#1
Hi,

I'm trying to learn the solos to the great song "Nah Neh Nah" by Vaya Con Dios (weird name but great song!).

A tab and demo of it is here:

http://www.guitartabmaker.com/2012/12/vaya-con-dios-nah-neh-nah-guitar-lesson.html

The original of it is here:



I struggle to learn tabs by wrote though, I'd rather understand the key structure. I'm a decent guitarist but very inexperienced with jazz scales.

Can any kind person help pick out what scale(s) this tune uses?

Chas.
#2
I have a lot on my plate until probably next week (there are quite a few other people who frequent this forum), but it's in F# minor, and key is more useful than scales when it comes to learning key structure

Scales are often related to melody
Key is more related to harmony

(surprised that the tab isn't on UG. I'll look at it eventually.)
#3
Yeah, it's in F# minor, but you've also got the major 7th used a fair amount starting with the F (probably we have to call it E#) in the first phrase. That could suggest harmonic minor, which is reinforced by the C#7 chord, the major 3rd of which is the same note.
Apart from that also added are the flat 5th, flat 2nd & major 3rd, plus a lot of chromaticism as you'd expect from something jazzy, a couple of diminished licks ... so overall it's not really too helpful to try and say it uses any particular scales. But maybe worth thinking of it as F# harmonic minor being used for some phrases, especially as the minor 7th, E, is almost nowhere to be found.

btw the tab in the link you gave is a little off in places and I'd play some parts in a different position, but maybe that doesn't matter if you're not bothered about learning it note for note.
#4
Hi,

Appreciated thank you. I guess my wider question is how to approach something "Jazzy". I've stuck rigidly to the blues scale all my life so that chromaticism throws me - it's not my regular comfortable positions! Time to break out. SO - I'll treat it as harmonic minor and press on.
#5
Quote by NeoMvsEu

Scales are often related to melody
Key is more related to harmony
Nicely put!
And melody is, of course, related to harmony, which is where things tend to get complicated...
#6
Quote by neilfann
Hi,

Appreciated thank you. I guess my wider question is how to approach something "Jazzy". I've stuck rigidly to the blues scale all my life so that chromaticism throws me - it's not my regular comfortable positions! Time to break out. SO - I'll treat it as harmonic minor and press on.
To approach something "jazzy" think less about scales and more about chords, especially how one chord leads to the next.
E.g., "harmonic minor" is not really a scale, it's a principle or process by which a cadence is created to the tonic. That sounds fancy, but all it really means is you raise the 7th degree of the minor scale so you get to the tonic by half-step. That sounds stronger than the usual wholestep move from b7 to 1.
E.g., in A minor, you'd use a G# to get up to A. Naturally that means you'd use an E major chord (or G#dim7) to accompany the G# note, and the further implication is that you are thereby creating a "harmonic minor scale" - but the scale is just that, a by-product; a result of the process, not vice versa.

That's a classical convention (observed in most 20thC popular music, maybe less so today). In terms of jazz, similar processes apply to all kinds of other chord changes. Chromatic notes (and altered chords) are frequently introduced to make changes more interesting, smoother, funkier, cooler, etc - especially flattening notes. No different scales are necessarily implied, except fleetingly, maybe for no more than 2 beats. It's all about the voice-leading between the chords.

IOW, by all means focus on a scale to start with: the scale of the key, major or minor. And then regard all 5 chromatic notes as up for grabs any time you want to spice up the transition between two chords, or embellish a chord that lasts for a while.
Last edited by jongtr at Dec 17, 2016,
#7
The song is mostly based on alternating between the tonic and the dominant (F#m and C#7). It also uses the IVdom7 chord (B7). And yeah, it mostly uses the F# harmonic minor scale (and as jongtr already said, it's really not a separate scale and has more to do with harmony than anything).

The scales/harmonies it uses are really not that jazzy (at least not how I understand "jazzy"). It's pretty basic minor key stuff.

If you want to learn it by ear, learn to sing the part you want to learn to play. If you can sing it, finding the notes on your fretboard shouldn't be too difficult (because if you can sing it, you know which sounds you are looking for).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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