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big_d_ibanez
04-03-2005, 06:58 PM
what key would this be in and what scales whould sound good over it? it goes Am, C, F, G. and also could you tell me how you came up with the answer to this question so i can figure it out myslef next time? thanx guys for the help!

bangoodcharlote
04-03-2005, 07:04 PM
That would be in C major.

Deffy, please explain how to do this. I'm sure you have something saved in Word.

bassdrum
04-03-2005, 07:07 PM
Well, an obvious choice for a scale would be the C major Pentatonics scale.

bangoodcharlote
04-03-2005, 07:09 PM
Originally posted by bassdrum
Well, an obvious choice for a scale would be the C major Pentatonics scale. No. C major pentatonic would immediately eliminate the F.

04-03-2005, 07:11 PM
^ So? It'll still sound good. F isn't the tonic anyway, there's no reason you'd need it.

bangoodcharlote
04-03-2005, 07:13 PM
^ So? It'll still sound good. F isn't the tonic anyway, there's no reason you'd need it. It's a good note to have when you play that F chord. Besides, C major pent. is found in C major, why why limit your options?

mtlca1022
04-03-2005, 07:26 PM
go for pentatonic minor in A or the Aeolian scale in C which is the A natural minor seeing as its in the aeolian mode, if you want to figure this out yourself you should learn the circle of 5ths wich gives you all the majors and there relative minors such as Am is the relative minor to C and Em is the same to G a good way to figure this out is the relative minor is alwas the 6 chord from the root. I suggest looking extensively at some theory i guarenty it will help much.

mtlca1022
04-03-2005, 07:30 PM
oh yeah the C major scale works well too

SilentDeftone
04-03-2005, 07:32 PM
Nope, I don't unfortunately, except the Co5, which is somewhat related. I'll elaborate on this specific case; if it's good enough parts of it might be kept around for the FAQ ;) ;)

Okay, so you want to know what scale to play over X Y and Z chords. Let's think about what you're really doing when you play a scale over chords. You're taking the chords and adding an extra pitch. Usually we want it to sound "good", right? When we say "good", we mean relatively consonant in most circumstances. When we hit a dissonant note, we go "yuck" and say it sounds "bad". So basically, we want to sound good? and so we try to choose consonant notes.
The most consonant note is unison, closely followed by octaves (assuming you're in tune! ;)). Unison means you're playing the same note! Therefore, it's always a safe idea to play the notes included in the chord.

Hopefully you're all with me so far!

Now, this is where your options split. You can choose one of two methods - playing a KEY for an entire progression, or choosing a different scale for each chord in the progression.

Let's cover the key idea first. To figure out what key fits over ALL the chords, we take the notes of all the chords and make a list. Let's use your example, Am C F G. Assuming you know how chord formation (http://ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/chords/guide_to_chord_formation.html):
Am = A C E
C = C E G
F = F A C
G = G B D

Now, sticking those in one long list we get A C E C E G F A C G B D; eliminating duplicates and putting them in alphabetical order we have A B C D E F G. Now, we turn to our trusty Circle of 5ths.

***This is a copy-pasted response***
The Circle of 5ths (Co5) is generally used for determining what notes are in what key. Some people find it extremely useful, while others never use it. I think it's a very effective tool in constructing the diatonic major scales.

Now, there are 12 keys, one for each note in the western chromatic scale. In each key there are 7 different notes, A through G. What makes all these keys different, you ask? Well, in each key there are different variations of those 7 notes. Some have sharps (#) while some have flats (b). A sharp (#) indicates that the pitch is raised one semitone, while a flat (b) indicates lowering one semitone. When writing scales you must have one of each letter A through G. In other words, you cannot have A A# C C# E E# G A, or something like that! You must have A B C D E F G A. One of each letter.

Now, on to the actual circle! This is what it looks like:
.......C........
...G.......F....
.D...........Bb.
A.............Eb
.E...........Ab.
...B.......Db...
.....F#/Gb......

The top key is C. It is the simplest key, and has no sharps or flats. As you progress clockwise (flatwise) around the Co5, you add flats, 1 per key you progress. The same is true for sharps - as you progress counterclockwise, you add sharps, 1 per key. Therefore, using this rule, you can figure out how many flats/sharps each key has. Here's a quick list:
C - 0 sharps
G - 1 sharp
D - 2 sharps
A - 3 sharps
E - 4 sharps
B - 5 sharps
F# - 6 sharps
C# - 7 sharps (often written as Db, they are enharmonic)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
C - 0 flats
F - 1 flat
Bb - 2 flats
Eb - 3 flats
Ab - 4 flats
Db - 5 flats
Gb - 6 flats
Cb - 7 flats (often written as B, they are enharmonic)

Now, how do you add these sharps and flats? There is a specific order to do it in! The order for sharps is F# C# G# D# A# E# B#, while the order for flats is roughly the opposite, Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb Fb.

