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#1
OK, so this really pathetic for someone who has been screwing around on guitar for so many years but I'm still wrestling with the very basics of music theory and it drives me (and my friends) nuts. But here goes:

I record a loop of bar chords Emaj, Amaj Bmaj and do them in a basic Louis-Louis type tune, over and over again on my looper. I don't individualize the strings, I just go for a solid hit of the chord.

Now, I play to ear (maybe this is the root of my problems) and when I come over it with scales, I find that I naturally go to what strikes me as a standard D major scale. But friends say this should be a, E-minor scale.... But if I happen to start in E, it just turns into an E major scale over this. But I find that I tend to rock out more in D major.

Note : I have often noticed that if I'm playing in D, it can slip into G, which is the decending E minor so far as I can tell, but that depends on my mood and the loop..

Can anybody help me on the source of my confusion ? Is my ear just bad ? Am I just playing too few bar chords to define exactly what key it's in ?

Is it "possible" but possibly "awkward" to be playin in D ? Does the note we resolve to neccarily define the key or the root of the scale? Or am I confusing key and scale?

Obviously confused, here. Thanks for your patience and help.

TV
#2
Oh boy you are gonna get so spanked on this thread...

Little esoteric advice:

You should not think about a scale you SHOULD be using, if it sounds good it sounds good.

Translate the sound you hopefully hear in your head to your instrument, not the scale your buddies say you should be using..

The theory zealots will arrive shortly.
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Feb 16, 2012,
#3
Quote by Tom Vaniz
OK, so this really pathetic for someone who has been screwing around on guitar for so many years but I'm still wrestling with the very basics of music theory and it drives me (and my friends) nuts. But here goes:

I record a loop of bar chords Emaj, Amaj Bmaj and do them in a basic Louis-Louis type tune, over and over again on my looper. I don't individualize the strings, I just go for a solid hit of the chord.

Now, I play to ear (maybe this is the root of my problems) and when I come over it with scales, I find that I naturally go to what strikes me as a standard D major scale. But friends say this should be a, E-minor scale.... But if I happen to start in E, it just turns into an E major scale over this. But I find that I tend to rock out more in D major.

Note : I have often noticed that if I'm playing in D, it can slip into G, which is the decending E minor so far as I can tell, but that depends on my mood and the loop..

Can anybody help me on the source of my confusion ? Is my ear just bad ? Am I just playing too few bar chords to define exactly what key it's in ?

Is it "possible" but possibly "awkward" to be playin in D ? Does the note we resolve to neccarily define the key or the root of the scale? Or am I confusing key and scale?

Obviously confused, here. Thanks for your patience and help.

TV

Well, the progression is in E Major. try the E Major scale and/or E Major pentatonic or E Major blues
shred is gaudy music
#4
What you have is THE most common chord progression in modern music.

It's a I, IV, V in E major.
#5
The chord progression you're using is a very strongly in the key of E major (I - IV - V - I). You don't get much stronger than that, man. I recon your friends are wrong because why would you play a minor scale on the tonic of something that's in a major key? I personally don't see anything wrong with soloing with the D major scale because it actually seems quite similar to the E blues scale in terms of note content anyway - just make sure you don't end up on a D note at the end for the sake of resolving and stuff.
#6
The D mjaor scale would work well over the I chord (E)

You should be viewing it as the E major scale with a flat 7 though.
#7
The most natural fit for those chords is the E major scale.

In a blues or rock context, the minor pentatonic will also work well.

The "D major" scale will often work well here. But look at whats really going on:

Notes of E Major: E F# G# A B C# D#
Notes of D Major E F# G A B C# D

Notice how there are only two notes different there?

Furthermore, those two notes are now notes that appear in the minor scale! G and D are the minor third and minor seventh of E. In other words, those notes fit right in with E Min pentatonic, which is a very common scale used over that progression.
#8
I would play E pentatonic minor , Blues and Major all mixed up as one scale. Its kind of the 60's brit blues thing.
#9
Quote by Slashiepie
The theory zealots will arrive shortly.


yes, we will. now step aside.

