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Learning scales

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by jostego, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Noise. :D
  2. chadgrimes


    Jan 11, 2013
    I already did. However, I will explain to u again. First let me say that by TRUE definition an arpeggio is a series of chord tones play in a series instead of a block chord. This is basic music 101. However, like many terms in music, the meaning of things, just like the english language, has involved to cover more things. For example, Classical Music is just music of the Classical Period but in today's world actually means ALL music that sounds what we deem as classical. This includes 21st century music that sounds like Beethoven or Bach would have written. Now to answer your question about NON chord tone arpeggios, the word Arpeggio in MANY cases has evolved to mean a series of notes played that sounds like the movement of what we know of about true arpeggios. For example. Lets say a lead sheet of music has an Fmaj7 chord. What happens if the piano player plays the Chord tones (1,3,5,7) as block chords and a guitar player is playing extensions or the tensions as a series of notes. Those extensions are not technically apart of the vanilla basic chord.
    Another example is A tonal music. If we know arpeggios to be chord tones, what happens when u have serial composition or A tonal pieces that really dont define chords in the traditional sense, but yet have a series of notes that sound like even 8th notes or what we deem as an arpeggio rhythm? In today's world we say its arpeggiated even though there is no real chord tones. I don't know why you get hung up on terminology anyway, because again, in many instances a music theorist will take a basic concept and put a real big fancy name to it like G lydian dominant to the 10th power with a lowered sixth and raised 9th with tensions #11 and Flatted second HAHAHAHAH!, and other older musicians will say.."Its just a hybrid chord kid!"
  3. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    For the third time: can you provide any authoritative reference for this claim?

    Because the terminology is the common ground that we use to communicate. When you start making up your own definitions for commonly-accepted terminology, what you write is at best confusing and at worst flat-out wrong.
  4. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    arp may have evolved in the minds of many music software users to mean just about any sequence of notes or more likley the software module capable of looping on a designated sequence of notes

    most opf these packages come defaulted to chord tones, but they can be set to anything. And that function is usually designated as a noun arp or a verb to arp and never arpeggio which shoukld retain its original meaning.
  5. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    No he can't.

    arpeggio by the Free Online Dictionary - The sounding of the tones of a chord in rapid succession rather than simultaneously. 2. A chord played or sung in ...

    Arpeggio at Dictionary.com - the sounding of the notes of a chord in rapid succession instead of simultaneously. 2. a chord thus sounded. Also called broken chord.

    Arpeggio from Merriam-Webster - 1. : production of the tones of a chord in succession and not simultaneously ...

    Arpeggio from Wikipedia - An arpeggio (plural arpeggi or arpeggios) is a musical technique where notes in a chord are played or sung in sequence, one after the other, rather than ringing ...

    He can talk all he wants about definitions, but the most common definition of an arpeggio seems to be clear to everyone but him. I shouldn't let myself get sucked back into this, but his arguments are so ridiculous, I can't help myself.

    I thought he was going to take his arguments over to his new thread where he could pontificate without distraction???
  6. ^^^ This is very important!!!
  7. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Likewise. And to Joe Louvar's point, this is why it is important:

    It's pretty common for me to see something like this on a guitar chart: ""FMaj7 (arpeggios)". I would venture to say that it is universally understood by competent arrangers, orchestrators, and guitar players that that means to play, sequentially, some combination of F A C E. I may have some discretion regarding the order of those chord tones, depending on how I choose to voice the chord, but I can read that chart and know with certainty that those are the notes the arranger expects me to play. I can also know with certainty that the arranger did not intend that I play, for example, a G, or B, or D. And the arranger can write the chart the way he did knowing with certainly that guitar players like me will read it and understand what he meant.

    Now, if I'm playing a jazz chart, I could certainly choose to play G B D over an FMaj7 if liked the sound of the 9, #11 and 13 over that chord, and I could even play those notes sequentially ascending and descending in the same way that one might play an arpeggio. However, no one would ever say that I was playing an FMaj7 arpeggio. They might say that I am superimposing a G major arpeggio over the FMaj7 chord, but they wouldn't say that the notes I'm playing are part of an FMaj7 arpeggio.
  8. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    You cannot re-define arpeggios on a whim, it means the same for all musicians playing all instruments.

    "True Arpeggios"??????? I have never heard the phrase " true arpeggios".

    The fact you have to say "true" in front of the word arpeggios, implies you have created other types of arpeggios..........does it not?
    So you now use the phrase "true arpeggios" to distinguish them from what..........arpeggios?????

