Scales: The Missing Link

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 222, Feb 10, 2021.

Tags:
  1. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Energized Bunny

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Messages:
    4,497
    Likes Received:
    4,539
    Both Robbie Calvo and Josh Smith have published TrueFire videos that showcase the elements of theory, but do so in a non-scholastic manner...most of the course is ear-training and knowing your fretboard so as to discern what notes will sound "good" when they resolve, or create extra tension, if not resolved. The lessons dive deeper and encourage chord structure knowledge so as to recognize "landing" (resolution) notes of the chords used.

    Calvo's Sweet Notes does exactly that but does so in a very melodic and musical way, not so much skewed toward the atonal scales we hear more often in modern music today.

    Regards atonal, a teacher once showed me how to use a I-Major scale (Ionian), but to play it one half-step down in VII-half-diminished scale (Locrian). Although I don't recall the reasoning or chordal changes involved, the technique immediately creates a jazz fusion feeling to any I-Major scale. (It would have been good money well spent to continue lessons with this teacher, but he lived 67 miles from my home some years ago, and booking lessons with him was rather difficult, to say the least.)

    Rick, have you heard of this type of "half-step down from major scale" style of playing before? If so, could you expand upon it please, so as to provide us students with a wider knowledge base?
     
  2. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    Alright,

    Josh Smith is one of my favorites and I really like what he does. Ear training is a huge skill to develop and opens up new possibilities for effective use of intervals and resolutions.

    The combination of aural skills and knowledge of the theory as to why that sounds good makes it so much easier to get to "that" sound.

    So let's define some terms quickly before we tackle the question.

    When we say atonal, a lot of times people are trying to describe something out of the ordinary.

    True atonality is a musical piece without a defined key. An easy way to do this is randomly use all 12 notes of the chromatic scale over and over and over with no consistent rhythmic pattern. It's agonizing to try and process because it's truly atonal.

    By definition, modes cannot be atonal because they're derived from a scale.



    The modal example above is describing two different scales.

    Locrian is the 7th mode of the major scale. The resulting chord is a fully-diminished 7. Which would be all minor thirds. So it the chord root is A the notes of the chord would be A C Eb Gb. Interestingly enough, this can always be used in any inversion without changing the effect of the chord. Also, because there are only minor thirds and it's "rootless" there are only 3 possible fully-diminished 7 chords before you've use up all the 12 notes in an octave.

    What most fusion guys are doing is playing a mode of melodic minor.

    Melodic minor in A being A B C D E F# G#

    Another thing in the context of blues is using a half-whole diminished scale before the chord changes to the IV.

    This creates some of the same tensions and resolutions because it treats the I-IV transition as a V-I resolution.


    So let's say you're jamming with the blues and the last bar of I which we'll say is in A for consistency you'll throw in A Bb C Db Eb E F# G

    And land on 1, 3, 5, or 7 of the 4 chord which would be D F# A or C.

    What this does is make the I chord momentarily sound like an altered V chord resolving to a I but it's really making this I-IV transition a huge moment.

    Most blues guys who are "fusion-y" Robben Ford, Mike Stern, Josh Smith, etc are phenomenal at this and it's that "secret sauce" that flys by most people and all they hear is "what was that" and it's gone before they can process it.
     
    jxe and Sybo like this.
  3. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Energized Bunny

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Messages:
    4,497
    Likes Received:
    4,539
    When I said atonal, I was referring to players like Scott Henderson who've made their mark on music some years ago that were considered cutting edge back then, and still are today. Oz Noy and Wayne Krantz are 2 additional guys who also are "cutting edge" jazz fusion players. Then the more recent guys, Plini, and Tobasi, who have developed their own style that supersedes traditional jazz and fusion. These folks are indeed different sounding, but tend to follow the rules of music, and only stretch the boundaries of what is considered "normal" so as to change the former styles of music, potentially opening people's eyes to music we've never heard before in previous contexts.

