Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY! (Updated 12/27/2011)

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Memphonian Offline
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Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY! (Updated 12/27/2011)

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:48 pm



(Edited December 27, 2011)
Sorry for not updating this post in a long time, I've been away from snarescience for some time now. Here is an updated post.


Some of you may be just venturing into mallets; some of you may have been playing for a while. But everyone always wants to know, "What is up with these scales?"

Scales are the basic building blocks to mallet percussion, much like rudiments are to marching percussion. Everything you ever play will be within a certain "key", or a variation of said "key". With that being said, what is a "key"?

KEYS

The Musical Key (A.K.A. Key Signature) indicates a manner in which the notes are to be played. In the key of C, all the notes are natural. Natural means no accidentals (flats/sharps), or the "white notes" of a piano. The "black notes" are referred to as accidentals (# = the note is sharp, meaning you go up one half step. b = the note is flat, meaning you go down one half step). In the key of Ab (A flat), The A, B, D, and E are flattened.

Here would be the notes for the two scales, assuming you are starting on the base note, and going up one octave.

C Major Scale
C D E F G A B C

Ab Major Scale
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab

Catching on? The key is notated at the begging of each line. Here is an example of sheet music, again, using the same two scales.

C Major

Image

Ab Major

Image

That is a scale. From there, we go into some different things.


EQUATIONS


Everything in music has an equation. Scales can riddle some minds. However, rhere is a veer painloess method to learning any and all major and minor scales. Here's the equation for major scales.

Equation for Major Scales

base note-whole step-whole step-half step-whole step-whole step-whole step-half step (base note, one octave up)

Too easy? Try it out, I dare you. Go play C Major on a piano.This easier way to learn major scales rather than memorize every note within no background knowledge on why those notes are correct. You can apply this formula to ANY AND ALL Major Scales.

Equation for Minor Scales
Once you know all your major scales, you should learn your minor scales. Lets use C Major and A Minor. Play a C major scale. Now, move down 3 half step). Now, play starting on A, but still within C Major scale. A B C D E F G A. Congrats, you just played A Minor. "But I was just playing C Major starting 3 half steps down rather than on C?!" Yup. BOOM. MAGIC.


Harmonic Minor

Minor scale with 7#

Take A Minor and just raise the 7th one half step
A B C D E F G# A

Harmonic Minor scales sound almost "Egyptian".

Melodic is a bit more tricky. It has two different parts; The ascending and descending parts are different. On the way up only the third is flat. On the way down, play it as the natural minor scale.

Ascending
1 2 3b 4 5 6 7 1

Descending
1 7b 6b 5 4 3b 2 1

Ascending Melodic

A B C D E F# G# A
Descending Melodic
A G F E D C B A


MODES

Modes are variations of scales. Each has a unique sound. The modes are as follows:

I. Ionian
II. Dorian
III. Phrygian
IV. Lydian
V. Mixolydian
VI. Aeolian
VII. Locrian

There are many ways to learn modes and become familiar with them. Here are the actual differences between the mode and major scale, and what I think of to remember them.

I. Ionian= Major scale.
II. Dorian= 3b 7b (I think of this simply as flat 3, flat 7)
III. Phrygian= 2b 3b 6b 7b (I think of this as a minor scale, but with a flat 2)
IV. Lydian= 4#
V. Mixolydian= 7b
VI. Aeolian= 3b 6b 7b or a minor scale (I think of this mode as just a minor scale, since that's what it is, and when learning them, I thought of relative minors. Now minor scales are as natural to me as major scales)
VII. Locrian= 2b 3b 5b 6b 7b (I think of playing in the key that is one half step above what locrian scale I'm trying to play)

I mentioned using intervels as check point and almost as "cheats". Here are other common ways to learn/know modes:

I. Ionian
II. Dorian= Go down one whole step and you are playing within that key. EX. D dorian is in the key of C Ionian/Major.
III. Phrygian= Go down a major third and you are playing within that key. EX. E phrygian is in the key of C Ionian/Major.
IV. Lydian= Go down a fourth and you are playing within that key. EX. F Lydian is in the key of C Ionian/Major.
V. Mixolydian= Go down a fifth or up a fourth and you are playing within that key. EX. G Mixolydian is in the key of C Ionian/Major.
VI. Aeolian= Relative minor. Go up a minor third and you are playing within that key. This is the simplist and fastest way to learn minor scales, but I recommend that once you learn the muscle memory for your minor scales, you revert to think of the flats. This way you can think of Minor scales in both manners. EX A aeolian/minor is in the key of C Ionian/major.
VII. Locrian= Go up one half step. EX. B locrian is in the key of C Ionian/major.

I hope this helps with modes. On a side note, think if you named your children after the modes. Locria would be an awful name. Just a thought. ;)


EXERCISES


No one wants to practice scales a boring way (1 +a 2e+a 1 +ta 2e+a 1). So, here are some exercises that I put onto one single sheet. Green scales is your basic scales exercises. Then there's the rhythmic variation, other beginning variations, and the long variation. If yo play this exercise as a line or if you have tempo issues, one common practice is to include a measure of 16 notes known as a "check" on that startig note. This allows you to check and see if you are in time with those around you or the metronome and give you time to make hairline adjustments before you begin moving the notes. As with everything, make sure your using proper technique, practice at various tempos, off the right and off the left, with 2 mallets and 4 mallets only using inners, all that jazz. Here is a link so that you may download/print this page off.

http://www.mediafire.com/?1e4jmjjjj3z" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

CLOSING

Hope this helps some people out. If you have any further questions and/or comments, be sure to post them. Thank you for taking the time to read all of this.

