riff to chords


oib111
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Joined: 11/08/07
Posts: 105
oib111
Registered User
Joined: 11/08/07
Posts: 105
01/26/2008 8:48 am
How dyou figure out what chords sound good over a riff? For example

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------5h7p5--4h5p4-------------5h7p5--4h5p4------------------------|
|---7b-7b-----------------5--7b--7b-----------------5/7--------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

I can't get chords that sound good over that riff. PPlease help. thx.
# 1
Drew77
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Joined: 01/26/05
Posts: 191
Drew77
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Joined: 01/26/05
Posts: 191
01/26/2008 7:42 pm
Play Chords till something sounds good I would say. Try starting with chords with the same notes or at least roots as the notes in you riff, but maybe off an octave, then you can expand from there to thirds and fifths.

Just play what sounds good to you.
# 2
mark2dude
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Joined: 02/19/08
Posts: 2
mark2dude
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Joined: 02/19/08
Posts: 2
02/20/2008 4:22 am
I would just think about what style of song your trying to make, and improvise a chord, that goes along with the music your trying to produce. :)
# 3
Krestan
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Joined: 09/18/07
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Krestan
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Posts: 1
03/03/2008 3:20 am
I'd say..
C#, slap, C#, slap, C#, slap, G.
C# starting on the A string.
# 4
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,348
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,348
03/03/2008 2:11 pm
Originally Posted by: oib111How dyou figure out what chords sound good over a riff?


|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------5h7p5--4h5p4-------------5h7p5--4h5p4--------------------|
|-7b-7b-----------------5--7b--7b-----------------5/7---------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|

Write out all the notes you are playing and find out which scales and thus chords they are potential part of. I am assuming you are bending that E note up two frets to F# (a whole step).

Notes in riff:
E, F#, G, A, D

So you have 5 notes of the E minor scale (or relative major - G major scale).

Therefore, the first chords to try would be chords that are in that key:
E minor (I) - e, g, b
F# dim (ii dim) - f#, a, c
G major (III) - g, b, d
A minor (iv) - a, c, e
B minor (v) - b, d, f#
C major (VI) - c, e, g
D major (VII) - d, f#, a

One possible way to match chords and notes from the riff are to look for places that the strongest sounding note of the riff is one of the notes of the chord. So anytime the note E happens an E minor chord, A minor chord, or C major chord might be a good fit.

Because the riff does not explicitly use the C, you could also think of it as a C#.

E, F#, G, A, C#, D

So you have 6 notes of the D major scale (or relative minor - B minor scale).

D major (I) - d, f#, a
E minor (ii) - e, g, b
F# minor (iii) - f#, a, c#
G major (IV) - g, b, d
A major (V) - a, c#, e
B minor (vi) - b, d, f#
C# dim (vii dim) - c#, e, g

This would change my previous suggestion to: anytime the note E happens an E minor chord, A major chord, or C# dim chord might be a good fit.

Also, consider that if you are bending that E up to F# and it sounds as a F# more than an E, you might consider treating it as an F#. Then you want to match that the the chords. Anytime the note F# happens a D major chord, F# minor chord, B minor chord might be a good fit.

Hope this helps.
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 5

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