#1
i think im missing something in my already poor knowledge of theory, if a song is in the key of A do i use the A pentatonic scale to improvise, or the major scale, or minor
Hoping i don't get perma-banned




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#3
Read the theory lesson in my sig (not in one sitting...it covers about a semester - well, perhaps not quite - of a college "MUSIC 101" class). That will fill in the gaps.

"A" is really vague. While that typically means the key of A major, among various groups of guitarists, that could have different meanings. It means a blues in A to a blues guitarist. To the metal guitarist, it means A minor. To the pop guitarist, it means A major. Do you know which of those describes the key? If not, please post the progression over which you are trying to solo.
#4
the chords progression is A, C#, D, A, im pretty sure, and its deffenatly not a metal song so ill eliminate the minor scale. im thinking its in A major, its just an old simple song.
Hoping i don't get perma-banned




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#5
^^ well said. Also, there are many types of pentatonic scales, the minor and major pentatonic are just two. Really a pentatonic scale is any five tone scale, so the Kumoi and Hirojoshi scales also fall under the category of "pentatonic." Although for MOST western music, we understand that you mean Minor or major.
#6
C#m or C#? It's in A major either way, but if it is in fact C# major, you'll have to deal with the E# note.

Just because the song is not metal does not mean that you could not have made an error and called Am just A, so don't use that line of thinking in reverse.
#7
Quote by classrock77
the chords progression is A, C#, D, A, im pretty sure, and its deffenatly not a metal song so ill eliminate the minor scale. im thinking its in A major, its just an old simple song.


that would be A major. You can use the A major pentatonic, or the f#minor pentatonic, either one will work, but if you chose f#, make sure you resolve to A.
#8
Quote by SEALSniper1152
or the f#minor pentatonic, either one will work
This is incorrect. It isn't that you wouldn't or shouldn't use F#m; you simply CAN'T. The notes A B C# D E F# G# over an A major progression always form the A major scale and never the F#m scale.
#9
Quote by bangoodcharlote
C#m or C#? It's in A major either way, but if it is in fact C# major, you'll have to deal with the E# note.

Just because the song is not metal does not mean that you could not have made an error and called Am just A, so don't use that line of thinking in reverse.


odds are, it's C#5, and therefore ambiguous.
#10
C#m

Edit : im just going from memory here people sorry, and about it not being metal so it couldnt be minor thing... i know thats not right, i mean if it was Am in the song not A well then, i guess it would be in the key of Am but not death metal huh.
Hoping i don't get perma-banned




SUIT UP!
Last edited by classrock77 at Sep 17, 2009,
#11
Quote by bangoodcharlote
This is incorrect. It isn't that you wouldn't or shouldn't use F#m; you simply CAN'T. The notes A B C# D E F# G# over an A major progression always form the A major scale and never the F#m scale.


in practice, this scale is usable, Yes the notes theoretically will not line up, and can not be construed as the relative minor. However, for the beginner, or one who is not educated in theory, the F#m "box" will work for a solo. We understand this to be selected notes from an A major scale, but to the beginner, the scale is just a "box."

ps. I say beginner as in "one who has not had formal instruction in theory"
#12
Quote by classrock77
C#m

Edit : im just going from memory here people sorry, and about it not being metal so it couldnt be minor thing... i know thats not right, i mean if it was Am in the song not A well then, i guess it would be in the key of Am but not death metal huh.



What?
#13
im gettin confused, i learned the pentatonic scale, and the root notes for each key, but the major scale was a differnt scale i learned, what im wondering is.... if the key is A major, can i use either scale?
Hoping i don't get perma-banned




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#14
If the key is A Major, use the A Major pent or just the A Major scale
#15
If the key is A major, you can use the A major scale and the A major pentatonic scale. My point is that those scales exist all over the neck, not as box patterns named for the lowest note in the box. On the guitar, it's convenient to discuss relative minors and modes as patterns on the fretboard, but that's incorrect and becomes problematic once any sort of application of theory (writing music or studying advanced theory) is attempted.


If anything past the first sentence confuses you, ignore it for now. You'll get it as you work through my theory lesson.
#16
Quote by zhilla
If the key is A Major, use the A Major pent or just the A Major scale


THIS! this is all i needed to hear aha

thank you very much.
Hoping i don't get perma-banned




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#17
ok, now that i went over your head in that argument, I should explain. This is the A major scale: A B C# D E F# G#. This is the F#minor Pentatonic: F# A B C# E. THEORETICALLY, f#minor CAN NEVER be the same as A major. In theory, where the F#minor pentatonic "shape" appears in what is called the aeolian mode of the A major scale. This mode is identical in every way to the F#minor scale, but it appears in a musical piece that is written in A major. THEREFORE: because the notes F# A B C# and E appear in the A major scale, you can play them, and if you chose to do it in the shape of an F#minor pentatonic, you are as correct as anybody else. I chose to call it the name that you would recognize, so that you could have a short answer and not digest all this. Sorry.
#19
Quote by bangoodcharlote
If the key is A major, you can use the A major scale and the A major pentatonic scale. My point is that those scales exist all over the neck, not as box patterns named for the lowest note in the box. On the guitar, it's convenient to discuss relative minors and modes as patterns on the fretboard, but that's incorrect and becomes problematic once any sort of application of theory (writing music or studying advanced theory) is attempted.
.


Thank you for understanding that i was referring to a pattern, not a scale. I too have studied upper level theory.
#20
the ts has his answer... now the quest begins to whom is the smartest... the suspense is killing me