#1
A major scale and its relative minor are built from the same notes and the only difference is what note you start on. Why does the starting note matter? e.g. I don't have to start a song with a C chord to be playing in the key of C (at least I don't think so anyway) so if both scales have the same notes why does it matter which one I'm playing in?
you got soul, or so you say. hey, i say you don't!

Quote by Sol9989
#4
Easiest way to figure out whether it's major or minor: does it sound sad? Then it's minor. Does it sound happy? Then it's major.

Little more complex way: Find the root note and move up the scale. Does it follow the major scale pattern or the minor scale pattern (ex. Tone-Tone-Semitone-Tone-Tone-Tone-Semitone, etc).
#5
It all really depends on the phrasing. If you keep ending on the root, or the major third, it'll sound major, but if you're landing on the sixth, which would be the flat third of the relative minor, it will sound more like the minor scale.

It depends what chords you're playing it over also.
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#6
The sixth note in a major scale is the starting note of the minor scale for that key.
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#7
an easy way you can think of it is if you have say the C major scale which goes
C D E F G A B C, then the realtive minor scale would be A minor. I'm pretty sure that the realtive minor is always the 6th note of the major scale so C Maj is Am, D maj is Bm and so on.

EDIT: crap! someone beat me to it!
#8
it is all about resolution.

you are correct, that the chords used for a C major song are the same as an A minor one, but i think you will notice that the chords resolve to the A to give the minor sound or to the C for a major sound.

the same goes with the lead, you can get a very different feel with the same notes just by the way you make the solo runs end and which cadences are used thoughout the song.
#9
Quote by nightraven
Sorry to kinda hijack the thread but since I'm pretty bad on my theory I was wondering if on a guitar in standard tuning for example, is the G on the 6th string relative to the C on the same fret but the 5th string, so G Major relative to C Minor?
Or is that something different or nothing at all?
I hope that made sense >_>



G to C is a perfect 4th

G major's relative minor is Em

Start on any note, move up a major 6th to find your relative minor
You can also move down a minor 3rd to take you to the same note

A quick visual reference would be...

e----------
b----------
g----------
d----------
a----------
e--3---0--

The G (3rd fret E String) is the Major, move down 3 frets/half steps to the open E for the relative minor.
Last edited by Stash Jam at Oct 26, 2007,
#11
brannys on the right track. don't look at it like "oh C major and A minor have the same notes" because although they do have the same notes, the scales are created from different intervals. also OFTEN a song either starts or ends on the root chord, but not always for either of these (technically you could write a song that never resolves, but listening to it more than twice will prolly drive you insane)

as far as why it matters which key you are playing in, basically which key you are playing in will determine what your chord resolution is
#12
Quote by branny1982
it is all about resolution.

you are correct, that the chords used for a C major song are the same as an A minor one, but i think you will notice that the chords resolve to the A to give the minor sound or to the C for a major sound.

the same goes with the lead, you can get a very different feel with the same notes just by the way you make the solo runs end and which cadences are used thoughout the song.


Quote by z4twenny
brannys on the right track. don't look at it like "oh C major and A minor have the same notes" because although they do have the same notes, the scales are created from different intervals. also OFTEN a song either starts or ends on the root chord, but not always for either of these (technically you could write a song that never resolves, but listening to it more than twice will prolly drive you insane)

as far as why it matters which key you are playing in, basically which key you are playing in will determine what your chord resolution is

First two right answers in the entire thread. It's all about the resolution.
#13
Basically the reason it matters is because it's all about your tonic, or root note. Basically, the note you always come back to. So, if you're in C-Major, chances are that a lot of your progressions or changes or whatever are gonna feature C, or some of it's strong relative notes. So for example, the fifth of C is G, so if you're in the key of C, you'll probably see a lot of C's and a fair few G's.

Now, to address the two scales having the same notes, that's because they are modes. Basically, using all the natural notes, starting at C the Tone/Semi-tone pattern they give is that of a Major scale. So therefor, it's C-Major. Using the same notes, but starting on A, the pattern is that of a Minor scale. There's 7 modes in total, but I won't list them all here.

So to sum up, the best way to work out your key, is to look at what you're playing and find out what note/chord you keep coming back to, cause that'll be your root, which is the key you're in. Make sense?
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#14
Quote by Dgretsch892
The key of a song usuly is the first note or chord you start with


Wrong answer, wrong spelling.
I'm warning TS to not listen to this kind of ''advices'', listen to branny and z4twenny.

