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Old 22-02-2013, 08:01 PM   #1
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Scales!

I got two questions for yall today!

1. Is it true that most EDM songs are written in the minor scale?

2. Is there any program/way that can help me ĘcheatĘ my way trough the major and minor scale theory? Im reading my theory book about it, and trying to watch videos, but im having some problems understanding it, so i was wondering if there was any way i could use like gost channels (from FL, i dont know if other DAW`s have that option) to see what notes i can play?

Also, Ive read that if you are going to use chords, you will need to build your bassline from the root note of the chord Im just trying to practice on chords and basslines, and melodies... so therefore im trying to get loose from the thory, for now, just so i can get a grasp of what it sounds like when you play in for example minor scale....

PS: Im NOT looking for ways to cheat my way trough theory for ever! Just for a little while so i can listen and maybe undertsand things a little better!

Thanks for all replies

Last edited by FoDriZZlE; 22-02-2013 at 08:04 PM..

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Old 22-02-2013, 08:25 PM   #2
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Re: Scales!

1. No, most pop dance tunes are probably written in Major scales, I'd say.

2. Not trying to be an ass, but seriously, scales are the easiest part of music theory. They are sets of single notes that sound good together relative to middle C and according to Western music theory. That's it (as far as I understand). You can memorize them if you want. I just use a cheat sheet. You can find pictures of the scales that look like the piano roll on the internet.

3. Stick with Chords and Melody and how they interact. And yea, using the root note in the bassline isn't a terrible idea, but I try to pick the notes that hit the hardest if I'm doing bass music. Doesn't HAVE to be the root note.

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Old 23-02-2013, 04:00 AM   #3
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Re: Scales!

Learn the A minor scale, learn the C major scale, transpose your keyboard up/down to any other key, bam, you can play any major or minor scale using only adjacent white keys!
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Old 23-02-2013, 04:14 AM   #4
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Re: Scales!

How to form a Major scale:
Tone, Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone, Tone, Semitone.
How to form a Minor Scale:
Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone.

A tone is two steps, and a semitone is one step.
So, a tone from C would be a D. And a semitone from C is a C#.

Scales are the first step in music theory. Practise them until they're instinct, then you can move on to chords and melodies and basslines. Don't get ahead of yourself, you'll regret it later. Take it slowly, learn it well.

There's no harm in making a 4 bar long midi section, with all the notes in the scale in it but muted. Then you can cut out chunks from each of the notes and make melodies and such from that. Hope that makes sense.
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Old 23-02-2013, 04:26 AM   #5
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Re: Scales!

Quote:
Originally Posted by statisticquill View Post
How to form a Major scale:
Tone, Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone, Tone, Semitone.
How to form a Minor Scale:
Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone.

A tone is two steps, and a semitone is one step.
So, a tone from C would be a D. And a semitone from C is a C#.

Scales are the first step in music theory. Practise them until they're instinct, then you can move on to chords and melodies and basslines. Don't get ahead of yourself, you'll regret it later. Take it slowly, learn it well.

There's no harm in making a 4 bar long midi section, with all the notes in the scale in it but muted. Then you can cut out chunks from each of the notes and make melodies and such from that. Hope that makes sense.
Just for the sake of another point of view. One of my long time friends taught piano for years told me to try learning chords and melodies and the relationship between them first as for many adults this is easier (she explained why, I forget now). I tried that and everything fell into place in a week or so. Not that I'm an expect, but I jumped forward in my theory understanding.

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Old 02-03-2013, 08:21 AM   #6
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Re: Scales!

+1 for just learn them. You'll thank yourself once you've learnt them all in a week.

Edit: If you have a keyboard, it's probably a good idea to learn them on that.

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Old 02-03-2013, 07:56 PM   #7
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Re: Scales!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarite View Post
+1 for just learn them. You'll thank yourself once you've learnt them all in a week.

