The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #14219   Message #851164
Posted By: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
20-Dec-02 - 11:32 AM
Thread Name: Three-chord songs
Subject: RE: Three-chord songs
You asked a valuable question I think. Why do some chords sound right with a song and some not? Style...tradition....appropriateness with these. Also, whether the melody line suggests the right harmony. Some chords may clash with the melody line. In some cases, depending on the style such as blues, this is OK.

As to the need for theory.....there's no point in learning it if you can't use it. Theory must be applied for it to work. That's the problem with music schools. They teach you the theory but they don't show you how to apply it in any practical manner. I learned to write figured-bass four part harmony prevalent in Bach's time but have not used figured-bass much in folk music at all. Or even in jazz for that matter. There are some concepts such as voice-leading which are useful but the traditional music school doesn't generally address how to play music in the "real world". There are some notable exceptions such as Berklee, in Boston or Dick Grove in LA. Also, The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.