#1
In this video the guys talks about mixing major and minor licks in blues solos, but what makes them minor and major? I assume if in the key of A for minor you would end the lick on A and for major end on C?
Also, can some one explain what he's talking on when he says if you dance around the major third a never hit it? i'm confused at that point


part im referring to is at 8:10 to 10:10
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN4s89ElF_8&list=UUFu4-s7sHRkYIwo8VqYLYkg&index=29&feature=plpp_video
#2
It looks like Stevie should really explain that more but yeah, looking at what he' playing, he's saying that the exact same scale can sound major or minor depending on what notes you emphasize, which I agree with.

There's no major or minor blues scales, and essentially, even the major and minor scales are the same when you consider the relative minor/major rule: (A minor scale is the exact same notes as the C major scale, just in A minor the A is the root and therefore emphasized as such, and in the major counterpart, it's the C.)

When he's saying dancing around the major third without landing on it, I believe he means the minor third of the scale (a minor third, no matter what scale, is classified in guitar terms as 1 1/2 steps away from the root, so in a A minor scale, it would be the C). Since this minor third is actually the relative major, (misleading sort of name, just think of it as the note that, when combined with the root, makes the scale or chord sound major).

So yeah, I may not explain things easily but I try to say be clear and say exactly what I mean lol.

And P.S. I don't know why he said you can't resolve on that relative major note if all the chords are minor, I do it all day long and it sounds fine. Many sung melodies of major key songs are like that.
#3
Also, can some one explain what he's talking on when he says if you dance around the major third a never hit it?
You'll be dancing around it cuz the minor pentatonic doesn't contain it.

In an A Blues, the major 3rd of the I, IV and V chords are C sharp, F sharp and G sharp respectively.

The A minor pentatonic scale doesn't contain any of those notes, so try and target them as the chords change.

You'll find that those notes are in very close proximity no matter what position you're in. Just need to know your fretboard.
#4
In Major and Minor Scales the third, sixth, and seventh notes of the scale are a semitone (one fret) apart. In the minor there are one half-step (semitone) flat from the major and vice versa. For example in the key of A the major Scale is A B C# D E F# G# and the Minor Scale is A B C D E F G. In the blues people typically begin by playing a minor pentatonic scale which uses only the first, third, fourth, fifth, and seventh notes of the scale, this is what he means by blues box one from what I can tell. The major third he refers to is the C#, and know when to hit that C# in a way that sounds good. Another interval commonly used in blues pentatonic playing is the diminished fifth, which in A minor is D#. Basically what hes saying is dont use the same set of notes all the time, put things in there that don't always sound good, but do sound good when YOU play them in the context of the solo. Overall this guy has some great advice for beginning guitarists.
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#5
Quote by klysandral
In Major and Minor Scales the third, sixth, and seventh notes of the scale are a semitone (one fret) apart. In the minor there are one half-step (semitone) flat from the major and vice versa. For example in the key of A the major Scale is A B C# D E F# G# and the Minor Scale is A B C D E F G. In the blues people typically begin by playing a minor pentatonic scale which uses only the first, third, fourth, fifth, and seventh notes of the scale, this is what he means by blues box one from what I can tell. The major third he refers to is the C#, and know when to hit that C# in a way that sounds good. Another interval commonly used in blues pentatonic playing is the diminished fifth, which in A minor is D#. Basically what hes saying is dont use the same set of notes all the time, put things in there that don't always sound good, but do sound good when YOU play them in the context of the solo. Overall this guy has some great advice for beginning guitarists.

Really? Hmmm.
#6
You actually see a lot of mixing major and minor in the blues. This shouldn't be that surprising, since even if you're using the minor pentatonic scale, you're ALREADY mixing major and minor in most blues: you get the major third in most of your chords, the minor seventh from the frequent use of Dom7 chords and your minor pentatonic scale, and the minor third from the minor pentatonic scale.

You hear a lot of examples of this in early Clapton. If you were in e blues, you would mix e minor pentatonic licks with e major pentatonic licks. There are some good explanations of Clapton's use of this technique on this page:

http://12bar.de/index.php
#7
Quote by mdc
Really? Hmmm.


there seems to be no avoiding the discrepancies following a random person underestimating the importance of differentiating enharmonic frequencies

i wish there was more to contribute, but it's already been nailed really.
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#8
I'm not even gonna watch the video, but I'll answer anyway.

