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Theory Question

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I hardly know anything about theory, so my question might be confusing.

Say i'm playing my guitar in the key of A minor. Are you only supposed to use one scale, or can I mix them within the key. For example can I mix the arabian scale with the blues scale as long as I stay in the same key? Are there any rules to remember when doing this?

Thanks.

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Do whatever you want. If it sounds right, use it.

Theory isn't a set of rules; it's a well of knowledge that allows you to understand how western music is constructed.

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Do whatever you want. If it sounds right, use it.

Theory isn't a set of rules; it's a well of knowledge that allows you to understand how western music is constructed.

Exactly. That's why they call it music theory and not music law. Study of music theory is a great way to understand the framework of music and how it affects us. But honestly, doing what sounds good to you is more important than adhering to any arbitrary model.

That being said, one can never know too much about the way music is made.

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Well, first of all, I don't think you'd technically be playing in a minor if you're using blues and Arabian scales. From what I gather, though, blues and Arabian sound quite a bit different, and cover a pretty different (with some overlap, naturally) set of pitches, so the tone of the song would likely change with a switch in scales. I'll echo the words of the people above me and say it's really up to you. Experiment with it and see if you like it. If you do, then go for it.

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If you use a pentonic scale, it's the same notes as both blues and major/minor (I forget which pentonic scale). There are actually three different minor scales: melodic, harmonic, and natural (I forget the differences at the moment).

Sometimes you may run into chromatic notes that don't really fit any scale nicely. Just play what works and sounds good (but if you're working with other instruments in an arrangement it's easier to stay working in one particular key/style).

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There are actually three different minor scales: melodic, harmonic, and natural (I forget the differences at the moment).

Harmonic minor raises the leading tone, and melodic minor raises the 6th and 7th.

[edit: gah, forgot to enable bbcode]

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There are actually three different minor scales: melodic, harmonic, and natural (I forget the differences at the moment).

Harmonic minor raises the leading tone, and melodic minor raises the 6th and 7th.

[edit: gah, forgot to enable bbcode]

Harmonic minor raises the 7th so that it becomes a leading tone. ;)

If you raise a leading tone, you get the octave. :P

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A minor:

Pentatonic (no half steps): Up- A B D E G A Down- A G E D B A

Harmonic: Up- A B C D E F G# A Down- A G# F E D C B A

Melodic: Up- A B C D E F# G# A Down- A G F E D C B A

Natural: Up- A B C D E F G A Down- A G F E D C B A

Any of those will sound fine, but you don't have to be held to the boundaries of the key. Use any notes that sound good, like Darkesword said.

FYI - Blues doesn't equal Pentatonic.

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A minor:

Pentatonic (no half steps): Up- A B D E G A Down- A G E D B A

Harmonic: Up- A B C D E F G# A Down- A G# F E D C B A

Melodic: Up- A B C D E F# G# A Down- A G F E D C B A

Natural: Up- A B C D E F G A Down- A G F E D C B A

Any of those will sound fine, but you don't have to be held to the boundaries of the key. Use any notes that sound good, like Darkesword said.

FYI - Blues doesn't equal Pentatonic.

I was talking about another pentatonic scale, not that one (pentatonic meaning any scale with 5 notes); it's similar to blues (I forget which one), but without a couple of the chromatic notes.

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A minor:

Pentatonic (no half steps): Up- A B D E G A Down- A G E D B A

Harmonic: Up- A B C D E F G# A Down- A G# F E D C B A

Melodic: Up- A B C D E F# G# A Down- A G F E D C B A

Natural: Up- A B C D E F G A Down- A G F E D C B A

Any of those will sound fine, but you don't have to be held to the boundaries of the key. Use any notes that sound good, like Darkesword said.

FYI - Blues doesn't equal Pentatonic.

I was talking about another pentatonic scale, not that one (pentatonic meaning any scale with 5 notes); it's similar to blues (I forget which one), but without a couple of the chromatic notes.

There are only five notes. I just added the octave in it (the final "A").

Blues: A B D Eb E G (thanks for the info ekm)

Pentatonic (w/out octave): A B D E G (look better Lewis?)

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I think Ghetto Lee Lewis is trying to say that he meant a different pentatonic scale altogether, as any scale with five notes is pentatonic. The major pentatonic, I believe, is R-2-3-5-6, or A-B-C#-E-F#.

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