#1
I recently had a lot of guitar and scale stuff click for me, and have increased my understanding, but theres one thing I still question. Say, for example, there is something in the key of C, would I be able to go from playing say a C minor pentatonic to playing a C melodic minor, or any other scale in the Key of C. How would I go about switching if your able to. I have learned some licks to get it to a scale to a different position, but is there any way to switch between two different scales in the same Key. Sorry if I don't make much sense, I'm tired
#4
First of all, if your playing in C major you would be far better off playing A minor scales because Am is the relative minor to C major. As for switching between the scales it could definitely work but you'll need to know a tad of theory to makes sure the melodic minor notes dont clash with the chords backing you
#6
Quote by benn913
I recently had a lot of guitar and scale stuff click for me, and have increased my understanding, but theres one thing I still question. Say, for example, there is something in the key of C, would I be able to go from playing say a C minor pentatonic to playing a C melodic minor, or any other scale in the Key of C. How would I go about switching if your able to. I have learned some licks to get it to a scale to a different position, but is there any way to switch between two different scales in the same Key. Sorry if I don't make much sense, I'm tired


If you're playing chords in C major, you would lead with anything else C major. When someone says 'this is in C', it doesn't mean C everything. Take a look at relative minors and chord scale relationships, that should help you out a bit.
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#7
Quote by zooba22
First of all, if your playing in C major you would be far better off playing A minor scales because Am is the relative minor to C major. As for switching between the scales it could definitely work but you'll need to know a tad of theory to makes sure the melodic minor notes dont clash with the chords backing you

No, despite want you may have been led to believe that's not actually possible. There's no such thing as "playing the relative minor"...if the songs in the key of C major then the notes A B C D E F G are only ever going to function as the C major scale, A minor doesn't even exist in that context.
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#8
Quote by steven seagull
No, despite want you may have been led to believe that's not actually possible. There's no such thing as "playing the relative minor"...if the songs in the key of C major then the notes A B C D E F G are only ever going to function as the C major scale, A minor doesn't even exist in that context.



This, you'll be playing a mode instead.
#9
C minor pentatonic will work over C major, as long as you don't include the 7 in the chord.

If you make the C major a C maj7, then it suddenly won't work.

If you make the C major a C7, it will work.

C minor pentatonic will also work over C minor.

For a C maj7 chord try the major scale or the lydian mode.

For bluesy music, master the blues scale (minor pentatonic) before you move on.
Luke Mosse Guitar Teacher in Bristol, UK
#10
Quote by XianXiuHong
Knowing theory will help with that, there's a reason there's over 500 years of music convention/theory and why it's used today.


theguitarplayin- is right... listening is the most important tool a musican can have. If it sounds good to you, go with it.

XianXiuHong- Watch these clips and tell me Victor Wooten is wrong!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvKEpAYZjlE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_jFAhN6V9s

All of the scales and modes in western music are nothing more than intervals of the Chromatic scale. Someone decided certin note spacings sounded good to them, they wrote down the spacing they liked and walla they created a scale. Every scale known to man is nothing more than someones opinion of what sounds good to them. No more and no less. You can take it or leave it, use it or not... it's all up to the individual musican. There is a reason it's called music theory and not music law!

Just because alot of people use note scales doesnt mean its the only way. In Jazz bass for example almost nobody uses note scales. Most people use chord tones and chromatics. They only use note scales as traveling notes to get from one place to another.

I challenge you to listen to James Jamerson tell me what Key he is in and what scales he's using at all times! I bet you cant, because he's playing using chromatics. His patterns arn't found in any note scale known to man. You would have to play a handfull of diffrent scales in diffrent keys all at the same time to try and recreate his patters.

So to say there is only one way, or that since alot of people play that way you have to as well... is simply ignorance on your part!!!
Quote by MetlHed94



Well played, sir, well played.
Last edited by TheMooseKnuckle at Apr 22, 2011,
#11
I'll usually use a common note to connect scales, holding, bending etc. I usually change from say E minor Pent to just E minor, then maybe to E harmonic minor, or a maj Pent to a major scale etc. Keep it simple and also you know there will never be an off note.

I don't really do any wild key changes while improvising as I play rock/prog and metal mostly, not into jazz, but some of those guys impress me.
#12
@TheMooseKnuckle you're forgetting the important thing which is that not everyone wants to play jazz, in fact I'll stick my neck out and say most people don't want to play jazz.