Edit: If you have a keyboard, it's probably a good idea to learn them on that.
There are hundreds of scales. You can't "learn them all in a week". Sure you can with major, minor (melodic, harmonic, natural) scales. But you aren't even including any modes, limited modes of transposition, ragas, and synthetic scales...

Please don't vastly under simply pitch sets.

Last edited by IamOthello; 02-03-2013 at 07:59 PM..

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Old 02-03-2013, 09:20 PM   #8
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Re: Scales!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FoDriZZlE View Post


2. Is there any program/way that can help me ĘcheatĘ my way trough the major and minor scale theory? Im reading my theory book about it, and trying to watch videos, but im having some problems understanding it, so i was wondering if there was any way i could use like gost channels (from FL, i dont know if other DAW`s have that option) to see what notes i can play?


PS: Im NOT looking for ways to cheat my way trough theory for ever! Just for a little while so i can listen and maybe undertsand things a little better!

Thanks for all replies
If you are on a PC, take a look at: chordwarepa.com

(you can use it to temporarily cheat, or open doors, its up to you Though its not 'learning' software.

Last edited by harpeer; 02-03-2013 at 09:43 PM..
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:12 PM   #9
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Re: Scales!

ok, so I think I might be Off topic but whatever/ I don't want to start a new thread to just answer one question.

So If a song is in D major scale.

Do I Have to start with D?

because I used C# instead and I had someone tell me my song sounded off key and incorrect because I used C# instead of D(C# is in Dmajor btw) So wth.

Can anyone explain why It is wrong? or can they explain why he is wrong? plox halp

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Old 06-03-2013, 03:20 PM   #10
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Re: Scales!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapling View Post
ok, so I think I might be Off topic but whatever/ I don't want to start a new thread to just answer one question.

So If a song is in D major scale.

Do I Have to start with D?

because I used C# instead and I had someone tell me my song sounded off key and incorrect because I used C# instead of D(C# is in Dmajor btw) So wth.

Can anyone explain why It is wrong? or can they explain why he is wrong? plox halp
It's not wrong at all! There is nothing wrong about playing notes outside of the key you are in. Think of a key as being the generator of harmony. Melody often times can be highly chromatic while still being well contained within a key. If you played a Dmaj chord then added a C# in the melody, you would be playing a Dmaj7. Nothing wrong with that! If it sounds good to you, use it.

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Old 07-03-2013, 03:08 AM   #11
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Re: Scales!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapling View Post
ok, so I think I might be Off topic but whatever/ I don't want to start a new thread to just answer one question.

So If a song is in D major scale.

Do I Have to start with D?

because I used C# instead and I had someone tell me my song sounded off key and incorrect because I used C# instead of D(C# is in Dmajor btw) So wth.

Can anyone explain why It is wrong? or can they explain why he is wrong? plox halp
No.

If your song is in the key of D it means that D is the prevalent or home tone that the song usually ends with. Starting with the C# as the leading tone to D is no problem.

Who can say that he is wrong though? Maybe you should use another note like A as the key in mixolodian, or B in the relative minor key. Not enough info unless you show us the song.

Last edited by harpeer; 07-03-2013 at 04:26 AM..
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:16 PM   #12
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Re: Scales!

1. I don't know what scales most of my songs are. But probably Amin or Cmaj cause its the white keys and thats easiest. and you know the black keys are the "do not press these as often" keys.

2. fruity comes with a bunch of midi scales (or it used to). just load it up in a channel and use it as ghost. Easy stuff

If you do not wanna dabble to much into theory I recommend to start with a bassline. Get something you like. Keep it simple.

then add a melody to that. Whatever sounds good just go with it.

