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Scale over Chords

Nestor Ong (122)

Guitar Theory Forum · 1/16/2002 10:54 AM
A small question here....

can I play a B major Scale over an A major chord?
wat are the possible matchups and implications?
Responses  [ Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 ]
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Re: Scale over Chords

1/16/2002 2:09 PM

Robert Strait (6660) wrote:

Hi Nestor -

wat are the possible matchups and implications?

Amaj = A-C#-E
Bmaj = B-D#-F#

Which key has F#, C#, and D#?

E major (E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D#). This would be the correct parent key for a progression of those two chords. Modally, it would be A Lydian and B Mixolydian.

can I play a B major Scale over an A major chord?


B major scale = B-C#-D#-E-F#-G#-A#

There isn't an A natural note in the B major scale! The implications? Severe dissonance and total choas! LOL

Not that those are bad things.

But every time you played an A note in that B major scale, it would sound pretty darn bad!

Good Luck,

Rob

A
B major scale



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Re: Scale over Chords

1/16/2002 3:38 PM

Doug McMullen (6014) wrote:

Ah, good, a theory arguement with Rob! Much more satisfying than the attempted pity party we were having for me earlier!

So Rob yer all wrong here... nevermind if I've admitted that I can't focus long enough to tune a guitar let alone play one ;-).

The basic idea in any X over Y combination is to generate sets of notes which have interesting harmonic and melodic possibilities.

The fundemental concept is harmonizing the chord. An A major chord has these notes: A C# E. If you are playing an A major chord those are the only notes you are playing. In general any three note chord that happens in a real tune would have certain scale expectations in it... the bass player might expect that he can play a G# in his bassline from time to time without fear of throwing the soloist in a tailspin... BUT, for the moment lets assume that you're in a band playing a tune with a A major chord. The A major chord is held for a long long time (many beats) and the piano player and the bass player both know that you are a wildman who likes to get crazy with the scales, so they both play very strictly within the notes of an A major chord... they're quite disciplined and never improvise a single note or make a mistake. You can simulate this wonderful band by creating a groove in the groove builder with a single A major chord. (Don't ask them to play country though, they suck at country. LOL).

Okay. A C# E is what's being played. You play the B major scale. B C# D# E F# G# A# B. Notice you are harmonizing (your scale includes) 2 out of three of the A major chord tones. Unfortunately the one that is missing is the A. Play the scale up and down... it sounds fine except everytime you play G# A# it sounds like you had a flat tire. Why? Because you hopped over the chord root. It sounds nonsensical to do this. Hopping over the chord root tone makes what you are playing sound _unrelated_ to the chord... unrelated is the sound of a mistake. It's like you're playing on the wrong tune. BUT... it doesn't have to. Just add the A natural into the B major scale and now you've got an eight note scale... a sort of B be-bop scale for use over A. And it'll improvise with nicely enough. (keep in mind that if the band isn't mechanical -- like the groove builder -- and guys are sprinkling in some of the more usual notes to play over A... you'll get the chaos Rob described.)

The BIG BIG BIG thing to get from this is that THERE ARE NO WRONG NOTES G# and A# aren't wrong in the key of A individually... they become wrong if you use them wrong... there's ways of playing which sound unrelated and confused. Hopping over the root of the underlying chord in a scale run produces a certain kind of sound, one you probably don't want. Hopping over any chord tone is generally ticklish business...BUT, if you make that sound into something definite and deliberate it starts to sound cool... for example with 'enclosures' ... try this 'lick' over an A major chord.

G# A# A, C D C#, D# F E, G# A# A. Do it in triplets. Don't memorize the lick, all you need to do is realize it is structured like this: You are playing an embellished A major arpeggio -- The notes A C# E A -- but, prior to each chord tone you create an 'enclosure' ... a note a half step below and a note a half step above the chord tone and then the chord tone. A little pocket that the chord tone gets dropped into. It sounds good. Try it.

Try these scales over the A major chord: A major, D major, and E major. Also Try G major (it'll sound bluesy, b3 where the chord has a 3, you hop the three (C#) in the chord, see how you like it) ... Try Ebmajor (this is dissonace central... it's the most unrelated major key there is to A... it's so unrelated it sounds intentionally unrelated... you probably don't want to hang out there for very long... but a couple of licks in the unrealted scale can create an interesting 'sand in the gears' type sound.) Try this scale for groovy sinuous exotic sounds:

A A# B# B D# E F# G A.

Finally, _please do this_ take an A major scale and play it over an A chord _trying_ to make it sound as dissonant and wrong as possible (use lots of 4ths and M7s -- try this run D G# D' G#' ... make weird leaps within the scale change direction a lot, use chord tones in your phrases but don't end on them, end on 2nds and 7ths and 6ths and 4ths) ... prove to yourself that using the 'right' scale in a bogus manner sounds: bogus.

Note choice is micro-management... phrase choice is music.

I seem to know a lot about guitar... could someone please teach me how to play one? :-)

Doug.



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Re: Scale over Chords

1/16/2002 4:09 PM

Inactive Member wrote:

Doug, why make everything so complicated (showing off? :))??

The question was: Can I play a B major scale over an A major chord.

Clear answer: No. If you add the A to the B major scale, it's no longer the B major scale.

A# is not wrong, it becomes wrong when you use it wrong: right, but then why bother learning scales at all when all I have to do is learn the chromatic scale and just use every note correctly?
As you've described: it's enough to get 7 different notes to sound correctly when played over a certain chord.

As for your last question: Maybe more playing and less typing would help?







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Re: Scale over Chords

1/16/2002 4:20 PM

Steve Jordan (323) wrote:

Anything goes, as long as it sounds right. Why get bogged down in theory, when all you have to do is use those things hanging off the side of your head.







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Re: Scale over Chords

1/16/2002 4:33 PM

Inactive Member wrote:

One problem could be that those two things at the side of your head tell you a little too late that the note you've just played does not fit that well. And the chances of sounding right are a bit bigger when you know a bit about theory.





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Re: Scale over Chords

1/16/2002 11:11 PM

Doug McMullen (6014) wrote:

Whoa, Stefan, what's up with that? You're getting kind of personal and hostile. Did I say something to offend you? I read over that message I wrote and it may be long ... but I sure don't see me taking any potshots at you? The potshot at Rob was offered in good humor and I trust him to know that.

Moving on to substance. No, I honestly wasn't trying to show off, and I do genuinely disagree with your opinion here. Disagree is a mild term for it... I'm on something of a crusade to try and change your mind, and folks that agree with you.

You say what I wrote was complicated. I disagree. It's longish because I'm trying to be clear... but I'm truly not saying anything very complicated... I'm saying "think about how the scale harmonizes the chord" and I'm saying "the solo lines you play need to have some coherent relationship to the underlying chord tones... any and every set of notes becomes useful once you include the chord tones in that set and think about the interaction of your lines with the chord tones."

