Skype theory lesson

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vizviz Frets: 5516
edited January 23 in Theory
Gave a skype theory lesson to a music producer the other night and just gave another one to an up-and-coming singer songwriter this evening. I’ve been trying out my new theory workbook, or at least chapter 1 and 2 of it, and it worked really well!

Both lessons have been fun and productive and both people have said they got a lot out of it. It’s just a hobby but really interesting to be doing it after work. Just thought I’d share! Roll on the next one.
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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 1723
    Cool.

    What areas were they interested in?


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  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    edited January 23
    Cheers!!

    Well I have written the first few chapters which I believe is the best sequence for adults who don’t want to learn to read music to go through:

    1) Notes and the major scale
    2) The minor scale
    3) Relative major & minor
    4) Identifying the home note and whether a piece is major or minor
    5) Harmonising the major scale
    6) Harmonising the minor scale
    7) Cadences and diatonic progressions
    8) Progressions that break away from diatonic
    9) Modes (relative and absolute)
    10) Recognising modes - from the melody and from the harmony
    11) Harmonic and Melodic minor
    12) Circle of 5ths and keys 


    Next I’m going to write chapters on inversions, modulations, modes of melodic minor and other stuff; then I could go into types of music - jazz, blues etc, or discuss other scale systems, or tuning systems; not sure yet. Feel free to advise!


    The music producer wanted to jump straight in at modes but it became evident we needed to go back to harmonising the scales. The songwriter wanted to start at Circle of 5ths, but we needed to go back to step 3 and got as far as cadences. 


    I am not sure whether C of 5 should come before or after modes. Probably before. But modes flows so nicely after cadences and progressions. I’ll see. Each chapter has loads of pictures and midi files you can click to hear the demonstrations, and it all worked really well

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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 642
    What’s the great relevance of major and minor ?
    to the extent that you spend so much time early on.
    why is not just part of modes ?
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  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    edited January 23
    sev112 said:
    What’s the great relevance of major and minor ?
    to the extent that you spend so much time early on.
    why is not just part of modes ?
    Nice question. A few reasons, the main one being that modes are a bit of a stumbling block for many whereas major and minor aren’t, and I thought it was easier to start with a ‘pilot’. But also:

    1) They form the majority of western music from 1450 up until at least the first half of the last century. 

    2) Most guitarists know that A minor and C major are somehow connected, so solidifying that before expanding the concept to the other 5 modes is helpful

    3) Because you can think of Dorian and Phrygian as surrounding the ‘default’ mode of Aeolian (one has a sharpened note, the other a flattened one); and the same with respect to Lydian and Mixo surrounding Ionian. 

    3.5) And only then can you show that just like major is the relative of minor, so is lydian the relative of dorian, and mixolydian the relative of phrygian). 

    4) And finally because if you strip out the special notes (the 2 and 6 in minor, and the 4 and 7 in major), you get the pentatonics which most people know and can play, and can quickly understand how C major penta is related to A minor penta). 

    Or to say it in the other direction, if you started with penta and inserted the missing notes, the ones you would insert are the minor 6 and the major 2 (for minor), and the perfect 4 and sharp 7 (for major). Thus ending up with minor and major scales. 

    Edit - oh and because also when I introduce the scales as ladders (scala meaning ladder) with different spaced rungs, I introduce the intervals of major (2212221) and demonstrate why that sounds so settled (being two groups of 221). 
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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 1723
    viz said:
    Cheers!!

    Well I have written the first few chapters which I believe is the best sequence for adults who don’t want to learn to read music to go through:

    1) Notes and the major scale
    2) The minor scale
    3) Relative major & minor
    4) Identifying the home note and whether a piece is major or minor
    5) Harmonising the major scale
    6) Harmonising the minor scale
    7) Cadences and diatonic progressions
    8) Progressions that break away from diatonic
    9) Modes (relative and absolute)
    10) Recognising modes - from the melody and from the harmony
    11) Harmonic and Melodic minor
    12) Circle of 5ths and keys 


    Next I’m going to write chapters on inversions, modulations, modes of melodic minor and other stuff; then I could go into types of music - jazz, blues etc, or discuss other scale systems, or tuning systems; not sure yet. Feel free to advise!


