Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
User avatar
vurt
addled muppet weed
44262 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:22 am

Funkaroma wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:53 pm

A little side note which isn’t neccesary to read, but I want to share is that I’m 19 years old and dealing with some mental problems which makes life at this moment not easy to say the least.
this is the most important part of what you have written in the op, while this is a music theory forum, i feel my "expertise" is better addressing this than that...

take it from someone who knows, get this sorted first.
as it really wouldn't matter if you where virtuoso piano numero uno!
if youre suffering depression for example, you will think youre shit :shrug:

however, doing something creative, but without the pressure of "success" can indeed be helpful for getting over mental health issues.

once you have a handle on the health issues, you will find youre more likely to have the ability to make sense of it and see your improvements, which will encourage you.

with regards to songs.
they not only give you the idea of song structure, how the scales relate to music, they also give you rhythm and timing chops, you wont get by playing scales up and down.
and at that party next summer, no girl is going home with the kid who runs through a scale perfect, theyre going home with the kid who does the rough version of radioheads creep on the out of tune acoustic they found in the corner ;)

User avatar
vurt
addled muppet weed
44262 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:24 am

jancivil wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:22 am
Paul McCartney doesn't know any music theory.
i was a few doors down from his childhood home in lpool the other day :hihi:

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
18213 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:37 am

If you really want to feel unworthy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UTzuG2BTYI

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
18213 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:41 am

vurt wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:22 am
Funkaroma wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:53 pm

A little side note which isn’t neccesary to read, but I want to share is that I’m 19 years old and dealing with some mental problems which makes life at this moment not easy to say the least.
this is the most important part of what you have written in the op, while this is a music theory forum, i feel my "expertise" is better addressing this than that...

take it from someone who knows, get this sorted first.
I never know what to do with this. I was considered mental by age 15. I didn't get better. ;)

"So you want to be a musician as a job? Seek professional help."

User avatar
Bombadil
KVRAF
3401 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Far From the Twisted Reach of Crazy Sorrow

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:44 am

vurt wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:24 am
jancivil wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:22 am
Paul McCartney doesn't know any music theory.
i was a few doors down from his childhood home in lpool the other day :hihi:
Paul is a freak of nature. The guy who woke up with 'Yesterday' in his head. Dylan says he's about the only other artist out there he feels envy towards.

Scales are exercises meant to increase dexterity and familiarity with the instrument. They are not ends but means to an end.
“We're an Anarcho-Syndicalist commune”
Dennis

User avatar
vurt
addled muppet weed
44262 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:45 am

nice.
that's some voice shes got, and its a great song, whether you like radiohead or not, they have written some great tracks.
arrangements like that are a testament to it 8)

User avatar
Deep Purple
KVRian
1108 posts since 9 Jan, 2015 from NY, NY

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:48 am

Funkaroma wrote:Back to scales. I want to switch from minor to major now. Starting off with C major and working my way down to all. What deep purple said about the way to route through this is definitely something which I will keep in mind.
Do you know what a circle of fifths is?

Image

When learning major scales, typically C is the start point. It's represented by the white keys on a keyboard, and its key signature is easy to remember as there are no sharps or flats on the staff. G and F are the next easiest as they have one sharp or flat respectively, and so on. The relative minor is shown on this circle of fifths, so for example, Am is the relative minor of C Major.

For the keys signatures with sharps, take the key 2 steps counter clockwise from that key, remove that note from the C Major scale, and add its sharp - this is cumulative as you go around the circle. For example, if you are in D Major, you have 2 sharps - go 2 steps back from D and you get C, so you remove C and add C#; but as it's cumulative you also need to do the same for the G - go back 2 steps and you get F, so remove it and add F#; and so on.

You can also modify the C Major scale for key signatures with flats in a similar way. Again, it's cumulative, but you simply go one step counterclockwise from the key, remove the note that this is a flatted form of, and add the flat. For example, for Bb you go one step back to Eb, remove the E note and replace it with the Eb; because it's cumulative (Bb has 2 flats in its key signature) you also do the same for F - go back on to Bb, remove the B from the scale and add in the Bb.

