Using a major scale over a major chord

Discussion in 'Theory Zone - Guitar Theory Made Useful' started by BoogieMan, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. Paleo

    Paleo One Count At A Time

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    OK. Here's a simple demo.

    First I play C Major over the C Major track.

    Then I play just B,C,D on the 5th string.

    Then just E,F,G on the 4th.

    Then just A,B,C on the 3rd.

    This assures we'll hear each note over each chord.

    Then G Major over the G track, followed by the same 3 notes of C Major on the 5th, 4th and 3rd strings.

    Then F Major with the same 3 notes on the same strings.

    https://dl.dropbox.com/s/l5iqnaih3dnvgei/Scales.mp4?dl=0


    No mention of modes needed. They just seem to confuse the issue.

    The mere mention of modes tends to make people run for cover.

    So why did they come up?

    Answer to follow.
     
    #41 Paleo, Jan 5, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
  2. Paleo

    Paleo One Count At A Time

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    The Key of G has one sharp, F#.

    (Follow the bouncing F#)

    The Key of A has 3 #'s, C# F# G#.

    If we play G Major starting from A, we only have the F#.

    We don't have a C# of a G#.

    So the C in G Major = b3 in A and the G in G Major = b7 in A.

    So compared to A Major (A B C# D E F# G#) we have A B C D E F# G (1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7), i.e, A Dorian.

    Moving up, B Major has 5 #'s. So in G we "lose" 4 of them = B C D E F# G A (1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7) = B Phrygian.

    Moving up to C.

    C has no sharps or flats. Playing the F# of G Major = C D E F# G A B C (1 2 3 #4 5 6 7) = C Lydian

    If we play C Major without the F# we'll actually be playing G Mixolydian because F will be a b7 in G Major.

    So if we play C Major over the C chord (IV) in G Major, we can look at it from 3 different perspectives:

    We'd be playing C Major (Ionian) instead of C Lydian or we'd be playing G Mixolydian instead of G Ionian or we'd be trying to play C Major in a G Major progression. o_O


    Likewise in the Key of F, we'd be playing C Major (Ionian) instead of C Mixolydian or F Lydian instead of F Ionian or C Major in a F Major progression.

    Like I said, introducing Modes tends to confuse things. :)
     
    #42 Paleo, Jan 5, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
  3. Paleo

    Paleo One Count At A Time

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    Final thought finally?

    This should come as no surprise.

    It's not that you can't play the entire Major scale.

    The 6 notes the two keys have in common will "work".

    It's the one they don't have in common that won't.


    Looking at the Circle of 5ths (page 18 in Griff's course), any three Keys in a row are considered "closely related".

    The "upper" one is a 5th above the middle of the 3 and it, in turn, is a 5th above the lower one.

    They will differ from each other by one note, i.e. any key has 6 notes in common with both the one above and below.

    The one note that is different won't sound "good" in the Key above or below.

    Otherwise, there'd be no need for different Keys. o_O


    You can also view them as chords.

    Consider the middle one to be the I chord. The Dominant V is a 5th above to the right (clockwise) and the Subdominant IV is a 5th below to the left (anti-clockwise).


    The 4 of the Key of the I chord will be different from the 7 in the Key of the V by a half-step. (F vs F# between C and G)

    And the 7 of the Key of the I chord will be different from the 4 in the Key of the IV chord. (B vs Bb between C and F)

    Playing one when you should be playing the other ain't gonna sound good.


    And you can avoid all the 4's and 7's by playing the Major Pentatonic of the I chord. :)

    Or the Major Pentatonic of each chord. :sneaky:
     
    #43 Paleo, Jan 5, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
    Dr. Ron likes this.
  4. BoogieMan

    BoogieMan Blues Junior

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    Good demo video. I'm going to save it in my files for future reference. Thanks for all your work on this subtle but important idea.
     
  5. ScottSnellgrove

    ScottSnellgrove Blues Newbie

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    Yeah . The C scale works over a C major chord if it is the root but may not sound bluesy as the blues tension comes from having minor third over the major or dom chord. People also get confused with modes between Parallel Modes (ie C- Ionian versus C -Myxolydian )-which have different notes) versus sequential modes C Ionian versus D Dorian etc where the parent scale notes are the same but the tone centre or focus note is different .