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#1
So I got to thinking and I notice that not many songs stick to just one scale. I know it may be obvious to the seasoned vet but I'm asking when is it that you decide to change scale.

I'd think it's when you wanna do a change in emotion or "scene". I notice this in SOAD's Hypnotize from using F#m through most of the beginning and E in the end so...well when you feel like a mood change ig.
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

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#2
I don't change scales, I change keys. Like a pro.

I do it when I want. I do it how I want. I usually do it so I can imagine the frustration on players' faces (violinists in particular). And dammit, those are good enough reasons for me.
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#3
Quote by Mister A.J.
I don't change scales, I change keys. Like a pro.

lel. This.

I'm not saying that to be a jerk or anything. I just don't think in terms of scales. I think in keys. I think in terms of intervals. I try to fit what I'm playing to the song, feel how I'm interacting with the other instruments (or backing track). And if I want to play a b3 against a major chord, I do -- provided it fits the song. If I want to play a b7 against a chord that doesn't contain a b7, I do! You have to do it tastefully, but I think I've reached the point where it's more intuitive for me to just think in terms of keys and intervals.
#4
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
lel. This.

I'm not saying that to be a jerk or anything. I just don't think in terms of scales. I think in keys. I think in terms of intervals. I try to fit what I'm playing to the song, feel how I'm interacting with the other instruments (or backing track). And if I want to play a b3 against a major chord, I do -- provided it fits the song. If I want to play a b7 against a chord that doesn't contain a b7, I do! You have to do it tastefully, but I think I've reached the point where it's more intuitive for me to just think in terms of keys and intervals.

Yeah, I'm still very much working on internalizing that stuff. It's tough.
Join the 7 String Legion!

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

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This message has been approved by:

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#7
Quote by eric_wearing
So I got to thinking and I notice that not many songs stick to just one scale.


Most songs DO stick to one scale.

To answer your question I think more about using accidentals than changing scales. Why remember 20 different scales when I can just remember two, and change them with accidentals when I want to hear a different sound.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#9
i havent had to change scales in a few years. you might want to just put in new batteries, it's pretty wasteful to buy a whole new scale every time the batteries die out
#10
snzz wtf

I change scales when it sounds good, like everything else I do in music.
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#11
TS, your problem isn't not knowing when to change scales, it's not knowing how to think in sounds.
#12
Quote by Hail
i havent had to change scales in a few years. you might want to just put in new batteries, it's pretty wasteful to buy a whole new scale every time the batteries die out


excellent
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#13
The scales change when management and I hold a meeting, and we decide the metrics are all wrong for our employees, right now we are grading on a sliding scale of "overachiever" with "lazy ass" down at the bottom, and "Performing" smack dab in the middle. We feel with this scale, we can achieve the bottom line - but we'll change it when business fads change!
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#14
I've been playing e phrygian mode fer like 10,000 days ( I <3 tool) but yeah typically folks just stick to one scale in a song. If you do more than that it sounds like your trying to hard
#15
Quote by elsatanica
I've been playing e phrygian mode fer like 10,000 days ( I <3 tool) but yeah typically folks just stick to one scale in a song. If you do more than that it sounds like your trying to hard



Some songs need changing scales, some don't. If the song only uses diatonic chords, you don't need to change scales (and most of the time you only want to stay inside of one scale). But if there are lots of non-diatonic chords, you have to change scales because not all notes in one scale sound good over all chords. For example if we have a pretty basic progression like E-G-A-C, you can't use one scale over everything (or actually you can - E minor pentatonic would fit the progression pretty well). But if you want to hit chord tones, E major scale only works over E and A major chords. You need to use E minor over G and C because G# in E major scale will clash with G major chord and C# in E major scale will clash with C major chord.

I would suggest learning about scale and chord construction. Learn the note names and intervals.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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#16
Quote by captainsnazz
I change to the classical scale if I want to create this sort of mood
Wow, aren't you nice...

Now, stop being an asshole. Either remove that link please, or I will report your post (so that a mod can remove the link).

Quote by GoldenGuitar
TS, your problem isn't not knowing when to change scales, it's not knowing how to think in sounds.

This can't be stressed enough.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 8, 2014,
#18
Quote by Mad-Mike_J83
The scales change when management and I hold a meeting, and we decide the metrics are all wrong for our employees, right now we are grading on a sliding scale of "overachiever" with "lazy ass" down at the bottom, and "Performing" smack dab in the middle. We feel with this scale, we can achieve the bottom line - but we'll change it when business fads change!


going forward we will be using Dorian mode for all inhouse meetings. Feel free to use Mixolydian with prospective clients
#19
I prefer to use a more unstructured approach to composition as to achieve a greater musical purity. The use of keys and scales is paramount to a regressive outlook on the whole and should be avoided if you seek total transcendence
#20
lol @ the scale/key thing. I couldn't think of the word at the time :3 I'm gonna leave it unedited for the lulz
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#21
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
lel. This.

