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iamfroogle
07-08-2011, 05:19 PM
Hi again everyone, I've been reading up on some theories lately and I ended up learning the C scales in major C, major pentatonic and blues. Its really cool and I've been picking around especially the blues scales which produces some really nice sounds.
But before I begin learning another scale, I wanted to dwell on the C for a bit. Learning the C scale in the four different positions greatly improved my fretboard familiarity and my picking somewhat but is that really it? Are the scales mainly used for picking melodies and riffs? Also in terms of picking the pentatonic and blues scale, I know a large part is creativity but are there any basic patterns to creating riffs that flow well together?

I know I'm not using the scales to its full potential, would greatly appreciate the help.

ThanksUU

shutinanxiety
07-08-2011, 06:13 PM
i've been thinking about putting together a series of youtube videos on these type of subjects. hopefully i'll find the time to do so.

the major scale is really cool in my opinion. not only is it used for picking melodies and leads and things but it also designates which chords fall into a specific key. so i'll try to keep it simple:

the Major scale is a set of intervals. whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step. i'll denote whole steps with a W and half steps with an H. so for the scale of C Major we get;

(just in case you're not sure a half step is when you go from on fret to the next and a whole step is when you go from one fret, then skip a fret, then play the next.)

C (W) D (W) E (H) F (W) G (W) A (W) B (H) C

C Major is cool and the easiest to understand because it's all of the natural notes (no sharps or flats) basically all of the white keys on a piano. we call the first note in the scale the root, in this case C. if we're going to play a song in the key of C, we typically only play the 7 notes that fall into the scale of C. so this dictates which chords we'll use in a song. for simplicity, lets say all of chords in this key are triads (3 note chords) although we can also use 7th chords and 9th chords and different things which will use four notes. but like i said let's stick with triads for now. in the key of C we'll have 7 different triads and usually we'll number them. so our first triad is going to be the chord of C Major, we get that because C is our root and then to build our chord we'll take every other note after C until we have three notes total. so we have C (then skip D) then we have E (then skip F) then we'll have G. so C major is the three notes of CEG. i like to refer to C as the root, E as the third, and G as the dominate (or 5th if you prefer). you see, we skipped the second and fourth notes. the chords is major because from our root to our third was two whole steps. C (W) D (W) E. see? two whole steps. so C major is our first chord in the key of C and we usually use roman numerals. so we'll call it our I chord.

then for our second chord we'll start with the second note in the scale, which in the scale of C Major is D. so again we'll start with D as the root of our II chord and then take every other note after D. so D (skip E) F (skip G) A. so we get DFA. this chord is D minor. why? because our third is one whole step and then one half step from our root. D (W) E (H) F. that makes it a minor third. remember when we found our C chord it was major because we had two whole steps. that's a major third. and again for our D chord we had a whole step and then a half step, that's a minor third.

and then our III chord is E. E (skip F) G (skip A) B. that's a minor third from E to G so that's E minor.

so i'll just cut to the chase. in the scale of C we end up with C Maj, D min, E min, F Maj, G Maj, A min, and then B diminished or B dim. so i'll explain the diminished chord right quick. the scale repeats infinitely. so the scale of C Major could be thought of as CDEFGABCDEFGABC.... so on and so on. so when we look at our B chord, we start with B and skip every other note. so B (skip C) D (skip E) F. so the B chord ends up being BDF. now remember our 3rd was minor because it was one whole step and one half step from the root. i didn't mention it before but our dominant or 5th note was always three whole steps and one half step from our root (like from C to G). but in this B chord we have a minor third and then our dominate or 5th ended up being two whole steps and two have steps (or just 3 whole steps because 2 half steps=one whole step) instead of three whole steps and half step. so long story short, a diminished chord is almost the same as a minor chord except the 5th is is one half step lower.

so let me reiterate. I=C Maj, II=D min, III=E min, IV=F Maj, V=G Maj, VI=A min and VII=B dim.

you'll notice that I IV and V are Major chords. so it's no surprise that a lot of song have a chord progression of C Maj, F Maj, G Maj, or some combination of those. (especially in country music, blues, rock, hell... lots of music uses this progression).

