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#729187 - 08/27/22 04:33 AM [Songwriting] Moving back to different key
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B.D.Thomas Offline
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[ disclaimer: I have only a very basic knowledge on music theory and notation ]

So I have a song which starts with the chord progressions: Bb F Ab D# followed by F# C# B C# (later on F# C# D#m B)

This works nicely despite the key change.

Now at one point in the song I want to go back to the first key and can't find a way which sounds somehow acceptable.
Preferably would be a short solution, but I could also insert 4 bars or so if that's what it needs.

And tips or pointers to solutions are highly appreciated. If there's no (somehow easy) solution I'd also be happy to hear that so I can stop searching...
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#729276 - 08/27/22 05:05 PM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: B.D.Thomas]
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MarioD Offline
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B.D. there are a number of ways to get back to the Bb. Since you didn't mention of you were coming from a B or a C# chord I'll take a stab at both , the dash mean to, i.e. B-Bb means a B chord to a Bb chord:

B - Bb
B - Eb7 - Bb
B - Ebm - Bb
B - C (EITHER MAJOR OR MINOR) - F7 - Bb

C# - ANY OF THE ABOVE CHORD PROGRESSIONS
C# - C - B - Bb
C# - F# - F7 - Bb

These were just of off the top of my head. As you can see there are a number of ways to modulate to another chord progression. What that transition is depends on what type of song you are writing and most importantly what sounds good to you.

I hope this helps.

Note that I purposely stayed away from jazz chords. I passed this on your chord progressions.
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#729302 - 08/27/22 08:06 PM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: B.D.Thomas]
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MusicStudent Offline
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I read the first 4 bars as Key of Bb
The next 8 bars are Key of Db (including some major/minor substitutions)

A simple progression to take you from Db back to Bb is [G#m C#, D# F]
Try it and see what you think. Actually Scalers first suggestion out of a number of alternatives. Notice IV - V - I at the turnaround.


Edit. Opps this picture shows an interium variation I made in the voicing of the C# chord to 1st inversion. In the final version which is recorded I put it back to C# in the base, but raised the chord an octave. I was just messing with it. grin



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#729356 - 08/28/22 06:33 AM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: MarioD]
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B.D.Thomas Offline
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Originally Posted By: MarioD
B.D. there are a number of ways to get back to the Bb. Since you didn't mention of you were coming from a B or a C# chord I'll take a stab at both , the dash mean to, i.e. B-Bb means a B chord to a Bb chord:

B - Bb
B - Eb7 - Bb
B - Ebm - Bb
B - C (EITHER MAJOR OR MINOR) - F7 - Bb

C# - ANY OF THE ABOVE CHORD PROGRESSIONS
C# - C - B - Bb
C# - F# - F7 - Bb

Thanks a lot for your time to help me Marion, it's highly appreciated.
I've tried your suggestions, but while they did not sounded wrong they also didn't sound completely right in the context of the song.
But I have at least more ideas where to go.

Originally Posted By: MarioD
Note that I purposely stayed away from jazz chords. I passed this on your chord progressions.

Good choice, with jazz chords I'd be most probably completely lost blush
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#729360 - 08/28/22 06:46 AM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: MusicStudent]
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B.D.Thomas Offline
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Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
I read the first 4 bars as Key of Bb
The next 8 bars are Key of Db (including some major/minor substitutions)

A simple progression to take you from Db back to Bb is [G#m C#, D# F]
Try it and see what you think.

Thanks a lot for your time, Dan. I appreciate that you even put up an example.
Going back via "G#m C# D# F" indeed works. I'm not 100% happy with the D#, but I guess I'll find a way to adjust this to my liking.
I had already tried "C# D#m F", but the G#m is actually the important part that I didn't find.
Very good!

Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
Actually Scalers first suggestion out of a number of alternatives.

Is "Scaler" a software to find solutions for problems like this?
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#729362 - 08/28/22 06:48 AM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: B.D.Thomas]
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MusicStudent Offline
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Originally Posted By: B.D.Thomas
Is "Scaler" a software to find solutions for problems like this?


You bet it is. grin
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#729365 - 08/28/22 06:52 AM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: MusicStudent]
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MarioD Offline
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Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
Originally Posted By: B.D.Thomas
Is "Scaler" a software to find solutions for problems like this?


You bet it is. grin


It is also a very deep program with a big learning curve. Fortunately there are a ton of videos to view.

It is a great way to audition chords and leads to bring into BiaB. Scaler, Instant Chord, and BiaB are my main three programs for composition prior to going to my DAW.
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#729367 - 08/28/22 06:55 AM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: B.D.Thomas]
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MusicStudent Offline
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Quote:
I had already tried "C# D#m F", but the G#m is actually the important part that I didn't find. Very good!


The G# or Ab, is the V chord between the two keys so it is the steping off chord in the modulation. Add to that the major and minor substitution is a common path. This pic from Scaler may help. The assignment of the chord postion in the scale is based on the root note (look for the I chord)



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#729372 - 08/28/22 07:25 AM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: MusicStudent]
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B.D.Thomas Offline
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Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
The G# or Ab, is the V chord between the two keys so it is the steping off chord in the modulation. Add to that the major and minor substitution is a common path. This pic from Scaler may help. The assignment of the chord postion in the scale is based on the root note (look for the I chord)

I think I got this, thanks for the explanation. Still a lot to learn for me...