    Music being what it is today, the growing trend seems to be more towards technical ability and less towards how it makes you feel. Where speed transcends soulfulness. Where accuracy transcends bending notes, or similar blues techniques. The emphasis on the frenetic, not the melody. Perhaps the meeting in the middle with still be where technical ability meets visceral feeling. Perhaps where prog rock meet jazz fusion. It might be an interesting journey we'll need to see happen, if it will at all.

    Regards the 4 chord (D) 1, 3, 5, 7 = D, F#, A#, C ?

    Not being a smart aleck. Just needed to check myself before I agree.

    And yes, Robben, Mike, & Josh amaze me to no end...most often when I'm casually listening at rest with my feet up....the "what the" moment happens a lot...

    Each has their own roots in the jazz and blues realms, and have stayed firm in their styles of music. It may the generation of guitarists who outlive them that might produce the next style of music we are only beginning to hear glimpses of. The music school graduates who are shaping the future...
     
    aphantomvaper likes this.
  4. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    I forgot about Oz Noy. That's another great one. And if you want to go full blown pioneer fusion check out Alan Holdsworth.

    You bring up an interesting point about pushing boundaries and sort of bringing weird to the masses. I often wonder how open, on average, a person who isn't a musician is to hearing music that isn't strictly diatonic. My guess is the more unfamiliar they are with new to them, the more they won't like it. There's a good video about why people like the music they do by Adam Neely and the research shows it's what you listened to as a teenager.

    I think the thing with prog being bigger than traditional blues/classic rock is a generational thing. Kids want to do their own thing so they find something different than what their parents liked. So maybe it'll come back around.


    The thing with the 4 chord...

    There are two ways to reach this. The first and easiest is with Nashville numbers.

    Basically you determine the key (which I did as A) and then everything is as follows

    A=1
    Bmimor=2-
    C#minor=3-
    D=4
    E=5
    F#mimor=6-
    G#diminished=7dim

    That's all based on the interval from the root of the key.

    The other way is by function.

    A is our key, or tonic.

    When analyzing by function, you see Roman numerals.

    A 1 4 5 progression from Nashville numbers would appear as I IV V.

    The functional analysis allows us to go beyond just the identification of a particular chord and see how it is being used. This opens the possibility of treating what would be I7 as a five-of-four (written V7/IV).

    Now we see a V-I resolution which gives the options to use altered scales to create more tension to resolve to our temporary I chord in the key of D. But since the rest of the progression follows that of A, we don't say we've changed keys.

    The inclusion of the 7th in the previous example of the 4 chord is under the assumption it's a blues song and you have the liberty to play that.
     
    Sybo likes this.
  5. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Energized Bunny

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Messages:
    4,497
    Likes Received:
    4,539
    You've hit the nail on the head. Each new generation seeks to speak its own voice, and with that, its defining styles of music.

    The amazing part about this is that older generations typically don't like "modern" music, because it IS different and unfamiliar to them. The result is that people sometimes hold a bias against such things, the same way anyone could be singled out for being overweight, too tall, the way he or she speaks, wears clothes, walks, skin color, etc...

    Because each new generation often chooses what music defines them, their desire to set themselves apart from previous generations can have both a positive and negative effect: Positive, in that music changes over time. Negative, in that older music loses its former popularity with each new generation.

    Case in point is classical music. While popular for many years during the 16th through 20th centuries, classical music exists as only a former shell of its old self, not with the same popularity it once had when famous composers were writing their works.

    What has changed, and perhaps in a good way, is jazz as an art form. Classic jazz has given way to modern jazz. Modern jazz is changing to include highly technical guitar virtuosos who are leading the charge (again, Noy, Plini, Tobasi...).

    It's noted that Plini describes some of his work not as jazz, but hard rock. (I don't know how he could say this, but it sure sounds like complicated jazz-infused notes to me...). Perhaps this will be the new direction rock will follow.

