#1
Hey. I've been trying to write some original material, and I'm sick to death of power chords, so I've been avoiding those and working on scales.

However, I obvious want to stay in key, but I don't know which scales work with which keys. I know that A minor pentatonic goes with C Major, but that all I know.

Help, please?
#3
Okay, so if you know the pattern of a major scale (whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step), so for instance, in C C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C (all natural) than you can also figure out what chords work. Each note in the scale is root of a triad chord that's diatonic in the key. In a major key, one is major, two in minor, three is minor, four is major, five is major, six is minor, seven is diminished, and of course, the octave up is major and starts you over again. So, in the key of C major, you'd have C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major, A minor, B diminished (which nobody ever uses) and C major again. You can repeat this process for any key.

Does that help?
#5
If you like pentatonics, it's pretty simple. Song is key of B minor, solo's are in B minor pentatonic. Song is in B major, solo's are in G# major pentatonic. This is called the relative minor, you can always find the root note of a song in a major key on the E string and go three frets down to find what pentatonic you should solo in. This is why your A minor C major trick works. If the song is in a major key, try using that same minor key for pentatonic solo's to get a blues sound, it doesn't always work but trial and error will help you figure out when it's a good time for it.
#6
Go here and click on scales to chords
http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/

that will tell you every chord you can play in the key of Aminor/Cmajor.
as for scales, learn all 7 modes of the major scale. For the key of A minor(which is C major), you can play C ionian(major), D dorian, E phrygian, F lydian, G mixolydian, A aeolian(minor), and B locrian.
Every one of those scales are made of the same 7 notes.
#7
Quote by ciano16
that will tell you every chord you can play in the key of Aminor/Cmajor.
as for scales, learn all 7 modes of the major scale. For the key of A minor(which is C major), you can play C ionian(major), D dorian, E phrygian, F lydian, G mixolydian, A aeolian(minor), and B locrian.
Every one of those scales are made of the same 7 notes.


problem is, every word you posted here was incorrect.

i don't understand, guys. so we solve, like, 100 mode threads a month, and everyone else just passes by, thinking that their understanding of modes is fine. and then someone who hasn't posted before decides to post the same incorrect shit?

i'm really losing faith in humanity. i think i need a shrink.

learn to build chords from scales, TS. and learn about keys. if you're in the key of C major, everything you play is in C major. the A minor scale never comes into play, nor do D dorian, E phrygian, F lydian, G mixolydian, nor B locrian. and don't even get me started on ionian and aeolian. functionally obsolete, especially ionian.

just learn about chords and keys and you'll avoid falling into the trap that 99/100 of guitarists fall into.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#9
Quote by AeolianWolf
problem is, every word you posted here was incorrect.

i don't understand, guys. so we solve, like, 100 mode threads a month, and everyone else just passes by, thinking that their understanding of modes is fine. and then someone who hasn't posted before decides to post the same incorrect shit?

i'm really losing faith in humanity. i think i need a shrink.

learn to build chords from scales, TS. and learn about keys. if you're in the key of C major, everything you play is in C major. the A minor scale never comes into play, nor do D dorian, E phrygian, F lydian, G mixolydian, nor B locrian. and don't even get me started on ionian and aeolian. functionally obsolete, especially ionian.

just learn about chords and keys and you'll avoid falling into the trap that 99/100 of guitarists fall into.


None of what i said was incorrect. It might have been pointless, but it was completely correct. He could still go to that website and find every chord of any given mode in any given key. so he could go there, find a mode, pick a key, and be given every possible chord to use while staying in that key. meaning he would actually be in the G mixolydian mode if he picked the G mixolydian scale while still being in the actual key of C major. Gmixolydian mode, C major key. when you write music, you always put the key signature in the relative major. so yes, learning the modes relative to the major scale is a good place to start, because, if you resolve to a G7 and play the G mixolydian scale all day, youre still in C major. what makes it g mixo and not c major, is the fact that his progression would always resolve to a G7 instead of a C major. none of what i said was incorrect. youre right, he needs to learn about keys, but learning the relative modes is just as important and will get him started faster and learning his fretboard faster.
#10
Quote by ciano16
None of what i said was incorrect. It might have been pointless, but it was completely correct. He could still go to that website and find every chord of any given mode in any given key. so he could go there, find a mode, pick a key, and be given every possible chord to use while staying in that key. meaning he would actually be in the G mixolydian mode if he picked the G mixolydian scale while still being in the actual key of C major. Gmixolydian mode, C major key. when you write music, you always put the key signature in the relative major. so yes, learning the modes relative to the major scale is a good place to start, because, if you resolve to a G7 and play the G mixolydian scale all day, youre still in C major. what makes it g mixo and not c major, is the fact that his progression would always resolve to a G7 instead of a C major. none of what i said was incorrect. youre right, he needs to learn about keys, but learning the relative modes is just as important and will get him started faster and learning his fretboard faster.


of course you don't think what you said was incorrect. if you thought it was incorrect, why would you have said it?

there's no such thing as a mode in a key. if you're in C major, you play C major. that is it. modes are not just patterns on the fretboard.

the only thing you said in this post that was correct is that playing in G mixolydian would resolve to G7. but if you're in G mixolydian, you're not in C major. a piece in C major would not resolve to G unless it modulated -- at which point, it would no longer be in C major.

check out the mode thread or start studying some theory at websites other than www.cyberfret.com if you don't believe me.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#11
Quote by ciano16
None of what i said was incorrect.