I believe he is talking about using licks from the relative major/minor.

Have one lick from Am [use these note ABCDEFG] and then have a lick from C major [CDEFGAB]. What makes them different is that A would be the tonal centre for the minor lick, and C for the major lick.

Remember that he's saying the licks are in X key. No matter what licks you play, the chord progression determines the key.
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#9
Oh lol I guess he did mean major third after all. My bad.

Yeah, it's pretty common to include those, especially following the minor third, "Killing in the Name" by Rage and "Who Did You Think I was" by John Mayer Trio have main riffs that have that.
#10
He's talking about, for instance, the minor 3rd against an A7 chord resolving to the major 3rd of the A7 chord. IOW, the C note resolving to C# over the A7 chord in A Blues. So, he's mixing the minor 3rd with the major 3rd.

The simple way of doing this to mix the A Blues scale with the A Major Pentatonic scale. Once you learn to do this the idea of a "scale" dissolves pretty quickly and you start playing lines against the chord more than "playing a scale" per say. Mixing these two scales together gives you (from A) A B C C# D Eb E F# G A. But you won't think of this as a linear scale but instead as notes to use to create tension and release against the chord or the Key.

I have a full blown tutorial on this topic. It's the basis for just about every rock, country, blues, bluegrass, etc...playing you've heard. It's even found in jazz, fusion, etc...too

You can find it here: http://lessons.mikedodge.com/lessons/AdvPent/AvdPentTOC.htm

There are over 50 examples using tab, audio, fretboard diagrams, etc...as needed.

READ THE INTRODUCTION as you'll probably connect with it and it lays out how many places I found this being used and how I developed it into my second nature playing.

After the Introduction plow through the 50+ lessons in order as they build from idea to application to more ideas and more application.

It's COMPLETELY free too, no ads or anything...just straight learning material. Enjoy!
Last edited by MikeDodge at Dec 7, 2011,
#11
Its not really mixing major or minor, its just using an augmented second to help tonicize the third scale degree.

The tetrachord it comes from has been incredible common throughout most historically documented western music
Last edited by chantastic at Dec 8, 2011,
#12
He's saying to use the minor pentatonic and to learn how to exploit the major third.
in A the minor pentatonic is A C D E G A. He's saying learn to sometimes use the C#.

Blues is pretty muvh I IV V. It is very common to make all these chords dominant seventh chords. I7 IV7 V7. The minor seventh in that IV7 chord is the minor third even though it's a "major" blues progression.

All blues guitarists will use both the major and minor third. This has trickled through into rock as well which is heavily influenced by the blues.

Jimi Hendrix uses a chord in Purple Haze and the chord itself is a dom7#9 which means it uses both the major third and the enharmonic equivalent of minor third (#9)in the same chord!!

Hey Joe uses a lot of minor licks and resolves to the Major E chord which uses a major third.

So yeah he's just saying that if you play the minor pentatonic you will use the perfect fourth which is a semitone above the major third and the minor third which is a semitone below but if you only stick to the notes of the minor pentatonic then you will not ever land on the major third itself. He describes this kind of playing as "dancing around" the major third but never landing on it.

the blues has a long tradition of playing the major and minor thirds off each other, in a major key for example you would be playing an major tonic chord and a lick from the minor pentatonic that includes the minor third. This concept is not unique to blues music and is sometimes called false relations. But it is a strong characteristic of blues music.
Si
#13
Alright this has been helpful but I have two questions now.

1: When mixing minor and major, use the relative or parallel key? Like would I mix Am and C or Am and A?

Also, can you guys give me an example of what makes a lick minor or major? I feel as if I've never learned this while learning theory and now it's bothering me.. Unless it just depends on the note you end it with.

But thanks for all the help already given.
#14
Quote by schism8
1: When mixing minor and major, use the relative or parallel key? Like would I mix Am and C or Am and A?

The latter
Also, can you guys give me an example of what makes a lick minor or major? I feel as if I've never learned this while learning theory and now it's bothering me.. Unless it just depends on the note you end it with.