BTW, for a "MusicStudent" you know your stuff quite well grin
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#729374 - 08/28/22 07:29 AM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: B.D.Thomas]
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MusicStudent Offline
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Originally Posted By: B.D.Thomas
Still a lot to learn for me...


Me too!
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#729567 - 08/29/22 11:12 AM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: B.D.Thomas]
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Guitarhacker Offline
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One thing I have used to modulate is to use the 5th of the new key at the transition point. Actually just before the transition. It's simple but it works.
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#729619 - 08/29/22 05:02 PM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: B.D.Thomas]
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rayc Offline
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OR just do the chromatic walk between. It will provide a different sort of motion that can be interesting.
The other option is to use an instrument that allows slides and have it slide to the newie.


Edited by rayc (08/29/22 05:04 PM)
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#729659 - 08/30/22 02:35 AM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: B.D.Thomas]
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Gordon Scott Online   content
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I played around for a while with the progression, which is a nice progression BTW, but found it difficult to decide what the starting key really, so I had difficulty getting a convincing resolve.

I respelled the chords in consistent keys, swapping sharps to their equivalent flats, so bear with the following.

In the first four bars, the Bb, F and Eb suggest a key of Bb Maj, but the addition of the Ab suggests Eb Maj, however in that case one would expect the F to be Fm. Nothing wrong with that, but my mind is unsure where it's going.

The second four bars: Gb Db B Db suggests that it's modulated to Db, but again B major is not in the key, so again my brain is trying to work out where we're going. Again, nothing wrong with that.

The third four bars Gb, Db, Ebm, B also suggests Db and here the Ebm is the two-minor of the scale, probably reinforcing that.

In some respects, the progression is almost designed to unsettle things; it's actually working around the circle of fifths ... that what makes it interesting, but it leaves us unsure where to go next.

My temptation would be to precede the progression with a short intro that firmly established the starting key, so you know where to aim back, then I think it will resolve more confidently.
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#729704 - 08/30/22 08:05 AM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: MusicStudent]
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Charlie Fogle Offline
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Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
Originally Posted By: B.D.Thomas
Is "Scaler" a software to find solutions for problems like this?


You bet it is. grin


BIAB also has a solution for problems like this.

With a quick setup, the Song Form Medley Maker creates a Chord Sheet with BIAB generated Transitions that's similar in concept to the familiar Generate Chords for Intro feature. Thus, transitions can be regenerated repeatedly until a satisfactory sound is found.

The Medley Maker also allows the order of chord progression sections of the various keys to be rearranged for more possible transition possibilities. Other settings that can be changed includes the style, tempo, key, start bar, # of bars and the number of transition bars.

From the BIAB Help file: (The) "transition bars are automatic generated bars of chords inserted by BIAB to transition from one song to the other, generating an "outro" and "intro" between songs."

The setup involves saving each chord progression section of the song as its own distinct SGU file to be used to create a medley with transitions. In my example image below, I broke up the original Chord Chart into 3 sections.

Then, in the Song Form Medley Maker, each section can be appended to the Medley in any order desired, a transition from 0-16 bars can be designated between the sections and a custom SGU Chord Chart created to play the medley as a single song.

Note the title in the attached image adjusts the Song Title to reflect the order and unique name of the saved sections.


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Edited by Charlie Fogle (08/30/22 10:48 AM)
Edit Reason: Updates added
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#729795 - 08/30/22 08:48 PM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: Charlie Fogle]
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rayc Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
Originally Posted By: B.D.Thomas
Is "Scaler" a software to find solutions for problems like this?

You bet it is. grin

BIAB also has a solution for problems like this.

Nicely done Charlie...BIAB has LOTS of clever stuff that isn't frequently used by straight in & out folk like me.
Good little piece of problem solving!


Edited by rayc (08/30/22 08:48 PM)
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#729880 - 08/31/22 09:58 AM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: rayc]
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Charlie Fogle Offline
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Yes it does. Thanks for replying.

Charlie
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#732268 - 09/21/22 02:54 PM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: Gordon Scott]
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B.D.Thomas Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gordon Scott
I played around for a while with the progression, which is a nice progression BTW

Yep, that's the reason I couldn't let it go crazy

Originally Posted By: Gordon Scott

In some respects, the progression is almost designed to unsettle things; it's actually working around the circle of fifths ... that what makes it interesting, but it leaves us unsure where to go next.

My temptation would be to precede the progression with a short intro that firmly established the starting key, so you know where to aim back, then I think it will resolve more confidently.

I think that's a good idea. The first 4 chords were actually the intro, but why not write an intro to the intro?
Thanks a lot for your time and detailed analysis, I really appreciate it smile
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#732269 - 09/21/22 02:59 PM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: Charlie Fogle]
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B.D.Thomas Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
BIAB also has a solution for problems like this.


"The more I know (about BIAB), the more I realize I know nothing."

Thank you Charlie for this information!
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#732273 - 09/21/22 03:49 PM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: B.D.Thomas]
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MusicStudent Offline
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Becareful about 'correcting" that sequence to achive better resolution. The only thing you may accomplish, is that this will then sound like countless other progressions.
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#732347 - 09/22/22 03:28 PM [Songwriting] Re: Moving back to different key [Re: B.D.Thomas]
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Peters Garage Offline
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Any hint to The Medley Maker when you use BIAB for Mac?
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