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Old 11-27-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
Nervouspace
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What are all the possible scales that could go over Am

With Am in the root?

I know It could be

A Aeolion

A Phrygian

A Dorian

A minor Pentatonic

A Harmonic Minor

A Melodic Minor


Another Quick Question.

Back when I was taking lessons my guitar teacher told me to play A Dorian over an Am chord if the chord is on the E String

And A Minor if the chord/or root is on the A string

Now to my ears and my brain I enjoy the opposite

I like A minor rooted on E string to be A Aeolian as my scale of choice and it makes

since to my brain because Am is the relative minor of C Major and I can see the C Major Shape right on the C Major when going up from Aeolian


Any thoughts about all this? I'm trying to make sense of all this knowledge the best I can in the "useful" way.

Thanks

-John
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
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The string shouldn't matter. That's the guitar dictating the music. It doesn't work that way.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:06 PM   #3
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It all depends on context. For example, if you're playing over a vamp that's going back and forth between A-7 and D7, you generally want to play A Dorian. However, if the vamp is going between A-7 and Bbmaj7, you'll want to use A Phrygian. You have to think about key or mode relationships or else you'll just be playing random notes from random scales.

Sorry, but your teacher sounds awful. The string you're playing the root on has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with any scales it's related to. The only thing that matters is musical context.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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Jesus Christ why the hell are you even mentioning modes?!
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z4twenny
* facepalm *

Jesus Christ why the hell are you even mentioning modes?!

...because they're a totally legitimate context to explain what I'm saying?

You know, contrary to what seems to be popular belief on here, modes and modal music actually do exist.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:21 PM   #6
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All scales are possible, no guarantee on how good it will sound though. Seems to me you should focus more on playing a good melody over that chord rather than letting a certain scale dictate what notes to play though IMO.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:03 PM   #7
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Hmm I get what your saying. I like the modes because I can see the extension of whatever scale I'm playing all over the fretboard. Really though, What I am trying to do is be a great improv guitarist and modes, licks, and intervals aren't seeming to cut it.

Basing my improvisations off of intervals and modes I just sound like I am playing scales. Learning licks definantly help for making the improvisation sound musical but I can't improv all licks that I have already practiced and made ready for the big solo


I use the modes to keep track of where I am on the fretboard but they sure aren''t very musical and I am always trying to figure out which mode/ or scale to play over this key to make it sound more musical
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattrusso
contrary to what seems to be popular belief on here, modes and modal music actually do exist.


+1
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nervouspace
Hmm I get what your saying. I like the modes because I can see the extension of whatever scale I'm playing all over the fretboard. Really though, What I am trying to do is be a great improv guitarist and modes, licks, and intervals aren't seeming to cut it.

Basing my improvisations off of intervals and modes I just sound like I am playing scales. Learning licks definantly help for making the improvisation sound musical but I can't improv all licks that I have already practiced and made ready for the big solo


I use the modes to keep track of where I am on the fretboard but they sure aren''t very musical and I am always trying to figure out which mode/ or scale to play over this key to make it sound more musical

Modes are NOT extensions of their relative major or minor scales! "Modes" refer to a compositional approach that is totally distinct and separate from major and minor keys. In a modal (as opposed to tonal) environment, the harmony is controlled by the available notes as they relate to the tonal center. Instead of tonic, subdominant, and dominant, the only harmonic functions are tonic and cadence.

It sounds like you're not using "modes" but simply different positions of the major and minor scales on the fretboard. This is not the same thing. It seems like mentioning modes did in fact confuse you.

What do you mean "modes, licks, and intervals aren't seeming to cut it."? What else do you think is out there? There are 12 notes in western music and only so many ways to organize them. It's on you to practice and train your ear; then you'll be able to play what you want to hear.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattrusso
...because they're a totally legitimate context to explain what I'm saying?


They have nothing to do with the question on hand and are NOT a legitimate way of explaining this.
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Last edited by z4twenny : 11-27-2012 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:52 PM   #11
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To answer your question, all the notes will work over and Am chord; play an Am chord, an play an A, then Bb, then B, etc. See what each sounds like. Attach an emotional tag. Then bust a nut.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:52 PM   #12
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I am using different positions of the major/minor scales on the fretboard.

I know if I play A Dorian it's just the second shape of G major and so forth.

How am I not using them correctly?


How do you get to the point that the "good" notes are preorganized so when you do a

100% genuine improvisation you will know which notes (together) are seperated from the more mediocre crumby sounding group of notes?

It's almost like practicing scales made a disaster out of everything because there are so many notes in there (that go together says the scales) during an improv that really don't sound melodic at all. And with all these scale shapes all over the fretboard there are ALOT of notes to be sorting through during an on the spot improvisation

Last edited by Nervouspace : 11-27-2012 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:55 PM   #13
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Lets just skip a few pages and go where this will ultimately end up.



Come on, even I'm not this bad at theory.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:56 PM   #14
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^ I'm not bad at theory I'm just having trouble organizing the information
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nervouspace
I am using different positions of the major/minor scales on the fretboard.

I know if I play A Dorian it's just the second shape of G major and so forth.

How am I not using them correctly?


How do you get to the point that the "good" notes are preorganized so when you do a

100% genuine improvisation you will know which notes (together) are seperated from the more mediocre crumby sounding group of notes?

It's almost like practicing scales made a disaster out of everything because there are so many notes in there during an improv that really don't sound melodic at all. And with all these scale shapes all over the fretboard there are ALOT of notes to be sorting through during an on the spot improvisation


Dude,
1. learn all the notes on the fretboard.
2. learn all your major and minor keys.
3. Learn/Sing solfege
4. ???
5. Profit!
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nervouspace
I am using different positions of the major/minor scales on the fretboard.

I know if I play A Dorian it's just the second shape of G major and so forth.

How am I not using them correctly?

The thing is, that's not A Dorian. It's still just G major.

If you're in the key of G major, you will NEVER be able to play A Dorian, even if you go straight up and down the scale, because the harmony doesn't allow it.

The only time it will be (and sound like) A Dorian will be in a modal setting. For example, if you played Coltrane's Impressions in A instead of D, you would be playing A Dorian.

If you're still confused, read up on this stuff. It's actually very simple once you get a handle on it.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:58 PM   #17
macashmack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nervouspace
^ I'm not bad at theory I'm just having trouble organizing the information


You come in asking for theory advice but t hen say you don't need theory advice?
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nervouspace
^ I'm not bad at theory I'm just having trouble organizing the information

You organize the information by arranging it in pieces... like this...

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Old 11-27-2012, 06:05 PM   #19
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I learned modes as shapes on the fretboard too, but I soon learned that I wasn't playing modes at all. The modes have just been co-opted to be an organizational tool, which unfortunately has lead to a lot of confusion as to what modes actually are.

Where the roof of the chord is doesn't matter. And stop saying Aeolian. It's now the natural minor scale. Same goes with the Ionian mode, it's now the major scale.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:07 PM   #20
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Exactly. Modes are in fact, irrelevant at this present time and age, and has been out of mainstream since ****ing ages ago.
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