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majors and minors

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by metalsmack, Jan 8, 2002.

  1. hey i know this is probley a stupid question but my teacher has not gotten around to showing or telling me what majors or minors is. I'll ask him nex time i see him but that will be next monday, and i need to know now. So could someone tell me what majors and minors are?
  2. This is, in actuality, a good question, metalsmack. I wish I knew, as I don't have an instructor. But let me help you bump up the message ;)
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I started to answer this, but then I remembered that jazzbo (a.k.a. - TOFU TABEVIL) wrote a great thread on this very subject. Check out the link, and then if you still have questions, we'll all still be here.


    Good luck.
  4. Shumph


    Aug 25, 2001
    On the move
    Good job Jazzbo. You should advertise that link more I am sure it would help alot of ppl out.

  5. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    a major scale os made of two tetrachords. Terta equals 4. They are four note scales. The intervals are *whole step*whole step*Half step*. Take two of these and smack em' together you got a major scale, of which there are 12.

    Minors are different. There are 3 kinds of minors. Melodic, harmonic, and natural. Im not to sure about minors. Although If i remeber correctly, there are some notes (7th or 6th?) that are raised and lowed sometime. But i cant remember.

  6. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Thank you. That's not a bad idea to advertise it a little more. I'm thinking about adding to it too.
  7. Wow, I clicked on this post to help the guy out, but after reading this I am so confused I don't think I know what a major or minor is:rolleyes: :D

    Hey Punker, I just want to do a test, What color is the sky?
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    All three minor scales you mentioned share the same first five notes: as they relate to a parallel major scale, that would be:
    1, 2, b3, 4, 5.

    The differences in these three scales are in the 6th and 7th degrees. As they relate to their corresponding major counterparts, these would be:

    Natural minor:.....b6, b7
    Melodic Minor:......6, 7
    Harmonic minor:...b6, 7
    Dorian minor:........6, b7

    Hope this helps.
  9. ... Look above for the Minor ... Good job!

    Major is simple!

    I'll use C(it will work for all major scales):
    Finger C with the middle finger on Astring(C).
    Pinky on Astring(D).
    Pointy on Dstring(E).
    Middle on Dstring(F).
    Pinky on Dstring(G).
    Pointy on Gstring(A).
    Ring on Gstring(B).
    Pinky on Gstring(C).

    and there you have the C major scale(c,d,e,f,g,a,b,c). That EXACT fingering will work for all major scales. Just find the root note on the fret board and do the fingering, and there you have the major scale.

    All the minor scales are built off of these scales depending on which version of the minor you are doing(as stated above)

  10. Ummmm thanks for the help and the link, but i think im going to have to take this slow, one step at a time. Cause i looked at the page and got lost just reading it a couple of minutes. Mabey start out with a simple answer like just the basic sentence answer(if there is one) on what they are. Then i'll see what i can do from there. Either that or i'll wait till monday, but this problem has been bothering me for the past two days. I feel like this is something i should know. But i want to thank all of you for helping me out on this one.
  11. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Majors and minors are scales. That's it. They're two different type of scales, each one has it's own "flavor," if you will.

    A scale is just a specific pattern of notes.

    A major scale has 7 notes in it. Most would agree that the "easiest" scale is C major. The notes in C major are C - D - E - F - G - A - B. (i want so desperately to say F# ... must resist ... ).

    The notes in C minor are C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb.

    See how the notes are the same between major and minor scales, except for the 3rd, 6th, and 7th notes, (Eb, Ab, and Bb).

    Play both of those scales for a while, C major and C minor. Listen very closely to the differences. Play them so much that when you put the bass down and go to the kitchen for pop tarts, you hear them in your head over and over.

    Do this for awhile, and then take a look at my link again. But slowly, take it very slowly.
  12. would tab help you out?
    if so try this.

    C major scale


    you can move this pattern around and create different major scales by starting it on a different root note.

    A minor scale (natural)
    _1_2_3_4_5_6_7_8 <- intervals

    then if you know what flats are (b) you can figure out the different minor scales yourself.

    Natural minor:.....b6, b7
    Melodic Minor:......6, 7
    Harmonic minor:...b6, 7
    Dorian minor:........6, b7
  13. "Play them so much that when you put the bass down and go to the kitchen for pop tarts, you hear them in your head over and over. "

    Thats the key! Not mind blowing fun, but its like investing in Microsoft when they first went public! The payback is unreal.

    My advice is start with that major pattern(described above) and play through all the major scales, finding at least 2 places to play each on the neck. Then move on to each minor scale.

