a website by Random Tandem, a business located in the United Kingdom
Understanding musical scales is a vital skill to acquire. It provides a platform for creating original tunes and having a common language to quickly and accurately share ideas with other musicians. Knowing the intervals within a scale allows informed choices to be made about chord progressions, which in turn provides the tool-set for pursuing different tonal possibilities. These pages of the Fret Zone website give both general information and some more detailed analysis.
A good way to learn can be to improvise around a structured concept. We would encourage you to use our examples in that manner, alongside support from a suitably experienced tutor.
All tone wheels shown (images, right) start with the root note at the top and go clockwise in semitones.
If a scale was played along the length of just one string, every 30 degree rotation is another fret up that string from whatever starting position.
The colours have no significance other than to make relationships easier to spot.
Star Debris is a tune written using the whole tone scale, which provides musical intervals less familiar than other scales that are more commonplace. You can listen to more examples of scales in use here.
7sus2 chords can give an interesting and pleasing sound.
In the Major scale they can be used as II, V or VI chords. By putting a Major Nine as the I chord, a clear harmonic intent is signalled.
Containing neither a major or minor third, they create an air of suspense (hence the name) as the ear wonders which direction they'll choose to take. By using several of them within a diatonic chord progression, the element of tonal suspense is still strong in the vertical harmony even with its apparent removal from the horizontal harmony.
Click here to see a selection of fingerings for standard tuned guitar.
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