RE: Which scales? (Full Version)

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Mark2 -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 13 2020 23:41:30)

Listen to the maestros for several years while also taking lessons from a good teacher. Play in a dance school. Listen to recordings to determine the chords and inversions that are used to accompany various cantes. Practice along to the records. Transcribe solos. Get together with others and learn how to play with live palmas, dancers, and singers. Stay with it for 20 or so years. Or simply go to Spain and learn there from the source. At that point you will know when a falseta sounds "flamenco" to you. Then you can take it apart and figure out which scale it's based on, not that that will matter.

Or just practice alegrias picados that start in major, go into harmonic minor, and finish with major......all over the neck.




quote:

ORIGINAL: devilhand

quote:

a scale is more about PICADO than theory application.

Finally, someone mentioned picado. For opening this thread my question was directed to the application of scales not only for falsetas but also for picado (see my 1st post of this thread).

So far the whole discussion has been centered around the use of scales in falseta or flamenco forms. But how about picado?
For example, if I want to play picado in por arribo, which scales are potential candidates?
E phrygian, E phrygian dominant, E harmonic minor, E major, E maj/min pentatonic, E half-whole tone or even E chromatic scale?
Or a mixture of different scales such that we end up using a weird scale with lots of semitone or minor 3rd intervals?




Brendan -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 14 2020 8:47:43)

quote:

I feel like a broken record that few are paying attention to.

Richard, I read your posts attentively. Partly because I’m waiting for the moment when you present Devilhand with your bill for all this free tuition. You did tell him about the fees?




Ricardo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 14 2020 11:05:44)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Brendan

quote:

I feel like a broken record that few are paying attention to.

Richard, I read your posts attentively. Partly because I’m waiting for the moment when you present Devilhand with your bill for all this free tuition. You did tell him about the fees?


Yes I know folks are paying attention, sorry to sound frustrated. Just trying to steer him and others away from the fakemenco trap, but suddenly it seemed we are right where we started. From now on I’m gonna tell people only play lydian scales... lydian, lydian dominant, lydian #9, lydian #6, lydian augmented, lydian chromatic, lydian #1 (lol) etc. There’s the final answer on this.




JasonM -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 14 2020 15:13:19)

quote:

Richard, I read your posts attentively


Yeah I was reading too. In summary, play Phrygian scales for for Solea and buleria, and Lydian if you want to sound jazzy like Paco. Right? Because these are modes of the major scale and flamenco is just modal music [:D]




devilhand -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 14 2020 16:53:50)

quote:

...you can also create your own picado studies when working on these scales.

I thought it was about playing scales when practicing picado with no relation to flamenco forms or real music... That's what I got.
Anyhow, thanks for your suggestions.

quote:

Stay with it for 20 or so years.

Please don't exaggerate. I will leave falseta compositions to maestros. I just want to be a good tocaor in 10 or 15 years.
I do believe if one keeps listening to flamenco and learning with a great attention, desire and motivation, 10-15 years are realistic enough. Who's with me?




devilhand -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 14 2020 16:55:01)

quote:

Please take time to review and ask for clarity

I do have questions for clarification about modal music. I looked at the sheet music for Beat it by MJ. It has one sharp.
The song (Beat it) starts with E minor chord and goes like this Em D Em D..... C D .... Em D Em D... and the vamp fades away.

If this song was recorded in such a way that it ends on E minor chord (I do feel comfortable to end this song that way) or the last riff hits the E note and the song ends, can we say this song is now in E minor and not in E Aeolian?




mark indigo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 14 2020 21:01:42)

quote:

Please don't exaggerate. I will leave falseta compositions to maestros. I just want to be a good tocaor in 10 or 15 years.
I do believe if one keeps listening to flamenco and learning with a great attention, desire and motivation, 10-15 years are realistic enough. Who's with me?


I started listening to flamenco just under 30 years ago, pretty soon I took some lessons, and then started sitting in on dance classes. I have been playing in dance classes ever since.

I have barely let up on the "great attention, desire and motivation".

