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Relative Keys

Lesson 4 from: Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

J. Anthony Allen

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Lesson Info

4. Relative Keys

Lesson Info

Relative Keys

Okay, Now I want to jump back and talk about this pattern that I talked about before, where it it cycles around again. So let me explain that what that means is that we can find a major scale within a minor scale, and we confined a minor scale within a major scale. So if we took a minor scale and we started it on the third note, we would fulfill the pattern of the major scale. And likewise, if we took a minor scale and we started it or sorry, a major scale and we started it right here on the sixth note, we would end up with the same pattern hole, half whole whole, half whole whole before it cycles around again so we can find the pattern in each one. So how is that useful to us? It's very useful to us because it points out something called Relative Major and relative minor. That's like saying every major scale has a sibling. That is a minor scale eso there is. For every major scale. There is a minor scale that's composed of all the exact same notes. Um, so then you think Well, I thought...

major scale sounded happy and minor scale sounded sad. This is true, Um, but it really kind of depends on what you're treating is the root of this scale here we're treating, see as the root, and it's a C minor scale. But if we went so it, see, it's a minor scale. If we went to the third note and we treated that as the root, it would be a major scale. So let's actually do that. So let's get rid of this for a minute. So here's the third note D sharp. So let's treat d sharp as the root of the scale. So to do that, all I'm gonna do is take these two notes. I'm gonna flip him up, inactive and put him over here. The sea is duplicated, so let's just do that. So now I have any one more note and in duplicate the Route de Sharp, So now I have d sharp, F G g sharp, a sharp C, D and D sharp. Now, if any of you know anything about music theory or if any real music theory, people are evaluating this, you are stirring in your seats because of the way that this is spelled D sharps g sharp, a sharp that should really be spelled in flats with e flat, etcetera. But I don't care. Um, we're just gonna go with it as is because able to always favors Sharps, I'm not sure why? Probably because the symbol is easier to make. Um Okay, so let's see if it works. Ah, whole step pull, step, half step. Whole step. Whole step. Coast up half step. That, my friends, is our pattern for a major scale. I didn't change any notes. I just I'm starting on a different one. So let's hear. It sounds just like a major scale, right? But if I take these two notes go down inactive, pulling back here Oops. Did the same thing. Yeah, I see all the way back down, and now I play that starting on a C. It's a minor scale. So that means that C minor has a relative major of D Sharper e flat. So all the same notes are in both scales. C minor and D sharp. Major have the same exact notes. Um, but it's going to sound, major or minor and be made a reminder. Actually, depending on what no we started on. Now let's take that one step further And let's remember that C Major, let's go back to C Major scale here is going to raise my 3rd 6th and seventh. So now I'm on a C major scale C major. Now, remember that C major scale is all the white notes of our keyboard that c major. So if we found the relative minor of C major, it ought to be all of the white notes on the keyboard, but a minor scale. Now, I just told you that every major scale has a relative minor sibling, a brother or a sister. That is the minor scale. And every minor scale has a brother or sister that is a major scale. So, C major, we need to find the relative minor of it. So let's go back to my pattern here. So we're on a major scale. If we start our pattern right here of the major scale, then the minor scale pattern will emerge whole half whole whole half hole hole. That's the same as this whole half whole whole half hole. So I start the minor scale on the six, and I get a sorry the the major scale on the sixth, which is this note of six scale degree and I get a minor scale. So 123456 It's a so a minor must be the relative major of our Sorry, the relative minor of C major. Let me try that one more time. A minor must be the relative minor of C major. So see, Major and a minor Go hand in hand. Let's have a listen. So I'm on C major here. Let's take all these notes and leave off the A intentionally this time flipping up, inactive, gonna put him over, and then I'm gonna have to add the A back in. Now I have all the white notes starting on a but it's a minor scale because a minor is a relative to see Major. Now, if you don't want to deal with remembering Ah, this goofy pattern here, then all you have to remember is to find the relative minor of a major key started on the sixth scale degree. So any scale, let's say we're on d major. So let's go through a d. O. Okay, here's a d. Let's get rid of all this. Let's say we're in D Major, and I want to know what the minor is. I need to go to the sixth scale degree, so I need to go up the pattern of the major scale whole whole half. I don't really even care what these notes. I'm just counting the pattern. Ah, hole, hole half. So the pattern holds. So that's a D major scale. Now, if I go to the sixth Hillary 123456 b b minor is the relative minor of D major. All the same notes in both scales. Now, if you want a shorthand way to do this, let's slide this over just to touch Still a d major scale on. We can actually just go down three, right? Cause we could start here. I will, down to 123 Let's come from from the root. So if we go down three, we get the relative minor of a major scale, uh, and move that over still d major, Let's convert this to a minor scale, so d minor have to take those three notes down now I'm on a d minor scale. So again to confirm a major scale to a minor scale. I just lower the 3rd 6th and the seventh, which is what I just did. Now I'm on D minor. What's the relative major of D minor? Well, all I really have to do is go to the third scale degree. So when you're on a minor scale, you go up three notes, you go to the third, and that's the start of your relative major. When you're on a major scale and you want to find the minor scale, you go down three. And that will tell you the relative minor makes sense. It's a little confusing to think about, um, the up three down three. But just remember, relative Major and Relative Minor have all the same notes. The core progressions can be a little bit different, but, um, all the same notes emerge so f will be the relative minor scale. Sorry, the relative major scale of D minor. So we're looking at a minor scale. F is gonna be our relative a major. Okay, so now we know a relative major and relative minor are, um, supplies to scales, and it also applies to keys. So when we're in a key that means that we're using the core progression from that key we could. Sometimes it can be really ambiguous when we're analyzing a song, whether or not we're in the major or the relative minor of the song, depending on the section of the song we're looking at. So ah, song might sound like it's in C major, but then we might look at the cords for the chorus and it's all based around a minor. And then we're like, Okay, well, it's in. It's in the relative minor. So whether you call it the song C major a minor, um, in a way doesn't matter too much, depending on if you're just focusing in on one section. It could be, either. If you're looking at the whole song, usually you can find things that would make you say it's in C major or a minor. But those are things we don't care about. All we really care about is, does it? How does it sound and doesn't sound good. So, um, whether or not we call something in C major or a minor or any relative key doesn't matter to us. What matters is doesn't sound good, but when you're analyzing things. This is another thing to think about, you know? Do you want to go to the relative minor? Use the relative major whatever you want to do. So keep this in mind this relative ah, scale and relative key pattern.

Ratings and Reviews


Well, I slobbered all over you after your first class and this one is as good or better. I realize people don't go to college for 12 years and learn what you shared in a few hours and you didn't earn your doctorate with just this stuff. I mean Julliard must offer a lot more, but you have advanced my knowledge by miles and I've got to say thank you. Make some more of these simple, common talk courses - I'll buy them all.

Ben Küstner

Real Great Course. I learned a lot about Music Theory and now am jamming better than ever on my keyboard. Thanks Allen

Nick van Lochem

This course its so good he makes it al sound so easy. that ists easy to remember and use in your creations.

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