    For the movement of notes played one after the other we have;
    For a guitarist the same technique is called finger picking or if you want a broken chord, sweep picking, chicken picking......call it what you want.

    For a banjo players it is Scruggs style, rolls,chicken picking, claw hand etc, but it all relates back to the fact that the intention is, "chords to be played harp like" which we all take to understand as not strummed, or if you want not played as a block, or if you want not all together.

    But it can only apply to chords, so that means chord tones.
    The word arpeggios tells us it is chords.....you are in effect saying "chord tones chords" when you say chord tone arpeggios ...that's all.

    But we are not hung up on terminology, you are????

    You have been informed, many times so far,that you do not need to invent new uses or re-apply or over complicate terminology, there are plenty of terminology to apply to movement.....regardless of the notes used.

    All you are being taught is that arpeggios are chord tones, the term, chord tone arpeggios, infers other notes not included in a chord can be arpeggios.

    It's a point of musical grammer....which you should understand and embrace to stop future confusion and un-nessesary re-explanation of a simple concept.

    In the key of F Maj. We have one one flat, a Bb.....not an A# or do you believe it is "getting hung up" in a point of terminology to see it that way?

    Maybe points like the difference between, a chromatic semitone and, a diatonic semitone, is seen as getting "hung up" on an en-harmonic note?

    Your understanding (that is your, not you're, sound the same, but have different meanings so different implication) of how and why these things happen in music, is because you are not making the correct connections between ideas.

    It is the finer points of music, just like grammar, that separate misunderstands, in much the same way as a a mis-spelt word or wrongly used word can change the meaning of a phrase or sentence.

    Just saying....:)

    Chad you are doing yourself no favours here my friend, if you keep this standard of interaction up, you will just end up being ignored and any useful points you want to make lost.....on any thread...on any form....a reputation will follow you around the web...
    Just saying.....:)
  9. Everyone else here seems to understand the meaning of "arpeggios", except the person championing their use. It's not a complicated term, Chad, though you seem intent on making it so.

    If you spoke Spanish on this forum, people would say, "please speak English; we can't understand you". The same applies for music - please speak the language.
  10. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    This is used only by the true believers like Chad :p
  11. Scales and chords are two sides of the same coin. You can't properly understand one and not the other. As for this "scales should left in the theory room" nonsense - are musicians supposed to just block portions of music from their minds while they're playing? Ridiculous.
  12. Araman


    Sep 19, 2012
    bass teacher , IBASS-SCHOOL
    for me , learning scales is :
    let's take one of the important scales ( major , harmonic minor , melodic minor or half-diminished )
    everywhere you put your fingers on the fretboard , you have to know where are the wright notes of the scale
    then , play a rhythm on a beatbox , and try phrasing on it
    it takes years of practice !
  13. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    I really like this statement.
    While I want to agree, you'd be amazed at the amount of cognitive dissonance that people live with, and even rabidly defend. I won't go into detail, because it would just start, literally, a religious war. My point is that I've known people who are near-guru in a subject, but for some reason completely refuse to associate that knowledge with something extraordinarily similar. I'm certain I am guilty of this, so I'm not placing blame on anyone. I just try to get people to recognize it when I see it, and hopefully people will point it out to me, when they see it.
    Agreed. Scales are used ALL THE TIME in music. But, again, sometime people refuse to see things.

    I also want to add that if there is such a thing as "chord tone arpeggios", then there must be "arpeggios" which include non-chord tones. We already have a term for this: chromatic run. Therefore, there is no need for "arpeggios that include non-chord tones" and then simply "arpeggios" can mean "chord tone arpeggios".

  14. But, thank goodness there is no such thing!!!
  15. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Cognative learning.....you're learn scales, and you say and play them on the bass. When you learn chords, you relate them to the scales, but you only take out what you know.
    What you know is that since you were a child you learned to count, you would have used counting almost every day, so when you count notes or intervals you are using that skill, you do not think about what you want to count you see it and count.

    Try this recite every odd number between 1 and 25.
    Now recite every even number between 1 and 25.
    Pretty easy, because you have learned to do it through life, you just did not know you had. You can recite every other number forwards or backwards with fluent ease.

    But recite every other letter of the alphabet from A.
    Now every other letter of the Alphabet from B

    Not so easy now, but we start well then need to think and then we struggle..so why?

    We use numbers like scales, we relate them to form sequence and a sequences line we can follow.
    You have never counted to 1'000'000 but you know how to do it, because you can order the sequence of units, tens, hundreds, and thousands.