I think after about 10-15 years I was starting to get good enough to realise how bad I was....




mark indigo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 14 2020 21:23:40)

quote:

Once again thanks for pointing me to that bach chorale that shows a clear model for what happens, say, in solea. I have not yet encountered the blue print for fandango form yet, but I’m sure it exists in a similar non spectacular nook and cranny of some baroque/classical era church song or folk song.
¡de nada!

I picked up a theory book by John Duarte (Melody & Harmony for Guitarists) and what I found really interesting was it starts with melody and pre-harmony western modal music. Then he tries to explain how harmony developed from that, tweaking notes in melodies and modal scales to adapt to chords etc.

That got me wondering if there were any other "loose threads" of old modal music that composers experimented with in the early days of harmony, and I came across the Bach chorales by accident while searching things out online. Fischer also composed for organ using phrygian. I know that some old modal melodies survived in the folk music collected by Cecil Sharp, Vaughan Williams and others in the late 19th Century (apparently they were amazed to discover rural labourers singing melodies they considered really advanced because to them modes were avante garde!).

quote:

I will look for older examples if you really really feel it’s important to pin down.
It's not that important, I have phases of curiosity about theory but it's not a big deal, I honestly don't think it's that important.... I kind of feel like the sort of questions a lot of people ask like "what scales do you play over the chord progression in flamenco" is missing the point (actually several points!), and projecting a point of view from a different style of music onto flamenco that's not really relevant (except in post entre dos aguas rumba and other attempts at/experiments in impro).




Ricardo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 15 2020 16:05:24)

quote:

can we say this song is now in E minor and not in E Aeolian?


No. There is no V-i cadence. That’s B major chord required. A D# note at least would help.




devilhand -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 16 2020 11:55:57)

quote:

No. There is no V-i cadence. That’s B major chord required. A D# note at least would help.

You mean if the sheet music had D# in the final measure of the song, the song will be in E harmonic minor?
What about the remaining part without D# since we add one sharp to D only in the last measure of the song? Here we assume the whole song, especially the main riff works fine with both D and D#.

Does it have to be always V-I cadence? What about other types of cadences like IV-I or even vii-I?




Ricardo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 16 2020 15:29:37)

quote:

Here we assume the whole song, especially the main riff works fine with both D and D#.


No we don’t. It’s D natural because the song is only aeolian. That’s the darn point. I’m saying if the song had V-i you could say it’s in the key of E minor rather than E aeolian. D# would make harmonic minor (correct) and the reason for the alteration is to create the V harmony. A iv-i would not do it (unless iv contained the #4 also). A VII-i won’t either. But vii diminished7 WOULD do it because that chord is the upper structure of B7b9 or “V7”, and that color exotic enough to be considered a minor key cadence. It’s simply a weaker form of cadence than V7. So D#dim7-em IS a cadence and you could then describe the music as in e minor key. D7-em is NOT a cadence, instead can be viewed as part of the repetitive vamp structure that implies Aeolian mode.... which is the only structure Beat it has.




devilhand -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 19 2020 17:49:16)

quote:

I always point to Aug6 examples (it’s not really Renaissance but classical yes) because it LEGITIMIZES the concept that Solea is in a PHRYGIAN key to be distinguished from say a Buleria in A minor.

Buleria in A minor? I thought Buleria is played always in the key of D minor or in por medio (I mean only the position is por medio and therefore not in A phrygian key).

As for the Phrygian key, is the Phrygian key a major key or a minor key? Because Phrygian is a minor mode, I would say the Phrygian key is more akin to a minor key than a major key.
But phrygian dominant is a major mode I guess. So it can have characteristics of a major key as well. Now I'm confused.




El Burdo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 19 2020 18:52:15)

Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel...




Piwin -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 19 2020 19:24:41)

quote:

Buleria in A minor?


major, minor and phrygian all work in buleria.

Major:


Minor:


Por arriba:


Modulation to A minor in solo guitar (towards 2:45):





mark indigo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 19 2020 20:25:46)

quote:

Buleria in A minor? I thought Buleria is played always in the key of D minor or in por medio (I mean only the position is por medio and therefore not in A phrygian key).

As for the Phrygian key, is the Phrygian key a major key or a minor key? Because Phrygian is a minor mode, I would say the Phrygian key is more akin to a minor key than a major key.
But phrygian dominant is a major mode I guess. So it can have characteristics of a major key as well. Now I'm confused.