Be sure to play all the exercises in every major and minor key, all modes, such and such. Move chromatically, Circle of 5ths, Circle of 4ths, using a key as a circle, whatever you want. See, scales can be fun!

Here is a chart of the Circle of 5ths.
Image
Last edited by Memphonian on Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:01 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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dcbd Offline
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:13 pm



I like learning major/minor scales by memorizing key signatures and just knowing how the modes work =P
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:15 pm



Wow that pretty much sums up all of three months in my music theory class. Once I learned this method it really helped me to stop freaking out over scale tests


Memphonian Offline
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:16 pm



Keith, this method is easier. :p Cause you can figure them out on the go.
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:36 pm



You left out some things, and just weren't very explanatory on things such as the Circle of Fifths, the key signature, or hand movement. Still, this is a great beginner's guide.
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:39 pm



AWA wrote:You left out some things, and just weren't very explanatory on things such as the Circle of Fifths, the key signature, or hand movement. Still, this is a great beginner's guide.
I'll go back and put more on those, I am making a separate guide for technique. Trust me, a LOT more is in the works. ;)
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:48 pm



STICKY


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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:49 pm



TA67 wrote:STICKY
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:37 pm



That picture of the Circle of Fifths is the background on my phone.
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Memphonian Offline
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:39 pm



JLbluefan09 wrote:That picture of the Circle of Fifths is the background on my phone.
It's my favorite Circle of Fifths picture out there.
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Snebasseor Offline
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:40 pm



You mallet people are so smart. I just don't know how you guys learn this stuff.


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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:51 am



Snebasseor wrote:You mallet people are so smart. I just don't know how you guys learn this stuff.
We start and dont stop.
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:31 am



Snebasseor wrote:You mallet people are so smart. I just don't know how you guys learn this stuff.
Well now you can learn. :p lol. jk
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:28 am



I wish I had this when I was taking AP Theory back in high school.

Good stuff Justin!
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drummerchris83 Offline
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:49 am



I wish i had this period. I didnt learn scales until my freshmen year in college. My applied teacher was ALWAYS pissed becuase it took me forever to learn (He made me memorize them) and im a slow learner.
This is great man! keep it up
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Memphonian Offline
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:42 pm



Glad its helping, and serves a purpose.
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:52 pm



AWA wrote:You left out some things, and just weren't very explanatory on things such as the Circle of Fifths, the key signature, or hand movement. Still, this is a great beginner's guide.
Amen, man. I decided a couple weeks ago that I really wanna learn mallets and I can't explain to you how happy I am that you made this.

Also, I am VERY much looking forward to the technique guide. I pretty much have no idea how to hold the mallets correctly, seeing as I'm not a natural percussionist.

Thanks VERY much for this Justin!!!


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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:07 pm



i know that this is a beginners guide but i wnated to ask.
Could you make a up a thing about chords and progressions??
You broke all this down VERY EASILY that even i could understand it lol
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:22 pm



Ok, I think I understand this part, but in case I don't, I'm gonna go ahead and ask. If I play an Ab Major scale, but I start on on F instead of Ab, then I've really just played F minor?And then the same corresponding scales on the picture you posted.


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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:34 pm



noname wrote:Ok, I think I understand this part, but in case I don't, I'm gonna go ahead and ask. If I play an Ab Major scale, but I start on on F instead of Ab, then I've really just played F minor?And then the same corresponding scales on the picture you posted.
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:21 am



noname wrote:Ok, I think I understand this part, but in case I don't, I'm gonna go ahead and ask. If I play an Ab Major scale, but I start on on F instead of Ab, then I've really just played F minor?And then the same corresponding scales on the picture you posted.
Correct. Ab is my favorite major scale, F minor is my favorite minor. That's why I choose them as examples, haha.
drummerchris83 wrote:i know that this is a beginners guide but i wnated to ask.
Could you make a up a thing about chords and progressions??
You broke all this down VERY EASILY that even i could understand it lol
Yes, I'll do that this afternoon when I get home from school.
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:37 am



Memphonian wrote:
noname wrote:Ok, I think I understand this part, but in case I don't, I'm gonna go ahead and ask. If I play an Ab Major scale, but I start on on F instead of Ab, then I've really just played F minor?And then the same corresponding scales on the picture you posted.
Correct. Ab is my favorite major scale, F minor is my favorite minor. That's why I choose them as examples, haha.
drummerchris83 wrote:i know that this is a beginners guide but i wnated to ask.
Could you make a up a thing about chords and progressions??
You broke all this down VERY EASILY that even i could understand it lol
Yes, I'll do that this afternoon when I get home from school.
Thanks man! did you ever get that break i sent you? and hows the writing coming???
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:34 pm



drummerchris83 wrote:
Memphonian wrote:
noname wrote:Ok, I think I understand this part, but in case I don't, I'm gonna go ahead and ask. If I play an Ab Major scale, but I start on on F instead of Ab, then I've really just played F minor?And then the same corresponding scales on the picture you posted.
Correct. Ab is my favorite major scale, F minor is my favorite minor. That's why I choose them as examples, haha.
drummerchris83 wrote:i know that this is a beginners guide but i wnated to ask.
Could you make a up a thing about chords and progressions??
You broke all this down VERY EASILY that even i could understand it lol
Yes, I'll do that this afternoon when I get home from school.
Thanks man! did you ever get that break i sent you? and hows the writing coming???
Yes I did, I updated the perc, and added in some pit. Haven't worked on it in a while though.
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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 10:25 pm



i just learned my scales THIS year,mainly because we were kinda forced,the teacher tested us on all the major ones/keys.

Thank you for this.Having more musical theory won't hurt.


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Re: Scales an issue? NOT ANYMORE BUDDY!

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 10:29 pm



Nice, Justin. Nice.
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