Quote by mrbabo91
The D mjaor scale would work well over the I chord (E)

You should be viewing it as the E major scale with a flat 7 though.


don't forget the b3! which kinda kills the "E major scale" theory at all.

bottom line - it's E major. if you think it is D major, no. if your friends think it's E minor, they know jack, and have a terrible ear to boot. it just doesn't get any more E major than Emaj-Amaj-Bmaj.

you can play whatever you want over it, but it's still all E major, so the E major scale with a tasteful use of accidentals is probably your best bet -- that's how you'll get the sound of the minor pentatonic everyone's talking about - by tossing that G natural and D natural in as passing tones or simply accidentals in a melody.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Last edited by AeolianWolf at Feb 16, 2012,
#11
Original poster here : Yowza! That's a lot of food for thought and I'll chew for a while ! Thanks !
#12
Quote by Tom Vaniz
OK, so this really pathetic for someone who has been screwing around on guitar for so many years but I'm still wrestling with the very basics of music theory and it drives me (and my friends) nuts. But here goes:

I record a loop of bar chords Emaj, Amaj Bmaj and do them in a basic Louis-Louis type tune, over and over again on my looper. I don't individualize the strings, I just go for a solid hit of the chord.

Now, I play to ear (maybe this is the root of my problems) and when I come over it with scales, I find that I naturally go to what strikes me as a standard D major scale. But friends say this should be a, E-minor scale.... But if I happen to start in E, it just turns into an E major scale over this. But I find that I tend to rock out more in D major.

Note : I have often noticed that if I'm playing in D, it can slip into G, which is the decending E minor so far as I can tell, but that depends on my mood and the loop..

Can anybody help me on the source of my confusion ? Is my ear just bad ? Am I just playing too few bar chords to define exactly what key it's in ?

Is it "possible" but possibly "awkward" to be playin in D ? Does the note we resolve to neccarily define the key or the root of the scale? Or am I confusing key and scale?

Obviously confused, here. Thanks for your patience and help.

TV


Your chord progression is a I IV V in E major. Try the E major scake

For the note you made, if you slip into G from D you have modulated to the subdominant key.
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#13
yes, we will. now step aside.


don't forget the b3! which kinda kills the "E major scale" theory at all.

QUOTE]

Ah yes, forgot about the G.
#14
OK, I'm far from a theory, "Nazi".....So this won't hurt a bit.

Blues is sometimes played with all dominant 7th chords.

Technically the 7th, (which is actually a "flat 7th" (2 frets below the root)), wouldn't necessarily occur in the key being played.

Adding "D" to E Major gives us, E dominant 7th.. (Notice the "D" natural instead of D# which occurs in the key of E Major).

Adding a "G" to A major gives us A dominant 7th.. (Notice the "G" natural instead of G# which occurs in E Major.

And finally, adding an A to B Major gives us B dominant 7th. (That chord and note are already in E Major, as the dominant 7th).

So, we play a D & G natural, and it does indeed appear we are playing in D Major. But, the truth of the matter is, we are playing in a modified blues scale, which
happens to contain the notes of D Major.

Accordingly, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, you can think of it as a duck, (or for that matter D major). Whatever gets you through the song......


EDIT: A key point of this is, you didn't invent it. Many blues songs over the ages have used the technique of all dominant 7th chords or soloing using the notes of the dominant 7ths. Ergo, if it's been done successfully, and you didn't invent it, then your friends can't tell you it's wrong...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 16, 2012,
#15
Aha, this idea of the dominant 7th makes sense. Or almost (I'm VERY slow to assimilate these things).

Still, the entire scale I'm playing looks like D major, so was wondering if we might say I was playing in an "E dorian", since I resolve to E, but which is otherwise pretty much identical to a standard D major scale.

TOM
#16
Quote by Tom Vaniz
Aha, this idea of the dominant 7th makes sense. Or almost (I'm VERY slow to assimilate these things).

Still, the entire scale I'm playing looks like D major, so was wondering if we might say I was playing in an "E dorian", since I resolve to E, but which is otherwise pretty much identical to a standard D major scale.

TOM


I would say you are playing an E major scale with accidentals. No need to call it E dorian unless it's modal.
#18
Well, whatever I call the scale, being able to "name" it is only useful once I've understood it, so I will have to chew on this for a WHILE.