I honestly couldn't care less what Vitor Wooten or James Jamerson are doing because it's not relevant here. I'm fully aware that there's some shit-hot musicians out there who can weave in and out of chords seamlessly and spend the whole time seemingly teetering on the edge of everything falling apart yet remaining in complete control - and that's amazing.

However most people WANT some discernible structure in their music, they WANT to create things that fit with the conventions of the things they're used to listening to. And that means understanding the workings behind that music and knowing how and why certain things function to create certain sounds.

Even then, being acutely aware of those things is vital to the guys you've mentioned. It's the old saying, you have to know the rules before you can break them, and musicians of that calibre can take the most stable song structure and rip it to shreds with surgical precision, bringing the whole lot crashing down with deadly efficency. But they can only do that because they know exactly what to target ant what to avoid, they still know their theory and they still know exactly how those rules work, it's knowing those boundaries so well that allows them to work around them in such an accomplished manner. It's the kind of crap you start doing when you've been playing a while and really want to flex your muscles and push back some boundaries, it's NOT what you do when you're starting out learning to improvise, nor is it relevant so early on.

The kind of playing you're talking about is really at the far end of the spectrum as far as improv goes, and even then it's only a small number of players that choose to go down that route. Besides, if you're anywhere near being able to do that stuff you're not likely to be asking questions on a forum.
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#13
@steven seagull

I love theory as much as anyone. But when most people talk about theory 99% of the time all they talk about is scales and modes. There is so much more to music than just the notes!!!

They also have an old saying "music is a language"... when you were first learning English you learned to speak and listen before you learned to read and wright. You were allowed to converse with experts while you were learning were you not!? And when you made a mistake nobody told you that was wrong. Infact your parents probably started saying "basghetti" and "telemaphone" with you. They encouraged you to explore every aspect of the laungauge. Then after you have been using the language for years they send you to school to teach you what you were doing... to help you understand it.

If music is a language why not treat it as one!?

From day one we are taught what we dont know and that we are wrong. Which makes no sense since there is no right or wrong in music. We are also told we arnt allowed to play with experts and are put in beginner classes where they force you to learn to read and write before you can speak the language.

The real problem is... a mildy retarded 6 year old knows what sounds good, and what doesnt! When we are "taugh" to play we spend years memorizing scales and modes. Then when someone asks us to play we regurgitate those same scales and modes. When someone asks you to dance you move the way you feel. If someone asks you to speak you say what you think. Why is it when someone asks you to play, most people have to know a root. And even then they dont play anything original or unique usually its just a run of the same tired old scale in a specific key. In this backwards process we lose our uinique voice as a musican... and then spend years trying to find it again!

Guys like Miles Davis, James Jamerson, BB King, Stevie Wonder ect... all know some theory "everyone does, theory discribes music it doesnt define it... in the exact same way grammer discribes language and doesnt define it". But what they all have in common is a voice. The second Miles Davis starts to play you know its miles davis. The same as if a friend called you on the phone and you instantly recognized his voice. All of these guys have a unique voice because they play what they feel. They dont care if it falls in a certin scale... they live by one rule "if it feels and sounds good... it is"

Thats the point I'm getting at... genre and style be damned. Your knowalge of music theory should help you to express yourself on the instrument. It should never dictate what you can and or can not play. Play what you feel and if it sounds good to you... it is good!!!
Quote by MetlHed94



Well played, sir, well played.
Last edited by TheMooseKnuckle at Apr 22, 2011,
#14
Thats the point I'm getting at... genre and style be damned. Your knowalge of music theory should help you to express yourself on the instrument. It should never dictate what you can and or can not play. Play what you feel and if it sounds good to you... it is good!!!


I'm puzzled, because nobody anywhere in this thread is saying that isn't the case.

Also I think you'll find it's spelled "bisketti".
Actually called Mark!

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#15
Quote by steven seagull
I'm puzzled, because nobody anywhere in this thread is saying that isn't the case.

Also I think you'll find it's spelled "bisketti".


I stand corrected "bisketti" it is... I must have miss read that other fellows post in that case
Quote by MetlHed94



Well played, sir, well played.
#17
Quote by TheMooseKnuckle
theguitarplayin- is right... listening is the most important tool a musican can have. If it sounds good to you, go with it.

