#1
when playing in a scale or improvising in a scale can i change the scale? (while staying in the same key, of course) for example: going from major to harmonic minor


on another topic what is most common and least common japanese scales? also most common key in japanese music?

i found these ones on a website if its any help:

hirajoshi pentatonic-1, 2, b3, 5 ,b6
hirajoshi pentatonic(2)-1, 3, 4, 6, 7
Japanese in(sen)-1, b2, 4, 5, b7
Japanese(A)-1, b2, 4, 5, b6
Japanese(B)-1, 2, 4, 5, b6
Japanese(Ichikiosucho)-1, 2, 3, 4, 4#, 5, 6, 7
Japanese(taishikicho)-1, 2, 3, 4, 4#, 5, 6, 6#, 7


any help will be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by Livingtime at Aug 26, 2010,
#2
No idea about the Japanese stuff, but for the first part, of course! I highly recommend it, players such as Guthrie Govan, Greg Howe, John Petrucci, and many more do it all the time, and it sounds awesome.
#4
While improvising, I tend to mix up many scales. For example I start on regular A minor, then switch into A harmonic minor If I want to add that Ab note to create some tense/exotic feel. Then I go into A melodic minor to lose that augmented 2nd interval to make the melodies more subtle and mello. Sometimes I throw in some gypsy scale or Hirajoshi scale. Unfortunately I have no idea, how that would sound with a backing track.

Also, Marty Friedman uses some exotic scales. Check out his solo in Tornado of Souls, maybe transcribe it or look out the tab of it also. He uses both the regular minor and harmonic minor scale and if I remember correctly, there is a little Hirajoshi passage aswell.

Also, Mozart's "Turkish March" is created with a harmonic minor scale (1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7). Sometimes the 4th is sharpened, then it could be called a Hungarian Gypsy scale (1 2 b3 b5 5 b6 7).
Hence, that piece is constructed with both Harmonic minor and also Gypsy scale.
#5
Quote by Livingtime
when playing in a scale or improvising in a scale can i change the scale? (while staying in the same key, of course) for example: going from major to harmonic minor


on another topic what is most common and least common japanese scales? also most common key in japanese music?

i found these ones on a website if its any help:

hirajoshi pentatonic-1, 2, b3, 5 ,b6
hirajoshi pentatonic(2)-1, 3, 4, 6, 7
Japanese in(sen)-1, b2, 4, 5, b7
Japanese(A)-1, b2, 4, 5, b6
Japanese(B)-1, 2, 4, 5, b6
Japanese(Ichikiosucho)-1, 2, 3, 4, 4#, 5, 6, 7
Japanese(taishikicho)-1, 2, 3, 4, 4#, 5, 6, 6#, 7


any help will be greatly appreciated.


I don't mean to sound crass, but I'll be direct: The answer is yes, if you have no care in the world about the relationships between scales and chords. I could play Major 11ths without raising the 11ths, I could play C#Major over a C Chord and tritone every other note followed by minor 2nds.

If I care nothing about sound, I can play anything I want. You dont even have to tune your guitar to do it.

Best,

Sean
#6
For mixing scales, there isn't really a rule or reason saying you cant.
That said, whether or not it works is very finicky and hit or miss.

But a good guidline would be that a scale works or not in the context of the harmony / progression. It takes a bit of working out, so its not really that great for improv or jamming, but you need to figure out which notes differ between the scales and see if they are in in the chords or backing. If so, you either need to rewrite the chords to only use shared notes, *or* you need to change the notes of the backing from the moment you change the scale.

But it can also go the other way around.. a progression that can safely be played over two different scales can still benefit from giving attention to the different colour notes. It strengthens the 'feel' of the different scales and gives a sense of consistency.

As for the Japanese scales.. I'm not too knowledgeable on that part. However, from what I know, (traditional) Japanese music tends to be monophonic (ie no chords) and focuses more on texture and timbre. Since the Japanese scales are very simillar to our pentatonics, use of scale is less important to get that sound the how the instruments feel.
#7
Quote by Sean0913
The answer is yes, if you have no care in the world about the relationships between scales and chords.


Who said you have to abandon musical relationships?

