When to use scales such as melodic minor, harmonic minor,etc

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
Super_Turd
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DeViaTo wrote:
Super_Turd wrote:
well this is IMHO a little semplicistic (is that word correct in english?)!
well ok they're the same note in this case, but you may want to put more enphasis on certain notes (i mean the triad) so you can say you are playing "modal".... :-P

but let's see the chord progression that way... it's a blues, where the key is E, A is the V degree and F#min7 (i suppose it's F#m7 and not Fm7 as you wrote).
well in this case you will play E mixolidian over E, change scale to Epentatonic/Eblues over A ! ... so what is i play F# dorian scale over F#min7? :-)

gigi
Wooops!!! my bad i forgot the put F#m7 on those examples. by mistake i put F. errr plzzz if u try that out makesure u play f#m7 sori boot that.


hey

whats imho??

"it's a blues, where the key is E, A is the V degree and F#min7" <-- B is the 5th of E, not A.

and the thing in my first post i wrote out wasnt a blues, it was a simple loop. E was the root F#m7 is a diatonic niebour to the rout and A is the 4th diatonic movement.

Is there somthing you dont understand cos i dont quite get what ure saying exactly in ure post, but if ure saying what i thnk ure saying then, Yes you can use e pentatonic on them, but i was just talking about modes and the way to use them the most obvious way. obviously theres no such thing as a wrong sclae for any chord, its just the effect of the scale over that chord, for example

if u play A major and u play A Locrian over it (7th mode) it will sound pretty damn weird. Maybe you want this effect? i dont know. but before u do that and start using otther scales in combination, id recormend getting the modes of the major scale down first in the way they are 'meant to be used' or most commonly used, then experiment.

I may have just understood ure question wrong but jst let me know

Todd
DeViaTo
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Super_Turd wrote:
DeViaTo wrote:
Super_Turd wrote:
well this is IMHO a little semplicistic (is that word correct in english?)!
well ok they're the same note in this case, but you may want to put more enphasis on certain notes (i mean the triad) so you can say you are playing "modal".... :-P

but let's see the chord progression that way... it's a blues, where the key is E, A is the V degree and F#min7 (i suppose it's F#m7 and not Fm7 as you wrote).
well in this case you will play E mixolidian over E, change scale to Epentatonic/Eblues over A ! ... so what is i play F# dorian scale over F#min7? :-)

gigi
Wooops!!! my bad i forgot the put F#m7 on those examples. by mistake i put F. errr plzzz if u try that out makesure u play f#m7 sori boot that.


hey

whats imho??

"it's a blues, where the key is E, A is the V degree and F#min7" <-- B is the 5th of E, not A.

and the thing in my first post i wrote out wasnt a blues, it was a simple loop. E was the root F#m7 is a diatonic niebour to the rout and A is the 4th diatonic movement.

Is there somthing you dont understand cos i dont quite get what ure saying exactly in ure post, but if ure saying what i thnk ure saying then, Yes you can use e pentatonic on them, but i was just talking about modes and the way to use them the most obvious way. obviously theres no such thing as a wrong sclae for any chord, its just the effect of the scale over that chord, for example

if u play A major and u play A Locrian over it (7th mode) it will sound pretty damn weird. Maybe you want this effect? i dont know. but before u do that and start using otther scales in combination, id recormend getting the modes of the major scale down first in the way they are 'meant to be used' or most commonly used, then experiment.

I may have just understood ure question wrong but jst let me know

Todd
right A is the 4th degree... my mistake ;P when you write fast it can happen ;P

what I try to say is that it's reductive to think in terms on just one scale...
start playing E mixolidian, when the progression goes to A you can add some lydian flavour so that you have played 2 scales ...
i hope to be more clear this time...
even if you have a diatonic chord progression, it doesn't mean you have to play the same scale and then give 'em different names!

and what happens if you have a non-diatonic chord progression?