I just don't think in terms of scales. I think in keys. I think in terms of intervals.


Like how would you "think" about playing over something like C - G - Am - F


Quote by crazysam23_Atax

I try to fit what I'm playing to the song, feel how I'm interacting with the other instruments (or backing track). And if I want to play a b3 against a major chord, I do -- provided it fits the song. If I want to play a b7 against a chord that doesn't contain a b7, I do! You have to do it tastefully, but I think I've reached the point where it's more intuitive for me to just think in terms of keys and intervals.


are you suggesting that the scale is irrelevant simply because you can play notes outside of it?

and how do you tastefully emphasis a b7 over a Major 7 chord? I'd love to hear an example of that. (and I don't mean as a chromatic passing tone)

The b3 makes sense because it'll give you a #9 sound.


Quote by eric_wearing
So I got to thinking and I notice that not many songs stick to just one scale. I know it may be obvious to the seasoned vet but I'm asking when is it that you decide to change scale.



1) When the key changes.





2) When I want a different color

such as Major pentatonic or Major blues over a Major chord, or
the Whole tone scale over an altered dominant. Or a Major Pentatonic a whole step above the root of a Major chord for a 7/ 9/13/#11 sound. Or connect chord tones with the chromatic scale.

Lots of possiblities here.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 17, 2014,
#22
Quote by GuitarMunky
Like how would you "think" about playing over something like C - G - Am - F

Maybe "think" is the wrong word. But my initial reaction is that I would play in C over that.

I haven't played that, to hear it just now. But yeah...

are you suggesting that the scale is irrelevant simply because you can play notes outside of it?

Hardly. But I am saying, I don't sit there and go, "The progression is major, I need to play a major scale like major pentatonic". I just play. I've been playing long enough where I can think in sound now, not in terms of scales.

I think, ultimately, the goal of a musician is to learn to play in sound.

and how do you tastefully emphasis a b7 over a Major 7 chord? I'd love to hear an example of that. (and I don't mean as a chromatic passing tone)

You don't. lol

But maybe I might play a B against a Cmajor chord. Or something.

The b3 makes sense because it'll give you a #9 sound.

Yeah. What I was going for.
#23
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Maybe "think" is the wrong word. But my initial reaction is that I would play in C over that.


Can you describe it in a more specific way? Just saying that you "play in C" is incredibly vague.


Quote by crazysam23_Atax

Hardly. But I am saying, I don't sit there and go, "The progression is major, I need to play a major scale like major pentatonic".



Well, sure, and when I talk I don't think "okay I need to use a noun here", but I still use nouns.


Quote by crazysam23_Atax

I just play. I've been playing long enough where I can think in sound now, not in terms of scales.
I think, ultimately, the goal of a musician is to learn to play in sound.


That's great, but don't you think that scales are related to sound?

When I think in sound, scales are undeniably part of what I'm hearing. That's because they are a fundamental aspect of music, and I've listened to alot of music. So if it's not part of what you hear when you're thinking in sound, what is? and where did you take it in from?
#24
Quote by GuitarMunky
Can you describe it in a more specific way? Just saying that you "play in C" is incredibly vague.

Well, that's how I think of it.

I like vague parameters when it comes to music.


Well, sure, and when I talk I don't think "okay I need to use a noun here", but I still use nouns.

Yes...that's my point.


That's great, but don't you think that scales are related to sound?

When I think in sound, scales are undeniably part of what I'm hearing. That's because they are a fundamental aspect of music, and I've listened to alot of music. So if it's not part of what you hear when you're thinking in sound, what is? and where did you take it in from?

I think we've had this conversation before, and I don't recall it be satisfactory for either of us...
#25
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Well, that's how I think of it.

I like vague parameters when it comes to music.


lol, that's an oxymoron.


Quote by crazysam23_Atax

Yes...that's my point.


Ok so do use scales then?


Quote by crazysam23_Atax

I think we've had this conversation before, and I don't recall it be satisfactory for either of us...


I'm just trying to get where you're coming from. You say you think in sound, but Shirley scales must be part of what you're hearing.

Like for example I know if Im hearing a Major blues lick, VS Major pentatonic, or Major, or Lydian. My ability to aurally distinguish that allows me to utilize those colors.
#26
Quote by GuitarMunky
lol, that's an oxymoron.



