#1
Specifically the major one. I fail to comprehend how (let's use key of C as a basis)

C D# F F# G A C

will sound good over the same progression as

C D E F G A B C

Help?
#3
C D# F F# G A C sounds good when played over a c minor chord progression, not a C major progression.
try playing it over a i, vi, V progression in c minor (that's c minor, f minor, G major) to start out.
#5
Quote by MapOfYourHead
Tension and release through accidentals sounds good.

That is why it's is used.



??????

You need to know the answers to questions before you even answer them.


The blues scale comes from the African and later on black vocal folk music in America. Since it is Vocal, the Major Third and the Fifth would be slurred and sang in a way that it came out flattened. No theory can explain it, it just is.

In fact you're not even aiming for the flat notes but more of like the notes in between the two. That's why you achieve the sound properly with bends instead of hitting the Eb or Gb on a guitar.

So technically you are still playing in C but those two notes are coming out flat due to the articulation and expression.
Last edited by Pillo114 at Jul 4, 2010,
#6
Quote by Pillo114
??????

You need to know the answers to questions before you even answer them.


The question was why is the scale used despite having accidentals that would clash with the progression.

My answer is right, it's used because it sounds good.

Why was it transfered from vocals for use on a guitar? Because it sounds good.
#7
Quote by MapOfYourHead
The question was why is the scale used despite having accidentals that would clash with the progression.

My answer is right, it's used because it sounds good.

Why was it transfered from vocals for use on a guitar? Because it sounds good.



It has nothing to do with the theoretical tension and release but as a matter of articulation of the african languages. Like I said the accidentals arent the blue notes, they were just set that way for instruments that couldnt reach those notes in between.

And to prove that Theory and accidentals have nothing to do with it, any harmony and any melody works over the blues as long as it's properly articulated. It's a language or an accent to be more prescise, grammar has nothing to do with how your speech is articulated.

Just because you answer it sounds good doesn't mean you know anything. That answer is redundant and stupid because the TS already knows that it sounds good, that's why he's asking why it actually works.

It wasn't transferred to anything, every instrument is capable of it and although they might not reach the notes like the piano, there are different techniques of achieving the sound.

Nothing against you, but learn to give more solid answers.
#8
Quote by Zed45
Specifically the major one. I fail to comprehend how (let's use key of C as a basis)

C D# F F# G A C

will sound good over the same progression as

C D E F G A B C

Help?


Well C D# F F# G A C WON'T, but C Maj blues WILL

C - D- D#/Eb - E - G - A = C Maj blues


Quote by MapOfYourHead
Tension and release through accidentals sounds good.

That is why it is used.



true
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 4, 2010,
#9
Quote by GuitarMunky
C - D- D#/Eb - E - G - A = C Maj pentatonic


C major pentatonic doesn't contain the Eb. The "blue" third above C is usually somewhere in between E and Eb (and isn't part of the major pentatonic scale). It's just something that was found to make an interesting tension over major harmony.
Last edited by Dodeka at Jul 4, 2010,
#10
Quote by Dodeka
C major pentatonic doesn't contain the Eb. The "blue" third above C is usually somewhere in between E and Eb (and isn't part of the major pentatonic scale). It's just something that was found to make an interesting tension over major harmony.


typo... was talking about the Major Blues scale (as the thread title indicates)....but labeled as Major pentatonic.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 4, 2010,
#11
Quote by Pillo114
Just because you answer it sounds good doesn't mean you know anything. That answer is redundant and stupid because the TS already knows that it sounds good, that's why he's asking why it actually works.
Nothing against you, but learn to give more solid answers.

Dude, your own answer was, "no theory can explain it, it just is." Do you even realize the irony in your behavior?

And then you say it's not accidentals, but its the flattening of a note? wtf man
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#12
Quote by GuitarMunky
typo... was talking about the Major Blues scale (as the thread title indicates)....but labeled as Major pentatonic.


Ah, then it makes sense.
#13
Quote by hockeyplayer168
Dude, your own answer was, "no theory can explain it, it just is." Do you even realize the irony in your behavior?

And then you say it's not accidentals, but its the flattening of a note? wtf man


Uhh Western Theory can't explain the blues, because it's not western. Ever noticed there are certain rules that you just can't explain about it?

About the notes as I already said it's not a perfect flat note because it was a vocal articulation that forced a change in intonation. It has nothing to do with accidental theory.