XianXiuHong- Watch these clips and tell me Victor Wooten is wrong!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvKEpAYZjlE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_jFAhN6V9s

All of the scales and modes in western music are nothing more than intervals of the Chromatic scale. Someone decided certin note spacings sounded good to them, they wrote down the spacing they liked and walla they created a scale. Every scale known to man is nothing more than someones opinion of what sounds good to them. No more and no less. You can take it or leave it, use it or not... it's all up to the individual musican. There is a reason it's called music theory and not music law!

Just because alot of people use note scales doesnt mean its the only way. In Jazz bass for example almost nobody uses note scales. Most people use chord tones and chromatics. They only use note scales as traveling notes to get from one place to another.

I challenge you to listen to James Jamerson tell me what Key he is in and what scales he's using at all times! I bet you cant, because he's playing using chromatics. His patterns arn't found in any note scale known to man. You would have to play a handfull of diffrent scales in diffrent keys all at the same time to try and recreate his patters.

So to say there is only one way, or that since alot of people play that way you have to as well... is simply ignorance on your part!!!



I never said that knowing theory is the only way to play but it certainly is a damn well effective one. I'm sure if jazz players use chord tones and parts of scales to lead through to the next chord with modal inflections, they're using at least some sort of theory. In fact, jazz has its own world of theory that sits apart from classical theory but it's still music theory.

I never said theory was law, but what 'theguitarplayin' said seemed to totally dismiss theory which is a little stupid considering that knowing theory will help you find your way around the fretboard faster than if you're running around blind. You have got to be some sort of genius if you can write incredible music without a single - I stress that - single ounce of theory.

Once again, I never said using note scales was the only way to play. By the way, what you're calling chromatics are actually called modal inflections in jazz.

Of course there is music where you can't tell what key the player is in, because they're constantly modulating. Heaps of music did that in the romantic period and guess what? The writing of it was supplemented by music theory. I can bet you that James Jamerson is using music theory to help him get from one chord to another, he's not playing blind.

You seem to think of theory as some sort of limiting factor to music making. Theory's only limiting to people who don't know it well and feel they have to stick to the rules, that's what is silly. Theory's simply something that will aid you in writing or improvising and jazz guys are damn heavy on music theory.


Don't call me ignorant because you presume I think theory is the only way to go, it's so insulting.

EDIT:

Quote by TheMooseKnuckle
@steven seagull

I love theory as much as anyone. But when most people talk about theory 99% of the time all they talk about is scales and modes. There is so much more to music than just the notes!!!

They also have an old saying "music is a language"... when you were first learning English you learned to speak and listen before you learned to read and wright. You were allowed to converse with experts while you were learning were you not!? And when you made a mistake nobody told you that was wrong. Infact your parents probably started saying "basghetti" and "telemaphone" with you. They encouraged you to explore every aspect of the laungauge. Then after you have been using the language for years they send you to school to teach you what you were doing... to help you understand it.

If music is a language why not treat it as one!?

From day one we are taught what we dont know and that we are wrong. Which makes no sense since there is no right or wrong in music. We are also told we arnt allowed to play with experts and are put in beginner classes where they force you to learn to read and write before you can speak the language.

The real problem is... a mildy retarded 6 year old knows what sounds good, and what doesnt! When we are "taugh" to play we spend years memorizing scales and modes. Then when someone asks us to play we regurgitate those same scales and modes. When someone asks you to dance you move the way you feel. If someone asks you to speak you say what you think. Why is it when someone asks you to play, most people have to know a root. And even then they dont play anything original or unique usually its just a run of the same tired old scale in a specific key. In this backwards process we lose our uinique voice as a musican... and then spend years trying to find it again!

Guys like Miles Davis, James Jamerson, BB King, Stevie Wonder ect... all know some theory "everyone does, theory discribes music it doesnt define it... in the exact same way grammer discribes language and doesnt define it". But what they all have in common is a voice. The second Miles Davis starts to play you know its miles davis. The same as if a friend called you on the phone and you instantly recognized his voice. All of these guys have a unique voice because they play what they feel. They dont care if it falls in a certin scale... they live by one rule "if it feels and sounds good... it is"

Thats the point I'm getting at... genre and style be damned. Your knowalge of music theory should help you to express yourself on the instrument. It should never dictate what you can and or can not play. Play what you feel and if it sounds good to you... it is good!!!


