Modes and scales
by Roger Hoffmann
(Toowoomba, QLD, Australia)
Hi, I know I'm, punching above my weight here but I was trying to learn some new things and I managed to get confused.
I'll try to keep the question simple. In the key of C, actually a C minor chord sequence (Blues I-IV-V 12bar), it was suggested I could use the Aeolian mode to solo over the sequence (amongst others). But I have found two different scales, and on several web sites. Some sites tell me it is this A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A (ie the C scale starting at A) I also find this C D Eb F G Ab Bb, this is done using the intervals I believe.
So which one would I use and why would I choose it?
Also if I'm using the first one, which note would I resolve my lick to? (The key root C or A because I'm using the Aeolian scale).
As I write this and research more I think both maybe correct, so now I'm really confused!!..RogerANSWER
Hmmm YES you are confused on several levels. Let's see if I can begin to clear it up:
1. The [progression that you mention is NOT a C Minor progression. A MINOR blues progression goes like this: i 1v V-- the One chord is minor as is the Four chord, while the Five chord is major.
What you described is a traditional I IV V progression in a MAJOR key. Therefore THAT will be the progression that I address from here.
2. The AOLIAN mode is the mode that has been adopted by our "WESTERN" music as the NATURAL MINOR scale. It is based on the 6th note of the major scale.
In the key of C Major, the Aolian scale is a scale that begins on A and ends on A and has the same key signature as C Major (no sharps or flats).
The second scale that you mention is also Aolian, but it is in the key of Eb Major (a C Natural Minor Scale has the same key signature as Eb Major).
Therefore, the only choice that you really have in the key of C Major is the A natural minor scale (A Aolian).
That said, if you are playing a Major Blues progression, the most likely choices are the C pentatonic minor and the A pentatonic minor scales.
Here is my advice:
You need to learn a LOT more about music theory before you jump into modal scales. Try this:Music Chord Progressions
And then THIS:Guitar Scale Modes
Both are Absolutely FREE! Then if you still have questions, feel free to ask.