Questions tagged [scales]

For questions about playing, understanding, or studying scales.

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3
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4answers
180 views

Are there any practical differences in the scales and arpeggios required by ABRSM for different instruments?

ABSRM separately publishes books of scales and arpeggios for each instrument. See this for example But surely the scales are the same no matter the instrument. I couldn't find contents lists for the ...
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3answers
172 views

D Mixolydian key: is it possible?

About the song linked below, is it right to say that its key is D Mixolidyan? Verse: D Am C G D Chorus: D Am D Am C G D The reason I'm asking this ...
22
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10answers
3k views

Making Sense of Blues Soloing; differentiating major/minor pentatonics

Quarantine has allowed ample time for musical exploration. I'm a classically trained pianist studying music in college, and I'm using this extra time to be immersed in and learn how to play the blues. ...
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3answers
77 views

Soloing over modulation: a specific case

Consider the following chord progression: G F#m G F#m G F# ...going on with G again... 1 measure each chord The melody is in key of D (at least until F#) Soloing over this progression requires me ...
0
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7answers
333 views

What scale comprises D-E-F#-G-A-Bb-C?

I composed a piece of music (more like a few renditions of a theme) that I sat down to transcribe, but it doesn't seem to fit into any scale! (I haven't looked at Japanese scales yet) Bear in mind ...
2
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3answers
556 views

Guitar Scale Shapes: Logic or Easyness

I am developing a app for Guitar Scales and want to implement Scale Shapes. And my question is, if is there any logic in those particular shapes(some are four frets stretched, one five, some notes out ...
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2answers
71 views

What are scale degrees?

I heard my band teacher talking about "scale degrees" and do not understand what he means.
3
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3answers
179 views

What determines which mode you're in? [duplicate]

I've learned all about modes, but there's something that confuses me. The G major scale contains the exact same notes as the A Dorian scale. So what determines which of those two scales you are ...
4
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2answers
307 views

What is the difference between an augmented and diminished scale?

I understand little music theory, so I do not understand the difference between an augmented and diminished scale.
5
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1answer
72 views

Where do Zeitler's scale names come from?

On Ian Ring's music theory website, a massive number of scales (1490) have "Zeitler" names. Some names are common (like Mixolydian) but others (like Dydyllic) I cannot find any reference to. ...
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3answers
631 views

Ranking dominant chord alterations by dissonance

In a jazz chord progression, there are many ways to alter the extensions and notes in a dominant chord. Reasons for altering dominant chords are to add harmonic variety, to construct elegant and ...
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3answers
349 views

Why can't a C#-note be played in this progression: D, Cadd9, G

I started studying music theory on my own but could use someone to confirm if i'm correct I'm assuming that the progression D - Cadd9 - G is in the key of D major. The D major scale contains the ...
4
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2answers
59 views

Major Harmonic chords - Fourth degree, substitute for min/maj chord

Please see below for F#/Gb Major Harmonic four note chords which I made. You will notice the fourth degree shows as a min/major 7th chord (which doesn't sound too bad). But, what is considered a good ...
2
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1answer
93 views

How do you memorize the modes of the melodic minor scale on guitar?

I'm looking for ideas to memorize the 7 positions of the melodic minor on the guitar fretboard. Any suggestions? Is there a way to map each pattern to a chord shape? Or a way to quickly visualize the ...
4
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5answers
303 views

Did classical composers typically modulate using the circle of fifths?

I read somewhere that classical composers modulate using a fifth. I think they did this because it's the smoothest key change as scales only differ between one note when they do that. So was that the ...
12
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7answers
4k views

What is the proper way to play A-Flat scales on piano?

Consider four cases: A-flat major A-flat (natural) minor A-flat melodic minor A-flat harmonic minor I start them with the third finger on the A-flat key (both hands), but I have no idea how a ...
2
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5answers
231 views

Russell Lydian chromatic (again) [duplicate]

One more question about Russell Lydian theory. Russell uses as an example the Lydian C scale: C-D-E-F#-G-A-B-C comparing it with C maj scale, then he starts to explain his theory as if they belong to ...
12
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9answers
4k views

Can I skip learning minor scales if I learned major ones?

