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 Relationship Between Scales

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Number of posts : 338
Age : 23
Location : Lost In Holywood
Years playing : 3 1/2
Guitar : Schecter S-1
Registration date : 2008-12-27

PostSubject: Relationship Between Scales   Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:24 am

OK, so Dean wanted me to make this a couple months ago and I've finally finished it, since the science Fair is over. Anyway, this is a quick lesson about the different relations between scales, which will essentially help with composing OR improvising.

Relationships Between Scales

Let’s face it, you run out of melodic possibilities if you use just one Scale. But if a song is in a certain Key, doesn’t that mean you HAVE to play in that Key? Well yes, in a sense. But, that doesn’t mean if a song is in G Major, you have to solo in G Ionian. There are many different options. Let’s use G as an example, and go through some of the Relationships.


Pentatonic Scales are the Guitarist’s best friend. They add so much more possibilities. Instead of just 7 notes to work with, you have 20. Although, yes they repeat themselves often, you get what I’m saying. If you know your Pentatonic Scales well, you will notice that the 5th position of the Major is the same as the 1st of the Minor. Why is this? Well it’s because of ……


Relative Minors are very useful for improvising or composing solos. Think back to our Diatonic Lesson. We talked VERY briefly on Relative Minors. We talked more about they’re use in Chord Progressions. But now let’s talk about how they are used in Solo or Riffs.
Why is it that A Minor sounds nice when played over C Major Progression, but not with other Chords? Well let’s look at A Minor, and put stars beside notes that are in both scales.

* represents notes in both A Min and C Maj.


Well, that’s a lot of notes that are the same! That’s why Relative Minors work. Now let’s focus on the opposite of Relative Minors….


Relative Majors obviously work the same way, except instead of three steps down go three steps up. Basically it means you could play a C Major riff over A Minor progression. Or, since playing an Ionian riff or solo is pretty boring, you could play a C Major Pentatonic over A Minor progression.

Now, for these next few relationships I’m not sure what to call them. I discovered these on my own time and didn’t find them on a website or in a book. They work almost the same as Relative Minors/Majors but they aren’t considered Relative Minor/Majors because of the intervals they begin on the scales. There is one more for Major, and one more for Minor.

So, once again, you’ll notice with this that the notes between these scales are similar. So let’s look at C again. This time, instead of going the tree steps down, you just need to play the scale. You’ll notice that the notes following the II interval are the same as a D minor, meaning you could play a small D Minor lick over a C Maj. Progression.

MINOR. This is the same thing, pretty much. Let’s say an E Minor Progression, starting on A/7. If you play one tone above that, it’s like playing a VII interval. (A/5). Meaning, if you start with a VII interval of a minor scale, it’s practically the same as playing a Maj. Scale.

Hopefully this will open up a whole new way to look at how to look at scales, and how to compose. This will also help with improvising.


Dean wrote:
ur so awesome Bruce

Indeed, I am.
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Number of posts : 304
Age : 25
Location : Worcester, MA
Years playing : 3
Guitar : Schecter s-1
Registration date : 2008-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Relationship Between Scales   Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:30 pm

I know this one pentatonic scale I use but I think I need to learn more
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