Stick around on this board and read the many posts on this subject. Eventually I hope you'll see that you are wrong about modes.
#12
Quote by AeolianWolf
of course you don't think what you said was incorrect. if you thought it was incorrect, why would you have said it?

there's no such thing as a mode in a key. if you're in C major, you play C major. that is it. modes are not just patterns on the fretboard.

the only thing you said in this post that was correct is that playing in G mixolydian would resolve to G7. but if you're in G mixolydian, you're not in C major. a piece in C major would not resolve to G unless it modulated -- at which point, it would no longer be in C major.

check out the mode thread or start studying some theory at websites other than www.cyberfret.com if you don't believe me.


well, when i play with my college jazz band, we get songs that are clearly in a certain mode, and the key signature is always the relative major. so, if we have a simple shuffle in G where every single F is natural(because its all 7 chords), the arranger(who is a professional arranger, and makes his living arranging jazz songs) marks the key signature as all naturals... C major... we are in G, but its G mixo because thats just the structure of the song. so we are basically just in C. it makes perfect sense, because why would he waste his time going through an entire song with Gmaj as the key signature and make every F natural, when he could just make the key signature all naturals? i learned about modes from a real theory class and what i said was not at all wrong. if you are in C major, there are 7 modes you could be in. it was just kind of irrelevant, because i think its not possible to tell someone all about song keys in a forum post. i just tried getting him started. same concept as when a song is in D minor.. the key signature is still F major. when its D dorian, the key signature is C major. i see all of this every day in my jazz, theory, and wind ensemble classes.
#13
^ I can see where you're coming from, which is akin to the CTS school of thinking - it's perfectly viable, but not modal in the traditional sense. AeolianWolf and I, amongst other users on the forum, can vouch for the practicality of the CST system in some aspects of improvisation in deriving a pool of notes and implying new tonalities, but it's really the employment of accidentals in many cases.
I realise that this is a little irrelevant to your posts, but I figured I should include it to show that I do understand what you're describing, and that I don't mean to come off as attacking you.

The thing that needs to be clarified is that if you're in C major, you're in just that - C major. If you're in a mode which happens to share the same notes and key signature as C major, then you're in just that - a mode which happens to share the same notes and key signature as C major, which will operate with its own independent functions.
Mode predate the tonal system by hundreds of years, so going off of that fact alone is a clear indicator that we can't have ''modes inside of a key'', which is a common misconception dealt with almost daily on these forums, and it does get frustrating for the users who do reply to each of those, like Aeolian or AlanHB or Soviet_Ska.

Just thought I should drop by with this in hopes of clarifying both points of view. I'm half-asleep having typed this though, so if somebody could point out any of the less-obvious blunders to somebody half-conscious, please do.

To the Thread Starter
The terms 'scales' and 'keys' are essentially synonymous - both describe a collection of notes.
Many users on this board will recommend the site www.musictheory.net to get to grips with basic theory, which really is a fantastic resource if you take each lesson one-by-one and only move on once you have a firm grasp. You're more than welcome to make a thread to clarify anything you're unsure of on this site, of course! I'd go so far to say that some users (myself included) would be happy for you to PM them, provided you ask first.

While not an immediate route to understanding, what I'm about to recommend is a direct route.
Learning the notes on the fretboard would be a great start, rather than playing by fret numbers of box shapes. Try to find one note in all its positions on the neck per day, or every two days if you can. For example, find the note C on the sixth, fifth, fourth... all the way to the first string. Over the next few days, find D everywhere, then E, and the rest of your natural notes, reinforcing the previously learned note(s) as you go along. Flats and sharps can follow these.
It's a good idea to not think of D, for example, as ''just two frets above C''. While the reference can be helpful, it can also hinder you, as you may find yourself reliant on these references, which aren't easy to calculate when improvising or playing on the fly. It's a good idea then to really try to understand where each note is, on its own. I hope I've made this something intelligible.

Together with studying the site mentioned above, I'd recommend reading up on constructing the major scale, and writing out all twelve keys, moving around the Circle of Fifths (found on the linked site) - I'm sure that you'll notice patterns and relationships shared between them soon enough.
Next, learning how to construct basic triads for each key (typically major and minor chords) by their respective formulas would be a fitting next addition. Again, there's a clear formula for each, and even more clear formulas to help you relate each and every key signature - nifty!