The tension and release of those particular notes came after in jazz by actually hitting the proper note and applying Western Harmony to the blues. But the blues is an idiom and not a theory. Just like an Englishman can read anything with his English accent and force words to sound differently due to that accent doesn't mean he's altering the grammar of what's he's reading.

that's why you can play bluesy over anything and it won't matter because it's idiomatic and not theoretic.
#14
Quote by Pillo114
It has nothing to do with the theoretical tension and release but as a matter of articulation of the african languages. Like I said the accidentals arent the blue notes, they were just set that way for instruments that couldnt reach those notes in between.



even if they didn't realize it they were using tension and release.

you're basically saying that that form of tension and release stemmed from african influences so it's not tension and release. I CALL RACIST!
#15
Quote by Pillo114
Uhh Western Theory can't explain the blues, because it's not western. Ever noticed there are certain rules that you just can't explain about it?


point out some rules you can't explain and I or someone else will explain them for you.

the whole concept of tension and release focuses on dissonance being resolved by consonance. the reason these flat notes sound good is because they create even more dissonance, which lends to a stronger resolution.
#16
Quote by The4thHorsemen
point out some rules you can't explain and I or someone else will explain them for you.

the whole concept of tension and release focuses on dissonance being resolved by consonance. the reason these flat notes sound good is because they create even more dissonance, which lends to a stronger resolution.


Sure then, why dont you explain to me why the blue notes are quarter tones and not semitones?

Or the particularity of the blues Harmony, and how blues can be pantonal without much effort. You could also explain to me why somehow the ridiculous amount of alterations that can be done to a blues tune beyond conventional harmony can still render it functional.

Or the fact that you can blues over any sort of music and it will sound good regardless of key or progression.

Folk music, including the blues is idiomatic and unique to culture. There are elements of it starting with the change of intonation that you just cant explain with western Harmony. Just like Hungarian Folk Music goes beyond Polymodal and how arabic music hits notes that aren't there as well.
#17
Quote by Pillo114
Sure then, why dont you explain to me why the blue notes are quarter tones and not semitones?

Or the particularity of the blues Harmony, and how blues can be pantonal without much effort. You could also explain to me why somehow the ridiculous amount of alterations that can be done to a blues tune beyond conventional harmony can still render it functional.

Or the fact that you can blues over any sort of music and it will sound good regardless of key or progression.

Folk music, including the blues is idiomatic and unique to culture. There are elements of it starting with the change of intonation that you just cant explain with western Harmony. Just like Hungarian Folk Music goes beyond Polymodal and how arabic music hits notes that aren't there as well.



ok, I won't pretend I know very much about those, but regardless, all music systems share common traits. one of these is tension and release and is clearly heard in any form of music. different cultural music systems surely utilize different ideas, but they can be at least partially understood by traditional theory.

i'll also note that from what i understand (haven't studied it myself) arabic music's "notes that aren't there" are used as passing tones.
#18
Quote by The4thHorsemen
ok, I won't pretend I know very much about those, but regardless, all music systems share common traits. one of these is tension and release and is clearly heard in any form of music. different cultural music systems surely utilize different ideas, but they can be at least partially understood by traditional theory.

i'll also note that from what i understand (haven't studied it myself) arabic music's "notes that aren't there" are used as passing tones.


In idiomatic music usually tension and response is seen on the wider scale of call and response.

If those blues notes cause by an alteration in intonation are theoretical "tension and release" then that would imply that vibrato is as well, which is completely wrong. Articulation techniques that alter intonation have nothing to do with tension and release.

Like I said, further on in jazz those blue notes were subjected to Western theory and used as tensions as the seminal part of how jazz harmony works. But the fact of how those blue notes exist and how they came to be and sound well has nothing to do with that.
#19
Quote by Pillo114
Sure then, why dont you explain to me why the blue notes are quarter tones and not semitones?



The blue note is raised a quarter tone because it's in between the minor and major third, giving in no distinct tonality towards either, which provides that signature blues sound.

The flat fifth is added to the pentatonic scale because it is used as a passing tone between the V and IV chord before resolving back to the tonic, another signature blues technique.

So, how is that impossible to explain with theory..? It's quite simple actually. Blues is a very simple and predicatable genre of music. That's why it's usually the first style of lead soloing that is taught to guitarist.
Quote by Night
wtf is a selfie? is that like, touching yourself or something?
#20
Quote by Wiegenlied
The blue note is raised a quarter tone because it's in between the minor and major third, giving in no distinct tonality towards either, which provides that signature blues sound.

So, how is that impossible to explain with theory..? It's quite simple actually. Blues is a very simple and predicatable genre of music. That's why it's usually the first style of lead soloing that is taught to guitarist.


You're not explaining an articulation with theory, and the fact of why it is used has nothing to do with the fact that it is neither major nor minor. You don't vibrato because you want to alter the tonality of what you are playing, the same way bends don't have to be perfectly intonated to sound enticing.

It's basic and simple because it is folk music, there's no need to be complex in folklore. It has a very distinct idiom that can be easily adopted by anyone to play and expand upon with great expression and facility.

That said, the amount that you can do to a 12 bar blues harmonically is brain melting. From the most basic to completely pantonal, the amount of stuff you can superimpose melodically over is good enough to last you multiple lifetimes.