Great forum. Thanks a lot !
#19
Your original progression; E, A, B is irrefutably in E major.

However.......

you mentioned 'Louis Louis' and I'm presuming you actually mean 'Louie Louie' by Richard Berry, made more famous perhaps by The Kingsmen.

In this song the 'V' chord is actually a minor chord.
In E this gives you:

E A Bm

If we now 'bluesify' these chords and make the major chords contain minor sevenths we now have:

E7 A7 Bm

The reason your 'D major scale' is working over these chords is that over the E7 chord it is giving you E dorian, over the A7 it gives you A mixolydian and over the Bm it's B aeolian.

You may ask 'why does the dorian scale work over E7 - I thought Dorian was for minor chords'

This is a good question and I'd say it comes down to the context of the harmony.
The Dorian scale is basically a major scale with a minor 3rd and a minor 7th.
The E7 chord has a minor 7th, but that major 3rd (G#) is a problem.....
The solution is what the blues is all about IMO - the presence of A7 gives you the G natural that you need to make that minor 3rd in the E dorian sound 'good'.

This is why we can use E minor pentatonic over E7 in such a context because the IV7 chord comes along and almost 'implies' E minor by the presence of the Gnatural (b3 in E).
Your ear knows this and remembers this and everything's OK

EDITS:

I changed '7th (G#)' for '3rd (G#)'
Last edited by Matt.Guitar at Feb 17, 2012,
#20
Now THAT is as close to plain language as I could hope for ! Still need to chew on it, but I have a few more pieces to the puzzle ! Thankx
#21
Quote by Matt.Guitar
The reason your 'D major scale' is working over these chords is that over the E7 chord it is giving you E dorian, over the A7 it gives you A mixolydian and over the Bm it's B aeolian.


are we really doing this?
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#23
Quote by AeolianWolf
are we really doing this?
Well, it's like Tonto said to the Lone Ranger after they had been surrounded by hostile Indians, "What'm you mean we, Kimosabe"?

I didn't think you could turn a question about, "Louie, Louie", into a mode thread. But, it seems you can.
#24
Quote by Matt.Guitar
Haha I thought I might see you after my post.
Go for it - what's up


nah, i'll let someone else handle this one. hail? xiaoxi? griff? any of you want to tag in?
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#25
Quote by AeolianWolf
nah, i'll let someone else handle this one. hail? xiaoxi? griff? any of you want to tag in?
Hey, maybe we could start a whole 'nuther thread!

Let's call it, "An In Depth Examination of the Multi Modal Context of Louie, Louie, by The Kingsmen"...... or not...
#27
Quote by Matt.Guitar
I'm sorry but my analysis IS what is actually happening in that song.
Perhaps you may not like the names of the scales I've used, but if you have a better way of describing what I described let me hear it.

Assuming that there's no such thing as D Major, B Minor, E Pent, accidental or passing notes, then you're 200% correct.

Anyway, result doesn't imply intent. Meaning I sincerely doubt that anybody sat down and tried to create a modal masterpeice, when "Louie, Louie" was born.

There are a lot of bizarre views in the world. For example, "air guitar IS a musical instrument".

The Jefferson Airplane's "Martha", is modal. And then only in parts. "White Rabbit", is modal, but only in certain parts.

"Louie, Louie", is mostly noise.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 17, 2012,
#29
Matt guitar, im unfamilar with the song you're referring to, but a chord progression which goes E - A - Bm wouldn't be in E major. It would be a V - VII - i in B minor. The reason the D major scale sounds good over this is because it is the relative major of B minor, and you are in fact playing the B minor scale in the key of B minor, not D major.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#31
OK, here's how I see it, if the modes you describe occur as you describe then, it is as a result of playing the same scale over different chords.

For me, this signals incompetence, not grand design.

So, let's assume you're correct. Perhaps you are.

My point is the song is only revealed to be "modal", by forced conclusions drawn during its postmortem.

