#1

Tonal Center, Scales and Modes

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu May 15, 2014 5:36 pm
by diegopaudyal • 91 Posts

Okay, so am sitting down with a pen and paper and listening to songs and trying to figure out the chords, melody, scale and tonal center with my ears. I just finished my first song and I am little bit confused about how I should look at and think of the chords as I play them and what the tonal center for this song is.

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intro:
(i)m vi(dim) (ii)m vi(dim)
F#m, D#dim, G#minor, D#dim
 
Song:
(i)m...........(IV)Maj.......(IV)Maj.......(v)m
F#m, ............ B, ............B, ............C#m
 
F#m,......... C#m, .............FMajor, ..............F#minor ( and so on)
 
 




I figured out that it is played in F# Dorian mode which is also the (ii)minor in the E Major scale. Now, should I think of the tonal center as F# Dorian? or E Major?
Above I have written the roman numerals for every chord. Should I think of the F#m chord as (ii)m instead of (i)m, D#dim as (vii)dim instead of (vi)dim and so on and think of the tonal center as E Major?

OR I can choose to think of it either way I want? Which one is the general approach? How would you think of it if you were analyzing this song?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!!


Don\'t just do it, Finish it!!
-Michael Angelo Batio

Last edited Thu May 15, 2014 5:40 pm | Scroll up

#2

RE: Tonal Center, Scales and Modes

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu May 15, 2014 7:19 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
avatar

Diego...I am gonna repeat what I have said in these pebboric forums for the 100th time despite the fact that up until now, I have received nothing but shit for trying to explain how unhepful modal consideration is for understanding tonal harmony (Not going to mention who specifically... it doesnt matter who ......, just individual-(s?) some of whom have given me no reason to think they have a more accurate mental grasp over the western tonal framework. though there are also those here who clearly do have more understanding than I, when it comes to western tonal harmony.
The bottom line is I care about this stuff enough for it to be worth my time to say it....even tho people likely either choose to ignore me or dismiss what I saying by mislabeling it as only an opinion when in reality it is simply a matter of truth. Chopin and Mozart didnt use modes to write their music, they used the Major/minor keyframework where each scale and its intervals are there for a very good reason...they come from starting out on any one one pitch (there are 12 in the span of octave) and then staking upon it perfect 5th, upon perfect 5th, and so on...until you find that by stacking your 5ths you have arrived back on that same pitch you started with but now in a higher octave. That is rubrick from which do re me fa sol la ti do scales were made. they have preset interval specifics and preset harmonic functions for what their chords behave like. Such things are not matters of my opinion and they are just "the way it is" in the west's tonal framework...we play within the worlds of Major scales and minor scales, each of these worlds contains within it, its own specifics (a higherarchy of 7 tones in each scale, a specific make-up of chord qualities that are universal to all 12 possible starting scale tonics, a preset framework defining and deligating harmonic funtion, hence they are not subjective in nature...this leave's us with very little leway in deciding what we are going to be calling each of the seven tones that we are working with...Starting point is Do...Whole step up is re...Major third is me...P4 is fa...p5th is sol...Major 6th is La...Maj 7 is ti...I..ii..iii...IV...V...vi...vii are what we call it when we make chords upon these scale mambers...the thing that we call our key center is set in stone and out of our hands man...it became fixed the moment we used it as our initiall premis from which we had proceided to stack up 5th upon 5th, upon 5th...ect....until such a point as we had stacked up enough perfect 5ths thereup....so as to have made for ourselves a playset of 7 tones to work...And since we have to call it something in order to be able to talk about it...we simply choose to call it a Major scale...one can of course decide to defy this convention and call it Mixolydian or whatever they want...They can call it a Mixolydian scale until it makes them blue in the face...but it aint gonna change how our ears interprete the heirarchy of the 7 tones that are contained in that scale...your ears will always and forever hear the tonic note (the root of the I/i chord) as the tonal gravity center to that scale...if you decide you are actually playing and hearing it as "phrygian" thats cool because its your perogative to do so...but no ammount of will power is sufficient to change what it is you will be hearing as your tonal center...It aint up to us and...even though we may choose to misinterprete them as "phrygian"

We are at SQUARE 1 here dude bare fucking bones basic....there are no mixo-phrygi-whositwhatsits waiting around on nearby street corners who are gonna jump out and help us in our quest to completly understand the framework of western tonal music is a way that is comprehensive,where everything contained in its matrix of keys is ready and waiting for us on our tonal "pallets" for us to use in our art making. This state of easy readiness can only be brought about after one's understanding of tonal harmony and its many conventions/individual specificities have been looked at...and studied from beginninng to end...so that it all able to finally come together and come full circle for us. I see you have Roman numeral there...


That is an exellent language for talking about the various chords western music deals in....lowwer case correspond to chords that are minor in quality and Upper case obviously Major...Our world is 100% tertiary as we are stacking our chords in 3rds as if they are 3 balls of snow stacked on the staff to make a 3 peice snowman. There are also augmented and diminished chord types but they are not found as being natural occurances in the major/minor scale world (except for as ii chords and in chords that are built upon 7th scale degree's that we went in and manually sharped up by a semitone from there naturally occuring place in the scale.) and the augmented guys dont start poping up until our tonal world has become able to work beyond the narrow architecture of STICKING to one key and the 7 tones it natually has...this concept is called "chromatic harmony"...


