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dedvendies

Can I have some examples please :)

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dedvendies    0

Hello I'm trying to get my head round the key of a song and what scales you can play over that. I'm kind of there after reading the tutorials, but can people give me some examples of famous songs so I can sort of break them apart and see if I'm getting it right?

Ie. What key is "Smells like teen spirit" in? And is he using a scale over it?

That kind of thing, just some examples of famous songs and what's going on under the hood. Cheers!

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Kirk Lorange    128

You picked the odd-one-out with 'Smells like Teen Spirit', dedvendies. I just bought it from iTunes to have a listen as I haven't heard it in years. It's not really in any one key and breaks the usual rules in many places. The main riff seems to built around the chords F-Bb-Ab-Db. Those chords together are not related in any way I've ever heard of; the other bit seems to be more of a minor F going on with the vocal turning it into Fm9 chord ... Nor do I hear any one scale that's being used. It seems to me they were out to make it as weird sounding as possible, and the easiest way to do that is not adhere to any of the usual 'rules' songwriters follow, to pick chord changes that are jarring and uncomfortable. Most composers want the end result to be harmonious and generally pleasing to the ear. That's obviously not what Nirvana were after.

Do you know any other 'famous songs' that would be more appropriate? There are a few in my Lessons Forum that already have some explanations in the written commentary about their construction.

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dedvendies    0

Ahhhh, cool that's really good to know. I've been going through so many songs and it would seem that none of the notes they played fit into any scale, glad it's not just me :)

Thanks for the link to that page I'll have a read through.

Another example I'd be interested in is:

Rage Agianst The Machine - Killing In The Name Of

It seems to me like Rage songs all sound structurally very similar, as if there is a scale they're using everytime but I can;t find what it is.

So with regard to your answer about the Nirvana thing, if they aren't playing any scales whose patterns they've memorised how do they know what notes they can play? Do they just know what they want it to sound like and know what fret to play to get this. Know what I mean?

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Hi dedvendies

I think it's how you approach the music. When Kurt wrote "Smells like Teen Spirit" it is unlikely that he would have followed a pattern to make it pleasing on the ear. He is more likely to have formed the chords within the key he could sing and gone for impact. the solo is quite discordant and he yet again probably gone for impact. Not aware of the Rage against the Machine song but I'm guessing the guitarist is Tom Morello?? form what I've read he has a pretty unusual ways of approaching songs and that's probably the impact he is looking for.

I think what Kirk is saying is that generally a more "traditional artist" would look for a different approach as they are looking for something more pleasing on the ear. For example a song like "Shine on you Crazy Diamond" by Pink Floyd has that more traditional approach. ie the song is in the key of G minor and David Gilmour chooses notes from the G Blues and the G Minor scale to do his (many) solo's in the song

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allthumbs    8

A tune can get pretty complex really fast if it changes keys or has chords outside the key. It means you have to know what scales will work where within the tune. Trying to play just one scale will not fit those kinds of tunes.

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Stratrat    0

Correct me if I'm wrong guys, but isn't stuff like that where the "chord tones" approach would come in handy? I mean, it would completely eliminate having to worry about "fitting it" into any particular scale.

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Kirk Lorange    128
Correct me if I'm wrong guys, but isn't stuff like that where the "chord tones" approach would come in handy? I mean, it would completely eliminate having to worry about "fitting it" into any particular scale.

That's exactly right, Stratrat. When there is no apparent key center, like SLTS, therefore no obvious scale, then the chord tone approach is about the only way to come up with any melody that works, and it needs to be twisted into place.

My guess is that the writer(s) of that tune would have come up with the chords first. If you look at it, it's a I to a IV, then another I to IV a minor third up. So it's two chords, key change, two chords, back to the first key. Then the other section is pretty much the first key's I chord minorized ...

Analyzing it using the usual references of keys and related chords is a bit like trying to analyze a Picasso painting using the usual references of perspective and shading. Pointless.

