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#1
Why is everyone so obsessed with minor keys around here? Seems like I read posts everyday from people that want to play the relative minor over a major progression or just generally assume they want to use a minor key for a song.

Is there something unstimulating about major keys? Or are young guitarists just trying to emulate their Metal heroes and assume minor is the only way to do so?

I'm just genuinely curious here. Thoughts?
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#2
Quote by soviet_ska
Why is everyone so obsessed with minor keys around here? Seems like I read posts everyday from people that want to play the relative minor over a major progression or just generally assume they want to use a minor key for a song.

Is there something unstimulating about major keys? Or are young guitarists just trying to emulate their Metal heroes and assume minor is the only way to do so?

I'm just genuinely curious here. Thoughts?



simple answer. In rock and metal music minor is used a helluva lot more than Major. Blues, which is also a popular style on guitar, generally uses minor pentatonic, or Major pentatonic... but not "the Major scale".

People want to play music that they like.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 12, 2011,
#3
cause all teenagers suffer from teenage angst. therefore they want to release their emotions about how much they like a girl and they are all depressed N' shiot cause no one likes them


/thread
#4
Minor keys are more "open" to obscure melodies would be my guess. Major keys while great are not very musically varied to be interesting.

But I'm just talking out of my ass here , it's just an opinion.
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#5
Because it is normally the first one everyone learns. At least it is with me and many of my guitar playing friends.
#6
One funny thing though with pentatonic is if you combine I-IV-V degree (say C Major pentatonic, F Major Pentatonic and G major pentatonic) you get the Major Scale! HUm!
#7
Quote by GuitarMunky
simple answer. In rock and metal music minor is used a helluva lot more than Major. Blues, which is also a popular style on guitar, generally uses minor pentatonic, or Major pentatonic... but not "the Major scale".

People want to play music that they like.


It's true, but there's definitely no shortage of major-key-based Rock and Blues music. I'm not surprised that young guitarists want to use minor to emulate their favorites, but I think there's more to it than that. Somewhere along the line--likely whoever is teaching them or giving out the information--the whole process is being simplified from 'play minor more often than not' to 'play minor all the time.'

Quote by amonamarthmetal
cause all teenagers suffer from teenage angst. therefore they want to release their emotions about how much they like a girl and they are all depressed N' shiot cause no one likes them


Also contributing is the proliferation of the misconception that minor = sad and major = happy. That and the younger generations want to brood about something even if there's nothing to get upset about...don't get me started.

Quote by ordinary_story
Minor keys are more "open" to obscure melodies would be my guess. Major keys while great are not very musically varied to be interesting.


While minor keys are more likely to use accidentals to obtain stronger resolution, there's nothing stopping you from using any note in any key. In fact, I strongly believe that learning how to use accidentals and why is a huge step in becoming a great musician.
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#8
Quote by soviet_ska



but I think there's more to it than that. Somewhere along the line--likely whoever is teaching them or giving out the information--the whole process is being simplified from 'play minor more often than not' to 'play minor all the time.'
.


Oh I see, it's the fault of the Guitar Teachers. Well, you know most of them suck anyway. I mean if they knew what they were talking about they'd be famous instead of teaching in a store and screwing up the efforts of young serious students.

It's really a problem. I suggest that people avoid taking lessons at all cost and instead just come here for advice.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 12, 2011,
#9
major is cliche
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#10
Quote by GuitarMunky
Oh I see, it's the fault of the Guitar Teachers. Well, you know most of them suck anyway. I mean if they knew what they were talking about they'd be famous instead of teaching in a store and screwing up the efforts of young serious students.

It's really a problem. I suggest that people avoid taking lessons at all cost and instead just come here for advice.


Hey, don't get me wrong, I'm thinking more about the people whose buddies show them a few chords and crappy websites that make learning guitar 'easy.' No need for sarcasm, I just think there are other variables involved.
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#11
I personally just like the sound of minor chords. I couldn't possibly explain why, it's just how it is. I like major tonation as well, but not as much (typically).

But, on the other hand, I find major progressions easier to jam to than minor. Gmaj is one of my favorites. But I'd have to say at this point that I like the way that minors sound better.
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#12
People hear terms and want to know what they are, they feel they HAVE to know it.

A year ago on this forum you'd hear Neapolitan 6th like once every 4 months, now everyone's calling bII a Neapolitan chord ( )and throwing the term around everywhere. Then a new user will come to the forum and hear lots of talk about Neapolitan chords and think they have to learn what one is.
#13
Quote by griffRG7321
People hear terms and want to know what they are, they feel they HAVE to know it.

A year ago on this forum you'd hear Neapolitan 6th like once every 4 months, now everyone's calling bII a Neapolitan chord ( )and throwing the term around everywhere. Then a new user will come to the forum and hear lots of talk about Neapolitan chords and think they have to learn what one is.


So, you think it's a vicious cycle?

The forums here are certainly not a totally random sample; we may just be getting the worst end of it.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#14
Quote by soviet_ska
Hey, don't get me wrong, I'm thinking more about the people whose buddies show them a few chords and crappy websites that make learning guitar 'easy.' No need for sarcasm, I just think there are other variables involved.


