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Old 01-16-2013, 06:21 PM   #1
dietermoreno
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What is difference between sharp and flat scale?

What is difference between sharp and flat scale?

I was watching a guitar lesson DVD that teaches how to play modes and I got even more confused than I already was.

The guy in the DVD called a sharp scale "the circle of fifths" and called a flat scale "the circle of fourths".

Huh? "Circle of Fifths" and "Circle of Fourths" sound like bad death metal band names.

Isn't a sharp scale the same thing as a flat scale one step higher? Like for example wouldn't an A sharp scale be the same thing as a B flat scale?

What is the need for the fifths and fourths stuff when it follows the same pattern of whole steps and half steps as a major scale
(DOwhole-REwhole-MEhalf-FAwhole-SOwhole-LAhalf-TI-whole-DOhalf)
just shifted up or down one half step?
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:33 PM   #2
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Here is a link that may help explain the circle of fifths.

http://www.basicmusictheory.com/q/0/p/2
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:43 PM   #3
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I'm not exactly sure, but here goes
-More "natural", "even sounding" scales like the c major scale - no flats or sharps here
-Flat scale; Scale with alot of flat notes ?
-Sharp scale; same thing vice versa.

I just made this up, it sounds semi-reasonable to me.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dietermoreno
What is difference between sharp and flat scale?

I was watching a guitar lesson DVD that teaches how to play modes and I got even more confused than I already was.

The guy in the DVD called a sharp scale "the circle of fifths" and called a flat scale "the circle of fourths".

Huh? "Circle of Fifths" and "Circle of Fourths" sound like bad death metal band names.

Isn't a sharp scale the same thing as a flat scale one step higher? Like for example wouldn't an A sharp scale be the same thing as a B flat scale?

What is the need for the fifths and fourths stuff when it follows the same pattern of whole steps and half steps as a major scale
(DOwhole-REwhole-MEhalf-FAwhole-SOwhole-LAhalf-TI-whole-DOhalf)
just shifted up or down one half step?




The stuff in bold is all wrong.



The circle of fifths is as follows: G D A E B F# C#

This is called the sharp scale because the key signatures of all of these keys feature sharps rather than flats; G has one sharp, D has two sharps, A has three sharps etc.



The circle of fourths is: F Bb Ab Db Gb Cb

This is called the flat scale because the key signatures of all of these keys feature flats rather than sharps; F has one flat, Bb has two flats, Ab has three flats, etc.



C major has no sharps or flats.

Last edited by derek8520 : 01-16-2013 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dietermoreno
What is difference between sharp and flat scale?

I was watching a guitar lesson DVD that teaches how to play modes and I got even more confused than I already was.

The guy in the DVD called a sharp scale "the circle of fifths" and called a flat scale "the circle of fourths".

Huh? "Circle of Fifths" and "Circle of Fourths" sound like bad death metal band names.

Isn't a sharp scale the same thing as a flat scale one step higher? Like for example wouldn't an A sharp scale be the same thing as a B flat scale?

What is the need for the fifths and fourths stuff when it follows the same pattern of whole steps and half steps as a major scale
(DOwhole-REwhole-MEhalf-FAwhole-SOwhole-LAhalf-TI-whole-DOhalf)
just shifted up or down one half step?

The reason you why you have sharps and flats is so that they relate to the size of the interval.

In the key of F, you can't have an A sharp, because that wouldn't resemble the interval of a perfect 4th. It would be a augmented 3rd.

Now, what I've just said will REALLY have confused the shit out of you.

Study intervals before keys, circle of 5ths, even scales. Just intervals first.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:27 PM   #6
dietermoreno
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Okay I'll Google interval.

I've already been playing scales from using scale charts, but I had no idea why the scales are the way they are and I don't know how to play a scale without looking at a scale chart.

Sometimes its easier to do things rather than understand how they work.

Like Edison did things without understanding how they work. Tesla both did things and understood how they worked.


So the guy in the video was he saying that every major scale goes "whole-whole-half-whole-whole-whole-half-whole" EXCEPT C MAJOR, because C major scale has no flats or sharps and using half steps requires the use of flats and sharps?

The link that you gave me shows that G major scale would only use a half step once because it only has one flat and it shows that the D major scale ascending is the scale that uses "whole-whole--half-whole-whole-whole-half".

So maybe I misheard the DVD instructor's voice say "Deeeeeee major scale" as "Ceeeeee major scale".

So the example that he gave only works for D major scale.

but what happens if you move a C major scale up the fret board from the root note being the 3rd fret of the 5th string in standard E tuning? wouldn't that make it an A major scale? but an A major scale has flats and sharps and the scale patern would still have no flats and sharps because it doesn't use half steps?

Last edited by dietermoreno : 01-16-2013 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:38 PM   #7
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It was my understanding that a major scale has all 7 notes, so sharps and flats are used to keep the intervals without repeating notes. For instance, A major is: A B C♯ D E F♯ G♯. If the scale were done with flats, it would be: A B D♭ D E G♭ A♭. Notice that there are 2 Ds and 2 As. It's the same scale, but writing it like that is more confusing.

Or at least, that's my understanding of what makes a scale use sharps of flats. I'm no authority on that matter, that's just what i gather from the little bit I've read.

And sorry if I've misunderstood your question.

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Old 01-16-2013, 08:54 PM   #8
dietermoreno
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I'm even more confused.

The link that you gave me http://www.basicmusictheory.com/q/1/p/c says that the "whole-whole-half-whole-whole-whole-half" step counting rule is correct for all major scales, just like the guy in the video said?