It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you see how this works, you can quickly figure out the scale from the key signature. It's worth learning the key from counting the number of sharps and flats, even without knowing which note each one is as that's not a lot of information to learn and it allows you to instantly see which key a piece is in.

Once you know the majors, they minors should be really easy to figure out.
Sweet child in time...

User avatar
vurt
addled muppet weed
44262 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:50 am

jancivil wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:41 am
vurt wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:22 am
Funkaroma wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:53 pm

A little side note which isn’t neccesary to read, but I want to share is that I’m 19 years old and dealing with some mental problems which makes life at this moment not easy to say the least.
this is the most important part of what you have written in the op, while this is a music theory forum, i feel my "expertise" is better addressing this than that...

take it from someone who knows, get this sorted first.
I never know what to do with this. I was considered mental by age 15. I didn't get better. ;)

"So you want to be a musician as a job? Seek professional help."
sorted doesn't necessarily mean better.
my mental health issues are caused by physical brain damage, so ill never be "better" but i got to a point where i understood my issues, and now know when to get on with things and when to avoid the world.
whereas before things would get messy, because i didn't put up those boundaries.
but ignoring it will not help in the long term, was my point.
too many people try this because either theyre ashamed to deal with it in real life (easier online, we don't know him) i was the same, thought it was a weakness, left it longer than i should have and it took longer to deal with.

or they think it will just sort itself in time.
which for some people it will, but not everyone :(

and who wants to be sane in a world as mental as this anyway?
just don't let things get out of control.
some scars never heal.

Izak Synthiemental
KVRian
504 posts since 4 Aug, 2010

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:56 am

I like the Cales plugin, because it allows you to set any scale and it will optionally show you only the keys that belong to that particular scale. You can even set it so that it won't play the keys that don't belong to that particular scale. For cheaters it also has an "easy mode" that allows you to play any scale with the white keys only (by transposing from C maj to the chosen scale).

So, unless you use the "easy mode" cheat, you will probably be able to use it as a valuable tool for learning scales, by setting the scale that you try to learn at the moment and practicing that scale.

https://www.codefn42.com/cales/

There are also those Native Instruments S-Series keyboard that have a sort of light guide above the keys that indicate which keys belong to a chosen scale. Really great, but those are quite expensive, unless you buy them during one of NI's Komplete hardware sales.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMIIAWQirIE

Another approach: You can use little stickers (those removable one that you will find in the stationery shop) and mark the keys that belong to the scale that you want to learn at a given moment. You could also mark more than 1 scale at a time, by using different sticker colors for each scale. But in order not too get lost in chaos I would not mark more than 3 scales at a time.
http://soundcloud.com/samaritageto

Proper Education Always Corrects Errors

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
18213 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:12 am

vurt wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:50 am

and who wants to be sane in a world as mental as this anyway?
"To be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society is no measure of health." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

just don't let things get out of control.
Of course. But we don't know someone isn't just inflicting their own shit on someone else.
My own mother, well meaning, began to believe I was really off when I was really just taking acid frequently.
My girlfriend's mother sent her off to a private mental hospital, she wasn't insane at all, she just wasn't redneck normal.
She was the exact same person a couple years later when they bought her a BMW for graduating high school. :shrug:

User avatar
vurt
addled muppet weed
44262 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:24 am

well im just going by what he said, that hes finding life hard.
obviously im not going to diagnose him, but i couldn't let it pass having gone through my own actual hell a few times.
wouldn't wish that on anyone, not even a coldplay fan.
(although they've obviously got enough problems...)

Funkaroma
KVRist
139 posts since 20 Dec, 2018

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:28 am

vurt wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:22 am
Funkaroma wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:53 pm

A little side note which isn’t neccesary to read, but I want to share is that I’m 19 years old and dealing with some mental problems which makes life at this moment not easy to say the least.
this is the most important part of what you have written in the op, while this is a music theory forum, i feel my "expertise" is better addressing this than that...

take it from someone who knows, get this sorted first.
as it really wouldn't matter if you where virtuoso piano numero uno!
if youre suffering depression for example, you will think youre shit :shrug:

however, doing something creative, but without the pressure of "success" can indeed be helpful for getting over mental health issues.

once you have a handle on the health issues, you will find youre more likely to have the ability to make sense of it and see your improvements, which will encourage you.

with regards to songs.
they not only give you the idea of song structure, how the scales relate to music, they also give you rhythm and timing chops, you wont get by playing scales up and down.
and at that party next summer, no girl is going home with the kid who runs through a scale perfect, theyre going home with the kid who does the rough version of radioheads creep on the out of tune acoustic they found in the corner ;)
I fully agree with you Vurt(as always). I didn’t point it out for no reason.

