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I like band Emperor and their guitar riffs. They often use Bm, B♭m, Gm chords progression but I don't understand what scale is this. It looks like B harmonic minor but this scale doesn't have F note which is in B♭m contains. Thanks for help.

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    I don't know what Am♯ is (do you mean A♯m? Or Am♯5?) but it certainly doesn't contain an F note, if anything it's E♯. Oct 28 '21 at 20:24
  • There are so many similar questions. There's no need for all notes and all chords in any piece all having to belong to the same key. Don't expect that - expect the opposite! And, yes, guitars have flat notes/chords too !
    – Tim
    Oct 29 '21 at 7:51
  • The question asker revealed in a comment for an answer that the chord progression can be found and mentioned in youtube.com/watch?v=a6s7KSDdzG8&t=90s.
    – Dekkadeci
    Oct 29 '21 at 12:46
  • I watched that video - I'll note that Ihsahn directly says "B minor, A sharp minor, and G minor" (emphasis mine) at 1:31, the chord progression sounds typical for extreme metal, and the A sharp minor chord sounds like a substitute dominant-function chord (the other uses for (#)vii I've typically heard in metal are as a neighbour chord and a passing chord).
    – Dekkadeci
    Oct 29 '21 at 12:51
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There is no rule that all the chords in a piece have to fit the same scale. Bm, B♭m, Gm certainly don’t fit any of the standard ones! (Don’t call it A♯m, that smacks of fret-counting more than musical knowledge).

How DO they use the chords? Is there a linking single scale, or do they riff on each chord separately?

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  • youtube.com/watch?v=a6s7KSDdzG8&t=270s the riff is started 1:30
    – dmitriy
    Oct 29 '21 at 5:31
  • Watched the video - I'll note that Ihsahn directly says "B minor, A sharp minor, and G minor" (emphasis mine) at 1:31, the chord progression sounds typical for extreme metal, and the A sharp minor chord sounds like a substitute dominant-function chord (the other uses for (#)vii I've typically heard in metal are as a neighbour chord and a passing chord).
    – Dekkadeci
    Oct 29 '21 at 12:45
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You could build a scale just by adding all the notes from all the chords, and filling the gaps if needed.

In this case the result is: B C# D E# F# G A#, or 1 2 b3 #4 5 b6 7. This is fourth mode of double-harmonic scale, also known as Hungarian or Gypsy minor scale. Note that getting Gm requires changing A# enharmonically to Bb.

Another possibility is that these three chords are not built on the same scale (in a particular song).

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    May I ask for the reason of dv? Did I make a mistake? Oct 28 '21 at 22:15
  • Dv-ers seem to be only capable of clicking on one button, that's often their limit.
    – Tim
    Oct 29 '21 at 7:47
  • @CherryDT - I read the reasons - still not convinced some of them at least are well-founded. To me, it's like marking a kid's answer wrong, he changes it, it's marked wrong again, and so on, so he gets no feedback as to what or why it was wrong - so no learning goes on. Also, it's too easy to dv, and I'm convinced that some of the dvs are given out of ignorance rather than for well-thought-out reasons. By the way, this is not a rant. Just a rather concerned site user.
    – Tim
    Oct 29 '21 at 14:27
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    @CherryDT Yes I know commenting on dvs is not mandatory, and I'm not questioning that. I'm just curious. I feel like I answered the question and provided other adequate information. If I wrote something that's incorrect or unclear I wish someone explained that to me. Oct 29 '21 at 15:12
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If we limit ourselves to heptatonic scales and only to those that can be written in a bar without having to use the same bar position for two different notes, only the scales associated with pitch class 7-22 contain all the notes of the chords you mention.

These seven scales are:

  • C♯ Mixolydian Flat 2 Flat 5 aka Asian
  • D Ionian Sharp 2 Sharp 5
  • F Locrian Double Flat 3 Double Flat 7
  • F♯ Ionian Flat 2 Flat 6 aka Double Harmonic
  • G Lydian Sharp 2 Sharp 6
  • B Lydian Flat 3 Flat 6 aka Double Harmonic Minor
  • B♭ Phrygian Flat 4 Double Flat 7 aka Ultraphrygian
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I don't know enough to put the correct names to this, but the old-school way of music is to say "this is the key", then make sure that the chords and notes are all appropriate to that key. If it's in C major, you get C D E F G A and B, and the chords you can make out of it. For the I and IV chords, you can have the major seventh (C E G B, F A C E), but the V chord gets the dominant seventh, a full step not half step away from the octave (G B D F).

There's a break we get from Jazz and Blues that says those rules don't apply anymore. To play jazzy blues, play every chord as a dominant seventh chord, for example. Now, you play the changes: when you play over a C7 chord, you lean on the chord tones (C E G Bb), but you're free to play any of the other eight. The next chord might have something to do with C7 harmonically, but it might not, so you make choices based on the chord, not the key.

In this case, you play over Bm, then Bbm, then Gm. The notes you used over one chord won't carry over to the next. You play riffs and licks in context of the chord, and you play the chords in that order because it sounds cool. No gods, no masters, no keys.

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