Ok so do use scales then?

Yes, but if I'm improvising, unconsciously so. When composing, I think more in terms of harmony or melody.

I'm just trying to get where you're coming from. You say you think in sound, but Shirley scales must be part of what you're hearing.

Like for example I know if Im hearing a Major blues lick, VS Major pentatonic, or Major, or Lydian. My ability to aurally distinguish that allows me to utilize those colors.

Of course. But I don't think there's ever a time where I go, "I want a major blues lick". I may go, "I want something similar to a major blues lick" sometimes, and it works out that way. But yeah.
#27
Quote by crazysam23_Atax



Yes, but if I'm improvising, unconsciously so. When composing, I think more in terms of harmony or melody.


The reason I keep arguing with you is that you continue to downplay the relevance of scales, as if they have no bearing on harmony and melody, or intervals for that matter.






Quote by crazysam23_Atax

Of course. But I don't think there's ever a time where I go, "I want a major blues lick". I may go, "I want something similar to a major blues lick" sometimes, and it works out that way. But yeah.

well what's the difference? I mean your still using it as a reference point.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 17, 2014,
#28
@ crazysam23_Atax -The collection of intervals you use, the ones that form the basic tonal material of a piece of music, (arranged in ascending or descending order) is a scale.

I'm with GuitarMunky on this one. I really don't understand the distinction you are trying to make.

Are you trying to say that recognizing or referring to scales somehow equates to a not having internalized the sounds or an inability to think in terms of sound?

Scales are descriptions. They describe a specific set of intervals. They come from recognizing that certain pitch relationships are commonly used together to form an overall tonal quality. That collection of intervals is listed by reference to the root note and called a scale.

It's not limiting nor is it harmful to think this way. In fact having a single name as reference to a specific set of intervals can be quite useful for the purpose of discussion.

It's really hard to wrap my head around why you are so contrary when it comes to scales. (perhaps you fell victim to some clever trolling some time ago??)

What exactly is the difference you are getting at when you advise to "think in terms of intervals not scales"?
Si
#29
kinda silly to use scales to refer to anything but straight up and down runs

which i mean i guess they have their place for wanking or doing warm-ups and there are conventions that come with knowing your scales just like any other part of music

but they're severely misunderstood in the guitar community largely because we aren't taught by sheet music. being able to explain a key signature and accidentals in context with visual queues and then relating that to a scale is incredibly important in a new musician's understanding of theory, but most guitarists learn things the exact opposite. which i mean, it's fine to learn things the wrong way cause music is all subjective, but we end up with lots of musicians that end up being "educators" as well for extra cash spreading the misinformation.

watch an alexi laiho or similar "shred" DVD, it's embarrassing and just causing more kids to waste their time wanking until they either get burned out thinking music is limited and dull or they snap out of it and realize they've been working on the wrong basic ideas and techniques for 5 years
#30
Chuck Norris doesn't change scales....
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
#31
Quote by GuitarMunky
The reason I keep arguing with you is that you continue to downplay the relevance of scales, as if they have no bearing on harmony and melody, or intervals for that matter.

If you think I'm doing so, I apologize. I don't mean to be doing so in any way.

well what's the difference? I mean your still using it as a reference point.

There isn't one.

It's like your nouns example earlier. You don't think about using nouns, but you still obviously do use nouns. I don't think about using scales, but I still end up using scales.

Quote by 20Tigers
@ crazysam23_Atax -The collection of intervals you use, the ones that form the basic tonal material of a piece of music, (arranged in ascending or descending order) is a scale.

I understand this. I feel this is quite obvious (and somewhat demeaning), too...

I'm with GuitarMunky on this one. I really don't understand the distinction you are trying to make.

Are you trying to say that recognizing or referring to scales somehow equates to a not having internalized the sounds or an inability to think in terms of sound?

Scales are descriptions. They describe a specific set of intervals. They come from recognizing that certain pitch relationships are commonly used together to form an overall tonal quality. That collection of intervals is listed by reference to the root note and called a scale.

It's not limiting nor is it harmful to think this way. In fact having a single name as reference to a specific set of intervals can be quite useful for the purpose of discussion.

It's really hard to wrap my head around why you are so contrary when it comes to scales. (perhaps you fell victim to some clever trolling some time ago??)

What exactly is the difference you are getting at when you advise to "think in terms of intervals not scales"?

You guys are taking this way too...deep. I'm not saying any of what you're asking. And I'm not making a distinction.