My crusade is: dumbing down theory... saying things like "No, the B major scale doesn't work over an A chord" etc. doesn't actually do any one any favors. Guitarists constantly struggle to unlearn the dumbed down, unmusical concepts they were taught as beginners by well-meaning teachers trying to make things 'easier' for them. Over time those easy bits accumulate and soldify into massive & deep misconceptions. Better NO THEORY at all than half-assed half-theory that pretends music follows a bunch of rules _which it doesn't_.
Open your mind. Don't react to new ideas with hostility. If I'm rattling your theory cage you should thank me, not attack me.

You say that adding an A to a B major scale makes it not a B major scale anymore... well, what _is_ it? And, who gives a damn what we _call it_?
Did you try the 'enclosures' lick? Did you actually listen to how it sounds? Did you try playing B major over A to decide for yourself the sound of it? Did you try taking that B major and adding an A to it and seeing if it had musical potential. Or did you go into some kind of defensive posture in which a new idea threatened to upset the apple-cart of your preconceptions and you lashed out?

As musicians are we here to play the proper scales the proper way or are we here to EXPLORE.. find new things, new sounds, new ways to express things?

Can I play a B major scale over an A chord?

Doug: Yes, but you must account for the fact that a B major scale does not include the root of the A chord, the B major scale hops over it, and that will sound like a mistake unless you drop the A into the scale.

Vs.

Stefan: NO.

Which is the more thoughful answer? Which the more musically thought provoking?

I didn't deserve that reply of yours Stefan. I'm trying to expand ideas... you're trying to squeeze them into pre-fabricated little boxes. Instead of attacking unfamiliar thought -- try considering it a moment first... it doesn't hurt. Try having an original thought of your own.

Doug.





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Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 8:24 AM

Inactive Member wrote:

Doug,

a) You might have missed the :) I put in right at the start of my message - it was in no way intended as hostile as you perceived it.

b) I can't for the life of me see why the answer "No, you can't play a B major scale over an A major chord" is "dumbing down."
You yourself say you need to add another note (A) to make it really work - and then it's no longer the B major scale. I don't care what you call it, but B major it's not. So the first answer to the question is "no".
Now if somebody who has not mastered one step yet asks me a question, I think it's not the right idea to throw a book of answers at him, but to give him an answer that is correct ("No, you can't") instead of giving an answer that might confuse even more. When the student has reached a certain understanding, you can always expand ("Remember when you asked about ....? Well, if you add "A" as a note, it can work).
A student is struggling with certain things, he expects clear answers that he can digest and not answers that open ten new doors at once.
When teaching, the best answer is not always the most thought provoking answer - granted, students should be taught to think, but when they're already thinking hard, they do not need thought provoking, they need a clear answer.


c) As you misunderstood the tone of my post - maybe I should have been clearer about it - I can understand the tone of your post, but nevertheless, it contains quite a bit of hostility and personal attack, too ("open your mind" implies I'm close-minded and "try having an original thought of your own" is a harder attack than anything I wrote in my message, even if I had meant it seriously). To accuse me of these "crimes" and then committing them yourself is not the way I think disputes should be handled here.
I have not attacked your theory, my post intended to remind you of the fact that you can confuse more with a well-meant post that covers all possibilities than you can help.





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Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 9:57 AM

Doug McMullen (6014) wrote:

Stefan --

I did miss the :) and it did lead me to seriously misread the tone of your post. So please accept an apology and delete the hissy-fit aspect of my tone. I read your post as starting with "you show-off" and ending "shut up and play yer guitar" -- which created an unpleasant 'enclosure' of the whole post. Defitely got me riled up.

As for the content of my post, and the idea of 'all things in their time' ... I still disagree.

Doug.







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Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 10:08 AM

Inactive Member wrote:

I guess we both can live with the disagreement concerning this aspect. But it's good to have the "hosility" out of the way. I should have been more clear about it, I guess.







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Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 10:35 AM

Daniel Yourdon (904) wrote:

I have been having trouble deciding just where to put this note. so I picked this one in hopes that you will both see it. not being the original poster yet still recieving the benefit of the responses, I can tell you that as someone that does not have anything near a commanding grasp on theory, I still appreciate both methods of response. the simpler answer is more often easier and more emidiate for me to understand. The long complicated one is where I can go mining for the nuggets so to speak. even small points in the whole message can at times open whole new doors for me. I would be saddened for either to be missing here.





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Re: Scale over Chords

1/21/2002 5:04 PM

Jake Lizzio (985) wrote:

Well, umm, I know how to make an arpeggio, so there!
Jake



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Re: Scale over Chords

1/16/2002 4:45 PM

Robert Strait (6660) wrote:

Dangnabbit McMullen!

It's a fine line between clever and stupid!

LOL

Doug, I am in total agreement that any note can be played over any chord...but I think you'll agree that you need to sort of come full circle to this realization...I don't think the original poster of this thread is quite there, judging by the nature of his question! (no offense original poster)

I reasonably certain that is confused now though!

Taking into account the level and nature of the question, and assuming the need for note organization into 7-note scales (which I myself still find very useful), let's agree that a B major scale over an Amaj chord is a bad, even incorrect (gasp!), scale choice.

Yes, yes you can learn to control any degree of tension and release over any chord (i.e. enclosure...I use it all the time), but I think that is way over the head of this person's question.

I understand your point about the "root" being "skipped" over, and how that's the nature of the ear's non-acceptance of this scale choice, but I think it's more just a matter of it's a highly dissonant sound that requires experience to control. A b9 takes some time to get in your ears, dude!

so, of course, it's which notes get emphasized (on strong beats) that causes our western ears to perceive whether they are "right or wrong". Your suggestion of adding the A note to the scale as a chromatic passing tone (to create a "bebop" scale") actually supports the scale choice I originally suggested: A Lydian or B Mixolydian.

This poor guy has got to be confused...I barely got thru this post! Hmmm...maybe it's really an ADD test in disguise....lol

What can I say...your a rebel!

Rob





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Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 12:09 AM

Doug McMullen (6014) wrote:

I don't think the original poster of this thread is
quite there, judging by the nature of his question! (no offense original
poster)


See my reply to Stefan on that... to put it simply -- dumb things down as little as possible. The time and thought you save someone today will have to be paid, with accrued interest, in the future.

Robert... everything you're saying about music makes sense to me. Everything you're saying about the poster's (Nestor Ong's) presumed capabilities makes no sense to me. Your solution is: dumb it down.