For example, if the chords behind a solo change appropriately to fit with a new scale/mode, then there is nothing theoretically wrong with it. Sometimes the chords may not even have to change at all and it would still be perfectly ok to change the scale being used.
Last edited by mishax92 at Aug 26, 2010,
#8
If you were playing a song in the key of C major, and decided to play a C# minor scale over it, wouldn't you in fact still be playing the C major scale with accidentals?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#9
Quote by AlanHB
If you were playing a song in the key of C major, and decided to play a C# minor scale over it, wouldn't you in fact still be playing the C major scale with accidentals?


IMO, you would just be playing the wrong scale. I wouldn't analyze it any deeper than that.

Quote by Livingtime
when playing in a scale or improvising in a scale can i change the scale? (while staying in the same key, of course) for example: going from major to harmonic minor


You would not just casually switch from say C Major to C harmonic minor over a purely C Major progression. If the music changes key.... then you change appropriately.

To learn how to do this..... be prepared to spend some time studying theory. Try a book, or a teacher rather than deciphering opinions and arguments online.

After you get through the basics, then the internet isn't a bad place to supplement and explore.


Quote by Livingtime

on another topic what is most common and least common japanese scales? also most common key in japanese music?

i found these ones on a website if its any help:

hirajoshi pentatonic-1, 2, b3, 5 ,b6
hirajoshi pentatonic(2)-1, 3, 4, 6, 7
Japanese in(sen)-1, b2, 4, 5, b7
Japanese(A)-1, b2, 4, 5, b6
Japanese(B)-1, 2, 4, 5, b6
Japanese(Ichikiosucho)-1, 2, 3, 4, 4#, 5, 6, 7
Japanese(taishikicho)-1, 2, 3, 4, 4#, 5, 6, 6#, 7


any help will be greatly appreciated.


Well, those sound real fancy and all, but if you haven't even heard music that uses them, and you have no idea on how to apply them theoretically...... why bother?

Rather than searching for fancy words to impressive yourself with, I recommend starting with the basics and spending some quality time there.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 26, 2010,
#10
Quote by mishax92
Who said you have to abandon musical relationships?

For example, if the chords behind a solo change appropriately to fit with a new scale/mode, then there is nothing theoretically wrong with it. Sometimes the chords may not even have to change at all and it would still be perfectly ok to change the scale being used.


No one said you have to, but you have to have an understanding to start with of musical relationships, before you could abandon them in the first place. As I look at the question it seems to be ignorant that scales and changing them, have anything to do with chords that are with them. If you understand the relationship between chords and scales, the question virtually answers itself.

If the TS had to ask this question in the first place, then the concept of knowing when chords would not have to change to start with, would probably not be in their repository of understanding either. My statement stands. You can do anything you like, but to sound musical and have cohesion, knowledge of what happens to the chords against the new scale you changed to and why, is important.


Sean
#11
Quote by Allan HB
If you were playing a song in the key of C major, and decided to play a C# minor scale over it, wouldn't you in fact still be playing the C major scale with accidentals?
Once you start playing accidentals that are not part of the original (or previously used) key, you have changed keys, even if one or several other players don't play any of the notes that now have accidentals. (The only exceptions are embellishments).

If some players continue to play in the previous key, so for instance somebody plays a C while you play a C#, this will almost certainly sound wrong.

[Reply by AlanHB that accidentally got misplaced:]
You sure about that changing keys? I'm sure that the key of a song is cannot be changed simply by soloing over it. Say if I used the C# scale over a C progression, it would sound out of place because the audience would percieve it as notes relative to the key of the progression. That is, it would be a hideous version of the C major scale.

Or you could always refer to those A minor over a C progression arguments. In that case you're still playing the C major, but the notes are shared between the scales. You're still not changing the key though if you're going to use A minor over a C major progression.
I'll reply to this later.
Last edited by Withakay at Aug 28, 2010,
#12
Quote by Withakay
You sure about that changing keys? I'm sure that the key of a song is cannot be changed simply by soloing over it. Say if I used the C# scale over a C progression, it would sound out of place because the audience would percieve it as notes relative to the key of the progression. That is, it would be a hideous version of the C major scale.

Or you could always refer to those A minor over a C progression arguments. In that case you're still playing the C major, but the notes are shared between the scales. You're still not changing the key though if you're going to use A minor over a C major progression.
Correct.

