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Some tips I've picked up

half diminished

Senior Member
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1,361
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Buckinghamshire
I'm probably going to embarrass myself here as most, if not all of you will know this and say doh! :blush: And/or by making a mistake!

But in my defense I have been playing for less than 18 months and never read music before.


So my tips are...................
1. Learn your 12 major scales well. Flatten the 7th and you now know all dom7 scales. Now flatten the 3rd and you have all your dorian minor scales.

2. Looking at Pete's 'Cycle of fifths' wheel, moving anti-clockwise you can see the II-V7-I progression clearly.


For example in the scale of Bb major: II (C-) V7 (F7) I (Bb) - all these share the same notes and there are the same two flats (Bb and Eb) in all three.

Another - Ab major - II (Bb-) V7 (Eb7) I (Ab) again same 4 flats all three.

If you know your 'Cycle' you can easily spot II-V7-Is and you'll know how many flats/sharps.

3. Each major scale has one note/letter ABCDEFG and you should think in those terms and not mix flats and sharps like I did. :ashamed

Don't think C#major (Db major) is: C# Eb F F# G# Bb C

Think Db major = Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C

or C# major = C# D# E# F# G# A# C

4. On the same theme, when in a scale/key - think in that key. Don't think G# when playing Db major think Ab. I know, I know, I'm really embarrassed to admit this.

5. How to work out a key signature? If no flats or sharps it's C major

If there are sharps, the key is the note immediately above the last sharp so if there is just F# then it must be in G major. If the last sharp is G# then it must be in A major.

As for flats, remember F has just 1 flat (Bb) - thereafter, the key signature is the previous flat to the last flat. So 2 flats (Bb & Eb) - the key is Bb. With 4 flats ( Bb, Eb, Ab, Db) the key must be Ab major.

Hope this is helpful and correct :confused:
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
Although i can read music and understand sharps, flats and key signatures i don't understand where you say you can clearly see the II-7-I progression? What does that mean? I just don't see it. I have my own memonics for the order and number of sharps and flats. I would like to understand this in more detail though. I hear comments of practice using the cycle of fifths. How ? Look forward to your comments.
 
OP
half diminished

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
Although i can read music and understand sharps, flats and key signatures i don't understand where you say you can clearly see the II-7-I progression? What does that mean? I just don't see it. I have my own memonics for the order and number of sharps and flats. I would like to understand this in more detail though. I hear comments of practice using the cycle of fifths. How ? Look forward to your comments.
Well my teacher told me this only recently.

If you move anti-clockwise around the cycle of 5ths, you descend a fifth at a time, so C moves to F moves to Bb and so on. It so happens that in that order, C is the second (C-) or II, F is the V7 (F7) and Bb the I - hence II-V7-I in the key of Bb.

Move on around to F Bb Eb and the same applies. F (F-) is the II, Bb (Bb7) the V7 and Eb the I.

So now I can see that C-, F7 and Bb all have the same notes and form a II-V7-I progression in the key of Bb. Similarly F-, Bb7 and Eb all have the same notes and form a II-V7-I progression in the key of Eb.

I hope I have explained this properly.
 
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Sloth

Member
Messages
102
Location
The cheap end of Brighton
Isn't the Open Universty based in Milton Keynes?

This puts me in mind of one of their programmes, all this. Happily enough I'm learning my major scales in the correct order, but it's matter of blind faith at the moment! However I do understand altering the major scales (eg 1,3b,4,4# etc for the blues scale).

Sorry but your post above hasn't helped me at all, and I echo thehunt (I had to be careful typing that!) in that 'V7' and the 'II' and so on is beyond my understanding just now- what are you describing there?

Feel free to post a link to some info, if you don't want to be overwhelmed with dumb questions!

-Was looking through the Aebersold Jazz Handbook last night (http://www.jazzwise.com/catalog/article_info.php?articles_id=10) and found some references, so now I know C- means a C minor scale for example but not the other stuff.

'F (F-) is the II, Bb (Bb7) the V7 and Eb the I' - it makes you want to grow your hair and wear flares.
 
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Semiquaver

Member
Messages
102
Location
Hertfordshire, England
The circle of fifths is a wonderful tool for helping with music theory and playing.

I suspect nosaxyet has just discovered this and wants to tell the world. Well done mate you are now on the road to even more musical wonderment.

As for those that havn't got there yet. You will one day, keep at it.

As for ii-v7-1.

Make it your project for this week. Find out about it, you won't regret it.
 
OP
half diminished

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
The circle of fifths is a wonderful tool for helping with music theory and playing.

I suspect nosaxyet has just discovered this and wants to tell the world. Well done mate you are now on the road to even more musical wonderment.

As for those that havn't got there yet. You will one day, keep at it.

As for ii-v7-1.

Make it your project for this week. Find out about it, you won't regret it.
I've known about it for ages - just didn't flippin' understand it! I'm on the start of a journey for sure! A little light-bulb just came on last week. :)

The other thing I've noticed is that I'm starting to 'get a feel for' the major, dorian minor, dom7th sound now. Also, I've been playing "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes' which has a key change from F major to Db major for 8 bars. A few weeks ago I would have struggled here but now I just play it. Only really tricky bit is the lower Db to Bb. Haven't mastered the chord progression yet though. :w00t:

Sloth/thehunt - check out Pete's brilliant 'Jazz theory for beginners'. Sorry if I confused you.
 
