Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Music > Musician Talk
User Name  
Password
Search:

Reply
Old 03-09-2013, 01:16 PM   #61
GoldenGuitar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffRG7321
because composers have never used a particular scale, mode or pitch class as a means of generating basic material for a composition...

This is the first thing I was asked to explore when I studied composition. It's one of the most basic skills a composer should have. I'm sure it's a similar story with you as well.
GoldenGuitar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2013, 01:30 PM   #62
griffRG7321
Forever Bulking
 
griffRG7321's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Darkplace Hospital
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax


Yes, but as I said, he's rather the exception to the rule. I would say at least 85% of modern composers (ranging in style from pop songs for the radio to obscure metal bands*) write in keys.



Rule? There are no rules to writing music. Whilst the majority of popular music is tonal, that doesn't mean scales and modes have no place in the compositional process.

99.9% of contemporary classical music isn't written in keys.

And the for 'obscure metal bands' a key based analysis would be utterly pointless.
__________________
Quote:
Mario 'Big Dawg' Williams: "I come to you, venerable master, in order to be introduced to the rules and principles of music"

Barbeesha Latoya Jackson: "Awh hell naw mutha fuka, u wanna learn da art of composition all up in here?
griffRG7321 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2013, 01:56 PM   #63
crazysam23_Atax
Burning away
 
crazysam23_Atax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: The Frozen North! (read: Northern Wisconsin)
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffRG7321
Rule? There are no rules to writing music. Whilst the majority of popular music is tonal, that doesn't mean scales and modes have no place in the compositional process.


They do have a place, which is within a specific key.

Quote:
99.9% of contemporary classical music isn't written in keys.

If you're calling art music "contemporary classical music", I'd agree with that. Or maybe I'm not understanding what you mean.

Quote:
And the for 'obscure metal bands' a key based analysis would be utterly pointless.

If you say so...I do just fine with a key-based analysis. So do a whole lot of other people, I imagine.
__________________
Tunes?

Bandcamp

Now working on my upcoming EP "Discarnate". See the expected track list on my bandcamp.



Terry Prachett is funnier than you! Discworld
crazysam23_Atax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2013, 02:21 PM   #64
griffRG7321
Forever Bulking
 
griffRG7321's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Darkplace Hospital
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
They do have a place, which is within a specific key.


Or as a way of generating pitch material, a concept you are writing off completely by stating 'ignore modes and scales'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax

If you say so...I do just fine with a key-based analysis. So do a whole lot of other people, I imagine.


I'd be interested in seeing your harmonic analysis of say, this
__________________
Quote:
Mario 'Big Dawg' Williams: "I come to you, venerable master, in order to be introduced to the rules and principles of music"

Barbeesha Latoya Jackson: "Awh hell naw mutha fuka, u wanna learn da art of composition all up in here?
griffRG7321 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2013, 02:54 PM   #65
crazysam23_Atax
Burning away
 
crazysam23_Atax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: The Frozen North! (read: Northern Wisconsin)
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffRG7321
Or as a way of generating pitch material, a concept you are writing off completely by stating 'ignore modes and scales'.

Actually, I'm not writing that off, as I've actually used that concept myself. However, once you've generated your pitch basic material, I see no need to limit yourself to the 7 notes with a mode or a scale.




Quote:
I'd be interested in seeing your harmonic analysis of say, this

Although I'm not the best to ask for this kind of thing, I will say that it's all based on the resolution.
Just based upon a quick peruse of the song, I would say that the Intro resolves to B, the Verse resolves to G#, the Chorus resolves to G#. I may be wrong, because I just did that in about 2min.

Also, don't ignore the fact that a key can be changed within a song. Many of the bands like SikTh have a tendency to change keys within the same song. (Changing key within a song is something that composers like Bach did frequently as well.)
__________________
Tunes?

Bandcamp

Now working on my upcoming EP "Discarnate". See the expected track list on my bandcamp.



Terry Prachett is funnier than you! Discworld
crazysam23_Atax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2013, 03:06 PM   #66
Hail
kill both bass players
 
Hail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Dallas
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax

Also, don't ignore the fact that a key can be changed within a song. Many of the bands like SikTh have a tendency to change keys within the same song. (Changing key within a song is something that composers like Bach did frequently as well.)


Hail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2013, 04:23 PM   #67
griffRG7321
Forever Bulking
 
griffRG7321's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Darkplace Hospital
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
Actually, I'm not writing that off, as I've actually used that concept myself. However, once you've generated your pitch basic material, I see no need to limit yourself to the 7 notes with a mode or a scale.


