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43

You can divide up the octave however you want, but it turns out that doing what you suggest doesn't really make good sounding music, at least to our western ears. It all has to do with overtones and pleasant ratios of pitches. An interval sounds consonant to us when the ratio of the frequencies is mathematically simple. It causes the waveforms line up and ...


25

If you're looking for a magic number upon which scales are based, take a look at 1.5. That's the ratio of an interval called a pure fifth. It's also called a just fifth; the terms are interchangeable. (They are not necessarily the same as a perfect fifth, however. And if you're wondering why they're called fifths at all, don't get hung up on that just yet. ...


25

A lot of the benefit is in how you practice them. If done mindfully and effectively, playing scales can give you a way to focus your practice on the building blocks that make up most of the music you play. Don't think of scales as a series of notes. Instead, think of them as the foundation pieces that music is built around. Here are some examples of ...


19

The reason is that dividing an octave into 12 notes sounds the best for a very mathematical reason! The frequency of each semi-tone is 21/12 away from its neighbours. Note C × ? Fraction Note C × ? Fraction C 1 1/1 C 2 2/1 C♯/D♭ 1.059 18/17 B 1.888 17/9 D 1.122 9/8 A♯/B♭ 1.782 ...


18

The reason there are multiple names for notes is that the same note may function differently in different contexts. If you just play a single note with no context, then it could have a multitude of different names. For example if you played the note in between F and G you could call it F# or Gb or more obscurely E## or Abbb. They are all valid names and are ...


15

In addition to the other answers, I believe it improves the ability to simplify the music in your mind. Researchers studied the memory of chess experts and found they could recall the positions of almost all the pieces when placed in positions typical of a game, but did no better than amateurs when the pieces were placed randomly. For me, at least, the ...


13

You can build chords on any scale. You would build chords the same way you build them in the typical major and minor scales. You would take a root note of any scale degree and add the 3rd above the root and the 5th above the root and you get your chord. I'll use the example you've given that is based on the different minors. In A natural minor you have ...


12

There are many different ways to approach playing bass and depending on what style you are trying to go for it may be all you need to fill the sound. I'll explain a few simple styles and techniques that can spice up a bass line. Octaves Rather simple, but effective. Your still playing only the root note, but changing the octave is a very simple and ...


12

The last chord harmony of most pieces give a feeling of ending. (It would, wouldn't it - otherwise the piece goes on, potentially).With no key signature, shown, a piece could be in C major or A minor. This last chord gives a big clue as to which key the writer thinks it's in. The presence of G#, showing usually a V-I cadence is also a good clue, except that ...


12

To answer this, we can arrange the modes in order from those that have the highest-pitched notes (largest intervals relative to tonic), to those that have the lowest-pitched notes (smallest intervals relative to tonic), then compare the resulting intervals. Note how, in this order, each following mode is identical to the previous one, except for one scale ...


11

This system is the result of the specific historical evolution of Western music notation. The five-line staff was not the first try at writing down the pitches being used in European music. The first systems were just mnemonic, consisting of neumes (squiggles, basically) drawn above the words of a religious text, much like the cantillation symbols that ...


11

That blues note is nebulous. It can be, and is, anywhere between a minor 3 and a major 3. Listen to blues players, and you'll hear it bent fully from min. to maj., or just hinted at with a tiny flick from minor upwards. The listener probably completes the bend in his mind's ear. It sometimes gets played as a straight major that gets wobbled down to minor and ...


11

I think your question is largely about the chosen notation for the Western system, which most answers haven't really addressed. The notation we have is actually pretty natural and logical, for a simple reason: there are twelve different notes in the Western system, but only a subset of these -- seven, in fact -- are used in a given scale such as the major ...


11

You could consider as a scale derived from the F harmonic major scale as the F harmonic major scale contains the notes: F G A Bb C Db E F You can view this scales as just a major scale with a lowered 6th and this type of scale comes up in the Lydian Chromatic Concept.


10

Most of the answers here appear to be focusing on why we ended up with a seven note scale in western music. This is a great area of inquiry; however, it is worth noting that whatever the answer to this question, the seven note scale is a fundamentally arbitrary product of Western culture. Dissonance and harmony are culturally relative. The idea of the ...