My reply is BULL! I have confidence that Nestor is going to check out the scales I recommended and think_ and listen for himself. If he doesn't want to think, if he doesn't want to listen... that's fine, he'll do whatever he wants and make whatever music he wants to... If he likes it great, if he doesn't great... but I'm going to say what I know to be true, not what I wish were true so that music is this pretend thing which is all neat and tidy and easily digestible.

I don't know if Nestor is a beginner, but lets suppose for a moment he is. No shame in being a beginner, we all were once, including Django and Segovia. Here's the thing though:
All any beginner wants to do is _stop_ being a beginner, and move on to more interesting stuff. NO ONE is like, "I'm a beginner and am very comfortable here and want to stay here forever so please don't challenge me." If someone does have that attitude, well, anything I say will be promptly ignored anyway. I'm not going to do them any harm.

I have NO problem with saying intervals like b9s take some getting used to, no problem saying they may sound very freaky until you learn how to work them in... I have lots of problems with 'pretending' b9s are something Nestor, or anyone, isn't 'ready for.' It's like: here's a sound, can ya dig it? Maybe Nestor's going to say, "no, that sounds like dogsh*t to me" ... fine, no arguing with that... but acting like you have to be a member of the special Jazz Crew before we let you on to b9s, because tampering with b9s before you're ready to could actually explode your brain -- is just BS.

I understand your point about the "root" being "skipped" over, and how
that's the nature of the ear's non-acceptance of this scale choice, but I
think it's more just a matter of it's a highly dissonant sound that
requires experience to control.


Well, that's just a flat out disagreement with my 'theory' ... you think my explanation is wrong. No problem there. All I can say is, experiment and listen. Is that A# really so dissonant by itself. One point I was trying to make in my post was: "stop thinking about the quality of individual notes and start thinking about the overall effect of phrases." That 'enclosure' arpeggio is NOT terribly challenging to the ear IMO. I mean just use your ears and listen and decide for yourself. Is the A# itself dissonant, or is a G# A# phrase without a resolution to A dissonant?

it's which notes get emphasized (on strong beats) that
causes our western ears to perceive whether they are "right or wrong".


Sure, I've heard that said before (said it myself in fact) and it's not all the way wrong or anything... but IMHO the logic of a given phrase in relation to the rest of the music is what makes it 'right or wrong.' You can mechanically emphasize on their proper beats all the notes you want ... you won't swing, you won't communicate, you won't do the things that matter, that people actually listen to music for, unless you communicate... and that's done in phrases IMO.


Your suggestion of adding the A note to the scale as a chromatic passing
tone (to create a "bebop" scale") actually supports the scale choice I
originally suggested: A Lydian or B Mixolydian.


Ok. No disagreement there. You can organize by chord tone, or by mode or by any way that makes sense to you. Different ways of organizing lead to choices, different ways of playing.

But what I want to know is, what makes 'B mixolydian' so very comprehensible for our imaginary beginner (Nestor or whomever), while saying, "add the A into the B major scale so you don't hop over the chord root"... is some kind of radical out-there musical rocket science to be contemplated only by the very advanced?

Honest, it looks to me like if it's a familiar way of thinking (to you, an advanced guitar player), then that's okay... but if it takes you off guard, why then it must be very advanced. No, it's not, it's just unfamiliar. Nothing I said is advanced, it's just not the same old same-o.


Doug.





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Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 7:16 AM

Jon Riley (9697) wrote:

Hi Doug, I have to say I'm shuffling over to Stefan's camp in this dispute.
Your motives may be admirable, but you're not explaining yourself (or them) very well - and you're tying yourself in theoretical knots at the same time, quite unnecessarily.

I don't know if Nestor is a beginner. I think not somehow (not a complete one anyhow).

But I do think beginners need to get familiar with the "inside" sounds before tackling the "outside" ones. It's a question of foundation and superstructure:
If you know the scales that do "fit", then you can better appreciate the ones that "don't fit", and why, and how to use them creatively.

It's a fact that most listeners to music are uneducated (musically that is): unfortunately, they like what they already know. You lose an audience if you play "outside" stuff without some kind of intelligent linkage to the "inside".
E.g., playing G#-A# as an enclosure of the A - i.e., followed by A - is an easy way to get the ear used to the idea of a b9, how it can be made to fit.
But I don't think a b9 can be appreciated "on its own" unless you know the sound of a 9th, unless you know the scale that the b9 is an alteration of - unless you know how to relate it back to diatonic consonance. (And, as I'm sure you know, a b9 on a scale with a maj7 is pretty bizarre.)

Learning the simple stuff first is just common sense, getting into the language you're dealing with.
"B major scale over an A chord" may be "OK" in some rare circumstances. But most likely, in at least 99% of cases, it will be "wrong". And the reason is the A# in the scale. Simple.
If you then want to say "add an A", seems to me you're making things more complicated, not simpler. Simpler (for now) to just forget the B scale (because of the A#) and look for others.

It's right to underline the fact that theory is only "the ways things have been done in the past" - so is not a set of inviolable "laws".
At the same time, it's very good at setting out what the average ear expects to hear in music.

As musicians, we need to know those things - and not only as beginners. As musicians, we can go on to educate our ears beyond the "expected", and forget that what sounds like a delicious dissonance to our ears might sound like a senseless discord to someone else.
That's basically what happened to Bird and Monk. Being geniuses, they didn't care too much about going well beyond what most people were ready for at that time.
(Are you a genius? Is Nestor? What are you either of you doing here if you are? :-))

At the same time I don't think even they would have risked the idea of a B bebop mixolydian scale (B major with A added, or B mixolydian with A# added) over an A major chord. In context, that would be A-A#(Bb)-B-C#-D#-E-F#-G#: a kind of "A lydian b9 bebop" or "A phrygian-lydian bebop" or something: 1-b2-2-3-#4-5-6-7. Aaargh.

I agree we shouldn't say "Don't Do This!", in a big authoritarian voice.
At the same time, it makes no sense (and is not helpful) to shout "THERE ARE NO WRONG NOTES" - especially if you follow it with "they become wrong if you use them wrong" - well precisely!, old chap!! So let's hear about the right way to use them!
...which (AFAIK) is what's known as music theory
...which (unfortunately perhaps) comes down to a few rules, at least to some well-tried advice.

Spelling out the rules, the simple answers, is not to say that those rules can't ever be broken.

Generally I sympathise with the rabble-rousing "Sounds Rule! Down With Theory!" sentiment. But music theory works. If it doesn't work, you adapt it until it does, until it fits the sounds again. (I agree too many people work the other way.)
You sound as if you're fed up with the whole theory thing altogether. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water, old chum!

