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minor chords attract teenagers - what else ?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by audiokid, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Some great topics happening here.

    I've been told that teenagers seem to like songs with minor chords. When I think back, I think I was like that too. Maybe these are the years we start thinking about life more. Minor chords have a mystery to them... yes?

    Are there other interesting sounds or progressions that are either age or gender related ?
  2. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    I think that there is a definite tendancy of youth towards the minor chord structure as well.

    It also seems that there is, (within my children's generation, anyway) an affinity to massive low frequency and at a rate somewhere between 80-120 bpm, with the primary rythym of a straight 4/4 back beat.

    For us... I'll assume you will fall about in my generation there audiokid... it was Zep, The Who, ELP and the like. They realized it as well. Many of their greatest hits were in minor chords.

    However, I would also point out that the kickin' rythyms of "our" music were typically not based on a straight 4/4 back beat as our older sibling's was. So I'll make a rather wide statement, that maybe the rythym progression possibly cycles over time.

  3. aqualand666

    aqualand666 Guest

    i agree that those do seem to be certain tendencies. however rythym tempo often gets exagerrated in a sense. for instance many seemingly different time signatures can fit within the context of 4/4 just as the different modes including aeolian (the minor scale) fit within ionian (the major scale). and thus you have techniques such as 'relative minors.' that and people usually tend to over complicate and glorify the use of 'unusual' time signatures. modal scales as well.

    no doubt that using truly diverse time signatures at times can be interesting, but doing it just for the sake of trying to be complex can often get ridiculous and/or unmusical. this and the modal scales are paradoxical because it can go both ways if you are referring to technicality. technical performance can definently enhance your creative style but it can also be detrimental to it. it seems to me like a lot of people do these things just to get a rise out of someone rather than for the sake of the all holy music.

    don't get me wrong, i believe in technical rigour and try to practice it myself as often as possible. but when it is used for compensation of an absence in creativity, it gets old.
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Well a lot of band like to superimpose "odd" time signatures into 4over4 time(Meshuggah, Tool). But Zeppelin actually used odd time. Try to play a 4/4 beat over "Four Sticks" (hehe). It ain't gonna happen. The intro to "Over the Hills and Far Away" is one of the most misplayed riffs ever. The timing is just difficult to nail.

    One thing that I think has become more and more exploited is the fact that kids like to hear music being done by someone their own age. So, we have acts like Kisha Chante. The girl just turned 17. Granted this girl has some great songwriters backing her but there are numerous others who are just generated from a computer program. (Ah Disney! Is there anything they won't do?)

    On the flipside, I think Newagers are big on Major add 9 chords.
  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    John Bonham was the king of syncopation, to be sure.And minor keys may indeed, be favored by the "youth", because minor keys tend to reflect a brooding emotional quality. And you have all these kids with their hormones and romantic fantasies running around getting their poor hearts broken.
    That's a recipe for a minor-key song right there!
    I've noted that it's quite different for contemporary Christian music, which seems to have mostly simple major keys. This tends to come off "pretty" and "happy". Screw 'em, I like unresolved diminisheds!
  6. aqualand666

    aqualand666 Guest

    yeah zeppelin and pink floyd's - money. and i can't heavily comment on the drums, bonham and many other drummers did some really interesting things, a lot of times though it was still in the 4/4 feel which is what made an off timing drum beat sound so much more interesting. i don't find the timing aspects of over the hills all that complicated.

    no doubt the mouseketeers or american idol is a pretty BS way to find music, people never cease to amaze me with their ignorance.

    i guess by the add 9 chords you are referring to retro acts like the strokes?
  7. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Regarding "Over the hills": Really? Try and play along with it. I think you'll be surprised. I hear too many guitarists butchering that part of the song.
  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Are The Strokes new age? :roll: I was thinking more Yanni.
  9. aqualand666

    aqualand666 Guest

    i have played along with it, many times. the only difficulty in performing the song live is getting the heavier tone right after the acoustic intro. nothing that couldn't be done in a studio anyways. i'm sure page ignores things like that every night he plays. and i can't remember distinctly the attributes of the slide playing (or even if there is any i can't recall), but it might be somewhat challenging. although page's slide playing (ie what is and what should never be) isn't all too difficult.

    i'm sorry i don't know what new-agers means, is that the four turtles who fight crime? i know what new wave is, but no luck with the other.
  10. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Mr. Page played pedal steel on that tune, not slide guitar. A whole different ball of wax. And anyone who can sit down with an instrument and make it look or sound easy is pretty good in my book.
  11. aqualand666

    aqualand666 Guest

  12. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Not that I disagree with anything here...but who/what are the artists/songs with the major chords that the youth don't listen to?

