#1
Hey guys, working on a little ditty at the moment. It's in A blues but right at the end I'm adding in an F# which doesn't belong there but sounds much better than the G it should be. Anyone explain to me why?

|-------------------
|-------------------
|-------------------
|----------4-------- <- F#
|-5h6h7---5-3---
|------------------5-
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#2
It' s an accidental. Without going into to much theory it stands out BECAUSE it is outside the scale, the ear is drawn to it as it isn't in the normal run of notes. I can go into more theory if you want?
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#3
Please yeah - I enjoy the theory side of music but I find it a bit difficult to grasp. Basically the note isn't in the scale and so shouldn't work, yet it does... I'm curious.
Quote by slayer_rule_\m/
If i'm not mistaken the pit > americas health system.


DREAM THEATER

Gear;
Gould LP
Samick strat
Tanglewood strat
Squire 4 string bass
Alto saxophone
#4
Well you're playing blues in A, so F# is the 6th/13th which is commonly used & adds a little 'color'. You could look at it as coming from A major pent or A mixolydian, both of which are often used along with the minor pent & blues scale in an blues setting.
#5
It works because it provides contrast, its presence emphasises the "correctness" of the notes within the scale. Within any scale every note of the chromatic scale can work in the correct context, you just need to use your ears and listen.
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#6
There are no wrong notes. If it sounds good, it is good.

Also, the F# could be seen as a borrowed note from the A major scale or A dorian, seeing as it's a M6 from the root (and you've got the b3 making it 'minor' like dorian).
#7
You're just adding some Dorian color to the mix. Things of the modes in terms of colors in a painting, not as actual scales the same as you would the major/minor scales.
#8
Looks like an escape tone or an echappée. It's a common method of using accidentals. It works because the not directly before it is (most likely) a very consonant note. It's generally best to have consonant notes (chord tones usually... if you were soloing over a backing track) used right after such dissonant notes.
        ,
        |\
[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
#9
The fact that it's not in key has nothing to do with it being an escape tone. Escape tones are just a form of flourishes; you can have them even when playing strictly diatonically.
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#10
^Your post confuses me sir. Please elaborate.

When did I say anything about the note being in key or not? Personally I don't care what scale he said he was using, I'd still call it what I'd call it. And what is a flourishes? I have honestly never heard that word used to describe music.
        ,
        |\
[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
#11
I honestly don't think it's as complicated as an echappee or a borrowed tone from a parallel major or something else. It just seems like either a chord tone or a chord tension. It's not going to be an avoid note or dissonant because it isn't a semitone above a chord tone. Why are you guys complicating it so much?


I think he's using it over the last IV chord on the way back to the I before the turnaround. F# is the third of D7. Makes sense. If he's using it over the E7 it's the 9, which also makes sense. If he's using it over the A it's a 13. Makes perfect sense as well.


The note isn't a wrong note at all. It fits any of the chords in an A blues.
Last edited by Confusius at Jul 24, 2009,
#12
Quote by timeconsumer09
There are no wrong notes. If it sounds good, it is good.


This. Theory doesn't specify any note as wrong.

Since you're using the blues scale, I'm guessing this is in a bluesy type song ( ) in which it wouldn't be uncommon to borrow from the parallel major. Blues has a hobby of mixing major and minor scales to the fullest extent. Or it could be what demonofthenight said, but I've never heard of an escape tone that way. Sounds reasonable anyway.

If you're looking for an explanation so you can solo over it, well I can help with that. Here are the important questions: Is it on a down beat/do you put emphasis on it? Is it held for while or does it just pass by? If the answers to those questions are no and the latter then you can get away with pretending it's not there. Any dissonance that would create would be unnoticed. If the answers are yes and the latter then exercise a bit of caution when hitting an F, C or G. If the answers are no and the former or yes and the former then be extra-extra careful.
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#14
Quote by Confusius
The F# will never be dissonant in that blues.

Exactly. F# isnt a wrong note here, it is the 6th, very commonly used. Blues does not have to be pentatonic or blues scale based, many times artists will use major/mixolydian scales too. Also F# would be a chord tone of D, so if it is used over the 4 chord its going to fit in perfect.
#16
Quote by Confusius
The F# will never be dissonant in that blues.

If you hang on it on the A7 chord it will be dissonant because it's a half step away from the flat 7th (G). I'm not saying it can't be used musically, but the minor second is technically "dissonant".
#17
Quote by Confusius
The F# will never be dissonant in that blues.


I meant the dissonance between the lead (if he chose to play one) and the F#, like if he played a G, F or C from the A minor scale.
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#18
If you hang on it on the A7 chord it will be dissonant because it's a half step away from the flat 7th (G). I'm not saying it can't be used musically, but the minor second is technically "dissonant".


Ah, indeed you are right. I hadn't noticed the distance between the F# and the G.
#19
haha wow, thanks for all the feedback guys, tbh its for a more metalish song (I've been listening to a lot of opeth lately) but I much prefer blues scales so I was experimanting using a blues scale for a metal song. The rest of it is in simple A minor but for the solo I thought I'd elaborate it a bit and use the blues scale.
Quote by slayer_rule_\m/
If i'm not mistaken the pit > americas health system.


DREAM THEATER

Gear;
Gould LP
Samick strat
Tanglewood strat
Squire 4 string bass
Alto saxophone
#20
Quote by RayToroIsAGod
haha wow, thanks for all the feedback guys, tbh its for a more metalish song (I've been listening to a lot of opeth lately) but I much prefer blues scales so I was experimanting using a blues scale for a metal song. The rest of it is in simple A minor but for the solo I thought I'd elaborate it a bit and use the blues scale.

Well if the song is in A minor than the F# doesn't fit the natural minor scale, but it would be found in the Dorian mode, so you should still be okay.
#22
Now, granted, my grasp of theory doesn't go all too far, but I'm pretty sure it depends on whether you're using the a major or minor scale in the song. If you're using A major, the F# fits in fine, it's just the 6th of the scale. If you're using A minor, then it has some dissonance as a chromatic note. Considering that it's most likely the minor you're using in a blues song, that's the likely explination. But chromatics get used all the time.

Also, unless I'm mistaken, this applies to the D# played on the A string as well. Only that's not part of the major or minor scale, it's just a chromatic/blue note.

Hope I haven't given any faulty info here, if so, my apologies!
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#23
Think of it as a passing note, option note or an accidental note.

Think of it like this. As you bend or slide from the E note to the G note, the F# pitch
will be heard eventally. So whatever pitch you hear isn't goin to be wrong, will it?

It depends on how you play it or accent it. How long you play it.
Think of it as having a pitch bender padel or a pressing down on your whammy bar.
All the pitch in between the notes are going to be heard.

If you bend the E note to F# then drop it back to E at the 7th fret A string, it sounds
okay. Poeple do it all the time while in A minor pentatonic.

If you go to axis pitch system while soloing over an Amin chord (for example)
the note that's holding whatever riffs or phrasing together is the A note.

Or you can just say you're playing a chromatic scale.
Last edited by 12notes at Sep 4, 2009,