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Mixing scales

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Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 47
Topic starter  

Can anyone advise me of which scales go best together. Let me elaborate, say you're playing in the key of C. You could play the C major pentatonic, the C minor pentatonic, the C ionian etc. Are there any scales which work better with each other than others.

Also can someone give me the tab for the harmonic minor scale closed position?

PS. 50th post (YIPPEE!)

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921

The more scale notes you have that agree with the notes in the chords, the more natural the result will sound... any C type scale can be played over a C progression, and it's the skill of the performer who determines whether it works or not.

Scales like the C major pentatonic are in close agreement with the notes in a typical C chord progression, so they have the least chance of clunkers - which makes them more popular than something like C Lydian. That doesn't mean C Lydian is bad, just that it takes more skill and better ears to use.

The harmonic minor is 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 viewed against the major scale notes. Because of the three-fret difference between b6 and 7, there will be a shift. This is the simplest position (C harmonic minor shown):


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