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Thread: Anti-Scales

  1. #1
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Anti-Scales

    Don't know if you remember my little argument with Gtrjunior about me playing Locrian over track in E minor. I was listening videos in Youtube and was instantly reminded of that when this came up:

    https://youtu.be/u9LsHdn0iJE

    Turns out there actually exists a theoretical concept that I was experimenting about!

    What do you think about the idea? It does open some interesting interpretations of connections of different modes, does it?
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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Not sure what you mean by 'connections of modes'. A mode is just a set of notes played over a tonal center. The same set of notes played over a different tonal center becomes a different mode. From an improvisational or compositional perspective, I guess you can use all the notes not in your scale to make a jarring/shocking kind of sound for the listener . . . but that's probably going to be of limited practical use. There are only so many times you can hit someone with lots of dissonance and atonality before it just starts to sound like noise (or mistakes in playing) to them.
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    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Did someone say anti-scales? Like how to theoretically approach an anti-solo?

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    Not sure what you mean by 'connections of modes'. A mode is just a set of notes played over a tonal center. The same set of notes played over a different tonal center becomes a different mode. From an improvisational or compositional perspective, I guess you can use all the notes not in your scale to make a jarring/shocking kind of sound for the listener . . . but that's probably going to be of limited practical use. There are only so many times you can hit someone with lots of dissonance and atonality before it just starts to sound like noise (or mistakes in playing) to them.
    Eeh? Did you even watched the video?

    It's merely about theoretical concept, I have no idea how that would work practically. I related Locrian with minor due to presence of minor 3rd. Which obviously is the opposite of the idea. So I haven't tried that.

    Anyway, when playing very dissanont scale, it's kind of point to focus on most consonant notes, you find and use rest for effect.
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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Yes, I did watch the video. I'm never too interested in music theory where it doesn't result in music I'd want to listen to. :P

    Scales on their own aren't really dissonant or consonant. They're just groupings of notes. What's gives the scale it's sound is the chord or progression you play it over. Like you might throw in a C maj7 arpeggio when improvising over an A min progression . . . this doesn't make a major sound at all though, it introduces an A min9 sound.

    There are certain things that define the sound of modes and scales for the listener. Play something in B mixolydian over a B chord but avoid the b7, and the listener won't know if you're using mixolydian or ionian. Play something in G Dorian over G min but avoid using the 6. The listener won't know if you're in Dorian or aeolian. You have to be careful to hit the defining notes of a scale, or you aren't really playing that scale any more. This is why I feel like it's easier to think in terms of chord tones and intervals than scales most of the time.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    Yes, I did watch the video. I'm never too interested in music theory where it doesn't result in music I'd want to listen to. :P

    Scales on their own aren't really dissonant or consonant. They're just groupings of notes. What's gives the scale it's sound is the chord or progression you play it over. Like you might throw in a C maj7 arpeggio when improvising over an A min progression . . . this doesn't make a major sound at all though, it introduces an A min9 sound.

    There are certain things that define the sound of modes and scales for the listener. Play something in B mixolydian over a B chord but avoid the b7, and the listener won't know if you're using mixolydian or ionian. Play something in G Dorian over G min but avoid using the 6. The listener won't know if you're in Dorian or aeolian. You have to be careful to hit the defining notes of a scale, or you aren't really playing that scale any more. This is why I feel like it's easier to think in terms of chord tones and intervals than scales most of the time.
    *Anyway, when playing very dissanont scale (relatove to root), it's kind of point to focus on most consonant notes, you find and use rest for effect.

    I prefer to think in terms of scales as it gives me the context that I'm going from. It's much more difficult to keep on track of the, well track, by only going with the intervals and chord tones. So I consider scales just as a tool for me, not some defined sound I'd try to create.

    Anyway I made a little experimental piece with the "anti-scale" of A Major. Which ended up being just Locrian as I forgot what I was doing and stripped the backing just to root to make it sound better...

    I try again tomorrow...
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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacew View Post
    I prefer to think in terms of scales as it gives me the context that I'm going from. It's much more difficult to keep on track of the, well track, by only going with the intervals and chord tones. So I consider scales just as a tool for me, not some defined sound I'd try to create.
    Fair enough. Everyone has an approach that works for them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jacew View Post
    Anyway I made a little experimental piece with the "anti-scale" of A Major. Which ended up being just Locrian as I forgot what I was doing and stripped the backing just to root to make it sound better...

