Scales

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Rickeeey
Posts: 647

Post by Rickeeey » 08-01-09 11:04 am

I know the minor and major scale patterns and so I basically know all the major and minor scales (I still need to practice them) but I want to know more. So, which scales (except for these) should I focus on knowing?
Describe the patterns for the scales, how they sound, where they are used and some tips on how to learn them.

Choul
Posts: 487

Post by Choul » 08-01-09 4:51 pm

Which patterns do you know? And when you say 'describe the patterns' do you mean something like 1 1 1/2 and so on? Or do you mean something else?

The major and natural minor are the most important ones to know. When you know those scales you know all those chords too, if you know the rules/patterns.

Rickeeey
Posts: 647

Post by Rickeeey » 08-01-09 6:02 pm

Choul wrote:Which patterns do you know? And when you say 'describe the patterns' do you mean something like 1 1 1/2 and so on? Or do you mean something else?

The major and natural minor are the most important ones to know. When you know those scales you know all those chords too, if you know the rules/patterns.
Ye I mean, half steps, whole steps and so on.

Choul
Posts: 487

Post by Choul » 08-02-09 9:06 am

Rickeeey wrote: Ye I mean, half steps, whole steps and so on.
Well, maybe I'm not that smart as you are- or I'm just lazy -, but I can't remember the whole and half steps rule, too complicated for me because it is
something like remembering 1 and 0 patterns as a computer does, so this is how I remember my scales and chords (I take for example the major scales
and most important chords I can derive from that one):

Major scales:
The only one I really know is the C-major scale and that's the easiest one, only consisting of white keys:
C D E F G A B C

I find the following (going to the right on a watch/clock) 6 major scales by:
- Taking the fifth note from the previous scale
- Raise the 7th note with a semi tone
- Take all the raised notes from the previous scale in the new scale

Now I get:
C major scale: C D E F G A B C
G major scale: G A B C D E Fis G (#)
D major scale: D E Fis G A B Cis D (##)
A major scale: A B Cis D E Fis Gis A (###)
E major scale: E Fis Gis A B Cis Dis E (####)
B major scale: B Cis Dis E Fis Gis Ais B (#####)
Fis major scale: Fis Gis Ais B Cis Dis Eis Fis (######)

As you can see, every scale gets an extra raised key, except for the C-Scale, that one has only white keys.

I find the previous (going to the left on a watch/clock) 6 scales by:
- Taking the fifth note from the previous scale, but now counting from right to left
- I lower the fourth note on this new scale counting from left to right
- Take all the lowered notes from the previous scale in the new scale

As I said, I only know about the C-Scale, so here we go again just following the rules:
C D E F G A B C

Now I get:
C Major scale: C D E F G A B C
F major scale: F G A Bes C D E F (b)
Bes major scale: Bes C D Es F G A Bes (bb)
Es major scale: Es F G As Bes C D Es (bbb)
As major scale: As Bes C Des Es F G As (bbbb)
Des major scale: Des Es F Ges As Bes C Des (bbbbb)
Ges major scale: Ges As Bes Ces Des Es F Ges (bbbbbb)

As you can see, every scale gets an extra lowered key, except for the C-Scale, that one has only white keys.


Now we have thirteen scales, but there are only 12 digits on a watch/clock.
But the Ges major scale and the Fis major scale contain exactly the same notes, the only difference is the
way you write them on paper.

When you write the names of the scales on a piece of paper in the form of a watch/clock, you get what we call
the circle of fifths (in musical terms), so you get a clock with the following:

At 12: C major
At 1 : G major (one raised key #)
At 2 : D major (two raised keys ##)
At 3 : A major (three raised keys ###)
At 4 : E major (four raised keys ####)
At 5: B major (five raised keys #####)
At 6: Fis major (six raised keys ######) or Ges major (six lowered keys)
At 7: Des major (five lowered keys bbbbb)
At 8: As major (four lowered keys bbbb)
At 9: Es major (three lowered keys bbb)
At 10: Bes major (two lowered keys bb)
At 11: F major ( one lowered key b)


When you think of a watch/clock it's easy to remember that you have to count till five. Think about it,
when you go from 12 to 1 you are 5 minutes further in time. From 12 to 11 is five minutes back.

In the beginning I said that if I knew my scales- in this case the major ones - I know my chords too.
I just have to know some rules, here they are:

You can derive the:
- major chord in root position if you take the 1st, 3rd and 5th note from that scale.
- minor chord in root position if you take the 1st, lowered 3rd with a semi-tone and 5th note from that scale.
- major 7th chord in root position if you take the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th note from that scale.
- minor 7th chord in root position if you take the 1st, lowered 3rd with a semi-tone, 5th and 7th note from that scale.

