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Avoiding 1st Root And 5th Notes

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  1. 2276282
    neuromancer56 : Mon 4th Sep 2017 : 1 year ago

    MasanoriMurabayashi commented on my track Bliss Redone X2.
    and said the following.
    "voicing of harmony seems a little thick and heavy. There seems to be alternatives that using higher register and avoid 1st root and 5th notes. 2 notes combinations of any of 3rd, 7th, 9th, 11th sounds well"
    But the more I read this and think about it the more confused I become. Is he talking about the piano chords that come in at 0:41? I think this might be the case because my chords have 2 parts and the second part is in a higher register. When he mentions the numbers of which 2 notes to use and avoid, is he talking about the way the notes in the chord relate to each other or the other instruments? For example when he says avoid the 1st root is he talking about the first note in the scale Abm (which would be Ab? ) Or is he talking about avoiding the note that is being played by some other instrument which would then form the root of a chord composed of both the melody instrument and the chord for the piano?

  2. 951439
    Evisma : Mon 4th Sep 2017 : 1 year ago

    First note being the root, I believe he's saying not to make every chord be the root and it's 5th, like a powerchord on guitar. Vary the relation between root and second note, including using flat 5th, 7th, higher/lower octaves and so on.

    Just my guess at his meaning.

  3. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Tue 5th Sep 2017 : 1 year ago

    yes, I think when doubling the notes too much it will always give some kind of bold and thick sort of textures especially dark when played in the lower areas of the keyboard.

    in music theory this reffers to 'chord voicing'. chords in root position can sound very fine - even simple major and minor triads. consider this recording:
    almost all are triad chords in root position (basic form: 1,3,5) but in so called 'open position' which means wider spacing and displayed in four voices.

    examples of root chord voicings in open position used in the piece above are:

    1(root), 5(fifth), 8(octave) and 10(third an octave above);

    1, 5, 10, 15(root two octaves above);


    1, 5, 8, 12 (third an octave above).

    here is something I found about rootless 'voicing' in jazz music:
    there are a lot useful similar materials available but also the extended harmony is much more complex here.

    I will download your track and eventually say more later.

  4. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Tue 5th Sep 2017 : 1 year ago


    the third voicing from the video is:

    1, 5, 10(third octave above), 12(the fifth an octave above)

    and of course the chords are 'arpeggiated'.

  5. 2276282
    neuromancer56 : Wed 6th Sep 2017 : 1 year ago

    Thanks much to both of you! The rootless voicing video made what all of you were saying so much clearer. I get that instead of playing 1st, 3rds, and 5ths in all my chords, I can drop the root note of the chord and instead play a 7th, 9th, 11th etc.
    @Promenade2239: when you say "doubling the notes too much" Are you talking about the root note of my chord matching the note in my bassline or melody? And I want to avoid repeating notes in different instruments? For example if I'm in C major and I'm playing a C in my bassline, I wouldn't want to play a C in my piano chord, but instead would play an E-G-B in my piano chord, harmonizing with the C instead of playing it in a more extended C major chord.

  6. 851137
    crucethus : Wed 6th Sep 2017 : 1 year ago

    Intervals, it's all about Intervals in Music Theory. But neuromancer56, you are starting to understand! cool. keep at it mate!

  7. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Wed 6th Sep 2017 : 1 year ago

    neuromancer56 - yes, this was quite unclear but you're right saying that 'doubling' whether means layering the same note by other instrument or being simply a repeated note whithin a chord structure (for example: when constructing a Triad Chord in four-voice harmony you'll need to double root, third or fifth anyway) is the problem discussed.

    Here is an example of 'classical' 3 and 4-part writing - a harmonisation of a church tune. Video presents some basic and more elaborated versions i.e. with more linear movement in the voices (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) created by adding passing notes, suspentions etc. Also you can hear the given chorale melody in Soprano, Tenor and Bass. This sort of writing is based on strict voice-leading rules of Bach's chorale harmonisations Basically those are triads (1,3,5) in root position, first inversion and second inversion - the 7ths, 9ths, chromatic notes and so on are the results of linear voice leading (suspensions, anticipations, retardations)

    Layering/doubling harmony or melody or notes can be interesting as well - all depending on what musical style or effect is concerned.
    I think in jazz music the word 'linear' would fit rather the actual 'soloing' over so called 'chord changes' being simply the sequence/progression of chords. If I remember correctly Bill Evans preffered rootless four-note voicings. You can always search for detailed tutorials, if you're interested. There is so much of informative content elswhere on this so I won't be pasting more links.

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