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Kirk Lorange    128

I just had a listen to the other song you mentioned, dedvendies. Ugh ... pardon me for saying so, but what a horrible piece of 'music'. What a shame that it's come to this.

But, to 'look under the hood', it's basically just one chord the whole way through, D. The intro alternates between the chord and the chord a semitone above, D#, a sort of Flamenco vibe, then it just sits on the one chord pretty much in blues mode, believe it or not. There's a very non-musical part where the chord keeps getting a new bass note added underneath, but it's all very rudimentary, has very little to do with music as I know it.

If I may be so bold as to ask: what on earth do you hear in that tune, dedvendies? Do you really relate to the lyrics, the message, the vibe? I'm certainly not here to judge you or your taste, but I feel like throwing in the towel when I think that's what the youth of today wants to learn.

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I feel like throwing in the towel when I think that's what the youth of today wants to learn.

Don't do it please.....Don't mean to be thread stealer, just would like to toss my 2 cents in...if I may.

I agree with what Kirk said about the music and some of the music that the youth of today are into.

But, from the other side, I play at part-time DJ-ing, and truth of the matter is... they do "get into it". Groups like Rage,Korn,Godsmack,Slipknot...Etc are the most requested from the younger at the parties I've overseen the music at. Personally they all sound just like the other, but to each their own. And yes I have Gbs of that style.

One other take on this...I'm 48yrs old, came up in the time where sex,drugs & rock& roll was the "in thing" and I can remember my Folks, Aunts & Uncles, anyone of that"Ol Geezer" age, constantly complaining about the music I chose to listen to...Black Sabbath,Ted Nugent,Steppenwolf and lets not forget King Crimson or Frank Zappa for that matter.

I guess after all this rambling all I'm trying to say is....To the youth of today---Your not really experiencing music when it all sounds the same, musically and in the lyrics.---To us Ol Geezer types, well just try to remember our own youth and how others had strong opinions of our tastes.

I apologize for not offering anything to the OP and their original request, or anything for that matter...just rambling on.

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OldG    3
I just had a listen to the other song you mentioned, dedvendies. Ugh ... pardon me for saying so, but what a horrible piece of 'music'. What a shame that it's come to this.

If I may be so bold as to ask: what on earth do you hear in that tune, dedvendies? Do you really relate to the lyrics, the message, the vibe? I'm certainly not here to judge you or your taste, but I feel like throwing in the towel when I think that's what the youth of today wants to learn.

Hmmm, personally I love the RATM album... It is just a matter of taste, I suppose.

I'm no youth,though I grew up with punk and metal back in the 70's... :punk:

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dedvendies    0

Well I like RATM from a politcal stance, I think they have something urgent to say and that energy comes across in their music, and I think they have a nice groove:)

I don't think you can call the youth narrow minded or useless just because they like what modern bands of our time are playing, I also like Zappa, Zepplin, Dire Straits, Tubular Bells etc... just because we like something that may sound angry or "not musical" it doesn't make us ignorant nor monsters.

Like X4StringDrive said, I think the old generation never gets the new generation's music. Hell I'm starting to think all music these days, the whole "emo" thing, all sounds limited and repetitive, I must be getting old! :)

Anyway, okay can we find a song that we can all talk about and help me understand what's going on.

How about the Pink Panther tune, what key is that in? I can play it, but I just go by hearing the note and trying to find it on my guitar, and the pattern of notes the song makes on my fret board bears no resemblance to any scales I can find on here:

ww.looknohands.com/chordhouse/guitar/index_rb.html

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allthumbs    8

There is PowerTab for that song here that seems pretty accurate.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/h/henry_mancini/the_pink_panther_theme_ver2_power_tab.htm

It has the chord chart as well as the notes.

The bulk of it is in Em. There are outside chords in the mix as well as the melody following chord tones and double stops more than straight scales. Not the best of tunes to apply basic scale theory to.

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