Blues DVD, Intro to Music Theory questions
I've been playing for 3 years and am decent on the fretboard but don't have any grounding in music theory. So I ordered the Blues DVD Learning System and have some questions. I hope you can assist me with them.
Chapter 1: Introduction to Music Theory
Page 32, tutorial 5, lesson1:
The paragraph mentions "... intervals that make the third scale degree a minor third interval from the root note (A). This makes the tonic chord .... a minor triad and is why the scale and key are called 'minor'".
There are four new pieces of terminology in that one paragraph which the previous material does not go into:
1) scale degree (I finally figured out what these are, woohoo)
2) minor third interval
3) minor triad
4) why the scale and key are called minor
The tutorial was going fine until I ran into that paragraph and don't know what to make of it.
I follow that a minor scale follows the pattern WHWWHWW.
I tried working on the A minor scale (does that start with A as the root note or Ab as the root note?) using the formula but don't get how the minor third interval influences the name of the scale. Doesn't every scale that follows the pattern above automatically get classified as a minor scale?
I hope the question isn't all over the place. If it makes sense for me to read some other material first then please let me know. Don't want you burn time answering newbie questions that have already been answered elsewhere :)
A minor scale
Tonic (the first degree fo a scale, root note is the fundamental of a chord): A
A minor natural scale (have harmonic and melodic scales too, but these are other scales):
A (W form A to B) B (H from B to C) C (W from C to D) D (W from D to E) E (H from E to F) F (W from F to G) G (W from G to A).
So the A minor scale is: A B C D E F G A.
Note that the notes are the same as the C Major scale. They´re different scales, but with the same notes. Every major scale have a relative minor scale. In this case, A minor is the relative minor of C Major. These two scales have no sharps or flats, and can determine the tone of a specific piece. That´s why in the tones of A minor and C major you don´t see any sharp or flat represented at the staff.
And what determines if a scale or tone are major or minor? Simple, its third interval. This interval features the sonority: major or minor, as well as that heard on the chords.
Forgot to mention
Every scale that follows the pattern will be classified as minor scales.
W H W W H W W
E minor scale:
E F# G A B C D E
E minor is the relative minor of G Major (same notes):
G A B C D E F# G (in this case the pattern is W W H W W W H, major scale).
Ab minor scale
We have the Ab minor scale too, which stars with Ab (tonic), using the same pattern:
W H W W H W W
Ab Bb Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab
Why Cb and not B? Why Fb and not E?
Because in music theory we never repeat a letter in the same scale. The sound are equal, this notes are classified as enharmonic notes, but for music theory they are different notes.
Ok that explains it. The way to create a minor scale is to use the pattern WHWWHWW and if the interval between the tonic and the third note is three half-notes then the interval is called minor third and we know its a minor scale.
Thanks for the great examples in your response!
How it sounds is just as important as patterns.
Play some major chords: C major chord (C,E,G) or a C7 (C,E,G,Bb).
Now play them without the fifth (E) and compare. Then play without the third (C major) and the seventh (C7) and compare.
When you play them without the fifth, the sound doesn't change significatively, but when you play without the third or seventh (in case of C7), they will sound without its characteristic sonority.
The third (major/minor) and the seventh (major/minor) are very important intervals, because they will determine the quality of chords (major/minor, major seventh/minor seventh).
When we start to play augmented and diminished chords, the fifth plays an important role on how chords will sound. You can use the same reasoning and compare augmented and diminished with major and minor chords.
You will notice that in this case the fifth is also contributing to the quality.
So if you remove it from the chord, the chord will lose its characteristic sonority and quality of diminished or augmented chord.
makes sense but stuck on intervals
brenoazzi .... thx for explanations so far.
The issue still stumping me is how to calculate intervals on the minor scale.
The interval between C and E on the C major scale is a major third.
Is this because:
a) C + whole step + whole step = C + 2 whole steps = E = major third?
b) The third note in the C major scale is E (irrespective of the W or H steps) and hence its the major third
When I look at minor scales the diatonic (formula) is different from that of the major scale. Given that the A minor scale is A B C D E F G ... what is the major third?
a) A + whole step + whole step = A + 2 whole steps = C# = major third?
b) The third note in the A minor scale is C (irrespective of W or H) and hence its a major third? So the minor third would be B?
I know I'm wrong but can't figure out where I'm going wrong.
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