Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

506
Banjo Lovers Online


Oct 13, 2021 - 5:31:36 PM
like this
675 posts since 6/8/2005

Most of the time, music theory is rather dry. The jargon involved can be rather pretentious and bent on displaying academic learning. I mean, who really cares about the Greek place names of the modes of a major scale? There's really nothing wrong with it, but the meaning and application of music theory is in the hearing and even the fret-board visualization of its principles. 

First, here are the numbered notes of a G major scale:

Here is a G major Scale played on the 1st string and harmonized with its chord modes:

Now if you refer my previous post on this forum on intervals you'll see the interval of a "Perfect Fourth." Here is how a G Major Scale is played in Perfect Fourths and how the pairs of perfect fourth intervals descend every two frets:

Finally, here is the G Major Scale in Fourths played in chord modes:

The natural order of chord modes (1-4-7-3-6-2-5-1) demonstrates the harmonic function of modes in actual chord progressions. It has a song-like quality and shows how a major scale naturally harmonizes itself. Many classical as well as jazz music compositions follow this pattern. For example, the "Prelude in C" by Johann Sebastian Bach from "The Well-Tempered Clavier" and in jazz, Jerome Kern's, "All the Things You Are."

You can find further discussion of this at:

 https://patcloud.com/banjo-music-theory/the-major-scale-song/

patcloud.com

Pat-

Edited by - banjola1 on 10/13/2021 17:43:03

Oct 13, 2021 - 5:46:08 PM

2761 posts since 3/30/2008

.... Great incoherent, didactic post of the day.

Oct 13, 2021 - 5:58:58 PM
like this

banjoy

USA

9872 posts since 7/1/2006

Well that seems a moronic thing to say. I see tons of insight in that one brief post.

Oct 13, 2021 - 6:56:05 PM

Fathand

Canada

11822 posts since 2/7/2008

Well, I recently learned what a harmonized scale is, I have no idea what I would do with that knowledge though. Someone once briefly told me he used it to play something is why I started looking it up.

Would that be included in the discussion on the site mentioned?

Edited by - Fathand on 10/13/2021 18:56:40

Oct 13, 2021 - 6:57:47 PM
like this

675 posts since 6/8/2005

quote:
Originally posted by tdennis

.... Great incoherent, didactic post of the day.


Oakie Adams was a good friend of mine. I'm probably more pedagogic than didactic with a gentle touch of moralism.

Edited by - banjola1 on 10/13/2021 18:58:36

Oct 13, 2021 - 7:08:46 PM
likes this

675 posts since 6/8/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Fathand

Well, I recently learned what a harmonized scale is, I have no idea what I would do with that knowledge though. Someone once briefly told me he used it to play something is why I started looking it up.

Would that be included in the discussion on the site mentioned?


Just more of the same, actually.

Try this: If you want to play notes over an A minor chord, you could use a G major scale started on an A or any of the notes of an A minor chord. (A-C-E) You could tell a guitarist to play an A minor chord and if you were within a G scale, you would not hit a "bad" note.

In fact, you could use a G major scale to play over any of the chords generated by a G Scale. But it doesn't necessarily mean you would be playing great music, but it's a start. It's called a "key."

Edited by - banjola1 on 10/13/2021 19:26:13

Oct 13, 2021 - 7:37:15 PM

Fathand

Canada

11822 posts since 2/7/2008

quote:
Originally posted by banjola1
quote:
Originally posted by Fathand

Well, I recently learned what a harmonized scale is, I have no idea what I would do with that knowledge though. Someone once briefly told me he used it to play something is why I started looking it up.

Would that be included in the discussion on the site mentioned?


Just more of the same, actually.

Try this: If you want to play notes over an A minor chord, you could use a G major scale started on an A or any of the notes of an A minor chord. (A-C-E) You could tell a guitarist to play an A minor chord and if you were within a G scale, you would not hit a "bad" note.

