#1
I'm gonna feel dumb asking this,..but I need help understanding something about Half Step down tuning.

Say I'm in standard tuning, and I play a C major (A minor) pentatonic scale starting on the 5th fret, that's in the key of C (Am).

Now if I tune a half step down, and play the same position, is that still considered the C major (A minor) scale, or is it now a B major (G# minor) scale since I tuned a half step down?
"Your position and your relationship with music has to be one from the inside." - John Frusciante
#3
Thanks.
"Your position and your relationship with music has to be one from the inside." - John Frusciante
#4
uhm if you play the am pentatonic scale, its not the same as the c major pentatonic
c is not the same as am
am is the relative minor to c
so dont think they are the exact same thing
they are very interchangeable, but not the same
and you would be playing a g# minor pentatonic
Last edited by jrcsgtpeppers at Jun 28, 2010,
#5
C major and A minor aren't even the same scales, yes they have the same notes but even then there's a thousand differences between the two.
#6
Well thanks for the those tips too. I thought those were the same. They had the same notes, so I assumed, that's my fault.
"Your position and your relationship with music has to be one from the inside." - John Frusciante
#7
Technically you'd be playing in C.
But it would sound in the key of B.
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#8
Quote by JMF3
Technically you'd be playing in C.
But it would sound in the key of B.

No, he wouldn't.

TS, scales are notes, that's what defines them...not shapes.

In your example you're playing the notes B C♯ D♯ F♯ G♯ so obviously that's not going to be C major pentatonic which has different notes.
Actually called Mark!

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#9
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
uhm if you play the am pentatonic scale, its not the same as the c major pentatonic
c is not the same as am
am is the relative minor to c
so dont think they are the exact same thing
they are very interchangeable, but not the same
and you would be playing a g# minor pentatonic



Technically, he could be playing C major pentatonic starting on the 5th position. With half-step down, it could be B major pentatonic 5th position.
#10
When tuned down 1/2 a step (Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb-Eb) and using chord shapes, those chords are now flat.

Emaj would become Ebmaj or D#maj

Cmaj becomes Bmaj

Amaj becomes Abmaj or G#maj

So on and so forth.

This of course happens to all chords.
#11
You will be playing the notes of a B major/G# minor scale. whatever note ( B or G#) has the most resolution in the song will determine the key and mode of the song. If its B it will be B major, if its G# then it will be G# minor.
#12
Quote by pwrmax
C major and A minor aren't even the same scales, yes they have the same notes but even then there's a thousand differences between the two.


Bullsh*t. A scale is a group of notes. Sure, it helps to differentiate between the C major and the A minor scales so you can know what context its in, but if I'm playing notes in the A minor scale over a chord progression that would be classified as C major, I'm still in key.
#13
But that's just it, you're NOT playing the A minor scale, you're playing C major.
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#14
This is one of the reasons why guitars are inherently confusing instruments
But that kinda makes me love it even more
#15
Not really, theory is universal - the same applies for any instrument or even vocals.
Actually called Mark!

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#16
If you're playing with other people who are also tuned down a half step, it would be generally be more convenient to call it Am, even though the sound is G#m. It's not really any different than sax players using transposed music; it's a lot easier to use notes relative to the tuning/transposition than the actual pitch.
#17
Another reason I started this thread is because when I look at song tabs, for example "Nutshell" by Alice in Chains, they say to use the chords Em, G, D, Cadd9. That confused me. If its a half step down then it should read D#m, F#, C#, Badd9.
"Your position and your relationship with music has to be one from the inside." - John Frusciante
#18
Quote by Guitar92player
Another reason I started this thread is because when I look at song tabs, for example "Nutshell" by Alice in Chains, they say to use the chords Em, G, D, Cadd9. That confused me. If its a half step down then it should read D#m, F#, C#, Badd9.


yeah, but people hardly ever consider things like that, even though they are inherently wrong. but to a guitar player, they make sense because we know what they are in standard tuning. i've seen tabs where the guitarist has a capo on the 4th fret and they're still trying to convince me that they're playing an open Emaj chord instead of Abmaj.
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#19
Quote by steven seagull
Not really, theory is universal - the same applies for any instrument or even vocals.


hehe, I meant that in the context of the OP.
What I meant is that one of the things which make the guitar a difficult instrument is that due to the tuning of the strings, the notes are kind of semi-linear distributed.

There is some linearity because standard tuning puts every string in 4ths, but it's not very obvious. If you compare piano guitar with piano, a piano player easily learns which notes are on the keyboard. The C is always the second white key in the group of two whites after the 3 black keys. The D is always the white key in between the group of two blacks. The G is always the first white key in the group of 3 blacks and so fort. You only need to learn how the note 'looks' like and you can find it in any octave on sight.

Then, learning a scale or chord or knowing which one you play is can very easily be done by knowing which notes go in that scale or chord and finding them on the keyboard. This makes inversions and extended chords a lot easier too.

For a guitarist, this is a lot harder because there is no obvious way of knowing which note is where on the fretboard without rote learning all or a lot of the fretboard. But this rote learning become a lot less useful when the tuning differs.
Most guitarists, or the beginning ones at least, thus dont learn the placement of the notes and which notes go in a scale or chord, but learn shapes they can apply and put anywhere on the fretboard.


This is more intuitive, but makes figuring out what you are playing more difficult, especially when you change tunings. It becomes even more problematic when people mix up chord shapes and actual chords because they learn shapes as chords.

Just the fact that someone asks if a C major chords is still C major when you change to a lower tuning attests to this. People learn that a particular placement of the fingers is a C Major chord. rather than learning that a C Major chord consists of the notes C-E-G and that there are certain finger placements that allow you to play those notes.

I'm not calling anyone stupid when they think that way, because the guitar *is* a pretty complex instrument that isnt very obvious in how you play it as a lot of other instruments would. I'm not calling piano a better then guitar or pianists better musicians then guitarists, it's just in certain ways an easier instrument.

I do want to promote learning the keys if anyone wants to learn a second instrument, as it gives you a new (and more clear) perspective on a lot of things, and you can look at the fretboard in a new way.
Last edited by ShadesOfGray at Jul 2, 2010,