The songs in C Major: John Lennon - Imagine, Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone
The songs in A Minor: RHCP - Californication, The Animals - House Of The Rising Sun

Try comparing them. It's best to hear it.
Quote by Johnljones7443
my neew year reslosutions are not too drikn as much lol.

happy new yeeae guyas.
#15
Quote by DarTHie
Wrong answer, wrong spelling.
I'm warning TS to not listen to this kind of ''advices'', listen to branny and z4twenny.

The songs in C Major: John Lennon - Imagine, Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone
The songs in A Minor: RHCP - Californication, The Animals - House Of The Rising Sun

Try comparing them. It's best to hear it.


Thanks to you and branny and z4twenny, it makes a lot more sense now. I wonder why resolution and cadences aren't generally mentioned much, since they're pretty important.
you got soul, or so you say. hey, i say you don't!

Quote by Sol9989
#16
I think cadences aren't mentioned much because a lot of people don't realize how important resolution is. Most would rather learn how to tap and read tabs. Not that there's anything wrong with that of course.
Last edited by Krusader187 at Oct 27, 2007,
#18
C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C
WWH WWW H
A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A
WH WW HW W

See not only the root note is changing but the pattern of whole (W) and half (H) steps. WHWWHWW (tone,semitone,tone,tone,semitone,tone,tone_ and the major is WWHWWWH but when you move around the E you change were the half steps are which is why the halfs are different and it sounds different. The notes are the same (Why it's a relative minor) but it's the pattern that's different. If you want to play with more of a minor sound then instead of using relatives that focus on patterns more than notes change the C maj to a C min by using WHWWHWW (Natural minor) like this.

C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-B-C
w h w w h w w
#19
this relates majorly to modes, if you're still confused look up the lessons on modes and that should help.
#20
Quote by POTFORTY2
...C maj to a C min by using WHWWHWW (Natural minor) like this.

C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-B-C
w h w w h w w


This would be C harmonic minor, not C natural minor.
#21
Quote by Clandestine1
A major scale and its relative minor are built from the same notes and the only difference is what note you start on. Why does the starting note matter? e.g. I don't have to start a song with a C chord to be playing in the key of C (at least I don't think so anyway) so if both scales have the same notes why does it matter which one I'm playing in?



C and A minor share the same notes, but they are different scales, and have their own unique formula.

C Major C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C

W W H W W W H (Formula)


A minor A - B - C - D - E - F - G - A

W H W W H W W (formula)

* W = whole step H = half step


So while the 2 scales are related (share the same notes).... they are not the same scale.
play A minor for a few minutes. Then play C major. You should be able to hear the difference. So even though the notes are the same.... the formulas are not, and the difference is something that you can hear.

the 2 keys share the same notes and the same chords... so if you were to write a chord progression, its where it resolves that would dictate which key its in.

If your progression is C G Am F..... your in C Major

if your progression is Am G F G....... your in A minor

in many cases the starting chord is the tonic.

you can also tell by which chord makes it sound complete..... for example if you play the 1st progression over a few times, playing the C chord at the end will make it sound resolved.

With the 2nd progression, its the Am that will make it sound resolved.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 28, 2007,
#22
just start with a minor scale, but play from the 3rd note up on the same shape (ie. start from the G on the 3rd fret on the E string; with E-minor being your relative minor to G-Major). voila, t'is a major, and einstein's theory of everything has come to fruition. its all a million times easier than it seems.
#23
Quote by GuitarMunky
C and A minor share the same notes, but they are different scales, and have their own unique formula.

C Major C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C

W W H W W W H (Formula)


A minor A - B - C - D - E - F - G - A

W H W W H W W (formula)

* W = whole step H = half step


So while the 2 scales are related (share the same notes).... they are not the same scale.
play A minor for a few minutes. Then play C major. You should be able to hear the difference. So even though the notes are the same.... the formulas are not, and the difference is something that you can hear.

the 2 keys share the same notes and the same chords... so if you were to write a chord progression, its where it resolves that would dictate which key its in.

If your progression is C G Am F..... your in C Major

if your progression is Am G F G....... your in A minor

in many cases the starting chord is the tonic.

you can also tell by which chord makes it sound complete..... for example if you play the 1st progression over a few times, playing the C chord at the end will make it sound resolved.

With the 2nd progression, its the Am that will make it sound resolved.


That was awesome (much like your username and avatar). You should go write a lesson on relative minors or something.
you got soul, or so you say. hey, i say you don't!

Quote by Sol9989
#24
lol probly because that was a lesson copied and pasted from some were i recognise that lesson lol