#1
Alright so i've been really working on getting started on theory. I have a couple resourceful theory books but don't really explain alot, at least for me. So my question is...

If you have the key of D major, and B minor is the relative minor, what is the true difference between them. I've been rattling my brain thinking Minor and Major scales were completely different for some reason. I read that the notes in both D and Bm are the same except for you start on the B in the D major scale. Is this true?

-Thanks
#2
the main difference is where they resolve, the relative minor just starts (if were talking about scales) on the 6th degree of the major, and has all the same notes, and there for, all the same chords as well. However your ear is going to hear a natural pull toward the i (vi in major keys) while your playing in a minor key, and more of a pull towards the III (I in major keys) while playing in major.

hope that helps!
#3
That is true for natural minor (aeolian) and major (ionian). Those are the most basic modes, and other modes are created by sharpening or flattening certain scale degrees. You are correct in that it is difficult to distinguish between relative major and minor... That is why it is easy to solo in the relative key and still sound good with note selection, etc. The overall feel of the piece/chord progression helps to determine whether it is major or minor. Certain chord progressions are more common in major than they are in minor and vice versa, for example... Hope this helps!
#4
if you have a D major scale and start on the 6th not (B) you have B minor or the aoleon mode (sp?). the scales have the same notes but will give a different sound, cos the interval pattern is different.


i dont no if that makes sense, sorry
#5
Ohhh okay that clears alot up, It was starting to get really confusing. Thanks for the quick responses you guys.
#6
It's incrediby easy to distinguish between the relative major and minor - it has nothing to do with modes and little to do with the scales themselves either. You can't just look at a scale pattern or a snippet of a song and expect to be able to work it out, you need to look at the big picture....what you're playing over has the final say in the scale you're using, not what you play.

You can tell the difference from how the entire piece of music is constructed, in your example if the piece resolves on a D major chord then it's in the key of D major and by association the notes D E F♯ G A B C♯, played in any order, in any pattern, anywhere on the fretboard will be the D major scale. D is the tonal centre of the piece, the pitch around which everything else revolves....in other words from a listeners point of view they're expecting that D chord, that's what the song is has been constructed to do.

On the other hand if the piece resolves on a B minor chord then it's in the key of B minor and by association the notes D E F♯ G A B C♯, played in any order, in any pattern, anywhere on the fretboard will be the B minor scale. By arranging things to resolve on the B minor chord you likewise shift the tonal centre so now the listener is expecting the Bm chord. You're using the same building blocks ( the chords) but arranging them differently to construct a different kind of foundation, and because the foundation (the rhythm part of the song) is different it dictates that whatever you build on top of it (the lead part) will also differ.
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#7
In a nutshell the difference is this...

In the D major scale all the notes relate back to the tonic D note. So the B is heard as a major sixth compared to the D tonic. The D sounds like the "home" or tonal centre. The G sounds like the perfect fourth while the A sounds like the perfect fifth.

In the B minor scale the notes all relate back to the tonic B note. The D sounds like a minor third. The G sounds like a minor sixth the A sounds like a minor seventh. Each note takes on a different relationship to the different tonic.

Instead of comparing relative major and minor compare PARALLEL major and minor

Compare D major with D minor and hear the difference. It should be fairly clear.

The minor has a minor third minor sixth and minor seventh while the major has a major third major sixth and major seventh.

The results are very different.

So to the difference between B minor and D major are even more different. You have that same major - minor difference in quality but you also have a completely different tonal centre making the relationship rather interesting because you ultimately have the same set of notes with very different ways of relating the notes depending on where your tonal centre lies.
Si