But thanks for all the help already given.

Well it's not the lick, it's more the harmony. In a blues, s'all about the 3rd.

e-8p5p0-5
b--------8s10~

Over a Am chord that's a Am pentatonic lick. But over a Cmaj chord it's a Cmaj pentatonic lick.
Last edited by mdc at Dec 8, 2011,
#15
If you play G minor penatonics over G major, it sounds really cook and bluesy.
You can then combine minor, major and dominant pentatonics, and the regular major scale.
Over G minor I think it's very hard to create something good with a major 3rd.
#17
Quote by 20Tigers
He's saying to use the minor pentatonic and to learn how to exploit the major third.
in A the minor pentatonic is A C D E G A. He's saying learn to sometimes use the C#.

Blues is pretty muvh I IV V. It is very common to make all these chords dominant seventh chords. I7 IV7 V7. The minor seventh in that IV7 chord is the minor third even though it's a "major" blues progression.

All blues guitarists will use both the major and minor third. This has trickled through into rock as well which is heavily influenced by the blues.

Jimi Hendrix uses a chord in Purple Haze and the chord itself is a dom7#9 which means it uses both the major third and the enharmonic equivalent of minor third (#9)in the same chord!!

Hey Joe uses a lot of minor licks and resolves to the Major E chord which uses a major third.

So yeah he's just saying that if you play the minor pentatonic you will use the perfect fourth which is a semitone above the major third and the minor third which is a semitone below but if you only stick to the notes of the minor pentatonic then you will not ever land on the major third itself. He describes this kind of playing as "dancing around" the major third but never landing on it.

the blues has a long tradition of playing the major and minor thirds off each other, in a major key for example you would be playing an major tonic chord and a lick from the minor pentatonic that includes the minor third. This concept is not unique to blues music and is sometimes called false relations. But it is a strong characteristic of blues music.


It may be the enharmonic equivalent but its still not using "both thirds" in one chord. Using both thirds occurs, but not in any context described in this thread. Yes it seems semantic, but it becomes important to make the distinction eventually

Its still not "both thirds," its tonicizing the third with an aug2nd
#18
So basically what he is saying is most people only use the minor pentatonic and never mix it with the major? Which if you wanted to do that you would add a major third to the key?

Is that it?
#19
Most people only use the minor pentatonic over a blues, but most people play boring solos that sound pretty much the same all the time. Good players mix, and are aware of why and when they do.

Seems like you want some sort of quick fix on how to play much better, just altering the minor pentatonic won't do that. Try playing real slow on a simple blues, and learn where the chord tones are of each chord in the progression. Try to make melodies of them as they pass by, it's hard but you'll learn a lot.
#20
Quote by Ulfe
Most people only use the minor pentatonic over a blues, but most people play boring solos that sound pretty much the same all the time. Good players mix, and are aware of why and when they do.

Seems like you want some sort of quick fix on how to play much better, just altering the minor pentatonic won't do that. Try playing real slow on a simple blues, and learn where the chord tones are of each chord in the progression. Try to make melodies of them as they pass by, it's hard but you'll learn a lot.



I'm not looking for anything that'll make me learn quick.

Could it be that i want to learn it and understand it now so I don't become boring player inf the future?
#21
OK, God forgive me for posting to this forum, I'm certain MDC will make me live to regret it
On "dancing around the Major third......."

Let's take a simple chord change in the key of G Major. (these are after all, all I know).

In improvising between the two chords, G and D Major, certain notes in the G Major scale create less tension than others. F#, is the major 3rd of the D major chord. It can sound a bit out of place in some types of improv, as it's also the suspended 4th of G major.

Yes I know, it works just dandy resolving Dmajor back to the tonic G, and guitarists have hammered out D > Dsus4> G in the open position for eons. Ahhh, that's nice.

You're pretty much good to go, with G, A, B, D, C, and E. Wut!, That comes out to be E minor pentatonic scale, what a coincidence!