and your "7" chords will use the same "every other note" type of a pattern, just instead of having a root, third, and a 5th, you skip one more then add another note.... the 7th. so if we're playing in the key of C Major and we want to add some spice and play a C chord with a 7th, we end up with C (skip D) E (skip F) G (skip A) B. so we'll have a chord that has 4 notes and they're CEGB. that's CMaj7. you can do the same thing with all 7 of the chords in the key of C (or any key for that matter).

one last thing, you've been practicing the scale of C Major, so really, you already know all of the Major scales. if you move your pattern up one fret (a half step) you'll be playing the scale of Db Major. move up one more fret (a whole step from C) you'll be playing the scale of D Major. and just to make a quick point, the scale of D major ends ups being... D E F# G A B C#. and to play in the key of D you follow that same "every other note" pattern. so now you chords will look like this;

I=D Maj, II=E min, III=F# min, IV=G Maj, V=A Maj, VI= B min, VII=C# dim. notice the I IV and V chords are still Major. that's just they way the fall when you skip every other note. (every Major key works that way) and your VII chord is always diminished. and II III and VI are always minor. so next time you want to write a song, just pick a key, figure out what chords are in that key, and put together a nice progression. it may be a little faster for you than trying to figure out what chords sound good together by ear. if you stay in key, they're guaranteed to sound good together. but don't be afraid to break the key either and play notes and chords that don't fall into the key. that's where the artist can come out in you. musicians do it all the time. (notice my signature. it's called music theory not music law :P)

well i hope that wasn't too confusing and at least a little helpful. and i apologize for going on and on. like i said, i've been working on putting together a youtube series to explain some of this stuff in better detail and with videos. (though i haven't posted any yet)

shutinanxiety
07-08-2011, 06:59 PM
oh it's so cool i just realized something. ok so lets look at the scale of C Major again, that's C D E F G A B C. and then lets look at the Pentatonic scale of C, that's C D E G A C. so the pentatonic scale is the same as the Major scale without the 4th note (F) or the 7th note (B). if you do the same "every other note" thing with the pentatonic scale you get (5 chords):

I=A min (CEA rearranged to ACE)
II=Csus2 or Gsus4 (DGC rearranged to CDG or rearranged to GCD)
III=Dsus2 or Asus4 (EAD rearranged to DEA or rearranged to ADE)
IV=C Maj (GCE rearranged to CEG)
V=Gsus2 or Dsus4 (ADG rearranged to GAD or rearranged to DGA)

it never dawned on me that if you take a suspended second chord and invert it to make the 5th the root you get a corresponding suspended fourth chord. how freaking cool is that? (by the way, in case you're not sure, a suspended 2 chord is just like a minor except the third is a half step lower, and a suspended 4 chord is just like a major chord with the third a half step higher). i love learning new things!

iamfroogle
07-08-2011, 08:33 PM
Wow shutin, that is an amazing set of info, thanks so much. It definitely added,reiterated and corrected things that I knew/ things I though I knew. A couple things:

C Scale Major scale:

I. C
C-E-G
C to E (the third) is 2 whole steps
C to G (the fifth) is 3 whole steps + 1 half step
= Major C

II. D
D-F-A
D to F (the third) is 1 whole step + 1 half step
D to A (the fifth) is 3 whole steps + 1 half step
= Minor D

VII. B
B-D-F
B to D (the third) is 1 whole step + 1 half step
B to F (the fifth) is 3 whole steps
=B dim

^^^^I was going to ask a question but typing it out made it a lot clearer...



one last thing, you've been practicing the scale of C Major, so really, you already know all of the Major scales. if you move your pattern up one fret (a half step) you'll be playing the scale of Db Major. move up one more fret (a whole step from C) you'll be playing the scale of D Major.
This is super, didn't know that before...


And in terms of bringing all these theory to practice; I've been picking out the scales trying to find riffs and trying to work out songs like Scarborough Fair and all (without much luck atm). Are there any specific exercise you would recommend?

And another topic I've been reading into which I think you can shed some light on...Modes. Are they quite simply taking a scale and starting and ending on another note. Take the C major scale for example:
C D E F G A B C
if I were to start
D E F G A B C D --this would be a dorian mode in the key of C (correct?)
And if so, why is that? I mean if I pick straight through from C to C and then D to D I can hear a slight difference, but again in terms of practicality, if i were to write a melody/riff- does it make that much of a difference weather I start in C or D?


