So i'm trying to get my head around this, i supposse i am missing something somewhere but i dont know what it is

Question 1:

I was reading a bit on the subject of combining major and minor scales in the context of a blues solo. Now i get a lot of diagrams and stuff about relative minor/major. But frankly, isnt it so that the major and minor scale just differs in 2 notes hence the 7/b7 and the 3/b3, so basically if i would for instance play an Am pentatonic and just be aware of the fact that i can use the b3/3 and the 7/b7, isnt that just a whole lot easier than first figuring out the relative minor/major and the hassle that comes with that?

So why do we need this thing called a relative key? Or am i the one who is missing something here?

Question 2:

Basically this is the very same question as the one above. Let's say i want to play A dorian. Now again this relative stuff comes into play, Am is the second of G so i play a G scale from A to A. But wait a second (no pun intended ) , cant i just play my regular Am penatonic or any other scale and be aware of the only difference dorian makes, which is the minor/major sixth.

Again am i missing something vitally important here and should i start banging my head against the wall, or is this relative stuff just a way to make easy stuff complicated as hell?
Last edited by ridicilus at Feb 1, 2012,
1- Yes

2- Yes
I'm no music theory expert but the relative minor starts on the 6th note of a major scale and has the same notes. which is why it's called the realive minor scale. say you're major scale is FMaj the notes are F-G-A-Bb-C-D-E-F the relative minor would be D-E-F-G-A-Bb-C-D. there are several different minor scales the one with the flat 3rd and 7th I believe is the harmonic minor
1. Read the above reply clarifying what a relative key is. Major and minor scales starting from the same note such as A major and A minor are called parallel keys, and differ in 3 notes. Relative key is the name for the major or minor key that shares the exact same notes as a given major or minor key.

2. You can think of it any way you want. The terms "A dorian", "G major", "A minor with a major 6th " all refer to the same set of notes, but have different meanings with respect to tonality/modality. Also, be careful using words like "dorian" as threads may turn into 170 reply monstrosities in short time.
1. A relative key is one that share the same notes, and that's about it. It's the ONLY thing they have in common. They have different tonics, and one is major and one is minor. They're actually very different scales to eachother, but they happen to share the same notes.

2. Whether a song is in a key or in a mode depends on its harmonic context. In a key the notes of the A minor pentatonic will be the A minor scale. In the dorian mode that same scale will be the A dorian mode. When is a song in a mode? Almost never. Use of the major 6th in a key is called an accidental. You could say that this is the dorian SCALE, or the minor scale with a major 6 accidental.
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Quote by ridicilus
So i'm trying to get my head around this, i supposse i am missing something somewhere but i dont know what it is

Question 1:

I was reading a bit on the subject of combining major and minor scales in the context of a blues solo. Now i get a lot of diagrams and stuff about relative minor/major. But frankly, isnt it so that the major and minor scale just differs in 2 notes hence the 7/b7 and the 3/b3, so basically if i would for instance play an Am pentatonic and just be aware of the fact that i can use the b3/3 and the 7/b7, isnt that just a whole lot easier than first figuring out the relative minor/major and the hassle that comes with that?

So why do we need this thing called a relative key? Or am i the one who is missing something here?

Question 2:

Basically this is the very same question as the one above. Let's say i want to play A dorian. Now again this relative stuff comes into play, Am is the second of G so i play a G scale from A to A. But wait a second (no pun intended ) , cant i just play my regular Am penatonic or any other scale and be aware of the only difference dorian makes, which is the minor/major sixth.

Again am i missing something vitally important here and should i start banging my head against the wall, or is this relative stuff just a way to make easy stuff complicated as hell?

I think what you're thinking of is the PARALLEL minor/major, not the relative. Taking that on board, your ideas are on the right lines.

Take your thoughts one stage further and you'll realise that what you (and many others) have been thinking of as modes etc. are just accidentals within the original key. It's certainly simpler to think of them that way, as you suspected.
Last edited by Jehannum at Feb 2, 2012,