:-P

gigi
DeViaTo
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Super_Turd wrote: whats imho??
In My Humble Opinion

gigi :-D
DeViaTo
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Super_Turd wrote: Is there somthing you dont understand cos i dont quite get what ure saying exactly in ure post, but if ure saying what i thnk ure saying then, Yes you can use e pentatonic on them, but i was just talking about modes and the way to use them the most obvious way. obviously theres no such thing as a wrong sclae for any chord, its just the effect of the scale over that chord, for example

if u play A major and u play A Locrian over it (7th mode) it will sound pretty damn weird. Maybe you want this effect? i dont know. but before u do that and start using otther scales in combination, id recormend getting the modes of the major scale down first in the way they are 'meant to be used' or most commonly used, then experiment.
what if you have this kind of progression:
C| E7 | Am | D7 | Dm7 | G7 | C | G | ?

see this as a diatonic one :-)

gigi
DeViaTo
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Super_Turd wrote:
if u play A major and u play A Locrian over it (7th mode) it will sound pretty damn weird. Maybe you want this effect? i dont know. but before u do that and start using otther scales in combination, id recormend getting the modes of the major scale down first in the way they are 'meant to be used' or most commonly used, then experiment.
of course it will sound weird, and of course you'll never pass a test at a music school :-P
but if, as you say, this weird sound, the sound you desire then it's ok... but before breking a rule you should know it. don't you think? :-P

gigi
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Ricardo
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Super turd, did you realize that there are actually TWO major scales that fit your chord progression (E, F#m7, A, E). Since you did not add 7ths to the chords E or A, you can use both the E major scale and the A major scale.

I don't get why people get pissed off at breaking down a diatonic progression into "modal" components. ("its a fooken E scale!"). Great, one scale relates. But before you can solo and throw in some nice outside notes, you need to know the flavors of each mode. Examining a diatonic progression is the starting point since you are using the same 7 notes to solo with. After you can deal w/ that idea (each chord has a flavor in relation to the parent scale, ie "modes") you are ready to mix in modes from different scales. For example:

E-E major, or E mixolyian (Amaj)
F#m7-F# minor scale (Amaj) or F# dorian
A-A lydian (Emaj) or A major
E- back to the same.

This is the starting point. You can stick to one scale or mix the two if you like. Now you try this:

E-E lydian(Bmaj) or E phyrgian dom(A harmonic minor)
F#m7- F# dorian (Emaj) or F# phrygian (Dmaj)
A-A mixolydian(Dmaj) or A phrygian dom(D harmonic minor)
E- same as before or the earlier opptions.

Notice even though it is changing keys I was able to use the modal flavors to connect the F#m7 and the A chords together (it is the fooken D scale!). If you have time enough on each chord, you can change modes over a single chord (the "or"s above could be rhythmic change points like beat 3 of a bar of 4 or if you have two bars for each chord, the second bar). To go further you can use modes of melodic minor (5th or 4th modes on the major chords, 2nd mode for the minor chord) and symmetric scales (diminished scales, chromatic).

In jazz (or any music you improvise), the extensions to a chord limit your choices, which is good for soloing since you want to create a nice thread that melodically stiches together a progression. Too many opptions makes that harder to do. Minor second neighboring notes help this happen. You can also just arpeggiate each chord and forget about scales all together, using modes as a guide for passing tones. But this is all AFTER you have a handle on the concept of using Mixo, Dorian, Lydian, ionian, on your progression.

Ricardo
brainpolice
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" don't get why people get pissed off at breaking down a diatonic progression into "modal" components. ("its a fooken E scale!"). Great, one scale relates. But before you can solo and throw in some nice outside notes, you need to know the flavors of each mode. Examining a diatonic progression is the starting point since you are using the same 7 notes to solo with. After you can deal w/ that idea (each chord has a flavor in relation to the parent scale, ie "modes") you are ready to mix in modes from different scales."

Because what you are talking about is CHORD SCALES not MODES. Modal music is when you're home base is the mode. What you are doing is just chord scales, yes it resembles the modes, but you are talking about TONAL MUSIC. I dont know why i have to reiterate this so much, it is rather simple. Each chord does have a flavor in relation to the parent scale I.E. CHORD SCALES. Each mode has its own flavor, but the music isn't modal if the mode isnt the parent scale. What's so hard to understand about that? I agree that one should get to know the flavors of each mode, but also in a strictly modal context, on their own, detached from the scale it derived from. THIS is when you get the individual flavor of the mode. When IT IS the parent scale. Each mode's flavor can be attibuted to 1, and sometimes 2 notes. Dorian's = nat. 6. Phrygian's = b2. Lydian's = #4. Mixolydian's = b7. Locrian's = b2 and b5, more importantly the b5. Lydian Dominant's = #4 and b7, etc. etc. etc. But one should be able to hear these modes as THEIR OWN PARENT SCALES, and be able to just dwell in the sound of that mode itself. THAT is modal music.

