A sequence of musical notes in ascending or descending order of pitch.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

34
votes
12answers
5k views

What exactly does practising scales teach?

First off, I'm not claiming that practising scales isn't a good thing to do. I'm just curious what specifically it teaches you that doesn't come from playing music. I'm aiming it as a generic ...
0
votes
0answers
194 views

How did the notes of the Western musical scale get their letter names? [duplicate]

The first thing a brand-new piano student learns is the name, and location on the keyboard, of "middle C". I've always wondered, why is that note called "middle C" rather than, say, "middle A"? To ...
5
votes
4answers
510 views

If I am playing lead in G scale, does it mean that I must start with a G note and end with a G note?

If I am playing lead for song on the spot, and I play a solo using a G major scale, can I start with a G and end with some other note (such as a D for example)? Or is it necessary to end on a G to ...
3
votes
4answers
671 views

Composing in Phrygian mode

I tried to compose in the Phrygian mode which seems to be harder than the natural, harmonic and melodic minor. The biggest challenge was to end my piece in its tonic chord. My song was intended to be ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it better to memorise each scale, or just memorise the patterns?

People seem to learn different scales, each as a separate piece of knowledge - maybe for a grade 1 exam you have to know C major and A minor, then for grade 2 add E major and G major. But isn't it ...
3
votes
4answers
273 views

How can I get through some difficult runs in a piece otherwise at my level?

I've been learning Chopin's Nocturne in E Minor, and I'm having too much trouble getting through some of the runs on page two. Specifically, I'm an adult hobbyist, and I don't practice daily. My ...
1
vote
4answers
309 views

Major and minor scales

How can I identify my minor scales faster? I'm good with my major scales, but I always have to reference my major scales when identifying my minor scales.
1
vote
4answers
233 views

Do notes from non-natural minor scales fit well in the associated major key?

Any major scale contains the same notes as the natural associated minor scale - C major being the easy option contains all the same notes as A minor natural. But of course we also have other common ...
1
vote
2answers
254 views

Happy, oriental minor songs

According to music theory, songs in minor keys are supposed to be sad. However i often find minor pentatonic songs, especially from Chinese folk songs, that are happy and upbeat (Chinese New Year ...
7
votes
3answers
16k views

Difference between minor and major pentatonic scale boxes?

Is there a difference between minor and major pentatonic scale box shapes? Some say you can do the same pattern as a minor scale but three notes up the fretboard and some that you must change pattern ...
2
votes
11answers
3k views

Why is the tonic chord of a key formed with the 1,3 and 5 notes of the key but the major chords in that key are the I IV and V?

The tonic chord in a given key is formed by using the 1 and 3 and 5 notes of the scale in whatever key you are in. However, in chord theory, the Major chords that work in that key are the one, four ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

Open strings and semitones on a classical guitar

My son in learning guitar, however how do you raise a note up 2 semitones when it is an open string for example open 1st string in e and we want to raise it 2 chromatic semitones.
1
vote
3answers
250 views

How can different compositions use C Major?

Pardon what I know is an embarrassing question - I am at the very basics of learning music theory. If a scale such as C Major is an exact pattern of intervals, how can multiple songs be composed with ...
3
votes
4answers
696 views

Do the 'natural' chords to use in a key change if you use a different mode?

This question gives a great, not-too-technical explanation of modes: What are modes and how are they useful? I wondered if playing in a different mode would mean the standard chords change move also? ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

What is it called to take a scale but start on a different degree? [duplicate]

By which I mean keep all the same notes in the same order, but start on a note that isn't the root. Let's work in C major. There's obviously the special case that if you start on the 6th ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How do you do accidentals (eg. E♭) in solfège (Do Re Mi)? [duplicate]

I only ever learned the basics of the major scale syllables, mostly from the "Doe, a deer" song. In C Major, Do - C Re - D Mi - E Fa - F Sol - G La - A Ti (or Si) - B Do - C So how ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

What exactly is the point of the Melodic Minor Scale? [duplicate]

I know how the natural, harmonic and melodic minor scales are formed and the first two I have no problem with. But the very concept of a scale which is different going down and up just seems wrong to ...
6
votes
1answer
626 views

Is there a name for a minor scale with a raised 3rd or a major scale with a lowered 6th and 7th?

