The purpose of this article is
to develop an awareness of the feeling of “going home”.
You could take an elastic and tether it to something. You could then stretch it to create different amounts of tension. You could hold each amount of tension for any length of time. You could release it quickly, slowly, just a little, completely, or not at all. The different levels of tension and how you release them would be endless. You would be feeling all this with the muscles in your arms.
Tension, Resolution & Theory
Tension and resolution can also be created by manipulating sound. You feel this tension and resolution with the muscles in your ears. When you give each of these feelings a unique name, you are learning Music Theory. Therefore the definition of learning Music Theory is “naming feelings of tension and resolution, and how they interact”.
It is useless to learn Music Theory unless you experience the feeling being defined. Otherwise it is just a long involved intellectual game of connect-the-dots that won’t help you play any better and may even cause you to play worse.
The focus of this article is make you aware of two different tension/resolution feelings:
- the “HOME to IV to HOME” feeling;, and,
- the “HOME to V to HOME” feeling.
“HOME to IV to HOME” and “HOME to V to HOME” are just names. If you meet somebody named Henry, the first question you ask isn’t, “Why is your name Henry?”. You just look at his face and sense the vibe of his personality. You are just being introduced to two new feelings named “HOME to IV to HOME” and “HOME to V to HOME”.
“HOME” defines the anchor to which you tether your musical elastic. “to IV” and “to V” define feelings of tension. “to HOME” is a resolution of this tension, and the one being discussed in the examples below.
Playing HOME to ? to HOME
In the examples, you are given the specific chords used to create the “HOME”, “IV” and “V” for each song. For example, in “It’s Crying Time Again”, HOME = G, IV = C, and V = D.
You are given an overall map of the core chord progression for the song with all the “HOME” locations given. The location for the “IVs” and “Vs” are also given, but as “?s”. You have to use trial and error to figure out whether each “?” is actually “IV” or “V”.
This map does not include the Intro or the Ending. It is just the core of the song. You can decide how this repeats in order to complete the song. For example, in “It’s Crying Time Again”, the entire map just repeats until the end of the song (apart from a short solo break which only uses part of the map). In “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You”, the the map contains a Verse and Chorus. After you play the initial verse/chorus given in the map, the order for the rest of the song may be different – i.e. verse/verse/chorus or, chorus/chorus/verse, etc.
As in “20 Songs To Get You Started”, you are given where to place your Capo so can play along with the recording using the Open Position Chord Shapes discussed in “Finger Weight & Movement Awareness”. You are also given a reference lyric to orient you.
The five tunes here are Classic Country. Learning tunes from this genre is an excellent way to develop a feeling for fundamental chord progressions. The melodies are singable (always sing the melody when you are figuring out the chords), and the arrangements are clean and focus on supporting the melody – therefore less to distract you from the melody and the chord progressions.