    The music producer wanted to jump straight in at modes but it became evident we needed to go back to harmonising the scales. The songwriter wanted to start at Circle of 5ths, but we needed to go back to step 3 and got as far as cadences. 


    I am not sure whether C of 5 should come before or after modes. Probably before. But modes flows so nicely after cadences and progressions. I’ll see. Each chapter has loads of pictures and midi files you can click to hear the demonstrations, and it all worked really well

    That looks a well thought out program.

    The cycle of 5th might work in / after cadences and diatonic progressions, as it is in it's basic form a never ending cycle of perfect cadences. It can of course always be revisted in another context later.

    The area of theory I would like to know more about is jazz harmony, especially with regards to arranging for other instruments. What of course I would do with this knowledge is of course a moot point!


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  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    jpfamps said:
    viz said:
    Cheers!!

    Well I have written the first few chapters which I believe is the best sequence for adults who don’t want to learn to read music to go through:

    1) Notes and the major scale
    2) The minor scale
    3) Relative major & minor
    4) Identifying the home note and whether a piece is major or minor
    5) Harmonising the major scale
    6) Harmonising the minor scale
    7) Cadences and diatonic progressions
    8) Progressions that break away from diatonic
    9) Modes (relative and absolute)
    10) Recognising modes - from the melody and from the harmony
    11) Harmonic and Melodic minor
    12) Circle of 5ths and keys 


    Next I’m going to write chapters on inversions, modulations, modes of melodic minor and other stuff; then I could go into types of music - jazz, blues etc, or discuss other scale systems, or tuning systems; not sure yet. Feel free to advise!


    The music producer wanted to jump straight in at modes but it became evident we needed to go back to harmonising the scales. The songwriter wanted to start at Circle of 5ths, but we needed to go back to step 3 and got as far as cadences. 


    I am not sure whether C of 5 should come before or after modes. Probably before. But modes flows so nicely after cadences and progressions. I’ll see. Each chapter has loads of pictures and midi files you can click to hear the demonstrations, and it all worked really well

    That looks a well thought out program.

    The cycle of 5th might work in / after cadences and diatonic progressions, as it is in it's basic form a never ending cycle of perfect cadences. It can of course always be revisted in another context later.

    The area of theory I would like to know more about is jazz harmony, especially with regards to arranging for other instruments. What of course I would do with this knowledge is of course a moot point!


    When you find out about it let me know the secrets (actually the basics) and I’ll add it!!
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  • BranshenBranshen Frets: 1067
    edited January 25
    - advance harmony: Extensions
    - secondary dominants (great for songwriting!)

    I think these two work great in your course. Slightly more advance but still very usable for all types of music
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  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    Ooh yes, extensions, nice one. 

    Secondary dominants I’ve already got after perfect cadences, in the section about non diatonic chords, and then again in circle of 5ths :)

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  • BradBrad Frets: 232
    Very comprehensive and cool! Just don’t be doing any of that 7b10 nonsense :wink:

    Regards to the cycle of 5ths, I agree before modes. I’d probably nestle it between 7 & 8 as the student learns 7, sees how that expands with cycle of 5ths and then can use that info when working on 8 if that makes sense? But that’s just my initial thoughts. In any case it’ll probably be a little trial and error before you find a good place for it.  
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  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    Brad said:
    Very comprehensive and cool! Just don’t be doing any of that 7b10 genius stuff :wink:
     

    Corrected

    Brad said:

    Regards to the cycle of 5ths, I agree before modes. I’d probably nestle it between 7 & 8 as the student learns 7, sees how that expands with cycle of 5ths and then can use that info when working on 8 if that makes sense? But that’s just my initial thoughts. In any case it’ll probably be a little trial and error before you find a good place for it.  

