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music theory question

tedm

Senior Member
Messages
7,270
if a song sounds good with scales Am and Cm, what key is it?

I usually think of the root, 4th and 5th notes of a scale as sounding good played major scales, and the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th, sounding good with minor scales.
 

Mark C

Member
Messages
4,417
Cm is C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb Am is A,B,C,D,E,F,G. Four notes in common, three are different, however there are no common chords that fit both scales, so if you are playing both over a progression, you are getting some seriously outside sounding notes. This can only be cool if you know how to resolve those notes. Eg: A min and C major are the same notes. Sometimes over a C major chord, you can use notes from C minor as passing tones. This can be heard in use in both jazz (especially bebop) and country music.
 

Joe

Senior Member
Messages
3,526
Originally posted by Mark C
Cm is C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb Am is A,B,C,D,E,F,G. Four notes in common, three are different, however there are no common chords that fit both scales, so if you are playing both over a progression, you are getting some seriously outside sounding notes. This can only be cool if you know how to resolve those notes. Eg: A min and C major are the same notes. Sometimes over a C major chord, you can use notes from C minor as passing tones. This can be heard in use in both jazz (especially bebop) and country music.
Cm is the same as Eb major

R 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 R

C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
 

tedm

Senior Member
Messages
7,270
So assuming not jazz or country, and the Cm scale and the Am scale sound OK, it's probably the tune changing keys? I'm trying to figure out what key the redant george lowell backing is in.

Originally posted by Mark C
Cm is C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb Am is A,B,C,D,E,F,G. Four notes in common, three are different, however there are no common chords that fit both scales, so if you are playing both over a progression, you are getting some seriously outside sounding notes. This can only be cool if you know how to resolve those notes. Eg: A min and C major are the same notes. Sometimes over a C major chord, you can use notes from C minor as passing tones. This can be heard in use in both jazz (especially bebop) and country music.
 

tedm

Senior Member
Messages
7,270
I get this, I'm trying to find a common key for use with the Cmin and Amin scales, but I don't think there is one, unless the keys change in the tune.

Originally posted by Joe
Cm is the same as Eb major

R 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 R

C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
 

Mark C

Member
Messages
4,417
Originally posted by tedm
So assuming not jazz or country, and the Cm scale and the Am scale sound OK, it's probably the tune changing keys? I'm trying to figure out what key the redant george lowell backing is in.
Learn the chords in the song. They'll tell you what key it's in.
 

Tom Gross

OG Forum Member
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,157
Unless it's a Blues-based thing in C (C7), then you'd get an A min thing over the C, and a C min pent sound over C7, which sounds familiar and "works".
 

Joe

Senior Member
Messages
3,526
What note sounds like the ROOT? From there you can determine key signature and mode.
 

matte

Senior Member
Messages
10,418
Originally posted by tedm
I get this, I'm trying to find a common key for use with the Cmin and Amin scales, but I don't think there is one, unless the keys change in the tune.
The Half step Whole step scale(starting on A,C,Eb,F#)will cover both A minor and C Minor tonalities.
 

tedm

Senior Member
Messages
7,270
But the notes in the Half step/Whole step don't sound right throughout the tune:

A >Major Pentatonic >A-B-C#-E-G
A >Minor Pentatonic >A-C-D-E-G
A >Whole Tone >A-B-C#-D#-F-G
A >Symmetric Diminished -
*****
>Whole step, half step >A-B-C-D-D#-F-F#-G#
*****

There's an F/G in the tune, and some CMaj or C7, and no D#/F#/G# I don't think.

So are you saying for every chord, jump to another Whole step, half step scale?



Originally posted by Matte
The Half step Whole step scale(starting on A,C,Eb,F#)will cover both A minor and C Minor tonalities.
 

tedm

Senior Member
Messages
7,270
I find this true. In the redant lowell george tune, it's not sounding right to me, and it does end on a rootish sound.

Originally posted by Joe
What note sounds like the ROOT? From there you can determine key signature and mode.
 

tedm

Senior Member
Messages
7,270
maybe parallel mode C melodic minor, and they threw in a GMaj:

C >Symmetric Diminished -
>Whole step, half step >C-D-Eb-F-Gb-Ab-A-B


Originally posted by tedm
I get this, I'm trying to find a common key for use with the Cmin and Amin scales, but I don't think there is one, unless the keys change in the tune.
 

Joe

Senior Member
Messages
3,526
In classical music they call notes outside of the key signature accidentals, it was not until jazz came along that the common man learned theory. If you play a note by accident you are sloppy, if you play it on purpose there is a reason why it does or does not work. There is a theoretical reason why your scales work in your mind, and figuring out can be fun as a braintwister, but in the end, people listening to you play are not thinking about it. Music is a an art form and when you over analyze it, it becomes a science.
 

lhallam

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
17,326
Originally posted by tedm
But the notes in the Half step/Whole step don't sound right throughout the tune:

A >Major Pentatonic >A-B-C#-E-G
A >Minor Pentatonic >A-C-D-E-G
A >Whole Tone >A-B-C#-D#-F-G
A >Symmetric Diminished -
*****
>Whole step, half step >A-B-C-D-D#-F-F#-G#
*****

There's an F/G in the tune, and some CMaj or C7, and no D#/F#/G# I don't think.

So are you saying for every chord, jump to another Whole step, half step scale?

A major pentatonic > A-B-C#-E-F#
 

tedm

Senior Member
Messages
7,270
Matte,
I will give this a try, what is this scale and key called as close as you can think of??

Just by looking, the lack of an Eb note, and F note make it look dodgy ;)

BTW, have you heard/played the lowell george redant backing?

Originally posted by Matte
A Bb C C# D# E F# G
 

lhallam

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
17,326
Originally posted by tedm
Matte,
I will give this a try, what is this scale and key called as close as you can think of??

Just by looking, the lack of an Eb note, and F note make it look dodgy ;)

BTW, have you heard/played the lowell george redant backing?
D# and Eb are enharmonic spellings
 




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