    Prog (thematic) rock began in the mid 70s with Rundgren's Utopia (an ahead-of-their-time group). I also think that Brit "rock opera" also paved the way for prog rock, in a sense. Bands like ELP, Genesis, King Crimson, & The Who were early groups that were ahead of their time. Perhaps as new generations continue to press forward and change music, they'll also look back on their roots, and realize where their own music came from...
     
  6. 222

    222 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2021
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    27
    Watch this and a hidden door will open. The best and most simple explanation of modes I’ve EVER heard. For those who haven’t wrapped your heads around this yet, it’s WAY more simple than you presently think and I’m curious why I’ve never seen it explained this way.

    They don’t want us to become gods like them.

    Ton of good stuff on this channel.

     
    ScottR and bluenova like this.
  7. Sybo

    Sybo Nashvillan

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    946
    Killer thread!
     
  8. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    This is a fantastic way to learn your modes.

    The next step is keeping the root the same and finding which scale degrees are altered to achieve all the modes from the same root.

    Let's take A mixolydian for example.

    You can think mixolydian is the 5th mode so A is the fifth mode of....? D so now I play all the same notes as D but start on A.

    In a live setting, this takes a considerable amount of time.

    A "shortcut" of sorts is knowing mixolydian is the same as Ionian but with the 7th degree "flatted" or lowered one half-step.

    The same goes for Dorian.

    Think Aeolian but with a raised 6th.
     
    Sybo likes this.
  9. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    A mixolydian is not the same thing as D major functionally even though it has the same notes. You've kindly pointed out that when you say the root is A. The key is A because the root of the tonic is A.

    If you play D major over A you get a mixolydian sound but it sounds incomplete unless you highlight the chord tones of the chord A. Otherwise it's like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

    It seems like extra things to think about to see mixolydian as major with a flat 7 or Lydian as a raised 4 or Dorian as minor with a raised 6.

    However, it allows you to see things faster for altered chords for more tension and release.

    And to borrow some vocabulary, using and understanding these alterations is THE KEY to understanding and unlocking what it means when you see A9b13 on a chart.

    Yes the intervals are the same no matter the key. That's why we can refer to these as modes and give them 12 unique letter names. And if we go down the path of thinking A mixolydian is only D major then why would we bother learning what the modes are at all?

    What's even the point of the modes of they're just a major scale?
     
  10. 222

    222 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2021
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    27
    I’m going to explain this and your going to have an epiphany when you realize how simple this is. Your creativity will explode and you’ll wonder why no one ever explained it this way before.

    The 7 modes are not ordered randomly.

    Every mode is found in EVERY MAJOR KEY.

    There are 7 notes in the major scale.
    There are 7 modes.
    Coincidence?
    No.

    KEY OF A MAJOR NOTES & MODES

    Ionian = 1 = A = Major chord
    Dorian = 2 = B = Minor chord
    Phrygian = 3 = C# = Minor chord
    Lydian = 4 = D = Major chord
    Mixolidian = 5 = E Major chord
    Aeolian = 6 = F# = Minor chord
    Locrian = 7 = G# = Diminished chord

    THE MODES ARE NOT IN RANDOM ORDER. THEY COINCIDE WITH EACH NOTE IN ANY MAJOR SCALE.

    KEY OF B MAJOR SCALE & MODES

    Ionian = 1 = B = Major chord
    Dorian = 2 = C# = Minor chord
    Phrygian = 3 = D# = Minor chord
    Lydian = 4 = E = Major chord
    Mixolidian = 5 = F# = Major chord
    Aeolian = 6 = G# = Minor chord
    Locrian = 7 = A# = Diminished chord

    Start on the 4 in B major (E Lydian) and it gives those notes in the B major scale a completely different emotion than if you start on the B, G#, or any other chord in B major.

    YOU ARE APPLYING THE B MAJOR NOTES TO EVERY CHORD IN THAT KEY.

    The modes are ALL THE SAME IN EVERY KEY. THE NOTES IN EACH KEY UNLOCK THE 7 DOORS UNDER THAT KEY.

    What mood are you in? What mood do you want to project to your audience? They’re all found in the different MODES of each key and simply depend on which chord you designate as HOME.