(I'll keep it simple here, there are more chords of course like augmented and diminished and so on)

For example, when we look at the C major scale, we get:
C Major scale: C D E F G A B C

C Major chord: C E G
C minor chord: C Es G
C Major 7th chord: C E G B
C minor 7th chord: C Es G B

When we look at the G Major scale, we get:
G A B C D E Fis G

G Major chord: G B D
G minor chord: G Bes D
G Major 7th chord: G B D Fis
G minor 7th chord: G Bes D Fis

and so on, just follow the rules for the other chords. I assume you already know that you can inverse the notes of every chord,
so every chord in root position gives you more possibilities to form the other (inversed) chords.

The overall sound of all major scales is the same.The best way to learn your scales is listen to them, so you know how they
sound. When you know how they sound, it's a lot easier to take the right notes.
Major scales sound happy. Minor scales sound a little sad.


There are lots of other scales too, but the major and natural minor ones are the most important ones to know.
If you want to practice with scales, just start with the easiest scales, namely the C major scale (no black keys),
the F major scale and G major scale (both with just one black key).


You learned the whole and half steps rules. Those are scales called church or diatonic scales and the other ones consist of just another
combination of those whole and half steps. Besides those, you have the chromatic scales, whole steps scales, blues scale and
so on. If you really want to know more you can look in your bookmarks file, section Music Theory to find the links. Wikipedia
has a lot of information about scales and chords to mention one.

If your interest about music theory goes really far, you can search at http://www.archive.org,
more specific http://www.archive.org/search.php?query ... pe%3Atexts
There are a lot of good books written about this subject.

Edit: removed the word 'black' because that's not correct
Last edited by Choul on 08-02-09 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Frost
Posts: 51

Post by Frost » 08-02-09 9:12 am

that is a great post.

Choul
Posts: 487

Post by Choul » 08-02-09 9:14 am

Frost wrote:that is a great post.
:lol: And yours is a very short one.

Rickeeey
Posts: 647

Post by Rickeeey » 08-02-09 9:18 am

Why do you name the black notes different? Such as Fis, As, Bes? I just call them F# or Gb etc.

Edit: This seems useful: http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/scales-arpeggios/

Choul
Posts: 487

Post by Choul » 08-02-09 9:21 am

Rickeeey wrote:Why do you name the black notes different? Such as Fis, As, Bes? I just call them F# or Gb etc.
That's the same Rickeeey. But I know there are differences in the different country's. But when you see something like 'is' added to a
note name that's the same as F#, when you see something like 'es' added, that's the same as 'b' added. The # and b are the added
signs, the way I write them down is the way we pronounce them in Europe/the Netherlands and some other country's.

Rickeeey
Posts: 647

Post by Rickeeey » 08-02-09 9:30 am

Anyways, it would be useful if there would be a list of things in music theory that say what's importiant to know for a begginer or what's importiant to know for an intermediate player. Maybe there is but I have no idea where to find something like that.

Choul
Posts: 487

Post by Choul » 08-02-09 9:35 am

Rickeeey wrote:Anyways, it would be useful if there would be a list of things in music theory that say what's importiant to know for a begginer or what's importiant to know for an intermediate player. Maybe there is but I have no idea where to find something like that.
Search for 'ABRSM', start with level one and go on as far as you can go. They give information about the different levels, which songs you can play at which level, things like scales to practice and so on.

Rickeeey
Posts: 647

Post by Rickeeey » 08-02-09 9:37 am

Choul wrote:
Rickeeey wrote:Anyways, it would be useful if there would be a list of things in music theory that say what's importiant to know for a begginer or what's importiant to know for an intermediate player. Maybe there is but I have no idea where to find something like that.
Search for 'ABRSM', start with level one and go on as far as you can go. They give information about the different levels, which songs you can play at which level, things like scales to practice and so on.
Thanks, it looks like this will help!

Choul
Posts: 487

Post by Choul » 08-02-09 9:41 am

You're welcome Rickeeey. I know someone posted a spreadsheet earlier with a list of songs at the different levels, maybe it was @frost, but I don't know for sure.
That one can be very usefull to know which songs to play/to study already.

Choul
Posts: 487

Post by Choul » 08-02-09 11:06 am

... here's the link: http://www.abrsm.org/?page=home

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