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  1. #1
    Do you tend to or think it´s worth practicing (for instance) altered scales in in ´´strange´´ V-I progressions, like:

    C#7alt - F#Maj7
    G#7alt - C#Maj7
    A#7alt - D#m6
    E#7alt - A#m6
    D#7alt - G#m6

    I know some guys would play the enarmonic equivalent but most time it is no correct (for instance, the note B# is the b7 of the C# altered scale. It is a lot easier to think C instead). What do you think?


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  3. #2

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    yeah..for me..I would convert all those to the enharmonic names...for me the flat keys are easier on the eye..hand and mind..

    the guitar is a beast already..we are trying to tame it not make it wilder...

    Db7alt .. GbM7 etc

  4. #3

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    You don't see Fb or E#, B# or Cb much. But, you do see Db and C# and all the others. So, if you're learning things by note name, which I do, you need to think about Db and C# as separate. That is, insofar as you don't want to have to stop and think, "oh, C# is Db". Takes too long. Both have to be automatic.

    But I don't bother with things like E#. Not worth the time, even in a note-name approach.

  5. #4

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  6. #5

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    only G#7alt - C#Maj7 and E#7alt - A#m6

  7. #6

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    I don't think of the names of notes, intervals, scales, chords, or functions;
    only how the song goes, and ways to express that musically... just by ear.

  8. #7

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    Absolutely not

  9. #8

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    C#7alt - F#Maj7
    G#7alt - C#Maj7
    A#7alt - D#m6
    E#7alt - A#m6
    D#7alt - G#m6

    These are not so bad:

    C#7alt ..... C# D E F G A B
    G#7alt ..... G# A B C D E F#
    A#7alt ..... A# B C# D E F# G#
    E#7alt ...... E# F# G# A B C# D#
    D#7alt ..... D# E F# G A B C#

    in that they are derived from the melodic minors of D,A,B,F# and E.
    An unavoidable spelling issue with melodic minor VII is that ma3
    is spelled as b4.

    I try my bestest to spell correctly because it maintains clarity of intervallic relations but having 7 letters represent 12 notes gets problematic at times.

  10. #9

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    I am a converter too.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako
    ...having 7 letters represent 12 notes gets problematic at times.
    It may be more clear to hold to the strict definitions wherein the 7 letters represent the 7 notes, which comprise 12 pitches via accidentals.

    A note is strictly defined as a space or line in the staff. For example, Dbb, Db, D, D#, and D## are all the note D when their symbols share position on the second highest line of the G clef. The presence or absence of accidentals in the key signature, or adjacent to the symbol of the note in the staff, or in effect (or canceled to natural) within the measure, indicates which specific pitch that D note sounds.

    This system was designed a long time ago by very clever people to allow the notation of diatonic scales in all keys to suppress the two discontinuities of the half steps - it's an ancient form of data compression.
    Visually the scales on the staff become straight rather than having two crooked jumps. The idea of using each letter name once and using key signatures of accidentals to force all diatonic scales in all keys to appear linear makes diatonic music easy to read, and read ahead.

  12. #11
    The formula 1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7 it is easier than 1 b2 #2 3 b5 #5 b7

  13. #12

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    Consider the following tedious exercise:

    E major - E F# G# A B C# D#
    1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7 - E F G Ab Bb C D (pitches as flats in a sharp key)
    1 b2 #2 3 b5 #5 b7 - E F G G# Bb C D (pitches as sharps and flats in a sharp key)
    Fb major - Fb Gb Ab Bbb Cb Db Eb
    1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7 - Fb Gbb Abb Bbbb Cb Dbb Ebb (lot of flats)
    1 b2 #2 3 b5 #5 b7 - Fb Gbb G Ab Bbbb C Ebb
    D## major - D## E## F### G## A## B### C### (lot of sharps)
    1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7 - D## E# F## G# A# B## C##
    1 b2 #2 3 b5 #5 b7 - D## E# E### F### A# A### C##
    If I did that right, that is 35 identifications for the 11 pitches comprising two scales.
    Abb Ab A A# A## Bbbb Bbb Bb B B## B### Cbb Cb C C## C### Dbb Db D D## Ebb Eb E E# E## Fb F F# F## F### Gbb Gb G G# G##

    Now imagine you are playing in E major with someone (a pianist) who stops to inquire what note you are playing or what note you think he should be playing at some point. I've read that theory is among other things, useful for communicating about music... are you going to call it Bb because that is how you may be thinking of it, or call it A# because you think that is how the pianist is thinking of it?