You can't change tonal centers unless the harmonic motion suggests a change of tonal centers (in other words a modulation/tonicization). Thus why A minor over a C major progression is just C major. Outside of polytonality, the C# major scale over a C major progression is theoretically wrong. You'd be playing the notes C# D# E# F# G# A# B#, which would probably be perceived as their enharmonic equivalents, C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb, which is a horrible derangement of the C major scale (flatting the 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7), in other words C locrian. This is a little more theoretically sound, but its very impractical because of the probable clashing of multiple scale degrees, as well as the inherent instability of the locrian mode. Anyways, you get my point.

That said, changing scales (or better yet, altering your original scale) is perfectly plausible. Take a 12 bar blues for example: F# F# F# F# B B F# F# C# B F# C#7. You could solo over this whole thing with F# major, or the F# major pentatonic. To mix it up a bit, you could flat the 7 (derived from a I7), giving you what is colloquially known as F# mixolydian. You could then flat the 3 (derived from a IV7) and remove the degrees that create half-steps, and you have the F# minor pentatonic. Add the passing tone between the 4 and 5, and you have the F# minor pentatonic blues scale.

So what I'm getting at is you can use different scales of the same root if you know what you're doing. You can't change the tonal center though.

Then you get into changes, and this all goes to shit.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#13
uhm...without getting technical because im shattered, it is acceptable in blues to play an eminor scale over an emajor prog.

thats the simplest mix you can do.

also, try playing a diminished scale over it. sounds kinda weird and cools
Quote by EndTheRapture51
who pays five hundred fucking dollars for a burger
#15
Quote by GuitarMunky
IMO, you would just be playing the wrong scale. I wouldn't analyze it any deeper than that.

But if Charlie Parker did it we'd all shoot a load.
#16
Quote by Withakay
You sure about that changing keys? I'm sure that the key of a song is cannot be changed simply by soloing over it. Say if I used the C# scale over a C progression, it would sound out of place because the audience would percieve it as notes relative to the key of the progression. That is, it would be a hideous version of the C major scale.

Or you could always refer to those A minor over a C progression arguments. In that case you're still playing the C major, but the notes are shared between the scales. You're still not changing the key though if you're going to use A minor over a C major progression.


This is extremely embarassing, but the above quote is mine. I must have accidentially pressed the "edit" button, instead of the "quote" button.

I apologise to Withakay.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#17
Quote by SKAtastic7770
But if Charlie Parker did it we'd all shoot a load.

i have a feeling that charlie parker wouldn't do it unless he knew it would sound good. then afterwards he could tell you why he did that instead of something else and why it sounded good. don't ever forget, if you can explain why it should sound good, it usually will.
#18
Quote by AlanHB
This is extremely embarassing, but the above quote is mine. I must have accidentially pressed the "edit" button, instead of the "quote" button.
I noticed that. How did you manage that? Are you a moderator? What other secret powers do you have? ;-)
I apologise to Withakay.
No worries. I kind of fixed it. :-)
Quote by AlanHB
You sure about that changing keys? I'm sure that the key of a song is cannot be changed simply by soloing over it. Say if I used the C# scale over a C progression, it would sound out of place because the audience would percieve it as notes relative to the key of the progression. That is, it would be a hideous version of the C major scale.
What I mean is that when notes foreign to the actual key are being played, they are either wrong, or there is a local modulation going on. (It could be a secondary or a double dominant, but you're still locally in another key. If this is the exception where you don't agree, I will happily concede).
Or you could always refer to those A minor over a C progression arguments. In that case you're still playing the C major, but the notes are shared between the scales. You're still not changing the key though if you're going to use A minor over a C major progression.
If player A plays only notes shared between two or more keys, and player B plays notes in a particular key that is different from the previous key, then both players have shifted keys.
Quote by food1010
You can't change tonal centers unless the harmonic motion suggests a change of tonal centers (in other words a modulation/tonicization). Thus why A minor over a C major progression is just C major.
I agree with that, but my understanding is that when a composer fails doing that, he either has made a mistake, or he has written a poor score. Of course I have to be careful with an assertion like that. I am not an expert, just a student. Classes start again next week. I'll ask what my teacher has to say on the matter.

Would you have an example, food?
Last edited by Withakay at Aug 28, 2010,
#19
Withkay - there are no "wrong" notes, there is either tension or resolution. With this in mind, the onus is upon the player to use both devices effectively making the big picture overall accomplish what he's trying to do. Local modulation, iand other ideas while I see merit, in my opinion, is over thinking it.