In fact, you could use a G major scale to play over any of the chords generated by a G Scale. But it doesn't necessarily mean you would be playing great music, but it's a start. It's called a "key."


So you're saying if any song in any key has a Bm, I could play any of GABCDEF# notes and not play a sour note during that chord? Then I could practice hunting and pecking through those notes to find arrangements of them that sound better, like licks?

Oct 13, 2021 - 7:51:09 PM
likes this

675 posts since 6/8/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Fathand
quote:
Originally posted by banjola1
quote:
Originally posted by Fathand

Well, I recently learned what a harmonized scale is, I have no idea what I would do with that knowledge though. Someone once briefly told me he used it to play something is why I started looking it up.

Would that be included in the discussion on the site mentioned?


Just more of the same, actually.

Try this: If you want to play notes over an A minor chord, you could use a G major scale started on an A or any of the notes of an A minor chord. (A-C-E) You could tell a guitarist to play an A minor chord and if you were within a G scale, you would not hit a "bad" note.

In fact, you could use a G major scale to play over any of the chords generated by a G Scale. But it doesn't necessarily mean you would be playing great music, but it's a start. It's called a "key."


So you're saying if any song in any key has a Bm, I could play any of GABCDEF# notes and not play a sour note during that chord? Then I could practice hunting and pecking through those notes to find arrangements of them that sound better, like licks?


No, not exactly. We're just talking about the key of G.

Start by playing a G major scale started on the B note:

B - C - D - E - F# - G - A - B

Then play a B minor chord (B-D- F#) first and then play the scale:

B - C - D - E - F# - G - A - B

This will help train you ear.

Edited by - banjola1 on 10/13/2021 20:01:30

Oct 13, 2021 - 7:57:05 PM

Fathand

Canada

11822 posts since 2/7/2008

Thanks Pat, I'll try that and see what happens.

Oct 13, 2021 - 8:04:16 PM

675 posts since 6/8/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Fathand

Thanks Pat, I'll try that and see what happens.


No problem - happy picking!

Email me through patcloud.com and I can send you a video.

Pat-

Edited by - banjola1 on 10/13/2021 20:04:31

Oct 14, 2021 - 6:22:17 AM
likes this

3944 posts since 3/28/2008

quote:
Originally posted by banjola1
quote:
Originally posted by Fathand
 

So you're saying if any song in any key has a Bm, I could play any of GABCDEF# notes and not play a sour note during that chord? Then I could practice hunting and pecking through those notes to find arrangements of them that sound better, like licks?


No, not exactly. We're just talking about the key of G.

Start by playing a G major scale started on the B note:

B - C - D - E - F# - G - A - B

Then play a B minor chord (B-D- F#) first and then play the scale:

B - C - D - E - F# - G - A - B

This will help train you ear.

 


I'll add to what Pat said by pointing out that in order for what you play to really sound good, you'll want your "strong" notes--the notes that happen on the beat, that are held out longer, that end phrases, etc.--to be chord tones (in this case, B, D, or F#). But if you use those other notes of the G scale as passing tones, you'll be OK. (Of course this is a great simplification that doesn't take into account suspensions and other cool ways of adding melodic interest. But you can use it as a starting point.)

Oct 29, 2021 - 5:29:58 PM

Andy B

USA

69 posts since 5/26/2007

Another use for harmonized scale patterns is in backing up, or harmonizing, the notes of the melody of the song. If you learn that pattern for the scale notes on each the top three strings, you will know where the backup notes and chords are. The example above harmonized the G major scale played on string 1. For the G major scale played on the third string, you have (on strings 3-2-1, from frets 0-12) GBD, ace, bdf#, CEG, DF#A, egb, f#ac, GBD. All these chord positions have melody built into them. They are the basic 1-3-5 triads; if you add the fourth note you can get the 7 harmony.

