Favorite scales


Christoph
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Remember that thread about favorite chords a long time ago (most of you probably won't) . . .

Well, as part of my attempt at a return to Guitartricks I offer you this thread. Why don't the frequenters of the music theory section (i.e. chris mood and company) post some of your favorite scales.

I'll start off with saying that the lydian mode is pretty darn cool.
# 1
noticingthemistake
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Cool thread. Welcome back fellow moderator of the theory section. I'm a big fan of the lydian scale myself, and one that I like alot is the Lydian Dominant scale. I prefer this scale over the mixolydian scale when harmonizing over a dominant chord anyday. The lydian dominant is the same scale as the mixolydian except the fourth is raised. The only exception is a X7sus4, when mixolydian is a more suitable fit.

I'm a big fan of blues scales, both major and minor, just because I love the b3 and b5. The dorian scale is another good one for writting blues-type songs. Substituting a minor scale for phyrgain is also something I like and do alot. As for exotics, I really dig the Hungarian scales (gypsy) cause of their interesting tone.

Those are the ones I use and know I use, but alot of the time I'll alter scales without thinking what scale I'm using.
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.
# 2
Christoph
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Never used the Lydian Dom scale before . . . (don't get many opportunities to playing rock)

Mixolydian and Lydian are probably my favorite modes, so a cross between them would be cool. I'll have to try it out the next time I'm improvising.

I love using lydian over add9 chords. It sounds really "out there".
# 3
chris mood
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diminished whole tone is a favorite of mine when I want to insert a nice colorfull run.....sounds cool when played over a minor 7th chord, starting a whole step above the root.
ex: Dmin7
Edim/wh (C#) D E F G Ab Bb C D
C# leading tone makes for a colorfull entrance

Been playing a lot of Nylon string lately, I enjoy playing with Harmonic Major
E F# G# A B C D# E
I find the F# can be interchangable with F natural for some nice colorization.
# 4
Gainer
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I like the locrian mode, engimatic scale and the harmonic minor.
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# 5
Dr_simon
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3 octave diminished arpeggio, it is totally mental!
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# 6
Number of the Beast
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Originally posted by Christoph

Never used the Lydian Dom scale before . . . (don't get many opportunities to playing rock)


clearly, if you're using lydian and mixolydian modes. What are you playing? Gregorian chant?

Personally, I prefer the harmonic minor, and the good ol' reliable minor pentatonic...I love that scale.
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# 7
zepp_rules
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harmonic minor and all of its modes
To improve technique and of course trying to keep all as clean as possible. I know my own limits and speed limits and so on I never play anything I'm not capable of. That wouldn't make any sense. After three years of playing I tried to play everything as fast as possible and that sounded, I would say, like shit, and I didn't realize that if I'd play bit slower things than I was capable of playing then everything would sound much better.

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# 8
Christoph
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Originally posted by noticingthemistake
Welcome back fellow moderator of the theory section.


How long have you been moderator? Before I lost interest/got busy with other stuff, it was some other dude. Can't remember his name though.

You definitely know your stuff. (I read a few of the old threads) Probably the main reason why I left for a while was because I just got sick of answering threads like "what are modes", "what are scales", blah etc. It gets old after a while.



# 9
Christoph
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Originally posted by Number of the Beast
clearly, if you're using lydian and mixolydian modes. What are you playing? Gregorian chant?


Huh? Lydian and mixolydian are pretty common. (at least if you listen to more advanced/technical rock . . . not the popular bunk)


# 10
noticingthemistake
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I've been a moderator for a couple of months now, Bardsley posted somewhere about being busy and that it would be cool to have someone take his place. I volunteered and I guess I wasn't as disliked as I thought I was. :cool: haha It's pretty cool and yeah since you've been gone the same questions are still being asked. urgh! Not as much as when I first started coming here since many have dicovered the search feature. There's been some good discussion, as an example chris posted about unique chord progressions which was pretty kool. Been some fire here too, me and griphon have gotten into some crazy debates. LOL. BTW cool site man.


BTW, The mixolydian mode is probably the most used mode in rock music. And the lydian is just cool, listen to dreamtheatre. I'd check them out Beast before labeling them as primitive. ;)
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.
# 11
chucklivesoninmyheart
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harmonic minor...
Actually any minor scale played fast and skipping strings sounds nice.
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# 12
Pantallica1
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I always though Aeolian was the most common used in rock??

I like Aeolian and Mixolydian.
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# 13
Christoph
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Depends on what kind of rock you're talking about, I guess.

Anyone ever tried out the wholetone scale?


# 14
noticingthemistake
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Well Aeolian is the minor scale so of course it's used more. Ionian is the most used ever. But I left those out for that reason, major and minor. Actually it depends on the type of rock, metal is based mostly in minor but most straight rock songs are major. The major key is alot more 'in your face' sounding, minor is sad and downish sounding. Mixolydian is used in almost all rock styles because of it's bluesy sound (a mix between major and minor in some sense), and you've probably seen the chord bVII a thousand times. The bVII is a good substitute for the viio, which is hardly used.

"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.
# 15
chucklivesoninmyheart
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I dont think minor is all sad e.c.t.
It can sound aggresive and sadistic(with some chromatic).

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# 16
chris mood
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A lot of rock music takes its cue from the blues, which utilizes minor scales over top of major chord progressions. Minor pentatonic and the Blues scale work quite well for this.
It is not uncommon for rock guitarists to combine the Blues scale and Dorian together, or another way to look at it is to add the b5 to the Dorian scale. Play the Dorian w/b5 in the upper octave and a straight blues scale in the lower octave.....this technique was used by Hendrix, Santana, and Eddie Van Halen, as well as probably a few thousand others. It has been unofficially dubbed the Rock scale.
# 17
noticingthemistake
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I don't use the whole tone scale much, just because I rarely use augmented chords or dominant chords where the fifth is altered. A good fill scale though. But if I have a dominant chord with a flattened or raised fifth, I will use this scale. I generally find it by thinking of it as the lydian dominant but the 5th is raised (or enharmonic #4 in place of a b5). Over a augmented chord, I think of a lydian scale with the 5th raised. Also, called the lydian augmented scale (3rd mode of the melodic minor). Often, when I use an augmented chord such as Cmaj7(#5). I generally disguise it as E/C or use it as a passing chord.

About the minor being sad or not, yeah I guess it depends on how you play it. You can make the minor scale sound happy, just like you can make the major scale sound sad. All depends on how the melody or C.P, goes. Generally the minor scales make me think of the downer side of the spectrum, but as always there are exceptions.

Even using the dorian scale as a format to structure a chord progression can produce a good bluesy rock song. My favorite and the walking cliches for blues, the progression Imin - IImin - bIII - IImin. What can I say it’s just fun to lay down that progression and put a blues lick over it. :D I usually just add the b5 instead of altering it, so the formula still has a natural 5th and a flat 5th. Just to make this progression possible and compatible. Imin - IImin - bIIImin - IImin. Hella bluesy.
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.
# 18
chris mood
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Yeah....I like that progression!
To my ears the whole tone scale does not sound good when played from root to root, sounds much hipper when phrased around the 9th or b7th.
# 19
noticingthemistake
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Yeah the first one is definitely a solid blues progression, the second sounds like toss into the rock bin. It's like something Sabbath would have done. Especially if the bIIImin chord is voiced as a minor/major seventh chord. Man that's a aggresive sounding chord.

Chris, which whole tone scale are you talking about? Cause the whole tone scale (w,w,w,w,w,w) I am thinking of is the same scale if you were to start on the 9th or b7th of a chord.
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.
# 20