Best,

Sean
#20
Quote by Withakay
I agree with that, but my understanding is that when a composer fails doing that, he either has made a mistake, or he has written a poor score. Of course I have to be careful with an assertion like that. I am not an expert, just a student. Classes start again next week. I'll ask what my teacher has to say on the matter.

Would you have an example, food?
An example of what, someone thinking they're playing A minor over a C major progression when it is really just C major?
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#21
Quote by Sean0913
Withkay - there are no "wrong" notes, there is either tension or resolution.
With wrong notes I mean two notes that have no business being played together or one after another. A polyphonic sound that hurts your ears to the point of you pulling a face. That kind that makes you wish you hadn't switched on the radio.
Quote by food1010
An example of what, someone thinking they're playing A minor over a C major progression when it is really just C major?
Well not someone. Just a part where you could argue that the A minor progression is really still C major. Or any other two keys that have this duality going on. Something I can show my teacher and ask him his opinion.

I'm not trying to have the last word here. I'm trying to learn something. :-)
#22
Quote by Withakay
Well not someone. Just a part where you could argue that the A minor progression is really still C major. Or any other two keys that have this duality going on. Something I can show my teacher and ask him his opinion.

I'm not trying to have the last word here. I'm trying to learn something. :-)
Anything with no sharps or flats played over a C major progression is just the C major scale.

Do you want me to give you an example of a progression in C major?
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#23
The whole of that 'scales' list is hilarious.

Too many people trying to act smart and making up stupid names for fragments of scales/chords/chords with harmonic decoration.
Last edited by griffRG7321 at Aug 28, 2010,
#24
changing scales isnt really as simple as switching from major to harmonic minor just because you feel like it. if you have a progression in the key of Cmajor, and the chord progression doesnt change at all, you're soloing over it cant be in C harmonic minor, at least as far as i know, maybe a mode of A harmonic minor though. You could extremely easily change from Cmaj to Cmajpent tho, same notes just less of them haha. you can switch scales as long as you're sure it works over the chords
#25
Quote by TMVATDI
maybe a mode of A harmonic minor though.
It's possible, but only if the harmony supports it. Well the harmony doesn't necessarily have to support it, but it might clash pretty hard if not.

The only common example I can think of that calls for A harmonic minor (or a mode) would be a secondary dominant of Am. In my experience, V/vi isn't very common,* but I have seen pretty often the diminished leading tone of the relative minor (#vo7). Depending on how you look at it, you could either use the A harmonic minor if you want to tonicize the vi or a mode of it (C ionian #5 to be precise) as a simple alteration to the major scale (augmenting the 5).

*Let me clarify: the III is rather common, but it's not used quite like the #vo7 to tonicize the vi.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#26
In all honesty, you only need two scales and everything else just overcomplicates things. If you feel these two scales are too limiting for you, then you're better off studying things like chromaticism than "exotic" scales.

EDIT: As for the OP's first question. Sure, this is called modulation. It was performed a lot in mid to late Romantic era classical music, where during each chord it was almost like another chord progression was going on (and therefore another "scale" or "key" was used). Very interesting stuff. This is really the origin of what OP was talking about.
        ,
        |\
[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
Last edited by demonofthenight at Aug 28, 2010,
#27
Quote by Withakay
I noticed that. How did you manage that? Are you a moderator? What other secret powers do you have? ;-)No worries. I kind of fixed it. :-)


Thanks for being a good sport. Lets just say when you become a moderator you get a whole heap of extra buttons which do stuff. If you press the wrong one, you can err, change people's opinions


Quote by Withakay
If player A plays only notes shared between two or more keys, and player B plays notes in a particular key that is different from the previous key, then both players have shifted keys.


Well, I think this would only work hypothetically. In the vast majority of situations, a song is just in one key (not counting modulations). If player A plays X scale over this song, and player B plays Y scale over this song, neither player are changing the key of the song through their note choice - the key is determined by where the song resolves to.