    If you choose C# Dorian then your scales will start with C# using the B major scale intervals.

    Obviously your first task is to KNOW THE PATTERN OF THE MAJOR SCALE.

    Watch the video I posted in this thread. It’s what gave me my epiphany.

    The big name musicians are not spooky, mysterious gods. They just no the secrets that unlock all the doors.

    Figure this out and your audience will think YOU are the spooky mysterious god. You’re not. You just know what the hell your doing.

    BOOM?

    BOOM.
     
  11. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    Thank you for taking the time to type that out for everyone. This is exactly how I learned modes years ago.

    This works well as a tool to quickly learn what notes are in a scale and it's associated modes because it's all the same information.

    Where this thought process falls apart in being functional and as an example to my point on knowing what notes become altered from either the major scale is this...

    Let's say you're on a gig. It's classic country the key is G major. The chart looks something like this for a standard tune in 3/4

    G G7 C G
    G G D D7

    G G7 C G
    G D7 G G

    G B7 C G
    G G D D7

    G G7 C G
    G D G G

    If we assume the Ionian mode because the key of G is called out, on the very second chord we have an issue with the 7. So do we say "right it's a 7 just play a flat 7" or do we say "it's a 7 which is probably mixolydian so it's the 5th mode of what?" Then you have to think back to C and at that point the other guys are way on down the chart.

    The same problem occurs with the B7 you can't use Phrygian because Phrygian is a minor mode and B7 isn't a minor chord. It's also not a 5-1 resolution so what do you play then? Ionian is out because of the 7. Dorian is out because of the major 3rd. I've already covered Phrygian. Mixolydian works again here with the same choice of thinking the root scale plus ONE alteration or now rethinking the scale as E for 3 Beats without the proper resolution. Aeolian is out because it's not minor and so is locrian.

    The song is Tennessee Waltz if you're curious.
     
  12. jxe

    jxe babe en der wood

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2018
    Messages:
    2,462
    Likes Received:
    4,254
    is there ‘good sounding’ holdsworth? thankz if you know
     
    bodia likes this.
  13. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    Proto Cosmos is on the more "normal" end of the scale for him.

    Theres also a killer cover of it by Greg Howe, Dennis Chambers, and Victor Wooten.
     
    jxe likes this.
  14. jxe

    jxe babe en der wood

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2018
    Messages:
    2,462
    Likes Received:
    4,254
    i always start with ‘devil take the hindmost’, i had no idea.
     
  15. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    The 9 note blues scale doesn't work because theres a Bb in it.

    "Blues Major" doesn't work because it has a Bb in it.

    "Blues Minor" doesn't work because it has a Bb in it.

    G Major doesn't work because there's a flat 7 in the second bar of the song.

    The song I listed doesn't use a C7 so there's no place for Bb or A# as identified above.


    The B7 isn't a diatonic chord to the key of G but it doesn't negate the fact that the song is in the key of G. The B7 is "borrowed" from another key. The traditional way to resolve the B7 in the key of G would be to E minor which sits squarely in the modes of G and makes a 5 to 1 resolution to highlight the E minor chord. We haven't changed keys or modes but we have this oddity we need to tackle.
     
  16. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    This doesn't work either. G7 has F natural.

    D7 has F#

    Which F do you play and when?
     
  17. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    "G blues 3" isn't a mode because it's not based on only the notes found in one major scale.

    The example song I wrote out still doesn't have a C7 chord in it. Because there's no C7 there's no Bb. This means any of the identified "blues scales" won't work because they contain notes not found in the chords being played.

    We also can't use G minor even though it has D# (correctly written as Eb in this case) because there's a Bb which isn't in G and also isn't in B7.
     
  18. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    I would agree with this. Trying to impose modal thinking IS way more complicated than it needs to be. Just use the major scale and learn the modes. Then see what you need to alter over the chords. Just like you said. Play G major until G7 and alter the F# to F natural.