Thanks for reading

Mel Ott
07-09-2011, 03:27 AM
But before I begin learning another scale, I wanted to dwell on the C for a bit. Learning the C scale in the four different positions greatly improved my fretboard familiarity and my picking somewhat but is that really it? Are the scales mainly used for picking melodies and riffs?

Hi there, iamfroogle. Scales are (basically) all the notes in a key. It's important to know where the notes in any particular key are, particularly if you get into reading music (instead of tablature) or improvisation. A melody in a particular key will (usually) consist mostly of notes in the key (although you'll frequently find the occasional note that doesn't quite fit). If you're improvising with other people, playing the notes in the right key will sound better than playing notes outside it (again, usually - you can certainly find free jazz and experimental music where they break those rules (and lots of other ones besides)). If you're writing songs, you'll want to mainly use the notes in your key for the melody.

Most songs, though, have more than one key. The sequence of keys is the chord progression for that song. The blues, for example, most often has a I - IV - V progression, and there are other common ones like ii - V - I that you'll find all over the place. If you're playing a melody line over a chord progression, you'll need to be able to find the right notes for each key that the song moves through. That's one place where the stuff that shutinanxiety is talking about is really useful - some chords form what they call "chord scales," where all the scales share the same notes (the scales are what they call "enharmonic"). This is similar to the idea of modes in some ways, since all the modes in a key will share the same notes as well.

For example, in the key of C the notes are C - D - E - F - G - A - B. A C major chord is composed of the C - E - G. If you make a chord starting with the F, you get an F major chord - F - G - A. If you start with G, you get a G major chord - G - A - B. What this means is that if you're playing a blues in C, where the chords are C major, F major, and G major, you can get away with playing the notes in the C scale and it'll sound OK. (At some point you may want to switch between the C major, F major, and G major scales, but that's (a lot!) more complicated).

marymac
07-09-2011, 06:41 AM
oh it's so cool i just realized something. ok so lets look at the scale of C Major again, that's C D E F G A B C. and then lets look at the Pentatonic scale of C, that's C D E G A C. so the pentatonic scale is the same as the Major scale without the 4th note (F) or the 7th note (B). if you do the same "every other note" thing with the pentatonic scale you get (5 chords):

I=A min (CEA rearranged to ACE)
II=Csus2 or Gsus4 (DGC rearranged to CDG or rearranged to GCD)
III=Dsus2 or Asus4 (EAD rearranged to DEA or rearranged to ADE)
IV=C Maj (GCE rearranged to CEG)
V=Gsus2 or Dsus4 (ADG rearranged to GAD or rearranged to DGA)

it never dawned on me that if you take a suspended second chord and invert it to make the 5th the root you get a corresponding suspended fourth chord. how freaking cool is that? (by the way, in case you're not sure, a suspended 2 chord is just like a minor except the third is a half step lower, and a suspended 4 chord is just like a major chord with the third a half step higher). i love learning new things!

Oh geez - I'm am going to have to get more serious about my music theory study. This is like listening to my nephew talk about calculus equations! [Please note: this is not a criticism of the posts, merely an observation about my own woeful inadequacy in this area.]

shutinanxiety
07-09-2011, 08:54 AM
i'm really glad i could help! i was worried i would be way too confusing... and although i'm not an expert in music theory i'll attempt to address some of your questions.


And in terms of bringing all these theory to practice; I've been picking out the scales trying to find riffs and trying to work out songs like Scarborough Fair and all (without much luck atm). Are there any specific exercise you would recommend?

as of late, i've been more into trying to write my own stuff, which is where i apply theory, and honestly i've never been very good at playing things by ear. so i probably can't help much here (though i'm sure there are many others here who can). i guess the only advice i could give is google "what key is Scarborough Fair in?" or google "Scarborough Fair chords" which is what i did. and even though the page i viewed is probably meant for guitar, it doesn't matter. C Major sounds the same on a guitar or piano or uke or whatever instrument you play it on. my guess is that Simon holds the chord and then plucks strings individually instead of strumming the chord. he might go outside of the chord at times but i'd bet that he stays in the key. so you could find the chords and then "pluck" around with it (pun intended) until you can figure it out. ok, so this isn't exactly playing by ear but it beats the tedious task of learning the tabs by heart or reading the standard sheet music, which i dread. other than that just keep trying. from what i can tell from looking at the chords for Scarborough Fair, my guess is it's in the key of E minor, which is the the same as the E aeolian mode which is related to the scale of G Major. which brings us to your next question.