I learned the basics of the piano mostly from YouTube, intervals, various chords formulas including sevenths, diminished but I try to very closely follow the best practices. I learn inversions and ...
2
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2answers
193 views

George Russell Lydian chromatic concept

I am reading the George Russell book about Lydian chromatic concept. If anyone has ever read it, maybe you can help me in understanding his use of the term "Lydian do" as well as "Ionian do". My ...
7
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1answer
17k views

Scales and Ascending/Descending differences

I'm learning some unique guitar scales and I'm confused with certain scales. For example, the Raga Asavari scale plays a list of notes when ascending. However when you descend, you add more notes to ...
28
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7answers
6k views

Algorithms for music composition

I'm a beginner in music but I also like to fool around with simple computer programs . So I found a little python library to generate MIDI files . So what I do now is that I have a few rhythm ...
4
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3answers
119 views

Should I learn a new minor scale pattern, or "reframe" a major scale pattern?

I'm confident with the major scale pattern in the image. Now I'm looking to learn a minor scale pattern to use for soloing or playing in minor keys. It seems in my mind that I could simply "...
3
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3answers
468 views

Three different diminished scales?

I'm reading about some jazz stuff, and get told there are ony two whole tone scales, and three diminished scales. The whole tones are pretty obvious - once you get past the second semitone, you're ...
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1answer
105 views

Box shape for diminished scale on bass guitar

Does anyone have a box shape for a diminished scale so I can find it quicker on the fretboard?
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5answers
216 views

What is the relationship between the 5th and minor 7th in dominant chords?

I've been trying to understand the theory behind dominant sevenths and have been reading a lot of articles. There's just one thing I couldn't understand-- the basic relationship of the minor 7th to ...
7
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0answers
64 views

In the Lydian Chromatic Concept, how are the horizontal scales formed?

In George Russell's The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, he introduces the notion of "horizontal scales": They are horizontal because they include the fourth degree in their ...
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4answers
894 views

Outside of Equal Temperament, what decides the spelling of notes in a major scale?

I've been reading up on the history of temperament, and how enharmonic notes are more of a limitation of the modern piano (only one black key), and also mathematically they are the same if you use ...
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4answers
197 views

Ab dorian b2 = Bbb as second note, right?

As the title suggests. When playing the Dorian flat 2 mode in Ab, the second note would be called a Bbb right?
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3answers
776 views

Chord alteration references? ("inside" vs. "outside")

Originally, I asked the question immediately below and it created some confusion. My revision appears below the original. # What books or references do you recommend which teach about altered chords ...
3
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4answers
170 views

Why is there no "half/minor-third augmented" scale?

I don't have a lot of formal music training so this may well be a dumb question, but I've been looking at this off and on for a while and I can't figure out why this particular scale doesn't seem to ...
3
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2answers
99 views

Strange out-of-key chords in Blow by Beyonce?

Can someone explain to me what is going on tonally in Beyonce's song Blow? The bass notes deceptively seem to suggest the chords in the verse are G major and F major. But these chords do not sound ...
3
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1answer
72 views

Question about George Russell Lydian Chromatic Concept

The wiki page says: Russell builds a prototype chromatic scale starting on the Lydian Tonic by stacking fifths, skipping the interval between the seventh and eighth tones. Using C as the Lydian Tonic ...
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1answer
180 views

Lydian chromatic concept [closed]

I have heard much talk anout the lydian chromatic concept however i find it very confusing i have heard people talk about a lydian chromatic scale and all kinds of lydian scales but idk how they are ...
3
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2answers
888 views

How do I improve my muscle memory for playing piano?