I'm not saying there is no theory involved, i'm just stating the origin of the sound has nothing to do with Western Theory. The amount of theory you put into it though the more you can plunder. There's no doubt about that.
#21
flat 5, flat 3

my rule of thumb, make anything bluesy

TECHNICALLY speaking anyway...just you know, dont linger on them

EDIT: flat 7


DUH
Quote by BlitzkriegAir
1. Get drunk
2. play pentatonic scales fast
3. throw in some divebombs and pinch harmonics
4. Get killed onstage
5. become legendary guitarist instantaneously


Quote by Holy Katana

How dare you attack the greatness of the augmented sixth?
#22
Quote by Pillo114


That said, the amount that you can do to a 12 bar blues harmonically is brain melting. From the most basic to completely pantonal, the amount of stuff you can superimpose melodically over is good enough to last you multiple lifetimes.



The same could be said for any given progression, or even a drone. Melodic possibilities are always endless, any restrictions are only those imposed by the musician himself.
Quote by Night
wtf is a selfie? is that like, touching yourself or something?
#23
Quote by Wiegenlied
The same could be said for any given progression, or even a drone. Melodic possibilities are always endless, any restrictions are only those imposed by the musician himself.


This.

The thing with the major scale isnt that things outside of it neccesarily clash or things inside it sound good or work, rather it's more of a context / framework for chords and (western) ears.

Essentialy, anything written using the western 12 pitch system is in the chromatic scale. The major scale is nothing more than a way to provide a systematic way of context so every note has some musical significance and function, wheter or not they are 'in scale' our 'out of scale'.
#24
Not necessarily, especially within an idiom or genre, while the possibilities of melody are endless only a fraction "works" and a fraction of that is representative of an idiom. The blues are directly identifiable regardless of notes used, versus other styles and idioms of music where harmony, note choice and other things play a more direct role in the idiom.

Thinking about it today, what I was saying how the blue notes are articulations instead of accidentals of tensions can be seen in the simple fact that just playing those accidentals does not make something bluesy. The articulation and expression is the thing you want for the blues sound.


Essentialy, anything written using the western 12 pitch system is in the chromatic scale. The major scale is nothing more than a way to provide a systematic way of context so every note has some musical significance and function, wheter or not they are 'in scale' our 'out of scale'.


Thats my point why the blues doesnt completely fall into western theory. The blue notes arent in the chromatic scale at all. They are a voice articulation.
Last edited by Pillo114 at Jul 5, 2010,
#25
Quote by Pillo114
what I was saying how the blue notes are articulations instead of accidentals of tensions.


they are notes..... not articulations.

btw, this all started with the MAJOR BLUES SCALE (see OP). The chromatic note in this scale is not a "blues note" in the way you are describing. The note in question does create tension that is released when moving onto another note in the scale. (as was suggested by mapofyourhead).

This was an accurate answer based on the TS's question..


Quote by MapOfYourHead
Tension and release through accidentals sounds good.

That is why it is used.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 5, 2010,
#26
Quote by GuitarMunky
they are notes..... not articulations.


Arrived at through the use of articulation. If they aren't reached through articulation and expression, it's not blues. Shifting intonation or playing a wide vibrato that reaches into the quarter tones doesn't mean you are playing "notes."

Instead of mindlessly repeating the same thing people say why don't you read the thread and see that I already said that it's origin is a vocal articulation that was later on applied as a tension in jazz and other music by actually placing them within the chromatic scale.

Just because it has been turned into a note to fall within a western context doesn't wipe away the origins of why and how the sound came to be.

Jesus Christ, I have to write things ten times.
#27
To end this random argument.

This was an accurate answer based on the TS's question..


Any musical question can be answered "accurately" with just saying "tension and release" or "it just sounds good". The person already knows it sounds good thats why he comes here, he wants to find out why.

I give an answer about the origins of it and all of a sudden I'm wrong because my answer isn't the stock response to questions here. My bad, I forget that as long as it gets them to play it's valid.

90% of the people here have no idea what they're talking about, and stale answers like "it just sounds good" don't help anyone. If someone really wanted to help someone whether it's with this, modes, soloing, chords or whatever answer it properly but dont half ass it just because they don't know what the hell they are talking about, think they are the shit or just glanced at wikipedia quick.

Who knows, maybe the TS doesn't give a damn about the history and culture of it or maybe it does make him want to explore it more. That's not up to anyone else other than him, but if you dont show him the options and just say "just do it because it just works dont worry about it" he'll never get the chance to decide.
#30
Quote by Zed45
How come the blues scale has the fifth AND flattened fifth?


Because, as I've said it in my previous post, it's used as a passing tone between the V and IV chord or vice versa.
Quote by Night
wtf is a selfie? is that like, touching yourself or something?
#31
why are you guys arguing over this? the flat 5 is not outside of theory at all. the blue third isnt either. its called a 1/4 step bend. thats how western theory explains it. why does it work? probably because we are so used to hearing it. go back a few hundred years and people wouldnt think it worked at all.

also blues works over almost anything because the pentatonic scale works over almost anything. you are taking away the two notes that can clash the most which makes the scale more usable in more situations. also you are making wider intervals by doing so which some claim sounds more melodic to our ears and less like a scale.