Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression
May 8, 2003 8:54 PM   Subscribe

The Mu Major Chord Outstanding guitar themed Steely Dan fan site. Learn the secret Steely Dan chord substitution!
posted by crunchburger (15 comments total)
yeah, but does anyone know the secret of the K chord?
posted by mcsweetie at 9:04 PM on May 8, 2003

Learn to play like Sonic Youth!
posted by eddydamascene at 9:13 PM on May 8, 2003

Oi. Flashbacks to music theory in college...
posted by ehintz at 9:37 PM on May 8, 2003

My Favorite Pattern of All Time. It has been used by a lot of people effectively, Steely Dan by no means invented it. Just listen to a few Coltrane solos from his modal phase (Giant Steps is a good bet) and you'll hear what I'm talking about.
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 10:26 PM on May 8, 2003

Does this mean I have to actually practice now and learn triads and such? Aw crap. Thanks crunchburger, thanks a lot!
posted by jabo at 10:38 PM on May 8, 2003

Steely Dan? Within about seven seconds of trying the G fingering (3x020x, low to high) I was playing Hayden's "Dynamite Walls (though obviously not as tabbed in my link).

Jabo: Look, if the Ramones can use triads, so can you. (/me bashes out clumsy rendition of "Blitzkreig Bop" on the acoustic guitar in my hands)
posted by arto at 11:15 PM on May 8, 2003

Great link. Thanks crunchburger! I love the Dan.
posted by timeistight at 12:02 AM on May 9, 2003

Thanks to arto's tab site link and this thread, I'm going to be up all night trying to play Steely and Coltrane triads. And anyone who can bash out the Ramones on an acoustic has my deepest respect.
posted by jabo at 12:46 AM on May 9, 2003

Thanks for this link. I've known and played sus2 chords for years, and always thought it was synonymous with add2, add9, etc. Following a link from the linked site, now I see that a sus2 chord means you add the 2 but drop the 3 - I didn't know that dropping the 3 was required.

I took piano lessons as a kid, but grew bored with the classical direction my teacher was taking me. What kept me playing, was I had a teacher at school who used to play in 1930's jazz/dance bands - she taught me a system of understanding chord symbols in sheet music, so I could improvise my own way through songs. So now, if I know how a song goes, and have the melody and chord symbols (like a "fake book"), I can generally come up with a decent playing of the song. This had the extra effect of explaining the rudiments of chord theory to me in a better way than my actual piano teacher had, and started me exploring different chords in my own playing.
posted by dnash at 9:09 AM on May 9, 2003

Not to be confused with "Variations on the Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression" by Frank Zappa
posted by GernBlandston at 9:36 AM on May 9, 2003

Nice link, thanks!

Much of my taste in music happens to relate to how it sounds "on paper" - how novel, complex, or well-formed the melodies and chords are. Also an odd time-sig geek, so (no surprise) I ate up Rush, Genesis, and Yes as a teen.

Funk Chords (guitar tabs)

gratuitous, ancient self-link complaining about an overused chord progression
posted by kurumi at 9:39 AM on May 9, 2003

These chords sound totally candy when mixed with Maj7/Add9 power chords

posted by bunnytricks at 10:48 AM on May 9, 2003

kurumi, that's a good screed on 1564. I remember defiantly singing "Closing Time" over top of "When I Come Around" and vice versa, every time they came on after the first 600 times I heard them. But 1564's got nothing (historically speaking) on 1645.
posted by soyjoy at 11:01 AM on May 9, 2003

I love "MusicFilter" as much as the next guy, but i was surprised to see this basic chord theory find its way onto the main page. I guess the perceived usefulness of its existence might go to show how under-equipped many starting acoustic/rhythm guitar players are with the knowledge of how notes connect to each other (a luxury most other instrumentalists cannot afford, as they actually read music).

Wow, was that my first snarky comment? I should take a screenshot!

I know that just by taking Theory I in college i suddenly came to understand not only a lot about triads and chord theory, but also about some of the queerer chord shapes and why some alternative tunings sound the way they do. I know that my own guitar playing is very influenced by the alternate tunings of Ani DiFranco and Peter Mulvey, many of which which tend to create a lot of half-barred major 5ths on the low end that creates dissonance against higher open strings. Essentially, they make their Mu's a different way, which in combination with their style of music makes them seem worlds apart from Steely Dan.

In a more meta-sense, this link casts an interesting light on what gives an artist a "distinctive" sound beyond just their voice and the type of music that they play. In fact, a lot of that distinction has to do with the basic element of Mu chords, which is dissonance -- some artists use dissonance a lot more than others. Some artists don't ever introduce this concept into their rhythm guitar work, choosing instead to add it with other instrumentation and lead guitars (old Beatles riffs come to mind). Does the "Mu" concept apply to the music that you like to play? How?
posted by krisis at 11:53 AM on May 9, 2003

They're touring. No sign of European dates though. I may have to go to California.
posted by Dan Brilliant at 2:40 PM on May 9, 2003

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