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Notes from out side....scales and modes

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(@screaminside)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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hi... i ve some questions here please:

1 its so difficult for me to detect the key of a song, the reason is the notes from out side the scales , ?
2 another thing the most used notes from outside are ( examle in E minor scale ) ...are ( F , C# , G#, A# , D#) ..
how to know its e minor or phrigian or harmonic minor or other ? or its a good thing to try to mix them and use all the related scales ?

and sorry for my bad english ,,thank you


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

1. It could be. But it gets easier with practice and studying music theory.

2. In E-minor, the F note would be from the Phrygian mode; C# would be used in the melodic minor; G# typically wouldn't be used (G# makes it a major scale; so when it's used, it's written as Ab, which is the b11 of the scale. Although altered tones are sometimes used, this wouldn't be typical); A# could also be written as Bb, and is typically a passing tone between the 4 and 5; D# is common, and it's found in the harmonic and melodic minor scales.

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(@screaminside)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

In E-minor, the F note would be from the Phrygian mode; C# would be used in the melodic minor; G# typically wouldn't be used (G# makes it a major scale; so when it's used, it's written as Ab, which is the b11 of the scale. Although altered tones are sometimes used, this wouldn't be typical); A# could also be written as Bb, and is typically a passing tone between the 4 and 5; D# is common, and it's found in the harmonic and melodic minor scales.

another one please .
while using these notes , how to differentiate between the used scale ?
like the f note how to know its e minor not e phrygian and tha same thing for the note D# how to know its e harmonic or not
?

and thank you for 1st reply


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Each scale has a unique set of notes. The F note is used in E phrygian (E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E), but not in the others.

Sometimes you can't tell based on a single note. D# is used in the E harmonic minor (E-F#-G-A-B-C-D#-E) and in the ascending melodic minor (E-F#-G-A-B-C#-D#-E). So if the scale has D# but C natural, it's harmonic; if it has C# and D#, it's melodic; and if it has C# but D natural, it's Dorian.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@screaminside)
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thank you for your fast reply .

thank you


   
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(@kingpatzer)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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And to add to the confusion, there are players and composers who use many chromatic tones (notes outside a scale) in their work without using one specific scale or mode. These can often be understood as passing tones in context, but their presence can confuse things for someone just starting trying to analyze a tune.

And depending on genre, there is a concept of "key of the moment" that is sometimes seen at play. This is very common in jazz circles where there are key changes that happen for the space of a few measures but which are not marked as such on the charts.

Both of these are more advanced concepts, but you can run into them from time to time.

For simple chromaticism, the give-away usually is that there is no one scale or mode that has all of the notes being played and they tend to happen in specific ways. For example, many jazz riffs use both the b3 and 3 of a chord's major scale to create some extra tension and interest. One of my favorites goes like this:

play with swing eighths

--9--10---9---10---6-------------------6-
------------------------6--------------------
----------------------------8----6----7-----
---------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------

For key of the moments, you'll be able to look at the harmony and see that the chord changes reflect a common chord progression, ii-V-I for example, but in a different key than the key signature of the song.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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(@minotaur)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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1. It could be. But it gets easier with practice and studying music theory.

2. In E-minor, the F note would be from the Phrygian mode; C# would be used in the melodic minor; G# typically wouldn't be used (G# makes it a major scale; so when it's used, it's written as Ab, which is the b11 of the scale. Although altered tones are sometimes used, this wouldn't be typical); A# could also be written as Bb, and is typically a passing tone between the 4 and 5; D# is common, and it's found in the harmonic and melodic minor scales.

I don't mean to put on airs or challenge, but isn't it sometimes just a momentary key change as my former teacher called it? Or a non-harmonic or non-chord note? I played a B note (on bass) over an F#m chord by accident. I wanted to play an F# note, but I was off by one string. :roll: I was told that it's a non-harmonic tone because B is in the key of F#, so it works and it did.

I have a song in mind in G (I figure it to be G) that uses Em Em7 Bm7 Am7 E7. It also uses B7, which is not part of G. The only difference is the D#. There is nothing wrong with the way the song sounds given its author... Leon Russell.

My question is: do we put to much emphasis on modes and the scales within them instead of the scales themselves and the chords and notes that makes up those scales and chords? I see modes thrown around an awful lot, and the internet equivalent of blank faces.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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(@noteboat)
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Sure, a note could be a momentary thing - a passing tone or an appoggiatura. But when it's not, knowing scales comes in pretty handy.

The chords you posted look like they're in Em, not G - there isn't a major chord in the bunch. And since it's in Em, you've got both D (in the Em7) and D# (in the B7) - which looks like the melodic minor scale is at work.

The other thing you've got is Em and E7 - one has G, the other G#. But E7 is the V of A - and you've also got Am7. I'm betting the E7 is a tension resolved to Am7... which makes G# the "outside" note in the mix. That's common - create a tension that resolves, even if it's on the I chord.

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(@minotaur)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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The chords you posted look like they're in Em, not G - there isn't a major chord in the bunch. And since it's in Em, you've got both D (in the Em7) and D# (in the B7) - which looks like the melodic minor scale is at work.

Heh! :D I was going to say either G or Em, it's relative minor, but I stuck with G because it has the minor chords. I should have gone with my gut feeling. So Em it is, whether Leon Russell wants it that way or not. :)

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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