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Thread: Music theory question

  1. #21
    Mojo's Minions Sirion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    There is no Bb in an Am scale.
    Exactly. There is, however, a Bb in C7, and a B in the Am scale. If used simultaneously the result is probably going to be a sharp dissonance where the listener isn't expecting one. The Am pentatonic scale does not have either, and that is why it works so well.

  2. #22
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirion View Post
    Exactly. There is, however, a Bb in C7, and a B in the Am scale. If used simultaneously the result is probably going to be a sharp dissonance where the listener isn't expecting one. The Am pentatonic scale does not have either, and that is why it works so well.
    I see what you’re driving at.
    The C7 is actually not diatonic to C major. It pulls the Bb from Mixolydian. So yes, over a C7 the note choice would need to thought out prior to its occurrence.

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    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Obsessive Compulsive View Post
    He said C7 not Cmaj7.

    Am works over C7 cause both share the same notes when in altered dominant setting.
    Yup....I missed that initially. I revised my response.

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    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by zionstrat View Post
    Great discussion thus far...

    I tend to think the other direction starting with the relative major and minor scales and thining out the notes as I move towards pentatonic.

    By seeing the pentatonic overlaid with the major or relative minor, it becomes easier for me to see the raising of the seven in the minor scale. A lot of us do this without even thinking about it, however, there is an abundance of blues and jazz riffs that use the raised 7th for a stronger push into the minor tonic. most of the time I'll switch back to the regular minor when going down the scale however I also quite often raise the 6 and the 7 going up... Just as before, it makes the minor tonic considerably stronger, or you can switch into a Picardy third which is simply turning the minor tonic chord into a major chord.

    It's also helps me with a related concept, I really enjoy great guitarist who switch between major and minor pentatonics, Clapton it's famous for it. If I'm working in a true blues song where 1 4 and 5 are domanants, I usually automatically shift to the parallel minor (cm in place of C major) especially if other instruments aren't playing chords (Cream is a perfect example).

    The lowered 7th on the I and IV give me 2 more notes to mess with, and it's relatively easy to hear, but I tend to be more aggressive when I can see potential chord members superimposed on the full scale.

    Hope this makes sense... It's easier to play than it is to describe

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    Any chance you could give me a couple of examples (or point me in the direction) to check out where a major 7 is used instead of the Dom7 for that pull to the root in a blues?
    I’ve been digging a bit deeper into trying to play more “authentic” Chicago style blues and I’d love to check out some things other guys have done that are more “out of the box” playing.
    Thanks!

  5. #25
    Ultimate Tone Slacker zionstrat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Sure... Search for harmonic and melodic minor songs and you will find tons of examples.

    https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...72&per_page=20

    My search uncovered this thread... Didn't read all of it but it includes one major point... In rock arrangements, you can think of raised 7th and sixes as spices. You usually do not use the melodic and harmonic minors for an entire song.

    There are some cool exceptions to that rule in other forms of music. If you ever have to play a Jewish event, its very likely that you will have tons of songs with raised 7th and if you miss them it is extremely obvious .

    Also as much as the harmonic and melodic minor scales are useful, you can do such simple things by just substituting an E7 to push you back to a minor.

    I first noticed this as a kid with Don't fear the reaper. We normally think about the arpeggiated minor part of that song but there is a short turn around section before the chorus where an E7 pushes you into the a minor that follows.

    Once I saw that pattern, it was much easier for me to see raised 7ths all over the place, and once again they are usually only there for a short.

    At times you might not even call them harmonic or melodic minor scales, you could just think of borrowing the 5 cord from the parallel major.

    Again I hope this makes sense it's so much easier to show then to write.

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    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Thank you for that.
    I think I do understand. At least now I know what to look and listen for.
    The part that really made sense is basically substituting a Major V chord to resolve to a minor l chord.
    You essentially are using the major 7th’s stronger pull, to get back to the root.
    Am I getting that right?
    In Am the V’s (E7) 3rd is G#, the major 7th of A.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker zionstrat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    Thank you for that.
    I think I do understand. At least now I know what to look and listen for.
    The part that really made sense is basically substituting a Major V chord to resolve to a minor l chord.
    You essentially are using the major 7th’s stronger pull, to get back to the root.
    Am I getting that right?
    In Am the V’s (E7) 3rd is G#, the major 7th of A.
    Bingo- You nailed it
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    The real reason is that we are so used to hearing minor pentatonic soloing over chords with a major 3rd and minor 7th that it sounds perfectly normal even though it is 'wrong' theory-wise.
    I think it's all about the extra tension.

