaching them in a way that includes practical application.
    Wanna take your piano playing to the next level like Zaytoven & Scott Storch?
    Check out my YouTube channel for producers! Producer Principles

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