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Link Posted: 12/28/2007 2:57:56 AM EST
[#1]
I was actually looking some stuff up because I was interested, so I figure I'll share it with you guys:

By now you're probably familiar with the chromatic scale - A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# (of course, you could also write it with flats instead of sharps, but whatever). This is called twelve-tone equal temperament (not to be confused with twelve-tone music, which is totally different), because it divides an octave into twelve equal intervals. This is what western music is based on. Why? I don't know. People a lot better qualified than me decided on that.

But twelve-tone equal temperament is not the only system out there. Another way of doing things is, say, 24-tone equal temperament, though you'll also hear of 22-tone, 31-tone, even 88-tone.

An octave, as seen earlier in this thread, is the doubling of the frequency of a sound. Standard-pitch A, for example, 440Hz, would have its octave at 880Hz. The ratio between tones in any even-tempered tuning is a constant. As in, the frequency of A# divided by the frequency of A in 12-TET is the same as the frequency of B divided by A# and of C divided by B and so on. It turns out that in any N-tone even-tempered tuning, this ratio is the Nth root of 2 (that is, the number X such that X to the N is 2). In 12-TET this is about 1.059. In 24-TET this is about 1.029, which also happens to be the square root of the 12-TET ratio.

Back to notes. In 12-TET, as we said, there are 12 steps from root to octave. These 12 steps are called semitones. Various numbers of semitones up give intervals, like we discussed earlier - seven semitones up is a perfect fifth, four semitones up is a major third. You may recognize these, as well - a root, a major third, and a perfect fifth make up a major chord. Throw in a major seventh (11 semitones up from root, 1 semitone below octave) and you get a major seventh chord.

However, in other scales, you get even more intervals. In 24-TET, instead of being divided into 12 semitones, the octave is divided into 24 quarter tones. Two quarter tones are equal to a semitone. So you still can have a major third, eight quarter tones up from root, and a perfect fifth, 14 quarter tones up, but how about a neutral third, seven quarter tones up? Neutral seconds and sevenths are also possible, as are other sounds.

Most instruments these days won't do quarter-tones. Fretless strings, trombones, programmable keyboards, sure, but not your regular guitar, not without a new fingerboard. So, what's the use? Well, there is a major genre of music that uses quarter-tones (actually, microtones, but quarter-tones are the best approximation), as well as a rather odd interval system for scales. Tomorrow, if I remember, I'll talk about Arabic music, quarter-tones, and their ajnas/maqabat scales.
Link Posted: 12/29/2007 4:28:04 PM EST
[#2]
This is great stuff, thank you for posting it!
Link Posted: 1/1/2008 9:34:57 PM EST
[#3]

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:

Okay, my next question, can you use the scale for any given note in the chord that you're playing over. For example an open G has (from low to high) G-B-D-G-B-G in it. Can a player also use B & D scales as well in this situation? I guess the B & D would be called the harmony notes, right?


Well you want to follow the scale of the root note only. Any G chord will have a root note of a G.


I knew that I got that idea from somewhere. I was re-watching the video of the Dear Giutar Hero column with Leslie West of Mountian in the Guitar World Holiday 2007 CD ROM. So anyway, question 4 dealt with the song "Theme From An Imaginary Western" & in the answer he went into some detail about when He was recording the solo. The song was writen in A & so He started to play a solo in A. It was either the producer or the songwriter (I'm not sure which) told Leslie that every key has a Relative Minor which in that case was F# Minor. So, that's how that solo was played, in F# Minor.

I Googled & came up with this Wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_key
Link Posted: 1/4/2008 10:12:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: swj0001] [#4]
How about major scales and their modes?

A major scale (do-re-mi, etc.) can be figured out in several ways.

First, by the interval pattern, or the pattern of half-steps (1/2) and whole (w) steps between the notes:

C---D---E----F---G---A---B---C
--W--W--1/2--W---W--W--1/2

Using that pattern, you can build a major scale off of any note.

F - G - A - Bb - C - D - E - F
B - C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A# - B
Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - C - D - Eb


Second, if you know the key signature, you can build a scale by adding sharps or flats to the correct notes.

Key of C - no sharps, no flats,
Key of F - 1 flat - Bb
Key of Bb - 2 flats - Bb, Eb
Key of Eb - 3 flats - Bb, Eb, Ab
Key of Ab - 4 flats - Bb, Eb, Ab, Db
Key of Db - 5 flats - Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb *or* Key of C# - 7 sharps - F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, E#, B#
Key of Gb - 6 flats - Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb  *or* Key of F# - 6 sharps - F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, E#
Key of Cb - 7 Flats - Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb, Fb *or* Key of B - 5 sharps - F#, C#, G#, D#, A#
Key of E - 4 sharps - F#, C#, G#, D#
Key of A - 3 sharps - F#, C#, G#
Key of D - 2 shaprs - F#, C#
Key of G - 1 sharp - F#

These are presented in the order of the circle of 4ths - lots of very cool patterns here. For example, notice how as we go up in 4ths, we simply add a flat to the key signature. And once we get to the 'sharp' side, we simple take away sharps. See of you can find some more patterns here.


I'll post more on the modes later.



 




Link Posted: 1/7/2008 7:47:11 AM EST
[#5]

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:

Okay, my next question, can you use the scale for any given note in the chord that you're playing over. For example an open G has (from low to high) G-B-D-G-B-G in it. Can a player also use B & D scales as well in this situation? I guess the B & D would be called the harmony notes, right?


Well you want to follow the scale of the root note only. Any G chord will have a root note of a G.


I knew that I got that idea from somewhere. I was re-watching the video of the Dear Giutar Hero column with Leslie West of Mountian in the Guitar World Holiday 2007 CD ROM. So anyway, question 4 dealt with the song "Theme From An Imaginary Western" & in the answer he went into some detail about when He was recording the solo. The song was writen in A & so He started to play a solo in A. It was either the producer or the songwriter (I'm not sure which) told Leslie that every key has a Relative Minor which in that case was F# Minor. So, that's how that solo was played, in F# Minor.

I Googled & came up with this Wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_key



F# minor and A major are essentially the same scale, just different starting notes.
The relative minor of every scale is the same eight notes as the major scale, but starting on the note a minor third below.  So, take C major for instance.  If you begin on the note a minor third below C, which is A, and play the notes of a C major scale you are playing an A minor scale.  D minor is, of course, the saddest key of all.  

Really for most rock-n-roll guitar solo type stuff that most here seem to be talking about you are going to sound better to yourself playing more of a pentatonic scale, or "blues" scale.  As the name suggests, a pentatonic scale has five notes.  The tonic, the flat third, the fourth, the fifth, and the dominant seventh.  In the key of C, these would be C, E flat, F, G, and B flat.  Then you can add in "blue" notes, like F#/Gflat.  

I'm a keyboard player, so I may have a different perspective to put on some of this.  
I've had many, many years of music theory.  

This is a cool thread.  I would've loved to have had something like this back in my high school rock band days,    


Link Posted: 2/4/2008 6:34:32 PM EST
[#6]

Originally Posted By mattimeo:

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:
Tag. I learned a bit of the basics from my friend and have been self-teaching a little bit.

Do they make a "music theory for dummys" book?


They probably do, but I'm not familiar with it. I self taught myself on theory. I'm sure we'd be able to help you out in this thread more than a book will.