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old git

Tremendous Bore
Brian Joe Sandy,
You have ruined my favourite key by suggesting we call B flat, A sharp. One of the few things I know about music, is enharmonic notes but only one enharmonic key. I also find it quite hard to find your six tritone pairs. Admit to being seventy-two so probably much too old to understand these new fangled diagram thingies, after all, only learnt recently that Florence Nightingale invented Pie Charts, always it was Mrs. Beeton.
Have also looked at the D keys on my keyboard but they are no more reflective than any of the others including the black ones. Should I attempt to polish them further and if so, what do you recommend?
 

BrianJoeSandy

Member
Messages
268
Location
Daventry near enough
I also find it quite hard to find your six tritone pairs. Admit to being seventy-two
I admit to seventy and started this sax lark 18 months ago. It is perhaps interesting that the only tritone pair that doesn't involve a sharp or flat is the F-B pair. The other 5 pairs come from dividing the picture in half from note to opposite note like D-Ab

Have also looked at the D keys on my keyboard but they are no more reflective than any of the others including the black ones. Should I attempt to polish them further and if so, what do you recommend?
My eccentricity is to maintain that middle C is wrongly named. It should be middle D because if you put a mirror on middle D you see the entire keyboard when looking from one side. Ie the middle of D cuts the keyboard in two equal halves. Then reflection sends sharp keys to flat keys. eg key of G goes to key of F which is an argument for middle C! There is something weird and magical about how all this works.
 

BrianJoeSandy

Member
Messages
268
Location
Daventry near enough
You have ruined my favourite key by suggesting we call B flat, A sharp.
My mistake. I have modified my picture. I should have said 'keys' where I said 'notes'. For example if all the 7 notes of the scale of G (containing one sharp F#) are reflected at D then the resulting 7 notes form the scale of F (containing the reflection of F# which is Bb).
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
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Just north of Munich
...after all, only learnt recently that Florence Nightingale invented Pie Charts, always it was Mrs. Beeton.
Sorry to disillusion you, Earliest known was William Playfair in his Statistical Breviary. more than 50 years before Flo & Flo's version was actually in use at least 15 years before she started using it.

But this circle confuese me as well - why 4ths one way and fifths the other? e.g. C->G I can count as a 5th C,D,E,F,G and going back G->C is thus G,F,E,D,C - why is this now a fourth?

Your's confused, and looking forward to a fresh portion of one of Mrs Beeton's pies......
 
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BrianJoeSandy

Member
Messages
268
Location
Daventry near enough
But this circle confuese me as well - why 4ths one way and fifths the other? e.g. C->G I can count as a 5th C,D,E,F,G and going back G->C is thus G,F,E,D,C - why is this now a fourth?
Notice at the top right of my picture: arrows indicate direction of pitch increase. C going up to G is a fifth (CDEFG) but G going up to C is a fourth (GABC))
 
OP
half diminished

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
Sorry to disillusion you, Earliest known was William Playfair in his Statistical Breviary. more than 50 years before Flo & Flo's version was actually in use at least 15 years before she started using it.

But this circle confuese me as well - why 4ths one way and fifths the other? e.g. C->G I can count as a 5th C,D,E,F,G and going back G->C is thus G,F,E,D,C - why is this now a fourth?

Your's confused, and looking forward to a fresh portion of one of Mrs Beeton's pies......
Clockwise it is C, G, D, A, E, B, F# etc

Anti-clockwise it is C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db etc

Or continuing around the cycle clockwise C, G, D, A, E, B, F#(Gb), Db, Ab, Eb, Bb, F and back to C.

Clockwise the interval between C to G etc is a fifth and anti-clockwise the internal is a fourth.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Decided to use Windolene on my keyboard. No difference.
If there are twelve major and twelve minor scales, why isn't there twelve tritone pairs?
Why not call it the circle of fifths and fourths?
Thought you were on holiday Ian, so why aren't you upside down at Thorpe Park with the wife and kids?
The only Playfair that I know about is the English Dance Master geezer. Surely not the same?
 

BrianJoeSandy

Member
Messages
268
Location
Daventry near enough
If there are twelve major and twelve minor scales, why isn't there twelve tritone pairs?
Because 6 times 2 is 12. A tritone is 6 semitones. F up to B is 6 and B up to F is 6. Ah no there are 12 tritone pairs if you take order into account ie tritone F to B distinct from B to F. There are only 6 (undirected) diagonals on the diagram so I was talking unordered pairs.

Why not call it the circle of fifths and fourths?
That makes sense
 

Phil Edwards

Senior Member
Messages
1,335
Location
East Sussex
BrianJoeSandy, you will not get the last word on this one, just leave him to his ramblings...

Hey OG - the guy's only made a few posts and they're nearly all responding to your daft comments.

(As I can't find a smiley I'll just say this is posted in humour - as are most of OG's posts, and boy do they amuse us - but I hope you all know that by now.)

BTW, I'm just listening to Jackie McLean playing What's New - don't know why I posted that but felt it was appropriate.

Regards, Phil
 
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