Slash

Slash

Slash was the song writing guitarist with 1980's mega- selling rock band Guns n Roses.

"Sweet Child O'Mine" Live

Slash interview on YouTube

Guns n Roses Anthology

A Guns N Roses Anthology is available; plus a large number of other books from sheetmusicplus.com.

Gibson manufacturers a Slash Les Paul both at home in the US and offshore as the Epiphone brand.

Gibson Slash Les Paul


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MAJOR SCALE 3 CHORD TRICKS WITH MIXOLYDIAN 7TH SUBSTITUTION

As explained in BLOGoZON No. 82 every major scale generates a predictable series of chords (built using a mixture of major and minor third intervals); with the simplest having 3 notes (triads) and the most complicated using all 7 notes of the major scale (thirteenths).

The simplest major scale, from a note naming point of view, is C major because it has ZERO sharp (#) or flat (b) notes.

INTERVAL NUMBER

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

NOTE NAMES

C

D

E

F

G

A

B

Harmonizing the C major scale in thirds i.e. start on each note in turn taking every other letter of the scale until 3 notes have been accumulated e.g. C, E, G – C major; D, F, A – D minor; E, G, B, - E minor;
F, A, C – F major; G, B, D – G major; A, C, E – A minor; B, D, F – B diminished.

C MAJOR SCALE HARMONY (Ionian mode)

I

IIm

IIIm

IV

V

VIm

VIIdim

C

Dm

Em

F

G

Am

Bdim


Using the 7 chords generated from the major scale (ionian mode) there are a total of 35 chord progressions (when 3 chords are selected at one time) and these relationships have been tabulated for C major to the right.

As demonstrated by the table shown right each chord appears a total of 15 times and this includes the highlighted Bdim chord.

This diminished chord produces a big problem from a pop music point of view (rather than jazz) as the sound of this chord is considered too difficult for most listeners.

As the Bdim chord is contained in three-sevenths of the available chord progressions it leaves a limited number of usable 3 chord tricks (20 out of an original 35); hence an alternative chord is required to replace it.

The solution to the replacement of the Bdim chord is arrived at by examining the complete major scale harmony chart for all 15 key signatures (shown below) and identifying how many times a C major chord appears.

C major harmony table


C major as I, IV and V

The C major chord appears a total of three times in the 15 available key signatures:-.

This produces two available solutions to the replacement of the Bdim chord in the 15 chord progressions where it makes an appearance (see above);this BLOGoZON examines the substitution chord produced where C major appears as the number V chord in the key of F major.

The table that follows shows the major scale generated harmony (3 note scale chords) for the keys of both C major and F major with the number V chord of F major (C) highlighted.

C and F major harmony chart

If the scale chords for the key of F major are rearranged so that C major is the starting chord this is known as the harmonized C mixolydian mode; which is tabulated below:-

C mixolydian harmony chart

Thus the bVII chord of the harmonized C mixolydian mode (Bb major chord) can be used as a substitution (replacement) chord for the VIIdim of the harmonized C major scale (B diminished chord); as highlighted in the tables that follow:-

C mixolydian substitution tables

The table above can also be generated for all seven SHARP major scales as defined by the CYCLE OF FIFTHS

Cycle of fifths

Similarly the table can be produced for the FLAT major scales as defined by the CYCLE OF FOURTHS

Cycle of fourths

Again using the 7 chords generated from the C major scale (ionian mode) there are a total of 35 chord progressions (when 3 chords are selected at one time) and these relationships have been tabulated for C major to the right.

As previously demonstrated above each chord appears a total of 15 times (in the table shown right) and this now includes the substitution chord Bb.

The problem sound created by the difficult Bdim chord has been solved by replacing it (substituting) with the Bb major chord.

As the Bdim chord was contained in three-sevenths of the available chord progressions it brings the number of usable 3 chord tricks back up to 35 (where Bdim represented 15 out of the original 35 chord progressions).

C major 3 chord tricks


Every one of the 35 numerically ordered 3 CHORD TRICKS(progressions) can be re-ordered a further 6 times, which produces a total of 210 potential SONGSEEDS for each and every key signature. An example table follows for chord progression number 1, which has a generalised relationship of I, IIm, IIIm :-

Three chord trick number 1


The question is "Has any of this music theory nonsense been used to write any decent songs that both sounded good and made some money for the writer?"

Fortunately the answer is a resounding YES and as Slash is the subject of this weeks BLOGoZON the song in question is one of Guns n Roses's biggest hit records and uses the MIXOLYDIAN SEVENTH SUBSTITUTION method for the introduction/verse chord sequence.

The song in question is from their 1987 hit album Appetite for Destruction where a I, IV, bVII (D-G-Cadd9) THREE CHORD TRICK has been re-ordered to become the spectacularly succesful I, bVII, IV (D-Cadd9-G); with the I (D) chord being repeated at the end to round-up the number of bars (measures) from 6 to 8.

Progression 12 - Sweet Child O'Mine


Slash

She's got eyes of the bluest skies,
as if they thought of rain
....Zon Brookes

Appetite for Destruction


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