    Good luck.
  14. Well i have a question that will help me out with the minors and majors that is how will i know that (example) im suppose to play a B and it does not tell me if its on g,d,a,e because there is a B on 2nd fret A, 4th fret g, 7th fret e or 9th fret d? My teacher told me something about playing the lowest and highest notes and i can find out that way. But i don't understand. So when ya said play c minor am i suppose to play 3rd fret a, open d, first fret d,3rd fret d,open g,first fret g, and 3rd fret g?
  15. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    You're either going to hate or love this answer.

    It's up to you.

    A scale is just 7 notes. C major is just C-D-E-F-G-A-B. If you play that series of notes, regardless of what octave you play them in, or what order you play them in, you're playing a C major scale. Yes, in doing drills or exercises, many people will play the notes of the scale in order, starting with the root, and then playing each next highest note until they find the next C, the octave.

    To do this, it's important to understand how the notes on one string relate to the notes on another. You know, maybe, that your bass strings are tuned in 4ths.


    You'll notice that there is a C at the 3rd fret of the A string. The next note in the scale is D, and you could simply play that two frets higher at the A string. You could continue playing up that string, playing the E, the F, the G, the A, the B, then finding the C again, way up there, past the octave, (12th fret). Fun huh? Not very economical though in terms of motion or ease.

    You could also follow CHUMP STAIN's "tab" up a couple posts.

    I'm going to take it one step further.

    Note that the "D" at the 5th fret on the A string, is really the same "D" (same exact pitch, slightly different timbre due to the different string size). The "E" played on the 7th fret of the A string, is the same exact note as the 2nd fret of the D string. The next note is the "F" which can be played right there on the D string, 3rd fret. Then the "G". Where would you play that? You could play the 5th fret of the D string, but why not play the open G string. (tee-hee). Then the "A" on the second fret of the G string, then the B at the 4th fret, then the C at the 5th fret.

    Here's the tab:

    G ---------------0--2---4---5
    D ------0--2--3--------------------
    A 3--------------------------
    E ----------------------------------

    The roots are in bold. This isn't the traditional way, because I use the open strings, but you will be playing a C major scale from root to octave.

    Does this help?
  16. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Kind of skimmed this thread so I'm not sure if the issue of whole steps and half steps have been raised.

    Major scale has a particular "sonic" pattern which is a series of intervals and in this case a series of whole steps and half steps:

    W W H W W W H

    That's the pattern for a major scale. You should be able to hear this i.e. know what a whole step and a half step sound like so that you can start anywhere on your bass and play across the strings or up the string and play the scale.

    Also note that a major scale has a repeating pattern, the first four notes have the same intervalic pattern as the last four notes because the whole step-half step pattern is the same.

    C D E F = G A B C

    So another way of playing a major scale would be to play the first four notes of the scale and then go up a perfect fifth and play the next four notes the same way i.e. with the patter that you used to play the first four.

    Here's the whole step-half step pattern for the natural minor scale:

    W H W W H W W
  17. What I would learn firs is the whole

    WWHWWWH step process once you get that (it's not that difficult realy:) ) you will understand all the modes

    I will try my best to explain

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    W W H W W W H


    Those names are different modes and the number in front of them is what step you start on;)
    I'm sorry if I just confused you even more.:(
  18. danqi


    May 21, 2001
    Let me join you.
    Just to get this straight:
    If you want to play around with the major scale you can

    1) play the same finger pattern as chump stain's major scale tab at different places.
    Or you can
    2) play the note-halfnote pattern starting from different notes. In that case you get a different finger pattern and it is called a mode.

    Is that right?
  19. correct.
    I've never been able to remember that WWHWWWH pattern on the fly while playing. so, I just rememberd the modes. I think of it, like remembering 7 different phone numbers. and since I can't remember the goofy names of the modes, I just remember them as being numbers 1-7.
    for example (this is my method, which may not be best for you). if we're playing in the key of G, a G major chord would be built on the 1st mode. then lets say the song moves to a C major chord. all the notes for that chord will be contained in the 4th mode. then the chord progression moves to D. now I'm using the 5th mode to build my bass line with. I can see the shapes of the modes in the fretboard, you get used to how the shape looks and sounds.

    once you learn how each of the different modes sounds, you can move around freely and make cool basslines with out having to think about it.

    I need to work on that whole step/half step pattern a little more, thats cool.:)
  20. Hey i just went to my bass lesson today, and the first thing i asked him was about majors and minors. He play a major chord and a minor chord and showed me the difference. I found it very helpful and understood it. I am now going to take a look at that thing jazzbo made about majors and minors and read it slow so i should understand it now. I want to thank all of you for hanging in there and helping me out, thanks

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