#1
Hey, guys. Anybody know a really primal scale? I'm thinking something that sounds as though it came from the dawn of time or taps into the very recesses of man's brain, yet I can't seem to find anything. Any of you think you can help? It'd be greatly appreciated.
#5
Quote by GrimmShadowbane
Hey, guys. Anybody know a really primal scale? I'm thinking something that sounds as though it came from the dawn of time or taps into the very recesses of man's brain, yet I can't seem to find anything. Any of you think you can help? It'd be greatly appreciated.

This maybe?

Something reminiscent of Gregorian Chant?
#7
I was thinking something with almost a Native American feel to it. It's hard to exactly sum up what I'm thinking, but when I say primal I mean something very in tune with nature but not like hippie stuff, more like a wolf pack on the hunt or something of that sort. Sorry if I'm not making much sense.
#8
Quote by -Blue-
I think of "primal" music to be more characterized by percussion than anything. Think drum circles. Also, scale choice would be subjective for that sort of thing IMO, its more in phrasing if I get what you're going for right.

This.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#9
I think it's more in the instruments and musical wossnames rather than the scale.
The minor scale would probably do the job.
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#13
primal? i don't think it's a good idea to think of a scale as primal. someone said pentatonic, what about pentatonic solos on an electric? primal? i don't think so... it's about how you use it, i'd agree with the percussion thing. check out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gZbMOq_Ge8 this was meant to sound primal, and the video helps! specifically listen to after 3:20 or so


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3NQvDTpbqw&feature=related same with this piece, that was the intention anyway!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_7loz-HWUM this also sounds quite primitive, mainly probably because of our association of this kind of impressionist music with nature from films and stuff, but i think it conveys it well

basically, there's no formula, and there sure as hell aint no scale, it's about how you use it. also, try having a romantic sized orchestra, the colours and stuff achieved can really be so evocative
#14
You might want to try playing with fourth harmonies. I find that their use can sound rather interesting and sort of in the same vein as you want. However, most of the sound you want is going to be derived from percussion.

That doesn't mean that it has to be simple, however. Sub-Saharan drum beats are very complex and can involve polymeters, polyrhythms, and even rhythmic counterpoint. Take a listen to that kind of music and analyze some of the sounds that you want to synthesize.
#15
Quote by gavk

basically, there's no formula, and there sure as hell aint no scale, it's about how you use it. also, try having a romantic sized orchestra, the colours and stuff achieved can really be so evocative

"It's all about how you use it" is not helpful. "It's all about how you use it" is not how you use it.
There is no scale that will magically give anything a primal sound, but a scale is definitely a start. There is no formula, but there are definitely elements that make music sound "primal", as the TS calls it. Sub-Saharan percussion, and pentatonic scales, are both such elements. Telling someone to "just use your imagination" is not.
To be fair, telling him to use an entire orchestra is a start. But do you seriously expect most of the people on this forum to have a clue how to arrange for an entire orchestra?
And sub-Saharan percussion is definitely worth looking into; those complex drumbeats are probably the most common way of creating that "primal" feel in contemporary music.
Sorry in advance for derailing the thread, but that needed to be said at some point.
#16
Play the 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7. All prime numbers. I believe this means that a 9th chord would the be the most primal due to the operation of the 2nd, but that doesn't make sense as 9 is divisable by 3.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#17
The only way you're gonna get anything primal is if you strike a note, hold it while swinging the guitar at the drummers head. With any luck, the note achieved from his scream plus your scream as he fits his floor tom in your butt (bass drums are grails, otherwise...) should be superbly primal.

The other route would be replicating animal calls and chants. Mimic the voice and you will have a great platform to work from. Mimic the San people's language... there is no more primal than that (and good luck). Nature is the only primal thing left, so start listening
#18
Quote by AlanHB
Play the 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7. All prime numbers. I believe this means that a 9th chord would the be the most primal due to the operation of the 2nd, but that doesn't make sense as 9 is divisable by 3.

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#19
its not the scale that gets you this sound. think drums and percussion. have your drummer play on the toms a lot. maybe have a percussion guy play a djembe or something. then maybe trippy slidy bass parts. then on guitar just play a note or 2 in various rhythms. add dissonance at some point in the middle then get back to the 1 or 2 note rhythms. its extremely rare that scale choice is the answer to a songwriting dilemma.

edit: my band actually does what we call a "tribal jam" all the time, we've gotten to be nearly experts on the sound, if this is the sound you're looking for that is.
Last edited by TMVATDI at Oct 15, 2011,
#20
Quote by AlanHB
Play the 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7. All prime numbers. I believe this means that a 9th chord would the be the most primal due to the operation of the 2nd, but that doesn't make sense as 9 is divisable by 3.