That said, it's still mostly noise, and we both get to be right.
#32
Quote by Matt.Guitar
The key is either E Major with accidentals.


bingo. there shouldn't be an ellipsis, there should be a period. i don't even have to listen to the song to tell you that.

and again, carrying over from the other thread -- of course you think that's what's happening in the song. if it wasn't what you thought was happening, you wouldn't have said it.

just like you have problems with my viewpoints, i have problems with yours -- namely that you can't even see the big picture in a three-chord progression. if you think you've got E dorian, A mixolydian, and B aeolian in the picture, you might want to think about taking a few theory classes.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#33
Quote by AlanHB
Matt guitar, im unfamilar with the song you're referring to, but a chord progression which goes E - A - Bm wouldn't be in E major. It would be a V - VII - i in B minor. The reason the D major scale sounds good over this is because it is the relative major of B minor, and you are in fact playing the B minor scale in the key of B minor, not D major.

Transpose it up a 4th and you get this

I IV v IV
#34
Your method of explaining to people that everything is a major/minor key with accidentals seems so very insufficient and out of date.

However, I am happy to accept that my knowledge of theory is perhaps not so complete as I never studied at university - If you recommend some reading material, particularly those pertinent to the areas you believe me to be lacking in I would actually be grateful.
I am however, a devoted student of my instrument, and have read countless books that have taught me the things I just explained. I know the modern usage of modes bears practically no resemblance to the ancient origins and useage, but we live in a modern world and things are different now.


If I played this progression:

A D E D A (just play minims on each and hold the last chord)
You will tell me it's in A major (at least I hope you will)

Now play this progression:

E A D A E (Same rhythm)
What key would you say this is in?

I would say it was modal, you would perhaps say E major with accidentals?
Last edited by Matt.Guitar at Feb 18, 2012,
#35
Quote by Tom Vaniz
Now THAT is as close to plain language as I could hope for ! Still need to chew on it, but I have a few more pieces to the puzzle ! Thankx


In simple terms if you play E major over that progression you will not hit a wrong note. Try to land the end of licks on the E,A or B when those chords are playing it will sound like you know what your doing. Once your are comfortable with that you can try landing on different notes of the E major scale.

Also if you want to put in some of those pentatonic licks which you probably already know you will want to move down to C# pentatonic which is a minor pentatonic BUT will contain the same notes as E major.

The best advice is to play what you hear, and you should tell your mates that they don't really know what they are talking about.

Give
Last edited by Kerbache at Feb 18, 2012,
#36
Quote by Matt.Guitar

Now play this progression:

E A D A E (Same rhythm)
What key would you say this is in?

I would say it was modal, you would perhaps say E major with accidentals?

The chords in that progression are functioning. So it's not modal.

It's V I IV I V

If you wanted to make it modal, then:
---7------
-5-8-7-10--9
-4-7-7-9---9
-6---7-11--9
----------
-0-0-0-0---0
Last edited by mdc at Feb 18, 2012,
#38
E Major, yes. I IV VII IV I. Modal interchange.

I also hear it as the progression I mentioned earlier, with the rhythm you suggested, it's a subjective thing. But what's not subjective is that it's not in E Mixolydian.

Quote by AeolianWolf
are we really doing this?

It appears so. 38...
Last edited by mdc at Feb 18, 2012,
#39
Quote by mdc
E Major, yes. I IV VII IV I. Modal interchange.

I also hear it as the progression I mentioned earlier, with the rhythm you suggested, it's a subjective thing. But what's not subjective is that it's not in E Mixolydian.



Indeed.
I don't suppose there is one absolutely correct way of describing music like this.
You can analyse it various ways.
If I was at a jam and someone busted out that Louie progression I wouldn't be sitting there thinking 'right, ok, we have an Emajor chord and A major and a Bminor. Now there's a D natural here, a G natural there.......'

I would hear the chords and the implied 'tonality' (probably gonna offend more people with that word) and I would know what to do - mainly E blues oriented stuff!

Hey, it's only rock n roll.
#40
Quote by mdc
The chords in that progression are functioning. So it's not modal.

It's V I IV I V

If you wanted to make it modal, then:
---7------
-5-8-7-10--9
-4-7-7-9---9
-6---7-11--9
----------
-0-0-0-0---0


Something doesn't need a drone to be modal...though it doesn't hurt at making the tonality more clear.
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