And another topic I've been reading into which I think you can shed some light on...Modes. Are they quite simply taking a scale and starting and ending on another note. Take the C major scale for example:
C D E F G A B C
if I were to start
D E F G A B C D --this would be a dorian mode in the key of C (correct?)
And if so, why is that? I mean if I pick straight through from C to C and then D to D I can hear a slight difference, but again in terms of practicality, if i were to write a melody/riff- does it make that much of a difference weather I start in C or D?


again i'm no expert, but yes i believe you are correct. D Dorian Mode has the same notes as the scale of C Major. same as E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian, and B Locrian. as far as i can tell, so far, because i haven't studied Modes in great depth yet, we use modes as a tool to help keep things clear. the scale of C Major and the Modes i just listed will have the same key signature when you write out music in standard notation (sheet music). when you look at piece of music written on a staff the first thing you'll see is the a clef, probably a treble clef, and then a series of either sharps or flats, and then a time signature. the series of sharps and flats denotes the key that the music is written and directly related to the circle of fifths. (i won't bother explaining key signatures/circle of fifths any further unless you ask :P)

so how do modes help us as a tool? well, lets say your going to write a song in the key of C Major. and you've picked a progression of C Major, F Major, G Major (generic, i know). let's say your song is 4/4. so for the first measure you decide you're going to play C Major for 4 beats, and then in the second measure you're going to play F Major for 4 beats, and then in the third measure you're going to play G Major for 4 beats. so, cool! you have a song but now you want some melody/lead/solo or whatever you're doing. so in that first measure (C Major chord) you're going to solo in the key of C Major, then when you come to the second measure (F Major chord) you're going to solo in the F Lydian Mode, and finally in the third measure you're going to solo in the G Mixolydian Mode. and i say play in the modes that correspond to the chords because you might like the way the solo sounds when the first note in that measure is the same as the root note of the chord being played (although it doesn't always have to.... it's a theory remember).

but lets say the rhythm guitar/uke or whatever is playing an F Major in a certain measure (and the song is in the key of C Major still) you may want to solo in the D Dorian Mode (just meaning you start on the note D) because a D minor 7 chord is DFAC and the F Major chord is FAC. or try the E Phrygian Mode (starting on E) because an F Major 7 chord is FACE. but i think you might find (at least i do anyway) that the notes in a solo that stand out the most... or have the most "punch" is the root and the 5th (i guess that's why they call the 5th the "dominant" note) of whatever chord is being played and then maybe the 3rd and the 7th. but don't let these tips tie your hands. have someone strum an F Major and then try soloing over it in the G Mixolydian Mode. F Major doesn't even have a G in it but that doesn't mean you can't hit a G while soloing over an F Major. an F Major 9 is FACEG (every other note) so anything is possible.

and i guess this would be particularly helpful when trying to play by ear. if you can hear a chord and know what the chord it is (ear training), what the root is and whether it is Major or Minor, and if you know what key the song is in, you can play the corresponding mode and probably figure out the lead/melody by ear.

and one more thing i'll throw in that you might find helpful. there are at least 3 types of 7 chords that i know of. Major7 minor7 and just plain 7 (though there are probably more). for example, lets look at C.

CMaj7 is CEGB. C to E is a Major 3rd (W+W) and E to G is a minor 3rd (W+H) and G to B is a Major 3rd (W+W)
Cmin7 is CEbGBb C to Eb is a minor 3rd (W+H) Eb to G is a major third (W+W) G to Bb is a minor 3rd (W+H)
C7 is CEGBb C to E is a Major 3rd (W+W) and E to G is a minor 3rd (W+H) and G to Bb is a minor 3rd (W+h)

the point i'm trying to make is this.

I=CMaj7
II=Dmin7
III=Emin7
IV=FMaj7
V=G7
VI=Amin7
VII=Bmin7b5 (which is BDFA... it's like Bmin7 except the 5th is flat, or diminished)

notice the V chord is always a regular 7 in any key. that's just how every other note makes them land.