The only time I can see it working is where A player plays X scale over the original key, then it modulates to a different key and player B plays Y scale over that. The note to which it resolves has changed, and therefore the nature of the scale which is played over it has changed.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#28
back to the original questions:

yes, you can change scales while you are soloing. here's the basic idea behind it; your solo needs to harmonize with the chords underneath it or else it will sound dissonant. think about the chord or progression you are soloing over and what tones the chords contain, then pick a scale that contains most of those tones. simple.

so, for your japanese scale, you could reverse engineer what chords you could play this scale over by using the scale's formula.

for instance, your hirajoshi pentatonic formula is 1, 2, b3, 5, b6.

That means if you played an A minor, an A minor flat sixth, or an A suspended second chord, you could play the A hirajoshi pentatonic scale over it and it would sound good. Likewise, if you had a progression of power chords that went A5 / E5 / F5 for the same reason; the pool of notes you have to harmonize with from your chord progression all fit within the A hirajoshi pentatonic scale.
#29
Quote by food1010
Do you want me to give you an example of a progression in C major?
No, I meant a progression where you can argue that it is written in A minor while it really is in C major.

I'm starting to think we're arguing at the same side, here. The one thing that is confusing is that I study classic harmony, in which the 'standard' minor scale is the harmonic one. We do use the melodic one at some rare occasions, but the original minor scale is never used. Actually we call it the ancient scale. It's completely out of fashion. Just like modes are.
Quote by AlanHB
If you press the wrong one, you can err, change people's opinions
I bet politicians would kill for a button like that. :-)
In the vast majority of situations, a song is just in one key (not counting modulations).
I'd go further than that. At any point in time a piece is in only one key, defined by the notes that all the players are playing at that time and the tonic the segment is resolving to. You can argue where exactly a key ends and another starts. But at some point you have to decide which one it is. Two or more players (voices) can not be in different keys at a particular time.
If player A plays X scale over this song, and player B plays Y scale over this song, neither player are changing the key of the song through their note choice - the key is determined by where the song resolves to.
But isn't the scale intrinsically linked to the key? If the scale changes, so does the key, doesn't it?
#30
Quote by Withakay
If the scale changes, so does the key, doesn't it?


Nah, the scale doesn't determine the tonal centre. However you can arguably do it if you are just playing around by yourself, without other instruments or music involved.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#31
Quote by Withakay
No, I meant a progression where you can argue that it is written in A minor while it really is in C major.
I think I see what you're saying. Something like Am C F G where resolving it to Am sounds fine, but the G also works as a perfect dominant to C.

Is that what you mean?

Quote by Withakay
I'm starting to think we're arguing at the same side, here.
I'm not really arguing any side actually. I'm just trying to understand what you're asking.

Quote by AlanHB
Nah, the scale doesn't determine the tonal centre. However you can arguably do it if you are just playing around by yourself, without other instruments or music involved.
Yup. I feel like I gave an example like this earlier, but look at blues. You could have a I IV V progression in C, play the C major pentatonic, C mixolydian (more correctly an altered major scale) and the C minor pentatonic (as well as plenty of other altered scales) and still be in the key of C.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Aug 29, 2010,
#32
There are alot of great answers here. I would only suggest to the TS to play some jazz standards and practice using scales over the changes. Start with learning Major, the minors (nat,harm,melodic) and their modes as well as the diminished scale. These scales would allow you to play over most changes quite well. The reason I suggest playing to standards is because as someone suggested earlier, playing to actual chord changes will determine what scales sound good, as opposed to playing by yourself and switching to different scales. If there is no chord progression behind you, it might sound okay. I often here alot a players say they like Marty Friedman so they try to learn Japanese scales without a good understanding of why he uses them. However, when playing jazz, alot of things can be used to sound "outside". For example I was listening to the solo of Salt Peanuts and at one part the soloist quotes the head melody by playing it out of key and then modulates it back in key at a higher octave. This sounds really cool. So it depends on the context of what you are playing or how you phrase a particular scale. Other times I will be playing over changes using modes of the major scale. Occasionally I will hit a note that is outside the scale(usually when the chord is altered). It could be analyzed as a passing tone or when the note is emphasized, it could analyzed as a completely different scale. I could learn the new scale/mode or I can think of it as a hybrid scale. Like calling mixolydian ionian b7.
MARTY FRIEDMAN--"It’s a lot easier to be technical than it is stylized; it really is... But I think it’s a lot more rare to have someone who’s really got their own sound because that’s something you can’t practice."
#33
Quote by food1010
I think I see what you're saying. Something like Am C F G where resolving it to Am sounds fine, but the G also works as a perfect dominant to C.

