#1
It might sound a little stupid, but I don't really understand why there is an A minor chord, but no A minor note.

I was trying to sort of 'understand' the A minor pentatonic scale, I know the A major chord can fit (because the Am pentatonic scale is made out of A notes), but I wasn't sure if A minor chords could fit as well.

Anyone mind explaining? Or giving sort of a link to where they (extensively) explain all these stuff to a total newbie?
Last edited by guessmynamebich at Apr 2, 2008,
#2
The note A is just A. It's the notes that go with it that dictate as major or minor.

It might be a bit easier to understand it when you look at a piano.
#3
The minorness comes from an interval between two notes. On their own, notes are neither major nor minor.

In an A minor chord, the notes are A C E. In an A major chord, the notes are A C# E. The only difference is that one-fret shift from C# to C. C# is called the MAJOR THIRD of the A major chord and scale and C is called the MINOR THIRD of the A minor chord and scale.

Regarding the A minor pentatonic scale, it works fine over Am, so ignore whoever told you otherwise, or at least call them out on it. Over the A major chord, it shouldn't work, but it does; many rock and blues players choose the minor pentatonic over a bluesy (but major!) progression because it sounds a little meaner than the major scale.
#4
Because minor refers to intervals, not individual notes...the key to the natural minor scale is the minor third, the third note of the scale is a half step lower than the third note of the major scale and that changes the whole feel.

Here's a simple example.

Major third interval with C as the root.

e|---
B|---
G|---
D|-2-
A|-3-
E|---


Minor third interval with C as the root.

e|---
B|---
G|---
D|-1-
A|-3-
E|---


Intervals are constant...anytime you have a 4 semitone (4 fret) interval between 2 nores it's a major third, anytime you have 3 semitones it's a minor third.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#5
Wow, that was fast. I love this forum!

Okay, I think I understand now. So basically all the As work in an A scale, be it major or minor as long as it gives the mood you wish to convey? And minors and majors aren't considered notes but more of intervals. It's the 'fitting' in that's a little hard to figure out. Like how Am chords can work sometimes, but A chords sound off, assuming you're using a combination of minors and majors.

I got another question though. Since the Am pentatonic scale also consist of the notes C E D G, would their minor chords work over it as well? I kinda assumed Am would work because, well since its the A MINOR pentatonic scale, but... I get easily confused over these kinda things. And what about sharps and flats?
Last edited by guessmynamebich at Apr 2, 2008,
#6
everyone is typing stuff that looks too big to be simple

A minor is define by there being a minor 3rd note in the scale.

ALTERNATIVELY

A minor is define by there being a note 3 semitones (aka 1 and a half steps) above the root note.

in contrast, a major 3rd is 4 semitones above the root.
#7
Okay, so that means that:

e|---
B|-1-
G|-2-
D|-2-
A|---
E|---

is the Am chord because the there is a C note in the place where the C# used to be, and since C is 3 semitones above A (the root note) the chord becomes a minor.

Is that it?

So does that mean

e|---
B|---
G|-2-
D|-2-
A|-3-
E|---

is considered an Am chord as well? Since they still consist of A C E notes. And if I move the A string up 1 fret, it this chord would turn into a A major chord? (since it's 1 semitone higher than C (which is 3 semitones higher than A))
Last edited by guessmynamebich at Apr 2, 2008,
#8
If you play an Am chord at the 5th fret you'll see that it fits perfectly in the Am pentatonic scale pattern at that fret (and also the A natural minor pattern), and any chords that use those notes will fit.

Obviously A minor works, with key notes of the A minor chord being A D C, however C minor won't exactly as it contains the notes C Eb (remember the minor third?) G, however C major will as it contains the notes C E G. D minor fits as it's D F A , whils there's no F in Am pentatonic there's an F in A minor. Now, Am penatonic is just the A minor scale with 2 notes removed. That basically means anything that works with Am will still work, but some things that shouldn't work do as the tonality is a little more ambiguous. Likewise E minor (E A D) and G major (G B D) will also fit.

In short, the chord progression for Am pentatonic is.

Am C Dm Em G
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#9
Ok, I just learnt a big bunch of stuff in just 45mins. Big thanks to everyone.

One last thing: would it be okay if I were to use the E major chord over the Am pentatonic scale. Since, the chord contains a G#, which is not in the Am natural scale either. But the chord progression Am C G E seems to fit.
#11
Just because it's technically incorrect doesn't mean you can't do it - the most impressive skill in music is the ability to use the "wrong" notes in the right places. If it sounds right to you and fits your purposes then use it.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#12
Quote by steven seagull
Just because it's technically incorrect doesn't mean you can't do it - the most impressive skill in music is the ability to use the "wrong" notes in the right places. If it sounds right to you and fits your purposes then use it.


Awesome, that's just what I was hoping to hear =/

My bandmate often bugs me whenever we were trying to write some stuff cuz we aren't playing in the same 'key' and stuff like that, and for his sake (okay, and mine too) I made myself learn scales and read up on some music theory stuff. And I admit, it did help me a lot to know theory stuff and scales, etc. But I just really wanted to hear it from someone else that it's still fine to 'break the rules' as long as it's right. To, you know, dispel my (and my friend's) doubts.

Anyways, that's it. I guess I won't bug you guys anymore. Thanks a lot, especially steven_seagull and bangoodcharlote, you guys are great.
#14
There's oodles of stuff written about this, but ultimately it's actually pretty simple.

The major scale contains 3 very strong tones, the root, 4th (subdominant) and 5th (dominant). Those tones are the bedrock of the key, they're what really cement you in to it. If you play one of those tones over the scale's major chord they feel extremely "right". Naturally the root is the strongest, but the other two are still very safe notes to resolve on to. As you move away from those tones things become less stable. Using notes from within the scale will still fit, but they'll almost feel anxious. Not wrong exactly, but the sound you get will be itching to reolve back to one of the stronger tones.

Pick a note that doesn't fit in the scale and you'll destabilise things even further and likely get dissonant tones, but that's the kind of stuff can sound amazing provided you resolve. It's all amazingly straightforward really - the further away from a "safe" note you are the more precarious things can feel, good music manages that relationship emphasising the safety of the stronger tones by constantly taking you away from them. It's like a good rollercoaster, you need to go up a hill to come down a drop.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#16
Quote by guessmynamebich
Awesome, that's just what I was hoping to hear =/

My bandmate often bugs me whenever we were trying to write some stuff cuz we aren't playing in the same 'key' and stuff like that, and for his sake (okay, and mine too) I made myself learn scales and read up on some music theory stuff. And I admit, it did help me a lot to know theory stuff and scales, etc. But I just really wanted to hear it from someone else that it's still fine to 'break the rules' as long as it's right. To, you know, dispel my (and my friend's) doubts.

Anyways, that's it. I guess I won't bug you guys anymore. Thanks a lot, especially steven_seagull and bangoodcharlote, you guys are great.
oh please bug this forum some more. You're like an exemplar poster for this forum.
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#17
Quote by bangoodcharlote
^The fourth? Really?

Hmm...i'm probably over-stretching myself here

You're right, the 4th isn't exactly that stable, it's more like the glue within the scale...using the 4th in your progression makes the relationship between the root and 5th seem even stronger.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#18
Previous Thread

No offense meant but are you intentionally ignoring everything myself and others already posted in your previous thread? Most of your questions have already been answered and if you failed to understand you should have told us. I am more than willing to try and help out. However, I seriously advise you to look:

Here (Music Theory FAQ)

and

Here (The Crusade Theory Lessons)