They actually do, and it's not a half-bad book. (I have a copy.) The included CD is pretty well setup to give you an idea of what the author is talking about in each chapter. It would definitely help to have someone to bounce questions off of for some of the material, but it really shines as refresher to someone who hasn't touched theory in years. I'd recommend it to anyone in combination with this thread, honestly.



Linky?
Link Posted: 2/8/2008 2:50:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: BigD55] [#7]
check this page out for all scales    www.all-guitar-chords.com   they have scales too. you tube has a lot of music to learn from too.
Link Posted: 5/4/2008 7:55:08 PM EST
[#8]

Originally Posted By dog-meat:
Here is where the roman numerals come from.


Take a C scale, the white notes on a piano keyboard



1-2-3-4-5-6-7
C-D-E-F-G-A-B


A chord is basically the root (1) 3rd and 5th of the scale

C-D-E-F-G-A-B

Now, make a grid using the C scale notes like this:


7 B-C-D-E-F-G-A
6 A-B-C-D-E-F-G
5 G-A-B-C-D-E-F
4 F-G-A-B-C-D-E
3 E-F-G-A-B-C-D
2 D-E-F-G-A-B-C
1 C-D-E-F-G-A-B
   1 2 3 4 5 6 7

and going from bottom to top, you get seven different scales, all built from the notes of the C scale.

If go go through each of those scales, and pick out the 1, 3, and 5. You get the different chords that he's calling the I V IV, root dominant, subdominant, etc. of the key of C.

7 B-C-D-E-F-G-A
6 A-B-C-D-E-F-G
5 G-A-B-C-D-E-F
4 F-G-A-B-C-D-E
3 E-F-G-A-B-C-D
2 D-E-F-G-A-B-C
1 C-D-E-F-G-A-B
   1 2 3 4 5 6 7


1=C-E-G
2=D-F-A
3=E-G-B
4=F-A-C
5=G-B-D
6=A-C-E
7=B-D-F


It is also worth noting (bad pun) that the I, IV and V chords are the only major chords you can play in that key without using accidentals. Accidentals are additional sharps and flats not included in the key signature.

The II, III and VI chords are all minor chords.
The VII chord is diminished.
Link Posted: 5/4/2008 8:33:24 PM EST
[#9]
Here's an interesting concept:  To play quarter tone music,  just have two guitar players tune their instruments a quarter tone apart,  and play their own parts as required.

Has it been done?

Or,  for one player,  a double neck guitar,  each a six string,  tuned a quarter tone apart. But he'd have to be mad fast in switching between necks!


A custom fingerboard could be cut by any shop that uses computer-generated fingerboard
scales and /or CNC slotting.   It would be an extension of the standard scale lengths,  but with the nut end being the start of the cut sequence for the 12th slot.  (Technically, the 12th
slot would be the cut-thru, defining the nut position.)

CJ
Link Posted: 5/4/2008 8:50:49 PM EST
[#10]

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Here's an interesting concept:  To play quarter tone music,  just have two guitar players tune their instruments a quarter tone apart,  and play their own parts as required.

Has it been done?

Or,  for one player,  a double neck guitar,  each a six string,  tuned a quarter tone apart. But he'd have to be mad fast in switching between necks!


A custom fingerboard could be cut by any shop that uses computer-generated fingerboard
scales and /or CNC slotting.   It would be an extension of the standard scale lengths,  but with the nut end being the start of the cut sequence for the 12th slot.  (Technically, the 12th
slot would be the cut-thru, defining the nut position.)

CJ


Actually, the current way semitone fret positions are calculated is position of a fret is (s being total scale length, x being fret distance, n is fret number) x = s - (s/(2^(n/12))) (IIRC). This is because the ratios are based on the 12th root of 2. If you replace that with the 24th root of 2, for x = s - (s/(2^(n/24))), you can get quarter-tone frets without having to transpose the scale. But I think it'd work out around the same.

You could also have doubled strings, one toned a quarter-tone apart.
Link Posted: 5/19/2008 2:13:33 PM EST
[#11]

Originally Posted By Quintin:
Good thread.

I remember how to read "normal" sheet music, from my band days back in middle and high school, but guitar stuff is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.  I've been picking up Guitar World mags and the way the sheet music is written in the back of the book is totally alien to me, but I'm sure it's second hand to a guitarist.  Wanna break it down for me?


It's called "tablature" - and it doesn;t give you the timing of the notes, just the string and fret, (and technique) to play them.  There should be a tab key somewhere in the magazine...
Link Posted: 5/23/2008 6:08:13 PM EST
[#12]
Link Posted: 5/25/2008 12:19:44 PM EST
[#13]
Hemi, are you tuning to standard E? I've always downtuned to B, but I'm pretty sure all the same theories apply. All my scales seem to work.
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 7:54:20 PM EST
[#14]
Interestingly, before Bach’s time, there weren’t many keys used.   His, “The Well-Tempered Clavier” is a collection of solo keyboard music, preludes and fugues, in all 24 major and minor keys, composed "for the profit and use of musical youth desirous of learning, and especially for the pastime of those already skilled in this study".  Classical music and jazz was, and is, written in all keys.  

I can remember sitting in the pit band for “Three Penny Opera” in college.  The music should have been written in the key of E (4 sharps), but the composer wrote it in C and just wrote in all the accidentals.  No idea why……..

I’ve played classical music in all kinds of keys.  Sometimes it seems like the composer screws around with the key signature just for the fun of it.  

Most of the jazz I’ve come across is in Bb, C, Db, D, Eb, F, Gb, G and Ab.  If you can’t improvise in all those keys, you’re gonna look like a total doofus sooner or later.  Also, you have to know the changes for all the standards in every key, since you never know what the leader is going to call.  I used to play jam sessions with a guy who liked to call standard jazz pieces in weird keys.  Trying to play an up-tempo piece in the key of B Natural is no fun.  

Now, popular music seems to be back to pre-Bach conditions.  Few keys and simple, repetitive chords.  There’s a good reason for that.  If anybody’s interested, I’ll explain.  
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 9:43:50 PM EST
[#15]
Sure, go ahead and explain.
Link Posted: 10/9/2008 7:34:06 AM EST
[#16]
Three reasons (quick and dirty version):

1.  People used to be able to go to clubs and concerts cheap. There was lots of public transportation – trolleys – available.  Frequent outdoor concerts in public park band shells.  Good music available for pocket change.  
Then, the oil and automobile companies bought the trolley companies, scrapped the trolleys and tore up the tracks.  No more cheap transportation?  Gotta buy a car.  Gotta put gas in the car.  Huge profits for the oil and auto companies.

2.  A few large broadcasting companies started buying up the small, local stations.  While the small stations had been playing a mix of music – classical, big band, country, jazz – the big corps gradually switched to the “top 40” format.  Just play the most popular stuff.  Don’t make the music too technical.  Stick to “lowest common denominator” music.  

3.  The record companies noticed that it was cheaper to hire and record a guitar player who thought he could sing, a bass player and a drummer than a big band or an orchestra.  (DUH!!)  They pushed their new stars into top-40 status through a process known as “Payola”.  They paid the DJs or gave them drugs so the right songs would get played.  