Is that what you mean?
Well, yes. Except that the harmonic minor A's leading tone is G# instead of G. You use the natural minor, so in that case I agree.

Let me correct something I said earlier. The natural minor scale is not called the ancient scale. The minor melodic is called that. But we still never use the natural scale in our harmony courses.
I'm not really arguing any side actually. I'm just trying to understand what you're asking.
I'm trying to understand what you meant in your first quote:
You can't change tonal centers unless the harmonic motion suggests a change of tonal centers (in other words a modulation/tonicization). Thus why A minor over a C major progression is just C major.
I agree with the first sentence. I don't understand how you can be in A minor over a C major progression. Those two sentences kind of contradict themselves. If your A minor part does not fit the tonal centre for A minor, you're never in A minor. Even if all the notes you use could technically be part of an A minor scale.

This is where I think we are saying the same thing.
Yup. I feel like I gave an example like this earlier, but look at blues. You could have a I IV V progression in C, play the C major pentatonic, C mixolydian (more correctly an altered major scale) and the C minor pentatonic (as well as plenty of other altered scales) and still be in the key of C.
Ok. To me the pentatonic scale is a subset of the major scale. So while you're limliting yourself in options, all the harmonic rules still apply.

And are modes really scales? Like Demon said, there are only two scales, with a couple of extra options regarding the minor scale.

Those modern scales were derived from the modes a couple of centuries ago to fix some problems. I agree that they are still used in Rock and Jazz (and probably some other styles), but modern harmony doesn't consider them, except perhaps for historical purposes. Kind of like learning latin at school is not for the purpose of speaking it down your local pub.

Now, I don't want to sound elitist. Millions of people use modes to learn music. If it works for them, it's certainly not without merit. But my final argument is that you can't mix the two systems. Livingtime (TS) was speaking in major and harmonic minor terms, so to me that excludes modal scales.

I expect some heat for this. So if you don't agree, please educate me.
#34
Quote by Withakay
I'm trying to understand what you meant in your first quote:
I agree with the first sentence. I don't understand how you can be in A minor over a C major progression. Those two sentences kind of contradict themselves. If your A minor part does not fit the tonal centre for A minor, you're never in A minor. Even if all the notes you use could technically be part of an A minor scale.
Ah I see where you are confused. Let me clarify:

If you are playing the notes of the A minor scale over a progression in C, the notes are actually just the C major scale, because the tonal center is C.

Sorry my wording was confusing.

Quote by Withakay
This is where I think we are saying the same thing.
Ok. To me the pentatonic scale is a subset of the major scale. So while you're limliting yourself in options, all the harmonic rules still apply.
I didn't want to say "the major scale" because you don't generally use the major 7 in blues soloing. You may use it as a chromatic passing tone, but it's generally not used as a functional leading tone. That's all I was saying. Plus I didn't mean to imply that you were limited and can't add notes onto that pentatonic. The whole point of my statement was that you have a lot of options. I usually view the pentatonics as a simple basis off of which to work.

Quote by Withakay
And are modes really scales? Like Demon said, there are only two scales, with a couple of extra options regarding the minor scale.

Those modern scales were derived from the modes a couple of centuries ago to fix some problems. I agree that they are still used in Rock and Jazz (and probably some other styles), but modern harmony doesn't consider them, except perhaps for historical purposes. Kind of like learning latin at school is not for the purpose of speaking it down your local pub.

Now, I don't want to sound elitist. Millions of people use modes to learn music. If it works for them, it's certainly not without merit. But my final argument is that you can't mix the two systems. Livingtime (TS) was speaking in major and harmonic minor terms, so to me that excludes modal scales.

I expect some heat for this. So if you don't agree, please educate me.
Heh, this is funny because that's essentially what I always say when modes are brought up in threads like this. Note how I said, "more correctly, an altered major scale." I simply used the colloquialized term "mixolydian" so those who see modes as interchangeable with scales in tonal music would easily recognize it. I do acknowledge that the terminology is a bit flawed.

And I don't think he was limiting the conversation to the major and the harmonic minor scales. He just used those two as an example.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#35
Ok, thanks. I guess we were kind of pulling at the same end.
Quote by food1010
And I don't think he was limiting the conversation to the major and the harmonic minor scales. He just used those two as an example.
Yeah, you're probably right.