    I try again tomorrow...
    Post the music you come up with, it sounds like what you're trying to do will be cool when you nail it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

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    Mojo's Minions eclecticsynergy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    I used Lydian over a straight I-V-IV progression years ago. It was a song about being homeless; I wanted tension and a bit of unreality.
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Quote Originally Posted by eclecticsynergy View Post
    I used Lydian over a straight I-V-IV progression years ago. It was a song about being homeless; I wanted tension and a bit of unreality.
    What did you do when you hit the IV chord?
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    Mojo's Minions eclecticsynergy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    What did you do when you hit the IV chord?
    I could hold G# to sound like an Amaj7, or bend a D# up as an Aadd9. Both fit the IV chord and stay in mode.
    But mostly it was pretty dissonant; that suited the lyrics. And it didn't linger on the A chord too long anyway.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Here's a quick try out of the scale.



    I could use that Sounds pretty interesting.
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacew View Post
    Here's a quick try out of the scale.



    I could use that Sounds pretty interesting.
    If you are used to Philip Glass or Frank Zappa's music, it doesn't sound anti scale at all. Try it on a piano on low and high registers with slow tempo.

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Quote Originally Posted by eclecticsynergy View Post
    I could hold G# to sound like an Amaj7, or bend a D# up as an Aadd9. Both fit the IV chord and stay in mode.
    But mostly it was pretty dissonant; that suited the lyrics. And it didn't linger on the A chord too long anyway.

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    Not my own
    If you are doing I IV V in A, and you play in A lydian...if you get to the D chord, you'd have to avoid the D# or bend it. That isn't playing in A lydian anymore.
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    High Voltologist Wattage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Have you ever listened to Berg, Webern or Schoenberg? You might enjoy checking into the thought processes they used and the music they created

    Also you should probably pick up Modus Novus and work with that for a bit, I think your head would get a lot out of it

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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    If you are doing I IV V in A, and you play in A lydian...if you get to the D chord, you'd have to avoid the D# or bend it. That isn't playing in A lydian anymore.
    You got problem sounding outside? Maybe you should do Bon Jovi covers. I would take advantage of that D# as a passing note along with D.

    It's a matter of arrangement and what your brain is comfortable with.

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    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Mincer's tonal pallet is just fine.
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Quote Originally Posted by Obsessive Compulsive View Post
    You got problem sounding outside? Maybe you should do Bon Jovi covers. I would take advantage of that D# as a passing note along with D.

    It's a matter of arrangement and what your brain is comfortable with.

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    There is a difference between sounding outside, and sounding like you don't know what you are doing. Passing tones are not part of the scale. If you just use them as passing tones, you aren't using the scale properly. I want to hear how you are using this.
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    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacew View Post
    Anti
    Hey, you said it. This is actually an ostinato and chromatics.

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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    There is a difference between sounding outside, and sounding like you don't know what you are doing. Passing tones are not part of the scale. If you just use them as passing tones, you aren't using the scale properly. I want to hear how you are using this.
    Do I sound like I don't know what I am doing? That obvious? Lol...

    Playing certain modes over a natural major/ minor already makes you sound 'outside'; you are just so accustomed to certain notes they sound 'natural'.

    There are 12 notes in a scale, it's a shame to stick to standard notes and risk sounding like everybody else. You want to know how I use it? I use the flatted ninth to create tension as resolving to tonic in V7-I progression (altered dominant scale).

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    Mojo's Minions eclecticsynergy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anti-Scales

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    If you are doing I IV V in A, and you play in A lydian...if you get to the D chord, you'd have to avoid the D# or bend it. That isn't playing in A lydian anymore.
    Sorry, I should've been more specific: it was a I-V-IV progression in the key of E. So I was playing E Lydian over E - B - A.

    And I guess I misremembered (it was 25 years ago) - over an A chord, the D# is a sharp 4th, so bending up a half step did resolve the dissonance but it was resolving to the 5th, not 9th. Of course over the B chord E Lydian behaves like a regular major scale.

    I stayed in mode, but it was not without moments of dissonance - that was the intent.

    EDIT: And the A# bent up to B was like the add9 for the A chord (I knew I remembered an add9 option in there somewhere).
    Last edited by eclecticsynergy; 02-25-2020 at 12:49 PM.
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