A sequence of musical notes in ascending or descending order of pitch belonging to a single key within the compass of one octave.

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23
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7answers
29k views

What does it mean to write a song in a certain key?

I have been searching for a while to try to correctly understand this. What exactly does it mean if for example a song is written in C Major? Does it mean the song's notes cannot contain any sharps ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How do you compose a Dominant Seventh Scale?

It seems like you just make the seventh note flat, but are there any restrictions to that? Can any scale become a Dominant Seventh Scale by slight modification? Or does it differ on a case-by-case ...
2
votes
1answer
701 views

Finding out which scales contain a specific chord

Notation note: scales will be notated as C Major, D minor, etc. and chords as Am, F, etc. Once you know a scale, yo know which chords it contains, for example the C Major scale contains the chords: ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Repeating the tonic when the scale is ascending and then descending

When I started to learn piano about 2 years ago, I practiced scales with my piano teacher. For practicing C Major, she recommended repeating the tonic: C D E F G A B C C B A G F E D C When I ...
6
votes
2answers
234 views

Scale from Hungarian Rhapsody No.2

In Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 by Liszt from John Thompson's Grade 3 (the key singanture is Cm) there is the following scale + 2 following notes: D E F# G A Bb C D Eb F# Is there a name for this ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do the notes of a blues scale sound good with the I, IV, and V chords?

If you are playing the blues in the key of C, any note in the blues key of C should sound good in the melody with either of the C, F or G (I, IV or V) major chords in the bass. Why is this and how do ...
14
votes
2answers
892 views

Scale modification in sus2 and sus4 chords

I've recently been looking at what makes chords what, and hence my first target for this was looking at major, minor, sus2, and sus4 chords. I know major chords are made up of the first, the third, ...
10
votes
4answers
804 views

Why does this key change work?

In the song 'Respect' by Aretha Franklin which is a fairly simple progression in Bb major the saxophone solo part of the song seems to make a key change to the key of Em. I don't understand why this ...
1
vote
2answers
286 views

Need help identifying a scale

The song/riff in question is in the intro of a song by "After the Burial" called "Cursing Akhenaten". I cut a full measure out of the intro and looped it. I uploaded it for anyone who wants to take ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Is G sharp major a real key?

I'm mostly self-taught, so I don't know much in the way of theory beyond the basics. I have heard of G sharp Major a few times. I believe a scale in the key goes as such: G♯, A♯, B♯, C♯, D♯, E♯, Fx, ...
0
votes
2answers
717 views

The use of the root note in a scale

I found an article on Cyberfret.com showing how to play C major scale : The Whole Guitar Neck Mapped Out Ref. Pattern 3 Well, I can guess how to play the pattern number 3 but, what the purpose ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How to find the root note?

I'm a guitar beginner and I want to learn some scales. The problem is that I can't find very detailed tutorials that explain how to find the root note. Can you give any good basic theories on how to ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Can a scale contain both a sharp and a flat note?

So, the question should say it all, but for example: The G minor scale (G - A - Bb - C - D - Eb - F - G) To change this into the G harmonic minor scale, I would need to raise the seventh note a ...
28
votes
16answers
11k views

What is the difference between a mode and a scale?

I can't seem to find a straight definition for both.
2
votes
4answers
192 views

What would be the a good tuning for an instrument with a limited amount of tones?

If you have an instrument with only a few tones(say 9), so less than to make a whole chromatic octave, what would be a good tuning that would make the instrument able to play an as large as possible ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

Do all chords in a progression usually fit within a scale

I am wondering if when writing a chord progression, all the notes fit within a single scale. If not, what is the logic behind chord progressions?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Riders on the storm fingering for piano

I'm talking about this little run: I can't think of a proper fingering of this, so it sounds very smooth. Its basically in the Dmajor scale starting on b. Can anyone help me getting the ...
28
votes
11answers
6k views

Why are the white and black keys on the piano placed the way they are?

I am pretty convinced it is not just for historical reasons. I have found a mathematically-sound explanation of the twelve-tone musical scale, thanks to this question. Does anyone know a similar, ...
23
votes
9answers
35k views

Why learn scales? What are they for?

I tried Googling but it seems there is no answer for this one. So the internet assumes everyone knows what scales are for? Why should I learn them? Are they important to be a good guitarist?
2
votes
1answer
95 views

How do you express the key of a song in tablature?

I can play open chords, barre chords on the guitar. Also I can find the key of a song, and from that can find the chords. But when it comes to tabbing the song, I get stuck. If a song is say in C ...
4
votes
1answer
436 views

Playing non-Western scales on the Oud

How does one learn to play various non-Western scales on the oud? Are there instructions with diagrams showing notes as positions on the neck of the instrument? Book, videos, etc.?
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Logical way to learn movable scales on guitar?

After learning the CAGED 'open string' scales, what scales to do next? In what order or what way? When I learn a new scale, it seems to have the effect of displacing my ability to play other scales ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What can I do about my problems with piano scales which manifest in just one direction?

I've been practicing scales for some time now, and I found them mostly easy and fun to play. The problems begin when I have to play them faster, but oddly enough my problem manifests only when playing ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

How do you compose using the chromatic scale?

Writting a piece of music using the chromatic scale would be interesting, but I can't think of a way to start it? What kind of structure would a piece have? Is it all subjective and up to the composer ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

With sheet music, how do you determine whether the song is in the major key or the minor key?

For example, if the key signature on the left doesn't have any sharps or flats then it could theoretically be in either the C Major scale or the A Minor scale. How do you determine which one?
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the characteristic scales, keys, intervals, progressions, etc. of pirate / sailing / nautical music?