    Yep I’m inclined to agree

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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 1723
    edited January 26
    viz said:
    jpfamps said:
    viz said:
    Cheers!!

    Well I have written the first few chapters which I believe is the best sequence for adults who don’t want to learn to read music to go through:

    1) Notes and the major scale
    2) The minor scale
    3) Relative major & minor
    4) Identifying the home note and whether a piece is major or minor
    5) Harmonising the major scale
    6) Harmonising the minor scale
    7) Cadences and diatonic progressions
    8) Progressions that break away from diatonic
    9) Modes (relative and absolute)
    10) Recognising modes - from the melody and from the harmony
    11) Harmonic and Melodic minor
    12) Circle of 5ths and keys 


    Next I’m going to write chapters on inversions, modulations, modes of melodic minor and other stuff; then I could go into types of music - jazz, blues etc, or discuss other scale systems, or tuning systems; not sure yet. Feel free to advise!


    The music producer wanted to jump straight in at modes but it became evident we needed to go back to harmonising the scales. The songwriter wanted to start at Circle of 5ths, but we needed to go back to step 3 and got as far as cadences. 


    I am not sure whether C of 5 should come before or after modes. Probably before. But modes flows so nicely after cadences and progressions. I’ll see. Each chapter has loads of pictures and midi files you can click to hear the demonstrations, and it all worked really well

    That looks a well thought out program.

    The cycle of 5th might work in / after cadences and diatonic progressions, as it is in it's basic form a never ending cycle of perfect cadences. It can of course always be revisted in another context later.

    The area of theory I would like to know more about is jazz harmony, especially with regards to arranging for other instruments. What of course I would do with this knowledge is of course a moot point!


    When you find out about it let me know the secrets (actually the basics) and I’ll add it!!
    You'll be waiting a while sadly.....

    Having said that, I have picked some really cool concepts from the head of jazz at King's college, who used to come in the shop.

    He showed some ideas used to harmonize the blues scale, which is course impossible using notes solely from the blues scale (well you could do it but it would sound hideous!), and were pioneered by people like Duke Ellington.

    Essentially the blues scale notes are used as the extensions. I've then gone back and analysed a couple of Kenny Burrell tunes that we have played from time to time, Chitlins Con Carne and Midnight Blue.

    For example Midnight Blue is a blues in Fm, and the II chord is a G7#9b13. If you look at the notes of the F blues scale and relate these to the II chord, Eb is the b13, F is the b7, Ab is the b9, Bb is the #9 and B is the 3rd, so the choice of chord extensions are determined by blues scale of the key of the song, and this why the blues scale works very well over this chord.

    Chitlins Con Carne is in C, but the I chord is a C7#9, and the #9 is from the C blues scale. 

    I was also shown a really cool I VI II V turnaround with a very simply blues scale melody as the top line (this might require some thought to explain it). You can hear this approach really coming to fore in big band arrangements.
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  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    edited January 27
    jpfamps said:
    viz said:
    jpfamps said:
    viz said:
    Cheers!!

    Well I have written the first few chapters which I believe is the best sequence for adults who don’t want to learn to read music to go through:

    1) Notes and the major scale
    2) The minor scale
    3) Relative major & minor
    4) Identifying the home note and whether a piece is major or minor
    5) Harmonising the major scale
    6) Harmonising the minor scale
    7) Cadences and diatonic progressions
    8) Progressions that break away from diatonic
    9) Modes (relative and absolute)
    10) Recognising modes - from the melody and from the harmony
    11) Harmonic and Melodic minor
    12) Circle of 5ths and keys 


    Next I’m going to write chapters on inversions, modulations, modes of melodic minor and other stuff; then I could go into types of music - jazz, blues etc, or discuss other scale systems, or tuning systems; not sure yet. Feel free to advise!