  9. #29
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by NecroPolo View Post
    I think it's all about the extra tension.
    Yup, plus a lot of players will nudge that minor 3rd toward the major which is a sound we are used to hearing, so it sounds normal to us.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Get hip to the pentatonic modes. 1 scale in every position on the neck.

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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Might be relevant and this theead is kindda new.


    So iv been practicing major scales and modes but i do them in three notes per string. I find it easier to remember.
    Am i doing it wrong or should i do the CAGED style?
    Last edited by budubum92; 05-20-2019 at 05:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Music theory question

    I am not very well versed in theory, so excuse me if I'm off the mark, but... would it be far fetched to think of the the A minor pentatonic scale as the 6th/Aeolian mode of the C major? That way of looking at it gives me a very simple explanation why it works in the setting described by OP - at least it explains it to me.

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    Toneologist Obsessive Compulsive's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirion View Post
    Exactly. There is, however, a Bb in C7, and a B in the Am scale. If used simultaneously the result is probably going to be a sharp dissonance where the listener isn't expecting one. The Am pentatonic scale does not have either, and that is why it works so well.
    Playing diatonic is pedestrian and lifeless. Nothing that catches the listener's attention.

  14. #34
    Mojo's Minions Sirion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Obsessive Compulsive View Post
    Playing diatonic is pedestrian and lifeless. Nothing that catches the listener's attention.
    Ehh... I am not sure what that has to do with what I wrote, but surely there are thousands of examples out there that proves this wrong.

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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirion View Post
    Ehh... I am not sure what that has to do with what I wrote, but surely there are thousands of examples out there that proves this wrong.

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    Name one.

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    Mojo's Minions Sirion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Obsessive Compulsive View Post
    Name one.
    Beethoven's Ode to Joy

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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirion View Post
    Beethoven's Ode to Joy

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    That's a classic.

    I mean you need something that makes the listener's uncomfortable, that feeling of dissonance when you hit a road bump on a smooth ride, painful but not fatal; which is commonplace in jazz. I think it's the same thing if you modify Ode to Joy by inserting a diminished interval or minor second in main melody.

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    Default Re: Music theory question

    I agree that you haz to use chromaticism to not sound like a newb.

  19. #39
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by budubum92 View Post
    Might be relevant and this theead is kindda new.


    So iv been practicing major scales and modes but i do them in three notes per string. I find it easier to remember.
    Am i doing it wrong or should i do the CAGED style?
    Whatever works. It isn't the form that is important to me, it is how you use the notes available to you.
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  20. #40
    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Think outside the box, play solos using these scales over an E chord or E note, to give a lot more variety in your playing by changing the home (root) note, your fingering, your string bending, and your riffs. You don't have to learn new scales, just play the the ones you know over different chords:

    - play a Dorian minor scale in C#, which are all major scale notes in E
    - play a minor pentatonic scale in F#, which are all major scale notes in E, uses a 4th (A) instead of a major 3rd (G#)
    - play a minor pentatonic in B, same as a E pentatonic but it substitutes an F# for the G, for a softer sounding scale, part way between major & minor
    - play a Dorian minor scale in B (same as above but with 2 added notes)
    - play a natural minor scale in A, which are all minor scale notes in E
    - play a Dorian minor scale in G#, which are all major scale notes (do re mi...), except that the 4th (A) is replaced with an A#, for an exotic Indian sound
    - play a natural minor scale in D, for a middle eastern sound. It's an E natural minor scale, but with the F# replaced by an F for added tension & dissonance

    So many players get in a rut with their solos. Mix it up and intersperse these with the scales you normally use, in the same solo. Find which of these work with various songs. Experiment.
    Last edited by blueman335; 05-20-2019 at 07:30 PM.
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