(Yes I know G creates a D sus4, and C creates a Gsus4, as well as a D7 chord). They just don't seem quite a jarring as the F# in a pentatonic riff.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 8, 2011,
#22
Picardy's, splits, double inflections.... s'all there for the takin'. I so wish I studied classical from the word go. It quite simply, owns everything else.
#23
Quote by schism8
I'm not looking for anything that'll make me learn quick.

Could it be that i want to learn it and understand it now so I don't become boring player inf the future?


Well, it seems like you want to learn quick because this post had several answers to your question and then you came back and asked the question again as if people hadn't already answered it!

So why not start by reading all the posts in the thread, including the linked articles?
#24
Quote by HotspurJr
So why not start by reading all the posts in the thread

@ Jism. Sorry, it does sound like that though.

Slowly, carefully, and several times over. No. Seriously. Apologies in advance if that sounds incredibly patronizing.

Incidentally, having read through the thread again myself, I don't think you actually know what a 3rd is... which renders this thread useless, causing a waste of our time, and yours.
#25
With a blender.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#26
Quote by mdc
@ Jism. Sorry, it does sound like that though.

Slowly, carefully, and several times over. No. Seriously. Apologies in advance if that sounds incredibly patronizing.

Incidentally, having read through the thread again myself, I don't think you actually know what a 3rd is... which renders this thread useless, causing a waste of our time, and yours.



Okay, one last try at it before I give up for abit on it.

If I'm playing in Em over Emaj I IV and V when over the specific chords, i want to add the third of the chords i'm over to the key even those it's not technically in it?
So in this case I would add G# over the I, C# over the IV and D# over the V?
#27
Quote by schism8
Okay, one last try at it before I give up for abit on it.

If I'm playing in Em over Emaj I IV and V when over the specific chords, i want to add the third of the chords i'm over to the key even those it's not technically in it?
So in this case I would add G# over the I, C# over the IV and D# over the V?

Do you mean Em pentatonic over the E blues? If so, then yes, you have it.

The next step is to play, listen, and absorb how the major 3rds (which you've correctly labelled with respect to each chord) sound in relation to the standard minor pentatonic.

Make sure to land on these chord tones as the chords change, essentially you're respecting each chord by doing this. The 3rd is so defining.
Last edited by mdc at Dec 8, 2011,
#28
Quote by schism8
So basically what he is saying is most people only use the minor pentatonic and never mix it with the major? Which if you wanted to do that you would add a major third to the key?

Is that it?


Like those lessons I posted explain...

"The Blues" is three major chords but most guitarist are taught to play the Blues or Minor Pentatonic scale over the progression...

so most guitarist at some point have this question...

"I play Minor scales over Major chords????"

The answer is, yes you can, but you are only playing a portion of the sound you hear other players using. The sound that's missing from most players bag of sounds is the Major sound that ACTUALLY fits the chords.

Those lesson teach the concept of mixing the two sounds in many ways...many ways you've heard but never copped ONLY using the Minor Pentatonic based scale.

Check those lessons out.
#29
You'll be dancing around it cuz the minor pentatonic doesn't contain it.

In an A Blues, the major 3rd of the I, IV and V chords are C sharp, F sharp and G sharp respectively.

The A minor pentatonic scale doesn't contain any of those notes, so try and target them as the chords change.
#30
Quote by schism8
Alright this has been helpful but I have two questions now.

1: When mixing minor and major, use the relative or parallel key? Like would I mix Am and C or Am and A?

Also, can you guys give me an example of what makes a lick minor or major? I feel as if I've never learned this while learning theory and now it's bothering me.. Unless it just depends on the note you end it with.

But thanks for all the help already given.

The parallel key.

because the harmony is establishing an A tonic then all the notes of any relative key will actually sound in relation to the A tonic. Because they are the same notes the effect is that you would not really be using a relative key. (make sense?)

In order to use the relative key you have to change the tonal centre so that the same notes are heard in relation to a different tonal centre.

A lick that is minor is one that uses the minor third above the root note as a feature note. Similarly one that is major uses the major third a feature note. (i.e. It functions as more than just a passing note)

It's not just using the note at the end of a phrase. You could use it on a strong beat (it might be int he middle of your lick but occur right on the chord change or on the third beat for example) or as the highest or lowest note in a phrase (moves up to the third then down from the third).
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Dec 8, 2011,