Combining all of this knowledge, you can determine the notes of any key!
C - C D E F G A B C
F - F G A Bb C D E F
Bb - Bb C D Eb F G A Bb
Eb - Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
Ab - Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab
Db - Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db
Gb - Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb
Cb - Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
C - C D E F G A B C
G - G A B C D E F# G
D - D E F# G A B C# D
A - A B C# D E F# G# A
E - E F# G# A B C# D# E
B - B C# D# E F# G# A# B
F# - F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#
C# - C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C#

Also this lesson may help: What Chords Are In What Key, And Why? (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/chords/what_chords_are_in_what_key_and_why.html)

Now, let's return to our unison idea for a moment. It's safest to play the notes in the chords - A B C D E F G. We find the key that matches the closest using our Co5, rearranging the notes if necessary, and we come out with the key of C for your example, C D E F G A B C. Our key is C? now what?
Well, we use the 7 modes derived from the C major scale to fit over our chords. Those would be C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian, and B Locrian. We match root notes and our scales would be:
Am - A Aeolian
C - C Ionian
F - F Lydian
G - G Mixolydian

However, for the most part you can just think 'key of C' when playing. You just have to be aware of where the root note is when, and adjust accordingly. Here (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16999) is another lesson on how to fit modes over chords.

The second approach gives you a broader range of tonal options, since you're not limiting yourself to one key.
Since only one chord is playing at a time, we really don't have to stick to all those other notes (the ones that aren't in the ONE chord) when the one chord is playing. That is, when Am is playing we don't have to stick to the notes of the G chord as well, we just have to stick to A C E!
We analyze one chord at a time.

Am = A C E. We must now find any scale whose root is A and contains the notes A C E. There are many to pick from; some of the more common ones are A Dorian, A Phrygian, A Aeolian, A Harmonic minor, and A Melodic minor. There are many more than those 5.

C = C E G. Any scale with root of C and contains C E G. A few possibilities are C Ionian, C Lydian, C Mixolydian, C major pentatonic, or C Lydian Dominant.

F = F A C. You know the drill by now! Suggested: F Ionian, F Lydian, F Mixolydian, F major pentatonic, etc.

G = G B D. G Ionian, G Lydian, etc.

So your possible scales for Am C F G might look something like this:
Am - A melodic minor
C - C Lydian Dominant
F - F Lydian
G - G Ionian

It can end up sounding a bit strange since you can end up changing scales so often, but you have more options.

When you run across a chord that is not in key, or doesn't fit into a key with the rest, you can play in key for all chords but that out-of-key chord and choose your own scale for it; combine the two methods!

Well that was certainly more interesting than starting my Psych paper.

-SilentDeftone :dance:

big_d_ibanez
04-03-2005, 08:41 PM
that guys good!

bangoodcharlote
04-03-2005, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by SilentDeftone
Nope, I don't unfortunately, except the Co5, which is somewhat related. I'll elaborate on this specific case; if it's good enough parts of it might be kept around for the FAQ ;) ;)

Okay, so you want to know what scale to play over X Y and Z chords. Let's think about what you're really doing when you play a scale over chords. You're taking the chords and adding an extra pitch. Usually we want it to sound "good", right? When we say "good", we mean relatively consonant in most circumstances. When we hit a dissonant note, we go "yuck" and say it sounds "bad". So basically, we want to sound good? and so we try to choose consonant notes.
The most consonant note is unison, closely followed by octaves (assuming you're in tune! ;)). Unison means you're playing the same note! Therefore, it's always a safe idea to play the notes included in the chord.

Hopefully you're all with me so far!

Now, this is where your options split. You can choose one of two methods - playing a KEY for an entire progression, or choosing a different scale for each chord in the progression.

Let's cover the key idea first. To figure out what key fits over ALL the chords, we take the notes of all the chords and make a list. Let's use your example, Am C F G. Assuming you know how chord formation (http://ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/chords/guide_to_chord_formation.html):
Am = A C E
C = C E G
F = F A C
G = G B D

Now, sticking those in one long list we get A C E C E G F A C G B D; eliminating duplicates and putting them in alphabetical order we have A B C D E F G. Now, we turn to our trusty Circle of 5ths.

