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#1
In what key is the song Highway to hell, and what scales are being used?
Thanks!!!
#2
Just looked at the tab, and it looks to be in the key of A. Angus Young uses pretty much all pentatonic/blues scales. So an A blues is what you're looking for.
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#3
^ + 1 it's in A

angus uses A minor and A Major pentatonic.
shred is gaudy music
#5
Strictly speaking its not in A Major. Since theres a G major in there. Its more like A Mixolydian.

(plus its tuned a Semitone flat)
#7
Quote by g1asseye
Strictly speaking its not in A Major. Since theres a G major in there. Its more like A Mixolydian.

(plus its tuned a Semitone flat)

How about A pentatonic?
And if he asks for key centers, don't teach him modes.
#8
Quote by GuitarMunky
^ + 1 it's in A

angus uses A minor and A Major pentatonic.

A minor pentatnics right?
Not the natural minor scale right?
#9
Quote by liampje
How about A pentatonic?
And if he asks for key centers, don't teach him modes.


I find that comment quite rude and arrogant. Its not your decision what i choose to post.

And please explain your theory about the song being in 'A pentatonic'...
#10
Quote by g1asseye
I find that comment quite rude and arrogant. Its not your decision what i choose to post.

And please explain your theory about the song being in 'A pentatonic'...


awhhhhhhh shits bout to pop off...
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#11
Liampje, Mixolydian is a diatonic scale. Quit poking your nose where its to tight to fit. I know I've done it myself a few times, but you don't seem to learn.

Using the Mixolydian scale does not mean you are playing modally.
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#12
Quote by liampje
A minor pentatnics right?
Not the natural minor scale right?

right, minor and Major pentatonic. Meaning minor pent and Maj pent, not natural minor.
shred is gaudy music
#13
Quote by g1asseye
I find that comment quite rude and arrogant. Its not your decision what i choose to post.

And please explain your theory about the song being in 'A pentatonic'...

You may find it rude and arrogant.
But I insist you play something over that with your A mixolydian over that sond and still sound acdc.
It's a blues rock band and in blues they play minor pentatonics over major chords.
b3 and b7, blues accidentals.
#14
Quote by liampje
You may find it rude and arrogant.
But I insist you play something over that with your A mixolydian over that sond and still sound acdc.


Pretty good point liamje! Perhaps g1asseye can provide an example of an ACDC song where Angus plays the major scale with a flattened 7th (or mixo scale).
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#15
Quote by iancmtaylor
Liampje, Mixolydian is a diatonic scale. Quit poking your nose where its to tight to fit. I know I've done it myself a few times, but you don't seem to learn.

Using the Mixolydian scale does not mean you are playing modally.

No, but he says it is in A mixolydian.
He doesn't just use the mixolydian scale.
Also alot of people have told me to forget about modes.
Then if I must forget about modes and he and I are both learning key centers, he should too.
#16
Quote by AlanHB
Pretty good point liamje! Perhaps g1asseye can provide an example of an ACDC song where Angus plays the major scale with a flattened 7th (or mixo scale).

You know, I've only got a few compliments.
So is this sarcastic or serious?
#17
He says A mixo. Period. A Mixolydian is a key not a mode. About the pentatonics, I don't know about Highway to Hell, but Hell's Bells is straight up A maj.
A B C# D E F# G
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Last edited by iancmtaylor at Aug 31, 2011,
#18
Quote by iancmtaylor
A Mixolydian is a key not a mode.


Other way around. If it is in a key, then it is major or minor; no buts. What is most likely going on is that the song is in A major with the bVII from natural minor thrown in. It's a very commonly-borrowed chord in Rock music.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#19
Quote by liampje
You know, I've only got a few compliments.
So is this sarcastic or serious?


No I'm actually agreeing with you

You'd be hard pushed to find an ACDC song where Angus uses a major 3rd or 6th, irrespective of the song being in a major key.

For this reason, to say he uses the mixolydian scale, it would be a push.

Of course, none of the songs are IN mixolydian, they aren't modal. However you can accept that certain patterns of accidentals go by certain names. The blues scale would be a notable example. If you play a blues in a major key and use the blues scale over it, you just say you use the blues scale instead of major scale with flattened 3rd and 7th, with an added flat five. For this reason you can say that you're playing the mixolydian scale over a progression as it means that you're just playing the pattern of accidentals for a major scale with a flattened 7th.