I've noticed a pattern in chord progressions and melodies where I like to use the b7 and b6 chords with a major tonic and there are several modern songs that like to use this pattern as seen in a ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How to improvise over a C#, B, A chord progression?

I'm looking to improvise a piano solo in over a C# verse that has a C#, B, A chorus. I'm unsure of what scale to use for this, or unsure on how to determine why musically some notes work better than ...
21
votes
10answers
4k views

When is a piece in A minor versus C major?

When would you say a piece, or a movement in a symphony, is in A minor versus C major? They both use the same notes on the scale... what would indicate that the piece is in A minor? Let's take an ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I play notes in a scale/key freely up and down the neck without getting caught in boxes and shapes?

I would like to know which approach to learning the scales/shapes is better. As in, is learning the shapes for major seperately and minor seperately benefitial? Or is it good to just learn the 5-major ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Expand Bass Guitar Playing Beyond Root Notes

I am fairly new to the bass guitar and I'm in a band. So far, I almost always just play the root note of the chord. I sometimes hold it until a new chord and sometimes repeatedly play this same ...
3
votes
1answer
273 views

Chords Built On Different Scales

Can chords be built on different scales i.e. harmonic minor, melodic minor, and when they are, how is this known?
2
votes
7answers
1k views

Are minor scales meant to be in sharp or flat keys?

I know you can read minor scales in both sharp and flat keys, but which is preferred in the world of music? Is it more useful to know them best as say Eb minor or D# minor? I know it doesn't make a ...
5
votes
2answers
450 views

Chord progression if the chords are not part of the scale?

I've been learning about harmony, and the harmonisation of major scales. I can recognise simple chord progressions, and I try and practice by listening to popular songs. For a major scale, we ...
2
votes
3answers
176 views

Can't seem to find a good tutorial on theory for guitar players

After 13 years of playing the guitar (just chords)... I am just starting to investigate learning theory to be a better guitar player. Also seeing piano players pick up the guitar and soloing in no ...
7
votes
4answers
608 views

Why are the natural notes on the staff special?

I can read music and I also understand how we build diatonic scales on top of the C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C sequence. I also know that intervals between any version of two "letter" notes have the same name, ...
4
votes
3answers
364 views

Diatonic scales

I'm reading a book on music theory, and it says that a diatonic scale is any seven-note scale that uses the notes ABCDEFG in an arrangement of 5 tones and 2 semitones. I wanted to clarify one point. ...
3
votes
1answer
329 views

i-bVII-bVI-V Progression

I was looking for some flamenco progressions when I came accross this page http://www.angelfire.com/fl4/moneychords/moneychords.html It shows the i-bVII-bVI-V progression in the key of A minor - ...
3
votes
5answers
485 views

Guitar learning path for beginners

I am an intermediate level guitarist who has been playing for 4-5 years. I started learning by myself off the internet and have had a few dodgy teachers along the way before settling on an ...
13
votes
2answers
632 views

What is the theory behind scales?

My question is the following: Scales are The backbone of quite everything in western music. Does anybody know if there is some sort of backbone behind scales? A number, something like that? Or do some ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do notes have multiple names?

I've seen the same note called different names for example the note F# can also be written as Gb. Why is this the case and are there times to use one name over another?
7
votes
4answers
663 views

Why does this harmonic minor scale notation use a natural sign?

On the Wikipedia page for Minor scale is this diagram of the harmonic minor scale starting at A: Why is there a natural sign on the F? I thought the natural sign was only used when the note had ...
4
votes
3answers
284 views

What is a scale consisting of Root, m2, m3, P4, d5, M6, M7 called?