I've probably misunderstood your viewpoint - as usual. But then, what's another pointless ramble between friends? :-)

JonR





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Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 9:27 AM

Robert Strait (6660) wrote:

Hi Doug -

I think your totally bugging out over this one man! I want to first apologize to the original poster for taking this thread hostage for our own theoretical arguments....to the original poster, my first response to you is still my first choice for answering your question.

Doug, I really have to say you are confusing me with this last post. In terms of the general argument, just refer to Riley's post...he lays it down pretty clear, and I am in agreement with him.

There are, however, a few comments in your post which I would like to address.

I'm going to say what I know to be true, not what I wish were true so that music is this pretend thing which is all neat and tidy and easily digestible.

fine by me, Doug. I'm not telling you what to say or what to believe. I'm only speaking from my own beliefs. I believe that music is more easily digestible if you chew on it before you swallow, no what I mean? Are you assuming here that you know what I wish for? Well, your right, I do wish music was "all neat and tidy", but, as you've pointed it out, it's not. Therefore I don't see anything wrong with posting what I feel was a pretty simple and appropriate answer to Nestor's question.

Ah, simple. That leads me to this one:

Your solution is: dumb it down

My solution is: keep it simple. I never presumed that Nestor is dumb, only that he lacks experience.

I have NO problem with saying intervals like b9s take some getting used to, no problem saying they may sound very freaky until you learn how to work them in... I have lots of problems with 'pretending' b9s are something Nestor, or anyone, isn't 'ready for.' It's like: here's a sound, can ya dig it? Maybe Nestor's going to say, "no, that sounds like dogsh*t to me" ... fine, no arguing with that... but acting like you have to be a member of the special Jazz Crew before we let you on to b9s, because tampering with b9s before you're ready to could actually explode your brain -- is just BS.

Whoa! Talk about presumptuous! Your totally out of line here, my friend! You deduced this all from my 4 to 5 sentence response to Nestor? Is my jugement call of what I felt was an appropriate answer any more "snobbish" than your answer? I would even dare to say that you Doug are more directly trying to decide what is in Nestor's best interest. "Special Jazz Crew"...please!

I hope Nestor feels special...this is all for you, my man! LOL

Well, that's just a flat out disagreement with my 'theory' ... you think my explanation is wrong.

No I don't, as evidenced by my first sentence: "I understand your point". I actually trying to be open minded about your suggestion, but I am also offering my take on it. Yes, the A# is very dissonant. And, no, enclosure is not terribly challenging to the ear because it's a device used to "hightlight" a consonant note, like the A note in your example. Enclosure creates quick, momentary tension by not emphasizing the dissonant notes, but instead acts to create a sense of a "more consonant" target note upon relsolution.

BTW, who the hell is even talking about "phrasing"? Of course phrasing is essential...but you need to learn words before you can write sentences or assemble phrases. In fact, notes which land on strong beats are actually the "anchors" that our ears use to desipher strings of notes as "phrases".

Ok. No disagreement there. You can organize by chord tone, or by mode or by any way that makes sense to you. Different ways of organizing lead to choices, different ways of playing.

Huh? Now you agree? This is all I was proposing from the start...organization. Or as Riley puts it...theory.

But what I want to know is, what makes 'B mixolydian' so very comprehensible for our imaginary beginner (Nestor or whomever), while saying, "add the A into the B major scale so you don't hop over the chord root"... is some kind of radical out-there musical rocket science to be contemplated only by the very advanced?

Honest, it looks to me like if it's a familiar way of thinking (to you, an advanced guitar player), then that's okay... but if it takes you off guard, why then it must be very advanced. No, it's not, it's just unfamiliar. Nothing I said is advanced, it's just not the same old same-o.


Whoa..out of line again! LOL! Dude, our date is off! lol!

Let me ask you Doug: did you jump out of the gate as a beginner with the knowledge you are presenting in this post? Could you comprehend, understand, or control highly dissonant note relationships, or any of the concepts you are outlining to Nestor when you were first learning? Were you able to just gloss over "dick and jane", or comic books, because you could intuitively understand Shakespeare, or Ginsberg? I would guess the answer is "no". What makes "A mixolydian" more comprehensable for the beginner is the absence of a highly dissonant note, and the presence of a very "in" note...simple as that! Wouldn't that have made sense to you as a novice, before your ears became more seasoned? Our first sense of "right" and "wrong" notes begins with experiencing "consonance" and "disonance", or "in" notes and "out" notes...this is how we start our explorations into note organization and theory. No, it's not "rocket science only to be contemplated by the advanced", but it is "dissonance to be more easily heard, understood, and controlled by the somewhat experienced".

Theory is the familiar way of thinking. This doesn't mean you can't be a free thinker, or explore things outside of the "same ol' same ol', but it does mean that these are the musical concepts that have been explored and agreed upon by many, many musicians around the world, so it might be wise to learn from standardized, musical history since it's available to you. It certainly can save time if someone teaches you how to read instead of blindly trying to figure it out for yourself.

Perhaps the concepts you have outlined are just "familiar ways of thinking" to you, also an advanced musician...your inflicting your views just as much as anyone else in this post.

In light of all the personal judgements you have made of me in this last post, I have no choice but to break up with you! I don't want to see you anymore! And I want my shirt back! LOL

Seriously, Doug, I dig the fact that you continually challenge the norm...I think that's important for the advancement of an art, and you are the champion rebel here at WN! You are more up to the task than anyone, and you seem to have a real passion for breaking the rules...right on! Just remember that the majority of us still subscribe to following the rules...don't hate us for it! LOL

Keep Pickin,

Rob



















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Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 1:18 PM

Doug McMullen (6014) wrote:

Bugging out? Very possibly. Oh well, it won't be the first time.

The topic here is getting a bit long-winded on all sides, and I started it. Soooo... I guess I gotta respond. I'll try to be somewhat brief. I seriously think just re-reading what I said before is adequate. There's much more agreement (and much less rebellion and radicalism) going on here than I think you (Jon Robert Stefan) realize.

The crux of the issue seems to be "what is a beginner ready for" ... My position boils down to this. A beginner is always ready to think and use his/her ears.


I honestly think most of what beginner's aren't ready for is just the sheer volume of information and detail involved in music. The concepts themselves aren't so tough.

I very strongly believe that 'simplified' music theory is well-intentioned but actually harmful. It leads to major problems later. Jon Riley says there's foundation and superstructure... well, exactly! Simplified theory has you building what seems like a rock solid foundation and then you get up to the tenth floor and realize UH-OH the foundation is just one misconception piled on top of another. Actually you _don't_ realize it's the foundation... it just seems like nothing you're trying to learn makes sense anymore.

Modes are a perfect example. Modes make students insane, not because modes are hard, but because all the ways they've been thinking about how keys and scales 'work' leading up to modes has built a ridiculous foundation which is going to have to be pulled down if modes are to be understood.