After a while, kids growing up almost never heard anything except what the top-40 stations played.  There was nothing else on the radio.  If you don’t hear anything except 3 chords and a loud beat, you think that’s good music.  If you never hear a modulation or dynamics or a 9th chord, you don’t miss it.  

Sorry to blather on like this.  I’m just a 62 year old guy with 2 degrees in music and an ax to grind.  I never listen to “pop” music if I can help it.  I don’t listen to the radio.  Hell, the radio antenna in my car isn’t even connected!  
Link Posted: 10/29/2008 6:45:06 PM EST
[#17]

Some of my upper-level physics students (in high school) call music theory their "hard class".
Link Posted: 2/18/2009 2:02:41 AM EST
[#18]
Originally Posted By KS_Physicist:

Some of my upper-level physics students (in high school) call music theory their "hard class".


That's because it's difficult to grasp, especially when you study it at the university level. It's very abstract.

There's a reason why all the gifted kids are/were in the high school band.

I've always been a music geek. My undergrad degree is in music theory, although my profession for more than 20 years now has been software engineer.

I guess that makes me an ubergeek.
Link Posted: 5/10/2009 8:22:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: MTC] [#19]
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 9:23:35 AM EST
[#20]
Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:
Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
I know the open E & G chords. I also know the minor pentatonic & blues scales. I'm trying to learn this mini poster that came in whatever issue of Guitar World that had Trivium in it back before Dime got shot & Matt Heafy was still playing Les Paul Customs. I'm still working on the open chords in phase 1.

I guess my biggest problem is knowing what scales to play over a given chord. Do you just play the scale with the same name as the chord? I've also heard something about playing the scale that is the major this or the minor that, but I don't understand that either.


You can play any scale, as long as its in the same tonal scale as the rhythm.

If you're playing a C chord, then you want to play a C major scale pentatonic lick. So and and so forth.


I hope you guys don't mind me jumping in, but I had a question about this. I've heard this before and don't quite grasp it... So if a person is trying to improvise a lead over someone else's rhythm, do they need to change, well, I guess I'll call them "scale patterns" and play the scale that corresponds to the chord being played? Ie: play the G major pentatonic over a G chord and then switch to the D major pentatonic over the D chords, etc. Or can you just stay in the Major pentatonic scale the corresponds to the overall key signature of the song? ie: the song is in G, so you stay in the G scale even while other chords are being played...

Link Posted: 8/5/2009 8:20:02 PM EST
[#21]
Not theory here,  but I've learned that a very good way for me to pick up chord progressions (at least) is to try to find a video of someone playing it who's LEFT handed.  (Or find a real live left handed player to learn from.)



For some reason it's much easier for me to pick up the fingerings and chord shapes from a mirror image than it is to watch another right handed player.



Does this happen for any of you, too?





CJ
Link Posted: 10/2/2009 1:08:14 AM EST
[#22]
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Not theory here,  but I've learned that a very good way for me to pick up chord progressions (at least) is to try to find a video of someone playing it who's LEFT handed.  (Or find a real live left handed player to learn from.)

For some reason it's much easier for me to pick up the fingerings and chord shapes from a mirror image than it is to watch another right handed player.

Does this happen for any of you, too?


CJ


I usually don't need to see it to know what they are doing. Years of ear training give one a very good ear for harmony. If I do need to watch, it's usually only to see the exact chord voicing they are using.
Link Posted: 10/2/2009 6:32:59 AM EST
[#23]
I can assure you, I'm not on THAT level.   Yet.   I may never get there.



It's funny:  I can tune to A-440 by ear to within a fraction of 1 Hz (because the sound of an A-440 tuning fork clamped between my teeth is burned into my brain)

but ask me what key something's being played in, or what chord is being played,  and it's a guessing game.    Yet I started to play in 1984.  



I seem to have a very poor "chord sound memory".

CJ
Link Posted: 10/3/2009 1:01:10 AM EST
[#24]
Guitars have a certain intonation that eventually becomes clear. After a while, it's easy to spot certain open chords such as G, D, and E. Once you spot any of those with your ear, you can deduce the rest of the chords and the key based on the harmonic progression.

They really drill that crap into your head in music school. I studied harmony for 8 years, 3 in high school. After a while, it becomes second nature.

Add to that modal and tonal counterpoint, and the entire picture become clear.

Then you can really appreciate the masters, such as Beethoven. They make one feel very small.
Link Posted: 1/17/2010 1:21:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: fatk1d] [#25]
Can we talk minor pentatonic scale for a moment?  Let me assure you that I'm a total beginner and so some of the terms that I'm using may not even make sense in the context of the question being asked.  If this is the case, I welcome correction.

Let's consider the E Natural Minor Scale ...  Based on the fact that the scale is derived by the using the follow pattern of tones:  W   1/2  W   W   1/2   W   W, I can derive the notes in the E minor scale:

E, F#, G, A, B, C, D, E

The tonic is E, the dominant is B.  So, I believe the minor pentatonic scale in E is a subset of those notes, right?  In other words, it would be:  E,  G,  A,  C,  D ... ?  (CAGED)

Why then do the graphics showing the frets for this scale on the web indicate that the notes are:  E,  G,  A,  B,  D, E?  What the heck?  I thought the only notes that made up a pentatonic scale were C, A, G, E, D?  Where does this B come from and why isn't it C instead?
Link Posted: 1/26/2010 12:02:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: drboomboom] [#26]
The E G A B D E is the pentatonic based on E, the C A G E D (actually C D E G A C) is the pentatonic based on C.

Hi guys, great stuff here. I'm a bass player, that's where the name drboomboom started, I play "boom boom." But I'm also a gun nut.

Here are some tricks I've learned.

A diatonic scale, as used in western music, comes from nature, though a few of the notes have been "tuned" a bit so you could play different keys on the same instrument. But the diatonic scale is:
do re mi fa sol la ti do  the "eee" sounds, mi and ti, are a half step under the next note. In other words: do W re W mi H fa W sol W la W ti H do. W is whole step H is half step.

It's useful to think of it as a continuum: do W re W mi H fa W sol W la W ti H do W re W mi H fa W sol W la W ti H do W re W mi H fa W sol W la W ti H  etc.

In Nashville, where I live we call do 1, re 2 etc. so we just say 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1.

Now, that pattern works for any key, so it's important to know the keys. Here's a great trick for that:

The sharp keys, the keys that use sharps are: G D A E B F# and C# to remember that: Give Dad An Empty Bottle For Christmas.
The sharps in order are: F# C# G# D# A# E# B# to remember that: For Christmas Give Dad An Empty Bottle.
So, want to know the key of E? Give Dad An Empty...four sharps. What are they? For Christmas Give Dad An Empty Bottle...F# C# G# D#. So the E scale is E F# G# A B C# D# E
Want to know the key of F#? Give Dad An Empty Bottle For...six sharps. What are they? For Christmas Give Dad An Empty.F# C# G# D# A# E# build the scale the same way.

The same works for the flat keys. F Fb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb to remember that: Fat Boys Eat And Doctors Go Crazy
The flats in order are: Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb Fb to remember that: Boys Eat And Doctors Go Crazy Fast
Want the key of Ab? Fat Boys Eat And...four sharps...Boys Eat And Doctors...Be Eb Ab Db

Then chords:
Build a chord on the key of its name, no matter what key you are playing in. In other words, if you are in the key of E, still  you build the A chord as if in the key of A. (that's one way we think of it in Nashvillle, also you can build a scale of chords as shown before.)