PoiDog
07-09-2011, 09:20 AM
Oh geez - I'm am going to have to get more serious about my music theory study. This is like listening to my nephew talk about calculus equations! [Please note: this is not a criticism of the posts, merely an observation about my own woeful inadequacy in this area.]

You and me both.

iamfroogle
07-09-2011, 09:35 PM
Mel Ott,


some chords form what they call "chord scales," where all the scales share the same notes (the scales are what they call "enharmonic").

When you get the chance, could you elaborate on the "chord scales." I've been picking around the scales lately and I would really like to throw in some chords but not sure how. For example if I'm picking a riff in the C major scale, would the C,dm,em,F,G,am,Bdim be my main set of chords? I haven't been able to find a lot info on the topic of throwing in chords with soloing - is this known as "chord scales." I'll look in that though.
thanks


well, lets say your going to write a song in the key of C Major. and you've picked a progression of C Major, F Major, G Major (generic, i know). let's say your song is 4/4. so for the first measure you decide you're going to play C Major for 4 beats, and then in the second measure you're going to play F Major for 4 beats, and then in the third measure you're going to play G Major for 4 beats. so, cool! you have a song but now you want some melody/lead/solo or whatever you're doing. so in that first measure (C Major chord) you're going to solo in the key of C Major, then when you come to the second measure (F Major chord) you're going to solo in the F Lydian Mode, and finally in the third measure you're going to solo in the G Mixolydian Mode.


To say I'm soloing in F Lydian (in the key of C) means simply to START on F, correct? is that all it is? You can roam all over the CDEFGAB notes, but you must start on F?

mm stan
07-09-2011, 11:48 PM
Lydian scales....,http://liveukulele.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/lydian-scales.pdf

diego
07-10-2011, 05:42 AM
My head exploded, is this really a beginners thread? Music theory interests me, but I've been playing for so long that I don't seem to have the drive to start all over. I have a friend that finished music school and he tells me that even though I can speak the language I am illiterate, and this chord and scale theory is the grammar :/

shutinanxiety
07-10-2011, 06:22 AM
To say I'm soloing in F Lydian (in the key of C) means simply to START on F, correct? is that all it is? You can roam all over the CDEFGAB notes, but you must start on F?

yes. as far as i know, if you play in the key of C and start on F, that's considered F Lydian, all notes in the key included. i may be wrong though. but don't think of it as if you MUST start on F, rather IF you start on F then it is F Lydian.

and again i may be wrong, but from what i gather about chord scales is this... rather than playing a scale made up of SINGLE NOTES such as the scale of C Major would be CDEFGABC, the chord scale would be made up of chords like we talked about earlier. C,Dm,Em,F,G,Am,Bdim,C. if i'm wrong i'm sure someone will please correct me ;)


I haven't been able to find a lot info on the topic of throwing in chords with soloing

my advice is pick you chord progression first and then put together your melody/solo on top of that. it would seem a lot harder to me to make up a solo and then go back and try to decide which chords fit in.

shutinanxiety
07-10-2011, 06:35 AM
My head exploded, is this really a beginners thread? Music theory interests me, but I've been playing for so long that I don't seem to have the drive to start all over. I have a friend that finished music school and he tells me that even though I can speak the language I am illiterate, and this chord and scale theory is the grammar :/

please don't be discouraged. even little kids learn to talk before they learn to read and write. that's the natural way to do things. it's never too late to start. i played guitar 17 years, uke for a little over a month, studied theory on my own for.. mmm idk.. 2-3 years? that's a mere fraction of the total time i've spent playing music.

Whiskat
07-10-2011, 06:46 AM
my advice is pick you chord progression first and then put together your melody/solo on top of that. it would seem a lot harder to me to make up a solo and then go back and try to decide which chords fit in.

Not at all. When the melody moves up the scale, so do you. Safe bets are I, IV and V. As your melody changes it will uses certain notes to sort of "punch" its way up the scale, this note will be good to build a chord out of.

Mel Ott
07-10-2011, 06:57 AM
Mel Ott,

When you get the chance, could you elaborate on the "chord scales." I've been picking around the scales lately and I would really like to throw in some chords but not sure how. For example if I'm picking a riff in the C major scale, would the C,dm,em,F,G,am,Bdim be my main set of chords?