I’m dealing with my mental issues caused for a 3 years now. It has been even so bad that I couldn’t get out of my house. Because I’m struggling with it for so long it also caused depression. Luckely I have therapy and it’s getting better with me slowly.

Music is the only thing which actually keeps me going. But indeed what you said; Most of the time I think I’m shit.

“once you have a handle on the health issues, you will find youre more likely to have the ability to make sense of it and see your improvements, which will encourage you. ”

I think that’s true. Because I’m in such a negative flow it’s hard to keep focus and have the mental energy to save things better in my memory.

I have to keep the faith and build on my self confidence.

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
18213 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:31 am

I found life hard per se. Yeah, I don't know about psychological issues on the internet. Just sayin'. I suffered brain damage to an extent I had to rebuild my whole apparatus. Not exactly from nothing but it was daunting, from the expectation I had for myself.

If there is a problem, don't let it go unheeded. There is a problem to diagnose here, and really 'it's not an end in itself, just a means to an end' is the less verbose answer to it.

Funkaroma
KVRist
139 posts since 20 Dec, 2018

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:31 am

Deep Purple wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:48 am
Funkaroma wrote:Back to scales. I want to switch from minor to major now. Starting off with C major and working my way down to all. What deep purple said about the way to route through this is definitely something which I will keep in mind.
Do you know what a circle of fifths is?

Image

When learning major scales, typically C is the start point. It's represented by the white keys on a keyboard, and its key signature is easy to remember as there are no sharps or flats on the staff. G and F are the next easiest as they have one sharp or flat respectively, and so on. The relative minor is shown on this circle of fifths, so for example, Am is the relative minor of C Major.

For the keys signatures with sharps, take the key 2 steps counter clockwise from that key, remove that note from the C Major scale, and add its sharp - this is cumulative as you go around the circle. For example, if you are in D Major, you have 2 sharps - go 2 steps back from D and you get C, so you remove C and add C#; but as it's cumulative you also need to do the same for the G - go back 2 steps and you get F, so remove it and add F#; and so on.

You can also modify the C Major scale for key signatures with flats in a similar way. Again, it's cumulative, but you simply go one step counterclockwise from the key, remove the note that this is a flatted form of, and add the flat. For example, for Bb you go one step back to Eb, remove the E note and replace it with the Eb; because it's cumulative (Bb has 2 flats in its key signature) you also do the same for F - go back on to Bb, remove the B from the scale and add in the Bb.

It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you see how this works, you can quickly figure out the scale from the key signature. It's worth learning the key from counting the number of sharps and flats, even without knowing which note each one is as that's not a lot of information to learn and it allows you to instantly see which key a piece is in.

Once you know the majors, they minors should be really easy to figure out.
I’m familiair with it, but never practised it and I actually forgot how it worked. But thanks a lot for your time to explain it. I also remember a video of Michael newman which explained it really well.

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
18213 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Scales (and technique) ... Best way to learn them?

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:36 am

Funkaroma wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:53 pm
I’m dealing with my mental issues caused for a 3 years now. It has been even so bad that I couldn’t get out of my house. Because I’m struggling with it for so long it also caused depression. Luckely I have therapy and it’s getting better with me slowly.
I'm sorry for that. Don't put any undue pressure on yourself to succeed at this if leaving the house is a challenge, not before you build a foundation. The focus on scales and technique in front of learning songs was kind of a symptom but I don't want to jump to conclusions.

I'm not all that well, but I was a musician from an early age. Physical brain damage caused me some loss of abilities but I'm driven and hard headed.

Return to “Music Theory”