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Phil66
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
MonkeyDAthos
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
Phil66
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.
Todd Simpson
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.
Phil66
Thanks Todd, I have a lot of musical understanding to gather.
Todd Simpson
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
Todd
QUOTE (Phil66 @ Oct 28 2018, 02:43 PM) *
Thanks Todd, I have a lot of musical understanding to gather.
Phil66
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???

Todd Simpson
Even played exactly the same, I'd say one could tell the difference. At least I certainly can. smile.gif
Todd
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???
Caelumamittendum
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.



Phil66
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.

Caelumamittendum
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.
Phil66
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
MonkeyDAthos
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.
Phil66
Todd, is that what you meant buddy?
Todd Simpson
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.
Click to view attachment
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
Phil66
Thanks Todd,

I'll study this a bit more in depth at the weekend. Thank you for taking the time buddy, I appreciate it.
klasaine
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.
Todd Simpson
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.
Phil66
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
PosterBoy
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
Phil66
QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Nov 1 2018, 03:51 PM) *
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


Thanks, I'll work on that more now. smile.gif

I actually feel a bit dumb for asking now huh.gif
klasaine
QUOTE (Phil66 @ Nov 1 2018, 09:36 AM) *
I actually feel a bit dumb for asking now huh.gif


Not a dumb question at all.
Changing the harmony (the chords or counterpoint) under a given melody is one of the age old ways composers and songwriters, for the last 1200 years, have been "making the same old thing" sound new again. There's only 12 notes (in western music), it's all about what you put with them.


Phil66
QUOTE (klasaine @ Nov 2 2018, 11:24 PM) *
Not a dumb question at all.
Changing the harmony (the chords or counterpoint) under a given melody is one of the age old ways composers and songwriters, for the last 1200 years, have been "making the same old thing" sound new again. There's only 12 notes (in western music), it's all about what you put with them.

And that's why I feel dumb laugh.gif Something that's been going around for over a thousand years and I don't know it lol.
Cheers Ken, one day I'd like to make my way to L.A and spend some time with you buddy.

Cheers
Todd Simpson
My reply was so long winded I don't think it helped. Basicaly no, there is not difference if I understand your question correctly, as Ken said.

E to E (one octave) in a minor scale is the same no matter where you play it.
E to E in Major does sound different than E to E in Minor. That's what I wastalking about being able to hear. I actually misunderstood what you were saying.
Todd
QUOTE (Phil66 @ Nov 1 2018, 04:57 AM) *
Thanks Ken,

I thought I was really missing something,

Cheers
Phil66
Thanks Todd, no worries, I'm not always good at putting my questions comprehensively. It was just that when I've been improvising I couldn't hear sadness or happiness exclusively to minor or major respectively. Hope that makes sense.
On my way to having a beer with Ken I'll pop to Atlanta to see you wink.gif

Cheers
Todd Simpson
Sounds like a plan!! Your ear is spot on, the minor scales do sound a bit sad and the major a bit happy which is why so much metal uses minor progressions and scales, while Gospel and Pop music will often (certainly not always) use Major progressions and scales. smile.gif
Todd

QUOTE (Phil66 @ Nov 3 2018, 10:50 AM) *
Thanks Todd, no worries, I'm not always good at putting my questions comprehensively. It was just that when I've been improvising I couldn't hear sadness or happiness exclusively to minor or major respectfully. Hope that makes sense.
On my way to having a beer with Ken I'll pop to Atlanta to see you wink.gif

Cheers
Phil66
Maybe you misunderstood me buddy, I said "when I've been improvising I couldn't hear sadness or happiness exclusively to minor or major respectively" which meant that when I'm improvising in major or minor they can both sound happy or sad. That's down to my lack of skills to manipulate the scale correctly.

Cheer

Todd Simpson
Yup. Misunderstood again. Thanks for the clarification. Did my huge explanation make any sense btw?

QUOTE (Phil66 @ Nov 3 2018, 05:48 PM) *
Maybe you misunderstood me buddy, I said "when I've been improvising I couldn't hear sadness or happiness exclusively to minor or major respectively" which meant that when I'm improvising in major or minor they can both sound happy or sad. That's down to my lack of skills to manipulate the scale correctly.

Cheer
Phil66
I'd did help a little thank you, as I said, reading doesn't always sink into my head. I've realised something else that is probably not helping and I'll probably sound stupid saying it but I only ever play pentatonic and I only learnt one pattern 1, 4, 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 4, 1, 4. Though I do extend it on the E & A and the B & E strings the notes are the same. I think it might be the exclusive use of that scale shape for major and minor that's making it harder for me to hear.

Cheers

Phil
Todd Simpson
If you can memorize that chart I put up from the scale generator it will cure your problem of only using the pentatonic shape. Take it in chunks of one shape at a time, e.g. The minor, then move up to the next shape. Then play both shapes by moving back and forth between them. Keep adding one shape at at time. They happen in four fret chunks as you can see from the diagram.

