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The major scale...a punker's friend?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Nomadic Herder, Oct 19, 2001.


  1. Well now that I've been getting into this whole music theory thing, bassplaying in a band has gotten SO much more fun.

    Anyway, as of right now we play punk. I also use major scales. It sounds good and I like playing it, but for our particular genre, should I branch out into minor, and other scales?

    My thinking is that since our songs are relatively upbeat and happy sounding, I should use major scales. But what do you all think? Should I try other stuff?
     
  2. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    PDX
    Play all of them :D Personally I think a lot of punk bands use too much major-scaleage. But that's just me.
     
  3. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Always using major scales will lead to all your songs sounding the same. Try minors for a "darker" sound.
     
  4. or you could go matt freeman and bust out some modes...
     
  5. This was a question Ive been intending to ask for awhile but never did:

    What are modes? And what are chromatic runs? Ive heard the intro to "Journey to the End of the East Bay" is a chromatic run, but what does it mean? Thanks in advance.
     
  6. melvin

    melvin

    Apr 28, 2001
    You know what a chromatic scale is? Well its a scale but you play the notes that are in between the usually scale notes (example: A A# B C C# etc) So a chromatic run would be like using some chromatic notes if you were playing a C maj scale under a C maj7, and with that you lead to the modes.

    For a mode: Say your in the key of C, and you see and A chord in the music, well you could play the C major scale under that chord, but you would start and finish on A. Im not good at explaining theory, but Jazzbo has a lesson somewhere on the start page of talkbass.

    Also you might here stuff like chromatic passing notes if you play jazz, that like saying your doing a walking like built on a Bb blues scale (Bb, Eb and F) When you get on the Bb chord before it goes to F, you could start scaling and if your like 2 beats before the F you could play the Eb (which is part of the Bb maj scale) then play an E(natural) as a passing note to F.
     
  7. yeah, i think the easiest thing to do is take lessons for a while, that way youll be sure that hwat your doing is right
     
  8. melvin

    melvin

    Apr 28, 2001
    Yeah. I dont know how old you are but if youre in high school you should check if they have a music theory class. I know a lot of high schools have them.
     
  9. We do have a music theory class here, but I cant take it until I am a junior. Im only a sophomore this year.
     
  10. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I'm sorry, but your reasoning escapes me. A minor is harmonic only if a minor is called for in the chord progression of a particular song or tune.

    To use minors arbitarily is just as wrong as going to the wrong chord.

    Pkr2
     
  11. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nomadic Herder, that article is a great place to start. Another good resource is General Instruction, which is where this thread is going.;)
     
  13. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    I'm sorry, I must have phrased that badly. Playing a minor over a song with a major chord progression/key/what have you WOULD be as bad as a wrong chord...

    I was thinking more along the lines of WRITING with minor scales as opposed to major, not just incorporating them into the pre-existing songs. After re-reading his post I see he was asking about the songs that they already have written, and how he could play THOSE songs differently. In terms of making a new composition, using a minor key would have a different effect as a major; that was the point I was trying to get across. Good call.
     
  14. learning the modes unlocked everything for me. before learning the modes I was totally in the dark. I think one of the most important thing a bass player can do is learn the modes and master the major, minor and diminished triads.
    here is a page from my bass teacher's website explaning the modes, if you don't already know.David Mastick on the Modes
     
  15. Normadic Herder.
    for me trying to learn theory was like getting kicked in the face, it was just overwhelming with everything thats involved.

    instead I studied the shapes and patterns (modes)that make up the different chords, and now it all makes sense. for example if you're in the key of C and the guitar is playing a C major chord, and you need to make a bassline to fit. all you do is find C, then the rest of the notes in the chord will fall into a pattern on the neck that you can choose to use to make your bassline. you dont even have to know what notes you're playing, you just stay within the shape. its a visual thing. there is seven differnent patterns you need to learn, its like learning seven phone numbers.

    during chord progressions in a song I think numerically. for example; the root note of the chord is always 1. the fifth is 5. you have nice smooth fat tones like 1, 3, and 5, then you can get groovy adding 2s, 6s, 9s, or whatever. when you change chords the patterns of your avalible notes changes, you just need the memorize the patterns.
    its hard to explane, its a lot easier to see everything.

    it would be good to take some lessons and have a teacher show you.
     
  16. To use minors arbitrarily is wrong but you don't necessarily have to use a minor scale only over a minor chord. For instance, using a pentatonic minor over a dominate 7th chord can give a song a bluesy feel. It can ofter be more a matter of personal preference then right or wrong.
     
  17. Lovebown

    Lovebown

    Jan 6, 2001
    Sweden
    Actually using the major scale as a scale for soloing or playing over chords is kind of.. well...it can pretty lame-sounding. You should probably start with the "major" pentatonic scales which includes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 of a scale. This scales works on most major chords and with a flatted 7th.

    Now, the minor (or blues) pentatonic, (which essentially is the same scale, using the root as the relative minor)is 1, b3,4,5,b7 ´...you've probably heard this scale used hundreds of times in blues and rock related music...it's the single most common scale for guitarists to solo with.

    Theoretically you could learn all the modes and found out which scales work within which chord shapes but since punk rarely will venture outside power chords or simple Maj/Min chords, that might be a bit unneccary.

    /lovebown
     
  18. PunkerTrav

    PunkerTrav

    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    use all the scales you can.. Eg. major, minor ( all three types), blues scales, ect. i like minors and blues scales my-self. But i play major lots also.

    Have fun dude.

    Travis