Who said you have to limit yourself to the 7 notes in a scale?



Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
Although I'm not the best to ask for this kind of thing, I will say that it's all based on the resolution.
Just based upon a quick peruse of the song, I would say that the Intro resolves to B, the Verse resolves to G#, the Chorus resolves to G#. I may be wrong, because I just did that in about 2min.


How does that help you understand the piece or anything about the compositional process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
Also, don't ignore the fact that a key can be changed within a song. Many of the bands like SikTh have a tendency to change keys within the same song. (Changing key within a song is something that composers like Bach did frequently as well.)


Songs can change key?!?!?! Who's this Bach fellow?
__________________
Quote:
Mario 'Big Dawg' Williams: "I come to you, venerable master, in order to be introduced to the rules and principles of music"

Barbeesha Latoya Jackson: "Awh hell naw mutha fuka, u wanna learn da art of composition all up in here?
griffRG7321 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 12:50 AM   #68
crazysam23_Atax
Burning away
 
crazysam23_Atax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: The Frozen North! (read: Northern Wisconsin)
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffRG7321
Who said you have to limit yourself to the 7 notes in a scale?

Unless we're discussing the chromatic scale, the amount of notes in a scale are limited to however many notes are in the scale. You can create a scale with as many notes as you want, of course, but unless it's the chromatic scale, you don't have the full range of notes. Whereas in a key, once you've established the tonic, you have as much freedom as you desire really.

Of course, you still want the notes to serve the song, but the reason I despise using scales in writing is because it's limiting to say, only use the 7 notes of the major scale. Instead, establish the tonic and then you could easily include chromatics to achieve your composition goals. Or, if you composition goals are better set by not using chromatics, don't use chromatics.


Quote:
How does that help you understand the piece or anything about the compositional process?

Basically, that defines the small harmonic movements in the piece. If you wanted to evaluate the song further, you could easily examine the individual notes themselves.
__________________
Tunes?

Bandcamp

Now working on my upcoming EP "Discarnate". See the expected track list on my bandcamp.



Terry Prachett is funnier than you! Discworld
crazysam23_Atax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 01:25 AM   #69
Captaincranky
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
It's my belief that, if the guitar community taught some basic music theory (very basic counterpoint, harmony, chord construction, cadences, etc.) and emphasized writing in keys, we'd have less bands running around with uninspired songs that sound exactly like the half the other bands. (Of course, there'd still be band that have uninspired songs trying to cater to the more commercial side, but that just separates out the bands with good songwriting skills all the more.)
A great number of beginning players come to UG with the idea they can "selectively learn music", to the end of being a rock star. Or least that's how they envision themselves. Ignoring what they couldn't be bothered with, while asking, "how long will it take me to be able to shred".

So, do I have to learn theory? Why bother with theory? I want to start using modes. How much do I really need to practice? I don't need to learn to read music do I? Because I don't want to bother.

In short, many players fail themselves by lacking the initiative, the willingness to put in the necessary effort, and preemptively thinking they know more than the people they're asking their questions.

So, why blame this on the musical community at large. It's really a lot of players failing on their own, despite the best intentions and interventions of said musical community.

Basic theory is available at so many different places, in so many formats, and has remained essentially unchanged, (of necessity), for decades.

So, to paraphrase an old cliche', "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't teach him chord construction".

Forums are not the best venue for learning the basics of music. They're too contentious. Besides, four people may be telling a beginner the same thing, or focusing on slightly different aspects of a topic, leaving the beginner to divine the correct information from four different overlapping partial truths.

Sit down with an instructor, take an online course, take a survey course at a community college, these are superior approaches to a well defined knowledge of music in general, rather than asking random questions in a forensic setting.

Hell, a beginner can look up musical topics on Wikipedia, and come away with a more cohesive, comprehensive musical understanding than he or she could here at UG. And one less influenced by personal opinions as well.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 03-11-2013 at 01:29 AM.
Captaincranky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 01:39 AM   #70
:-D
hi
 
:-D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Earth
well there's no way i'm reading all of this

can anyone who's not the thread starter confirm or deny my assumption that this is another pointless "down with scales and modes" thread because that's the cool thing to do and the discussion contained within is the same routine that has been regurgitated countless times by countless users with a wide variety of inaccuracy

is it also safe to assume since i see his avatar that guitarmunky made a post that went against the original "there's never any use for them" in some way and was immediately lambasted because there's no way a guy who teaches music for a living can provide accurate input on big exclusive serious internet forum topics
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archeo Avis
You just won.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockaholic97
Thanks! I wish everyone on Ultimate Guitar could be more like you!

