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Fusion music theory: scales, modes, chords ?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Doryan, Sep 14, 2002.


  1. I recently want to play fusion and need some guidelines on the rules of music theory for fusion.

    Are there some scales, modes and chords that are mandatoricly (is this a word?) played.
    How about rythm: measures, moderation, beats ?

    What's so different about jazz, or is it almost the same and should I read up on threads around here on jazz ?

    .
    I used to play metal where I was a geek for theory.
    I played mainly in dorian and phrygian scales, 9th, diminished and power chords.

    Does anyone have some tips or excercices ?
     
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    By nature, fusion doesn't have rules.
    It's a mix of different influences.
    Those days it would fall in world music I guess.
     
  3. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    practice both major and minor scales in all 12 keys, as well as their arpeggios in all 12 keys. Learn theory.
     
  4. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Jazz fusion uses only the locrian mode. G#. G# locrian.
     
  5. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    :D:D:D
     
  6. In a lot of fusion music (not all), the harmony is a lot simpler than jazz changes. However, if you listen to the soloists, they play all kinds of crazy stuff over these relatively easy harmonies. Most monster fusion players are monster jazz players. They really developed their ears and their chops by playing jazz.
     
  7. Thanks for the responses.

    The thing is: I used to play progressive metal, were the statements are the same: no rules, different styles, anything goes.
    I was mostly inlfluenced by celtic, melodic folk, early romantic classical music, 80's speed metal, and renaissence modality.

    So I wanted to know if they are specific rules for fusion, but there are none either. I wanted to have the theory right first.

    Now: asides from music theories, what other tips do you have to change from progressive metal to fusion ?
    I once heard a fusion instrumental album, I unfortunally don't recall the artists.
    It was kinda like: St. Germain meets Incubus meets Disturbed (the guitars sounded like Disturbed), with a fretless and some overdrive and flanger effects I guess to my ear.

    Wich new styles should I explore also ?
     
  8. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    all of them :D
     
  9. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    I do not believe mandatoricly is a word.

    If there are no guidelines for any style of music, why is there a Blues scale?
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    It's a minor pentatonic! ;)

    Actually I agree - there is Jazz Theory - see "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine!
     
  11. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Ok I've not been a member long, what's this G# locrian thing about, some kind of in-joke?
     
  12. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    No, it's not an 'in' joke, just a sarky one.. and pretty good sarcasm too I might add :)

    As said above the word 'fusion' pretty much says it all. You take influences from all over the shop and combine them to make weirdy beardy nutters music.

    Try going to www.allmusicguide.com and doing a 'style' search for fusion. It will bring up a load of artists, probably all worth checking out.

    Check out Herbie Hancock HeadHunters.

    - The man from Brighton he say YES! :D

    Beware, jazz theory comes with a price. You must never use this jazz theory for any other style of music, tis forbidden*

    *Except for fusion, but be mindful you do not stray from the path and use the power of jazz to make any music that might become vaguely popular, or cast out you will be, yess!/SIZE]
     
  13. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Where'd it come from? Why G# Locrian?
     
  14. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    ...as far as i can tell the choice was random, it was the point of fusion being limited to one mode that was humerous.

    How To Kill A Joke, by Howard King.
     
  15. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Oh. I just thought from the fact that Jazzbo mentioned G# Locrian in that other thread ("what's the single most important piece of information...") as well that it was some kind of running joke or something.
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member



    Well - "Heavy Weather" was vaguely popular and it's fusion, as well as using a lot of Jazz Theory!!

    So there! ;)
     
  17. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Whatever you say Bruce, whatever you say ;)

    Now all we need is a scale of vagueness?

    I hereby claim myself as the inventor of the 'vague scale', it's a random combination of whole tone and chromatic with a m3 thrown in for 'flava'.

    I see Joe Zawinul has a new album out actually, I might buy it once I've step back from the edge of bankruptcy. Has some great bassists on it, I think it was somebody and somebody else!
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member


    No, no, no! I bought that one a few weeks back and it has some great grooves, but the bassists are Victor Bailey, Richard Bona and Etienne Mbappe!
     
  19. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Oh yeah, that was it./

    Note I've editted my post to prevent further embarassment.

    I read about it only yesterday and the names completely went from my mind, probably cause I've never heard those bassists (other than Bona).

    I'm a total dimwit sometimes (leave it!).