    The alphabet does not use sequence in words, it uses letters in random order to spell them, so unless we have used every other letter or had need to learn it, we would never have used the alphabet in an every other letter sequence.

    But you will be able to recite the first 7 letters using every other letter, because in music it is a skill we use.
    This is why tab works, it is familier and uses a skill we already know and use.
    Standard Notation on the other hand is a new skill to learn.

    But the more of these skills we internalise the more the support what we think...and that is done in micro seconds.
    No one when laying has time to think about what and how they play, so the idea that a player stands there and relates to scales, or chords, or shapes etc when they play does not happen.....to those that play in a fluid, natural skillfully way.
    The notes and music just flow, every split second the information is all being collated, analysised, weighted up as useful or relevant used or dismissed.
    As well as hand positions being worked out, fingerings, reading the music, looking at the band leader, playing the notes, listening to those around us, feeling the tempo etc etc....all these things happen every split second we are in those playing situations.

    So in the end if you have been learning and working on musical ideas, you not only see music on the page you hear it, you cannot stop yourself from doing so. It is the same if you look at tab, you do not see four lines, you see E A D G, and even though there are number written on those lines you see the note not really the number.... see a 3 on any line and you know it is a G C F or a Bb, you relate each note is a fourth above each other, you relate G - F is a b7 etc...you cannot stop these thoughts from entering and leaving you mind. They are reinforcing what you know.

    You cannot no more forget to use scales as you can forget not to see, hear, feel, or smell. You will never leave anything in the practice room, in fact you need them with you to play.
    In fact everything you work on and practice will find its way into your playing. The more levels you understand ideas on, the deeper and more internalised your understanding becomes.

    This is the point that those who advocate one system over another, as Mark says " same side of the coin", they are equally important to learn.
    I have seen and heard as many players run scales as I have run arpeggios, each as mundane and looking as dissatisfied and sound like they are going through the motions.....running arpeggios can sound just as bad as running scales.
    There needs to be syncopation, an understanding of Key, Modulation, tension, release, the setting up of where the sound is going, maybe even a reprise of where it was once was as you move through new ideas.
    Within harmony there has to be melody, or is that with a melody there needs to be harmony...it's not melody or harmony its melody and harmony, just as it can be scales and chords.

    I have played many ideas that have been scales or scale ideas that were just harmonised, and maybe just as many were he melody came after the harmony was defined.
    In the end it all, and I mean all, gets used, even if I do not realise it, even if i did not want to use some of it, if becomes an instinct or feel of what feels right in a giving musical situation.

    In the end the player makes better note choices, makes better decisions on what we play, make less mistakes.......just learning to make less mistakes makes us better players. Some players focus on looking for an advancement in playing skills they fail to notice the small things that used to hold them back are not as punishing as they used to be.
    One of these is stamina, they hand does not tire so easily, so the rhythm and tempo are held better and for longer....but goes un-noticed because that killer lick is still tripping them up.

    But in the context of this thread if there are scale runners there will also be arpeggio runners, those that start from the root and run it up and down.
    No understanding of 7th note approach, chromatic approach, substitution etc...they just run chord tones in 4/4 quarter notes.....in the end a player is the sum of all their parts not any main one:)
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    So scales and chords are related, and we use that info to make music? No kidding. Read Fergie's bit about "running scales and arpeggios," and rather than act like we're full of cognitive dissonance, realize that someone with a decent ear can tell when someone's playing music and when someone's running scales and arpeggios.
  17. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    As you know Jimmy, it seems like every few months a topic of "one over the other" comes up and it grabs the imagination of a few that "maybe this has some value", because they try it and their playing seems to take a sudden leap for the better.
    They fail to realise that maybe the improvement they gained from their new focus is just balancing up the side they neglected.....filling in the blanks they missed so to speak.
    So for those that have concentrated on scales over chords, the introduction of chord tones is being supported by their already learned knowledge of scales..and visa versa.
    Many seem to relate the last thing the worked on before the improvement was the cause of it, rather than the catalyst that brought everything they have worked on together.....progress is not gradual it comes in plateaus, but they may level off for a long time before they jump up to the next one.:)

    Anyway Jimmy snowing here ...and cold...how is Florida this time of year?
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A little nipply out there, Fergie. Not cold but there's a chill in the air.
  19. ics1974


    Apr 13, 2012
    Can I use chord tone arpeggios to play metal?

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