Major 1 3 5
Minor 1 3b 5
diminished 1 3b 5b
augmented 1 3 5#

Want a B diminished? What's the key of B? Give Dad An Empty Bottle...For Christmas Give Dad An...F# C# G# D# A# so the B scale is B C# D# E F# G# A# B
diminished is 1 3b 5b flats "take away" sharps...so B D F

Extended chords are built the same way.

Major 7: 1 3 5 7
Dominant 7 (garden variety seventh chord) 1 3 5 7b
Minor 7: 1 3b 5 7b
Ninth 1 3 5 7b 2   (two is the same as nine in the continuum...123456712 or 123456789)
Eleventh 1 3 5 7b 9 11 (eleven is the same as four)
Thirteenth 1 3 5 7b 9 11 13 (thirteen is the same as six)

Make a ninth a major ninth chord by taking the flat off the seventh. Make a minor ninth by flatting the seventh.

Half diminished seventh also known as minor seven flat five chord: 1 3b 5b 7b

The wierd chord: fully diminshed seven 1 3b 5b 7bb. you double flat the seven LOL. That's the garden variety diminshed chord....the tying her to the railroad tracks chord :)

Jazz Chords, The name usually tells you what it is:
Eb9b5 It's an Eb ninth with the fifth also flatted. Fat Boys Eat...Boys Eat And. Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
1 3 5b 7b 9 or Eb G Bbb Db F  

That's the way we look at it in the Nashville studios. Hope that helps.

God bless the troops, veterans, LEO's and sheepdogs. God bless the gun owners.

Mike
Link Posted: 3/3/2010 11:57:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: Greenhorn] [#27]
Here's something interesting that most people probably don't know.

Did you know that, for example, F# is NOT the same as Gb?  If you are playing in the key of G major and are playing the leading tone (F#) which leads to the tonic G, that pitch will be slightly sharper than if you were to play a Gb as the third of a Eb minor chord.    It doesn't just go for thirds of minor chords and leading tones, of course.

Serious musicians know this, and adjust their pitch slightly depending on the key they're playing in.  For string players, this means adjusting the finger position slightly, and for woodwind players like myself, it means altering the embouchure slightly.
Link Posted: 3/22/2010 8:30:54 PM EST
[#28]
Originally Posted By Greenhorn:
Here's something interesting that most people probably don't know.

Did you know that, for example, F# is NOT the same as Gb?  If you are playing in the key of G major and are playing the leading tone (F#) which leads to the tonic G, that pitch will be slightly sharper than if you were to play a Gb as the third of a Eb minor chord.    It doesn't just go for thirds of minor chords and leading tones, of course.

Serious musicians know this, and adjust their pitch slightly depending on the key they're playing in.  For string players, this means adjusting the finger position slightly, and for woodwind players like myself, it means altering the embouchure slightly.


Greenhorn, what instrument do you play?  I'm a third-year flute student at a University in FL.  

Yay for enharmonics!  Have French, Italian, and German 6th chords been covered yet?  Those add a nice sound.
Essentially, a German 6th chord is built on scale degree 6 of that chord, adding a M3, P5, and A6 to the chord.  Italian 6ths include a M3 and A6, and French include M3, P4 and A6.

These chords usually resolve to some form of I or i, and add a really special color to the mix.  
Link Posted: 3/22/2010 9:34:39 PM EST
[#29]
I'm making an effort...a real one...to work past my limitations.



I'm back at guitar lessons and almost literally rebuilding from lesson number one.  Well, not quite, as my physical playing ability is well developed,

but my repertoire is virtually non-existent.   I describe it as "My rut is very narrow and very deep."



And, to make matters either better or worse,  at the SAME time I'm also learning to play both violin AND cello!   So I'm actually learning to play three

totally different instruments at one time.



What I find most interesting is that, for me at least,  despite having played guitar for, in total, 25 years now,  NONE of it transfers to violin or cello.  

I am as much a total beginner at these instruments as any kid who's just picked up his first instrument and gone to his first lesson in his life.



The only skill that transfers is that I at least can tell whether or not I'm in tune and playing in good intonation.  The rest?  Zip!  Nothing!  No transfer of

knowledge or skills applies!



For me, anyway.



What makes this the case for me is the difference between the guitar being tuned in fourths (plus one major third) and stringed instruments are tuned in fifths.

It totally blows the fingering.





CJ


Link Posted: 3/23/2010 9:06:21 AM EST
[#30]
Originally Posted By LARtwenty:
Originally Posted By Greenhorn:
Here's something interesting that most people probably don't know.

Did you know that, for example, F# is NOT the same as Gb?  If you are playing in the key of G major and are playing the leading tone (F#) which leads to the tonic G, that pitch will be slightly sharper than if you were to play a Gb as the third of a Eb minor chord.    It doesn't just go for thirds of minor chords and leading tones, of course.

Serious musicians know this, and adjust their pitch slightly depending on the key they're playing in.  For string players, this means adjusting the finger position slightly, and for woodwind players like myself, it means altering the embouchure slightly.


Greenhorn, what instrument do you play?  I'm a third-year flute student at a University in FL.  

Yay for enharmonics!  Have French, Italian, and German 6th chords been covered yet?  Those add a nice sound.
Essentially, a German 6th chord is built on scale degree 6 of that chord, adding a M3, P5, and A6 to the chord.  Italian 6ths include a M3 and A6, and French include M3, P4 and A6.

These chords usually resolve to some form of I or i, and add a really special color to the mix.  


I play the clarinet, though unfortunately I haven't played it much since I left college.

Link Posted: 6/14/2010 5:42:23 PM EST
[#31]
Originally Posted By mattja:
Originally Posted By KS_Physicist:

Some of my upper-level physics students (in high school) call music theory their "hard class".


That's because it's difficult to grasp, especially when you study it at the university level. It's very abstract.

There's a reason why all the gifted kids are/were in the high school band.

I've always been a music geek. My undergrad degree is in music theory, although my profession for more than 20 years now has been software engineer.

I guess that makes me an ubergeek.


I've placed IT personnel for many years. I always sell the music degree as a very positive degree to possess for IT.
Link Posted: 6/15/2010 2:34:01 AM EST
[#32]
Originally Posted By Lion_Dog:
Originally Posted By mattja:
Originally Posted By KS_Physicist:

Some of my upper-level physics students (in high school) call music theory their "hard class".


That's because it's difficult to grasp, especially when you study it at the university level. It's very abstract.

There's a reason why all the gifted kids are/were in the high school band.

I've always been a music geek. My undergrad degree is in music theory, although my profession for more than 20 years now has been software engineer.

I guess that makes me an ubergeek.


I've placed IT personnel for many years. I always sell the music degree as a very positive degree to possess for IT.


Interesting. It seems today that it's very difficult to get into the field without a CS or IT degree. It's not like it was when I first started in the late 80's.

Of course, so many kids here have CS degrees it's not difficult for companies to require it. I know from experience not having one has made my life more difficult, even though I probably have what is equal to a minor in CS.
Link Posted: 8/16/2011 8:57:00 PM EST
[#33]
Don't know that I can add to the theory, but I'll tell you WHY you should learn theory.  