Root, m2, m3, P4, d5, M6, M7 G, A flat, B flat, C, D flat, E, F#
4
votes
3answers
675 views

Pentatonic Scales Question

I'm learning the notes on the fret board and I just wanted to ask something about the pentatonic scales you see, A minor pentatonic is A C D E G on the 5th fret, but when I play it on the 2nd fret its ...
0
votes
2answers
131 views

How can I understand what scale should I use?

For example, I want to play "I Chase the Devil" from Max Romeo. The chords are easy even for a newbie like me. But I want to add some flavour in the playing. Can I do this with scales? And if i can, ...
9
votes
2answers
352 views

Melodic Minor - Uses

The one problem I have with the Melodic Minor is that I just don't know how and where to use it. From my comprehension, it is the Minor scale when descending and when ascending it has a maj6 and maj7. ...
2
votes
3answers
196 views

Determining What Chords Fit With A Scale

I'm not familiar enough with music theory to know whether I'm jumping the gun here. I'm starting to learn the major scale by playing through all the positions in a key. It gets rather boring just ...
3
votes
2answers
315 views

F Dorian and Associated Chords

So I have been playing guitar for a long time, but only recently have begun to seriously dive in to music theory. I have limited knowledge, so little that I am unaware if this is a very simple ...
1
vote
2answers
139 views

Need help identifying this scale

Yesterday my friend sent me a recording of a song. I was particularly stunned and interested in a scale (maybe not a scale, but it does sound like one.) I decided to upload the scale here: ...
5
votes
2answers
373 views

Uses for the Prometheus scale?

I was looking up info on scales today and found this page on scales: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_musical_scales_and_modes Scrolling through the page, I found a few interesting scales, but ...
11
votes
11answers
3k views

Math PI represented musically

I'm creating a program to output the values of pi as sound. I've seen a few videos and some other representations, and want to try to make my own for fun, except i'm unsure how to proceed. There are ...
5
votes
3answers
164 views

Is there any scale that contains eight different notes?

Today while praticing guitar I've played the following notes on the fretboard, one after another: E F G G# A B C D# E It didn't sound wrong, in fact, it sounded like Harmonic Minor with something ...
2
votes
2answers
456 views

How to express “dreaming” with other than the whole tone scale?

I am working on a little theater play accompanying a poetic clown on piano on the stage. Most of time I improvise to emphasize his emotional moods, since there are no words at all. When the character ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

What does it mean for a song to be played in C minor, D, etc?

I like listening to classical music, I noticed that a song may come in many versions (example : Hungarian Dances). I know what majors and minors scales are, but my music theory knowledge ends there. I ...
1
vote
2answers
184 views

Chord Type 7th Extension and the Major Scale

I'm learning about music theory and noticed that a C7 chord is based on the following notes: C E A# C E. I imagined a C7 chord should be based off the major scale where the 7th degree is the note B, ...
8
votes
2answers
186 views

Doesn't a major scale share all its notes with its relative minor and vice versa?

I came across this sentence, reading A Theory of Harmony, John Stainer, P 9 item 27: The scale of a relative minor consists of the same notes as that of its relative major, with one exception, ...
2
votes
2answers
128 views

Scales - Melodic and harmonic minor

Recently I picked up modes for guitar scales. I just love how this system works and understand it 100%. However, I have heard about other scales that are not covered with the modes. More specifically, ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Is this melody in a particular scale?

I've trying to play Calamaro's Sin Documentos intro. The melody goes like this in Tab notation: I've been able to identify the notes and play along, but I was wondering if the melody is in a ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How come songs in a certain key play notes not in that key

I just started trying to learn about music theory as I'm learning to play the guitar. So as beginner's do I looked up a list of easy songs to play and I start learning away. Since I'm also trying to ...