    Is it the minor chords that attract the youth or the song material? Without making a wide sweeping generalization, song with minor chords, tend to be about things young people are experiencing.

    Here's one I heard/read about that is neither age nor gender related but has to do with where you are from/live...

    Europeans taste in dance (techno, trance, etc)music seems to not involve a snare drum while Americans yearn for the snare. From my experience and tastes, this is true. I've heard lots of European dance that doesn't have a snare or where the snare isn't really prevalent and I'm left wanting more. Then I hear some American dance and when the snare comes in on the 2 and 4 it's like a musical payoff. Without it, it just sounds like it's unfinished to me. Weird.
  13. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    curiously myopic... like bach/beethoven/chopin/anybody... never used minor tonalities....
  14. Yooo...i was a teenager a couple years ago, and this is something I've been thinking about a lot lately as my own band is getting ready to step into a studio soon (not my own of course). I have found that minor keys seem to be more versitile in composition and yield more consonance. Inverted chords and 3rd in the bass sound better than in major keys. I do however love A major in a crazy way. I do agree though. I'm still pretty much a teenager, and I find that minor keys usually sound more appealing to me.

  15. aqualand666

    aqualand666 Guest

    when you refer to european dance you mean synthetic snare right, same as in rap; sampled snare?

    beethoven did use minor tonalities. bach didn't.

    i would never say the minor progressions are more versatile than major progressions. that's a horrible thing to say. and often times i credit (for the most part) anyone who uses certain tones exclusively with having some sense of a narrow mind, and not well rounded enough to create interesting and diverse forms of musical expression. although there are certain cases like with nirvana or black sabbath where they still find ways to make the minor intervals interesting song after song. although one might not consider those particular bands to be all that versatile either.
  16. GregP

    GregP Guest

    Do I have to dig out my copy of Houses of the Holy? I don't recall any pedal steel on "Over the Hills and Far Away." A lap steel of some variety maybe...

    I'd have to listen to it again, but my memory's not placing any pedal steel.
  17. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    It was stated that "What Is and What Should Never Be"...which is off the LZII album- had a slide guitar on it. That's JP on a ShoBud pedal steel. He played lots of different styles and instruments, which is why he was a first-call session player well before the LZ days.
  18. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    I'm not so sure about the minor tonality allussions, but I know that the "universal" sound of rock (not rock'n'roll, however) is the power chord. It's sound and use has changed over the decades but it expresses the anger/angst of youth. It's all about the power chord payoff - Baba O'Reilly & Won't Get Fooled Again (The Who), Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin), Rooster (Alice in Chains), Wake Me Up (When September Ends) [Green Day], add your own to the list.

    Odd time signatures are fun.

    The Ocean - Led Zep - Alternating 8/8 & 7/8
    Four Sticks - Led Zep - 5/8 verse, 6/8 other parts (Just for fun, he played with two sticks in each hand, hence the name of the song.)
    The Wait - The Pretenders - 7/8
    Tarkus - ELP - 10/8
    Money - Pink Floyd - 7/8
    Lonely Street - Kansas - 11/8, a few 13/8 and the occasional 7/8

    Bach didn't use minor tonalities? Are you nuts? Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, and Passacalia in C Minor are just two of the dozens of pieces in minor keys.

    A fun discussion...

  19. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Thank you! I thought all the pieces I learned were somehow wrong for a millisecond there.
  20. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    An earlier poster stated that Bach didn't use minor tonalities, and I started to say...that didn't sound right at all.

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