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26

The sharps and flats are always "added" in a particular order. So, if you know how many there should be for a key, you can work out what they are. The mnemonics you refer to can help you to remember the order sharps and flats are added in. To be honest, though, I tell music pupils of mine, that learning key-signatures by using mnemonics is only partially ...


26

It is common to use notes that are not in the scale to add color. It's called chromaticism, from the ancient Greek word for color. Think how composers use a G# instead of a G in A minor, for example as a part of an E chord. A semitone creates more tension and the tendency of G# to resolve to (go to) A is more powerful. This is called a chromatic approach ...


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 ...


24

One option if you're primarily interested in representing the individual digits of pi is to use a representation in a base other than 10. For example pi base 12 would have an individual digital for each chromatic note. Here's a website that might help get you started: http://www.virtuescience.com/pi-in-other-bases.html


22

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. ...


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

The number 10 doesn't necessarily map well to values in traditional musical theory. (For instance, there are 12 chromatic pitches per octave, using conventional divisions of the octave; diatonic scales have seven pitches; note durations are related as powers or negative powers of 2). So, for this reason, the world is your oyster! I guess you can choose any ...


12

He is referring to the harmonic minor scale. Each minor scale has three variations: The Natural Minor - the exact notes of the relative major: C Major: CDEFGABC A Minor: ABCDEFGA The Harmonic Minor - Used for harmony in Western Classical, as it better implies a resolution from the V - I, since it involves the leading tone, which has a ...


12

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

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

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 ...


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 ...


10

This chord progression is extremely common in a lot of rock, pop and R&B music and is usually called bVI–bVII–I (where the b's are flat signs). In other words, the A major triad is generally taken as defining A major as the overriding key, but the preceding chords are taken to be major triads built on the lowered sixth and seventh scale degrees. Bob ...


9

There isn't any hard and fast rule. The first thing is that the key signature narrows it down to two keys. So, for example, if there are no sharps or flats in the key signature, the key is either C major or A minor. Most of the time, the first few measures in the piece will establish whether you're in the major or minor key. Beethoven's 5th symphony is a ...


9

You can play any diatonic or modal melodies on white keys only, but anything beyond extremely basic harmonies will require the use of more than seven pitch classes (ABDCEFG). Of course, a virtual piano played on a computer keyboard is extremely limited to begin with, so perhaps playing melodies is all you're interested in. To play a diatonic or modal ...


9

F# minor isn't different from any other scale. Natural minor: F# G# A B C# D E F# That's your standard minor scale, with the same key signature as an A Major (which is of course F#'s relative major). Harmonic minor: F# G# A B C# D E# F# The natural minor with the 7th note raised by a half-step (the E becomes an E#, or a natural F). Melodic minor ...


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 ...


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 ...



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