How is that possible when using a half step would mean adding an accidental (sharps or flats) and C major scale has no accidentals?
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:16 PM   #9
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Don't run before you can walk dude. Forget about all that. The reason it's not making any sense is cuz the foundation isn't there yet.

Intervals of the chromatic scale, and understand the stave.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:20 PM   #10
dietermoreno
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Oh, I fast forwarded through the chromatic scale part on the DVD because I don't care about chromatic scale I want to learn real scales....

I'll go and watch the chromatic scale part instead of skipping to the real scales...
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:23 PM   #11
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Lol ok. I'm curious as to how that guy will explain it. Hopefully he'll describe maj, min, perfect, diminished and augmented intervals, and not just blitz through it...
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:27 PM   #12
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The DVD is called "Modes Demystified" by the Rock House Method.

The instructor's name on the DVD is John McCarthy.

I bought it at Sam Ash for $19.99 hoping it will improve my talent less playing.

Here is the link to my YouTube channel so you can see what my level is:
http://www.youtube.com/dietermoreno
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:46 PM   #13
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Forget about modes. Not only are they all but useless, but you need an extremely thorough understanding of at least the major scale and intervals before you even think about modes.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:16 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Junior#1
Forget about modes. Not only are they all but useless, but you need an extremely thorough understanding of at least the major scale and intervals before you even think about modes.

This.

To add onto what Junior said (to specify his advice to your situation), many guitarists misunderstand what "modes" are. Modes are not just starting the major scale on a different note than usual. Modes are an extremely specific and exceptionally uncommon musical concept (which the majority of guitar-oriented music will actually never, ever touch on). If you hear the word "mode", you are probably about to hear a slurry of pseudo-theory that the speaker misunderstands or is misnaming. Rock guitarists are especially guilty of this.

musictheory.net is an exceptional resource to learn basic theory from. The lessons are very organized and will give you a solid background in the basic fundamentals of theory.


Quote:
The DVD is called "Modes Demystified" by the Rock House Method.

The instructor's name on the DVD is John McCarthy.

I bought it at Sam Ash for $19.99 hoping it will improve my talent less playing.

Scales will not make you a better player. Technique will make you a better player. What I imagine you want to be is a better musician. The secret to being a good musician is to develop an intuitive sense of music and how a given note will interact with other notes and chord progressions.

All theory is there to do is to communicate your ideas to other musicians. You don't need to understand a lick of formal theory (though in my experience, it helps significantly to at least understand the basics). Learning scales is only useful if it helps you to develop an understanding of music. Otherwise, ignore practicing scales.
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Last edited by Geldin : 01-17-2013 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior#1
Forget about modes. Not only are they all but useless, but you need an extremely thorough understanding of at least the major scale and intervals before you even think about modes.


Okay. I'm working on obtaining that thorough understanding of major scales and intervals.

I am already using modes in metal music, but I don't understand them-- I only memorized the scale chart.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Geldin
This.

To add onto what Junior said (to specify his advice to your situation), many guitarists misunderstand what "modes" are. Modes are not just starting the major scale on a different note than usual. Modes are an extremely specific and exceptionally uncommon musical concept (which the majority of guitar-oriented music will actually never, ever touch on). If you hear the word "mode", you are probably about to hear a slurry of pseudo-theory that the speaker misunderstands or is misnaming. Rock guitarists are especially guilty of this.





Rock guitarists, not metal guitarists.


I thought metal artists used modes, rather than pentatonic scales, and that is what makes metal sound different from rock?

Your signature says that you are a progressive metal guitarist, and you don't even learn scales/modes?

Maybe you are the next Yngwie Malmsteen who doesn't need any theory, but I am stuck and I need theory.

Last edited by dietermoreno : 01-17-2013 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:07 AM   #16
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ok so this really belongs in MT...
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:24 AM   #17
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TS, you have unfortunately screwed up your understanding of music theory. Go to the link in my sig about music theory and start on the beginning. No skipping. You are also not using modes, you are using shapes of the major scale or minor scale on the fretboard. What note you start on doesn't mean jack shit, it's all about the harmony.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:58 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by steven seagull
ok so this really belongs in MT...


i'm honestly hyperventilating a little bit reading this thread

one of these days i'm just gonna up and have a stroke and it's gonna be your fault for putting these things in MT steven
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:09 AM   #19
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I'm going to try to lurk the guitar techniques forum more and try to catch these before too much damage is done. And the second response almost made me rage.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dietermoreno
Okay. I'm working on obtaining that thorough understanding of major scales and intervals.

I am already using modes in metal music, but I don't understand them-- I only memorized the scale chart.

You are using what you think are modes. That doesn't mean you are playing modally.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dietermoreno
Rock guitarists, not metal guitarists.

Almost any guitarist, regardless of genre.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dietermoreno
I thought metal artists used modes, rather than pentatonic scales, and that is what makes metal sound different from rock?

It's more about how the artists play, rather than what they play. Take Metallica for example. Arguably the biggest metal band in the world. Do they play modally? No. Hell no. Kirk is lucky if he strays off the minor pentatonic scale and doesn't screw up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dietermoreno
Your signature says that you are a progressive metal guitarist, and you don't even learn scales/modes?

Maybe you are the next Yngwie Malmsteen who doesn't need any theory, but I am stuck and I need theory.

You don't actually need theory. It's definitely good to know, but it's not required. Don't play something just because it fits in the scale or in a certain pattern. Play it because it sounds good. At the end of the day, that's all that matters.
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Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
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