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Questions tagged [scales]

For questions about playing, understanding, or studying scales.

39
votes
9answers
15k views

Key signature for writing in modes other than major and minor

I have trouble deciding what accidentals to put in the key signature for pieces in Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian or Mixolydian modes. There seem to be trade-offs associated with each choice. For example, ...
5
votes
8answers
553 views

Confused about intervals and keys, does the former depends on the latter?

Sorry if my question is too trivial, I'm trying to understand intervals and keys. I've read on Wikipedia that a third "is a musical interval encompassing three staff positions and the major third is a ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

What are the most commonly used guitar scales in rock music?

This question is pretty straightforward. I like rock music but I cannot figure out what scales they are using.
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How did a number of great self-taught guitarists from the 60s and 70s learn solely from listening to records? [on hold]

A lot of things are written about influential guitar players such as technical prowess and it is mentioned how they are self-taught/never had a lesson. But reading through all this stuff I couldn't ...
4
votes
1answer
864 views

Is a pure minor scale the same as natural minor? Do they mean the same thing?

I'm reading a book on music theory and it says The harmonic minor scale is one of three traditional forms of minor scale. They are: "pure minor scale" occurs as the 6th mode of a a major scale. ...
2
votes
5answers
94 views

What is the ordering of modes (Ionian, Dorian, etc.) from least to most dissonant? [on hold]

What is the ordering of modes (Ionian, Dorian, etc.) from least to most dissonant? Intervals are dissonant/consonant so why wouldn't there be a way to measure the totality (or average?) of modes ...
2
votes
5answers
84 views

How to remember and see each major scale degrees when playing a scale not in order?

So I'm piano beginner learning all major scales and their fingering. I already know all 12 major scales and how to play them from 1st to 8th note ascending and back descending in quite good speed and ...
2
votes
4answers
142 views

Building a dominant triad in a minor key - are these double sharps correct?

As I understand it, one builds the dominant triad of a minor key using its harmonic scale based on the dominant, leading tone and supertonic notes. Under this criteria I seem to get some weird ...
3
votes
7answers
194 views

How is music theory helpful in fitting notes together?

I'm very new to music; i've played a guitar before but without a real direction in my practice. I'd like to learn to play the guitar properly, but before that can happen I need a clarification ...
1
vote
5answers
87 views

How do you build a blues scale?

Hi I am doing grade 8 theory (Trinity). I need a quick and easy way to remember/ know of how to build blues scales. TIA
5
votes
3answers
985 views

Minor key and its chords [duplicate]

I am trying to learn the scales and its relative chords. I am confused with Minor scale. Lets take A minor key for an example. A minor key has following notes: A B C D E F G and its relative chords ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Solo Scales to Blue Train (John Coltrane)

Blue Train (John Coltrane) is a blues in Eb. What are the best options for soloing to it (Trombone)? major pentatonic? It feels somehow strange... the F minor pentatonic seems to fit quite well also.
5
votes
7answers
2k views

Do the 'natural' chords to use in a key change if you use a different mode?

This question gives a great, not-too-technical explanation of modes: What are modes and how are they useful? I wondered if playing in a different mode would mean the standard chords change move also? ...
6
votes
7answers
5k views

What is the difference between C major and C Ionian?

To my understanding, C major is the same as C Ionian, because both consist of the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B, (C) in this order. Contrast this with D Dorian, which consists of the same notes, but in ...
5
votes
1answer
58 views

How to properly notate scales that are not heptatonic

As far as I understand Scales are defined on intervals. So, for example, the major scale is defined by the following intervals from the root: C - Root D - Major Second E - Major Third F - Perfect ...
2
votes
1answer
771 views

Are you still playing a scale if you don't include every note in said scale? [duplicate]

For instance, if you're playing C major, and instead of playing C D E F G A B, you play C D E F G A, or C D E F G, would that still be considered playing in that scale or key? Because I doubt that ...
1
vote
3answers
147 views

Super fast scales and octaves, How?

