View Full Version : Chords for other than Major Scales
09-30-2001, 08:17 AM
Ok Theory Buffs...
Everyone who studies theory knows basics like I-VI-V progressions to determine Key and Chords...from the major scales (and all its modal forms). But how do you go about determining the chords to use for other scales such as Harmonic and Melodic and the slew of other Non-major derived scales? Is there a quick way to figure this out short of laying down scale on the whole fretboard and picking notes that go together?
I know there probably isnt a clear cut answer, but Im trying to research this area. Any enlightenment would be helpful
09-30-2001, 09:25 AM
This had me puzzled awhile back too... I know there are are formulas that will tell you (like the major: Maj Min Min Maj Maj Min Dim), but think of it this way.
Say we're in the key of C major. Say you want to know what chords are in A Minor. Well you already know the major one:
Maj Min Min Maj Maj Min Dim
- now start on the sixth chord, the Minor, which will be your A minor, and start counting from that. So it would be like:
Min Dim Maj Min Min Maj Maj
get it? Of course this can be applied to of the modes.
As for something like harmonic minor, well the rule is that the fifth chord is going to turn from a minor to a major. So in the key of A harmonic minor, you're going to have an E major chord, as opposed to an E minor which would be in A natural minor.
I hope this answered your question... I'm just woke up and probably aren't making a whole lot of sense :)
09-30-2001, 10:04 AM
I see what you mean. I understand the general rules about major and minor scales (I-maj, II-min...etc) but I was speaking more of scales and such that aren't derived from the major scale...I.E. scales that have more/less than 7 notes per octave (not including petatonic). What are the rules for forming chord progressions for these scales?
I know Im probably confusing myself and looking at it too hard :).
09-30-2001, 03:01 PM
You have to look at what chord the scale is outlining. All progressions are taken from the major and minor harmonies, but that doesn't mean we have to use those scales overtop of those chords. Here are some scales and the chords they outline.
Wholetone = Dom.7b5
Dominant Diminished = Dom.7
Diminished = this scale can be applied over top a major chord progression that moves in -3rds (C Eb Gb etc..)
The modes of MELODIC MINOR create altered scales that can be applied over chords
To tell what type of chord the scale outlines play every other note of the scale to see what type of arpeggio you come up with. Need more info let me know, I'll go into more detail
10-02-2001, 12:14 AM
Hey James and Chris, thanks for the suggestions. The theory just clicked in my head and it worked! I took an off the wall scale like the Oriental scale (H-W+-H-H-W+-H) and derived a small box on the fretboard. Then using the major formula for major/minor chords (1 3 5, 1 b3 5) I was able to come up with some moveable chords that go with the scale and used a progression based off of good ol' I-IV-V, actually I Think it ended up being i-iv-V because this scale doesnt follow the maj,min,min,maj deal. ANYWAY, very unique...just took some basic theory...and the help of you guys of course!
10-02-2001, 11:08 AM
Hey can you tell me the name of the notes in that scale based on C. I tried figuring it out using your formula and came up with C Db E f Ab C is this right?
10-02-2001, 11:23 AM
Yep, that would be it
10-02-2001, 12:03 PM
It doesn't sound very Oriental to me, I don't get it? The pentatonic minor starting on the 4th degree sounds more Oriental to my ears.
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