I am seriously LTWTL




kitarist -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 19 2020 22:14:49)

quote:

As for the Phrygian key, is the Phrygian key a major key or a minor key?


It's neither; it is phrygian, a third kind. A separate concentric circle on the circle of fifths, a major third above it's relative major key (so E phrygian outside C major outside A minor; step a fifth up (so clockwise): B phrygian outside G major outside E minor, and so on).




Ricardo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 20 2020 0:43:29)

quote:

ORIGINAL: devilhand

quote:

I always point to Aug6 examples (it’s not really Renaissance but classical yes) because it LEGITIMIZES the concept that Solea is in a PHRYGIAN key to be distinguished from say a Buleria in A minor.

Buleria in A minor? I thought Buleria is played always in the key of D minor or in por medio (I mean only the position is por medio and therefore not in A phrygian key).

As for the Phrygian key, is the Phrygian key a major key or a minor key? Because Phrygian is a minor mode, I would say the Phrygian key is more akin to a minor key than a major key.
But phrygian dominant is a major mode I guess. So it can have characteristics of a major key as well. Now I'm confused.

Hopefully Piwin cleared up the minor bulerias confusions with his excellent examples?

Phrygian key in Flamenco-It’s always minor until the final resolutions to tonic represented by a stable major triad, (or major triad with added flat 9). In minor keys the same thing happens but it’s called a Picardy third and only occurs sometimes. Think of phrygian key (as used in Flamenco) doing the exact same thing except it is happening all the time, every cadence just about. Often falsetas might also begin with the tonic major triad. Vicente Amigo was one of the first to use the minor tonic triad often. I argued with Kevin earlier about that.... I feel the minor tonic is actually being used to pull to the II chord (a sort of exotic secondary dominant type function in context).

As harmonies move away from major tonic triad, phrygian minor more often takes over, expressed via chords and melodies. In the same way minor keys make more use of the natural minor mode sound until the cadence calls in the altered scales that pull. But I must reiterate it’s not about any single group of modes... the entire chromatic spectrum is always available and often used to move away from tonic.




devilhand -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 21 2020 18:09:08)

@Piwin
Thnx for your examples. Helped me a lot.

quote:

Hopefully Piwin cleared up the minor bulerias confusions with his excellent examples?

After listening to these Bulerias, I dare to say one can get the typical Bulerias sound only from a por medio position.
I wonder one can play Buleria both in D minor key and A Phrygian key? Both are played in por medio. What differs is the key.

Talking about the Phrygian key, the question is did modes have the similar function as the minor/major key in Ancient Greek or in the middle ages? So the Phrygian key, Dorian key or Mixolydian key... existed back then. The Phrygian key is nothing new. It only lacks a solid theoretical basis.




mark indigo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 21 2020 20:58:08)

quote:

I wonder one can play Buleria both in D minor key and A Phrygian key? Both are played in por medio.
when flamencos ask for "por medio" it means A phrygian.

it specifically refers to the chord position of A major in first position, and sometimes can mean playing in A major.

I played for a dance workshop taught by a visiting dance teacher, and it was guajiras (usually in A major) and he asked me to play "por arriba" which usually is E phrygian, but what he meant was E major, guajiras being in a major key. Point is it refers to an E major chord as the home chord.

sometimes a D chord is referred to as "por Abajo"




Ricardo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 22 2020 9:02:12)

quote:

I wonder one can play Buleria both in D minor key and A Phrygian key? Both are played in por medio. What differs is the key.


No. Por medio IS the key of A phrygian. D minor is “re menor”. F major is “Fa”. They all share the same key signature, Bb, the other notes are Naturales subject to change.

quote:

Talking about the Phrygian key, the question is did modes have the similar function as the minor/major key in Ancient Greek or in the middle ages? So the Phrygian key, Dorian key or Mixolydian key... existed back then. The Phrygian key is nothing new. It only lacks a solid theoretical basis.