Someone, right from the get go should have said -- there are 12 tones, the whole vocabulary of music is created by arranging and rearranging 12 tones... if we play all twelve tones in a row, no one note is favored, you don't hear any one place as a stop or start point... it's just a long blur... but if we remove a few notes and make the spacing asymetrical -- 'lumpy' -- LISTEN to what happens, it's like magic, the uneven spacing starts to favor certain notes... some notes start to seem more important than others... that simple effect can magnified a number of different ways to create what you hear as 'normal' music, 'tonal' music. Tonal music means that the notes are played in way that favors one and makes it sound like 'ground,' home base... this 'homebase' sound is flexible and etc. etc. etc.

Too deep for a beginner? I don't think so. I think it's a foundation that can be built on. I think it's a way of thinking that isn't 'frozen' in place. It can be grown. An appreciation of what is being said will develop, over time. The beginner hears that stuff and doesn't go, "OH I get it completely! I understand that perfectly! I will now apply my formulaes and voila -- music" ... the beginner goes, "wow, uh, I think I understand but I'm not sure, I guess I'll have to listen for this 'ground' thing. It seems sorta vague." <----- That's someone who has started listening. The beginner who's thinking, "I can start on G, but if I play a G# then it's the 'wrong' scale" <---- that's someone who's been taught how to _avoid_ listening. Paint by numbers music.

I also think you guys are badly overemphasizing harmonic effects when you say that the b9 interval is some kind of hard to handle dissonant thing. It's not all that. b9s happen over iii chords with no harm. b9s are one of the signature notes of spanish flavored melody. I really can't emphasize it enough... notes are rarely 'wrong' by themselves, merely misplaced ... combinations of notes are what count. As Quincy Jones, I think, said, Miles Davis made a career out of playing the wrong note and making it right with the next note he played.

Harmonic dissonance only really comes into play when a note is held against other notes. In eighth-note melody-playing the specific dissonance of any one interval is a relatively small consideration... the shape of the phrases, the notes highlighted thru contour and repetition, those are the things that stand out.

Harmony? Can you hold an A# against an A chord? How freaky really is that b9 all by itself. Well, I say scroo preconception and listen. That's not anti-theory, that's saying base your theory in sound. See if this freaks out your, or anyone's ear: Use the groove builder... have a steady A chord... now hold an A# against it. Sounds dissonant. Now hold it, A la Miles Davis,... for a long time and fall into resolution on the natural A. Thats what Quincy J was talking about. "It's wrong it's wrong it's wrong... ohhh now it makes sense."

Is what I was trying to say any clearer now?

Now quit stomping on my toes and I'll stop poking you in the eye. (I know I know, I started it!)

Rob, you don't really want that shirt back.... not really? (*sob*)

Doug.


P.S. Tripped out thought for the day:

Music is a flow -- not rigid. Think of a whirlpool. It looks like a structure, it is a structure in a way... but if it stops moving it collapses into nothing. You can't build a whirlpool brick by brick... it's a stable shape created from movement, from flow. Music is just like that. Tonality is like that. The flow of the scale creates a vortex with the tonic at the center.

I am a sentient lava lamp. Blurp.

Doug.







Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 2:05 PM

Robert Strait (6660) wrote:

Hi Doug -

Well, not to my suprise, I totally disagree with just about everything in this response!

Really, man, I don't get it. I can support the notion of encouraging experimentation and listening, and letting your ears be your guide (I myself preach this often), but to suggest that organized, logical presentation of theory is harmful to the beginner is total nonsense.

All academic endeavors begin with simple, basic concepts which are revisted as the material becomes more advanced. When they are revisited, new details and angles emerge...the mind is further challenged only after the basic challenges have been mastered.

there are 12 tones, the whole vocabulary of music is created by arranging and rearranging 12 tones...

This first sentence is, indeed, presented on the very first day of any college level music 101 theory course. I'm sure many teachers elaborate, some in the direction you suggest. Why are you under the impression that this music basis is absent in music education? It's not.

Again, I'm not disputing the importance of stimulating a student's thought process (that's what it's all about), just that it makes sense to do it in a logical progression, from simple to advanced.

Your opinions of the b9 interval confound me. It is one of the most dissonant intervals in western music, and that fact can even be supported scientifically when examing the relationships between the frequencies of a root note and a b9. All the artists you mention whom make effective use of this interval are seasoned, advanced musicians who are masters at controlling and manipulating tension and release, consonance and dissonance. I do agree that in some cultures this is a familiar sound, but that is because their ears have learned to hear and accept this sound thru repitition. That just further supports my point that the ear needs to be trained to hear sounds, and in western music, the b9 is a more advanced sound to hear (for the majority of us).

Well, to sum up (I think), I do not feel that present day theory or the common approach to teaching it is "harmful" to the beginning student. To the contrary, I think, for the most part, it occurs in a logical progression, just like any other academic study. It's totally appropriate to revisit concepts and present a new spin on them...IMO, it's not "pulling the rug out from under them", but instead inspiring the ends of their minds to meet and come full circle, with the goal of reaching an even deeper level of understanding. But no student of music should rely on the books first and the ear second...music is an aural art, and the ear should be the final judge and jury (luckily in music there is no "double jeopardy"...we are free to change our minds at any time! I know there are sounds which I find acceptable now that my ears just couldn't comprehend years ago! But, obvious from these posts, everyone's ears are different!)

Have you had these opinions and viewpoints right from your musical infancy? Are are these notions the result of coming "full circle"?

Why not just start at atonal free jazz and work backward from there?

Keep Pickin,

Rob

PS - keep the shirt as something to remember me by (*wink*)...I leeched it from a friends house anyway, after a three-day, unshowered, drinking binge.







Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 5:42 PM

Stone Dragon (8501) wrote:

"My position boils down to this. A beginner is always ready to think and use his/her ears. "


Let me just say that I am in total agreement with many of the points you have made in this thread and similar posts you have made in the recent past. You're voicing my own thoughts in many aspects.

You're up against a deeply entrenched educational(?) process, though.... one that begins at a very early age... one that is not conducive to individualism and/or self-expression... one that does not encourage a person to think for themselves, but, instead, rely on authority for specific statements as to what is right and what is wrong.

Sadly, that beginner may not be as ready as you imagine.


If you ever get that book ready for publication, though, you can put me down for at least one copy.









Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 6:59 PM

Doug McMullen (6014) wrote:

Thanks Stone, glad to hear it.

Ya know, Steve Vai in his Alien Love Secrets column in guitar player magazine back in the 80s told _beginners_ they should just play a single note and concentrate on it for a few _hours_ just absorb the sound as deeply as possible, play that one note and milk every possible nuance out it that could be found, play one note until you can know it so well you can crawl inside it.