However there's a difference between saying a song is in mixolydian and merely playing the mixolydian scale over a progression, much like there's a difference between playing the minor pentatonic over a progression and that progression being in minor.
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#20
Mixo= major with 6b. They are the same unless you're doing funky mode shtuff with it.

To me, saying otherwise just needlessly complicates things, simplest answer always works best.

Same notes= same thing. Mixo IS major with 6b.
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Men fapping.


Sorry, didn't realize I was that loud.

I'll be leaving your closet now.
#21
You could play the A mixolydian mode over that progression and it would sound fine. if the goal though is to play a solo in the style of the original, your going to want to use minor pentatonic and Major pentatonic. Go between the 2. And definitely learn the actual solo.
mechanically stringing together scale patterns doesn't make for good music.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 31, 2011,
#22
Quote by iancmtaylor
Mixo= major with 6b. They are the same unless you're doing funky mode shtuff with it.

To me, saying otherwise just needlessly complicates things, simplest answer always works best.

Same notes= same thing. Mixo IS major with 6b.


It's a b7.....

And I agree with GM, to keep the AC/DC "style" you'd want to stick closer to the minor/major pentatonics/blues scales.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#23
Quote by iancmtaylor
Mixo= major with 6b. They are the same unless you're doing funky mode shtuff with it.

To me, saying otherwise just needlessly complicates things, simplest answer always works best.

Same notes= same thing. Mixo IS major with 6b.


right. so, then mozart wrote 39 symphonies in the ionian mode and 2 in the aeolian mode, right?

and mixolydian is a major scale with a b7, not b6.

you don't know the first thing about modes if you liken them to keys.
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#24
Well angues mixes the major and minor pentatonics.

If you look at the pool of notes that gives you to use you have:

R 2 (b3) 3 4 5 6 b7

I've bracketed the flat third because I assume you know what the other notes imply. (A mixolydian)

The flat third is merely an accidental. Angus doesn't intentionally play mixolydian but my making use of these 2 pentatonic scales that's effectively what he's doing. Thats why blues and blues rock players will use microtonal bends so much when they play the flat 3rd.

Whether you wish to view it as A major or A mixolydian the flat 3rd is not in key.

At the end of the day it would be up to the transcriber. But there would be less accidentals on the page i you wrote the key signature as two sharps, even though many would like to see it is 3 sharps.
#25
Quote by g1asseye
The flat third is merely an accidental. Angus doesn't intentionally play mixolydian but my making use of these 2 pentatonic scales that's effectively what he's doing. Thats why blues and blues rock players will use microtonal bends so much when they play the flat 3rd.


again, a misunderstanding of modes. modes, in the traditional sense, were generally only capable of having one accidental. in the case of mixolydian, that accidental was already applied (the Bb in C mixolydian), and that was generally raised to a B at cadences, anyway. in a more modern sense, modes don't have accidentals -- accidentals have since become the mark of keys. by saying that it's A mixolydian using a b3 as an accidental, you're defeating the purpose of even being in a mode, since you're treating A mixolydian as though it were a key.

not to mention that, even if you were correct, you could just as easily consider the natural third the accidental, and consider it in the dorian mode. of course, i'm talking hypothetically -- that would be equally incorrect.
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#26
It's in A minor. The melody of the song implies it. But I too have trouble sometimes determining whether some bluesy songs are in major or minor because usually the writer doesn't know either lol. Blues uses a lot of hammering between the minor and major note. I can't remember what those notes are called. But Hideaway is a good example of what I mean.
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Last edited by fretmaster13 at Sep 1, 2011,
#28
^ ya

Are we getting technical here? I seem to remember something like in Europe they don't tune their instruments to 440, so the song could be slightly flatter or slightly sharper than A, but musically for all intents and purposes it is in A minor.

The original tracks were made on vinyl too, so that could have affected the pitch of the song as well.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Last edited by fretmaster13 at Sep 1, 2011,
#30
Just like the melody of Hideaway suggests that it's in major, but it uses some minor notes in it.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
#31
Quote by fretmaster13
Just like the melody of Hideaway suggests that it's in major, but it uses some minor notes in it.