Yes, exactly. The idea of "chord scales" is useful because most songs will use the chords in the "chord scale" for their chord changes, so it's super useful to be able to switch between those chords easily. It's a practice thing I learned about in The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine. You might want to check that book out if you really dig this kind of theory stuff, but it gets very difficult very quickly.


I haven't been able to find a lot info on the topic of throwing in chords with soloing - is this known as "chord scales." I'll look in that though.
thanks

There's a style of playing called "chord melody" that is probably what you're looking for, there. I'm mainly familiar with it in a jazz context, but there's no reason you couldn't use it to play just about anything. The idea is that you play chords with the melody note on top (at least every time the chord changes), so you're playing chords and the melody at the same time (as opposed to playing just the melody line (one note at a time) or the chords (as when you strum along with a singer)). It's very tricky, because finding a chord inversion with the right melody note on top can be challenging.

marymac
07-10-2011, 07:08 AM
I have a book called "Chord Melody Method for Uke" by Jerry Moore. I haven't had time to delve into it much but I think it would be useful for someone trying to put together chord melodies for the first time. It contains a lot of detail and chord charts but the part I really like is that it has some simple chord melodies with the chord charts then it breaks them out showing only the melody note for each chord. Anyway, it's a resource for those who are interested in this. I think I got it at Amazon.

Whiskat
07-10-2011, 07:35 AM
Yes, exactly. The idea of "chord scales" is useful because most songs will use the chords in the "chord scale" for their chord changes, so it's super useful to be able to switch between those chords easily. It's a practice thing I learned about in The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine. You might want to check that book out if you really dig this kind of theory stuff, but it gets very difficult very quickly.



There's a style of playing called "chord melody" that is probably what you're looking for, there. I'm mainly familiar with it in a jazz context, but there's no reason you couldn't use it to play just about anything. The idea is that you play chords with the melody note on top (at least every time the chord changes), so you're playing chords and the melody at the same time (as opposed to playing just the melody line (one note at a time) or the chords (as when you strum along with a singer)). It's very tricky, because finding a chord inversion with the right melody note on top can be challenging.

Oh, like in Bill Withers Lean On Me? I must have misunderstood the question, for that I appologize!

shutinanxiety
07-10-2011, 11:14 AM
Not at all. When the melody moves up the scale, so do you. Safe bets are I, IV and V. As your melody changes it will uses certain notes to sort of "punch" its way up the scale, this note will be good to build a chord out of.

very true!

Mel Ott
07-11-2011, 04:30 AM
I have a book called "Chord Melody Method for Uke" by Jerry Moore. I haven't had time to delve into it much but I think it would be useful for someone trying to put together chord melodies for the first time. It contains a lot of detail and chord charts but the part I really like is that it has some simple chord melodies with the chord charts then it breaks them out showing only the melody note for each chord. Anyway, it's a resource for those who are interested in this. I think I got it at Amazon.

Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll have to check that out!

Shastastan
07-11-2011, 12:40 PM
You and me both.

This stuff can go on and on and on.......Wanting to do better at improv (on trumpet), I learned about a third of the modes, but spending so much time on the "theory stuff" got to be too much. Now I just do a little bit at a time. For those really into diving into theory, my hat is off to you. I'm only doing music for fun. On those days I just don't feel like practicing from the method books, I just play stuff that I really like. I may get a good working knowledge of chord progression----some day, but then again.... :)

Whiskat
07-11-2011, 11:41 PM
For those really into diving into theory, my hat is off to you. I'm only doing music for fun

But ... theory is fun!

For anyone interested in getting their first foot into music theory I would recommend the book: Music theory for dummies

This book is great! It's explains everything in great detail, and it has a logical learning progression.

Mel Ott
07-15-2011, 03:18 AM
I have a book called "Chord Melody Method for Uke" by Jerry Moore. I haven't had time to delve into it much but I think it would be useful for someone trying to put together chord melodies for the first time. It contains a lot of detail and chord charts but the part I really like is that it has some simple chord melodies with the chord charts then it breaks them out showing only the melody note for each chord. Anyway, it's a resource for those who are interested in this. I think I got it at Amazon.

