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Old 12-10-2012, 06:18 PM   #21
yoyoloto
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I like the way this guy tries to dig in, he doesn't ask for scales but wants to focus on theory. I'm kind of in the same situation, although I haven't quite gotten into the mode theory part just yet (I know what they are, but I didn't start studying them). My improvisations sound pretty good to me, this may not help you but I'll give you feedback anyway, perhaps hearing from a peer of the same level will inspire you in some way :

Just like fishmike, I am a fan of pentatonics, especially minor and blues, I play in minor 90% of the time, and the other 10% is when I practice to avoid forgetting what I know. If you want your improvs to sound better, try mixing scales and most importantly use intervals. Scales are just a tool, the whole music theory is just a tool, the core of music is intervals, being able to play what you hear is the most important thing and that is done best when you know intervals, sometimes I just say "screw the scale" and I play notes that aren't supposed to be in it. And that is the awesome part, you might relate to this, but your first question asks about changing root notes depending on the chord, you are suggesting that there is a context for playing a certain note. I think that's the idea behind improvising, you gotta be able to know when to play the right note at the right moment, that's something your ear helps you do. Sometimes when I play a note that isn't in the blues scale while I improv on a blues backtrack it doesn't sound good, sometimes it does, I guess it depends on the chord being played and also the notes of your solo that came before.

You could go your whole life without understanding modes, B.B king for instance only really used pentatonics and naturals, the rest was all his ear, and just listen to what he was able to do with that.

So 2 things

Ear
Practice (pentatonics and harmonics mix well together in my opinion, plus help the ear to notice the similarities)

You seem to know some scales, use those to practice while you also train your ear (look at ricci adam's website, it has an awesome ear trainer, I must have spent hours on that thing and I'm actually able to get most intervals right, it even has a scale recognition exercise if you wanna knock yourself out)

Hope I helped, I posted a video of the first improvisation I ever did, a made a thread for it. I did it with only focusing on the minor pentatonic scale, when you hear it you won't be really sure of wether the person playing is actually a noob or not, it's only when I f***ed my rhythm up that I gave myself away.

Anyway, if you are interested in modes and chord shapes to solo, look into the CAGED system if you haven't already, I don't use it yet but I'm halfway there. It's a good representation of what you are asking about (yes I should have talked about that at the beginning of my message, but I only give good advice to patient people :P )

PS: By the way, you may also want to look in to the old model of patterns, instead of just playing the notes on the pattern you also play those contained INSIDE, imagine the pattern as if it was a box, in fact, patterns used to be called boxes.

Last edited by yoyoloto : 12-10-2012 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:52 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fearofthemark
I was just talking about C-F. No Bb there. You could easily play in F lydian over the F chord and have it sound nice, even if the context was c major.

The thing to remember is that when the context is C major then C is your tonic note. All the other notes D E F G A B are heard in relation to that C as a Maj2nd Maj3rd Perfect4th Perfect5th Maj6th and Maj7th respectively.

F Lydian is made up of those same notes, but the F chord (in a C major context) will sound like a SubDominant and the notes you play will still function against the tonal centre (C) as outlined in the above paragraph. This is true even if they are played over and F chord as the C chord will still sound like the tonal centre which is what makes the F suond like a SubDominant. Hence you will still just be playing C Major.

You can "think" in terms of F Lydian if it helps you but it will not be F Lydian unless you modulate to/establish F as a tonal centre. Also personally I don't see how it would be easier to "think" in terms of F Lydian when you can just think in terms of C Major.

Hopefully that gives you some perspective on what AeolianWolf is talking about. Though I like to argue with him often he is not stupid and worthy of respect and I think we agree on a lot more than I let on sometimes.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:09 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by 20Tigers
Hopefully that gives you some perspective on what AeolianWolf is talking about. Though I like to argue with him often he is not stupid and worthy of respect and I think we agree on a lot more than I let on sometimes.


motherballs, i often think the same thing.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:48 AM   #24
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Oh shit - did I say that out loud!! oops
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:38 AM   #25
fearofthemark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AeolianWolf
there is no competition here - you don't even seem to grasp the concept of a key. if you did, you wouldn't have suggested anything about F lydian.

frankly, i'm sick of people coming in perpetuating misinformation. despite the immense number of discussions that occur in this forum, people happily ignore them and conveniently find a new thread in which to raise incorrect points that have been dealt with on a near-daily basis for the past few years.

you want to talk about disrespectful? i come around diligently to help people understand music theory, and you've been around here longer than i have, so unless this is your first time in the MT forum, you've no doubt seen me around. this means, in essence, that you have ignored everything i have ever said. and that's pretty bad, considering i've been saying the same goddamn things to people in your shoes time and time again.

you want to be corrected? learn about keys. if you want me to teach you, i suggest you look up some of my posts. there are probably about 50 or so on MT at this moment, and i'm not about to make it 51.

you don't want to be corrected? that's fine, i'm not going to force you to learn music theory.

but you'd better be damn sure that i'll counter you when what you have to offer is objectively incorrect advice.


Go ahead, I love being corrected. And yes, until recently, I spent absolutely no time in MT. I do know what a key is and I understand your gripes with modes, but using that terminology has been helpful both for me and the (successful) musicians I study with. Maybe one day ill realize how useless chordscales are, and maybe it'll be your 50 posts that teach me that, but right now referring to things as modes that dont quite conform to the 15th century concept of church modes is helping me play the sounds I want.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:03 AM   #26
fearofthemark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20Tigers
The thing to remember is that when the context is C major then C is your tonic note. All the other notes D E F G A B are heard in relation to that C as a Maj2nd Maj3rd Perfect4th Perfect5th Maj6th and Maj7th respectively.

F Lydian is made up of those same notes, but the F chord (in a C major context) will sound like a SubDominant and the notes you play will still function against the tonal centre (C) as outlined in the above paragraph. This is true even if they are played over and F chord as the C chord will still sound like the tonal centre which is what makes the F suond like a SubDominant. Hence you will still just be playing C Major.

You can "think" in terms of F Lydian if it helps you but it will not be F Lydian unless you modulate to/establish F as a tonal centre. Also personally I don't see how it would be easier to "think" in terms of F Lydian when you can just think in terms of C Major.

Hopefully that gives you some perspective on what AeolianWolf is talking about. Though I like to argue with him often he is not stupid and worthy of respect and I think we agrkee on a lot more than I let on sometimes.


You nailed it, it helps me to think in f Lydian because then I can more easily establish f as a tonal center. It's more useful when chords aren't all diatonic and I can't just play over a single scale for the song.
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