The progression given, E F#m7, A, E will be using chord scales and not modes. Yes they sound the same but they dont function as modes. Traditionally: E = E major, F#m7 = 2nd chord scale which could be thought of as F# Dorian but isnt "in dorian", A = 4th chord scale which could be thought of as A lydian but isnt "in lydian", and back to E major.
"E-E lydian(Bmaj) or E phyrgian dom(A harmonic minor)
F#m7- F# dorian (Emaj) or F# phrygian (Dmaj)
A-A mixolydian(Dmaj) or A phrygian dom(D harmonic minor)
E- same as before or the earlier opptions."
Yes, this is the concept of super imposing "the wrong mode" over the chords. I like the idea. Sure you can play Dorian #4 over that F# minor 7. You're just changing B's to B#s for the moment. The only thing is that whats being talked about ISNT changing keys, it's just using accidentals to change to the "wrong mode" that is being chosen. We haven't modulated. Modulation would mean there is a new tonic, and tonic is still E. You've just uses some accidentals to get a borrowed exotic modal flavor out of it.

In the end though you shouldn't be thinking "i have to play this mode now over this chord" and "whoops i HAVE to play this one over this chord too". All you should be doing is melodically fitting the chord progressions. You dont HAVE to play any fuggin scale or mode anywhere. Breaking it down more simply - with the guide tones. All that's really important on a more simple level is leaning on the chord tones. E maj is you're first chord, G# is the 3rd. I wish you made it E maj 7, because then the other guide tone would be D#, the 7th. F#min7 is your 2nd chord, A is the 3rd, E is the 7th. A maj is your 3rd chord, C# is the 3rd and if youd be using 7ths G# is the 7th. And back to E, same guide tones. You can play to that progression by simply...playing 3rds and 7ths, no chord scales at all, and it'll sound great. But those aren't the only options. I take a more upper structure route to the guide tone concept. I use 9s, b9s, 11s, #11s, b13s, and 13s over chords (the chord doesnt even have to contain the interval, as long as the result isnt overly dissonant). "Color Tones" are my guide tones. I'd be playing F#'s and C#'s over that E major chord (9's and 13's), G#'s and D#'s over that F# minor 7 (9's and 13's), B's and D#'s and F#'s over that A major chord (9's, #11's, and 13's). These intervals posses very unique qualities that make playing over progressions much more interesting. The father of upper structure notes/color tones being used melodically is the great jazz player Bics Beiderbeck. Then a whole slew of greats took it to another level. Anyways, cheers.
Last edited by brainpolice on Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
smj
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DeViaTo wrote:
Super_Turd wrote:

what if you have this kind of progression:
C| E7 | Am | D7 | Dm7 | G7 | C | G | ?

gigi
The textbook answer would be:

C: C Ionian
E7: (V7/VI) E mixob9b13
A-: A aeolian
D7: V7/V Dmixo
G7: G mixo

Of course, nobody playes like that. You could get away with playing in C the whole time. There's isn't one note in the C scale that will conflict with any of those chords. Still, you'd sound like you're "skating" over those changes.

Its nice to hit the 3rd of each chord every now and again....the F# on D7, and the G# on the E7.

Depending on the style of the tune, it will determine how you play on them. If you have long stretches of one chord, there's a little more time to use different chord scales and lay them out as sheets of sound.

If it's a fast bebop tune, sometimes chord reduction is effective...find a series of common notes that work over as many of the chords as possible. A major scale or pentatonic scale perhaps.

Sean Meredith-Jones

http://www.seanmeredithjones.com
brainpolice
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"what if you have this kind of progression:
C| E7 | Am | D7 | Dm7 | G7 | C | G | ? "

Well. You're in C. The E 7 is just a 2ndary dominant to the A minor, a V7 of VI. Just change G's to G#'s over that. The D7, if you'd get rid of that Dm7 after it is just another 2ndary dominant to the G 7, V7 of V7. Just change F's to F#'s over that. My ear wants to reverse the order of the D minor 7 and D7. Try it yourself, put the Dm7 before the D7. It then becomes II, then V7 of V7. The G7 is just V, and C is I.
My version is:
C| E7 | Am | Dm7 | D7 | G7 | C | G | ? "
I, V7 of VI, II, V7 of V7, V7, I, V.
Thats what ya got there. For shits and giggles, change that last G chord to a F minor chord. Then when it loops around you get a minor IV chord to I effect (cums over that sound). :)
Last edited by brainpolice on Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
DeViaTo
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smj wrote:
DeViaTo wrote:
Super_Turd wrote:

what if you have this kind of progression:
C| E7 | Am | D7 | Dm7 | G7 | C | G | ?

gigi
The textbook answer would be:

C: C Ionian
E7: (V7/VI) E mixob9b13
A-: A aeolian
D7: V7/V Dmixo
G7: G mixo

Of course, nobody playes like that. You could get away with playing in C the whole time. There's isn't one note in the C scale that will conflict with any of those chords. Still, you'd sound like you're "skating" over those changes.