I'm a pianist, but I'm not too comfortable playing on the black keys of the piano. I am comfortable in playing C scale or Am scale. Can you suggest any exercises or a musical piece which can be used ...
12
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6answers
12k views

Super Ultra Hyper Mega Meta Scales

If you are as obsessed with Jacob Collier as I am, you probably know what I'm talking about. If not, it is essentially a scale that continually modulates, taking you through multiple keys. Jacob ...
2
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3answers
120 views

Why does a B major scale work against an A major chord?

I can hear that soloing over an A major chord using a B major scale "works" but I am curious as to the musical theory why it works? I know the C# and E contained in the B major acale are the ...
8
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3answers
18k views

Piano scale and arpeggio fingering technique: Thumb Under vs Thumb Over methods

Let's first define the methods: Thumb Under (TU): the thumb is brought under the hand in order to pass the 3rd or 4th finger for playing the scale. The thumb has movement up and down (to play the key)...
7
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3answers
2k views

Confused as to why one scale fits four different chords

I'm learning the bass guitar. I'm looking at a song called "Bling Thing" in the Rockschool Grade 4 book. On YouTube in the bass guitar backing track this part begins at 0:48. ...
66
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22answers
137k views

What is the difference between a mode and a scale?

I can't seem to find a straight definition for both.
0
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2answers
154 views

How to calculate the extra semitone in one circle of fifths

This is an extension to my previous question when I tried to do the math to prove the following statement: going up 12 perfect fifths takes one up 7 octaves plus one-fourth of a semitone extra Going ...
5
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3answers
778 views

Why are the frequency ratios of notes in the Pythagorean scales 9/8 and 256/243?

In Pythagorean tuning, for every 7th semitones the frequency would increase by a factor of 3/2 (to get that harmonious perfect fifth). If the frequency of C4 is set to 256Hz, the frequency of G4 can ...
6
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6answers
2k views

How to master the guitar fretboard

I've been playing guitar for many years, yet I have made the huge mistake of never really learning scales. I want to catch up, but I'm a bit lost, since there are so many scales in so many different ...
5
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2answers
99 views

What are some techniques for changing scale convincingly? [duplicate]

I am having trouble changing scales smoothly when composing, it always seems that the two parts are not connected and the change is sudden. I want to know some techniques so I can do that convincingly ...
3
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3answers
441 views

What BPM should I aim for while learning all the minor scales?

I'm learning to play the minor versions of each scale. What BPM should I aim for, before I move onto the next scale?
3
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2answers
104 views

How does one analyze a song that moves primarily between two non-diatonic chords?

The score for 'The Simple Life' by Jerry Martin indicates three flats, which would typically mean either Eb major or C minor. However, almost the entire song just moves back and forth between Bb major ...
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2answers
126 views

Sweet child - scale and chord discrepancy

This is not about "identifiying a chord". The chord is already identified. This is about how a chord can be replaced with another, changing the flavor of a song. I have played the rythm ...
27
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11answers
10k views

Are sharp keys "bright" and flat keys "dark"?

I was reading this book and on the "Circle of Fifths" chapter it claims that keys with sharp key signatures (C, G, D, ...) are "often though by musicians" to be "bright" sounding and those with flat ...
18
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8answers
72k views

What scales are suitable for funk? Is there a funk scale?

I hope this question isn't too "noob"-ish for you guys (but hey I've gotta start somewhere). What scales are suitable for funk? Is there a funk scale, akin to the blues scale? I'm pretty sure the ...
24
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6answers
28k views

With sheet music, how do you determine whether the song is in the major key or the minor key?

For example, if the key signature on the left doesn't have any sharps or flats then it could theoretically be in either the C Major scale or the A Minor scale. How do you determine which one?
4
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4answers
833 views

Find out scale from these 3 chords

I am playing these 3 chords in the following sequence: AM - CM - DM What scale do they belong to? I first thought its A Mixolydian: // But this can't be it, because it doesn't have C#(used in A ...

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