I looked at the sheet music for a piano transcription of The Four Seasons and I see in the third movement of Summer, 2 things that I don't know if I can do. It has partly to do with the Presto tempo ...
2
votes
6answers
492 views

How do I manage internalizing foundation for chords, scales, hamonies and voicing

My teacher told me when I'm learning a piece I have to understand the underlying harmony, only then I would be able to learn and play it easily, he also told me to never learn the notes itself (...
2
votes
0answers
24 views

What scale is All Day Long by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn? [closed]

https://open.spotify.com/track/2nyx0Wqw7utftbWjnJcdru I am trying to play a little guitar solo over this track and was wondering what scale and key I should solo in. Everything I play sounds bad.
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Do the notes in a scale have to be played in order?

Beginner here, it seems like a scale just defines a particular set of notes that don't have to be played in any order to me. But if you look at A minor pentatonic scale you have A, C, D, E, G, yet ...
5
votes
3answers
92 views

Borrowed chords - does their function change?

I have a theory question. In the key of C major (as an example) there are some common borrowed chords. Like: D, E and Fm. Sometimes B♭, A♭ and E♭ as well. A natural minor share the ...
12
votes
8answers
3k views

Do all songs have to be in a major or minor scale? Can a song have random notes that don't belong to any major or minor scale?

For example, every scale has a given set of notes. But is it possible that there's a composition which doesn't fall into one particular scale?
5
votes
1answer
76 views

What is a panharmonic scale?

In the English translation of Plato's Republic, he does not allow flutes to be played because they are used to play "panharmonic scales", and he says that no panharmonic scales should be played or ...
4
votes
1answer
142 views

What kind of guitar scale did I “discover”?

I barely know any music theory but I love experimenting with notes and finding two-note chords that sound cool on my guitar. I've been playing this progression below and I've found that any three ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Which 'Scale' A Song is In

A month or two ago, I participated in a school music programme, where I was playing guitar. The chord progression I was playing was in the key of C. Then our music teacher comes, and asks in which ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Correct Notes for C## in Harmonic Minor Scale

Is the following scale correct for C## Harmonic Minor? C##, D##, E#, F##, G##, A#, B# I read on a good music theory page and they had B## as 7th note in the key, so I was wondering, but I'm pretty ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Which key are these notes and how to transpose it to the key of D?

I am a beginner in music theory so please bear with me. I was looking up a document which talks about transposing music and I understand a few things I think about transposing music. But if I, for ...
4
votes
6answers
701 views

How do you think of the natural minor scale (or any non-major scale), when you play it?

I would be grateful to know how other beginner musicians think of the natural scale. For example, do you think: I need to play in A minor - the relative major is C. I shall therefore play in C ...
5
votes
4answers
8k views

Dominant Chord in minor key

In a minor key, e.g. E minor, if you take the dominant triad, it contains the leading note. Is the leading note of the natural minor or the major for the dominant triad? So for E minor dominant triad ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Manual of Scales Arpeggios and Broken Chords by Beringer & Dunhill - NO NATURAL MINOR SCALES

So I got myself a book of scales (title/authors in question title) and it seems pretty extensive, with the scales presented 'plain' and in 3rds and tenths and sixths, in contrary and similar motion. ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

When we play the C mixolydian mode, are we still in the key of C?

Whenever we discuss the key of a piece, we usually describe it as either a major or minor key. And then, based on the intervals of the major or minor scale and the root note we define, we can ...
2
votes
0answers
47 views

Are scales usually 7 notes in middle eastern music?

I noticed that Phrygian dominant (aka hijaz maqam) is used alot in middle eastern music. I noticed that the oud is used alot too and it's microtonal. Since it's microtonal does middle eastern music ...
18
votes
5answers
9k views

Differences between the concept of Scales , Raagas, and Thaats?

