Can someone tell me what the scale in this video is called please? I am checking out various backing tracks and some of them do not provide the scale like this. They only mention "Dm" or some such, like this. I would dearly love to know the formula to work out these scales.

My ears are not good enough to identify chords just yet. I am still training my ears and fingers to find their way around the fret board by trying to accompany a backing track with my own solo. The video identified the song as being in the key of Bm, and it also displayed a recommended scale to solo over the track. The second link I provided mentioned the key of the backing track, and I am hoping to work out the scale, and therefore the notes, that will be suitable to accompany it. I cannot yet identify the chords in that track, so I'm hoping to work out a suitable scale based on the key of Dm.

I now have the formula to work out the Blues scale in various keys, and have been doodling my way around various Blues backing tracks. I feel it's now time to try other genres.

Edit: the video is a pattern with three chords: B minor, E minor, and A major.

closed as off-topic by Tim H, Richard, Dom Mar 21 at 0:21

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Basic analysis questions, such as "What key is this song in?", are off-topic. Questions should be substantial and refer to a well-defined work or subsection, including a concrete reference (sheet music, etc.)." – Tim H, Richard, Dom
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    While it looks on the surface like the OP is asking for help identifying a song, I don't think that's really what he's asking for. Rather, he's asking for help inferring melodic material from a chord pattern on the video. I provided a little more information to make that clear. – BobRodes May 28 '14 at 4:48
  • Yeah, I'm leaving this open. It's not just some basic question of "what chord is this", I don't think. – user45266 Mar 20 at 14:54

Translating what Bob has said in another way: it all equates to Bm. Or D major. I find it easier to work from a major standpoint.Given that, there is a choice of several ways. If a tune centres round D, it'll be called Dmaj, obviously. If E, it'll be E Dorian. If F#, F# Phrygian. G will give G Lydian. A gives A Mixolydian, and B, B Aeolian.

Each of these will use exactly the same notes (but not neccessarily in the same order...)sic. So if one prefers say,the natural minor patterns on guitar, that's what one would use.

You wouldn't say "This is in the SCALE of Bm," but rather "This is in the KEY of Bm." The Bm in this instance being, as Bob says, B natural minor.(Other minors are available).

The formula you ask for can be stated as:TSTTSTT which represent the gaps between each of the notes that work, in ascending order. I.e. B(+T) C#(+S) D(+T) E(+T) F#(+S) G(+T) A(+T) back to B. T= 2 frets, S= one fret.Sounds complex, but it works, and is compounded on guitar because you tend to change strings to find higher notes, rather than go up one string in one and two fret jumps.

  • Thank you Tim. Yes, you're right, it is not "in the scale" but instead "in the key" of Bm. It says so in the title of that video. I am hoping, given the key of the backing track in the second link, to work out a suitable scale I can use to solo over the said track or any other. I have edited the question to reflect this. – codedog May 28 '14 at 6:20
  • Dany - I think you misunderstand what Bob and Tim have said. You don't need to 'work out' a scale. The scale is already there laid out for you, both in these answers, and on screen in that video you linked to. – Doktor Mayhem May 28 '14 at 13:04
  • So again Dany, every key has a scale associated with it. I gave you the notes of the B minor scale. That would be the suitable scale to use in the key of B minor to solo over that track. Every key has a scale (actually more than one, but start there) associated with it, as well as a number of chords built on the different degrees of (notes in) the scale. – BobRodes Jun 12 '14 at 2:26

Bm, Em and A are all chords in the B natural minor scale. Between them, they have all of the scale degrees: B, C#, D, E, F#, G, A They also have no notes that are not in that scale. So I think that the scale you are looking for is the B minor scale.

The video doesn't play any sort of "scale", it just lays down the chords with a rhythm. You can use the scale to improvise over the chords.

So, the "formula" to work out the scale is pretty straightforward here. You just take the chords, lay out all the notes in a row, and see what you come up with. Usually, the bottom note of the first chord will be the starting note of the scale, but not always. Often, a track will tell you what key it's in, in which case the scale is the scale associated with that key. For example, in the case of your second link, the key is Dm, which means that the scale associated with the track is the D minor scale.

There's more to this, of course, but that should get you started.

  • Thanks Bob, I was actually referring to the scale displayed on the video. I will edit the question to add further clarification. – codedog May 28 '14 at 6:12

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