I think if he posted that to Whole Note he'd have have rocks thrown at his head.

I've never tried Vai's thing... maybe never will, not because it sounds like a waste of time, but because it sounds like really hard work, I don't think I can practice that hard!

I feel like people think I'm some anarchist screaming: play randomly!

I'm just not saying that, am I? I wasn't trying to.

Doug McMullen.









Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/18/2002 6:11 AM

Jon Riley (9697) wrote:

Doug, although I agree more with Rob than you here (the "simple to advanced" progression in learning), I also agree with Stone.

It's unfortunate that beginners aren't as ready as you seem to think, but it's true. The vast majority want some guidance, they can't tell the difference between a good sound and a bad sound. And others just want to sound like Limp Bizkit or whoever. :-)

So, as well as offering some first theoretical steps, to get them on a forward path, we also need to keep stressing the kind of thing Steve Vai is talking about.
IOW, yes, here's a path you can follow (theory); but don't wear blinkers; don't forget to look up and look around you, from side to side, as you go. (Listen to the sounds too, very carefully.)


The Vai idea reminds me of this great music joke (he may have heard the same story):

A while ago in India, there was a huge convention of sitar players, the first for many years. All the great musicians from around the country were invited, there were symposia on ragas, masterclasses, the venerable greats gave recitals, etc., etc.. But one great guru of the music was missing, the most revered player in the land.
Eventually he turned up, but sat quietly and did no playing for days. People muttered to themselves about this strange behaviour and wondered if he'd finally lost it, could no longer compete with all the young whizz-kids around.
At last, he was persuaded to join in a group improvisation around one of the most well-known ragas. All the young players took turns in showing off their incredible technique and understanding of the form, but still the old man sat and just cradled his instrument in silence.
Everyone watched him intently, waiting for his turn to come.
Then he began playing: but he played just one note, slowly, over and over.
Now everyone was sure he'd gone senile, and shook their heads in dismay.
One young fan crept up to the old man and whispered desperately in his ear: "Master, what's the matter? Can you no longer play? Listen to all these brilliant musicians around you, playing their hearts out; can't you show them something of your own genius"
"Ah", nodded the old man. "They are still searching for their note. I have found mine."

JonR







Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 6:33 PM

Maciek Sakrejda (8047) wrote:

Well, I think the second part of the question's been discussed out left and right. However, I think I've come up with the best answer yet for the first part.

What's that, you say? A beginner like me outwitting Jon, Rob, Stefan, and Doug? Well, just have a look =).

-m

PS. Rob, I don't think Doug's point is that it's wrong to teach music fundamentals. I think he's saying it's wrong to misrepresent them (i.e., pretend they are written in stone, as is often done).

PPS. Theory education shouldn't start with the twelve tones. It should go back even further and explain how those twelve were arrived at from the potentially infinite number of possible intervals.







Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 7:03 PM

Doug McMullen (6014) wrote:

I think he's
saying it's wrong to misrepresent them (i.e., pretend they are written in stone, as is often
done).


Bless you! ... but why does it take me ten screenfuls to convey that same idea?

Doug.







Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 7:10 PM

Doug McMullen (6014) wrote:

Oh, Maci, thanks for putting up that scale over chord lesson... yes, that is a great answer, but one IMPORTANT addition. You set the tempo to default at 50. It sounds absolutely ghastly at 50... cool... but put a note on the lesson page saying -- listen to what happens to the sound when you increase the tempo to 200 bpm. Listen to to what happens when you decrease it to 20. The change is dramatic! Sounds like an entirely different harmony.

Doug.









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Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 7:18 PM

Maciek Sakrejda (8047) wrote:

That's a good point. It's as good as done. I was trying to find a tempo where I could hear the different harmonic aspects. I didn't think to just suugest use of two (or more) tempos. Thanks, Doug.

-m







Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 10:23 PM

Robert Strait (6660) wrote:

Hi Mac -

Nice attempt at burying this
arguement...unfortunately, I don't think it was
successful.

You did succeed, however, in reminding me
how aurally unpleasant the B major scale over
an A chord can be, particularly that A# note,
without proper control and
resolution of the dissonance.

Of course, you and everyone else are free to
love the way it sounds!

I've never disputed that, in fact I encouraged
free thinking right from my first post, where I
pointed out that choas and dissonance are
not neccessarily bad things, which alluded to
that there is more to the story than the simple
answer I gave (which I still think was
appropriate for Nestor).

Since you were also successful in clarifying
what Doug "meant" to say (even though he
never said it that clearly over the course of
many lengthy posts, and then tried to make it
seem like we didn't get it), let me try to
clarify some of my own main points.

I never put myself on a pedestal or challenged
anyone to outwit me, and please guys, don't try
to pigeon hole me further. The judgement that
I was deciding what was best for Nestor or for
the begginer in general, or that there are
concepts strictly reserved for the "jazz elite" (as
Doug put it and then tried to accuse me of
being one!), is a bunch of bullshit! Those
ideas surfaced in other people's posts...I have
only fought to defend myself and my musical
principles.

I'm pretty sure Doug was taking a shot at the
musical establishment in general...I did not
think he made it clear that all he was saying
was "don't misrepresent them"...if he was
saying that (even if I just missed his
intentions), I am in total agreement/

I never suggested that music be
misrepresented.

I openly (more than once) posted that I
encourage free thinking. I applauded Doug's
sense of challenge at the end of one of my
posts.

I never suggested the beginner was "stupid". I
only expressed, based on my experience, my
opinion that the average beginner is would be
better served by learning through a logical
progression, just like any other academic
pursuit.

Doug, Mac, and Stone...you are all expressing
a view that you have arrived at after
having substantial theory and general music
knowledge. Nothing wrong with that...the point
is, you didn't arrive at your conclusion as a
"beginner"...I am skeptical that the majority of
begginers could.

There have been artists cited in these posts to
back up the arguments: Miles, Quincy Jones,
Steve Vai....free thinkers, yes, but also all
schooled musicians! they came full circle to
that free thinking, as you guys have and many
musicains do! I myself aspire to that!

The basic theory class, (a general one, not a
specialized one, which tends to be relevent to
the last hundred years or so) should
absolutely begin with the definition that the
octave is divided into twelve equal parts,
among other things. Some instructors may
elaborate and go into other things from there,
including how that system was arrived at...I
never suggested otherwise, but in fact alluded
to this "instructor discretion" in a previous
post! why wouldn't the 12 tones be discussed
early on? Would you teach reading without
exploring the alphabet? Would you teach
algebra without explaining numbers?

Let me cite another artist to make my
point...Albert Einstein. Widely recognized as
one of the most brilliant free thinkers in the
industrialized world, no? Do you think he
skipped over basic math as a youngster and
jumped right in the theory of relativity?

there sure have been alot of words put in my
mouth over the course of this thread!

