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Is my guitar website useful (it's theory related)

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Postby NEZTOK » February 6th, 2011, 2:44 pm

Any advice to improve it would be good. I'm talking about the content not the basic web design. I would like Noteboat and King and Nick (my idols) to weigh on it, but anybody's welcome.

http://pages.suddenlink.net/skelcore
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Postby NoteBoat » February 6th, 2011, 3:18 pm

I've looked through your site before, Netzok. It's not really the approach I'd take... but different things work for different folks.

The main reason I don't care for the approach you take to scales/modes is pretty simple: you're relating everything to a number of frets. That may connect a sound to a fretboard, but it doesn't connect it to music theory - theory is the same for all instruments. Thinking of the sound of a perfect fourth as 3+2 frets tells you how to get there, but without learning that the interval is a perfect fourth, you can't communicate that to other musicians - five frets means nothing to a sax player.

Any mechanical way of looking at sounds (relating them to a fretboard, keyboard or any other number of half steps) gets in your way at some point. The distance between C and D# is exactly the same as the distance between C and Eb, but if you're trying to learn the theory, you'll find Eb doesn't belong in a C7#9 chord (but D# does). Knowing they're three frets apart can help you get the sound, but it really won't do much for relating it to scale and chord structure. So if you ever want to delve into those, you'd have to basically start over... IMO, it's better to learn the standard nomenclature directly, rather than having to learn that it's 3 frets, and then having to learn again that 3 frets = a minor third/augmented second.

Just my two cents.
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Postby NEZTOK » February 6th, 2011, 3:41 pm

I'm not really sure you understand what 3+2 means.

3+2 alone tell you that the note C is

3rd of Phrygian. (you add 1 to the 2)

It adds up to 5 also known as Mixolydian

Apply Mix to C D E F G A B

C D E F G A Bb

and you get

the key of F

F G A Bb C D E F (when you play mix starting on C most people are just playing the key of F as we all know)

So the note C

Is

3rd of A Phrygian

It pretty much tells you what every fuction a note is within the major and it's modes quickly.

Another example

5+1

5th of Dorian

It adds up to 6 also known as Aeolian

Apply Aeo to C D E F G A B

C D Eb F G Ab Bb

and you get

the key of Eb

Eb F G Ab Bb C D

So the note C

Is

5th of F Dorian

If there is better way to keep track of all 49 fuctions of the note C let me know. When thinking of the major scale...

How useful this is to teaching people about parallel and derivative - I don't know. :lol:
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Postby NoteBoat » February 6th, 2011, 5:21 pm

Ok, I wasn't clear on what you meant by 3+2. But I still don't get the utility.

If "3" tells you that C is the 3rd note of Phrygian, how is that any different from C being the 3rd note of Aeolian, or the 3rd note of Dorian?

It adds up to 5... why is 5 known as mixolydian? Sure, C is the 5th of the key of F major - but it's also the 5th of F Dorian, F Phrygian, F Lydian, F Mixolydian, and F Aeolian. I can't tie "5" into anything concrete. I can see by your diagram that I only get a total of 5 in one segment... but I still don't see how it's useful. If "5" refers to Mixolydian being the fifth mode of the major scale, you'd still have to memorize the same pattern for each starting note - learning it from C does nothing to help you if you're starting in G.

So it seems to me that your system requires memorizing all 49 variations.... and then doing it again for every starting note other than C. Taking the more traditional path (memorize the 15 scale spellings; memorize the 7 mode formulas... 15 + 7 = 22 things to learn), so it just doesn't seem very direct to me.
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Postby NEZTOK » February 6th, 2011, 6:31 pm

NoteBoat wrote:If "3" tells you that C is the 3rd note of Phrygian, how is that any different from C being the 3rd note of Aeolian, or the 3rd note of Dorian?

The 3rd of A Mix is C# so that system don't work.

Code: Select all
3rd of Aeolian would be 3+5

It adds up to 1 (there is no 8) aka Ionian

C D E F G A B

So the note C is

3rd of A Aeolian


Code: Select all
3rd note of Dorian would be 3+1

It adds up to 4 aka Lydian

Apply Lydian to C D E F G A B

C D E F# G A B

and you get the key of G

G A B C D E F#

So the note C is

3rd of A Dorian


It adds up to 5... why is 5 known as mixolydian? Sure, C is the 5th of the key of F major - but it's also the 5th of F Dorian, F Phrygian, F Lydian, F Mixolydian, and F Aeolian. I can't tie "5" into anything concrete. I can see by your diagram that I only get a total of 5 in one segment... but I still don't see how it's useful. If "5" refers to Mixolydian being the fifth mode of the major scale, you'd still have to memorize the same pattern for each starting note - learning it from C does nothing to help you if you're starting in G.


None of that is relevant to my website/system.

You don't have to remember nothing except the numbers. I was just dumbing it down on my webpage. Thanks for the look over...
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Postby kingpatzer » February 7th, 2011, 9:51 am

Ok, my take.

I would never encourage my students to visit this site.

Why?

Three reasons:

1) It is not about relating music that they hear or play to a structured, holistic explainatory model that tells them something about the music.

2) It is not about relating concepts to music

3) It is does not provide solid advice about understanding sclaes in a musical context.


Let me go through these a bit.

The first point is about theory in general. A good theory site will take music and relate it in a general way to explainatory material. "Why does this sound good?" a student will ask. "Because, it does the following things" the theory will answer! Your method provides no explainatory power -- to that end, I dismiss it as "theory" and place it squarely in the realm of "memorization tricks."

Now, there's nothing wrong with a few good tricks for memorizing things. But they should never be confused with, nor presented as, theory. I wouldn't dismiss a site merely because it's only about ways of remembering things. Or because it makes the mistake of presenting a mnemonic as theory. Those tricks have their place and I can compensate for less than nuanced presentation with my students. But it is a strike against any site.