Its nice to hit the 3rd of each chord every now and again....the F# on D7, and the G# on the E7.

Depending on the style of the tune, it will determine how you play on them. If you have long stretches of one chord, there's a little more time to use different chord scales and lay them out as sheets of sound.

If it's a fast bebop tune, sometimes chord reduction is effective...find a series of common notes that work over as many of the chords as possible. A major scale or pentatonic scale perhaps.

Sean Meredith-Jones

http://www.seanmeredithjones.com
yeah!!!! right answer my friend from canada :-D :-D :-D

and all of you above smj are right: you explained my thought best :-D
i need to improve my written english :-D

in closing, when play modal, try to think as each chord you play is a tonality ;P

gigi
brainpolice
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"what if you have this kind of progression:
C| E7 | Am | D7 | Dm7 | G7 | C | G | ? "

Well. You're in C. The E 7 is just a 2ndary dominant to the A minor, a V7 of VI. Just change G's to G#'s over that. The D7, if you'd get rid of that Dm7 after it is just another 2ndary dominant to the G 7, V7 of V7. Just change F's to F#'s over that. My ear wants to reverse the order of the D minor 7 and D7. Try it yourself, put the Dm7 before the D7. It then becomes II, then V7 of V7. The G7 is just V, and C is I.
My version is:
C| E7 | Am | Dm7 | D7 | G7 | C | G | ? "
I, V7 of VI, II, V7 of V7, V7, I, V.
Thats what ya got there. For shits and giggles, change that last G chord to a F minor chord. Then when it loops around you get a minor IV chord to I effect (cums over that sound).
DeViaTo
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brainpolice wrote:"what if you have this kind of progression:
C| E7 | Am | D7 | Dm7 | G7 | C | G | ? "

Well. You're in C. The E 7 is just a 2ndary dominant to the A minor, a V7 of VI. Just change G's to G#'s over that. The D7, if you'd get rid of that Dm7 after it is just another 2ndary dominant to the G 7, V7 of V7. Just change F's to F#'s over that. My ear wants to reverse the order of the D minor 7 and D7. Try it yourself, put the Dm7 before the D7. It then becomes II, then V7 of V7. The G7 is just V, and C is I.
My version is:
C| E7 | Am | Dm7 | D7 | G7 | C | G | ? "
I, V7 of VI, II, V7 of V7, V7, I, V.
Thats what ya got there. For shits and giggles, change that last G chord to a F minor chord. Then when it loops around you get a minor IV chord to I effect (cums over that sound). :)
hi there :-)

I know what happen with that progression ;P
mine was only an example for Super Turd :-)

I hope it's useful for the thread :-D

gigi
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Ricardo
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Ok police. Tonal music vs chord scale vs modes. Semantics.

You seem to want to give a huge weight to the Ionian and Aeolian since in classical music they happen to utilize a V-I function. So you want to keep these "modes" separate from the rest of the related chords/scales and call it "in the key of...". Fine. But for me the modes each have a recognizeable flavor regardless how long you sit on the drone, or use different chords. When a new drone/chord comes, but scale is the same there is a new flavor. If you keep the drone/chord but change the scale, again a new flavor. Doesn't matter how you describe it, it is happening.

If you sit there w/ a D drone or bass note and "explore" the white keys for "a while", then you have found "dorian", right? Great. Call D "I" and you have a new tonic. If you make a new chord scale off of "D is I" using the white keys, you will discover that it is the SAME chord scale as C major. So you have also just "explored" some nice things to play over a ii chord in C major. It is the same thing, just named differently. You have also found some nice things for the iv chord in A minor, and for the vii chord from E phrygian tonic. So why must "dorian" be given so much weight? Because to you "for a while" means it must be "I". But why? Why can't you play on the iv chord for "a while", or forever? Well it is just about semantics.

I feel you don't need to spend x-time on the white keys returning to D bass to hear D dorian. As soon as you hear an F and a B note (either separate or simultaneous), you have got it. In fact you need those two notes specifically to hear it, not just any random white keys. If you want it to sound like D major (Ionian) you don't need a V-I movement. You can hear it just by hearing C# and G against the D major chord. For a D phrygian flavor you just need to hear Eb and A against it.