***This is a copy-pasted response***
The Circle of 5ths (Co5) is generally used for determining what notes are in what key. Some people find it extremely useful, while others never use it. I think it's a very effective tool in constructing the diatonic major scales.

Now, there are 12 keys, one for each note in the western chromatic scale. In each key there are 7 different notes, A through G. What makes all these keys different, you ask? Well, in each key there are different variations of those 7 notes. Some have sharps (#) while some have flats (b). A sharp (#) indicates that the pitch is raised one semitone, while a flat (b) indicates lowering one semitone. When writing scales you must have one of each letter A through G. In other words, you cannot have A A# C C# E E# G A, or something like that! You must have A B C D E F G A. One of each letter.

Now, on to the actual circle! This is what it looks like:
.......C........
...G.......F....
.D...........Bb.
A.............Eb
.E...........Ab.
...B.......Db...
.....F#/Gb......

The top key is C. It is the simplest key, and has no sharps or flats. As you progress clockwise (flatwise) around the Co5, you add flats, 1 per key you progress. The same is true for sharps - as you progress counterclockwise, you add sharps, 1 per key. Therefore, using this rule, you can figure out how many flats/sharps each key has. Here's a quick list:
C - 0 sharps
G - 1 sharp
D - 2 sharps
A - 3 sharps
E - 4 sharps
B - 5 sharps
F# - 6 sharps
C# - 7 sharps (often written as Db, they are enharmonic)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
C - 0 flats
F - 1 flat
Bb - 2 flats
Eb - 3 flats
Ab - 4 flats
Db - 5 flats
Gb - 6 flats
Cb - 7 flats (often written as B, they are enharmonic)

Now, how do you add these sharps and flats? There is a specific order to do it in! The order for sharps is F# C# G# D# A# E# B#, while the order for flats is roughly the opposite, Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb Fb.

Combining all of this knowledge, you can determine the notes of any key!
C - C D E F G A B C
F - F G A Bb C D E F
Bb - Bb C D Eb F G A Bb
Eb - Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
Ab - Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab
Db - Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db
Gb - Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb
Cb - Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
C - C D E F G A B C
G - G A B C D E F# G
D - D E F# G A B C# D
A - A B C# D E F# G# A
E - E F# G# A B C# D# E
B - B C# D# E F# G# A# B
F# - F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#
C# - C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C#

Also this lesson may help: What Chords Are In What Key, And Why? (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/chords/what_chords_are_in_what_key_and_why.html)

Now, let's return to our unison idea for a moment. It's safest to play the notes in the chords - A B C D E F G. We find the key that matches the closest using our Co5, rearranging the notes if necessary, and we come out with the key of C for your example, C D E F G A B C. Our key is C? now what?
Well, we use the 7 modes derived from the C major scale to fit over our chords. Those would be C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian, and B Locrian. We match root notes and our scales would be:
Am - A Aeolian
C - C Ionian
F - F Lydian
G - G Mixolydian

However, for the most part you can just think 'key of C' when playing. You just have to be aware of where the root note is when, and adjust accordingly. Here (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16999) is another lesson on how to fit modes over chords.

The second approach gives you a broader range of tonal options, since you're not limiting yourself to one key.
Since only one chord is playing at a time, we really don't have to stick to all those other notes (the ones that aren't in the ONE chord) when the one chord is playing. That is, when Am is playing we don't have to stick to the notes of the G chord as well, we just have to stick to A C E!
We analyze one chord at a time.

Am = A C E. We must now find any scale whose root is A and contains the notes A C E. There are many to pick from; some of the more common ones are A Dorian, A Phrygian, A Aeolian, A Harmonic minor, and A Melodic minor. There are many more than those 5.

C = C E G. Any scale with root of C and contains C E G. A few possibilities are C Ionian, C Lydian, C Mixolydian, C major pentatonic, or C Lydian Dominant.

F = F A C. You know the drill by now! Suggested: F Ionian, F Lydian, F Mixolydian, F major pentatonic, etc.

G = G B D. G Ionian, G Lydian, etc.

So your possible scales for Am C F G might look something like this:
Am - A melodic minor
C - C Lydian Dominant
F - F Lydian
G - G Ionian

It can end up sounding a bit strange since you can end up changing scales so often, but you have more options.

When you run across a chord that is not in key, or doesn't fit into a key with the rest, you can play in key for all chords but that out-of-key chord and choose your own scale for it; combine the two methods!

Well that was certainly more interesting than starting my Psych paper.

-SilentDeftone :dance: Sorry to make you type all that out. Anyway, I'm saving it.

CLOWNDEACAN
04-17-2005, 08:03 PM
yah, that was really good silent, i saved it

should help me sometime :)