Someone help a novice....

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by IndieHead, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. IndieHead

    IndieHead Member

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    Hi,

    I m a beginner at theory and I only know basically 2 scales, namely the minor pentatonic and Aeolian.

    I dun really understand theory but I know that if a chord progression starts with say C major, Am, F G.... then I could play the scale, minor or aeolian, starting on the 5th fret with the first box of the scale. Which is a A minor pentatonic or aeolian.

    But when i tried learning the dorian scale, i realised that in the same chord progression, applying the same theory, I sounded funny starting the first box of the dorain scale on the 5th fret. Anyone can enlighten me please?

    Thanks.
     
  2. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Go lesson site: http://lessons.mikedodge.com

    Read through the Beginners To Advanced Series. It'll start you at ground zero and give you an organized study on the fundamental theory you're looking for.
     
  3. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Well, there is only one note different in Dorian compared to Aeolian.
    Aeolian is your natural minor scale, Dorian is the same scale with the 6th note raies 1/2 step. So I guess that one note doesn't sit well with you, if you flat the 6th note 1/2 step you will have Aeolian again.

    Did you learn any major scales yet?
    I would make that my next venture.
     
  4. spencerbk

    spencerbk Member

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    These are natural experiments for someone just learning, you've got a few different concepts mixed in here and I apologize if I try to help too little or too much.

    Keep in mind that there isn't just an Aeolian scale and a Dorian scale (actually, a better term is 'mode' - you'll understand why eventually) or any of the others - each of those modes exists in 12 keys. So there's an Aeolian mode in the key of A, B, C, Db, etc. - so you can't just plop a Dorian shape you've learned into a space on the fretboard and assume you're playing in the proper Dorian mode for the key you're working on.

    Your progression C, Am, F, G has chords that are in the key of C. The notes in the C scale are the same as the notes in A Aeolian, D Dorian, G Mixolydian, and so on, just ordered differently. Don't worry if that doesn't make sense at the moment.

    I'd say for now learn what notes are in what chords (C has "C-E-G" in it, Am has "A-C-E") and try to ijmprovise around those notes along with the chords as they change and you'll be well on the way to thinking in modes
     
  5. IndieHead

    IndieHead Member

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    Spencer,

    Thanks alot for that. I realised that for A Aeolian, D Dorian, G Mixolydian, they are all basically the same scale, with the root note being the difference.

    What is the major scale? How do I apply it in the C, Am, F, G chord progression? I did a web search and it is STILL the same scale, with the root note now being in C.....
     
  6. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Again, head on over to my site and check out that Beginners To Advanced Series. You can get things piece by piece on a message board, not that any of the info isn't right, but by spend a short amount of time at the site you'd be able to answer your own questions pretty good by now.

    It's the reason I made the site, so web users can get the fundamental info in an organized approach, instead piece by piece.

    It'll do the trick for the kind of things you are asking. Because at your level of understanding, just about every answer you get here is going to spawn more questions.

    The lessons will help you.

    http://lessons.mikedodge.com
     
  7. IndieHead

    IndieHead Member

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    Gennation, your site is fantastic! it helped with my understanding.

    Tele man, with the 3 odds for the Aeolian for example...notes ACE...
    does that means that I can play a A aeolian, C aeolian and E aeolian in the C major Chord progression?
     
  8. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    Most likely the "A" dorian doesn't agree with your ears in that progression because the F# in the scale clashes with the root of the F chord.

    Try playing "A" dorian over Santana's "Oye Como Va", Allman Brother's "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed", "Whippin Post" or Van Morrison's "Moondance" and it may sound better to your ears.

    A little further explanation. An "A" minor pentatonic has the same key signature and notes (in a different order) as C major, they are termed "relative major or relative minor".
    This works all over the neck, in other words, play an A major chord and an F# minor penta scale and you're playing an A major pentatonic.