No. Modes are Old yes but they are static environments ... always were and still are. Tonal harmony developed during the baroque only after equal tempered tuning was agreed upon. In Greek times the tuning did not allow for keys to function. You play a mode and your instrument tuned to that .... no chord changes. As I stated the keys are very new in that sense compared to modes. Only minor and major keys were focused on in tonal music. Flamenco used phrygian Key w functioning tonal harmony and is therefore very new and exclusive compared to its modal counterpart.




devilhand -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 23 2020 15:23:28)

quote:

it specifically refers to the chord position of A major in first position

What do you mean by A major in first position? The tonic or home chord A major, which implies A phrygian?




devilhand -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 23 2020 15:33:43)

quote:

No. Por medio IS the key of A phrygian. D minor is “re menor”. F major is “Fa”. They all share the same key signature, Bb, the other notes are Naturales subject to change.

Bulerias examples above are in all possible keys. Can we play Buleria in 3 different keys A phrygian, D minor and F major? Or D minor and F major keys will not work here because of A Phrygian?
The consequence is if we want to play Bulerias in a minor or major key we have to choose other keys than D minor and F major. For example A minor as you mentioned or C major.




Ricardo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 23 2020 21:40:15)

quote:

ORIGINAL: devilhand

quote:

No. Por medio IS the key of A phrygian. D minor is “re menor”. F major is “Fa”. They all share the same key signature, Bb, the other notes are Naturales subject to change.

Bulerias examples above are in all possible keys. Can we play Buleria in 3 different keys A phrygian, D minor and F major? Or D minor and F major keys will not work here because of A Phrygian?
The consequence is if we want to play Bulerias in a minor or major key we have to choose other keys than D minor and F major. For example A minor as you mentioned or C major.


You can play in any key you want. You run the risk of not sounding authentic if you don’t follow some traditional model. There are Flamenco guitar pieces in D minor, D major, and D phrygian. In almost all cases the guitarist tuned the 6 string down to D. So you can see a preference for certain keys when it comes to guitar because of the open strings available. F major is the key Fandango modulates to when in por medio. The ending of compadres by paco de lucia and Manolo Sanlucar is a good example. It’s fine to modulate and explore other keys before returning home. But to base an entire piece on say F major means your main compas chords won’t be so comfortable as other options. (If I had a buleria in F I would transpose to E because it will all be much more fun and sound better too). A big part of the flamenco guitar sound vs piano sound is the way the chords get voiced, so changing keys really affects the timbre.

Here is compadres. The fandango in F major is at 4:53 till the end where it returns to por medio.


Here is also a buleria that starts in D phrygian (por abajo), then modulates to D major, then to D minor for the chorus (1:17, 2:20, 4:29). Notice there is the por medio chord in the chorus (A major), but no danger in confusing the music as being in the same key as the paco and Manolo duet.





devilhand -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 24 2020 17:30:09)

Thanks for your explanation with video examples. I wonder how you know in which key they're playing and when and where modulations occur. For me it's difficult to see or hear what is really happening there.

Another question coming to my mind now is playing a certain palo in different keys and modulations are used only in modern and solo flamenco?
I thought there are 2 main keys or positions for traditional flamenco. Different keys mean putting capo at the higher frets.

As for modulations, how often and in which section of palos are modulations used for cante or baile accompaniment? You know in pop/rock song modulations occur mostly at the chorus or in particular, at the bridge of the song.




Ricardo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 24 2020 19:16:22)

quote:

As for modulations, how often and in which section of palos are modulations used for cante or baile accompaniment?


You are now asking extremely broad questions. I pointed out the fandango in the buleria of paco and Manolo. If you don’t understand what is a fandango then I can see that you won’t understand what I described. I have paco tutorial falseta 4 that details the modulations of another falseta from that same piece. All I can say is I can help you with specific examples like that, but for general and broad understanding you need to take some years of lessons.




mark indigo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 25 2020 7:59:37)

quote:

What do you mean by A major in first position? The tonic or home chord A major, which implies A phrygian?


por medio means in the middle and por arriba means above.

These terms refer literally to the placement of hands/fingers on the fretboard.

When you play a basic "cowboy chord" of A major in the first position on the guitar, however you finger it, you press strings 2, 3 and 4 at the second fret. Thus your fingers look like they are in the middle of the fingerboard (relative to the floor or ground) to a singer, dancer or other guitarist who may have no knowledge of western classical music theory, but a huge flamenco repertoire and a high level of skill in executing it.