I'm not in that statistic you just made up and I understand there's more to music than just the notes.

Music is a language, I agree and with any language, there's structures, specific links and ways to alter the way you express yourself. If you do not have an extensive vocabulary of words, you can only express yourself so far until your capability is limited because of a lack of knowledge, not necessarily a lack of 'emotion'. Of course, there is some bloody good music that came out of minimal use of theory but that happens quite a lot to people who know shitloads of theory as well, theory just helps you achieve what you want.

You weren't taught very well if you were taught to spend years memorising scales and modes, there is definitely much more to music than that. Harmony is by far millions of times more important than a bunch of scales/modes. As I understand, the melodies that musicians write come from their head and not from fiddling around with some scale or mode (most of the time anyway) and when they have their end product, it happens to fit into a specific set of notes. Theory doesn't make you lose your voice as a musician, lack of understanding makes you lose your voice as a musician.

Once again, I'm not discounting the musicians who are believed to not know theory (they do, it's just a very rudimentary understanding, they wouldn't be able to analyse a 6 voice Bach Fugue or anything but they know enough to be able to play and improvise).


Quote by TheMooseKnuckle
"if it feels and sounds good... it is"


Are you trying to say I will throw out a good melody or lick or whatever because it doesn't fit a certain scale or key? That's rather insulting.

It's exactly what I use music theory for, to help myself express what I want in music, I don't let it dictate what I can or can not play. You seem to treat theory as something that is a black and white world of 'can play' and 'can not play'. You don't even have to look at blues/jazz to find people who stuck their finger up to conventional theory and wrote the way they want.

Wagner?? He pretty much destroyed western harmony and all of its conventions but he knew a shitload of theory but he didn't let it affect his composition process negatively.

Liszt?? He was one of the first to write some atonal music (most of his music is tonal but there are some pieces which just shit on western harmony and avoid the whole V-I business)

Debussy? He avoided the same conventions of western music, instead opting for sequences of pretty chords and melodies based off scales not used in earlier music.

Messaien?

Gershwin? <Oh hey look, Rhapsody in Blue, surely he knew exactly zero music theory when he wrote it, right?

Ravel?

Bruckner?

There's tons of people who wrote ****ing amazing music and were still heavy on theory. They knew a lot but they used it as a means to express themselves which is the main point of your argument but I'm trying to tell you I'm not some idiot who swears by nothing but music theory as law as you've insinuated.
Last edited by XianXiuHong at Apr 22, 2011,
#18
I already said this.
Theory turns the beautiful visions in my head into reality.

What notes, shapes, chords to play to transcribe and successfully copy the original piece locked in my brain.
Last edited by realbebop at Apr 23, 2011,
#19
it sounds better when you touch the root note and then change to another scale
Quote by benn913
I recently had a lot of guitar and scale stuff click for me, and have increased my understanding, but theres one thing I still question. Say, for example, there is something in the key of C, would I be able to go from playing say a C minor pentatonic to playing a C melodic minor, or any other scale in the Key of C. How would I go about switching if your able to. I have learned some licks to get it to a scale to a different position, but is there any way to switch between two different scales in the same Key. Sorry if I don't make much sense, I'm tired
#20
Oh wow it's the 'theory debate'. Great. (yawns)
Luke Mosse Guitar Teacher in Bristol, UK
#21
Quote by afromoose
Oh wow it's the 'theory debate'. Great. (yawns)


then please add something constructive to the debate or refrain from posting.

Whilst your at it could you please remove the advertising links from your sig, thank you kindly.
Actually called Mark!

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#22
I think by using a "fine art" analogy, this can be tidied up neatly.

I was born with a natural gift to paint anything, including the abstract. I expressed myself gesturaly, through color scheme, through design, through genre, through brush stroke, and however I wanted to, as I saw things. It was very much like a language, pure, unfettered, and unique to me.

When I went to Art school, some teachers, classes, or techniques diminshed my talent while others helped me to express it in ways I had never dreamed existed.


Honestly, I think all of you are correct and there is really no argument here. There are no rights or wrongs because Art is Art, expression is expression, and there are no natural boundaries to talent, expression, or art. Only man-made-fences that we foolishly create ourselves for nothing. There are, however, well trodden paths that we can follow to find fine spectacles and gorgeous views, if that's the limit of our desire.