Because there are so many fewer things you have to know/remember when you know theory.  

If you know what an arpeggio is, then you only have to know "arpeggion in C" instead of C-E-G-C-G-E-C.  Likewise, if you know the song is a I-vi-ii-V progression, you already know all the chords. In any key.

I taught myself guitar from a Mel Bay guitar book that was loaded with chord theory.  So I learned about relative minors, and first and second inversions, when I was learning how to play the chords themselves.  It made everything easier the rest of my musical life.

I started playing (bass) in rock bands in high school.  Rock is loaded with the same progressions.  Because I knew the progessions, scales and arpeggios, I could hear a rock song once and play it correctly.  Drove the other guys in the bands nuts, and it gave me a reputation for being able to play anything after hearing it once.  I got to play in any band I wanted to be in. I was THE bass player. Because I knew progressions, scales and arpeggios.
Link Posted: 9/1/2011 6:37:37 PM EST
[#34]
Posted by Greenhorn:
Did you know that, for example, F# is NOT the same as Gb? If you are playing in the key of G major and are playing the leading tone (F#) which leads to the tonic G, that pitch will be slightly sharper than if you were to play a Gb as the third of a Eb minor chord. It doesn't just go for thirds of minor chords and leading tones, of course.

Serious musicians know this, and adjust their pitch slightly depending on the key they're playing in. For string players, this means adjusting the finger position slightly, and for woodwind players like myself, it means altering the embouchure slightly.


That’s true if you’re playing in an all-wind band or orchestra, not so much in a group with keyboards and/or guitars.  If the keyboard is playing a V chord in the key of G (D-F#-A) and you have an F# (G# on the clarinet), you’d better be in tune with the keyboard.  

Trust your ears.
Link Posted: 9/15/2011 9:51:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: cmjohnson] [#35]
I've been really good about practicing and learning since I started taking lessons with the new teacher.  It's taken me a long way in a short


time.  I'm starting to get it.





I'm up to the point where we are starting to learn the chords that are built into any specific scale.





For example,  the C Major/A Minor scale:





C D E F G A B C





Chords (Consisting of root, 3rd, and 5th) that are built into that scale:





C E G


D F A


E G B


F A C


G B D


A C E


B D F
However, there's more to it than that.  





The sequence of the scale from C back to C is
Those are steps between the notes of the scale.  Whole step between C and D,  and between D and E, and half step E and F,


whole step between F and G,  whole step between G and A,  whole step between A and B,  half step between B and C.





Graphically,  use one dash as a half step.  Two dashes are a whole step.





C––D––E-F––G––A––B-C





It's often written as 2212221,   denoting the number of half steps between notes.   This is a pretty useful and simple way to explain the intervals


of any specific scale, actually.





Now, on the guitar,  we need to know the intervals,  and probably learning thirds is most important of all of them, because they're what you build chords out of.



I would encourage any guitar player, or for that matter, any player of any instrument, to learn the intervals inside and out so that he does not have to

try to translate them to "how many notes do I move now".  



The same note is a unison.

Up one note, that's a minor second.

Up two notes, major second.

Up three notes, minor third

Up four notes, major third

Up five notes, fourth

Up six notes, minor fifth

Up seven notes, perfect fifth

Up eight notes, minor sixth

Up nine notes, major sixth

Up 10 notes, minor seventh

Up 11 notes, major seventh

Up 12 notes, an octave, back to the root note in a higher register.



It would be a good skill to learn,  when someone asks you to go up a minor seventh,  to know that you have to only go up 10 notes.

Learn all the intervals.



It will also make understanding chords much easier.
From C to D,  which a whole step, you start at the root C and go up two notes (half steps) to D.  This interval is a "second".    You now need to move from D to E, which is another whole step.  Two more notes up.    That's four notes from the C.





Thirds come in two flavors:  Minor thirds, and Major thirds.   A minor third has three half steps in it,  and a major third has four half steps in it.
So, knowing this little bit of information,  from C to E is a MAJOR third as there are FOUR half steps between the two notes.





We have now established the first two notes in the first chord to be made from the C major scale.     We will end up with C E G,


which is a C chord, but we haven't determined what variety of C chord it is yet.
The next note of interest in the first chord to be spelled out of the scale is  the G.





Starting from the second note of the chord, which is the E,  it's half a step to F and a whole step to G.    Or,  THREE steps.





What's three steps?





A MINOR third.





So,  to make this C, E, G chord,  you start  with a C, go up a MAJOR third to the E, and then go up a MINOR third to the G.





A three note chord which follows the pattern of root-up a major third-up a minor third is a MAJOR chord.  





This chord is thus a C Major chord.   Hardly surprising, is it?  We know this is a C Major scale.
Now, at this time,  I want to address the OTHER kinds of chords you can spell out using only the first, third, and fifth scale tones


in this scale.





A major chord, as we have seen,  is a root plus a major third plus a minor third.





A MINOR chord is a root note plus a MINOR third plus a MAJOR third.       Root,  up THREE half notes, then up FOUR half notes.





Major and minor chords have the same root and same fifth,  but in the major, the third is a major third, and in a minor, the third


is a minor third.  





Finally,  there's the diminished chord.   This is the root tone plus a minor third plus ANOTHER minor third.    The interval between the first note of the


chord and the third note is just six, not seven, half notes.      Its spelling form is  root,  minor third,  minor fifth.
You can now use this information to easily spot which chords will be major, which will be minor, and which will be diminished.





Keep this handy for reference:






C––D––E-F––G––A––B-C





D-F-A:  Minor third and major third.    So the chord is a D MINOR chord.


E G B:  Minor third and major third.    The chord is E Minor.



F A C:  Major third and minor third.    The chord is F Major.



G B D: Major third and minor third.     The chord is G Major.



A C E:  Minor third and major third.    The chord is A minor.



B D F:  Minor third and minor third.     The chord is B DIMINISHED.
So, by this fairly simple bit of analysis, we now know that the seven basic chords that are built right into the C Major scale are:





C Major


D Minor


E Minor


F Major


G Major


A Minor


B Diminished
Now, there is also an AUGMENTED chord, which consists of a root note, a major third, and another major third, but it does not appear


in either the major or minor scales.   It does appear in the harmonic minor scale, which is generally taught after learning the basic major and minor, pentatonic, blues, and diatonic scales.
CJ
 
Link Posted: 10/28/2011 8:44:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: angelfire] [#36]
Dear Hemi
I am a classically trained cellist.  It is an extreme joy for me to  waft in behind some truly talented guitarists.  

I am very familiar with the table of  Fifths  but truly challenged musically speaking when things go into G Clef

Though I can handle a bass viol nicely... i tried a bass guitar and FRETS  are painful for me. I swapped to a fretless bass and  with the help of a truly great guitarist I am able to play really rudimentary tunes on the jazz bass. He modified the bass stings to replicate a cello!!!
Really fun to play.

Sir I am truly chord challenged  And being a one note 4 string wonder... I ... am less of a person than the 6 to 12 string masters.

I really want to learn about chords and how to play. strum. pick a 6 string.
Any advice would be much appreciated.