All I'm saying is, I don't think about scales. It really is that simple. There's no magic formula or reasoning behind it. It just is. It is easier for me to think about intervals than about scales. Yes, intervals naturally form a scale. But I don't think in terms of scales.

I don't see why it matters in the slightest, either.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 18, 2014,
#32
Alex, I understand...I don't really either. I can just as easily think in terms of just pitch collections that go well and fit against what I'm doing. Sometimes, a scale creates music because that's the next note our fingers hit, but that may not be the way I want it; I might use 4-5 notes and ignore the scale, but, those notes are a part of the scale.

I'm just thinking more in terms of melody, and the scale is internalized.

Best,

Sean
#33
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I understand this. I feel this is quite obvious (and somewhat demeaning), too...
It wasn't intended to be demeaning at all. I was just showing my starting point.

Regardless, the guy was talking about changing key. He acknowledged as much toward the end of the first page.

So we are really talking about modulation.
Si
#34
Quote by crazysam23_Atax

All I'm saying is, I don't think about scales. It really is that simple. There's no magic formula or reasoning behind it. It just is. It is easier for me to think about intervals than about scales. Yes, intervals naturally form a scale. But I don't think in terms of scales.

I don't see why it matters in the slightest, either.


you mean like it's easier for you to think R, 2, 3, 4 ,5 ,6 ,7 than it is to think R, 2, 3 , 4, 5, 6, 7 ??


Quote by Sean0913
Alex, I understand...I don't really either. I can just as easily think in terms of just pitch collections that go well and fit against what I'm doing. Sometimes, a scale creates music because that's the next note our fingers hit, but that may not be the way I want it; I might use 4-5 notes and ignore the scale, but, those notes are a part of the scale.

I'm just thinking more in terms of melody, and the scale is internalized.

Best,

Sean


I'm curious as to what you mean by "pitch collection"? I remember that term from when I was studying atonal music in school. It specifically had to do with tone rows which If I remember correctly were used as a way of avoided using scales, in order to escape tonality. By using a 12 tone row or pitch collection, no single pitch would be heard as the tonic. It was a term used because the word "scale" no longer applied.

So is that what you mean by pitch collection, or are you using it to mean something different?
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 18, 2014,
#35
To me the easiest way to think is scales with accidentals. Either minor or major and accidentals. That's it.

Well actually, I guess I think in both intervals and scales. I think about the scale, but I also acknowledge which degree of the scale I'm playing = the distance from the tonic = the interval.

But when I'm playing for instance the notes A-B, I don't think "okay, I just played a major second" next I play F-A "that was a major third", etc. That is just useless isn't it?
Last edited by Elintasokas at Aug 18, 2014,
#36
Quote by 91RG350
Chuck Norris doesn't change scales....


yeah the backing automatically changes to suit his playing, amirite?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#37
Quote by 20Tigers
It wasn't intended to be demeaning at all. I was just showing my starting point.

Fair enough.

Regardless, the guy was talking about changing key. He acknowledged as much toward the end of the first page.

So we are really talking about modulation.

Yeah, we kind of got off-topic in that regard. (Mostly my fault, sorry.)

In the case of modulation, I tend to use a few "common" notes. So, using the example of moving from the key of F#minor to the key of Eminor...those two keys share several common tones. Depending upon how the chords underneath are, I would pick my notes and try to smoothly transition to the new key.

Quote by GuitarMunky
you mean like it's easier for you to think R, 2, 3, 4 ,5 ,6 ,7 than it is to think R, 2, 3 , 4, 5, 6, 7 ??

Yes...

Seriously, why does this matter? I have a different way of thinking about than you. And?
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 18, 2014,
#38
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Yes...

Seriously, why does this matter? I have a different way of thinking about than you. And?


How can you say yes, and then claim that you have a "a different way of thinking".

Quote by crazysam23_Atax

In the case of modulation, I tend to use a few "common" notes. So, using the example of moving from the key of F#minor to the key of Eminor...those two keys share several common tones. Depending upon how the chords underneath are, I would pick my notes and try to smoothly transition to the new key.

How specifically would you pick your notes?

You say you have a "different way of thinking", but your explanations are all very vague. "picking notes to try and smoothly transition" could mean alot of things. For instance you could achieve this by changing scales to accommodate the new key. Obviously you don't mean that, so you must be doing something else. No one will ever know if you don't explain it in a specific way.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 18, 2014,
#39
Quote by Dave_Mc
yeah the backing automatically changes to suit his playing, amirite?

yup!

Or...

..global music fashion changes depending on the mood he's playing in...
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
#40
You have two options as a substitution or after you use a dominant chord to signal a key change. I can go more in depth then that but that's really all you need to know.
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