Applying this sound/flavor to either a simple Vamp or complex chord progression is the same thing. A vamp is just blowing a single chord (or two chords) from a chord scale out of proportion. It is extracted from a "possible" progression and looped continuously. No real need to name it something else (ie modal not tonal music) since both the key singnature, chordal and note spelling are the same. You are needlessly separating the same musical idea into two separate categories for the sake of "length of bars".

Imagine these progressions looped:

Am-D7=A dorian vamp
Am-D7-Cmj7=?
D7-C=Dmixo vamp
D7-Cmj7-Bm7=?
F#m7b5-Am7-D7-Cmj7-Bm7=?

Do you need to fill in something clever for the "?", or do know what to play and realize that it doesn't matter what you name it? Can you call it "G major" if there is no V-I? Why not dude?

Ricardo
Super_Turd
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DeViaTo wrote:
Super_Turd wrote:
if u play A major and u play A Locrian over it (7th mode) it will sound pretty damn weird. Maybe you want this effect? i dont know. but before u do that and start using otther scales in combination, id recormend getting the modes of the major scale down first in the way they are 'meant to be used' or most commonly used, then experiment.
of course it will sound weird, and of course you'll never pass a test at a music school :-P
but if, as you say, this weird sound, the sound you desire then it's ok... but before breking a rule you should know it. don't you think? :-P

gigi

i could swear you just repeated exactly what i said
Super_Turd
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Ricardo wrote:Super turd, did you realize that there are actually TWO major scales that fit your chord progression (E, F#m7, A, E). Since you did not add 7ths to the chords E or A, you can use both the E major scale and the A major scale.

I don't get why people get pissed off at breaking down a diatonic progression into "modal" components. ("its a fooken E scale!"). Great, one scale relates. But before you can solo and throw in some nice outside notes, you need to know the flavors of each mode. Examining a diatonic progression is the starting point since you are using the same 7 notes to solo with. After you can deal w/ that idea (each chord has a flavor in relation to the parent scale, ie "modes") you are ready to mix in modes from different scales. For example:

E-E major, or E mixolyian (Amaj)
F#m7-F# minor scale (Amaj) or F# dorian
A-A lydian (Emaj) or A major
E- back to the same.

This is the starting point. You can stick to one scale or mix the two if you like. Now you try this:

E-E lydian(Bmaj) or E phyrgian dom(A harmonic minor)
F#m7- F# dorian (Emaj) or F# phrygian (Dmaj)
A-A mixolydian(Dmaj) or A phrygian dom(D harmonic minor)
E- same as before or the earlier opptions.

Notice even though it is changing keys I was able to use the modal flavors to connect the F#m7 and the A chords together (it is the fooken D scale!). If you have time enough on each chord, you can change modes over a single chord (the "or"s above could be rhythmic change points like beat 3 of a bar of 4 or if you have two bars for each chord, the second bar). To go further you can use modes of melodic minor (5th or 4th modes on the major chords, 2nd mode for the minor chord) and symmetric scales (diminished scales, chromatic).

In jazz (or any music you improvise), the extensions to a chord limit your choices, which is good for soloing since you want to create a nice thread that melodically stiches together a progression. Too many opptions makes that harder to do. Minor second neighboring notes help this happen. You can also just arpeggiate each chord and forget about scales all together, using modes as a guide for passing tones. But this is all AFTER you have a handle on the concept of using Mixo, Dorian, Lydian, ionian, on your progression.

Ricardo
hey, interesting reply, hmmm for simplisitys sakes i shoulda added in the 7ths to minimise the confusiion
Emaj7 | F#M7 | Amaj7 | Emaj7

my bad.

I totaly agree with ure point of view in that it can be a good idea to emphisize even diatonic chords with arpegieos. i just wouldnt see the whole scale as a f# dorian, i geuse really thats prertty mucht the same thing.


To answer another thing som1 said in another post in this post is...

Som1 said u can add modal flavour by for example on the A chord playing an A lydian.
Ok, so what makes the 'flavour' of a scale?? simply the notes over a chord.
What ive been trying to say and my main point is that the ntoes in an E major scale are the same as an A lydian. The falvour is EXACTLY the same, and my way it simplifyes things. Its the same thang!



Hey thanks for correcting my F and F#m typing mistake, it happens wen ure typin a millino miles an hour, and sooner or later will happen again!

Todd
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