    Yes there is a B7. The posted link is incorrect. Go listen to the original and clear as day is a B7. And even then you can't use B blues assuming we follow the logic that's it's the same pattern as G blues because the "blues scale" has a flat 3rd which a major chord does not.
     
  19. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    Alright. Let me try one last time to explain things from the top.

    You posted originally that you can use this one scale and it opens everything. I said yes so long as you don't land on a note not in the chord because it sounds bad. I then gave an example of why and it went to "no boundaries in music."

    Then the question of why not switch modes was asked. An attempt to redirect the discussion to the original issue was made by an analysis of the scale and it's usage with evidence of missing information and a correction on my part assuming we could use this scale over a basic 1 4 5 blues progression. The question of switching modes was addressed although modes were not part of the original discussion or scale.

    There was some discussion about usage of modes and altered scales with some other members which was productive and conclusive. And a brief discussion about generational gaps and why people think certain things sound good.

    Then digress again on another subject about modes with good and accurate information. My comment was intended to make it easier and quicker to see where the modes lay on the neck in the same place by altering notes of the major scale. This also unlocks the ability for us to practice all 7 modes with the same root so we can see and hear the sound/feel differences between the modes.

    Rather than absorb this, the rebuttal was convoluted and has theoretical errors in regards to tonal centers with the addition of the extra information and insight as being too complicated. Then in the same reply we have contradicting statements which then correct the tonal center errors.

    A correction and example was stated about the functionality of modes and why we need to classify them individually with the proposed rhetorical question to get to this very point which was overlooked.

    Then we see two factually correct and coherent posts which are excellent.

    In another attempt to help explain why seeing major scales with one or two altered notes is faster than referencing back to the Aeolian mode, a simple song progression was provided with the hypothetical question of time savings and ease of thought on a gig in the context of the song.

    The response was back to the original scale which isn't modal, the subject of the discussion, with the addition of chords not at all previously mentioned. There is still no answer to the hypothetical gig question.

    Then we get more on modes where Ionian and Lydian have a flat 7 which is contradictory to previously epiphanic information.

    Examples of why the non-modal scales don't fit were explained, the mysterious off-topic chord addressed, and restated version of the rhetorical question followed.

    Another attempt with altering the scales was made with a provided and quoted example.

    Then we're back to blues scales again now with my original intent stated "scales have to match chords."

    I made a correction about a blues scale not being a mode and addressed the mysterious off-topic chord again and why it doesn't work.

    And now we finally have the result of trying to force modal thinking onto everything as being more complicated as stated yourself. But then a link with the song charted incorrectly was given.

    Then again you very clearly explain to me what notes to play over a chord by using the methodology which was previously too complicated.

    I agreed with you because this was my point about modal thinking when the discussion digressed from playing clashing notes with the chords underneath them. Now both my points have been proven and completely demonstrated by yourself clearly and concisely. The next thing is I'm trying to get you to see the answer to the last remaining question. The song. With the correct chords identified again, we push towards the answer.

    We digress again about why we would play the scale which fits the chord, like you said we should do (I agree), and change the scale to fit over the chord (I agree), and these aren't the same scales (I agree). You nailed it and articulated exactly what I've been trying to explain.

    The entire discussion is to correct incorrect information, if there is any, and provide helpful insight to make things easier in a real-world situation. I want guitarists to know more theory. I want to help everyone here learn this and give as much information as I can on any music theory related subject. I don't want you to think I'm trying to be rude. I don't want you to think you're not smart enough to comprehend this. I want to make you better and able to easily and accurately understand and articulate the subject matter here. It's no different than you posting about this great new scale you learned and wanting to share it to help bring other people up to the next level.

    Edit: I apologize for writing multiple novels in this thread and 222, I apologize if I've in any way offended you or anyone else throughout this.
     
    jxe and bodia like this.
  20. pac90

    pac90 Helix user

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    1,439
    what is the name of the app shown in the screenshot in the original post, my sleuthing skills are not working this time, I am android platform
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice