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Old 01-12-2014, 22:47
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Postrock has some drone influences on its sound. Emotional enforcement is based on repetition, not only of chord progression, but also melody. Postrock hardly ever contains modulation/transposition, ie playing the chorus transposed a 4th up like most poprock - One simple way to modulate key is to play the V chord in the key you want to go to then the followed by the l chord in the new key which establishes the new key.
Postrock's unique approach to tonality is a crockpot of colour notes; that is, any note that isn't the 1st, 3rd, or 5th in the diatonic scale of the key signature.
Diatonic scale is defined as a seven-note, octave-repeating musical scale comprising five whole steps and two half steps for each octave, in which the two half steps are separated from each other by either two or three whole steps.
Scale, 8 degrees…
1st – Tonic- key note
2nd – Supertonic
3rd – Mediant
4th – Subdominant
5th – Dominant
6th – Submediant
7th – Leading tone
8th – Tonic ( or Octave)

Of the 7 Modes, the Lydian's 4th Subdominant is the tonic relative to the major scale, & the interval sequence is T-T-T-s-T-T-s
Melodies can often focus on the repeated/enforcing the 2nd, 3rd and 7th of the scale. Postrock's favourite colour note, key signature/mode is undoubtedly the sharp 4th; (not flat 5th, sharp 4th. you still play a natural 5th. scale example: C D E F# G A B) it is rarely used in popular music, but postrock has jumped on it, and used it very effectively, as it is slightly dissonant but very evocative.
Postrock chords can often be very typical of the genre. A typical progression could be: I, VI, III, II. or any rearrangement of these chords. It is used by many bands, instantly I can name Sigur Ros and Explosions in the Sky as using it. Chords seem to typically move in thirds, either down or up, ie I down to VI down to III, I to III to VI, whatever.
Postrock chords are often best when they are using inversions; if you don't know inversion theory, learn it. First inversions are used a lot, and sound lovely (eg instead of a C chord being C E G, it is E G C).
suspened 2nds coming down from 3rds in a minor chord are also typical post rock melodic thing.
(sus chord) is a chord in which the (major or minor) third is omitted, replaced usually with either a perfect fourth or a major second although the fourth is far more common. The lack of a minor or a major third in the chord creates an open sound, while the tension between the fourth and fifth or second and root creates dissonance.
Each suspended chord has two inversions. Suspended second chords are inversions of suspended fourth chords, and vice versa. For example, Gsus2 (G-A-D) is the first inversion of Dsus4 (D-G-A) which is the second inversion of Gsus2 (G-A-D). The sus2 and sus4 chords both have an inversion that creates a quartal chord with two stacked perfect fourths.
in most post rock, there is a strict sticking to everything diatonic. i've not heard much post rock ever to stray into chord substitions, especially where the dominant is concerned (outside of straying into very safe keys related to the tonic for a briidge section, say. like ending a song that started in E Major in A Major).
post rock is a genre of consonance, or rather trying to sound as 'clashy' and dissonant as it is humanly possible while staying consonant (again, particular emphasis on parts of the scale where there are semitonal gaps [eg: in lydian #4 - natural 5; natural 7 to tonic])
Aside from that, pretty much just pick a key and play- remember, lots of repetition and building. Pedals are great for changing timbres, but you don't need them to do that. sixths sound great (both major and minor, depending on what mode you are playing in) and major sevenths (M7, not just like, 7) for major keys (esp when you change to the fourth and fifth of whatever key you're in), and all sevenths in the minor keys are great for building tension.
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