ETA I need something more basic than what CJ posted
Link Posted: 10/28/2011 9:10:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: cmjohnson] [#37]
Chord challenged?
Start simple:
The notes of the C major scale are:
C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C
C      E      G                 is a C chord  (Major)
   D     F       A             is a D chord   (Minor)
       E      G      B        is an E chord  (Minor)
           F      A      C     is an F chord   (Major)





G B D        is a G chord   (Major)





A C E     is an A chord  (Minor)





B D      F  is a B chord   (Dim/m7b5)
See?  Major chords are THREE NOTES IN SEQUENCE, SEPARATED BY ONE NOTE EACH.
Seventh chords include a FOURTH scale tone,  which is ALSO separated by one note.  So the C major 7th chord
is  C E G B.  
The difference between major and minor chords is this:
A major chord consists of, first,  a major third interval,  followed by, second,  a MINOR third interval.
In the C major scale,   that is the root note (C) then up a major third (Four half steps) to E,  and then go up
three half steps to G.
This is because the scale is composed of a combination of whole and half steps.














































































































C C# D Eb E F F# G G# A Bb B C
Where there are sharps or flats,  there are two half steps from one whole note to the next.  One to the sharp or flat,
and one from the sharp or flat to the next whole note.  
Where there are no sharps or flats,  there is only a half step from one whole note to the next.   In the C major scale,
there is a half step between B and C  and between E and F.  All the rest are whole steps.
Thus,  it's four half steps between C and E,  for a major third,   and three half steps between E and G,  for a MINOR third.


C, F, and G all fall exactly on whole notes as MAJOR chords.
The odd man out in the sequence is the B, which must fall outside the rest as its spelling as a major chord,  B D F works out
to a MINOR third followed by ANOTHER minor third.     That's actually a diminished chord.  (Really, half diminished,  or
minor seventh flat fifth.)    So to get a TRUE major B chord,  you have to really play  the notes B  D# F#.
A MINOR chord starts with a MINOR third and is followed by a MAJOR third.   The first and third notes of the C major chord
remain the same.  They're still C  and G.   But the note in the middle,  the E,  is flatted.   So a C minor chord is not C E G,
but C Eb G.  





D, E, and A, if played only on the whole notes, are MINOR chords.    To play them as major chords, you need to sharp


their middle scale tone by one half step.
I've already briefly touched on scale harmonization.   It's very easy to remember the pattern for the C major scale,
as all you have to remember is the I-IV-V blues progression that EVERYBODY knows.    The I,  IV, and V chords
are major, and the others are MINOR,   with the last one (the B) being diminished.  (Actually, as mentioned above,
half diminished, or properly,  minor seventh flat fifth.)
The cello is a wonderful instrument.  I want to learn to play mine just as much as I want to get better at the guitar.
But stringed instruments are usually tuned in fifths, not fourths  (Although the double bass is normally tuned in fourths)



and you generally never try to play more than two notes at once on a stringed instrument.   If you have been playing



cello for any length of time, you have learned double stops   But usually they're thirds, fourths, and fifths.   Maybe sevenths.



Other intervals are not generally taught on the cello because of the stretches involved,  to say nothing of intonation requirements.
The (mostly) fourths-based tuning of the guitar puts more notes into easy reach than if it were tuned in fifths.    But if a guitarist can



adapt to the cello with a little work (and he can) then a cellist can adapt to the guitar with a little work.   The left hand will adapt



pretty quickly,  but the right hand will have to develop strumming and picking techniques that it never had to learn before.
There are many online chord charts and generators.  Just Google search for them and you will find plenty to work with.
 
Link Posted: 10/30/2011 9:22:42 PM EST
[#38]
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Chord challenged?


Start simple:

The notes of the C major scale are:

C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C

C      E      G                 is a C chord  (Major)
   D     F       A             is a D chord   (Minor)
       E      G      B        is an E chord  (Minor)
           F      A      C     is an F chord   (Major)
G B D        is a G chord   (Major)
A C E     is an A chord  (Minor)
B D      F  is a B chord   (Dim/m7b5)


See?  Major chords are THREE NOTES IN SEQUENCE, SEPARATED BY ONE NOTE EACH.

Seventh chords include a FOURTH scale tone,  which is ALSO separated by one note.  So the C major 7th chord
is  C E G B.  


The difference between major and minor chords is this:

A major chord consists of, first,  a major third interval,  followed by, second,  a MINOR third interval.

In the C major scale,   that is the root note (C) then up a major third (Four half steps) to E,  and then go up
three half steps to G.

This is because the scale is composed of a combination of whole and half steps.














C C# D Eb E F F# G G# A Bb B C

Where there are sharps or flats,  there are two half steps from one whole note to the next.  One to the sharp or flat,
and one from the sharp or flat to the next whole note.  

Where there are no sharps or flats,  there is only a half step from one whole note to the next.   In the C major scale,
there is a half step between B and C  and between E and F.  All the rest are whole steps.

Thus,  it's four half steps between C and E,  for a major third,   and three half steps between E and G,  for a MINOR third.
C, F, and G all fall exactly on whole notes as MAJOR chords.


The odd man out in the sequence is the B, which must fall outside the rest as its spelling as a major chord,  B D F works out
to a MINOR third followed by ANOTHER minor third.     That's actually a diminished chord.  (Really, half diminished,  or
minor seventh flat fifth.)    So to get a TRUE major B chord,  you have to really play  the notes B  D# F#.

A MINOR chord starts with a MINOR third and is followed by a MAJOR third.   The first and third notes of the C major chord
remain the same.  They're still C  and G.   But the note in the middle,  the E,  is flatted.   So a C minor chord is not C E G,
but C Eb G.  

D, E, and A, if played only on the whole notes, are MINOR chords.    To play them as major chords, you need to sharp
their middle scale tone by one half step.


I've already briefly touched on scale harmonization.   It's very easy to remember the pattern for the C major scale,
as all you have to remember is the I-IV-V blues progression that EVERYBODY knows.    The I,  IV, and V chords
are major, and the others are MINOR,   with the last one (the B) being diminished.  (Actually, as mentioned above,
half diminished, or properly,  minor seventh flat fifth.)


The cello is a wonderful instrument.  I want to learn to play mine just as much as I want to get better at the guitar.

But stringed instruments are usually tuned in fifths, not fourths  (Although the double bass is normally tuned in fourths)
and you generally never try to play more than two notes at once on a stringed instrument.   If you have been playing
cello for any length of time, you have learned double stops   But usually they're thirds, fourths, and fifths.   Maybe sevenths.
Other intervals are not generally taught on the cello because of the stretches involved,  to say nothing of intonation requirements.


The (mostly) fourths-based tuning of the guitar puts more notes into easy reach than if it were tuned in fifths.    But if a guitarist can
adapt to the cello with a little work (and he can) then a cellist can adapt to the guitar with a little work.   The left hand will adapt
pretty quickly,  but the right hand will have to develop strumming and picking techniques that it never had to learn before.



There are many online chord charts and generators.  Just Google search for them and you will find plenty to work with.




 


COOL!
Printed... thanks! You truly remain a night in shining armor.
Link Posted: 1/20/2012 10:29:36 PM EST
[#39]
Hey,  if you don't have Band in a Box,  go out and get it!    I just got it today and I've been playing with it for maybe half an hour and it's absolutely amazing.