    Same question, but imagine that someone is playing a transposing instrument.

    Same question, but imagine you are practicing alone and using a piano to explore or verify something you are playing or composing.

  14. #13
    Seriously though, everything has a context. Harmonic minor has one altered note from its relative major, which is the usual context. Then, altered scale itself is barely different. These things are much harder on paper when you're spelling them in the context of parallel major.

    Parallel major may be how we think about naming SCALE DEGREES etc - in theory, but it's not how we are usually thinking about ACCIDENTALS. If you play E-altered in C major to target the VI chord etc., you don't begin by thinking about E major and alter from there. (It's really more closely related to C/Am, and that's the actual context).

    I would think it's mostly the same process, even if you're talking about more "out" keys. Learn harmonic major functionally, as the V of VI. It's clarifying for using altered as a color variant of the same.

    Melodic minor/altered isn't functional in the same way that major/harmonic minor are as standalone entities. You run into trouble trying to reconcile altered scale spellings the same way. Start with HM for functional harmony/theory purposes .

  15. #14
    There are 15 melodic minor scales in total: Abm, Ebm, Bbm, Fm, Cm, Gm, Dm, Am, Em, Bm, F#m, C#m, G#m, D#m, A#m

    Imagine a II V I in the key o Bb:
    Cm7 F7alt BbMaj7. The F altered scale does not exist in theory because there is not a Gb melodic minor scale.

    If you substitute the F7alt for E#7alt (seventh mode of the F# melodic minor) you will have B#m7 E#7 A#Maj7.

    The key element of my initial thought was: at the same time you will not see any standards with B#m7 E#7 A#Maj7, theoretically there is not an F altered scale.

  16. #15

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    I am quite used to complicated keys and can enjoy 'naming correctly' when we speak about some Schubert's sonat for such a naming can make sanes eand be clarifying...

    Does it change anything for you if you name it enharmonically?

    With no context I tend to think for of F# (not Gb) and Ab (not G#) and Eb (not D#)

    Things like E# or B# do not bother me much... I can see them if needed.

    I notice that in general I have tendency for flats, maybe becasue flats were a part of modes historically - Bflat was a natural part of it as early as Renaissance? Who knows...

    Sharps appeared as alteration in cadences and were not indicated for a long time...

  17. #16

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    Two words when it comes to commonly used enharmonic conventions in jazz:

    Horn players.

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by rodolfoguitarra
    There are 15 melodic minor scales in total: Abm, Ebm, Bbm, Fm, Cm, Gm, Dm, Am, Em, Bm, F#m, C#m, G#m, D#m, A#m

    Imagine a II V I in the key o Bb:
    Cm7 F7alt BbMaj7. The F altered scale does not exist in theory because there is not a Gb melodic minor scale.

    If you substitute the F7alt for E#7alt (seventh mode of the F# melodic minor) you will have B#m7 E#7 A#Maj7.

    The key element of my initial thought was: at the same time you will not see any standards with B#m7 E#7 A#Maj7, theoretically there is not an F altered scale.
    Again, it's not necessary to fully reconciled MM harmonically with the entire key etc because it's not FUNCTIONAL in that sense. It's analogous to F harmonic minor and should be understood that way.

    Everything that is being described in this thread is the very REASON why people don't usually talk about SPELLING altered as simply a MODE of the parent melodic minor. Like F harmonic minor, you simply aren't going to be able to "think your way through" by spelling the scale on the fly anyway. This is very much a playing thing. When it gets overly theoretical in discussion about enharmonics etc,it begins to sound like people who can't play it describing why it couldn't work theoretically or something.

    This is not a paper analysis thing. Whether you "think" A-sharp, B-flat, or C-double-flat is of little consequence to the listener. Ears take into consideration context, and they don't care how things are "spelled". Your ears, as a listener, are going to hear "b3-b4" as .....b3-3 or #9-3 ..... over a dominant chord every time, regardless of what the player is THINKING.

    But that's the positive side as well - in playing something which basically isn't functional in reference to the parent scale: You don't HAVE to think so hard about how it's spelled in the first place. Think about it enharmonically in the easiest way which facilitates actual PLAYING.