If that doesn't make sense, so be it. We each speak our own language, create our own art, and express ourselves differently, and whether or not someone understands it, the importance of that is up to us.
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Last edited by mystical_1 at Apr 24, 2011,
#23
Check this site out guys...its one of those sites that actually helps....taught me how to improvise very well.

http://44ebfdzkkc1mt1wfzowa-bzfa6.h...net/?tid=GUITAR
#24
"they also have an old saying "music is a language"...


I'm sorry, but what is said is,"Music is the UNIVERSAL Language"..........what does that mean? Think about it.....okay, what it means is everybody already UNDERSTANDS it!!! You already know this language, play anywhere in the world, people can dig on what yer doing, in any style or genre, and can dance or clap or just groove along, even though you may not be able to understand what they are saying.....this concept really explains how simple music is....so to flow further, in order to play any instrument, you need only to learn the mechanics of making a note, and, if you use what you already know, and let it come out, you,too, can play!


Think of it like this...I always ask my students,"what was the very first musical instrument?" Some say a harp, or sticks on a log,(drums?) or a simple flute.....but it was the human voice ......all instruments ever invented to this day, all try to emulate the human voice ......what have you used for years, everyday, and learned to master to the point that people recognize you ,even in a crowd.....your own voice! I learned to sing everything I play, and in that way I have an instant reference to compare my notes to, and make sure what i thought is what I'm playing, not letting my fingers do the thinking.

Also you have to keep it simple....real simple, so you can act without any thought at all, just being in the now of the moment, beat by beat, note by note, hearing the notes coming out of your amp for the very first time, like everybody else is....I call it the big picture, taking it all in, not thinking key of G, II -V- I, key of Eb, III-VI-II-V-I, AABA, repeat.....you don't have time to think of scales or modes or transitional chords, you get behind your count, you're out of the present moment, out of time....playing music puts you in the present, your not remembering the past, or fantasizing the future.....in the NOW moment is where all action takes place, and playing music is the fastest"doing" at grabbing the present.

The present isn't known by thought, but by experience......playing music is experiencing the present.....and it's real simple!

The rules of music ? When learning anything new, arm yourself with knowledge...by knowing the rules you can play with other people, rather than just sitting in your bedroom alone, playing what you "think" is your great conceptual music/ART bullshit...so many think that they know steps 50, 75, 80....but what's important is steps 1,2, and 3.....simple......not everything can be right, what makes it right is it's relationship with whats going on now ....if you play a major third over a minor seventh, and we stop right there, it 'll sound like shit-but if we don't stop on that note, what we play next can, on listening back, make it come out right, after the fact....so wrong notes ( or "clams") are only wrong depending on what we play "next".....WE learn theory to expand our understanding, and music theory is so ****ing SIMPLE it's ridiculous...I can write out all chord formulas and scales and keys and chordal patterns on one side of a piece of paper, and you would understand how to use it to create any chord or pattern of chords and see the movement of the changing, or "important" notes in a song( or "analyzing "the song structure) in the simplest way....that is what theory lets you do....which leads me to the most important thing to realize about all this....knowing "theory" allows us to predict what is going to happen next, by what is happening....now....all great artists use this "prediction" idea to stay in the present, and flow with their bad selves , beyond space and time, and take us all on their journey along with them....into the silence around each note.....

Love to you all, bluespower...
#25
I really enjoy all the theory backing. There's always interesting info in these kind of debates.

Still, I somewhat agree with part of the first statement that started the debate: use your ears. While theory is really helpful, figuring out which scale sounds good and whether you can switch depends heavily on context and feel, which are best measured with trial and error.

On the large, theory is fantastic to know, but a little ear experimentation can be the best way to find things out, especially using theory as a guide. Remember that paper theory can go so far without aural theory working alongside it, which is where the mooseknuckle person is correct to a reasonable extent.
modes are a social construct
#26
I believe theory is very important, not in a "you must stay in key at all times, no exceptions." More along the lines of "if you want to hit these notes, you better know what sound it will give you and why." So I'm not saying you CAN'T play a C# over a Cmaj chord just that you should know what effect it has on what is being played. What I don't agree with however is the "oh, just hit whatever you want whenever you want and don't even pay attention to what is going on or why." Then that is just flailing in the dark, but hey every once in awhile a blind squirrel finds a nut.
"Could everyone please stop sounding like everyone else that's trying to sound like meshuggah?"

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