This should be enough to get you started, and having a firm grasp on some simple formulas (the major scale, and major and minor chords) will be invaluable to you, especially if you look at the relationships between notes and attempt to find each note on the fretboard. I understand that it's rather rudimentary and systematic, but as a learning strategy I hope it may be helpful, as it has been to myself and others I've recommended similar studies to.

All the best,



PS: Try not to worry about modes for the time being - a lot of information of the net is stripped-down and doesn't cover the important components of modal theory, and even then, the contemporary approach used in jazz is very much its own school-of-thought.
Last edited by juckfush at Aug 12, 2011,
#14
ciano: Alan had a great post the other day covering the basics of mode applications; read it here:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=27849510&postcount=31

EDIT: Oh, and do keep in mind that the key signature is merely a compositional aid; it's nothing more than symbols on a page, it has no actual bearing on the music--unless it makes the sheet so convoluted that nobody plays the music correctly.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
Last edited by soviet_ska at Aug 12, 2011,
#15
...damn, juckfush. great post, man.

Quote by ciano16
well, when i play with my college jazz band, we get songs that are clearly in a certain mode, and the key signature is always the relative major. so, if we have a simple shuffle in G where every single F is natural(because its all 7 chords), the arranger(who is a professional arranger, and makes his living arranging jazz songs) marks the key signature as all naturals... C major... we are in G, but its G mixo because thats just the structure of the song. so we are basically just in C. it makes perfect sense, because why would he waste his time going through an entire song with Gmaj as the key signature and make every F natural, when he could just make the key signature all naturals? i learned about modes from a real theory class and what i said was not at all wrong. if you are in C major, there are 7 modes you could be in. it was just kind of irrelevant, because i think its not possible to tell someone all about song keys in a forum post. i just tried getting him started. same concept as when a song is in D minor.. the key signature is still F major. when its D dorian, the key signature is C major. i see all of this every day in my jazz, theory, and wind ensemble classes.


when a song is in D minor, the key signature is D minor. which is the same as F major, only it's not F major because it's D minor. you dig?

the thing about a lot of jazz theorists is that all they know is CST, which isn't really theory. it's just a practical way to view accidentals (except when you just play "G mixolydian" in C major, in which case there are no accidentals and it is useless). you didn't learn from a "real theory class". you learned from a jazz theory class.

jazz is some cool shit. i love it. good jazz players are absolutely world-class, but that doesn't mean that the "theory" they know is correct. this "professional" arranger of yours is a great example.

the funny thing is, though, you seem to get modes, but have absolutely no understanding of keys. i've never seen that one before.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#17
Quote by ciano16
what is CST?


Chord-scale theory. Read the post I linked you to, it's number 3 on Alan's list of modal applications.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#18
Yeah i pretty much do use the CST in all my jazz playing, but before i used modes that werent in C major, i was told to learn the relative modes and use those (dumbed down CST). is it that wrong to start there?
#19
Quote by ciano16
Yeah i pretty much do use the CST in all my jazz playing, but before i used modes that werent in C major, i was told to learn the relative modes and use those (dumbed down CST). is it that wrong to start there?


If you're going to use the relative modes, i.e. G Mixolydian over G and D Dorian over Dm7, there's not really a point to percieve it as such. Just keep track of your consonances and tensions in the C major scale; you'll understand how scales work much better.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#20
Thanks for that Aeolian, I really appreciate the confirmation! Looking back, I didn't really word it as effectively as I could, but I'm glad that somebody understood whatever it is I was trying to say.

Alan's post linked above was a real eye-opener for me if only a recent one, and has helped a lot with my analysis of some Guthrie Govan pieces I'm analysing, since his improvisation is pretty much strictly adhering to CST.
I've transcribed half of Slidey Boy as of yesterday, and it's amazing to see that every note in his improvisation is seemingly calculated by that system - every accidental is relevant to what a contemporary jazz player would consider a 'major or minor mode', respective to the accompanying chord.
For example, over F/Eb, a dominant chord, Guthrie chooses to exploit a pool of F G A Bb (B) C D Eb (E). The bracketed notes denote the accidentals of a #4 and M7, adopted from the CST approach that Ionian's, Lydian's, and Mixolydian's intervallic degrees are all relevant, since they share a common major third. As a result, the tonality of each respective chord isn't disrupted, since each calculated accidental has relevance to the fundamental tonal quality of that chord (a tonic, major third, and fifth).
However, using this approach doesn't mean ''playing modally'', but instead it means using intervallic degrees associated with modes as an easy means to understand which accidentals - or pools of notes - you have ready access to at any point. Once anybody has a firm grasp on the employment of those basic accidentals, you can go further and incorporate more-and-more borrowed tones, since their functions respective to the underlying chord will make more sense.

Again, Alan's post describes this more concisely and simply than I could, so I highly recommend checking over it!
I'd also like to add that, as has been said, you've got a clear grasp of theory, and I think it's commendable that there hasn't been any flaming in this thread at all amongst anybody. It's all too often that threads get derailed (as this has, I suppose ) or turn into flame wars when there's a disagreement.

Last edited by juckfush at Aug 13, 2011,