I'm just trying to say that looking for someone to blame won't solve anything. I see so much of that here. No disrespect intended, but I consider it part of the problem.
shred is gaudy music
#15
Quote by GuitarMunky
I'm just trying to say that looking for someone to blame won't solve anything. I see so much of that here. No disrespect intended, but I consider it part of the problem.


I'm honestly just curious here. It's such a strange situation, in my opinion.

I've been wondering this ever since I joined the forum; there have been some interesting replies.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#16
I think you should have asked something like "What kind of scales do you like, and why?" Asking specifically about minor seems like you're trying to be flamed, and gives off a tone of insincerity.

I'm not trying to be a troll here. I just think that for better answers you should try to ask a different question, or ask it in a different way. People like what they like, and often can't explain why. So, if I were you, I'd try to expand what I asked in that way.
Quote by Trowzaa
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#17
Quote by eGraham
I think you should have asked something like "What kind of scales do you like, and why?" Asking specifically about minor seems like you're trying to be flamed, and gives off a tone of insincerity.


I don't really think of my playing in terms of scales all that much; for me, it's easier to say "that's just a major/minor scale with accidentals." I tie the scale and key together like that and I know many others on this forum do too.

My psychology professor from college always said: nothing is good or bad, it just is.

I believe it. I'm not trying to judge or blame and I don't think this is particularly a problem. I have observed a curious phenomenom and wish to research it.
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#18
I use both major and minor equally................................... probably major more than minor...
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#19
Quote by GuitarMunky
Oh I see, it's the fault of the Guitar Teachers. Well, you know most of them suck anyway. I mean if they knew what they were talking about they'd be famous instead of teaching in a store and screwing up the efforts of young serious students.

It's really a problem. I suggest that people avoid taking lessons at all cost and instead just come here for advice.


this is getting scary. i REALLY can't even tell if you're being sarcastic.

teachers and that sort of thing aside, anyone who says that minor keys are objectively better than major keys because there are more possibilities simply does not know how to effectively use a major key. opinions will obviously vary, but there's so much that can be done in a major key.
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#20
Those who truly understand tonality have no need to think in minor and major terms.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#21
Quote by AeolianWolf
this is getting scary. i REALLY can't even tell if you're being sarcastic.


Oh cmon you know I was being sarcastic.


Quote by AeolianWolf

teachers and that sort of thing aside, anyone who says that minor keys are objectively better than major keys because there are more possibilities simply does not know how to effectively use a major key.

and they're making the bigger mistake of thinking that one type of scale is "objectively better" than another


Quote by AeolianWolf

opinions will obviously vary, but there's so much that can be done in a major key.


opinions are irrelevant. That so much can be done in a Major key is a proven fact.
shred is gaudy music
#22
Quote by soviet_ska
Why is everyone so obsessed with minor keys around here? Seems like I read posts everyday from people that want to play the relative minor over a major progression or just generally assume they want to use a minor key for a song.

Is there something unstimulating about major keys? Or are young guitarists just trying to emulate their Metal heroes and assume minor is the only way to do so?

I'm just genuinely curious here. Thoughts?
Perhaps just because it sounds cool? Kind of a cop out answer, but it's relatively easy to sound awesome in a minor key. I know that my teacher told me that it you could use minor key to sound edgier, but he didn't advocate it's use to exclusion. In fact, he always told me "as long as it sounds good," which I take to heart.

This is just a supposition, and not a personal answer. I don't think I really fall into the "young" guitarist category anymore in any case. Also, when I even think about scale at all (not often), I tend to prefer to write in major keys.
#24
Quote by nmitchell076
tonality is cliche


Music is cliche. **** this shit, I'm gonna be a carpenter.
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#26
I think its because in general, or so I've noticed, is that the first scale that starting guitarists learn is the Minor Pentatonic. Its a very easy shape to learn, I thought it was easier than learning the pentatonic major scale. But not all starting musicians know that playing in C means playing in C, not Amin to say as an example. A lot of bad information, whether it be by website, other guitarists that don't understand tonality, or anything else, says that you can play the Amin pent over Cmaj, which in theory is correct. What people can't grasp is that if you play the Amin scale over Cmaj, is you're really playing C major. They think that the root of the scale that theyre playing is the scale theyre using.

To be honest, I did suffer from this. I would say I would be playing an E minor scale over a G major progression. But now I have learned about tonality and such. This is just my thoughts, who knows if its true
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#27
Quote by Zinnie
A lot of bad information, whether it be by website, other guitarists that don't understand tonality, or anything else, says that you can play the Amin pent over Cmaj, which in theory is correct. What people can't grasp is that if you play the Amin scale over Cmaj, is you're really playing C major.


you mean that playing the Am pentatonic shape is correct in sound, not theory, right?
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#28
Because major keys ain't br00tz enough
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#29
Quote by ordinary_story
Minor keys are more "open" to obscure melodies would be my guess. Major keys while great are not very musically varied to be interesting.