It can do a lot of things that I haven't even begun to explore yet,  but in just half an hour I think I've done as much good for my playing skills as I normally

would get in at least two hours of my normal practice regimen.    



I got a bunch of midi files (guitar lesson files, really) from my teacher and I've made more progress on a current lesson song in the last half hour that I've made

in the last three days.   It's the perfect accompaniment system and with the relevant scales laid out for soloing at the touch of one button (the guitar icon),

it's almost impossible NOT to figure out leads to anything.





I recommend it MOST highly.  I've bought several pieces of music software lately (Sibelius 7, Auralia 4, and Musition 4) but BIAB is probably the ONE that I'd

recommend to any guitar player who wants to speed up the pace of learning.





CJ
Link Posted: 3/17/2012 9:00:33 AM EST
[#40]
Simple idea behind theory for beginners.

The Musical alphabet is composed of only 7 letters/notes....
A  B C D E F G; then the alphabet repeats. Half steps (sharps (#) or flats (b)) are between each note except for between B-C and E-F. ....meaning B# is C and E# is the F note.
Sharps (for simplicity) implies raising the note a half step pitch and flats lowing the note by a half step pitch....ie: D# = Eb...

Each fret space on the guitar is 1 half step....that is why the 5th fret on the E string is an A just like the 5th string is an A played with out fretting....

the 7 'western modes' can be quickly learned just by playing the notes;

A B C D E F G A:   is the aeolian mode or minor scale
B  C D E F G A B: is the Locrian mode
C D E F G A B C:  is the Ionian mode or major scale
D E F G A B C D; is the Dorian Mode
E F G A B C D E ; is the Phrygian Mode
F G A B C D E F: is the Lydian Mode
G A B C D E F G: is the Mixolydian Mode

There are more scales but this is the simplest set for beginners to attain quickly...

Now, draw out on paper the fret board of your guitar and start labeling where the "whole" notes are, not the accidentals/half steps.
Strings top to bottom: example....
1   2     3        4      5      6    (string number)
E    A     D      G      B     E   (open/no fretting tuned to standard A=440Hz)
F    A#   D#   G#    C     F     (at 1st fret)
G   C     F      A#     D    G     (3rd fret)
A    D     G      C      E     A      (5th fret)
finish and fill in the even frets as well*

continue filling out your guitar neck, it should start over and repeat at the 12th fret for each string......at some point the light should turn on kinda indicating why chords are formed by your hand are the way it is.....perfect 5th and perfect 8th(octave) intervals! and you should see why playing a note in one spot is same as another on the neck....eventually will will learn efficiency and alternate where you play notes to make transitions quicker.


Play the above scales/modes and learn the muscle memory of the patterns.....find the patterns you like or that fits your music.

Start calling off the notes by name not fret number and string number....soon you will have really all the theory you really need.

Playing guitar requires patience and some math....
Practice does not make perfect...
Perfect practice makes perfect.
If you screw it up a 100 times don't expect #101 to be perfect!

until then...shred on.
Link Posted: 5/30/2013 2:42:05 AM EST
[#41]
Originally Posted By drboomboom:
The E G A B D E is the pentatonic based on E, the C A G E D (actually C D E G A C) is the pentatonic based on C.
snip


The C A G E D is not particular to the C pentatonic scale.  It's a way to remember 5 different scale patterns to solo the length of the neck.  Typically it is demonstrated in A minor pentatonic which is relative to C major.

What happens is the first pattern is designed around a C open chord.  The second pattern an A open chord, etc.  To actually understand it you have to be able to view all of the 5 chord shapes also as barre chords.  To use it you just need to be able to identify your root note and be good at memorizing patterns.  If anyone wants a pdf that has the 5 different scale patterns that are the C A G E D method hit me up and I'll send you it.
Link Posted: 11/27/2014 12:21:26 AM EST
[#42]
I know this is old but I like to add about the CAGED system if you don't mind.

The CAGED system gives you 5 shapes and patterns to a given chord. The open chord names it (I like to call it the nut chord because it serves as a barre). As a result you have C A G E and D chords at the nut. That doesn't mean you can't have a B and an F chord, just that they're not done at the nut. It's the shapes that count, not the chords.

Let's start with a C chord (here we're talking major chord) at the nut. Here you have a C chord with a C shape. There's your open C chord that I call a nut chord. It is a root 5 chord meaning the bass for C is on the 5th string. If you hit the 6th string which is E while playing this chord you just inverted the C chord because you put the 3rd in the bass. That's the inverted chord, so that you know.

Now we barre at the 3rd fret and make an A shaped chord. It's still a C major chord and the A shape root on the 5th so if you hit the 6th string again you've just put the 3rd in the bass again. Stop it!

Next is the G shaped chord and this time the root is on the 6th string (7th fret). Again it's a C major chord. Now you know where we're going?

We have 5 positions for each of the 5 chords starting at the nut and always in sequences:

CAGED AGEDC GEDCA EDCAG DCAGE

The only differences is:

E and G roots on the 6th string
A and C roots on the 5th string
D roots on the 4th string


And now for something interesting, I learned something that will make it easier, three chord shapes instead of 5. What is that? E A and D shapes. Why?

I found that the E A and D shapes has something in common. They're the same. What do you mean ??

Look at how the guitar is tuned in standard tuning. It's tuned in 4ths except for G to B. It's tuned in major 3d then from B to E is back to 4th. That gives me three chord shapes that's the same. Let's look at the triads, The E A and D triads are the same meaning the root is in the middle with the 3rd in the treble and the 5th in the bass.

There, that just made my fretboard easier to work with.

Link Posted: 3/11/2015 10:42:59 PM EST
[#43]
I've read through this post soooooo many times and had to use youtube and google to figure some of the concepts out.  

Someone mentioned pentatonic scales years ago and I didn't notice the pentatonic scale explained yet, so thought I would add or repeat the info.

The basic 5 note scale (pentatonic) runs in this pattern on the fret board:
1 - 4
1 - 3
1 - 3
1 - 3
1 - 4
1 - 4

So, if I look at my top string (the low E) and play:
Open - 3rd
Open - 2nd
Open - 2nd
Open - 2nd
Open - 3rd
Open - 3rd
That's the E pentatonic.

Now look at all the notes on the E string:  E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E  (now at the 12th fret, for one octave)

If I am playing in the key of G, which is G, C, and D (from the previous info), then the G major pentatonic is played with the 1-4, 1-3, 1-3, 1-3, 1-4, 1-4 scale with the first 1-4 being on the third fret (which is a G note).  

If that's hard to follow:
3rd fret E string (G) - 6th fret E string (A#)
3rd fret A string (C) - 5th fret A string (D)
3rd fret D string (F) - 5th fret D string (G)
3rd fret G string (A#)- 5th fret G string (C)
3rd fret B string (D) - 6th fret B string (F)
3rd fret E string (G) - 6th fret E string (A#)

Another useful bit of info:
If I count back 3 half steps from the key, in this case G:  F#, F, E
I see that Em is the relative minor for the key of G major
I can play the pentatonic scale pattern on the E and it will accompany the G major chords.

Also, notice how in the circle of fifths : F, C, G, D, A, E, B
The key of C is C, F, G
The key of G is G, C, D
The key of A is A, D, E
and so on....

