Composite Scale

This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of quintusvw quintusvw 2 years ago.

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  • #28143
    Profile photo of quintusvw
    quintusvw
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    I have quite an interest in Country guitar, and have come across what is called a composite scale used in country music.

    A composite scale is a scale that is essentially a mix of the pentatonic scale and the blues scale.

    What is your take on creating a scale like this? And for what reason (theory wise) would you want to create a composite scale (or even alter a scale)?

    #28150
    Profile photo of zeitaliesin
    zeitaliesin
    Participant

    I think you may win this competition, I just don’t have the time. Any way the blues scale sort of goes naturally with the Pentatonic. I don’t hin people,should get too hung up on scales. Play what feels right

    #28172
    Profile photo of alexx
    alexx
    Participant

    I’m a fan of country music, too. I never heard of the composite scale. I have some printed music for country songs, I’ll have to look at them more closely. They’re more “new country” I would say. Rascall Flatts. I knew that the blues went hand in hand with the pentatonic scale, especially old school blues.

    #28181
    Profile photo of quintusvw
    quintusvw
    Participant

    @zeitaliesin I agree, play what feels right, but a scale can act as a guide if you know how the intervals are structured in that scale. But then again once you know the intervals, why know the scale? Does that make sense?

    @alexx Here is a quick layout of the composite scale for G I’m using

    I-II-IIIb-III-V-IV
    G-A – Bb – B -D-E

    Very close to the blues scale. What do you think?

    #28203
    Profile photo of alexx
    alexx
    Participant

    @quintusvw You’re right, Quintus, it is very close to the Blues scale. It’s got the 2 in there, adds some tension. I’ll have to play around with that a bit, see how I can use it.

    I agree about scales being a guide, but sometimes you just don’t like the feeling that being “correct” gives you, & you need to color over the lines to convey a feeling.

    #28205
    Profile photo of quintusvw
    quintusvw
    Participant

    …you need to color over the lines to convey a feeling.

    I like that statement. Gives a short but descriptive look on playing out of the soul.

    #28206
    Profile photo of alexx
    alexx
    Participant

    Thanks. I think that’s why I tend to stay away from classical music, too rigid, & I tend to put my own spin on songs that I play. That & the fact that I was forced to listen to it as a kid. Now it makes me tense instead of relaxing me.

    For at least 2 yrs I had not a battle, but a thing going with my teacher about my style. She’s a singer also, so her style is different. I need to add some melody along with flavor. Then she heard an instrumental of Desperado on Pandora, & now she’s OK with my adding things that “shouldn’t” be there.

    #28209
    Profile photo of spark
    spark
    Participant

    So a composite scale is a selection of notes that can be played over a chord change and sound “right” whether they are tension or release. If you extend any chord into the next octave you discover “colour” tones, the 9th, 13th, etc. there are other composite scales, the so called “bebop” scale comes to mind.

    #28210
    Profile photo of quintusvw
    quintusvw
    Participant

    @spark Yes, it can actually be played anywhere and sound right…I guess the most important part is the genre and the mood you are trying to create. This will restrict you though.

    #28241
    Profile photo of alexx
    alexx
    Participant

    @ Quintus I just played that G composite scale. It sounds just like a couple of riffs in Ray Charles’ “What I’d Say.” I have the chord sheet for it in E. I listened on a slow downer app for all the riffs. Amazing what you can know when you really don’t know what you know, sometimes.

    #28247
    Profile photo of quintusvw
    quintusvw
    Participant

    Amazing what you can know when you really don’t know what you know, sometimes.

    Hear hear :)

    I had very much the same experience when I first realized that it could be so easy to get that unique sound. It was lying there under my fingertips all the time and I did not know it.

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