Review Session: Major and Minor Scales

Jason Allen
A free video tutorial from Jason Allen
Ph.D / Ableton Certified Trainer
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Music Theory Comprehensive Complete: Part 4, 5, & 6

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10:07:03 of on-demand video • Updated October 2020

  • Composing music using modes and counterpoint
  • Create unique melodies by understanding the rules of counterpoint
  • Create more emotional music by taking advantage of the musical modes
  • Interval Exploration
  • Compound Intervals
  • Rules for Inversion
  • Augmented Intervals
  • Diminished Intervals
  • Enharmonic Equivalence
  • Labeling Dissonance
  • Counterpoint in Species
  • The Rules of Counterpoint
  • Compositing with Counterpoint
  • Types of Contrapuntal Motion
  • Creating music with Counterpoint
  • Tools of Counterpoint
  • Second Species Counterpoint
  • Metric Accents and Diminutions
  • Resolutions
  • Passing Tones
  • Consonant Skips and Leaps
  • Neighbor Tones
  • Writing Compelling Melodies
  • Third Species Counterpoint
  • The Cambiata
  • Double Neighbor Tones
  • Fourth Species Counterpoint
  • Rhythmic Displacement
  • 4-3, 7-6, and 9-8 Suspension Types
English [Auto] OK let's do some super quick review. Now we've done a lot of music theory so far I'm assuming and probably will continue to assume for this whole class that you've taken either my first three music theory classes in this sequence or you at least looked at them enough to know that you could skip ahead. So I'm going to kind of assume you've been through that. I'm going to do two review videos right now. Now even if you're comfortable with this stuff. Humor me and watch these review videos because a little review never hurts. And these two topics I'm not going to review everything that we've done in the last you know 100 some videos of the other three classes. But I want to review two things that are going to be critical to us going forward in this class. And so in this first review video we can talk about major and minor scales. Real quick because I want to get back into your head. How we find those scales because a lot of what we're going to do in this class is going to be looking at some other skills and knowing how our major and minor is determined is going to help us to understand those other scales really well. So let's make a major scale and let's not make a C major scale let's do something different. Let's do a G-Major scale. So my first note on my scale if I'm just going to play all the notes in order is going to be the one it's named after. So if I'm making a G major scale the first notes is going to be G. And now I have to go through this pattern. Right so do you remember the pattern the pattern of the scale of a major scale is whole step sets can be to a remember it's a whole step because there's a node in between. I can put a G sharp or an a flat in between these two notes if we're looking at a piano. In fact let's do it. So here's the note I just played. Here's our g and here's our right G. And there's a note in between G sharp or a flat. Right. So that means censor's a note in between that means the distance between these two is a whole step the distance between these two G and G sharp or a flat is a half step and the distance between g sharper A-flat and a is a half step but G to A is a whole step. So go through and get rid of these notes so ga whole step right a to beat is also a whole step right because there is one in between. So another whole step and then a half step. So our pattern so far is whole step whole step half step and this is a half step because B to C there's nothing in between. So then from C it's another whole step and then to E is another whole step. And then from and then our next step is all horse step. Our next note is a horse step away so easy to a whole step higher. It's going to get us to an F sharp because we need one in between for it to be a whole step. Right so either F is only half steps and nothing in between. So we have to go to F sharp for a whole step. So that note is the next in our pattern and then our last one is a half step. So the pattern is step half step half step whole step whole step whole step and then a half step. And that gets us a major scale. OK. Now it's like in a minor scale. Well let's hear that first. Good happy major scale. Let's do a minor scale. OK what minor scale should we do. Oh let's stick with that theme and do an E minor scale. Now why did I say we're going to stick with a theme and do an E minor scale. Hold onto that for a minute. We'll come back to that statement a second. So the pattern for an E minor scale is a natural minor. By the way remember there's a couple of different flavors of minor. There's a natural minor. So our first note is a whole step away and we start on E to get to a whole step. Remember what we have to do to go to F sharp because e is here this is here to F is only a half step. So we have to go up one more to get to a holster K and then from here we go half step and then whole stack and then stop and then stop and then stop and then hosta so like it does back to eat so whole step half step whole step whole step half step whole step holster. That is our minor scale pattern. Let's hear it. OK. So that's an E minor scale now why did I say sticking to the same theme because we have one sharp here and F sharp right. And in the key of G We had one sharp in the key of G major We had one sharp. So that means G-Major and a minor G major and E minor are what they are relative keys. Remember we've learned that word. So that means that they use the same key signature or the same number of accidentals. G-Major has an F sharp in it which means it has no F natural in it and E Minor has an F sharp in it which means it has no F natural in it. There are all the same notes. If we started the scale here and went up to G we would just start we would Rupi E and F at F sharp at the top and we'd have G-Major scale. So it's all the same notes just in a slightly different starting point. E minor G major relative keys. Remember that. OK so that's your quick review of major and minor. Next let's review our diatonic chord progressions. I know you're sick to death of hearing about diatonic chord progressions but it's going to be worth it to do one quick review of it before we dive into some of the fairly complex things we're going to do with that sucker in this class so let's do a quick review of that in the next.