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1) OUR BASIC I/IV/V:
These are our changes played in umpteen ways that are found
in all manner of Blues, rock and country and folk music. So common that
we have listed them on the perimeter of the wheel. They can be played in
any fashion or order. Here think HANG ON SLOOPY, SWEET HOME CHICAGO, HOUND
DOG, BLOWIN' IN THE WIND, or ALREADY GONE.
Listen to the sound that they create. They are created
off of our major chords built off of our 1st, 4th & 5th chords (usually
with a dom 7th tone when used in a boogie sense) or are relative minor
1st , 4th, and 5th tone when used in a "minor" sense. If you know
your Blues Boxes, you should have a lot of fun riffing over them. See how
the color bands inter-relate very easily.
2) OUR BASIC I/VI/II/V:
Here, think 50's or early 60's doo wop songs like LAST
KISS, CHERRY PIE, or a "cast of thousands" courtesy of "tin
Pan Alley". More contemporary usages of the form gave us songs like
EVERY BREATHE I TAKE by STING. Also important to point out PRETTY WOMAN
and I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND offer excellent examples of the form, in a somewhat
On the other hand in a very advanced sense, Bach's "JESUS,
JOY OF MAN'S DESIRING, gives us an excellent example of a very progressed
use of that basic form complete with a few other changes most notably a
minor 3rd chord thrown in see if you can find where it goes. It is very
much a staple of a lot of Jazz and Be-Bop and in essence is the inspiration
for Charlie Parker's "Bird Blues" a Jazz improvisational staple
found in one variation or another in all Jazz fake Books by all kinds of
artists. Experiment around the wheel and find them in every key. How? By
using your color bands as your guide!
3) LET'S TOUCH A LITTLE BIT ON SOLOING, IMPROV, AND MELODIC
Let's play our scale tones like we see them in every key
around the wheel. Now let us play any pattern of chords from our consonant
scale tone chords also from any key.SEE HOW THEY AUTOMATICALLY FIT AND PUT
US IN KEY EFFORTLESSLY!!
4) We can play those same scale tones in any order or phrasing
we wish to and play in key all day!!. We can also pick
out melodies by ear of our favorite songs and if we have to find the chords,
use our consonant chord mode to find them. We can also construct our own
melodies and put our own chord patterns behind them experiment and find
simply THAT IT ALL FITS this should be a revelation to many beginners!
In any event that's the essentials of how a hack puts together
a really bad song, a songwriter constructs a memorable melody, a great songwriter
"moves a generation", what Charlie Parker and Miles Davis used
as a background for their improv work and Beethoven used for his 5th Symphony!!!
- The same essential tools used to greater or lesser degree of proficiency
and musical perspective by everyone!!!!!
Amazingly enough And there are so many patterns of melodic
construction and chord interweaving and of course the same rules apply to
the Minor Scales. Now, go away kid, get your Harmony Wheel and play your
ax .. You bother me!!! (just kidding)
5) PLAYING GUITARS (OR ANY INSTRUMENTS) IN HARMONY:
Play your scale tones in "C": They are C/D/E/F/G/A/B/C.
Now Play E/F/G/A/B/C/D/E. now play them together. You are playing in 3rd's.
Try your other scale degree tones against your tonic tones in all keys.It
is actually that easy!! - AND NOT JUST WITH GUITARS ---any instrument will
do!!! Guys like Mozart, McCartney, Gershwyn, Beethoven etc. did exactly
the same thing in an infinitely varied conglamoration of ways and got rich
and famous. Well Mozart didn't get rich exactly.he sure did get famous though.
In short all harmonies, horn and string lines can be and are derived in
the same manner. Chords are derived by similar means and greater number
6) CREATING CHORDS AND ADDING 6TH'S, 7TH'S & 9TH'S:
Play our basic triad, add another tone be it the 6th tone
with it in "C", a "C6th" is derived by adding "A",
our "C9th" is derived By adding a "D". Look on the back
of the wheel where it explains the process. Also, realize that accidentals
are notes found outside the scale. A simple way of viewing this can be to
look at the black keys of the piano. In the key of "C", the accidentals
are simply the black keys, from "C" to "C". It is the
same from key to key.
7) MAKING OUR MAJOR CHORDS MINOR:
Take the 3rd tone of every triad (3 note Major chord)
flat it by 1/2 step (one fret/key). You have now turned any major
chord into a minor version of itself.
8) Triad construction: or why we have minor and major chords
as our consonant chords: It is the definitive way we
arrive at our chords. Every other scale tone of any given major key when
played 3notes at a time will render us our essential primary triad consonant
The Harmony Wheel's design shows this implicitly via the
scale degrees on the modes of operation wheel and also by virtue of it's
color bands. Ex: a "C Major triad is formed by red/yellow/blue! An
E minor triad is formed by yellow/blue and violet. If we move to our key
of "D", our E minor chord is formed by orange/green and dark blue.
In this way we can see that our color bands are in synchronicity with the
degree of the scale, not the chord itself (IMPORTANT point, not to be
For instance the colors yellow/blue/violet corresponded
with E minor because of its role in the key of "C" major (a
3rd). In "D", E minor played the role of 2nd/9th chord, in
the D major scale.
9) THAT'S IT FOR NOW. IF WE TRIED TO EXPLAIN IT ANY MORE
WE WOULD HAVE TO PUT IT ALL IN A BOOK, AND CHARGE YOU FOR IT!!! However hope this helps get you started on the road to the Harmony
If any questions remain regarding the Harmony Wheels basic
use, you can contact me, Robert Creveling. I am the Harmony Wheel's creator,
feel free to write me at Robert Creveling c/o Ducks Deluxe - P.O.Box 35677,
Las Vegas, Nevada. 89133 - U.S.A. Thanks for checking it out!! Thanks for
checking it out!! Hope this helps you understand the immense world of music
a little better!! - Remember, practice makes perfect!! Later, Dude