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simple question.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MMStingRay, May 1, 2009.


  1. MMStingRay

    MMStingRay

    Aug 17, 2004
    Michigan
    supported by Hipshot, Diamond strings and Clayton picks
    I have a song which has a C# minor in it.. What was the rule for minors (flat on the 3rd or something?) :oops:
     
  2. meta

    meta

    Mar 11, 2009
    well....... it sounds like you want a really simple answer. and that would be that a major 3rd is 4 steps up chromatically from the root, and a minor 3rd is just 3 steps up. 5ths stay the same.

    or a slightly more complicated way to think about is that the minor scale is just a major scale played in another position. E major would have the same notes as C# minor, so you could just play E major during a C#, that is what people call playing in modes. But I'd recommend you emphasize the C# of the E major scale as your root, at least to start out with.
     
  3. yes, to make a chord minor, you flatten the 3rd. For C#, the notes are C# , F, and G#.
    to make it minor, it would be C#, E and G#

    ed
     
  4. MMStingRay

    MMStingRay

    Aug 17, 2004
    Michigan
    supported by Hipshot, Diamond strings and Clayton picks
    So when the guitar goes to C# minor, I can go to E? It sounds better to me then going to C#.. The C# sounds a bit flabby/mushy were as the E pops out. But I wasn't sure if that was ok or not?
    I don't have to riff at that point its more of a single passing note that has some sustain before moving on..
    I want to know personally, not for the gig. It's not my band, I'm only setting in for a Friday night with some guys who need a bass player.. One time deal for a few $$..
     
  5. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    MA
    Short answer: yes, you can play E under a C# minor chord

    Longer answer: If you're interested in learning something from this experience, note that C# minor is called the "relative minor" of E major. Google that term or look it up in a book and it will serve you well for future "minor" occurrences.
     
  6. MMStingRay

    MMStingRay

    Aug 17, 2004
    Michigan
    supported by Hipshot, Diamond strings and Clayton picks
    Will do.. I've noted E major/C minor scales seem to be related.. So I need to look it up and sit down with the bass ans see for myself.

    Thanks guys!
     
  7. you could play the e under the c#m , but I really would not hang on it too long.
    playing c# should sound good over the c#m chord. Are you sure the guitarist is playing a c#m? Usually they try to play a AM7, (a c#m inversion of some sort), because they dont know were c#m is on any other place on the fretboard. The AM7, to me anyway, doesnt sound quite right as a minor chord in the key of E.
    Or they may be out of tune with you.
    You cannot go wrong playing just the roots of the chords, and adding the fifth to make a groove.

    You sound to me like a beginner, or someone that has not played too long. Learning some scales and how chords are constructed, and the notes on the fretboard is not that difficult, and makes your playing more interesting and fun.
    Some guys try to over think this theory stuff and make your head swim. A little theory can go a long long way...

    If you are not sure what to play tonight, keep your parts simple, and they will most likely call you back again.

    ed
    ed
     
  8. Revvv

    Revvv

    Oct 31, 2007
    Georgia
    Wow, I just realized that I have forgotten every bit of music theory I ever knew. Well most of it.
     
  9. MMStingRay

    MMStingRay

    Aug 17, 2004
    Michigan
    supported by Hipshot, Diamond strings and Clayton picks
    I see the relitive seems to always be 4 frets down the neck.

    So in application, When a guitar is in a Minor, is it better to use or work out of its relitive Major on the bass. I play many songs where the guitar, at some point is in a minor and I play the root, would the relitive major be better?
     
  10. MMStingRay

    MMStingRay

    Aug 17, 2004
    Michigan
    supported by Hipshot, Diamond strings and Clayton picks
    Hate to say it but I've been playing by ear for a long time.

    I've never been more then a garage bass player being in school, married and working after noon's, I never put much into it. But ended up playing out more and more and learned by fire. I'd say I'm the blue color bass player who never had much book learnin. I can pick stuff up by ear and I learned what works and want doesn't over the years.

    I went back and learned the major and minor scales which added some understanding to what I was already doing. Seems I knew and used much of it but never knew what it was called or why it worked. But I've had trouble teaching myself theory and my playing is limited by it along with my creativity.

