Sample Analysis

Let’s take a well known chord progression and give it a damn good analysis.

The progression is as follows

Section 1

Amin |Amin/G | Amin/F# | F |
Amin |Amin/G | D | E |

Section 2
A | C#min |F#min |C#min|
Bmin | E |

First things first lets take the chords apart in section 1

We have
A min = ACE
Amin/G = ACEG
Amin/F# = ACEF#
E = EG#B

If we now put these notes into alphabetical order we can see that we have ABCDEFF#GG#

Now this is too many notes to make a diatonic scale. and we have duplicates of letters. This rarely happens. As a general rule for diatonic scales there are only one of each letter with accidentals added as appropriate to the key.

Now as I can see a relationship of A to C with A appearing to be the root. This leads me to assume that C is a minor third to A thus the key is minor in tonality.  The assumed 6th and 7th notes would then be F and G however we are allowed the option of F# which could make things sound Dorian or G# which could add either a melodic or harmonic minor twist.  To begin with the safest bet would be Aeolian (natural minor 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7) over this progression. Certainly it wouldn’t hurt to try the F# and G# over the top of the D and E chords as they relate directly to those chords.

Section 2

Again lets take the chords apart.

A = AC#E

C#min = C#E G#

F#min = F# A C#

Bmin = B D F#

E = EG#B

Let’s line the notes up as before.

A B C# D E F# G#

This time we have no ambiguity in the scale or number of notes. This section is clearly in A Major. Thus we can simply play A major over the top of section 2.

Here is a demo of this in practice.


~ by Geoff Lea Guitar on October 26, 2010.

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