Title pretty much says it. I am barely an armchair composer, but I would like to try my hand at some game music that requires some nautical theming. It seems to me that penny whistles and a celtic ...
5
votes
2answers
335 views

What's the term for the intervals between notes within a scale that produces a chord

I probably described that poorly in the title, and I'm not even sure there is a word for what I'm thinking. Lets say you're playing on just the white keys on a keyboard. C E G is C major, and D F A ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Scales, modes, techniques for writing “Super Mario” style music

I'm looking for a push in the right direction as to how to go about writing Super Mario type video game themes. What scales/modes work best, time signatures, etc... Examples of where I'm trying to ...
5
votes
1answer
200 views

What is a standard order for learning/practicing scales when learning how to play the electric bass (esp. for jazz/blues music)?

I'd like to bring my theoretical knowledge and practical skill for playing jazz/blues scales on the electric bass up to snuff. What is the standard order for learning/practicing jazz/blues scales on ...
26
votes
8answers
2k views

Is it possible to write a song without a key?

"This song is in F Major", "That song is in A Minor", "This song is in D Minor, but modulates to F Major in the middle", etc. Can we say "This song has no key"? Are there songs that have/follow no ...
12
votes
6answers
11k views

What scales are suitable for funk? Is there a funk scale?

I hope this question isn't too "noob"-ish for you guys (but hey I've gotta start somewhere). What scales are suitable for funk? Is there a funk scale, akin to the blues scale? I'm pretty sure the ...
2
votes
1answer
232 views

Is it normal, when playing scales on the piano, to occasionally rub neighboring fingers against each other?

When I play the F sharp harmonic minor scale, my right index finger on E sharp (F) rubs on my third finger on F sharp, since this scale is rather awkward. Is this to be avoided, or is it ...
8
votes
5answers
925 views

Guitar scales further up the fret board.

I'm hoping someone can help me, i've been playing guitar for a while and mostly kept myself confined to chords/rythm, but now I want to explore some lead styles to add to my skills. So I began with ...
6
votes
2answers
894 views

Is it acceptable to move hand position while practicing scales on guitar?

I was reading through the answers posted here, and I liked the idea of playing with the "finger per fret" method, but it's not always applicable. For instance I was practicing the Fmaj scale last ...
2
votes
1answer
869 views

Fingering for black keys scale

I have noticed that everything I play on the black keys only sounds oriental. I wanted to know what is the standard fingering to go through this pentatonic scale?
1
vote
1answer
173 views

How do I find the accompaigning low-pitch note when playing fingerstyle?

If you're trying to learn a song by ear for example, how do you find the backing note to go along whith what you are playing? For example, when playing canon in D, you first start with the D string ...
31
votes
4answers
2k views

What's so special about minor and major scales?

background: I'm an amateur and self-learner pianist. What I know, I know from books or google, so I'll start with summarising what I already know - please don't hesitate to correct me if I have ...
31
votes
9answers
4k views

Key signature for writing in modes other than major and minor

I have trouble deciding what accidentals to put in the key signature for pieces in dorian, phrygian, lydian or mixolydian modes. There seem to be tradeoffs associated with each choice. For example, ...
18
votes
1answer
412 views

Is this piece of renaissance music really in the locrian mode?

A fifteenth-century dance manual contains this piece of music: which appears to be (uncharacteristically) in the locrian mode. Is it really, or am I mis-reading? Does anybody know of other music ...
16
votes
7answers
745 views

Where should I go to learn about non-Western scales (particularly Turkish & Greek)

Apart from Turkey and Greece, I mean. I'm looking for fairly abstract musicological and comparative descriptions, not "how to play"-style information. Particularly interested in departures from the ...
18
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the importance of practicing scales on piano, and the proper fingering of them?

First of all I want to point out that I practice scales a lot and even enjoy it. I just don't know why they are so important, as this site says for example: "Proper fingering of the scales on the ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What scale is this? ( A B C# D E F G A)

This is a very minor question, but I'm trying to learn a piece (a Bach Concerto in D minor) that has the following sequence of notes played in order: A B C# D E F G A My piano teacher said it was a ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Where can I find jazz piano scales to practice?

I played the piano for years classically when I was younger, but eventually left it alone in my late teens and twenties. I probably wouldn't have if I'd been allowed to do more Jazz as I always wanted ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

Violin fingering schemes for different scales

I had a 10 year gap in my violin play and I'm still having trouble remembering the correct fingering (specifically for 4 and more sharps/flats). Where can I find some fingering charts/schemes ...
16
votes
2answers
4k views

Differences between the concept of Scales , Raagas, and Thaaths?

Western music has Scales (major, minor, etc.) while Eastern Music primarily has a large number of Raagas derived from some basic Taaths. Both these groups represent sets of notes on which actual song ...
57
votes
6answers
6k views

Why are there twelve notes in an octave?

I know that one scale consists of 12 half-tones. But my question is still: Why? Why not 13 or 11?
10
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the proper way to play A-Flat scales on piano?

Consider four cases: A-flat major A-flat (natural) minor A-flat melodic minor A-flat harmonic minor I start them with the third finger on the A-flat key (both hands), but I have no idea how a ...
95
votes
10answers
8k views

Why do minor keys sound “sad”?

Oftentimes major keys are called "happy" and minor keys are "sad". Why is this? Is it universal across cultures that use these scales? Do similar connotations exist in other scale systems? (If this ...
48
votes
17answers
2k views

Ways to get out of a scalar rut?

I'm a well versed and experienced guitarist. I have a decent sense for rhythm and melody, but I have a VERY hard time with soloing. I know you've heard it all before.. I'm one of those guys that got ...
11
votes
7answers
750 views

How to figure out what key a piece is in?

I am trying to write a guitar accompaniment to the piece "Fair and Tender Ladies". But I have no clue what I need to do to figure out what key that piece is in. Also, the instrument playing the ...