2. Basic Scales

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2. Basic Scales Empty 2. Basic Scales

Post  James on Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:53 am

MAJOR SCALE:
The major scale is pretty much the apex of all that is good in the universe. Other scales can just be seen as mutations of it. It consists of a root note, it’s maj. 2nd, maj. 3rd, 4th, 5th, maj. 6th, maj.7th and octave. An easy way to remember it is (whole step/whole step/half step/whole step/whole step/whole step/half step). The simplest example is C major (C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C).

RELATIVE MINORS:
Every major scale has a relative minor scale. A relative minor contains the same notes, but starts on the 6th note of the major. The relative minor of C major is A minor (A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A). The difference is in where the focus of the music is placed. Since they contain the same notes, and thus work with the same chords, you can switch between a major verse and a relative minor chorus pretty seamlessly.

This is the Natural Minor scale, it’s the most common. It has a root, maj 2nd, min 3rd, 4th, 5th, min 6th, min 7th, and octave. It’s just a major scale starting and ending on the 6th degree. (Whole/half/whole/whole/half/whole/whole).

MODES:
The natural minor can be called a "mode" of the major scale. You could say they're different modes of the same scale. This is because they follow the same pattern of intervals between notes, just starting and ending at different places.

The major scale is also called the “Ionian” mode and the natural minor is the “Aeolian”. There are five other modes that start with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th of the major scale. (Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Locrian). The Dorian, Phrygian, and Aeolian all have darker, “minor” tonalities. The Lydian, Ionian, and Mixolydian all have happier “major” sounds. Locrian is kinda weird.

Here’s a list of the seven modes of C major for comparison:
C major (Ionian) (C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C) Root/M2/M3/4/5/M6/M7/Oct.
D Dorian (D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D) Root/M2/m3/4/5/M6/m7/Oct
E Phrygian (E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E) Root/m2/m3/4/5/m6/m7/Oct
F Lydian (F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F) Root/M2/M3/#4/5/M6/M7/Oct
G Mixolydian (G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G) Root/M2/M3/4/5/M6/m7/Oct
A natural minor (Aeolian) (A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A) Root/M2/m3/4/5/m6/m7/Oct
B Locrian (B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B) Root/m2/m3/4/b5/m6/m7/Oct

PARALLEL SCALES:
Relative scales are scales that contain the same notes but start in different places.
Parallel scales are scales that start in the same place but contain different notes.

To derive the modes from their parallel major make these adjustments:
Dorian (b3, b7)
Phrygian (b2, b3, b7)
Lydian (#4)
Mixolydian (b7)
Aeolian (Nat. Minor) (b3, b6, b7)
Locrian (b2, b3, b5, b6, b7)

There are two other common minor scales, the harmonic and melodic minors.
The harmonic minor is Root/M2/m3/4/5/M6/m7/Oct, or a major with a b3 and b7.
The melodic minor is weird. Going up the scale it is a major with a b3, going down it’s the same as the natural minor.
James
James
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2. Basic Scales Empty Blues Scale/Pentatonics

Post  James on Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:34 pm

The blues scale and minor pentatonic are really easy to improvise in for some reason.

Blues: 1 m3 4 b5 5 m7
Min Pentatonic: 1 m3 4 5 m7

The major pentatonic is really useful too, it has a relaxing sound. It's also good for a Celtic or Chinese feel.

Maj Pentatonic: 1 M2 M3 5 M6


Both pentatonics are modes of each other. Just like with the regular major and minor scales, the min. starts on the 6 of the maj. and the maj. starts on the 3 of the min.

You could also start on any of the other 3 notes, but those are less common.
James
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