12 Tones To Get Attention

author: Martin Messner date: 08/04/2010 category: scales
rating: 8.7 / votes: 6 
We are living in the 21st century. We are thinking in a rational, but open-minded way, we learn from the past and plan our future. ...NOT! --- Hey guys, it's me, Martin, again, and I tell you some pieces of my music theory today: Ever since I can think, there was music in my life. My Mom loves listening to classical music, my dad loves bavarian folk music (erh..!), my 2 brothers liked almost every type of modern music and so my sister did. I was confronted with all these types and I'm sure the combination of that (minus bavarian folk music) is the way i'd like my music to be: fresh, new and diversified. When we were at school, our teacher taught us what music "really is", showed us chords, melodies, sharp and flat notes, major and minor scales, chromatic scales and so on and on. Honestly, he did a good job, but it's simply not the truth. Here is what I mean: - Have you ever heard anyting about dodecaphony? - Arnold Schoenberg invented this 12-tone technique. From his problematic life during WWI and WWII he found music as a way to stress the problems on earth, the sadness and fear in his head. The dark background of this theory can be easily seen in the music itself. Basically the technique is to play all 12 possible tones (C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B). You are just allowed to repeat a note just after all 12 tones sounded. This might sound like chaos- well, it is! --- This technique really inspired me. I've been thinking it over and over again and came to a couple of ideas improving my music. Let's say this is the neck of a guitar:
e|---|---|---|---|---|---|--
B|---|---|---|---|---|---|--
G|---|---|---|---|---|---|--
D|---|---|---|---|---|---|--
A|---|---|---|---|---|---|--
E|---|---|---|---|---|---|--
       3   4   5   6   7  fret
I just "mark" the area of 12 different tones
e|---|---|---|---|---|---|--
B|---|---|---|---|---|---|--
G|---|---|---|---|---|---|--
D|---|-X-|-X-|-X-|---|---|--
A|---|-X-|-X-|-X-|-X-|-X-|--
E|---|---|-X-|-X-|-X-|-X-|--
       3   4   5   6   7
First thing I saw: 12 = 3 * 4! That means you could make 4 3/4 measures or 3 4/4 measures. [BRAIN&FINGER EXERCISE] measure 4/4; play all 12 notes without any tone repetition! [BRAIN&FINGER EXERCISE] measure 3/4; play all 12 notes without any tone repetition! Tip: Use a metronome. Just do it, unless you want to waste your time. ;) [BRAIN EXERCISE] think of chords that can be build in this pattern --- A mathematical background: There are 12 notes, that means 12! possible ways to play all 12 notes. There are 479 001 600 ways. Let's say you play 2 notes in second, that means that need almost 2 900 000 000 seconds to play all versions. These are 47 900 160 minutes, or 798336 hours. Or 33 264 days. Be honest: This means playing the guitar for over 91 years without any break! Answer to the chord question: there are 3 * 5 * 4 = 60 chords (if you could grab them all). And we are just talking about this pattern ;D --- NOW THE BIG QUESTION: - What do I profit? - AND MY ANSWER: - new ideas - better sense of chromatic use - courage to go off-scale - thinking in new patterns Every guitarist needs to be open minded and has to f e e l the music. (that's what I said ;) Most of all "rules" are too strict and need to be replaced by experience. There is no perfect music theory, there's just right one when you need it. For all of you still wondering: The essence of that lesson is that music is more than a scale-related thing (In reality, the theory is way more complicated than that. I will post other lessons about dodecaphony soon!) I hope you enjoyed it. Share your ideas of music in the comment section below. Your Martin Messner.
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