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Phil66
post Oct 28 2018, 10:02 AM
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Hello folks,

I know when you play a major scale and its relative minor they sound different, major sounds happy, minor sounds sad but I do think the happy/sad thing is more apparent with chords.

What I don't understand is that when I'm improvising they can both sound happy or sad, to me anyway.

Can someone explain please.

Thanks


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MonkeyDAthos
post Oct 28 2018, 04:35 PM
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I can understand the happy and sad feeling, but I don't particularly agree with it. But I think I might have a few loose screws regarding feelings tongue.gif mellow.gif huh.gif huh.gif

Now well it depends on the context of the background.
If you using a C Ionian over C major chord, I guess it would seem happy. But if you use A Aeolian over C major, you are still playing C Ionian because of the relation with the chord.
So I guess that's one of the reason of why it might sound happy...even though you are thinking of a minor scale. huh.gif

This post has been edited by MonkeyDAthos: Oct 28 2018, 05:54 PM


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Phil66
post Oct 28 2018, 05:31 PM
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It may have something to do with me. When I improvise I just pay random notes and hope for the best. I don't know how to "control" the feeling of the scale.


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 28 2018, 07:04 PM
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Minor scales and chords in general do sound a bit less "happy" than major scales / chords. It's an effect created by the relation to the root note. Of course, you can make just about anything sound happy or sad just by how you are playing it and by what backing you are playing over top of. But yeah, if you wanna write a sad song, you generally start with a Minor chord progression. Metalheads have been doing it since the dawn of the Genre smile.gif
Todd

QUOTE (Phil66 @ Oct 28 2018, 12:31 PM) *
It may have something to do with me. When I improvise I just pay random notes and hope for the best. I don't know how to "control" the feeling of the scale.


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Phil66
post Oct 28 2018, 07:43 PM
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Thanks Todd, I have a lot of musical understanding to gather.


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 28 2018, 08:13 PM
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It's a long road to be sure smile.gif You have good instincts which is going to help. I actually asked the very same question when I was first learning Major and Minor scales. I thought it was just my ears at first, but nope. Other folks confirmed, the Minor bits do tend to drift toward sad sounding while the major bits often tend to drift towards happy. Of course, there are exceptions, as with everything, but without exceptions we wouldn't have rules smile.gif
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Oct 28 2018, 02:43 PM) *
Thanks Todd, I have a lot of musical understanding to gather.


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Phil66
post Oct 28 2018, 09:25 PM
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I always wondered about it because let's say we play just guitar, no backing, no rhythm, just solo. How would the person listening know if you were playing A minor or C major???



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Todd Simpson
post Oct 29 2018, 01:41 AM
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Even played exactly the same, I'd say one could tell the difference. At least I certainly can. smile.gif
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Oct 28 2018, 04:25 PM) *
I always wondered about it because let's say we play just guitar, no backing, no rhythm, just solo. How would the person listening know if you were playing A minor or C major???


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Caelumamittendum
post Oct 29 2018, 01:54 AM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Oct 28 2018, 10:25 PM) *
I always wondered about it because let's say we play just guitar, no backing, no rhythm, just solo. How would the person listening know if you were playing A minor or C major???


If played by itself, it does get a trickier, but through enough experience I'd say you get sort of a grasp of the notes relation to each other. Maybe I'm not explaining this well, but the as the major scale is W-W-H-W-W-W-H, the way you take in those notes, the notes before it and the notes that you linger on or accent makes it more obvious.

I mean, sure if you played an eternal line of notes of the C major scale, and the person came in and started listening at the A note, it would sound aeolian, B note phrygian, C note ionian etc. But that's a silly example.

To me at least it's how the notes relate to eachother that determines the mode, or in case if we're just talking major/minor, we could call it the mood.

It's probably also a reason you do not really just play endless notes up and down on their own outside of practice, as it would not benefit to describe a mode or mood, feeling or anything like that. But as you were talking a solo, what most people hopefully or probably aim to do, even if playing without a backing track, is to indicate the chords that person is "playing" on. Marty Friedman explains this in relation to an actual solo, if I recall correctly. It's in his Melodic Control instructional video.