The second point is more critical. And slightly different than the first. If you have a concept of how to understand scale patterns, and place that into a discussion about scale use in music then show how your method says something about the music, then that would be pretty fascinating. But your presentation is not about music (even diatonic music) so much as it is about a way of relating diatonic, and only diatonic, scales to a geometric pattern. Very cool, but ultimately not about music so much is it as about geometry and the number 8.

It doesnt' tell us about the music or how to use the scales musically. And, it has no explanatory power for dealing with diminished scales, augmented scales, pentatonic scales, whole tone scales, or even the melodic and harmonic minor scales. When you stop and thnk about it, a theory system that can't deal with the majority of the most important scales in music and which doesn't give you insight into the music you hear isn't very useful.

But still, maybe it's not great theory, and maybe it's not universal, but it's still a cool memory trick right? And thsoe are important, I don't disagree. But ultimately, when I recommend a site to my students, it is because, more than anything else, of the third point. A site that gives some really useful advice or a unique perspective about applying all this info to music and practice. A site where the information is presented well, even if it is only of moderate utility, but which is musically inspiring and full of good ideas, can still be worth a look.

So to sum up: your site provides an interest gemoetrical picture of scales, but it is guitar centric, more about math than music, and doesn't provide any inspiring ways of applying your memorization trick to music. It has some utility, and for some people will perhaps really help them look at diatonic scales, and their relationship to the fretboard, in a new and interesting way. But it isn't something I'd use or recommend for the reasons I mentioned above.
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Postby NEZTOK » February 7th, 2011, 10:19 am

kingpatzer wrote:The first point is about theory in general. A good theory site will take music and relate it in a general way to explainatory material. "Why does this sound good?" a student will ask. "Because, it does the following things" the theory will answer! Your method provides no explainatory power -- to that end, I dismiss it as "theory" and place it squarely in the realm of "memorization tricks."

Now, there's nothing wrong with a few good tricks for memorizing things. But they should never be confused with, nor presented as, theory. I wouldn't dismiss a site merely because it's only about ways of remembering things. Or because it makes the mistake of presenting a mnemonic as theory. Those tricks have their place and I can compensate for less than nuanced presentation with my students. But it is a strike against any site.


It's called: SKELCORE: A scales and modes practice guide for guitarists. Theory isn't in the title. It's just a tool to add to your toolbox...

it has no explanatory power for dealing with diminished scales, augmented scales, pentatonic scales, whole tone scales, or even the melodic and harmonic minor scales. When you stop and thnk about it, a theory system that can't deal with the majority of the most important scales in music


It can do those things. I have the harmonic scale on there.

So to sum up: your site provides an interest gemoetrical picture of scales, but it is guitar centric, more about math than music, and doesn't provide any inspiring ways of applying your memorization trick to music. It has some utility, and for some people will perhaps really help them look at diatonic scales, and their relationship to the fretboard, in a new and interesting way. But it isn't something I'd use or recommend for the reasons I mentioned above.


You're pretty cool King. You definitely looked at it more than Noteboat - he's just written me off.

I'm not sure that it's completely guitar centric. All the examples above in this thread isn't guitar centric (There is THEORY, huh.) But thanks - thumbs up for the review. I appreciate it. I've learned a lot from you in the past.
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Postby kingpatzer » February 7th, 2011, 10:37 am

NEZTOK wrote:It can do those things. I have the harmonic scale on there.


The one place I saw the harmonic scale referenced, you postulated a couple of rules that needed to be memorized, and they were actually incorrect.

I don't see how this can deal with diminished scales or whole tone scales. But I'll accept your contention that it can.
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Postby NoteBoat » February 7th, 2011, 10:42 am

I didn't write you off - and in fact, I looked at every page. I just don't find it a useful way of looking at things, but others may feel differently.
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Postby NEZTOK » February 7th, 2011, 10:53 am

kingpatzer wrote:and they were actually incorrect.


Hmmm, that's why I'm here. I'll fix it. :D
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Postby NEZTOK » February 7th, 2011, 10:57 am

NoteBoat wrote:I didn't write you off - and in fact, I looked at every page. I just don't find it a useful way of looking at things, but others may feel differently.


OK - don't take it personally. Thanks for your time. And helping me in the past, also.
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Postby NEZTOK » February 7th, 2011, 11:42 am

kingpatzer wrote: and they were actually incorrect.


Where is it wrong? The fretboard patterns are right. I can't fix what I can't find. :D
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Postby kingpatzer » February 7th, 2011, 12:15 pm

NEZTOK wrote:
kingpatzer wrote: and they were actually incorrect.


Where is it wrong? The fretboard patterns are right. I can't fix what I can't find. :D


Sorry, I meant melodic minor. The melodic minor scale is not the same forward and backward.
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Postby NEZTOK » February 7th, 2011, 12:20 pm

Oh yeah, that's under the REFERENCE "lesson."

FIXED
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Postby greybeard » February 7th, 2011, 1:02 pm

I'll put in my two penneth.

The site is not well designed. There are a variety of things that will put off a beginner.

There is precious little explanation of where these magical numbers come from. There is precious little explanation of how you arrived at the wheels. The descriptive diagramme is not very descriptive - where you start, where you go and why is not well explained.

The wheel is scary. The examples are very obviously written by someone who knows the system backwards, but also one who is unable to explain that complexity to a beginner.

"All of the Key Of C Adds up to 1. For Example 1+0=1, 2+6=1, 3+5=1 - therefore you play the 1 on C." was the point where I lost interest.

Whether the content is going to teach beginners the right or wrong thing is a moot point. I think most beginners will be scared off by the presentation long before they get anything worthwhile out of it.

Sorry.
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