I just received this book last night from Amazon, and I want to extend a hearty "mahalo!" to you for the suggestion. I've only really glanced at it, but I can already tell it's going to give me plenty of stuff to chew on for a long, long time. In fact, it's probably a valuable book to have even if you aren't remotely interested in chord-melody stuff - the sections on transposition and various chord charts in the first half of the book look like they'd be very helpful for anyone looking to get more comfortable with the lower part of the fretboard.

infidel
07-15-2011, 07:23 AM
I know I'm not using the scales to its full potential, would greatly appreciate the help.


The major scales are a cornerstone in improving your musical knowledge. Almost all music theory follows on from it. And like shutinanxiety said, learning the fingering for the C major scale and turning it into a moveable scale allows you to play all 12 major scales.

Here is an exercise I made that uses one fingering to relate all 12 major scales to all 12 major chords:
http://files.meetup.com/493577/C_Shaped_Major_Scales.pdf

Hope you find it useful.

Jay

Huna
07-15-2011, 07:40 AM
Hey Jay, that is really useful. Are you a music teacher? Got any more goodies like that? I need help too!

infidel
07-15-2011, 07:48 AM
Discussion of the modes IMHO are considered 'advanced' or 'advanced intermediate' theory. But if you understand it and can apply it, great!

In practical terms, here is a little syllabus of scale use and knowledge:

Beginner:
C major scale
Chromatic scale (knowledge of only, no need to practise)
C major pentatonic scale
Melodies in C major and C major pentatonic (twinkle twinkle, ode to joy, row row your boat and lots of other nursery rhymes, I've got sunshine riff, shortnin bread, tunes you can hum a melody to after you strum a C major chord such as most one-chord, two-chord and three-chord songs).
A minor pentatonic scale (same notes as C major pentatonic; begin improvising blues in A with A minor pentatonic scale)

Intermediate:
All 12 major scales using one moveable scale pattern.
Chord theory(triads and 7th chords).
Moveable major, minor and dominant 7th chords.
Moveable major 7th, minor 7th and diminished 7th chords.
Chord scales (i.e. 'diatonic chords'/chords of a key, triads and 7th chords).
Moveable minor pentatonic scales.

Advanced intermediate:
Blues scale (and relation to minor pentatonic scales)
Ionian mode (already learnt, just new name! NB relation to the major chord).
Dorian mode (and relation to minor chord and minor pentatonic scale)
Mixolydian mode (and relation to dominant 7th chord).
Diatonic chord soloing (I.e. songs in one key: Ionian on major, dorian on minor, mixolyidian on dom7th).
Chord formulas for the rest of extended to 13th and altered chords (mostly dominant).

Advanced:
The other diatonic modes (Phrygian, Lydian, Aeolian, Locrian).
Melodic minor.
Harmonic minor.
Modes of melodic minor.

Etc...

I noticed that you tried to play Scarborough Fair by ear. That's in a minor key... So might be tricky with a C major scale. Try my suggestion of strumming the C major chord first and humming a tune... Stick to simple songs in major keys first for playing melodies by ear.

You should be able to tell by ear if a song is in a major or minor key.

Cheers,

Jay

infidel
07-15-2011, 08:01 AM
Also in terms of picking the pentatonic and blues scale, I know a large part is creativity but are there any basic patterns to creating riffs that flow well together?


On improvisation:
1) Record a backing track of yourself strumming the A7 chord for a long time.
2) Learn the Am pentatonic scale.
3) Play back your backing track. While it's playing:
http://files.meetup.com/493577/Basic%20Improvisation%201.pdf

Key: scat/hum, then copy on uke.

infidel
07-15-2011, 08:21 AM
D E F G A B C D --this would be a dorian mode in the key of C (correct?)
And if so, why is that? I mean if I pick straight through from C to C and then D to D I can hear a slight difference, but again in terms of practicality, if i were to write a melody/riff- does it make that much of a difference weather I start in C or D?

This is slightly incorrect.
D E F G A B C D is D Dorian, which is a minor mode (the F is a minor third, not a major third). It is related to the Dm chord/key. It is actually more useful than the D Aeolian mode (relative minor/pure minor/natural minor: D E F G A Bb C D ) when improvising or creating melodies in the key of Dm.

Jay

infidel
07-15-2011, 02:55 PM
Oops! I discovered a tiny mistake in my scales exercise mixing Cb with B. PDF replaced with corrected version now:
http://files.meetup.com/493577/C_Shaped_Major_Scales.pdf