Last edited by :-D : 03-11-2013 at 01:41 AM.
:-D is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 01:54 AM   #71
Captaincranky
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by :-D
well there's no way i'm reading all of this

can anyone who's not the thread starter confirm or deny my assumption that this is another pointless "down with scales and modes" thread because that's the cool thing to do and the discussion contained within is the same routine that has been regurgitated countless times by countless users with a wide variety of inaccuracy

is it also safe to assume since i see his avatar that guitarmunky made a post that went against the original "there's never any use for them" in some way and was immediately lambasted because there's no way a guy who teaches music for a living can provide accurate input on big exclusive serious internet forum topics
I came down on the side of there being more student failure than instructor failure, and it's really unfair for a beginner to expect that he be given a complete course in basic theory, by a professional instructor, in a Q & A internet forum format.

That's reinventing the wheel with every new member.

Unless somebody wants to sticky a 100 page musical instruction course in text format, and copy and paste it into a thread at the first sign of trouble. Free of charge, of course....

Last edited by Captaincranky : 03-11-2013 at 02:49 AM.
Captaincranky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 03:00 AM   #72
griffRG7321
Forever Bulking
 
griffRG7321's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Darkplace Hospital
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
Unless we're discussing the chromatic scale, the amount of notes in a scale are limited to however many notes are in the scale. You can create a scale with as many notes as you want, of course, but unless it's the chromatic scale, you don't have the full range of notes. Whereas in a key, once you've established the tonic, you have as much freedom as you desire really.

Of course, you still want the notes to serve the song, but the reason I despise using scales in writing is because it's limiting to say, only use the 7 notes of the major scale. Instead, establish the tonic and then you could easily include chromatics to achieve your composition goals. Or, if you composition goals are better set by not using chromatics, don't use chromatics.


Debussy made frequent use of whole tone scales and modes in his music for colour, yet his music is never static and always deviates from the notes present in these scales.

There is no ancient text saying you are limited to the notes in a scale, the limitations you just described have been set in place by yourself.
__________________
Quote:
Mario 'Big Dawg' Williams: "I come to you, venerable master, in order to be introduced to the rules and principles of music"

Barbeesha Latoya Jackson: "Awh hell naw mutha fuka, u wanna learn da art of composition all up in here?
griffRG7321 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 05:49 AM   #73
20Tigers
1
 
20Tigers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
I just don't get the whole polarising attitude as if one is better than the other, as though scales and keys present different approaches to music. In my opinion it just shows a lack of understanding about what these things are and their place in music and music theory.

__________________
Si
20Tigers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 08:25 AM   #74
jazz_rock_feel
Micropolyphoner
 
jazz_rock_feel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by :-D
well there's no way i'm reading all of this

can anyone who's not the thread starter confirm or deny my assumption that this is another pointless "down with scales and modes" thread because that's the cool thing to do and the discussion contained within is the same routine that has been regurgitated countless times by countless users with a wide variety of inaccuracy

is it also safe to assume since i see his avatar that guitarmunky made a post that went against the original "there's never any use for them" in some way and was immediately lambasted because there's no way a guy who teaches music for a living can provide accurate input on big exclusive serious internet forum topics

It's interesting, because the way I've read it it appears to be, if anything, a softening of the no scales stance that's been running wild lately. Maybe I'm crazy though.
__________________
I don't know what music theory is.


Soundcloud. Look at it. Or don't.
jazz_rock_feel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 10:05 AM   #75
Hail
kill both bass players
 
Hail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Dallas
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
It's interesting, because the way I've read it it appears to be, if anything, a softening of the no scales stance that's been running wild lately. Maybe I'm crazy though.


yeah that was more necessary when everybody was asking "what scale sounds happy???? what scale is sad?????"

now personally i only care about the overprioritization of it, same as everybody who says "come back to modes later when you know they're not as important as you think they are"
Hail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 10:29 AM   #76
Jehannum
Registered Abuser
 
Jehannum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Birmingham, England
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffRG7321
Modes and scales are not the be all and end all of music, statements such as 'ignore modes and scales' however are also detrimental.

It's funny how people with a beginner to intermediate understanding of music hear an advanced poster say a phrase and take it entirely out of context. Resulting in idiotic statements such as 'Scales and modes are useless, don't learn them'.


