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if you play different chords in a C scale hand position...???

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bradymccluer, May 22, 2002.

  1. bradymccluer


    May 15, 2002
    I was just reading an old Bass Player magazine and it had a section on the C maj scale plus relative A min and the melodic and harmonic versions. Below that it had arpeggios for al kinds of C chords from just a C to minors, diminished, augmented, 7ths and 9ths. I notice when you play those different ones you end up with Bb's and F# and all kinds of other accidentals. Are you actually changing keys when you switch between these or just playing the accidentals.

    Music theory boggles the hell out of me.... but i got to start learning somewhere
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Music theory doesn't have to boggle the mind. Just remember, it's easier than you think it is. It really is.

    Introductory Lesson on Chords/Scales

    Start at the above link. Take your time with it though.

    There are a lot of chords you can make with C as the root note. (But remember, just because C is the root note of the scale, doesn't mean that the chord is in the key of C major).


    The list goes on and on and on. And if you look at just two of those chords, let's say, Cmin7 and C7, you'll notice that these chords contain notes NOT found in the C major scale.

    Cmin7 includes C - Eb - G - Bb
    C7 includes C - E - G - Bb

    Read the lesson I liked above, and one thing it discusses is, in a major scale, the chord's color for each position of the scale. By "color" I mean whether or not the chord is major, minor, or diminished. What you will notice, and should commit to memory, is that in all major scales, the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th degrees of the scale all form minor 7th chords.

    So, if that's true, then that tells you that Cmin7 will appear naturally in any major scale as the 2nd, 3rd, or 6th note of that scale. We know Cmin7 can't appear as the 1st degree. That link says so. Besides which, how could it? It would have to be the first degree of the scale, the I chord. But it isn't. Cmin7 has an Eb and Bb. The C major scale does not.

    Okay, so what scales would have a natural C in the 2nd, 3rd, or 6th position? That's all you have to figure out. I'll give you the answer, but read the lesson until you understand how I get the answer.

    Bb major
    Ab major
    Eb major

    Bb major = Bb - C - D - Eb - F - G - A - Bb
    Ab major = Ab - Bb - C - Db - Eb - F - G - Ab
    Eb major = Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - C - D - Eb

    Notice how all of those scales have the notes of Cminor7 in them, naturally!

    So yes, if you are playing a chord, with C as the root note, but one of the other notes of the scales contains an accidental, like F# or Bb, you are playing chords appear naturally in a different scale/key.

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