    If someone is going to get bent out of shape about melodic minor being used in this way to modal interchange with dominant/harmonic minor etc etc, than you really need to also stay away from diminished scales, augmented, and other symmetrical and outside applications as well. They all have points at which they break down against this system of enharmonics with traditional major/minor functional theory and harmony.

    But if you're trying to make it all fit in the same box, you're missing the point of everything which makes them beneficial to use in the first place.

  19. #18

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    There are 15 melodic minor scales in total: Abm, Ebm, Bbm, Fm, Cm, Gm, Dm, Am, Em, Bm, F#m, C#m, G#m, D#m, A#m
    This is based on the relative minors that share a key signature with their major counterparts.

    Theory serves to describe that which happens in music. When a theory approach fails to include something which commonly occurs in music,
    it is a shortcoming of theory.

    Both relative minor and parallel minor are common key relationships.
    Using parallel minor yields:

    Cbm,Gbm,Dbm,Abm,Ebm,Bbm,Fm,Cm,Gm,Dm,Am,Em,Bm,F#m,C #m

    Within this scenario F7alt and C7alt are acknowledged albeit with an enharmonic b4.

    Building chords in thirds yields: 1 b3 b5 b7 b9 b11 b13 however the presence of b4 aka ma3 sonically wins out over the presence of the b3.
    The note sequence is interpreted as 7alt and not m7b5.
    Building a structure in 4ths spelled by function yields:
    1 3(b4) b7 #9(m10) b13 b9 b5. Anyway, again the theory falls short of fulfilling the common usage. So what are we to do. Deal with the sound. Theory may or may not evolve a more elegant descriptive solution, meanwhile the music plays on.

  20. #19

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    Simplest enharmony for altered scale - treat as V of minor key

    So A7 alt - think Dm

    D E F G A Bb C D

    This gives the Phrygian mode on A

    So the C# (3) and Eb (b5) are easy to add in via accidentals

    Eb F G A Bb C C#

    This gives the most sensible functional enharmony too, imo. Although we do have the #2 written as a b3. I suppose you could respell as B# if it bothered you. From a point of view of how altered behaves within the key this makes a lot of sense.

  21. #20

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    Notation for reading... generally made to sight read as easy as possible. Notate for instrument, style and ease of performance.

    Notation for composition/ arranging... generally made to imply what's musically going on. Notate to imply how your organizing the music.

    I've used a kid and in college... I copied parts for composers for $. Transcribed pop tunes pn. charts for $. Composed music for performances, BB charts, shows, TV and movies. There were no music programs, didn't push a key for parts etc...

    Now that it's easy etc... there generally isn't a difference.... we use and live by the programs organization. (which can be and is incorrect many times). Most still use "Standard Chord Symbol Notation" by Brandt and Roemer from the 70's for chord spellings and Standard Songwriters or Music Notation Program software, which are designed for playback. And produce approximate results with much musical information lost in the process.

    Long story short.... most haven't gone through the process of understanding what notation implies with respect to Composition.

  22. #21

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    TBH a lot of times I just dispense with the key signature if it's anything other than a simple diatonic melody.

  23. #22

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    Yea Sigs have been somewhat out since the mid 70's. Even with arrangements of old tunes..... the harmony has too many references. It just like I was getting to above.... most younger musicians have grown up with parental guidance from phone technology.

  24. #23

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    The most redundant keys are C# and A# however for rock players who favor the tonalities of A and E major don't have any problem with C#m, F#m, G#m etc.
    I was having this conversation the other day with fellow musicians at church. Depending on the instrument and music genere/style people will prefer some sharps over flats. Music theory prioritize flats but sharp keys are used for correct analysis all the time. However, there's one thing about key signatures, the practical side and the theoretical side: flats keys are easier on both sides, reading and performing music with double sharps/double flats is totally doable but impractical.

    For Jazz players flats are the de facto key names, obviously for simplicity when reading/writing music but also horn players having their instruments transposed made the popularity of flat keys the preferred to perform/compose with.
    For pop/rock however, we can find more deliberate use of some sharp keys.The only Major sharp key I still use is F# over its Gb enharmonic, but that's because in my beginnings (self taught) I didn't know about enharmonics and I though sharps and flats were a different thing lol.