Changing key/scale during track

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satyr32
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Post 30 Aug 2015

I am currently working on a track in A lydian. I want a small part of the track to be in another key/scale (maybe minor?). But all I tried so far sounds horrible and I have not much knowledge in music theory. So anyone can explain which scale would "fit" and why. Is there a method or rule that always works or is it key specific? thanks.
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Benedict
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Post 30 Aug 2015

I think maybe a Google search using something like Modulating Lydian to another Key

I would be interested if Reason had a Lock/Move to Key/Scale feature. Sheer laziness but I can write in C Maj and then flip over to F# Min Doxycycline to see how that feels.

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Tincture
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Post 30 Aug 2015

I would try E major as it shares the 3rd, 5th , 7th of A lydian.

pLansford

Post 30 Aug 2015

Tincture wrote:I would try E major as it shares the 3rd, 5th , 7th of A lydian.
Yep...

http://www.scales-chords.com/fscale_res ... 2=&c3=&t3=


pLansford

Post 30 Aug 2015

Tincture wrote:Nice site... bookmarked.
Yeah I've been there quite a few times - not being "classically trained" and all.

OP I'd like to hear a little somethin somethin...seems interesting. I'll follow your SC

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Tincture
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Post 30 Aug 2015

I've no training either. Just presumed anything with the 3rd/5/7 notes would work well as they are important. Knew G# would make it E major (rather than minor, from knowing guitar) and voila it did have those notes. Guesswork and luck ;) Nice to have it affirmed :)

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JNeffLind
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Post 30 Aug 2015

I'm a self taught theory guy and I never found any use for the different "modes." To me A lydian just means you're playing in E major since it's literally the same notes. It doesn't just share the 3, 5, 7 of E, it shares literally every note of E. The only difference is that one scale starts on an A and ends on an A, and one starts and ends on an E. Both include the notes E F# G# A B C# D#. I never understood why one would call it A Lydian instead of just E major started on the fourth degree but the best I've figured is that when jazz guys take solos for example in the key of E and the progression plays an A chord, they know that the A note is going to be their base and it's too much trouble to keep in their head that they're in the key of E and playing around an A, so they say A Lydian. Like I said though, same notes as an E scale.

As such, I don't know if you're technically switching keys if you go to E since there wouldn't be any change of key signature since it'd be the same sharps and flats.


Here's a shortcut to try that is all the key switching theory I've ever had a need for. If you want to switch keys, Use the dominant seventh chord of whatever you want to switch to, right before you switch. For example, to switch from C to D, you're playing along in C, then play an A7 (instead of the Am you'd normally play in C) and then play a D and you're in the key of D. It sounds pretty natural and is the go to move for when pop songs want to jump a step or half step for a big finish. I hope this helps. It's kind of trailer park theory, but it works for me.

pLansford

Post 30 Aug 2015

JNeffLind wrote:I'm a self taught theory guy and I never found any use for the different "modes." To me A lydian just means you're playing in E major since it's literally the same notes. It doesn't just share the 3, 5, 7 of E, it shares literally every note of E. The only difference is that one scale starts on an A and ends on an A, and one starts and ends on an E. Both include the notes E F# G# A B C# D#. I never understood why one would call it A Lydian instead of just E major started on the fourth degree...
The progression will feel different if the tonic chord is different. E major sounds a bit cheesy to me while A Lydian seems to be more dreamy. I was messing with different modes earlier this year but I lost track. Anyways, as for playing with different modes, my personal favorite is the Phrygian mode because it's very dark and it's actually used in metal music.

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JNeffLind
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Post 30 Aug 2015

pLansford wrote:
The progression will feel different if the tonic chord is different. E major sounds a bit cheesy to me while A Lydian seems to be more dreamy. I was messing with different modes earlier this year but I lost track. Anyways, as for playing with different modes, my personal favorite is the Phrygian mode because it's very dark and it's actually used in metal music.
I suppose that's above my pay grade when it comes to theory. But then again while I mostly write in major keys I don't necessarily start or hover around the tonic of said major key so maybe I'm technically playing in some of these other modes. To me it just seems like an overly complicated naming system. As far as my thinking, if you're playing all the white keys on the piano, you're in A minor or C major, not in D dorian or E phrygian or F lydian or whatever else. The key signature doesn't change, so I consider them all the same key.

If you play a Dm G C you can call it a ii V I in C or a i IV VII in D dorian. It's the same notes and same progression either way. All the modes just seem to add extra ways to refer to things we already have names for. I like to keep it simple. Just how my brain works I suppose.

pLansford

Post 30 Aug 2015

JNeffLind wrote:I suppose that's above my pay grade when it comes to theory. But then again while I mostly write in major keys I don't necessarily start or hover around the tonic of said major key so maybe I'm technically playing in some of these other modes. To me it just seems like an overly complicated naming system. As far as my thinking, if you're playing all the white keys on the piano, you're in A minor or C major, not in D dorian or E phrygian or F lydian or whatever else. The key signature doesn't change, so I consider them all the same key.