Of course you can do the same thing all the way up the neck with the blues scale if that would easier for a start. Just use the scale generator and hit ALL and it will show you the blues scale all the way up the neck. The only thing that changes is where you start the scale. E.G. if a backing is in G then you start the first shape of the blues scale, the one you already know, on the G (third fret). It's that simple. Assuming that makes sense smile.gif

Of course, this assumes you know the knows on the E string all the way up to 12th fret where they repeat. Do you know the notes on the E string from open to 12th fret? Please don't be offended by this question, if you know the notes I'm just trying to verify. If you don't know them, that would need to come first, as thats the bit that you can base the rest off of as the other strings all follow the same pattern. Just start from a different place: )
Todd
Todd
QUOTE (Phil66 @ Nov 4 2018, 05:52 AM) *
I'd did help a little thank you, as I said, reading doesn't always sink into my head. I've realised something else that is probably not helping and I'll probably sound stupid saying it but I only ever play pentatonic and I only learnt one pattern 1, 4, 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 4, 1, 4. Though I do extend it on the E & A and the B & E strings the notes are the same. I think it might be the exclusive use of that scale shape for major and minor that's making it harder for me to hear.

Cheers

Phil
Phil66
Thanks Todd,

Yeah, I know the notes on the E, I know how to shift a pattern to a different key in the way you suggest too. What I'd ultimately like to be able to do is change keys without running up and down the neck, I think that's where the CAGED system comes in but I may be wrong.

Cheers

Phil
Todd Simpson
As long as you know where the notes are on the E, (without needing to actually run A/A# etc. but really know them to where you can just land where you want on the key you want, you can change keys on the fly. Or is that not what you mean?
QUOTE (Phil66 @ Nov 5 2018, 03:22 AM) *
Thanks Todd,

Yeah, I know the notes on the E, I know how to shift a pattern to a different key in the way you suggest too. What I'd ultimately like to be able to do is change keys without running up and down the neck, I think that's where the CAGED system comes in but I may be wrong.

Cheers

Phil
Phil66
Well I watched a you tube video (can't find it now) about soloing over chord progressions and not having to run up and down the neck to match the root on the E. I think it was about the caged system and to kinda stay in a four fret window. That's probably way too advanced for me at the moment but it would be nice one day wink.gif

Cheers

Phil
Caelumamittendum
Youtube threw this at me randomly, and I thought it might be worth watching, Phil, in terms of playing, improvising etc:

Todd Simpson
The "CAGED" System is basically a way to understand some of the most often used chord shapes and being able to play them without open strings. At which point you can play those chords in any position on the neck. Here is a good article that breaks it all down in just a 3 pages.

https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/1939...d-system?page=1

In terms of improvisational soloing, the most important thing know is "What Key am I playing in". Once you know that, you are on your way.
Say the key is "A Minor". That just means that the chord progression at hand has root notes in it's chords that follow the 'Minor" pattern. E.G. Whole Step (2 frets), Half step (1 fret), Whole step, for example. So for example, a simple minor progression using simple bar chords in A minor would be simply, bar chord (as easy as root/fifth, first finger on the A note on the low E string at the 5th fret, third finger on the A string at the 7th fret) the basic power chord uses in all rock songs)
To improv over this, just start your Blues or Minor Scale at the 5th fret, and realize the Root notes, (resolution notes) are the low E 5th fret, D string 7th fret, high E 5th fret. Same for Minor and Blues scale.

If you memorize that scale pattern diagram for Minor and or Blues, you an then land anywhere you want, start and end anywhere you want and just make it up as you go along, just land on an A note now and then. It's really that simple. That's really all there is to getting started doing improv soloing smile.gif

Memorizing the Natural Minor connecting shapes, and the Blues Connecting Shapes will get you nearly unlimited mileage in terms of being able to create solos. SRV himself made great use of the Blues shapes as did BBking. They rarely created backings to solo over that were based on Phrygian progressions and scales. Most of blues/rock is just not about that. How are you coming on memorizing these two digrams btw? It's the keys to kingdom getting started on Blues/Rock solo work smile.gif

A BLUES
Click to view attachment
A MINORClick to view attachment

That's honestly enough theory to get you moving in to creating cool blues solos. One never gets "done" learning theory, it's endless. I have seen folks get distracted with it and lose sight of the fact that it's only purpose is to provide a language that we can reference composed of symbols and letters, that let's us use something other than actual music, to communicate musical ideas.

BB King rarely used anything outside of the primary Blues Scale Shape. SRV was a big fan of the shape as well. Far more important than the theory imho is using one's ear to create notes that go well with notes being played, eg. the backing. smile.gif

Does this all make sense? It's a wad of theory crunched in to a single post.

Todd


QUOTE (Phil66 @ Nov 6 2018, 03:12 AM) *
Well I watched a you tube video (can't find it now) about soloing over chord progressions and not having to run up and down the neck to match the root on the E. I think it was about the caged system and to kinda stay in a four fret window. That's probably way too advanced for me at the moment but it would be nice one day wink.gif

Cheers

Phil
Phil66
Wow thanks Todd, I really appreciate you putting the time in to do that buddy.
I think the thing with theory is to learn little bits as you go along your journey and try to implement them bit by bit into your improvs, so 95% winging it and 5% theory application. Otherwise it can be too distracting.

Cheers buddy
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