I think such statements are youthful conceits.
Jehannum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 10:43 AM   #77
Jehannum
Registered Abuser
 
Jehannum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Birmingham, England
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
A scale is generally 7 notes. As Hail pointed out, you cannot play out of a key. So, basically, a key gives unlimited options, whereas a scale limits you to 7 notes. That's why Keys > Scales.


It's nonsense to think that having unlimited options helps creativity. It actually makes the search for a tune harder. Let's say you're deciding on the next note in a melody. If you can choose any note (as in your concept of keys) there are many more ways for it to sound bad than good. You need to whittle down the search space a little. One way to do this is to prune the possibilities down to a subset of notes that sound good together. That subset could be called a scale or a mode (depending on how you use it).

In any case, if all tonal music can be described in keys anyway then what use are they for composition? They're descriptive, not prescriptive. And if you start talking I and V chords and so on you're actually numerating the key in scalar terms.

I don't think the premise of this thread makes sense.
Jehannum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 10:56 AM   #78
MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
 
MaggaraMarine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Finland
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehannum
It's nonsense to think that having unlimited options helps creativity. It actually makes the search for a tune harder. Let's say you're deciding on the next note in a melody. If you can choose any note (as in your concept of keys) there are many more ways for it to sound bad than good. You need to whittle down the search space a little. One way to do this is to prune the possibilities down to a subset of notes that sound good together. That subset could be called a scale or a mode (depending on how you use it).

In any case, if all tonal music can be described in keys anyway then what use are they for composition? They're descriptive, not prescriptive. And if you start talking I and V chords and so on you're actually numerating the key in scalar terms.

I don't think the premise of this thread makes sense.

Yeah... But again, most of the time when I compose, I don't think the scale notes as safe notes, I just compose. I'm of course conscious about what I'm doing and I know what key I'm in and what intervals I use and if the melody uses pentatonic scale or whatever. But I don't let the scales write my music, I think in sounds that usually fit a scale. I don't just decide "let's do a song that uses C major scale". When somebody says they use a scale to compose, it sounds like they are playing random notes and hope for a good result. Different scales have different kind of sound and of course if I want it to sound like Arabic music, I won't use regular major scale. But I might not think in scales, I think in sounds. The scale has the sounds I want so I use notes in it. But I don't think it that way. I first come up with the Arabic melody and then I notice: the notes are in whatever scale if that makes sense.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Ibanez Blazer
Digitech RP355
MXR Micro Chorus
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Hartke HyDrive 210c
MaggaraMarine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 11:50 AM   #79
crazysam23_Atax
Burning away
 
crazysam23_Atax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: The Frozen North! (read: Northern Wisconsin)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehannum
It's nonsense to think that having unlimited options helps creativity. It actually makes the search for a tune harder. Let's say you're deciding on the next note in a melody. If you can choose any note (as in your concept of keys) there are many more ways for it to sound bad than good.

How so? You'd be choosing notes that fit the song, which could mean anything from having a melody which harmonizes with itself to picking notes that harmonize with the chordal structure underneath said melody.

Quote:
You need to whittle down the search space a little. One way to do this is to prune the possibilities down to a subset of notes that sound good together. That subset could be called a scale or a mode (depending on how you use it).

You don't need to do this though. Granted, some people may find it useful, but most guitar players develop an over-reliance on such a technique. By over-relying on it, they limit their creativity, because many of them naturally gravitate towards specific scales they're familiar with or that they think sound good. (Naturally gravitate towards what someone sounds good isn't bad in and of itself, but it can be if it limits creativity.)

Quote:
In any case, if all tonal music can be described in keys anyway then what use are they for composition? They're descriptive, not prescriptive. And if you start talking I and V chords and so on you're actually numerating the key in scalar terms.

What make you think you're limited to just I or V or ii or iii chords or whatever? Granted, certain chord patterns have a tendency to sound good together and any chords picked should serve the song. However, examine non-modal jazz a bit. They use a lot of varied and interesting chords, such as the E7#9 example I used above. The whole point of the premise of the thread is about opening up options.
__________________
Tunes?

Bandcamp

Now working on my upcoming EP "Discarnate". See the expected track list on my bandcamp.



Terry Prachett is funnier than you! Discworld
crazysam23_Atax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 02:30 PM   #80
fwatt
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
As someone with pretty weak theory knowledge myself, what would you recommend someone in my position to do this way as opposed to learning scales etc?

I've pretty much got the "memorizing notes on the fretboard" shtick down, what would you say is next? To this point, I've probably learned as "scale shapes", "chord shapes", etc/
fwatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:51 AM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.