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Is it wrong to make a minor chord major?


dohhhhh6

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Hey, I'm wondering, if there's anything particularily wrong with making a minor chord major instead? Like, there's this chorus to a song I'm writing that goes C, E, F, then back to C and it's in the key of C major.

 

I wrote the song on bass and gave my guitarist the chords, he played it E major instead of what it should be, Em, and I think it shoulds fine. There's less of a contrast between the notes, but it's more "uplifting."

 

I tried to stay away from changing chords from minor to major (as I don't like minor chords too much), as I figure that guys have been writing songs using the major scale thing for hundreds of year, so who am I to change it? However, I think it sounds find as it.

 

Thanks guy.

In Skynyrd We Trust
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Well, I'll leave it to someone more theory oriented than I to explain in detail, but I'd say the Em would be the better chord choice. Playing a minor chord doesn't necessarily reflect that it's in a minor key. In this case, the Em (NOT E Major) is the relative minor of what would be the V chord in the I-IV-V-I progression of "C F G C"...namely, Em is the relative minor of G. If you were to play a C Major scale using chords, to make it sound correct, a few of them would be minor chords anyway. If E Major works, then fine, but Em might be a better choice.

 

Many happy uplifting songs in Major keys use minor chords.

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Actually, it sounds fine with an E Major as well...a completely different vibe.

 

Try doing something else, just for the heck of it...

 

Play C...E...and make the F a minor, and resolve to G. You'll get an old Beatlesy kind of vibe to it.

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Lots of rock music disregards the standard ideas of music theory...or more accurately, somewhat like jazz, sidesteps them by shifting modalities quickly. That's one thing that make some rock writers sound new & vital.

On the other hand when you do this you should make sure thatthe effect is what you want & there aren't any loose ends hanging out (like having a funky bass line hitting the b7 while the chord's in a major 7th, etc.).

 

One thing I'd point out is that music theory is really about explaining what's happening in a given piece or period of music; it'a not the "rules" for how music is to be made.

Western music theory has changed throughout history & continues to evolve...not to mention that there are other cultures around the world, wome with extremely well-developed arts, that do perfectly well with completely different theories & principles than ours.

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Funny, I was working with a country writer recording a demo, and she was having a problem resolving transition. I pulled down a guitar and stuck a major chord in the transition, and it worked. She loved it, but was concerned that 'you can't do that'. If it sounds good, for goodness sakes, why NOT do it?

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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There's nothing wrong with making the E minor a major in that context, since the ear will believe you're temporarily drawing from the A harmonic minor, and those scales (A minor and C major) are so closely related. The E major chord will resolve well to A minor or F major.

As Tedster said, you can also make the F major a minor since they both belong to the A harmonic minor, but before going back to C, you might want to pass through G to make it more obvious that you are in C major and not in A minor :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Boy, if this is against the law, I guess I'm about to be arrested. I recently wrote a song where minors change to majors and vice versa all over the damn place. And the song can't really make up its mind what key it's in, either. But I really like it and so does my band - just sounds like a pop song to us.

 

It doesn't matter, just do what sounds right to you.

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