1 is not prime.
#21
Quote by Jehannum
1 is not prime.


Wow you're correct!

This would mean that the chord is in fact a 9th chord (no 1). Thanks stranger!

The secrets of primal sounds have been discovered.


I've also composed a slightly different primal piece, it goes like:


African Drums with echo
Elephant sound
Generic dark person going arraaaaghghhhhhbhbaba!
Clapping sticks
Sunrise over grass

It's called "Alan's magical primal sauce".
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#22
And if Alan's method doesn't work^^

Then just create a big bang on a floor tom.

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#23
If you're really going for primal stuff, then just forget about scales, tonality and anything like that. Those things didn't exist back then.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#24
TS, it's much less about what scale you use and more about the rhythm and instrumentation. Playing a minor scale lick on a violin is much different than playing the same lick in a jazz quartet.

If you're looking for something NA sounding, listen to some NA music and see what's going on.
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#25
Quote by Cavalcade
"It's all about how you use it" is not helpful. "It's all about how you use it" is not how you use it.
There is no scale that will magically give anything a primal sound, but a scale is definitely a start. There is no formula, but there are definitely elements that make music sound "primal", as the TS calls it. Sub-Saharan percussion, and pentatonic scales, are both such elements. Telling someone to "just use your imagination" is not.
To be fair, telling him to use an entire orchestra is a start. But do you seriously expect most of the people on this forum to have a clue how to arrange for an entire orchestra?
And sub-Saharan percussion is definitely worth looking into; those complex drumbeats are probably the most common way of creating that "primal" feel in contemporary music.
Sorry in advance for derailing the thread, but that needed to be said at some point.


oh, so which is the primal sounding scale exactly? i would rather not give misinformation just for the sake of it. i also seem to remember giving three links to what might sound as primitive music, and say about the use of percussion?

so i shouldn't tell him about the orchestra because it's beyond his ability? great. what's within his ability exactly? will i tell him how to make "primitive, primal music man" whiile bashing out three chords on an acoustic? cos that might be the limit to his ability. also, kinda tough, if you ask a question like this and aren't able to do it, tough. this isn't really something that can be dumbed down, sorry again for not trying.

also on the orchestra thing, do you really, REALLY think he's going to listen to subsaharan african music? really? cos he's not. this kid is probably in school and will have forgotten about this in oh lets say... by now. i can't picture him listening to it so i don't see why that is a more valid piece of advice (with no example, and no link) than giving some, solid, specific answers about actually primal sounding music (with a link)
#26
Quote by gavk
oh, so which is the primal sounding scale exactly? i would rather not give misinformation just for the sake of it. i also seem to remember giving three links to what might sound as primitive music, and say about the use of percussion?

so i shouldn't tell him about the orchestra because it's beyond his ability? great. what's within his ability exactly? will i tell him how to make "primitive, primal music man" whiile bashing out three chords on an acoustic? cos that might be the limit to his ability. also, kinda tough, if you ask a question like this and aren't able to do it, tough. this isn't really something that can be dumbed down, sorry again for not trying.

also on the orchestra thing, do you really, REALLY think he's going to listen to subsaharan african music? really? cos he's not. this kid is probably in school and will have forgotten about this in oh lets say... by now. i can't picture him listening to it so i don't see why that is a more valid piece of advice (with no example, and no link) than giving some, solid, specific answers about actually primal sounding music (with a link)

I see we're doing this paragraph-by-paragraph now. I really don't want to do this, but...
*Speaking of misinformation, I never said there was "a" primal-sounding scale, but pentatonic scales are shared across several cultures in their native music. The word I seem to remember using was "elements", not "scales".
*Well, is this "Ultimate-Orchestra.com"? Your suggestion reads like this: "Here's a brass section, a woodwind section, a string section, a flute section, and a bunch of percussion. Have fun!" If that's the most specific you can get, you might as well save a few electrons and not bother.
*I do agree that TS is probably in school and on limited time. If he does, and if he can't be bothered to find a few potential models for the music he wants to make, maybe he should stick to what he knows for now.
We don't know what TS wants this for, and we don't know what instruments he can play (or write for) other than guitar. But we can assume a few things from what he's said, and a look at his profile:
*He's a guitarist.
*He knows how to play guitar.
*He's used to playing rock and punk.
*He's not trying to write another freakin' Rites Of Spring.
I know you're trying to help. I am too. We're just going about it different ways.