#3
lol no scales for nirvana. He would just play the same notes that he sung during the chorus of whatever song he was playing most of the time during a solo.
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#4
Yea ^

What they said

The song lithium isnt even in a key lol


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#5
I wouldn't say that scales as such influenced nirvana's thinking. tourette's is based on the phrygian dominant, Mr Moustache and some other one i can't remember are highly chromatic, School and Aneurysm are a bit diminished sounding etc.

Solos were generally either pentatonic or atonal.

Basically I'd say you need to just experiment with weird-sounding riffs until you land on a few that work.

Lots of their riffs were based around vocal melodies. Notice that the chorus melodies in both breed and polly are nearly the same, just a descending chromatic line, and the chords are based around that melody.
#6
I think kurt cobaine is one of the guitarists that obviously knows nothing about music theory, i doubt he practiced or even knew any scales at all
#7
Try to base your solos around the vocal melody. Kurt was brilliant at it.
#8
Oh god... this thread.... it burns

Major scales. Most of his songs are based around them
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[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
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        L.
#10
no scales intentionally..


follow the vocal melody
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#12
Dont worry about a scale if youre trying to write like nirvana.

But my best advice about writing like nirvana is... dont.
#13
Quote by Avedas
Scales do not a style make.


+1

Anyways, I've been a huge Nirvana fan since y early days of guitar playing, and while I am absolutely positive that Kurt didn't think about scales or keys during the songwriting process, I can say that most (if not all the songs) are in either a major or a minor key (for example, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is in Fm).

Generally, the chords are all power chords, and the tonality of the song is determined by the vocal melody. Therefore, I really recommend putting the emphasis on writing a really strong vocal melody that really sticks to a person (which should be the area of focus for writing all kinds of music, really...).
#14
There are a lot of riffs and solos in Nirvanna's compilation that fit into pentatonics.

Some of the rhythms seem to be built from root notes of minor and major keys.

Cobain also seemed to use the roots of other scales to make rhythms..then simply
extend them into power chords. (Not saying he got it from Hendrix) but hendrix
has recordings of him humming and converting those tunes into riffs...and also
converting riffs into root notes of chords. It is quite popular to do.

The instrumentals seemed to chase Cobain's voice though.
Thats what was so special about his music. He didnt sound like he sang on top of anything. He used his voice as an instrument as well.
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Last edited by Washburnd Fretz at Dec 24, 2008,
#15
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Oh god... this thread.... it burns

Major scales. Most of his songs are based around them

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#16
Quote by demonofthenight
Oh god... this thread.... it burns

Major scales. Most of his songs are based around them

+1

Major key songs with a lot of chord substitutions.

Whoever said Lithium is not in a key is just completely wrong. And so is the person that said his solos are atonal.
#17
I honestly don't understand how anyone can listen to Nirvana and not
hear structure... Thats just my opinion. Cobain had a chord combinations
he used alot.

TS I wouldn't recommend using any of his trademark combos. I have found that
Grunge bands seem totally feeling driven..but they have trademarks that will
make you sound like a wanna be. That is evidence of methodical song writing.

Nirvana and Alice In Chains are two bands that are very hard to be inspired by
and learn from without sounding like you are trying to sound like them...lol.

Cobain liked to play 2 chord progressions ..with chords 2 steps apart..

Since The key of a song does not have to be the first note of the song it could be
complicated to determine his keys if he didnt want to start out that way.

I remember *Polly* for this kinda of stuff..lol

IMO Cobain saw rhythm as a much larger system than many other artists.
Many players will commit themselves to 3 chords when playing a song.
I bet Charlie Brown's teacher's name was Mrs.Hammett
Last edited by Washburnd Fretz at Dec 24, 2008,