Randy Rhoads and scales

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by SloeGin, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. SloeGin

    SloeGin Senior Member

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    Hey guys,

    Excuse my ignorance but I'm studying Crazy Train and still learning scales/modes.
    Lots of pentatonic and aeolian on that solo but what about the 13h14h16 notes on the D string... what scale/mode is this?

    Here 's a part of that last 'run':


    G-------------------------------------------13h14h16----------|
    D------------------11h12h14--13h14h16-----------------------|
    A-------11h12h14---------------------------------------------|
    E--------------------------------------------------------------|

    Thanks!
     
  2. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    What's all the "h" stuff?
     
  3. SloeGin

    SloeGin Senior Member

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    hammer on/legato
     
  4. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    And you're playing the bassline?
     
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  5. SloeGin

    SloeGin Senior Member

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    ??
     
  6. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    4 strings on your tab.
     
  7. SloeGin

    SloeGin Senior Member

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    lol
    Yes 'cause i didn't want to tab the whole thing out
    it's just a small part of the solo ... but my question is related to six string guitar ;)
     
  8. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    Code:
    G-------------------------------------------13h14h16----------|
    D------------------11h12h14--13h14h16-------------------------|
    A-------11h12h14----------------------------------------------|
    E-------------------------------------------------------------|
            G# A  B    C#  D  E   D# E F#       G# A  B
    Without listening to check, that's the A major scale, and the D# is a "chromatic approach".
    Very common to approach a chord tone (5th of A in this case) from a half-step below, particularly in blues and jazz.
    Although this is not a blues run, it's also worth pointing out it's the #4/b5 of A blues scale.

    If, in fact, the whole thing is in F# minor (which I believe it is?), then it's an aeolian run, with a passing dorian major 6. (See, modal terms can sometimes come in handy... although it can still be seen as natural minor with a chromatic approach to the 7th ;))
     
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  9. SloeGin

    SloeGin Senior Member

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    Thanks alot JonR!
    Yes the whole song is in F#minor.
    But what Dorian mode do you mean then?
     
  10. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    F# dorian. Modes should always be referred to key centre.

    Having checked my transcription of the song (intro, verse, chorus, bridge, not solos), it's not entirely in F# minor; the verse is in A major.
    The rest is in F# minor, mostly drawn from the natural minor scale (aeolian, if you prefer modal terms), but there is a lot of chromaticism, and modal terms don't really help there.
    Eg, that run of 16ths after the first chorus phrase ("running off the rails on a crazy train"), is over an F#m chord (or F# power chord), but the notes are more like an A blues scale run, with passing C and G naturals, and resolving to a low A. No modal term will cover that - not without a lot of chromatic exceptions. (After he sings the title phrase the 2nd time, it's a more orthodox chord riff in F# minor.)

    In the bridge ("I know that things are going wrong..."), there's more significant chromaticism, in the half-step drop from F#5, the passing D#5 (D5>D#5>E5), and of course the long run of triplets ("you gotta listen...").
    Again, modes don't really help. The idea is "F# minor, with half-step shifts here and there."

    In the clip you're talking about - if that D# is anything more than a momentary chromaticism (which is what it looks like) - it may be more helpful to think of the classic minor key theory which states that the 6th and 7th steps in a minor key are variable. IOW, in the key of F# minor, you can have either D or D# as 6th, and either E or E# as 7th - depending on what effect you want in your tune. IOW, it's about a balance between natural, harmonic and melodic minor, rather than aeolian and dorian.
    In a sense, you can regard dorian mode as the extra 4th permutation of 6th and 7th, one that doesn't normally belong in a classic minor key, but is of course quite common in jazz, folk, and rock:
    Code:
    NATURAL MINOR (AEOLIAN): 1  .  2 b3  .  4  .  5 b6  . b7  .  1
            HARMONIC MINOR : 1  .  2 b3  .  4  .  5 b6  .  .  7  1
             MELODIC MINOR : 1  .  2 b3  .  4  .  5  .  6  .  7  1
                    DORIAN : 1  .  2 b3  .  4  .  5  .  6 b7  .  1
     
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  11. SloeGin

    SloeGin Senior Member

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    Thanks for the analysis ;)
     

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