9

Yes, it's the 5th mode of melodic minor, and it's usually called Mixolydian b6 or Mixolydian b13. Other names for this scale, in my opinion slightly less fortunate, are Aeolian Dominant or Hindu scale. You can find even a few more obscure names for it in the article linked above. However, in a jazz context I've only come across the name Mixolydian b6 (or ...


9

Theoretically, yes there are five modes that can be derived from the major pentatonic scale and they would be named the same way the other modes contained in the major scale. Let's look at the relative modes instead of parallel as it is slightly easier to see the patter. The C major pentatonic scale consists of the following notes: C, D, E, G, A ...


9

The key thing to remember is that for diatonic scales (major, minor and the modes) each note has a different letter name. In your example F G A A C D E F (ignoring the flats/sharps) has a duplicated letter; thus the 4th note must be a B. One way to lay out a scale is to put the notes in order, e.g. B C D E F G A, and then figure out where the flats/sharps ...


9

It's always counter-productive to feel horrified while you're trying to learn something! At your level, please don't feel you have to memorize your fingering or your black-white key patterns. For now, make sure each scale you work on feels comfortable and smooth. What you are mainly doing at this point is getting some fluency, practicing these figures out ...


9

What you probably mean by minor and major blues scales are the two following scales (with root C): C Eb F Gb G Bb (minor blues) C D Eb E G A (major blues) These are just the minor and major pentatonic scales with one note added. The minor pentatonic scale gets a b5 (Gb), and the major pentatonic scale gets a b3 (Eb), both to make those pentatonic scales ...


8

The basic idea of the melodic minor scale is to be able to traverse the minor scale by step while having the option to take advantage of the leading tone while avoiding the augmented 2nd interval. It may seem random when you use melodic and when you use natural minor scale degrees, but there is a very simple test: Are you going to the tonic or are you ...


8

Just to be cautious in case someone is misled by the sharp on the G to think the F should be sharp, and also to be sure it is not confused with the melodic minor, which has an F# on the way up.


8

A is tonicised (the term we use) rather than C. That means that the tonic chord, the one that defines the key and resolves all harmonic motion, is confirmed by various means as A minor. Tonality is defined by a hierarchy of interval relationships, the strongest being the relationships of a fifth and a fourth. In the key of C, that would be G and F ...


8

Actually, a major chord is formed by using a root, a major third and a perfect fifth. Doesn't necessarily have to be the 1,3 and 5 of the scale. Let's take the C major scale and see for which root notes we have the major third and the perfect fifth: C; the third is E (major third), the fifth is G (perfect) -> Major Chord (I) D; the third is F (minor) E; ...


8

Short answer: It doesn't have to start or end with anything. The last note ending on a G might end up feeling more resolved, but you can use any note you'd like to end on that you feel sounds like it meets what you want to accomplish the solo. If I know another musician is taking a solo right after me, sometimes I'll deliberately end on the 5th (in this case ...


8

Knowing what modes/scales to use over a chord can be approached a number of ways. Here's an over simplified way to know what scale you can use over a certain chord (DISCLAIMER: THIS IS OVERSIMPLIFIED): Is it Major? (R 3 5 7) Is the fourth sharped? (Yes - you might try Lydian) Otherwise, use Ionian or all of the above Is it Minor? (R b3 5 b7) Is the ...


8

The archetypal bluesy sound comes from bending and inflecting the notes within certain ranges. When soloing, I personally play the blues scale on guitar as a pseudo-pentatonic something like this (C tonic): C a 'window' around Eb, covering the range down to D and up to E. F, bending up a little (maybe not as far as Gb) G Bb, with scope to bend up a little ...


8

The most important thing is to be able to know and see on your guitar the intervals between each scale tone and the root note. If you're able to do this then you're independent of the key and you don't necessarily need to know the name of the note that you play, as long as you know its relation to the root of the scale. So when you learn scale patterns make ...


8

The answer to the question "was the diatonic scale designed to make pianos easier to play" is clearly "no", because the diatonic scale precedes the invention of the piano by some thousands of years. Remember, for the vast majority of the history of music, it was not played on keyboard instruments. It was played on wind or string instruments. If you want to ...


7

As long as you play within a G major scale you still are in G major. However it should be noted that starting and ending on a G will have the effect of making the G feel like the home note (known as a tonic) which is what you want if you are playing in G major. It's not a bad thing to end on a different note and it can have interesting effects. On thing you ...



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