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What do you think of this harmonization/chord progression?

Posted by jster 
What do you think of this harmonization/chord progression?
August 04, 2015 03:45AM
First four bars: C6, Bmin7b5, Fmaj7, Emin7

Reduced melody: G, F, A, G

I'm worried that the tritone baseline move is not kosher.

Tune is loungey jazz ballad.

Thoughts?

Thanks



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2015 03:48AM by jster. (view changes)
Re: What do you think of this harmonization/chord progression?
August 04, 2015 05:37AM
You're worrying about something that has no bearing whatsoever on the music you're writing.
Re: What do you think of this harmonization/chord progression?
August 04, 2015 06:36AM
stevel Wrote:
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> You're worrying about something that has no
> bearing whatsoever on the music you're writing.


+1 rules like this only apply to music that is at least 150 years old. If you as the composer/arranger like the sound then use it. If you would prefer another option try Bmin7b5 in first inversion which is the same as Dmin6.
Re: What do you think of this harmonization/chord progression?
August 04, 2015 09:41AM
jster Wrote:
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> First four bars: C6, Bmin7b5, Fmaj7, Emin7
>
> Reduced melody: G, F, A, G
>
> I'm worried that the tritone baseline move is not
> kosher.

"kosher", as the others say, is not the issue. If you don't like how it sounds, change it. If you like how it sounds, keep it.

But maybe you're asking because you actually don't like the sound, but can't think of an alternative? You can keep the chords if you like them, but why not try changing the bass line? It doesn't have to be roots all the way.

And BTW, if it's "lounge jazz" you're after, that does use fairly standard changes, and yours aren't. I mean the chord types are good, but the order is a little unusual - Bm7b5 to Fmaj7 particularly (it happens the other way more often). That doesn't mean "wrong", of course, just "unusual" (for that kind of music).
If you're wedded to your melody, then there's all kinds of other ways you could harmonise it and maintain (or even improve) the "lounge jazz" effect.
Think about creating melody lines through the other chord tones.
Re: What do you think of this harmonization/chord progression?
August 05, 2015 12:58AM
Thanks all.

@ Steve: yeah, I know, but at the same time, I can't think of a single tune that does that.

@ pianokeys109: I tried that but see below.

@ JonR: The song has been around for long enough that it's not easy for me to judge it anymore. Last week, I started out worrying that it is just too slow. But it quickly degraded as I sped it up. And I think that tritone move is the main reason. The rest of the changes are all standard Broadway stuff.

When writing it, I played the bassline/changes and sang the melody. That first half step bassline drop was the first idea. I have more than one like that for some reason (probably my radio voice!). Anyway, the melody turned out to be pretty good because it goes down every other bar during the first six bars and that fits the lyrics. I like that the bassline does that also to drive it home. I tried to redo everything from scratch yesterday, but at this moment, I can't even remember the melody so version 2.0 will have to go into the trash.

Today I will try:
-inversions
-doubling the number of chords: C. X Bmin7b5 Y Fmaj7 Z... Something like that
-diatonically transposing the melody and reharmonizing it--that's 6 possibilities.
-lastly, and probably most likely to work, working on a bassline that makes it more kosher, which is obviously closely related to item 1 (inversions).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/2015 01:04AM by jster. (view changes)
Re: What do you think of this harmonization/chord progression?
August 05, 2015 04:12AM
Why not use an A bass on the F? That preserves your initial C-B, continues the descent diatonically, and avoids the tritone move.
You could even continue to a G bass on the Em7.
IMO, don't mess it up with other chords until you've tried that. It's almost never a good idea to add more chords to a tune. We (as composing musicians) all like fiddling with chord progressions, but listeners don't care. They like melody and rhythm. It usually improves a song to fillet out chords, not add more. (That's not to say that a bass line can't be improved - which might itself suggest some extra passing chords.)

The melody must rule. If you can't even remember the melody (but remember the chords), that's a bad sign. You can of course use these chords to help construct a new melody, but be prepared to dump them if the melody takes you elsewhere.
Re: What do you think of this harmonization/chord progression?
August 05, 2015 08:46AM
JonR Wrote:
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> Why not use an A bass on the F?

That works perfectly. Thanks Jon!
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