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View Full Version : Uke Minutes 8 - Major Scales



anaka
03-15-2008, 02:16 AM
A little more substance in this one. Let us know what you think, tell us how many alternate ways you can figure out to play the A or C scales, brag about finding the scales for all the notes, or give us a peek with some vids. Or questions if you need help.

Begin thread.

UKESTAR
03-15-2008, 05:35 AM
Nice video...again:D Couple of things though:

For those of us who have never ever taken a music class where topics such as music "theory" are discussed, please explain the following.

1. What is a "scale"?

2. What is a "note"?

3. How do you know if you should go UP or DOWN the fretboard a half or whole note....or does it matter when experimenting?

4. Why is this beneficial to know exactly.....aka how does it help us improve?

It is amazing how I can read tabs now, play songs like Stairway to Heaven and Love Song now etc, yet have NO clue about this stuff. Guess that is why I am part of the UU....to get my learn on...ha.

rayan
03-15-2008, 08:23 AM
Great job Aldrine and Aaron. This is probably one of the most useful uke minutes to come out.

Aldrine Guerrero
03-15-2008, 08:27 AM
Wow, I knew that I was gonna get these kinds of questions as soon as this lesson goes up hahah. Keep in mind folks, that this is just part ONE of the basic music theory series. I'll explain in more detail as we go throughout the uke minutes. :D

A "note" is best defined by wikipedia as:
"The term note has two primary meanings: 1) a sign used in music to represent the relative duration and pitch of a sound; and 2) a pitched sound itself. Notes are the "atoms" of much Western music: discretizations of musical phenomena that facilitate performance, comprehension, and analysis (Nattiez 1990, p.81n9).
The term "note" can be used in both generic and specific senses: one might say either "the piece Happy Birthday to You begins with two notes having the same pitch," or "the piece begins with two repetitions of the same note." In the former case, one uses "note" to refer to a specific musical event; in the latter, one uses the term to refer to a class of events sharing the same pitch."

Basically, any time you hit a string on your ukulele is a note. When you strum a chord, it's notes played in unison. When playing the major scale, you play a set of 8 notes. From the starting note (let's call it 'R' for 'root' note) it goes R W W H W W W H

A "scale" is defined in wikipedia as:
n music, a scale is a group of musical notes that provides material for part or all of a musical work. Scales are ordered in pitch or pitch class, with their ordering providing a measure of musical distance. Scales differ from modes in that scales do not have a primary or "tonic" note. Thus a single scale can have many different modes, depending on which of its notes is chosen as primary. The distance between two successive notes in a scale is called a "scale step." Composers often transform musical patterns by moving every note in the pattern by a constant number of scale steps: thus, in the C major scale, the pattern C-D-E ("doe, a deer") might be shifted up a single scale step to become D-E-F ("ray, a drop"). This process is called scalar transposition. Since the steps of a scale can have various sizes, this process introduces subtle melodic and harmonic variation into the music. This variation is what gives scalar music much of its complexity

There are a TON of different musical scales. For various different types of music. To me, a scale is the basis of every song. Say, if you were to play "Wonderful tonight" in G, you would then play the notes in that specific key. Knowing that the key is "G", you would play in a G scale. Wonderful tonight is in a G major, so you would play a G major scale.

When doing the whole and half pattern, we explained a pattern going UP the scale. So if you wanna go DOWN the scale, you simply do it backwards. like so:
R H W W W H W W

This is beneficial because basic music theory is the foundation of all music. If you didn't have a chordbook with you and you wanted to find the chord "E" on your ukulele, with enough music theory you can. In this case, "E" would consist of the 1st 3rd and 5th note of the scale. We're looking for an E major so let's take the major scale and find the 1st 3rd and 5th. E, F#, B would be the notes that we're looking for. Then we assign a string for each note... then BAM! We have ourselves an E chord. This comes in handy when trying to figure out more complex chords such as dimnished, augmented, sus, major 7th, #11, b5, and other friendly sounding chords hahaha.

I promise to explain as we go further down this road of music theory.

It's only part 1 folks hahah.

UKESTAR
03-15-2008, 08:30 AM
Holy cow Aldrine! Thanks for the explanation. Got it now...:D

Aldrine Guerrero
03-15-2008, 08:37 AM
Since my high school days in band, this stuff was drilled in my brain. So I guess you could say that I was classically trained. That's why I never bothered to read tabs because it never showed me the note value. Rhythm and all that other stuff is quite important to me and so is phrasing. I can't see the phrases in tabs. You can play all the correct notes; but if you don't know the rhythm and phrasing, it can still sound wrong. That's a major flaw that I saw in reading tabs.