But I'm just talking out of my ass here , it's just an opinion.

i agree. minor keys are not as resolved sounding as major ones so they are open to more accidentals i find. i mean, you can do whatever you want in major keys but i find it sounds less "out" in minor keys.

but i have plenty of songs in major keys. its just whatever im in the mood for.
#30
Until recently I've always gravitated to minor keys.

For me it's partly down to disliking the sound of major chords, and indeed the major third itself, on guitar. Although major chords exist in minor keys in major keys they seem more prominent.

Recently I've been trying to get away from this and have written a couple of things in major keys.
#31
Quote by Jehannum
Until recently I've always gravitated to minor keys.

For me it's partly down to disliking the sound of major chords, and indeed the major third itself, on guitar. Although major chords exist in minor keys in major keys they seem more prominent.

Recently I've been trying to get away from this and have written a couple of things in major keys.

This is quite strange, actually, in natural minor and major, there are an equal amount of major, minor, and diminished chords.

in Harmonic minor, there is actually fewer minor chords then in major.

Major:
I - M
ii - m
iii - m
IV - M
V - M
vi - m
vii0(7) - dim
Total minor chords = 3 (+ 1 dim)


Harm Minor:
i - m
ii0 - dim
III - M
iv - m
V - M
VI - M
vii0(7) - dim
bVII (V/III) - M (technically part of natural minor, but often used)
Total minor chords = 2 (+ 2 dim)


So really, major actually has more minor chords in it then minor.
#32
Quote by AeolianWolf
you mean that playing the Am pentatonic shape is correct in sound, not theory, right?

yeah, when I meant in theory, I meant general theory, not music theory haha. Sorry for the confusion
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#33
Quote by Jehannum
Until recently I've always gravitated to minor keys.

For me it's partly down to disliking the sound of major chords, and indeed the major third itself, on guitar.


Seriously? ...
#34
I think people tend to associate major keys with bubble gum pop music and the like, so they think that they can't write music that's interesting or moving in a major key. However, like Xiaoxi alluded to, major and minor keys have little to do with how a song turns out. Both keys have the same chords in them, and thus have almost identical options for harmonic movement and tension (considering you only use the natural minor scale - which most beginners do). The key difference really ends up being whether your song starts or ends on a minor resolution, which really isn't what defines a song's content. If you write a sugar-coated pop song full of major chords and then finally resolve it to a minor, the song doesn't suddenly become less corny. Similarly, writing a song using a minor scale will not guarantee that it turns out interesting - there are just as many minor cliches as major cliches.

To prove my point, here's some songs that are arguably written from a major perspective that are still moving and interesting. They might have minor chords in them, but they're certainly not based off of a minor scale.

Someone saved my life tonight

What a wonderful world

Lean on me

Danny boy (great version)

Mother


As you can see, lots of borrowed chords and strong cadences. Anyone who is unfamiliar with these movements will have a hard time writing a good song in either a major or minor key, because a good song requires strong melodic and harmonic movement to be really moving. You've got roughly the same cadences to work with in the minor and major scale, since they both have the same chords. The only difference will be how they finally resolve at the end of a chorus or the end of the song, which really doesn't have as big an impact on the sound of the song as you might expect. Why do people think they can write a moving, interesting song in a minor key as opposed to a major key? It's likely because they mistake the use of minor chords in a song with the use of a minor scale. Strong harmonic movement often requires the use of minor chords here and there, which is probably what people latch onto when they start wondering why a song is good. They then go "wow, those minor chords really make that song pop. I'll have to try writing a song using the minor scale." This is a mistake, of course, as the major and minor scale both have the same number of minor chords in them. It's not an air-tight theory, but I think it's at least partially correct.
#35
Because we're all emo.


Now getting serious, its probably because majority of the UG'ers are more Rock/Metal guitarists, and most of the time rock/metal songs are played using minor scales and such. Maybe this?
#36
Quote by griffRG7321
Seriously? ...


Yes.

And furthermore, every time I try to write a melody in a major key it sounds like a Christmas carol or a hymn, and that just ain't happening for me.
#37
I find minor to be extremely versatile. Its harmony sounds very nice and neutral. Major just wants to resolve too often for most of my music.
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#38
It has partly to do with most metal being written in a minor key, but also you can play practically any note in a minor key and it'll sound alright (even notes outside of the scale) but you play an accidental in a major key without some foreskin (forethought; sorry... had to) and it sounds like a train wreck.
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#39
Quote by jayx124
I think Pat Martino also thinks only in minor but in a very complicated way

Thought you deserved some recognition mate.
#40
I dunno... I think Pat Martino just writes. Truth is you get to a point where you don't think in terms of major/minor keys... and u also get to a point where you don't think ok, this chord, this scale. You start thinking in terms of sound, how a particular note affects said chord and the line moves to a point of resolution within itself. At that point you'd widdle mostly any scale and conform it to another with shifts and slides.

So apart from that, I can't really add anything here. Most of it's been said. Hope your research proves "fruitful".
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