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Phil66
post Oct 29 2018, 08:26 AM
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I don't understand. How can you tell if it's major ir the relative minor if you play exactly the same notes in exactly the same way?

Thanks

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 29 2018, 01:41 AM) *
Even played exactly the same, I'd say one could tell the difference. At least I certainly can. smile.gif
Todd



Thanks Ben,

I'll check it out

QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Oct 29 2018, 01:54 AM) *
Marty Friedman explains this in relation to an actual solo, if I recall correctly. It's in his Melodic Control instructional video.



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Caelumamittendum
post Oct 29 2018, 10:47 AM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Oct 29 2018, 09:26 AM) *
I don't understand. How can you tell if it's major ir the relative minor if you play exactly the same notes in exactly the same way?

Thanks




Thanks Ben,

I'll check it out


But in itself, they are not played the same. The distance and relation between the notes themselves are different - that's what makes it either one or the other.

Now, without going into physics, off the top of my head, an A4 is 440 hertz, where a C4 is around 260 Hz. They have different wavelengths too.

But how would you play the two scales the same though? If you started both scales from C, they'd both be C major, of course, but if you start one from A and one from C, they'd be relatively A minor and C major because of the relations and distances between the notes.

However, if you start both scales from C and play them on either an A minor chord or a C major chord, they would sound what they are in relation to the chord below, and they would more so reveal their colour, because the chord below offer some guidance, direction and relation to the notes of the scale.

This post has been edited by Caelumamittendum: Oct 29 2018, 10:48 AM


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Phil66
post Oct 29 2018, 12:43 PM
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Thanks, I kinda get that but I didn't understand what Todd said, "Even played exactly the same, I'd say one could tell the difference. At least I certainly can. Todd"

Cheers


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MonkeyDAthos
post Oct 29 2018, 03:03 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Oct 29 2018, 12:43 PM) *
Thanks, I kinda get that but I didn't understand what Todd said, "Even played exactly the same, I'd say one could tell the difference. At least I certainly can. Todd"

Cheers


I think he meant if you play like.
C D E F G A B
OR
A B C D E F G

You can tell the diference even though you are playing the same notes.


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Phil66
post Oct 29 2018, 07:23 PM
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Todd, is that what you meant buddy?


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 30 2018, 01:13 AM
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Ahh!! I think i see what are saying now. Your saying if someone played the Minor shape, having started from the Major shape earlier up the neck, but is now playing the Minor shape relative to the original major and someone walked in, how would it sound different from simply starting in that spot as a minor shape right?

If so, then yeah, there is no difference at all of any kind assuming the person is playing a simple simple scale from low string to high string. It's the same notes.

The only different would come in when the person landed on the given root notes. E.G. if you start in a Major scale and move up the neck to the shape that is the Minor scale relative to that original major, then the root notes would be different than if you started playing as a Minor scale. However, unless the person hangs on the roots, the person listening would not no point of reference, so yeah, it would sound exactly the same.

If you start at say G Major, and play the through one octave. Then play G Minor through one octave, they sound different. But if you start at G Major and just play the various shapes up the neck without emphasizing the roots of the original G Major pattern, there would not be a difference at all. i Hope that makes sense?
I hope I haven't just made this less clear. In general, creating a sense of "Minor" comes from the relationship of notes to the root. The progression of whole and half steps is not the same when comparing the major and minor starting at the same root and playing through one octave. It's the root note and the relationship of the following notes to the root that gives the scales their character. So while the natural minor shape exists further up the neck, even if you start with A major, you would normally emphasize and resolve the licks by landing, now and then on the Root of A. Assuming you keep to the correct whole/half step pattern, it will continue to sound major all the way up the neck. But I see the source of your confusion. If you map the major and minor scales out over the neck, you can see that both patterns are there no matter which one you start with. So what matters in a solo, is defining the whole/half step patterns relative to your original key.