    Take it form me kids, Stay in school and get an education!
     
  11. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Two main ways to look at chord spellings. One is the scale degrees of the major scale built on the root of the chord), the other is the intervals.

    So, let's start with that C#minor chord. The C# is the root, so the C# scale is C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C#. The forumula for a minor chord is 1, b3, 5 so that's C#, E, and G#.

    The other way is to know that a minor chord is a minor third with a major third on top of it. A minor third from C# is E. A major third from E is G#. Therefore the C#min is C#, E, G#.

    It's the vi chord in the key of E, but it's also the iii chord in the key of A, and the ii chord in the key of B.
     
  12. bearshimmy

    bearshimmy

    Feb 14, 2005
    You are correct the 3d is flatted, I would try to emphasise that note when the chord comes up in order to make the chord change more apparent, along with the 7th of the chord.
     
  13. MMStingRay

    MMStingRay

    Aug 17, 2004
    Michigan
    supported by Hipshot, Diamond strings and Clayton picks
    Thanks guys,

    I know I'm not completely lost cause I knew the d3 rule was floating in my head..

    I do need to spend some time refreashing my scales and learn some theory..
     
  14. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Major to minor = flat 3rd, flat 6th, flat 7th. It just so happens that the E you're playing is the minor 3rd of C#, so it's a perfectly acceptable note choice, but I would suggest using it in conjunction with the root, as opposed to replacing the root.
     
  15. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas
    Generally, i'd say no. If the chord is minor, the bass ought to support the minor chord harmony, not force the relative major into the equation.

    Of course this is all very dependant on context..what chords come before and after, what the feel of the style or song is, etc.

    If you are looking at exploring theory more, I'll paste in my standard advice:


    ---------------------------------------
    THEORY PROGRESSION
    ---------------------------------------
    Theory can seem like a quagmire to those who are starting out, and it's often difficult to know just how important a particular aspect of it is. I will say that learning how chords are built from scales is the most important aspect of theory. It is far more useful to understand chord construction than to memorize all those "Scales A and B go with chord X" formulas.

    I'd say the logical progression learning music theory is kinda like this:

    1.) learn the major scale, and how it's constructed
    2.) learn the minor scale and the dominant scale and how it relates to the major scale (i.e.; its the V and vi mode)
    3.) understand how other 4 modes of the major scale are derived (less important to memorize these other modes at first)
    4.) Learn how to harmonize the notes of a major and minor scale by building chords / stacking thirds.
    5.) Learn to look at common chord progressions as "numerals" (eg, I-IV-V ect) to understand how the chords relate to the song's key.
    7.) Learn arppegios/chord tones, and pentatonic scales for major/minor/dominant scales.
    8.) dive back into modes for more detailed ideas about what "goes" with what chord.

    Bass playing is basically a matter of knowing what to play over various chords. It may seem daunting at first, but my practical experience (bass in pop/rock) has been that I mostly use Major, Minor, and Dominant 7 related bassline patterns, usually based on chord tones and pentatonics. Even if you're playing some guitar oriented riff-rock, each riff is going to imply a chord of some kind.

    "BUT HOW DO I APPLY THIS THEORY TO MY PLAYING?"
    85%+ of the time, you will be going from root note to root note as the chords change. The trick is learning how to do it with a groove and feel that is stylistically appropriate to the song. The best way to reach stylistic understanding is to learn songs you like and pick them apart to see how the bassline relates to the chords. I cannot emphasize this idea enough: The answer to this common question is to LEARN AND ANALYZE BASS LINES BY THE MASTERS. Once you undertand what Jamerson (for example) did with a particular set of changes, these ideas become added to your tool set, to use, change, blend and create your own voice.
     
  16. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Hmm- I don't recall seeing this before, and I quite like it. I'd shuffle some stuff around, moving #2 and #3 down below #4 and #5 myself, but I really like the logical progression you've got there.

    jte
     
  17. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Me, I'd say the logical progression learning music theory is this:

    1.) Learn the major scale, and how it's constructed

    2.) Learn how basic chords are built from the major scale- e.g Major is 1,3,5, minor is 1,b3, 5, etc.