    So goods new, you know more than two scales! :)
     
  9. spencerbk

    spencerbk Member

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    No - but of course there are no rules anyway if you think something sounds good. C Aeolian over a C major chord would be a particularly unusual choice using traditional theory though.

    A Aeolian and C Ionian and E Phrygian all have the same 7 notes in them, it's just a matter of order and perspective. If you're thinking modes, then the theory says for your progression play C Ionian over the C chord, A Aeolian over the Am Chord, G Mixoliydian for the G chord etc.

    For your four chords, there are four modes of the C Ionian scale that fit nicely (there are other choices too). But if you think of the modes and not of the "scale" you may approach things differently. Keep in mind that a mode is NOT a shape on the fretboard. You can play any mode from just about any place on the board, eventually - so if you think of 4 modes that doesn't mean you have to jump around the fretboard 4 times.
     
  10. IndieHead

    IndieHead Member

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    'If you're thinking modes, then the theory says for your progression play C Ionian over the C chord, A Aeolian over the Am Chord, G Mixoliydian for the G chord etc.'

    Spencer..... If I did that, they are all basically in the same scale arent they? you just gotta to start on the root note for the particular chord and of course ending with it. So actually, watever 7 modes in the C major scale, be it aeolian, ionian, they belong to the same scale, which sounds exactly the same.

    However, if I played a harmonic A minor scale then.... that sounds quite a bit different. As a beginner, I always thought that 7 modes are different scales...now I know that they are not!
     
  11. gennation

    gennation Member

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    IndieHead, you are correct.

    If you are staying in Key don't bother "thinking" modes, just play to the progression...in Key.

    Once you change Keys, you are doing nothing more than that...changing Keys. But, especially, if you are only using one chord from the new key: it will determine the tonal-center more specifically...then you can say you are playing "modal", or at least it's worth thinking in terms of modes.

    Like so...

    4/4 time ||: Dmaj7 | Dmaj7 | Am7 | Am7 | Bb7 | Bb7 | A7 | A7 :||

    There are really only two chords that are in the same Key here...the Dmaj9 and the A7. But they are so spaced out from beginning to end that there is movement "out of Key" for most of it...BUT...they are so close end to beginning that they sum things up nicely and start all over again.

    So for the Am7 and Bb7 you need to "change Keys"...but twice, once for each of those chords. Neither of those chords are related to each other or the any of the other chords. So, each chord forms it's own tonal-center for it's duration.

    Try it:

    Dmaj9 - play D Ionian from the Key of D Major

    Am7 - A Dorian from the Key of G Major

    Bb7 - Bb Mixolydian from the Key of Eb Major

    A7 - A Mixolydian from the Key of D Major again.

    Now you can hear the movement by scale. You can hear it changing Key.

    Make sure you run through the apreggios to, it's a must. Doing so will show you common-connecting point between the Keys.

    And, to really spice it up you need to venture into the substutitions for DOminant chord and also modes of the Melodic and Harmonic Minor scales to "exploit" those Dominant 7 chord.

    But now try this...

    4/4 time ||: G | G | Em | Am | D :||

    And just play the G Major scale through...but play to the progression. You can tell there not as much harmonic movement here...so play accordingly...don't make too much out of it.

    Check out my "Diatonic Theory and Modes" document at http://lessons.mikedodge.com. Part 1 is there, Part 2 is on the way...Part 2 will get into more of the changing keys info. But Part 1 will burn "Keys" and playing in Key into your cranium ;)
     
  12. spencerbk

    spencerbk Member

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    Yes - you're exactly right, though whether or not it "sounds the same" is a matter of perspective. If I think Aeolian vs. Ionian it comes out different, but then again I shouldn't be thinking - I should be playing!

    In the case of the one progression you provided, getting into modes and such might be overkill if you're "thinking in C" the whole time anyway. BUT - at some point, you'll be jamming over songs where not every single chord falls neatly into the same "parent scale." In that situation, it might be easier for you to think in terms of modes rather than do math to find the parent key of each chord individually ...
     

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