Don't get me wrong though. Tabs are awesome as well. It helps a lot of people learn quickly. It's just that I've been so used to musical notation that it's kind of difficult for me. One person's medicine can be another's poison. Hahaha :3

UKESTAR
03-15-2008, 08:40 AM
Since my high school days in band, this stuff was drilled in my brain. So I guess you could say that I was classically trained. That's why I never bothered to read tabs because it never showed me the note value. Rhythm and all that other stuff is quite important to me and so is phrasing. I can't see the phrases in tabs. You can play all the correct notes; but if you don't know the rhythm and phrasing, it can still sound wrong. That's a major flaw that I saw in reading tabs.

Don't get me wrong though. Tabs are awesome as well. It helps a lot of people learn quickly. It's just that I've been so used to musical notation that it's kind of difficult for me. One person's medicine can be another's poison. Hahaha :3

I have heard you mention "phrases" before...I think it was the Love Song tutorial last time? I am guessing that a phrase is a progression of chord transitions BEFORE the pause...sort of?

Aldrine Guerrero
03-15-2008, 08:44 AM
I have heard you mention "phrases" before...I think it was the Love Song tutorial last time? I am guessing that a phrase is a progression of chord transitions BEFORE the pause...sort of?

To be honest, I don't quite know how to explain this yet. We're gonna make a uke minute on this as soon as write it hahah. Phrasing is a pretty important part in playing music.

crookshankz
03-23-2008, 03:16 AM
Ya that was a great uke minutes. I'm lacking in a lot of things when it comes to playing my Ukulele and music theory is probably #1. I look forward to more. Great job Aldrine!

crookshankz
03-26-2008, 04:41 AM
I did actually come up with a question concerning the E scale.

If I am understanding right scales should go like this: R W W H W W W H and a W = 2 frets and a H =1 fret. Is that right?

Borrowing this chart from a post by hotanas. I hope they don't mind.

http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd45/hotnanas/Uke/Uke.jpg

So if I'm doing an E scale starting from the 2nd string is the first note going to be a F or a Gb? By sticking with the R W W H W W W H I would think it would be a Gb however it seems most of the other scales start with a uhhh...what would that be called a major note? Or would E scale be a exception?

NukeDOC
03-26-2008, 07:36 AM
I did actually come up with a question concerning the E scale.

If I am understanding right scales should go like this: R W W H W W W H and a W = 2 frets and a H =1 fret. Is that right?

Borrowing this chart from a post by hotanas. I hope they don't mind.

http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd45/hotnanas/Uke/Uke.jpg

So if I'm doing an E scale starting from the 2nd string is the first note going to be a F or a Gb? By sticking with the R W W H W W W H I would think it would be a Gb however it seems most of the other scales start with a uhhh...what would that be called a major note? Or would E scale be a exception?

yeah in the scale of E it would go:

E F# G# A B C# D# E

hotnanas
04-09-2008, 08:43 AM
I did actually come up with a question concerning the E scale.

If I am understanding right scales should go like this: R W W H W W W H and a W = 2 frets and a H =1 fret. Is that right?

Borrowing this chart from a post by hotanas. I hope they don't mind.

http://i221.photobducket.com/albums/dd45/hotnanas/Uke/Uke.jpg

So if I'm doing an E scale starting from the 2nd string is the first note going to be a F or a Gb? By sticking with the R W W H W W W H I would think it would be a Gb however it seems most of the other scales start with a uhhh...what would that be called a major note? Or would E scale be a exception?

i definitely don't mind. this was made specifically for my learning and UU use.


yeah in the scale of E it would go:

E F# G# A B C# D# E

is a F# and Gb the same thing?

rayan
04-10-2008, 10:15 AM
i definitely don't mind. this was made specifically for my learning and UU use.



is a F# and Gb the same thing?


Yes they are.

hotnanas
04-10-2008, 10:30 AM
thanks! this is a question i came upon when i was attempting to change some sheet music into tabs...

Tom_Bombadil
05-19-2008, 08:13 AM
Major chords (shift up and down):
http://www.ahdesigns.de/majorfret.jpg

Minor chords (shift up and down):
http://www.ahdesigns.de/minorfret.jpg

hope that helps