Look, let me just sum up like this: I
encouraged free thinking. I encouraged
challenging the rules and applaud individuals
like Doug for doing so...in fact, these types of
artists are essential for the continual
development and innovation of any art form. I
am not telling people what to do...that is an
individual's choice. I am not deciding anyone's
intelligence level or capacity for learning.

I am expressing my interest and
opinions in music education, particularly at
the beginner level. And yes, like it or not, I do
subscribe to the agenda that the majority of
the musical establishment does. I support the
simple, logical progression of theory to
maximize the efficiency of learning for the
student. I wish that all musicians could come
full circle and experience true musical
"freedom" ....

It's funny how it always comes down to my
favorite Bird quote;

"Learn your chords, scales, and theory, and
then forget it all and just play"

Amen.

I'm sorry that this post is so outwardly
defensive Mac...I'm just tired of defending what
was a short answer to a a simple question. I
sure have done alot of typing since that first,
five sentence post! and if anyone has had
stones thrown at them (as Doug suggests),
it's been me.

Oops...I just played the victim! Not good! My
bad!

Anyways, Mac, It now occurs to me that your
lesson sequence is effective and important. It
clearly demonstrates what a B major scale
over an A chord sounds like...no better way for
a person to make up their mind whether they
like the sound or not. Also, it leaves the
theoretical can of worms open as to why it
does or doesn't work, which will surely
stimulate people into pursuing knowledge,
stretching their ears, asking questions, and
thinking...

All things I have, and will continue to, support.

Be well, and

Keep pickin!

Rob








Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 11:49 PM

Maciek Sakrejda (8047) wrote:

Rob,

I understand your points and hold you in very high regard, so I won't say anymore on this subject. I'm not looking for this to get ugly...

Just a few more things: I made that lesson specifically for the purpose of this post. I made that lesson because I think before you can meaningfully discuss any theory, you need to know what sounds you're talking about (and I don't think everyone can just hear a triplet A enclosing arpeggio in their heads).

I think the answer to a question like "Can I play this over that?" should always start with hearing it. Then, if everyone is still interested, you can discuss the implications of and possible alternatives for that sound. I was glad to see that judging by your last paragraph, you support this approach.


Since you were also successful in clarifying
what Doug "meant" to say (even though he
never said it that clearly over the course of
many lengthy posts,


Come on, Rob. That's a cheap shot. If Doug was babbling nonsense, why did I have no problem understanding it? I think it was just a misunderstanding, complicated by the nature of bulletin board discussion.


Let me cite another artist to make my
point...Albert Einstein. Widely recognized as
one of the most brilliant free thinkers in the
industrialized world, no? Do you think he
skipped over basic math as a youngster and
jumped right in the theory of relativity


Rob, my good man... You walked straight into this one. Einstein is famous for having failed math when he was younger =).

I understand your general point, though, and, of course, agree with it. Learning about the implications of the B Major scale over an A Major chord is probably not the best way to start Theory 101. However, I still think that if a theory beginner were to ask a question like this, there's no reason (other than possibly her interest or dedication) to dismiss the question with, "Oh, don't worry about that for now. It sounds dissonant [place magical mystery emphasis on 'dissonant']".

I think the interesting thing is that we've been dealing with totally virtual beginners here and haven't been considering "their needs". It's not a situation you'd run into in the real world. You'd have feedback on your instruction, and you could gauge your replies accordingly.

Drat. My post is long too =(.

Take care, Rob.

-m







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Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 11:59 PM

Inactive Member wrote:

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!









Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/18/2002 7:05 AM

Jon Riley (9697) wrote:

"So you wanna play a B major scale over an A chord, huh? Where I come from, mister, that's fightin' talk."
"Oh yeah? And where's that? The Wimpy Home For Distressed Gentle Theoreticians?"
"So, you wanna go home in an ambulance, huh?" [smack]
"Listen - [biff] - if I wanna enclose a tonic with - [bam] - a major 7th and a - [smackeroony!] - flat 9th, that's my business, pardner!"
"Well, I'm makin' it my business! I'm sayin' there's no way you can use the - [BEBOP!] - major scale like that."
"I'll use it any goddam way I want! I'll make all the goddam intervals look just like your nose is gonna look after this..." [CRUNCH!]
"Aw, goddab it, you bust by doze!"
"That's all right, you didn't smell too good before anyway, haw haw haw!"
"Time someone taught you some counterpoint, boy! -[swift parallel 5th to the groin]- Ever read Johann Fux?"
"Well, I heard he did, hehe! Jest let him try it with me!"
[Sound of siren playing middle eight to "Somewhere Over The Rainbow"]
"Look out, it's the Jazz Police! Run!"


JonR 2002, all rights reserved







Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/18/2002 7:35 AM

Helgi Briem (2659) wrote:

Rob, my good man... You walked straight into this one. Einstein is famous for having failed
math when he was younger =).


Yes, but not because he wasn't good at math. He thought it was too easy and stopped doing his
homework, angering his teacher, who failed him.

The same happened to me in chemistry at 13.







Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/18/2002 8:44 AM

Robert Strait (6660) wrote:

Hi Mac -

Thanks for your reply. I apologize for the negative tone of my post last night...it was late, I was tired and cranky, and had totally lost patience with this silly thread.

I never intended it to get ugly, and I hope it hasn't...I'd been relatively good natured while trying to firmly defend my opinions up to this point. (except maybe that last post!) lol

I admit I didn't have the time or patience to revisit all of Dougs posts after reading yours, but whatever happened, miscommunication or not, something go lost along the way. We take shots at each other, but we both know it's in good fun. I mean, you want to talk about cheap shots? LOL...read Dougs first post to me...he takes several, and one could argue that he was quite presumtuous and crossed the line! But it's cool...I'm in touch with how I feel.

The Einstein thing...well, you got the point. Someone even tried to back me up on this though...check it out below!

I do support your lesson, and I totally agree about letting people hear something first before they finally judge it, and even then we all reserve the right to change our minds. I've never said anything different. So good job on an important lesson that illustrates a very basic fundamental point: music is an aural art form.

Again, sorry you were the brunt of my last post...it wasn't really directed at you. It was more an expression of frustration with the general basis beyond this post. It's an old argument, and I should have never let myself get pulled into this nonsense. Really, I like to help people, but to get this kind of reaction from a simple answer to a post is ridiculous! I may think twice next time...

Please, re-read my original post to Nestor. Was I that out of line? Did I say anything "incorrect" or "wrong"? Did I really imply that I am all those things Doug was saying I am, or that my motivations were what Doug assumed them to be? You be the judge!