    3.) Learn how to harmonize the notes of any diatonic major scale by building chords / stacking thirds.

    4.) Learn arppegios/chord tones

    5.) Learn to look at common chord progressions as "numerals" (eg, I-IV-V ect) to understand how the chords relate to the song's key.

    6.) Learn the Natural Minor scale (a/k/a Aeolian mode) and the dominant scale (a/k/a Mixolydian); And learn how these relate to the major scale (i.e.; its the V and vi mode)

    7.) Understand how other 4 modes of the major scale are derived (less important
    to memorize these other modes at first)

    8.) Dive back into modes for more detailed ideas about what "goes" with what chord.


    First, get that basic building block of harmony under your control. Own the W W H W W W H formula. Know WHY C# has an E# instead of F natural in it, be able to spell the notes in any major scale without reference to your instrument. It's the start of everything else.

    Then learn how to figure out the notes in basic chords. It's really pretty easy once you learn a few formulae, and that'll help you understand the rest. I put this before learning the Aeolian mode/natrual minor and the Mixolydian because it's more useful in the beginning to know the chords than those two scales. And I'd be careful to say the "natural minor" because there're several minor scales.

    The learn to harmonize the scale- that's what tells you WHY a ii V I in C is Dmin G7 C, and WHY those three chords define a key center. Learn that before you start messing with them as separate scales. This is a vitally important point! a ii V I defines a key center and the music is more likely to be cohesive if you understand and approach those three chords as one key instead of thinking of them as three disparate entities.

    Then the arpeggios. Why? Because just knowing that Amin7 is A C E G without knowing what they sound like and where they are all over the neck still limits your ability to play stuff on the fly.

    Now that you know where those ii V I and I IV V stuff comes from, start putting stuff you know into those buckets when it's appropriate. Understand that "Every Breath You Take" is a I vi VI V, just like "Stand By Me". And transpose!!! Take a song you know in A and play it in Eb, then in C#.

    After you have the basics of harmony under contrrol, then learning the natural minor scale and the Mixolydian mode (I'd do Mixolydian first however), gets you into modes without them being either the mysterious "secret" they're often portrayed as, nor the be-all and end-all of theory. Once you get to this point you'll SEE the G7 chord in G Mixolydian, and the Amin7 in A Aeolian.

    Then after you get used to thinkning of those two modes, the other modes make sense to learn.

    Although somewhere around #6 and #7 I'd also go into the harmonization of the Harmonic Minor scale- that'll show why the key of A minor will have an E7 and a G#dim while the A natural minor gives you Emin7 and a G7 (which pulls you to C instead of the Amin chord)...

    That's MY take on the natural progression...
    I'd also point out, along with your excellent description of the practical applications, that theory is NOT how you have to do it, it's mostly an after-the fact description of what GENERALLY works, and some explanation of WHY Along with the caveat that there's only two rules of music theory that are never violated-
    A. If it sounds right, it's right!
    B. If it sounds wrong, it's wrong.
    (And the understanding that "right" and "wrong" in this context is pretty much open to highly subjective opinions!)

    - and the beginner has a solid approach to music.

    Hope you don't mind my version...
    jte
     
  18. meta

    meta

    Mar 11, 2009
    nein capitain!

    E major / C# minor scales are related. very important that you don't think of it as E and C minor...

    D # major (or E flat major) and C minor are related...
     
  19. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    Montréal,Qc,Canada
    If you ask this question I assume you don't have a lot of harmonic/theory knowledge,and this is not a bad thing if you have talent and good taste.

    You might want to go from C# minor to A Maj and B Maj to E Maj, F# min and G# maj or min. Those are the basic chords that fit in a C# minor tonality in a Pop/Rock song,

    Tell us how it goes,


    Sly
     
  20. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    Montréal,Qc,Canada
    OMG, is the C#minor feels like it is the key center or is it just part of your chord progression?

    Because C# minor can be the Key center of a song in C# minor of course but can be a ii in B Maj, a iii in A maj and a vi in E major. So it can be part of few tonalities,

    So give us some more if you want a straight answer,


    Sly
     

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