Western music has Scales (major, minor, etc.) while Eastern Music primarily has a large number of Raagas derived from some basic Thaats. Both these groups represent sets of notes on which actual song ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

Modal scales' variations

I know two basic variations of minor and major scales, and these are melodic and harmonic. My question is, are there melodic and harmonic variations of modal scales? Like Dorian harmonic? or ...
18
votes
8answers
13k views

Is F Lydian mode in the “key” of C Major?

In most cases (if not all), a piece of music without sharps or flats in the key signature, would be considered in the key of C major or A minor. This question assumes the context of Western Music ...
1
vote
4answers
53 views

Key and possible missing “tonic chord”

I just figured out in this tune the chords F major and e minor fit, and they are repeated all over. Surely its a simple and repetitive piece, but what I am wondering is, the only key where both chords ...
35
votes
9answers
57k views

Why is a C7 chord named a dominant seventh chord?

I understand that a C7 chord contains a flattened 7th note in the C major scale, but what specifically makes this a dominant 7th chord? To me there is nothing 'dominant' about taking a note out of ...
2
votes
3answers
78 views

Fingered glissando, how to do it?

Basically what I mean is scales that are so fast, they sound like glissandos. Generally speaking, I hit the wall at 32nd notes at 120 bpm and it feels like my fingers can't get any faster. That is ...
0
votes
3answers
97 views

Best scale to use over Dm9 G13 Cmaj7 chord progression

I have the chord progression Dm9 G13 Cmaj7, and was wondering what the best scale is to solo over these chords. The C major scale works fine, but I can't help but think there is a better scale to use.
6
votes
3answers
661 views

Can anyone explain what a dominant scale is?

I wanted to sign up for some guitar lessons, the prerequisites for joining it are in the image attached. I know and understand most of the things mentioned except for the "dominant" scale mentioned. I ...
2
votes
2answers
49 views

Playing m7th chord on the 5th note of a major scale

Daniel Caeser & H.E.R.'s song "Best Part" has the following chord progression: Dmaj7, Am7, Gmaj7, A#maj7 The song sounds like it is in D major, which means that the A chord should be Amaj or A7, ...
2
votes
3answers
578 views

Trying to figure out the scale of a piece I am writing

I am writing something and am unsure of how I can work out exactly what key it is in, not that it really matters but I'm interested. I think I have narrowed it down to C or G minor, as the notes in ...
7
votes
1answer
300 views

Carnatic Vs Western 12 Note system

I was trying to learn the chromatic scale and associate it with carnatic equivalents (I know equal temperment is not the way with indian music, but it interest me to relate and learn it to certain ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

What does it mean for a mode to be “tonally effective”?

The web site http://www.tonalcentre.org states that there are only two "tonally effective" modes of the diatonic scale (viz., the Ionian and Aeolian modes) [http://www.tonalcentre.org/Scales.html] and ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

How can I call this scale? [duplicate]

How can I call this scale? B, C#, D, E, F#, G, A#, B Because between G and A # it's a tone and a half.
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Vocals : How to practice accidental notes in sight singing

So I have been practicing sight singing since last 5-6 months. I think I'm able to read the notes in the scales quite easily using the solfege method (each scale somewhat resembling the Do-Re-Mi ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

What to teach after scales and chords

I’m teaching piano. So far all scales have been covered and soon all family chords will also be done. I’m not trained in reading sheet music and so can’t teach that. So what else to teach now...?
1
vote
4answers
78 views

My question is about composition and technique [closed]

I have been playing by ear and would like to learn to be able to understand what playing in the right key as well as understanding the 1,4,5 logic? Should I be concentrating on learning the notes to ...
-1
votes
1answer
31 views

Tonal Compatibility

Considering: that finding the Ionian Mode's Phrygian location, suggests counting back 3 degrees from C'- Bb, Ab, 'G', starting from 'G'- play the 'Eb' Scale. The Answer', I have been serching for the ...
3
votes
1answer
669 views

Diminished Scale Piano Fingering

I'm going to start practicing diminished scales on the piano, but don't want to ingrain incorrect fingerings into my muscle memory. I've found major and minor scales to have pretty standard fingerings ...