Oct 29, 2021 - 6:58:08 PM
likes this

675 posts since 6/8/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Andy B

Another use for harmonized scale patterns is in backing up, or harmonizing, the notes of the melody of the song. If you learn that pattern for the scale notes on each the top three strings, you will know where the backup notes and chords are. The example above harmonized the G major scale played on string 1. For the G major scale played on the third string, you have (on strings 3-2-1, from frets 0-12) GBD, ace, bdf#, CEG, DF#A, egb, f#ac, GBD. All these chord positions have melody built into them. They are the basic 1-3-5 triads; if you add the fourth note you can get the 7 harmony.


Andy makes a great point!

There is yet another triad harmonization sequence built on the 2nd string G at the 8th fret. (D-G-B chord form ending at 9th fret)

Because the banjo is tuned in thirds, everything comes in threes. The 1st & 4th string are octaves, so you can juxtapose these triad chord shapes from the 1, 2 and 3rd strings to the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings to get same chords in lower voicings. Because there are three basic G major chord forms, there are 6 different diatonic chord shapes. This brings a total of 18 different chord triads built from major scale tones. (3X6=18)

Pat-

patcloud.com

Edited by - banjola1 on 10/29/2021 18:59:20

Oct 30, 2021 - 9:08:31 AM

Andy B

USA

69 posts since 5/26/2007

Thanks Pat. And thanks for these posts. Knowing even some basic theory has opened up so much music for me. Bill Keith once said something like, “Scales live in chords and vice versa,” and your posts illustrate how that works. You have given me some more ideas to try.

Edited by - Andy B on 10/30/2021 09:09:30

Nov 12, 2021 - 10:26:35 AM
likes this

12401 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by banjola1
Because the banjo is tuned in thirds, everything comes in threes. The 1st & 4th string are octaves, so you can juxtapose these triad chord shapes from the 1, 2 and 3rd strings to the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings to get same chords in lower voicings. 

This should be a lightbulb moment for a lot of people. Expressed another way: Every 4-note chord that has the 4th and 1st strings at the same fret can be played as 3-note chords (triads) on either 3-2-1 or 4-3-2.

And not just for backup, such as vamping, but as rolling in a composed or improvised solo. Takes getting used to picking 2nd string with middle finger, but that's a valuable technique to know.

Nov 14, 2021 - 8:40:37 AM

2860 posts since 2/10/2013

Awareness of music theory and its terminologies improve a players ability to understand what they may be reading, or to communicate with other musicians. Since I found it an instructional for me, I have used Edly's "Music Theory for Practical People". Music theory applies to all of the 3 stringed instruments I play, and so much can be learned when a person understands, then on their own initiative, starts learning how to apply the theory they have learned.

I take it one chapter at a time. I have a note pad I scribble on, and pages with the different scales. When studying, I sometime have to refer to the scales in order to really understand what has been written in the instructional. I also hilite very important facts. That way I make sure I am aware of them when I read a chapter again in the future. The pages with the scales came in useful when I first studied musical intervals. No matter how much I learn, I still have to refer to the scale charts often in order to understand what an author has written.

I try to provide 30 - 45 minutes a day studying. This is a ongoing long term project. The more I learn, the more I realize how large this effort will be. Learning music theory is not a "must", but knowledge is never a handicap.

Nov 14, 2021 - 12:08 PM

675 posts since 6/8/2005

Theory books usually assume that you already know the notes on your instrument and that you can read Standard Notation. At the end of workshops, I would occasionally ask how many players could name the notes on their banjo. Usually out of an average of 35-40 people, maybe two would raise their hands. But when you really think about it, why should anyone really want learn the notes on a banjo? The Musician's Union categorizes it as a "miscellaneous" instrument.

In the meantime, I'm learning all the notes on my Ocarina. Don't aks me why...

"There's a theory of why the sun shines - but who cares when you just want a suntan."

Pat-

patcloud.com

Edited by - banjola1 on 11/14/2021 12:11:18

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.2197266