When you play a basic "cowboy chord" of E major in the first position on the guitar, however you finger it, you press string 3 at the first fret and strings 4 and 5 at the second fret. Thus your fingers look like they are up or at the top of the fingerboard (relative to the floor or ground) to a singer, dancer or other guitarist who may have no knowledge of western classical music theory, but a huge flamenco repertoire and a high level of skill in executing it.

I believe this is how the terminology developed. Usually it refers to the respective phrygian key (por medio - A chord - A phrygian, por arriba - E chord - E phrygian) but, as in my example, it can occasionally be used to refer to the major key associated with those chords.




devilhand -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 25 2020 12:25:18)

quote:

I have paco tutorial falseta 4 that details the modulations of another falseta from that same piece.

I'm gonna watch that video. Thanks for the hint.




devilhand -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 25 2020 13:08:14)

quote:

por medio means in the middle and por arriba means above.

These terms refer literally to the placement of hands/fingers on the fretboard.

When you play a basic "cowboy chord" of A major in the first position on the guitar, however you finger it, you press strings 2, 3 and 4 at the second fret. Thus your fingers look like they are in the middle of the fingerboard (relative to the floor or ground) to a singer, dancer or other guitarist who may have no knowledge of western classical music theory, but a huge flamenco repertoire and a high level of skill in executing it.

When you play a basic "cowboy chord" of E major in the first position on the guitar, however you finger it, you press string 3 at the first fret and strings 4 and 5 at the second fret. Thus your fingers look like they are up or at the top of the fingerboard (relative to the floor or ground) to a singer, dancer or other guitarist who may have no knowledge of western classical music theory, but a huge flamenco repertoire and a high level of skill in executing it.

I believe this is how the terminology developed. Usually it refers to the respective phrygian key (por medio - A chord - A phrygian, por arriba - E chord - E phrygian) but, as in my example, it can occasionally be used to refer to the major key associated with those chords.

Por abajo means low. All makes sense. Thanks.

I've expected the term cowboy chord from Mr. Jernigan rather than someone from UK. I had to google what it is. Never heard it before. I always say open chords.

quote:

I started listening to flamenco just under 30 years ago, pretty soon I took some lessons, and then started sitting in on dance classes. I have been playing in dance classes ever since.

I have barely let up on the "great attention, desire and motivation".

I think after about 10-15 years I was starting to get good enough to realise how bad I was....

Your post makes me want to learn and practice more even though I do believe one can't compare pre-internet era with today. Learning flamenco has become easier than ever nowadays. But I think how good you have become at a certain activity can be subjective especially if you have to judge yourself. Therefore, I'm always open to critics or praise from a third person as an expert.




Ricardo -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 25 2020 13:34:49)

quote:

Learning flamenco has become easier than ever nowadays.


My friend it’s a doubled edged sword. That means while it’s amazing what we have access to in terms of comparing to decades ago learning by ear or from records or books and tab, you also have giant MOUNTAINS of garbage that you must wade through to find the gold. We used to have $100 encuentro vids and buy several and trade with colleagues who had purchased a different guitarist. Spending several hundred bucks meant we would sit down and spend serious time with the product, getting as much out of it as we could. Or taking a thousands dollars trip to Spain for some lessons, the value was enormous and we put weight into what was brought home. Now a days everything is literally free and right at your finger tips....the value has dropped to almost nothing. Nobody cares to spend extra time with something they found for free....unless they can really distinguish because they have already spent the time and money in the past and appreciate what’s available. Without the knowLedge and feeling of value how can a new comer realize what is the one gold video vs the 10 MILLION junk videos with misleading tosh info?




devilhand -> RE: Which scales? (Feb. 26 2020 17:14:24)

quote:

Without the knowLedge and feeling of value how can a new comer realize what is the one gold video vs the 10 MILLION junk videos with misleading tosh info?

First steps one should do before consuming junk videos, he or she should do a little research and get the correct information. There are tons of books showing what's right and wrong. Also online communities where people can get in touch with others and learn from each other. If people are ignorant of these first steps and keep watching those junk videos, they're themselves to blame. Maybe they have no desire and are not motivated enough.




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