And if we count back 3 half steps for each of those and get the relative minors: Dm, Am, Em, Bm, F#m, C#m, G#m
Weird how the relative minor chords go in the same I, IV, V pattern
Am, Dm, Em
Em, Am, Bm
F#m, Bm, C#m
Link Posted: 4/8/2015 8:09:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: Nessus] [#44]
The Major and the relative Minor are the same notes except that their tonics are different, G for G Major and E for E Minor.

Also the harmonized Major scale has three Major, three Minors and a Minor b5 chords. The relative Minor starts on the 6th note of the Major scale.
Link Posted: 3/16/2016 10:25:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 74HC] [#45]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:


Okay so I'm playing over a an open C, can I play off of notes other than C that are in the chord?

Also do I have to keep up with the chord progression?
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Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:
Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
I know the open E & G chords. I also know the minor pentatonic & blues scales. I'm trying to learn this mini poster that came in whatever issue of Guitar World that had Trivium in it back before Dime got shot & Matt Heafy was still playing Les Paul Customs. I'm still working on the open chords in phase 1.

I guess my biggest problem is knowing what scales to play over a given chord. Do you just play the scale with the same name as the chord? I've also heard something about playing the scale that is the major this or the minor that, but I don't understand that either.


You can play any scale, as long as its in the same tonal scale as the rhythm.

If you're playing a C chord, then you want to play a C major scale pentatonic lick. So and and so forth.


Okay so I'm playing over a an open C, can I play off of notes other than C that are in the chord?

Also do I have to keep up with the chord progression?


The notes you will be playing will fall into one of three categories:

1- Chord notes
2- Scale notes
3- Chromatic notes (the other five notes not in the chord or scale)

Whether you keep up with the chord progression will depend upon what instrument and what purpose.... i.e. like melody or harmony.  There's a tool called a heat map that shows how many of each of the three are played in a song.  Most in our modern music are going to be chord notes, followed by scale notes, and then chromatic notes being the lest.  However, there are songs (some by the Beatles) where the bass plays a significant amount of chromatic notes.

If you play bass, common patterns are I-V (root, and fifth), I-V-VIIb (root, fifth, and flat seventh), I-V-VI (root, fifth, and sixth).  That could get boring as hell and is why there's a chromatic note or two used, or the perfect 8th which is an octave of the root note.  Chromatic notes are typically used to bridge to another chord, and are typical used in the weaker beat of a measure (2 & 4 for our style of music)  The 8th can be used for fullness or to add some life.

Know your scales, intervals, and fretboard pattern of those.  Major scale is tone-tone-semitone-tone-tone-tone-semitone regardless of what key it's in (our fretboards are divided into semitones). It just so happens that for the C major scale, all of the tones and semitones fall on the white keys for the piano... no sharps or flats.  I guess that is why it is a popular scale to learn first.
Link Posted: 3/20/2016 12:07:30 PM EST
[#46]
Hemi!

I will sit in the corner and color so I may learn.
Link Posted: 4/7/2016 5:58:48 PM EST
[#47]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By drboomboom:


The E G A B D E is the pentatonic based on E, the C A G E D (actually C D E G A C) is the pentatonic based on C.



Hi guys, great stuff here. I'm a bass player, that's where the name drboomboom started, I play "boom boom." But I'm also a gun nut.



Here are some tricks I've learned.



A diatonic scale, as used in western music, comes from nature, though a few of the notes have been "tuned" a bit so you could play different keys on the same instrument. But the diatonic scale is:

do re mi fa sol la ti do  the "eee" sounds, mi and ti, are a half step under the next note. In other words: do W re W mi H fa W sol W la W ti H do. W is whole step H is half step.



It's useful to think of it as a continuum: do W re W mi H fa W sol W la W ti H do W re W mi H fa W sol W la W ti H do W re W mi H fa W sol W la W ti H  etc.



In Nashville, where I live we call do 1, re 2 etc. so we just say 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1.



Now, that pattern works for any key, so it's important to know the keys. Here's a great trick for that:



The sharp keys, the keys that use sharps are: G D A E B F# and C# to remember that: Give Dad An Empty Bottle For Christmas.

The sharps in order are: F# C# G# D# A# E# B# to remember that: For Christmas Give Dad An Empty Bottle.

So, want to know the key of E? Give Dad An Empty...four sharps. What are they? For Christmas Give Dad An Empty Bottle...F# C# G# D#. So the E scale is E F# G# A B C# D# E

Want to know the key of F#? Give Dad An Empty Bottle For...six sharps. What are they? For Christmas Give Dad An Empty.F# C# G# D# A# E# build the scale the same way.



The same works for the flat keys. F Fb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb to remember that: Fat Boys Eat And Doctors Go Crazy

The flats in order are: Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb Fb to remember that: Boys Eat And Doctors Go Crazy Fast

Want the key of Ab? Fat Boys Eat And...four sharps...Boys Eat And Doctors...Be Eb Ab Db



Then chords:

Build a chord on the key of its name, no matter what key you are playing in. In other words, if you are in the key of E, still  you build the A chord as if in the key of A. (that's one way we think of it in Nashvillle, also you can build a scale of chords as shown before.)



Major 1 3 5

Minor 1 3b 5

diminished 1 3b 5b

augmented 1 3 5#



Want a B diminished? What's the key of B? Give Dad An Empty Bottle...For Christmas Give Dad An...F# C# G# D# A# so the B scale is B C# D# E F# G# A# B

diminished is 1 3b 5b flats "take away" sharps...so B D F



Extended chords are built the same way.



Major 7: 1 3 5 7

Dominant 7 (garden variety seventh chord) 1 3 5 7b

Minor 7: 1 3b 5 7b

Ninth 1 3 5 7b 2   (two is the same as nine in the continuum...123456712 or 123456789)

Eleventh 1 3 5 7b 9 11 (eleven is the same as four)

Thirteenth 1 3 5 7b 9 11 13 (thirteen is the same as six)



Make a ninth a major ninth chord by taking the flat off the seventh. Make a minor ninth by flatting the seventh.



Half diminished seventh also known as minor seven flat five chord: 1 3b 5b 7b



The wierd chord: fully diminshed seven 1 3b 5b 7bb. you double flat the seven LOL. That's the garden variety diminshed chord....the tying her to the railroad tracks chord :)



Jazz Chords, The name usually tells you what it is:

Eb9b5 It's an Eb ninth with the fifth also flatted. Fat Boys Eat...Boys Eat And. Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb

1 3 5b 7b 9 or Eb G Bbb Db F  



That's the way we look at it in the Nashville studios. Hope that helps.



God bless the troops, veterans, LEO's and sheepdogs. God bless the gun owners.



Mike
View Quote




 
It's Funny Cattle Get Down And Eat Bread




And




Beware Eternity And Death Get Closer Fast




:p



Link Posted: 1/18/2017 5:47:38 PM EST
[#48]
AWESOME thread! Thanks for running it!


Can you give an explanation of what a musical key is?


I keep hearing my instructor talking about chords "resolving" but it would be great to really understand what is happening musically.
Link Posted: 11/16/2017 5:45:55 PM EST
[#49]
Hemi, how do I find a good bass theory teacher in Bucks County, PA?
Link Posted: 11/16/2017 9:36:30 PM EST
[#50]
Hemi, how do I find a good bass theory teacher in Bucks County, PA?
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