If you wanna know the chords from my basic understanding I say:

Whatever note the bass is playing is most probably the chords 1st or 5th note. so if the chord is C the bass probably plays a C but it could also play a G. SO you gotta work your way backwards from that

Note that I have a very limited knowledge of theory but I feel that it in no way hinders me to make any music that I like. If I want to make reggae I make reggae. If I wanna make sad ambient songs I do that. I go just with feeling. The only concept I have of theory is maj/min scale and that C F G (for Cmaj scale) and A D E (for Amin scale) are "good" chord progressions. And I think my melodies are complex and expressful enough check soundcloud if you wanna. If you don't wanna dabble with theory then don't no need to be apologetic about it. However the most basic understanding I think helps most people but never go by it as rule. Go with feeling then add things by the rules if all else fails.

whats more important is listening to many different kinds of music and figure out how the intervals relate to each other. finding these intervals on the keyboard is really easy if you know what you are looking for and have a decent ear.

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Old 08-03-2013, 04:11 AM   #13
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Re: Scales!

I think that reading a little bit about the math behind the equal tempered scale and its relationship with upper partials, as well as about the ratio of the intervals between steps in the pythagorean and the equal tempered scale will help you understand the nature of scales in a more interesting point of view.

This is why I prefer to work with frequencies instead of notes and expriment with alternate tunings. You are without limits when creating harmony.
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:52 AM   #14
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Re: Scales!

PHRYGIAN MODE IS THE BEST MODE


Also whole tone scales.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:26 PM   #15
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Re: Scales!

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I'm just gonna drop this down... right about... here...

This helped me alot, it's nice to have in the background, but keep in mind that scales and shit should limit your music or your workflow.

Use it as a guidance, not a limitation

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Old 09-03-2013, 06:43 PM   #16
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Re: Scales!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindsweeper View Post
PHRYGIAN MODE IS THE BEST MODE
have you tried modes of the melodic minor already ? Mixolydian b6 is one of my favourites.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:30 AM   #17
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Re: Scales!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lug View Post
have you tried modes of the melodic minor already ? Mixolydian b6 is one of my favourites.
I really liked dorian mode too. I remember fiddling with mixolydian but I barely remember how it sounded, also I'm assuming that's different from mixolydian b6? I googled it but I mostly see guides for guitar, I have no idea how to read tabs.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:02 AM   #18
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Re: Scales!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindsweeper View Post
PHRYGIAN MODE IS THE BEST MODE
This.

For some reason whenever I'm improvising to find melodies, I always always always end up playing in phrygian. If I'm playing all white notes, the last note will almost always be E. This also happens when I'm playing the sax, it's like part of my DNA.

Also, thanks Dippshoe for that link, quite useful.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:48 PM   #19
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Re: Scales!

Quote:
Originally Posted by statisticquill View Post
How to form a Major scale:
Tone, Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone, Tone, Semitone.
How to form a Minor Scale:
Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone.

A tone is two steps, and a semitone is one step.
So, a tone from C would be a D. And a semitone from C is a C#.

Scales are the first step in music theory. Practise them until they're instinct, then you can move on to chords and melodies and basslines. Don't get ahead of yourself, you'll regret it later. Take it slowly, learn it well.

There's no harm in making a 4 bar long midi section, with all the notes in the scale in it but muted. Then you can cut out chunks from each of the notes and make melodies and such from that. Hope that makes sense.
+1 on leaning these patterns for scales.

although the harmonic minor, which is the most common minor scale, has a raised tone (tone and a half) as the last interval before the root.

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Old 11-03-2013, 06:37 AM   #20
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Re: Scales!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FoDriZZlE View Post
1. Is it true that most EDM songs are written in the minor scale
As far as I know, the only EDM genre that loves the major scale is happy hardcore.
Electro house/dubstep that I've heard is always in minor, more specifically minor pentatonic/blues.
Trance/progressive house is always in minor too, with less emphasis on the pentatonic
Jazz-influenced house, techno, and drum & bass are usually in minor keys, but will use complex harmonies that could mask major/minor tonality at any given point in a song
Some EDM has no tonality or might have "exotic" sounds (neither major/minor). Very percussive or synthetic music

I agree that a lot of "dance pop" music is written in major tonality.. though not all.

Last edited by frajen; 11-03-2013 at 06:46 AM..

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