If you play a Dm G C you can call it a ii V I in C or a i IV VII in D dorian. All the modes just seem to add extra ways to refer to thing we already have names for. I like to keep it simple. Just how my brain works I suppose.
Hmmm. I'm a big tonic/dominant chord kinda guy. :puf_bigsmile: I think a good exercise for anybody is to move between those two chords and hear how the relationship sounds. That is my own trailer park theory though but I think I'm pretty close to being technical.

OP let us know if C# minor works for what you're doing.
Last edited by pLansford on 30 Aug 2015, edited 1 time in total.

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JNeffLind
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Post 30 Aug 2015

pLansford wrote:
Hmmm. I'm a big tonic/dominant chord kinda guy. :puf_bigsmile: I think a good exercise for anybody is to move between those two chords and hear how the relationship sounds. That is my own trailer park theory though but I think I'm pretty close to being technical.

OP let us know if C# minor works for what you're doing.
Can't go wrong with tonic and dominant. Switching between the two sort of makes the two most "logical" cadences in western music. The V to I is the perfect cadence which is considered the strongest. The I to V is sort of an ersatz Plagal cadence (usually represented as IV to I) which is considered the second strongest, but of course I to V is the equivalent of a plagal cadence if the V was the root. I.e. C to G in the key of C is I to V. C to G in the key of G is IV to I. So in essence switching back and forth from I to V to I forever is just a looping perfect to (inverted?) plagal cadence. Now I'm really talking out my ass.

TS, by my reasoning you're in E major, which would make C#minor your relative minor and is worth a try as PL said. You might also try switching to E minor or using my dominant seventh trick to switch to perhaps to D. Just play an A7 instead of an A as you're moving through E (the dominant 7th tone of a IV chord will be an accidental which will want to resolve) and that will lead you to the D chord, the tonic of your new key. D scale has two sharps (F# and C# compared to E which has four). Happy tinkering. Remember, not all who wander are lost. Especially when it comes to music.

pLansford

Post 01 Sep 2015

I don't think this requires another thread but if you think it does knock yourself out. Maybe somebody will search this place for music mode theory stuff - Lydian Ionian Mixolydian Dorian Aeolian Phrygian Locrian - keywords of course. Something I came across today.

http://blog.dubspot.com/music-theory-modes/

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JNeffLind
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Post 01 Sep 2015

pLansford wrote:I don't think this requires another thread but if you think it does knock yourself out. Maybe somebody will search this place for music mode theory stuff - Lydian Ionian Mixolydian Dorian Aeolian Phrygian Locrian - keywords of course. Something I came across today.

http://blog.dubspot.com/music-theory-modes/
Well I for one will check this link out. This is a question I've often wondered about in earnest, as detailed in above posts. I love practical theory, just don't like overcomplicating things if avoidable.

Edit: So I read this and if nothing else it gives some interesting chord progressions to play with, and play I will. It did also sort of justify the use of modes in my eyes as a shortcut to establish certain "moods" while writing. I'm still going to be a bit stubborn and say that I don't think the approach is necessary, at least for me, but any theory that gives creative ideas is good theory, and I expect this'll spur some ideas, even if it doesn't change the the fundamentals of the way I think about theory.
Last edited by JNeffLind on 01 Sep 2015, edited 1 time in total.

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motuscott
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Post 01 Sep 2015

Mix a load in, is my favorite mode.
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pLansford

Post 01 Sep 2015

motuscott wrote:Mix a load in, is my favorite mode.
What's a techno guy doing talking about music theory anyways huh? If anybody wants to get really crazy with theory, check out this old school original gangsta sheeyit!


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satyr32
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Post 01 Sep 2015

thanks for all your helpful answers. i think i now understand the basics better and it makes more sense to me why something sound good and the other not. i tried the switch to e major. it is definitly an option, but to me it sounded too happy. so I choose C# minor, to be precise C# pentatonic minor and it sounds fantastic.
yeah, I know it is kind of stupid to play around with this "advanced" scales as a noobie, I shoud maybe start working with basic major/minor.
And the progression of A lydian is really different to E major. I agree that E major sounds rather cheesy.
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pLansford

Post 01 Sep 2015

satyr32 wrote:yeah, I know it is kind of stupid to play around with this "advanced" scales as a noobie, I shoud maybe start working with basic major/minor.
Nah it's definitely not "stupid" and you're separating yourself from the herd which is fantastic. Feel free to do whatever you want and the theory is there for everybody to pick and choose what they want to use.
satyr32 wrote:I agree that E major sounds rather cheesy.
Hehe! Thanks for confirming! I can't stand writing in any major keys to be honest.

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