I think I may have just made things worse.
How about a nice diagram? From our handy scale generator. This is
A MAJOR (all over the neck)*Notice that the A Major Scale is right there in the middle starting at A and all the root notes are highlighted.*I've painted the MINOR scale blue so that it sticks out. F#Minor is the minor shape relative to A Major. Now I"ve marked the root notes of F# with a red bit. If you just played the F# Minor scale, starting on a a note and running it through one Octave. It would sound EXACTLY the same as it would if you started playing at the 5th Fret on the A root and played a Major through one octave as written. They are the same notes.*However!! If you lingered on the F# notes, at any point in time, and resolved your licks to any of the F#'s on the fretboard, as long as you kept playing only the notes that have circles around them (all the ones highlighted as A Major), what you played would start sounding like F# Minor, as you have shifted the root tone to F# and the relationship of the other notes to that root creates the characteristic sound of a given scale. Make any sense?

I memorized this scale chart when I first started learning to play lead. It helped a TON. Being able to see how all the shapes connect, helps tremendously. No longer was I guessing on what notes would be "in key" I knew where to go. I could write licks that started on an open low E and run them all the way up the neck ending on a high fret, high E.

The important thing to understand is that all you have to do is move this same pattern around a bit and you can play nearly anything. The Minor scale is one of the most often used scales in all of Rock/Metal/etc. So if you know the minor, and how it connects to the other shapes, all you need to know is what key you are playing in. Say A for example. Now start the A Minor Scale at A on the low E and see how the other scales fit around it. Now the entire fretboard is at your command and you won't ever hit a rude note, unless you want to.

The Major and Minor are used in LOTS of music So once you know the minor and it's relative shapes, you also know the major and it's relative shapes. It just becomes a matter of starting point/key.

I hope I have not confused things further.
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Todd
QUOTE (Phil66 @ Oct 29 2018, 03:26 AM) *
I don't understand. How can you tell if it's major ir the relative minor if you play exactly the same notes in exactly the same way?

Thanks




Thanks Ben,

I'll check it out


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Oct 31 2018, 08:31 PM


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Phil66
post Oct 31 2018, 08:11 AM
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Thanks Todd,

I'll study this a bit more in depth at the weekend. Thank you for taking the time buddy, I appreciate it.


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klasaine
post Oct 31 2018, 08:13 PM
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Short answer ... you can't.

If the notes are exactly the same (maj v. relative min) and in the same order - without some type of harmonic 'background' information - then no, there is no difference and one wouldn't be able to tell.

The reason that we may want to 'relate' a set of notes to either maj or min is for understanding how that set of notes functions in relation to a backing that may, at some point, be there.

Now, we can construct melodies in such a way as to imply major or minor.
For example, using the C major (Ionian) and/or A natural (Aeolian) minor (the relative minor) scale, try these two melodies.

C D E F E C A B G - for Major.

A B C E D C B G A - for Minor.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Oct 31 2018, 08:19 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 31 2018, 08:29 PM
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Happy to help smile.gif Let me know if you have any questions!

QUOTE (Phil66 @ Oct 31 2018, 03:11 AM) *
Thanks Todd,

I'll study this a bit more in depth at the weekend. Thank you for taking the time buddy, I appreciate it.


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Phil66
post Nov 1 2018, 09:57 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Oct 31 2018, 08:13 PM) *
Short answer ... you can't.

If the notes are exactly the same (maj v. relative min) and in the same order - without some type of harmonic 'background' information - then no, there is no difference and one wouldn't be able to tell.

The reason that we may want to 'relate' a set of notes to either maj or min is for understanding how that set of notes functions in relation to a backing that may, at some point, be there.

Now, we can construct melodies in such a way as to imply major or minor.
For example, using the C major (Ionian) and/or A natural (Aeolian) minor (the relative minor) scale, try these two melodies.

C D E F E C A B G - for Major.

A B C E D C B G A - for Minor.


Thanks Ken,

I thought I was really missing something,

Cheers


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PosterBoy
post Nov 1 2018, 03:51 PM
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You'd need to emphasis one of the notes as the tonal centre or home. Maybe by lingering longer on it, or if you kept coming back to it more frequently, ending licks on it etc


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