Diatonic Harmony

rnbacademy.comrnbacademy.com Posts: 169Member
Hello once again friends! Today we answer the question, about the term which was not to be named "Diatonic Harmony". If you've done your part, you should be able to write out and correctly spell every Major Scale.   Last time we met, I advised you to be writing out Major Scales.  Once written, I said circle the numbers 1 4 and 5. So for example, today we will deal with E, which was my last example: (E) F# G# (A) (B) C# D# E1    2   3 - 4    5   6   7 - 8 If you followed this step, you're essentially done with Diatonic Harmony! You see, Diatonic Harmony says that chords are made up of only the notes in that scale.  That's it.  So each note of a Major Scale is the starting note of a certain chord/triad.   So, how do we know which chords? You did the work already!  There are essentially 2 kinds of chords here in play, Major and Minor!  Let's look at this E Major scale now. (E) F# G# (A) (B) C# D# E1    2   3 - 4    5   6   7 - 8 See the numbers you CIRCLED?  Those are the MAJOR chords. E  F#  G#  A B C#  D#  ESee the ones left over, the ones you DIDN'T CIRCLE?  Those are the MINOR chords. That's it E  F#m  G#m  A B C#m  D#m  E! Done!  If you have that, we just need a small change.  The 7th letter... In our case, the 7th is D#m.  CHANGE that one only to a Diminished Chord, and you're completely finished. E F#m G#m  A B C#m D#o E The complete Diatonic Triad set in E!   So, in practical terms, why should we care about what chords are in the key of E? Because when you play E and any of these other chords after it, in all kinds of orders, they work!  You can write a song or figure out many songs once you know the key!  It's predictable, for example, let's say you're trying to work out how a song goes.  By breaking it down to these possible chords, the chances are very high, you know all/most the chords that song is likely going to have.   Do the same thing with any other major scale and you have that Key as well. This also is good because these chords all need just one scale to sound great over all of them in any order you play them.  So if I decided to use chords 1 6 4 and 3, in E: E  C#m  A  and G#m If I play an E Major scale over that progression, its going to sound "right".  I can make up guitar solos, song melodies, just about anything I like.  Riffs, Fills, Patterns...All because I used one scale and I knew that these other chords have to work as well.  One scale (E Major) makes up the notes of all these chords, so of course they work together! And now you have an idea of what Diatonic Harmony is.  I hope this inspires you to go out and make your own music, figure out songs, or just know how to intelligently solo and improvise or jam with others. If you've been following us to this point, we have reached the end of our series.  I wish you all the best of luck in the future.    I leave you with the words I share with My students: The day things change for the better, is the day you say "yes".  If you can say "I can't"  "I won't" or "I don't"  you can talk yourself out of anything. Play well, friends. Sean www.rnbacademy.com    


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