Anyways, I'm done with this thread...it's just silly at this point. Sorry again Mac, and good job on the lesson! I think I need to log off for awhile...I'd like to stay good natured if possible!

Thanks for understanding, and...

Keep Pickin!

Rob

PS - If anyone else cares to continue the argument...I'm sorry, but I can't respond anymore...nothing personal, but kiss my ass! LOL :)







Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/18/2002 10:41 AM

Doug McMullen (6014) wrote:

Hey Rob, I'm unhappy that a sort of back-biting vibe has polluted this thread, and I definitely take responsibiltiy for it -- if I offended you (and it appears I have) I apologize sincerely. I want you know, and this isn't BS, that disagreeing with you loud and strong is not idsrespect, it's a sign of my respect for you. I'm not pulling any punches because A) I'm not actually punching you, only some ideas I disagree with, and B) I know you'll respond intelligently and honestly.

We're all on the same team and share the same goal: Communicating to other musicians our knowledge in the best way possible and hopefully keeping our minds open so as to be able to learn from each other as well. I think it's safe to say that you, me, Jon, Stone, and everybody here are genuinely interested in being helpful, genuinely seek to help folks get more out of playing music, and get more out it ourselves. So any disagreement here is secondary to the larger agreement...

I am deeply interested in music education. There's plenty of disagreement between us about some aspects of music education I think, but I also think we've stalled and haven't really gotten to those disagreements at all yet. There's no argument between us about the simple to advanced progression in education.... If anyone thinks I'm advocating starting 'advanced' or just throwing everything, in one big unmanageable mass at a novice, then I've failed to communicate...

My thesis is this: in a few months of study a guitarist can build such a solid foundation in music, the broad outlines of music, that he can grow with it and deepen his knowledge as he learns. With such a foundation, the guitarist/musician can always have theory as a tool to aid progress and creativity. But a half-baked theory which is all detail and rule with no broad outlines to it is not a benefit, it's an actual obstacle. The musician would be better off, much better off, relying only on his ears.

I'd like to continue the conversation because I think it could be an interesting and valuable one... but I definitely don't want to continue bickering with people I consider friends.

I've got absolutely no hard feelings toward anyone involved in this thread. I hope I haven't turned any my way. If I have, well, I'm requesting amnesty.

Doug







Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/18/2002 11:40 AM

Robert Strait (6660) wrote:

Hi Doug -

Amnesty granted...you need not even apply! I too am sorry if I have responded in any unappropriate way...this thread definitely got carried away a bit. I know we are on good terms and that your comments, even if abrasive, are good natured at heart, and I try to always take them with a grain of salt. I would have considered your first response totally out of line if we did not have a repoire, and I hope that was communicated. I really value your fiestiness and passion, and I wouldn't ask you to ever be anything but yourself...in fact, I feel your presence and voice here are important to the WN community...we would be at a loss without it. Unfortunately, overall, this post just wore me down, man! It really started to sap my energy, and it started to feel like a non-productive, go nowhere debate.

I do realize that we are all on the same team...we all care about our art and the way it is communicated, thru teaching and other means, to other people - muscians and non-musicians alike. I have high respect for you, Stone, Jon, and others here...from what I know of you all, I feel that you are all great musicians, teachers, artists, and people, and I value the right to call each of you friends. So...it's all good!!

If you would like to continue, I'll try, but I am certainly not interested in bickering as well. I'll try and be a good boy!!

Rob -

PS - I want my shirt back. :) LOL





Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/17/2002 10:10 AM

Chester Horton (10480) wrote:

hi doug
I think we have all had this discussion before haven't we?
it was a simple two line question
A small question here....

can I play a B major Scale over an A major chord?
wat are the possible matchups and implications?

Why not a fairly simple straight answer with an offer to discuss more if the original poster wants more.
I agree with Stefan and Jon judging by my past experience asking questions and now by what seems to do well with MY students.
Answer simply at first and then if the student pursues it futher go on.
The simple answer seems to me to hav been:
can I play a B major Scale over an A major chord? This is not usually done

wat are the possible matchups and implications? A better match up would be B Dorian. and the implications are that there are notes in the B major scale that will sound very dissonant when played over A Major progression so it is not GENERALLY used.

Now I freely admit that you have a much deeper and broader knowledge of theory than I do and a better understanding of music in general but that doesn't change the fact that simple straight foreward questions lend themselves to simple straight foreward answers. This is not "dumbing down" anything but keeping it simple.
NOW THIS IS JUST MY OPINION BUT JUST AS VALID HERE AS EVERYONE ELSES'
Chet (up from the minor leagues for a turn at bat hahahaha)





Respond to this

Re: Scale over Chords

1/18/2002 6:32 AM

Jon Riley (9697) wrote:

Actually Chester, I think you miss the point of this thread.

It was a simple two-line question, yes. But that doesn't mean a simple answer is possible (well, OK, I guess "dunno" is simple enough...).

The first part:
Q: can I play a B major Scale over an A major chord?
A: Yes, of course. (Simple enough for you? He didn't ask if it was a good idea, now did he?:-) He used the word "can", not "should".)

The second part:
Q: What are the possible matchups and implications?
A: Ah....

This part seems practically designed to provoke exactly the kind of long-winded theoretical answers we've had. I mean, well, what are they? How many do you want? Where shall we start? How far can we go here?
Maybe you could argue that the "matchups" are reasonably limited and easy to lay out (assuming we understand the term).
But the "implications"? That's a whole other barrel of monkeys/kettle of fish/nest of hornets!

(No wonder we've seen a few kettles of monkeys, barrels of hornets and nests of fish here, no names mentioned, hehe...)

JonR





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Re: Scale over Chords

1/18/2002 8:06 AM

Chester Horton (10480) wrote:

Okay
I withdraw. You guys play too rough for me hahaha.
Outta my league
Chet
Ps How about
Can you play a B major scale over an A Major progression.
Answer: Yes if you want to sound horrible!





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Re: Scale over Chords

1/18/2002 7:44 PM

Stone Dragon (8501) wrote:

"The second part:"


I kept looking for a good place to point that out... too slow on the draw, though.



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Re: Scale over Chords

1/16/2002 11:59 PM

Maciek Sakrejda (8047) wrote:

Hey Doug?

I just thought that you might want to know, based on your style and your approach to the theory questions on Fretbuzz, I think your project will be a resounding success =).

-m



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A Brief Note on Enclosures

1/17/2002 9:50 AM

Jim Kangas (1957) wrote:

Geez - I don't want to get too embroiled in this, but I would just note that enclosures typically enclose the target note with neighbor tones a half step below, and a scale tone above. So the half step above only applies when it's a scale tone. You can have enclosures of other types too, but these are pretty "inside" and sound good to my ears.

-Jim

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