Modoric Aknowledgements:

Play Guitar better than Fred Durst?---Check

Play Guitar better than Lil' Wayne?---Check

Play Guitar better than Franz Listz?---
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#3

RE: Tonal Center, Scales and Modes

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu May 15, 2014 7:35 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
avatar

P.S. i am asking every person who happens to read the above post here...to not read any thing into it other than just whats actually being said there...because it spent over 30 minuites of my time to type that response for no reason beyond the hope that someone else other than nicky boy might gain something from it...That was my intention there...so I swear to God If anyone mis-charactarizes the nature of it by saying its "being arrogant"...that will do nothing more than simply give me one less reason to use my time again in the future in my effort to be of any help to anyone here in PBstudios in any way that I can.


Modoric Aknowledgements:

Play Guitar better than Fred Durst?---Check

Play Guitar better than Lil' Wayne?---Check

Play Guitar better than Franz Listz?---
Scroll up

#4

RE: Tonal Center, Scales and Modes

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu May 15, 2014 9:07 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
avatar

Quote: diegopaudyal wrote in post #1
Okay, so am sitting down with a pen and paper and listening to songs and trying to figure out the chords, melody, scale and tonal center with my ears. I just finished my first song and I am little bit confused about how I should look at and think of the chords as I play them and what the tonal center for this song is.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
 

intro:
(i)m vi(dim) (ii)m vi(dim)
F#m, D#dim, G#minor, D#dim
 
Song:
(i)m...........(IV)Maj.......(IV)Maj.......(v)m
F#m, ............ B, ............B, ............C#m
 
F#m,......... C#m, .............FMajor, ..............F#minor ( and so on)
 
 




I figured out that it is played in F# Dorian mode which is also the (ii)minor in the E Major scale. Now, should I think of the tonal center as F# Dorian? or E Major?
Above I have written the roman numerals for every chord. Should I think of the F#m chord as (ii)m instead of (i)m, D#dim as (vii)dim instead of (vi)dim and so on and think of the tonal center as E Major?

OR I can choose to think of it either way I want? Which one is the general approach? How would you think of it if you were analyzing this song?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!!




If the vi is diminished this would be signal a Dorian chord progression because none of the other modes of the major scale generate a vidim.

The short answer is, you can play the E major scale fingerings but you want to THINK F# DORIAN because that's where the tonal gravity is pulling so you want to make sure you are resolving your lines properly and reinforcing the dorian sound to the listener.

For more on this purchase the Mick Goodrick book "The Advancing Guitarist"

Good question diego.


YouTube www.youtube.com/ursinderoche
Facebook www.facebook.com/ursinderoche
Twitter @ursinderoche

Last edited Thu May 15, 2014 9:07 pm | Scroll up

#5

RE: Tonal Center, Scales and Modes

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu May 15, 2014 9:41 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
avatar

To Nick... Thank you for taking 30 minutes of your time to dedicate to the forums. I am not going to say you are being arrogant. All I am going to say is that some of what you said was correct, most of what you said was incorrect.

It's not that you are being arrogant and again, I appreciate your dedication. You just have a very very very narrow outlook on music theory. It has evolved and grown so much farther past what you are talking about here which is very elementary and basic. And to say THIS IS THE WAY IT IS....that is simply not true.

Chopin and Mozart didn't use modes. Ok. Mozart and Chopin came from a time when the modes where not used much. However, the modes were revived by serious music composers by the 19th century. That's my point. Your understanding seems to completely STOP and come to a grinding halt around Wagner, Debussey, Bartok, etc etc.

You keep referring to things like Mixolydian and the other modes not having their own sounds. You are completely dead totally wrong. They do very much so have their own sound.

Modes are generated by the major scale, the harmonic minor scale, and the melodic minor scale and some even will add in the harmonic major scale but then things become synthetic.

Ahhhh synthetic modes. If you love Shawn Lane and John McLaughlin so much, I suggest you look into synthetic modality.

Everything else you said was either your opinion or something from a high school concert band textbook.


YouTube www.youtube.com/ursinderoche
Facebook www.facebook.com/ursinderoche
Twitter @ursinderoche

Last edited Thu May 15, 2014 9:45 pm | Scroll up

#6

RE: Tonal Center, Scales and Modes

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat May 17, 2014 7:59 am
by diegopaudyal • 91 Posts

Nick, thank you for your response.

Ursin, thank you for your advice. I just purchased the book. You have been a great help to me.

Thanks!


Don't just do it, Finish it!!
-Michael Angelo Batio
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#7

RE: Tonal Center, Scales and Modes

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat May 17, 2014 12:00 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
avatar

No problem Diego. It's more of a workbook than a book you sit down and read. It's a book you could work out of for many years. So, be prepared for that.

It is an amazing book and one of the few legit books written about modes for guitar. Pebber is aware of the book and gives it a big thumbs up. It's a great one to have and answers a lot of questions about modes.


YouTube www.youtube.com/ursinderoche
Facebook www.facebook.com/ursinderoche
Twitter @ursinderoche

Last edited Sat May 17, 2014 12:02 pm | Scroll up

#8

RE: Tonal Center, Scales and Modes

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:46 pm
by pebberbrown • 867 Posts

Everything is in the Key of E Major - but the song clings to F#mi as its CENTER, so Ursin was correct in saying that it revolves around an F# Dorian tonality. The D# dim chord however wants to pull a halfstep up to E as its natural resolution but they use G#mi instead, which actually is a plural substitute for Emajor. This is a very common practice.


Dont forget for major keys the plural substitutes are:

1.) I - III - VI

2.) II - IV

3.) V - VII


Last edited Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:34 pm | Scroll up


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