I struggled finding AeolianWolf's explanation on blues accidentals.
I can't find it so I'll do.
In blues, you do play an awfull lot of minor pentatonics.
Even if the chords go like A7 D7 A7 A7 D7 D7 A7 A7 E7 D7 2 bar turnaround.
Those are all major chords with a dominant seventh.
Still blues players like to play in minor.
And there you get a b3 b7 b6, which are blues accidentals.
#32
So then technically blues songs aren't exactly minor or major? They're somewhere in between? I just know what I hear and I hear Highway to Hell in a minor-sounding key (even though Angus plays an A major chord instead of an A minor chord) simply because the vocal melody is a minor one.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
#33
Quote by fretmaster13
So then technically blues songs aren't exactly minor or major? They're somewhere in between? I just know what I hear and I hear Highway to Hell in a minor-sounding key (even though Angus plays an A major chord instead of an A minor chord) simply because the vocal melody is a minor one.

No, blues songs are major, most of the times.
But if the guitar is playing minor pentatonic then the b3 b7 are just accidentals.
And what you hear in Highway To Hell is a powerfull rock attitude.
Pentatonics do not really show a sad or happy sound.
It's a scale just not sounding that happy or that sad as a major or minor scale.
#35
Quote by liampje
No, blues songs are major, most of the times.
But if the guitar is playing minor pentatonic then the b3 b7 are just accidentals.


No, they're chord tones.


Quote by fretmaster13
^ ya

Are we getting technical here?


Sure, and appropriately so.

Quote by fretmaster13

I seem to remember something like in Europe they don't tune their instruments to 440, so the song could be slightly flatter or slightly sharper than A, but musically for all intents and purposes it is in A minor.

The original tracks were made on vinyl too, so that could have affected the pitch of the song as well.

When I said it wasn't in A minor, the pitch wasn't what I was disagreeing with. It's a Major chord progression with a bVII borrowed from minor. A common rock cliche.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 1, 2011,
#36
Quote by GuitarMunky
It's a Major chord progression with a bVII borrowed from minor. A common rock cliche.


Since we're getting technical, I would say it's an idiom rather than a cliche.

You are correct, however. Assuming the tab I looked at is correct, this song goes I - IV - bVII. This is a very common chord progression, particularly in bluesy-flavored Rock music.
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#37
Quote by soviet_ska
Since we're getting technical, I would say it's an idiom rather than a cliche.


LOL. I don't have a problem with that, though I would say it could be both, technically.

Quote by soviet_ska

You are correct, however. Assuming the tab I looked at is correct, this song goes I - IV - bVII. This is a very common chord progression, particularly in bluesy-flavored Rock music.


You've never heard Highway to Hell?
shred is gaudy music
#38
Quote by GuitarMunky
LOL. I don't have a problem with that, though I would say it could be both, technically.


Fair enough.

Quote by GuitarMunky

You've never heard Highway to Hell?


Not in forever. I don't like AC/DC, so I haven't listened to them in years. And for some reason, the classic rock station around here never plays them; not that I'm upset, it's just strange.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#39
Quote by AeolianWolf
you're defeating the purpose of even being in a mode, since you're treating A mixolydian as though it were a key.


So using a passing note which isn't in the scale defeats the object of playing in a mode?

Quote by AeolianWolf
consider it in the dorian mode. of course, i'm talking hypothetically -- that would be equally incorrect.


Then the I chord would be Am...
Last edited by g1asseye at Sep 1, 2011,
#40
Quote by g1asseye
So using a passing note which isn't in the scale defeats the object of playing in a mode?

Not at all. You can add accidentals when playing modally, but it won't be strictly modal.

If there was a static 7sus4 chord being played, the Mixolydian scale will sound great over that, and it's perfectly acceptable to add chromatic passing notes to it... and it sounds ****ing brilliant when done tastefully . You'd still be playing in Mixolydian, but true Mixolydian would be using the notes from that scale only.

This is gonna kick off now...
Last edited by mdc at Sep 23, 2011,
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