    The music producer wanted to jump straight in at modes but it became evident we needed to go back to harmonising the scales. The songwriter wanted to start at Circle of 5ths, but we needed to go back to step 3 and got as far as cadences. 


    I am not sure whether C of 5 should come before or after modes. Probably before. But modes flows so nicely after cadences and progressions. I’ll see. Each chapter has loads of pictures and midi files you can click to hear the demonstrations, and it all worked really well

    That looks a well thought out program.

    The cycle of 5th might work in / after cadences and diatonic progressions, as it is in it's basic form a never ending cycle of perfect cadences. It can of course always be revisted in another context later.

    The area of theory I would like to know more about is jazz harmony, especially with regards to arranging for other instruments. What of course I would do with this knowledge is of course a moot point!


    When you find out about it let me know the secrets (actually the basics) and I’ll add it!!
    You'll be waiting a while sadly.....

    Having said that, I have picked some really cool concepts from the head of jazz at King's college, who used to come in the shop.

    He showed some ideas used to harmonize the blues scale, which is course impossible using notes solely from the blues scale (well you could do it but it would sound hideous!), and were pioneered by people like Duke Ellington.

    Essentially the blues scale notes are used as the extensions. I've then gone back and analysed a couple of Kenny Burrell tunes that we have played from time to time, Chitlins Con Carne and Midnight Blue.

    For example Midnight Blue is a blues in Fm, and the II chord is a G7#9b13. If you look at the notes of the F blues scale and relate these to the II chord, Eb is the b13, F is the b7, Ab is the b9, Bb is the #9 and B is the 3rd, so the choice of chord extensions are determined by blues scale of the key of the song, and this why the blues scale works very well over this chord.

    Chitlins Con Carne is in C, but the I chord is a C7#9, and the #9 is from the C blues scale. 

    I was also shown a really cool I VI II V turnaround with a very simply blues scale melody as the top line (this might require some thought to explain it). You can hear this approach really coming to fore in big arrangements.
    Awesome, that’s the sort of stuff I like. (Maybe i’ll save that till volume 2!)
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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 15896
    Me at this point....



    Trump: A narcissistic luminous orange ball bag and Rome burning in man form.
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  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    Emp_Fab said:
    Me at this point....




    Haha :)

    The thing is, it’s like maths, you have to start at 2+2, and everything unfolds from there. It’s difficult if you try and step in at advanced level. 
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  • BlaendulaisBlaendulais Frets: 1400
    viz said:
    Cheers!!

    Well I have written the first few chapters which I believe is the best sequence for adults who don’t want to learn to read music to go through:

    1) Notes and the major scale
    2) The minor scale
    3) Relative major & minor
    4) Identifying the home note and whether a piece is major or minor
    5) Harmonising the major scale
    6) Harmonising the minor scale
    7) Cadences and diatonic progressions
    8) Progressions that break away from diatonic
    9) Modes (relative and absolute)
    10) Recognising modes - from the melody and from the harmony
    11) Harmonic and Melodic minor
    12) Circle of 5ths and keys 


    Next I’m going to write chapters on inversions, modulations, modes of melodic minor and other stuff; then I could go into types of music - jazz, blues etc, or discuss other scale systems, or tuning systems; not sure yet. Feel free to advise!


    The music producer wanted to jump straight in at modes but it became evident we needed to go back to harmonising the scales. The songwriter wanted to start at Circle of 5ths, but we needed to go back to step 3 and got as far as cadences. 


    I am not sure whether C of 5 should come before or after modes. Probably before. But modes flows so nicely after cadences and progressions. I’ll see. Each chapter has loads of pictures and midi files you can click to hear the demonstrations, and it all worked really well

    Sounds excellent.  I found several years ago my theory journey helped immensely by being aware of the C of 5ths right at the start.  I also noticed when i sat in theory exams the first thing neighbours would do was draw the C of 5 out.
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