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Since we're talking live looping here (and not music theory) I'd like
to mention parallel transposition. In live looping this technique is
super easy to achieve: just loop a chord and then speed/rate shift it.
Minor vs major chords will of course imply totally different scales
when transformed, but that's what makes this so creative.

A more general tip is to avoid laying down thirds into loops. Then you
leave the music open to imply the thirds in your playing, thus keeping
instant control over the major vs minor aspect of the key.

About the counterpoint thing: When you listen to any combination of
notes, or just sounds, you often hear a melody in your imagination.
These "instinctual" inner melodies are often of a counterpoint
character, so if you take the time to analyze how it relates to the
trigger sound heard you get "the tools". Again, since we're talking
live-looping traditional compositional theory won't do, as
live-looping means you have to be able to come up with the
counterpoint theme as you are playing it and creating the music, so
that's why I suggested to rather start by investigating ones own
default musical instincts. A simpler example: any rubato part played
relates to counterpoint in the way that your brain goes into a
"split-vision / multitasking" mode. This mental mode is the attitude
to grasp counterpoint on the fly.

Another example: Often when you listen a melody your imagination plays
up fitting chord changes in your mind. Now, imagine listening to a
melody and working your mind to come up with a fitting OTHER melody
(instead of the default chord experience). There you go...

I've noticed when playing with you, Rick, that you are extremely good
at all this inside the tempo domain. A known fact, in rock n roll
vocal teaching, is that the rhythm is what it is all about. Teachers
even advice students to not even try to sing in tune, just
concentrating on nailing the rhythm and its accents. "Musical" notes
will follow by automatique, that's just how we humans work.

The power of attitude is king! Remember the Miles Davis trick to play
in a different key than the music and stick with it, forcing your
musical instinct to survive in a partly hostile harmonic territory.
Another exercice to train one's brain for counterpoint hearing.

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen

On Sat, Jun 9, 2012 at 5:43 AM, Ed Durbrow <edurbrow@sea.plala.or.jp> 
> On Jun 9, 2012, at 9:10 AM, Rick Walker wrote:
> What are some tricks or strategies that you use to create either more
> complex harmony
> (as opposed to purely modal or diatonic harmony) in melodic songwriting?
> Either or … ?
> Use common tones to modulate. For example take the A in an F chord and 
> use
> it as the 7th in a B chord to modulate to E.
> To get away from model writing, try counterpoint, particularly chromatic.
> So how could you do any of this with a looper?