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I have the following progression (using F-minor scale): Cmajor > D# Sus2 > A# sus2 > F sus2 > D# Sus2.

Initially, the Cmajor was a Cmin...but I didn't like how it sounded or transitioned. So I changed that chord to minor.

Is this okay? No scale (I could find) contains those chords.

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    If you are basing the progression off of F minor, you relly should use flats to name the chords so instead of C - D#sus2 - A#sus2 - Fsus2- D#sus2, it would make more sense as C - Ebsus2 - Bbsus2 - Fsus2- Ebsus2. – Dom Mar 28 at 5:30
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    Of course it's o.k. Why shouldn't it be o.k? There are so many questions here similar to this, that seem to be based on the presumption that a key must only contain diatonic notes.(As, in fact, this example does!) We are all aware that this just isn't the case in reality. Who is it that keeps on revitalising this myth? And, why? – Tim Mar 28 at 6:23
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    You're using the word "scale" where you should be using key. – phoog Mar 28 at 12:41
  • It would be so much easier to read if you used flats for F minor - key signature of four flats - Eb Bb F are easy to read descending fourths. A# to F is a descending augmented third why make it so hard to read? – Michael Curtis Mar 30 at 16:42
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If you are basing your harmony off of F minor, this chord progression makes a lot of sense especially wanting to use C major instead of C minor. This is very rooted in the traditional study of harmony by weaving though the 3 minor scales which are F natural minor, F harmonic minor, and F melodic minor which gives the following sets of notes:

F natrual minor            - F G A♭ B♭ C D♭ E♭ F
F harmonic minor           - F G A♭ B♭ C D♭ E  F
F melodic minor (asending) - F G A♭ B♭ C D  E  F

This is a very common scenario when dealing with minor keys and is very traditional in nature. I suggest reading up more on the different types of minor scales to get a better grasp on how they are used:


As a closing note, not everything needs to be contain in one scale and you'll find a lot of the more colorful progressions venture pretty far outside of just one set of scales that defines them.

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    True, the whole point in using chromatic notes does make it more colourful - hence the name..! – Tim Mar 28 at 6:19
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No scale (I could find) contains those chords.

Well, one scale that definitely contains those chords is the chromatic (12-tone) scale. You're free to use all those notes in whatever way you want!

It's also likely that there's a way to see your progression in terms of diatonic scales too, if that's important to you. But to answer your question directly, If you like the sound of something, it's okay.

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    Could OP be confusing scale with key? – Tim Mar 28 at 7:49
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    @Tim well, they're not universally thought of as particularly different concepts. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_(music) - "the key of a piece is the group of pitches, or scale, that forms the basis of a music composition". I don't think that's a very useful definition, but then I don't think keys are a very useful concept... – topo Reinstate Monica Mar 28 at 7:56
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    It sort of gets round the issue with that phrase. Some of the problem with that is in a minor key there are several different 'groups of pitches', and if we include minor modes, the plot thickens... It's quite a grey area, and I don't think there's any clear-cut solution to define any further. Or is there? – Tim Mar 28 at 8:09
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    'Key' can be an important factor, to me at least. When I'm sitting in or jamming with a band, the most important thing to know is the 'key' of the next piece. Often signed using fingers (which most other people don't seem to be aware of!), but even that doesn't tell me if it's A or A minor. From that info - basically as you say, the tonic or root - I can usually work out what chords are likely to be needed. – Tim Mar 28 at 9:04
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    Ha ha ha! It often does! Although half the time we never know when. I actually referred to dots, which are raely forthcoming at jam sessions! – Tim Mar 28 at 11:18
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Write the enharmonic equivalents of D# and A# (=Eb and Bb).

Then you have the progression V-bVII-IV-I. Eb is a borrowed chord of f-minor. (As the other chords are are sus4 we even don’t know whether they’re major or minor. But if you are soloing in f-minor, it will be f- minor - or you have blue notes in mind ...).

Is this o.k.?

Every pthing is o.k. that sounds fine.

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If your root note is C, you could play the flamenco scale. Basically phrygian with an added major 3rd. If your root note is F, you can use a mix of harmonic and melodic minor. Anything is ok if you like the sound, there is no music police who will arrest you ;-)

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