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Beginner Minor mix-up with Aebersold

Col

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Petersfield, Hampshire
I'm totally confused. I've been using Jamey Aebersold Major & Minor volume for literally years now and have learnt the Minors off by heart.

Problem is I thought I'd better brush up ahead of the jazz course I'm attending in August, so I down-loaded circle of 5ths to revise.
On there it says Am is relative minor of C, but with Aebersold the minor of C is D (!). What I mean is D minor is C major scasle starting on D.

I've tried playing over the D Minor tracks (and others) using Aebersold scales and they fit better than 'proper' minor scales (no flattened 6th).

Can someone please explain, I'm sure it's a simple explaination and it's just me being a Muppet.
Thanks.
 

griff136

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I live in Exmouth Devon.
I'm totally confused. I've been using Jamey Aebersold Major & Minor volume for literally years now and have learnt the Minors off by heart.

Problem is I thought I'd better brush up ahead of the jazz course I'm attending in August, so I down-loaded circle of 5ths to revise.
On there it says Am is relative minor of C, but with Aebersold the minor of C is D (!). What I mean is D minor is C major scasle starting on D.

Can someone please explain, I'm sure it's a simple explaination and it's just me being a Muppet.
Thanks.


Hi Col I think you have got a bit confused/mixed up at some stage.

The relative minor of any Major key is its 6th note, so the relative minor of C Major is A - with the notes coming fom the Major scale. The scale of C Maj starting on a D is known as the D Dorian mode. ( Dorian being the second mode (II) of the major scale)

Both A minor and Dorian on D are made from the notes of C Maj.
 

Pete Thomas

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Yes, a Dorian mode is just a different type of minor. It still has the minor 3rd which defines a scale as being minor, but the 6th is major (9 semitones) as opposed to a minor 6th (8 semitones).

Traditionally (ie in classical music theory) a relative minor is indeed the same key sig as the major that it is the 6th of.

But it gets more complicated sadly, which I won't go into here as my tea's nearly ready and I have a glass of cold Pinot Grigio.

But read the stuff her for a start:

http://tamingthesaxophone.com/jazz-minor-harmony.html

But bare in mind that article was actually written originally for undergraduate music students so doesn't quite start as basic as it possibly should do.

Also don't believe everything jamey Aebersold says. Some is good, some is not quite so useful (IMO)
 

half diminished

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Col

My teacher has me running through a number of exercises that I have found is helping improve muscle memory, train my ears and a whole lot more. It's also helping with hearing the change from major to minor, dom 7th etc.

Exercise 1 starts with either working around the cycle of 5ths (or you can do this chromatically) playing 3 or 5 or 7 note sequences up or down - these can be arpeggios or not - for each scale. Once you complete the sequence shift to the same sequence but with flattened 7th note (now a dom 7th), then again flattening the 3rd (you now have a dorian minor scale).

The second exercise is to play within a key centre either from I through to VII (so C major starting on C, then starting on D then E etc) or using standard chord progressions - II V7 I or II V7 I IV for example. You can play groups of 3, 4, 5 notes, arpeggios, even the whole scale as above. Or start at the top and move down. Then you work around the cycle or chromatically to practice in all keys.

The third exercise is again working around the cycle or chromatically and playing major, dom 7th and dorian minor scales or note sequences as above. With this exercise you get to hear the differences between the sound of each scale or chord sequence.

For all exercises you can also go to the 8th, 9th, 11th, 13th if you wish. After a while you start to develop your own exercises. The other variable is articulation. Make it sound 'real'.

I have to say I just love practicing this stuff and its really helped me in loads of ways and of course you don't need to complete the whole cycle every time. Some times I just work on one chord progression or one, two or three key centres/scales. I know this all makes me sound a bit sad but I do love it. :w00t:
 

814jazzer

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Pennsylvania
This confusion by Col in his original post points to the not-quite-rightness of the whole modal chord-scale approach.

I went through the exact same confusion when I was learning 25 years ago, using the Aebersold Playalongs as a primary learning and practice tool. I got a lot of value from using them — not the least of which was playing with kick-ass rhythm sections! — but this particular theoretical approach was misleading in the long run.

Dorian on ii, Mix. on V, and Ionian on I implies that the tonal center changes on each chord. When, in fact, the tonal center throughout a ii-V-I is always I — and only I.

most crotchety on this matter,
~ Rick
 
OP
Col

Col

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153
Location
Petersfield, Hampshire
Thanks Ian,

I've taken your post and copied it out, going to use it to practice with.

I agree with Rick, I actually find the approach rather annoying and wish my teacher at the time had made it clearer. I've been happily playing along thinking I'm playing minor scales and in fact using Dorian - the fact that I've never noticed is a worry - and no-one has ever pointed it out!
 

half diminished

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Buckinghamshire
Thanks Ian,

I've taken your post and copied it out, going to use it to practice with.

I agree with Rick, I actually find the approach rather annoying and wish my teacher at the time had made it clearer. I've been happily playing along thinking I'm playing minor scales and in fact using Dorian - the fact that I've never noticed is a worry - and no-one has ever pointed it out!
Col

Dunno if this'll help but I've pretty much stopped thinking about scales in terms of notes, more in terms 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 etc. I think this whole learning jazz thing is very cognitive and for me it's getting the whole thing internalised that is now beginning to take shape, albeit very slowly. Some peeps seem to pick up the theory easily, others like me tend to use their ears. I do a lot of listening and transcribing by ear. I mostly play without the music as soon as I can learn a tune well enough to do so, only using it for a point of reference for the changes - I only wish I could learn those as well but its a lot to take in.

Above all don't despair, it takes a lot of time to master any of this jazz stuff. Which course are you doing? I did the jazzwise Aebersold course in 2008, it was brilliant though I'd get so much more from one now.
 
OP
Col

Col

Member
Messages
153
Location
Petersfield, Hampshire
Col

Dunno if this'll help but I've pretty much stopped thinking about scales in terms of notes, more in terms 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 etc. I think this whole learning jazz thing is very cognitive and for me it's getting the whole thing internalised that is now beginning to take shape, albeit very slowly. Some peeps seem to pick up the theory easily, others like me tend to use their ears. I do a lot of listening and transcribing by ear. I mostly play without the music as soon as I can learn a tune well enough to do so, only using it for a point of reference for the changes - I only wish I could learn those as well but its a lot to take in.

Above all don't despair, it takes a lot of time to master any of this jazz stuff. Which course are you doing? I did the jazzwise Aebersold course in 2008, it was brilliant though I'd get so much more from one now.
Thanks for that, I've always tended to play by ear as well. The course I'm on is the 'Music for You' Summer school at Bridgewater College 15-21st August. Can't wait, I went to The Stables about 15 years ago and Jamey Aebersold in Twickenham about 10 years ago, haven't done anything since so really looking forward to it, hence the desire to get my theory brushed-up beforehand.
 

Young Col

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Just wanted to say what an interesting thread. While I saw namesake Col's problem immediately it all moved on into very useful stuff. Ian, the exercises you outlined are well worth noting and, of course, come from an authoritiative source!
Thanks!
YC
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
Just wanted to say what an interesting thread. While I saw namesake Col's problem immediately it all moved on into very useful stuff. Ian, the exercises you outlined are well worth noting and, of course, come from an authoritiative source!
Thanks!
YC
Let's just remind everyone that the authoritative source is not me but my teacher :w00t:

Some of this stuff or at least similar exercises is in Pete's Taming the Saxophone book too though some of it is pretty advanced (well for me it is).
 
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