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Limitations of Music?

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Defualt User ImageWorldDecay
1:13 am Friday
January 12, 2007
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There are only so many chord progs, patterns we can come up with, and only a few will sound good. (The good old C D Em, and Em C G D) [In various keys of course]

Are we stuck forever?

Or does it not matter that you use the same chords, but as long as you know how to shape your song, and give a different feel, put fresh riffs and stuff?
User ImageBillyJack
8:25 am Friday
January 12, 2007
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This is actually a hard question to answer appropriately because of the different ways it can be viewed. I've typed up three separate answers to it and all three have different meanings. I'm gonna try to answer it with my first impression of the question.

Every style of music has a fundamental feel to it that is defined by a limited number of rhythms and tonal progressions. If you're trying to stay true to the style or feel of a movement, you have to incorporate the basics of that particular style to make it recognizable. In this light, you're limited but, not stuck.

Look at the song Amazing Grace (using it for commonality. most people at least know of it)

The song traditionally has a 1, 4, 1, 5(7) chord progression (example: D, G, D, A7). To add character, it is common practice to add a 1(7) passing chord between the 1 & 4 chord (D, D7, G, D, A7). Now as a artist, I like to keep a song true to it's original flow and add character that awe's the listener instead of trying to get them to except my original rendition so, I flavor up the composition instead of rearranging it. One rearrangement of this song I do like is played to the melody of House of the Rising Sun. To me that's wicked cool but, to traditionalist it destroys the song. For the traditionalist listener, Id either change the 1(7) passing chord to a b7 to emphasize a dominate 7 over tone in the passing like this: 1, b7, 4, 1, 5(7) (D, C, G, D, A7) or Id use chordal voicing that coincide with the melody like this:
(A)A (Bm)a (D)maz (F#m)i (D)ng (F#m)grace (Em)how (D)sweet (Bm)the (A)sound. Playing each chord inversion so to leave the melody note as the high tone in the chord. Maybe play only using some chordal voicing in key places in the song and otherwise keeping to the 1, 4, 1, 5 progression. It's all a matter of artistic development and taste.

I would say we are no more stuck than a painter. If the painter limits themself to the 7 basic colors, the quality of their work could be considered limited to their ability to apply those colors. On the other hand, if they blend and shade those colors, how could they ever become limited or stuck? Same thing applies to us musicians. We can become masters of the basics and be looked upon as great disciplined artist or we can expand and experiment with tones and feels to become unique and versatile. I'd never apply the word stuck.

[quote:deb4c48d53]does it not matter that you use the same chords, but as long as you know how to shape your song, and give a different feel, put fresh riffs and stuff?

In short, the final portion of your post would be most accurately answered by saying: No it don't matter! What matters is your artist influence over the piece you're working on.

Like I said, complicated question. Hope my ramblings helped!
Defualt User ImageWorldDecay
7:10 pm Friday
January 12, 2007
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So its like, we only got those few chords in a key, and you are bound to re-use and re-hearse all the same chords,

but what matters is how you construct the atmosphere of the song, the way you structuree it, and the melodies and riffs?
User ImageBillyJack
9:41 am Saturday
January 13, 2007
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No no no! We're not limited by KEY. I must have misunderstood the original question. I thought you were asking about chord progressions and song patterns. As far as KEY goes, you can use many combination of notes within the root scale and remain in KEY.

Take C Major for example:
You can play C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, & Bdim and never leave C Major. There are 7s, 9s, sus chords that can be played over the Major without leaving key.
Defualt User ImageWorldDecay
1:25 pm Saturday
January 13, 2007
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Yeah. Guess that was what i was saying. They're still the "same chord".

7s etc, just a different feel?
User Imagebeerzerker
12:52 am Thursday
June 12, 2008
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We are somewhat limited to all of the same old chord progressions that have all already been done to death.

It´s all in what we do with them.

Style and taste are huge and less subjective than people these days try to make them.

It takes style and taste to take the same old progressions and make them your own and put your own stamp on them convicingly with a convincing amount of style and taste.

That´s the only way you can really trick anybody into believing that you´re clever.

It´s all in the arrangement.

Good songs are good songs.

There´s no accounting for taste.

You can tell when someone is being tasteful and you give them style points for it.

And you can tell when they are pretending or just more impressed with themselves than some of their smarter listeners are.

Taste and style and class need to triumph over formulas.

It´s got to come from the heart. Thumbs Up Guitar

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