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Author Topic:  Scale Steps...
Ron Bednar


From:
Rancho Cordova, California, USA
Post Posted 14 Jun 2017 6:31 pm     Reply with quote

Hi folks!
After a couple strokes and a heart attack I'm up and at it again.

When I first started playing and took lessons from good buddy Pete Grant, Pete taught me using scale steps instead of tabs.

My question is: How many of you also use scale steps?
And would you like to see a software program that offers creating scale steps as an option along with the standard tabs and musical notation when importing midis?

I happened to write and suggest scale steps as an option in the TablEdit program that I use and the owner became interested.
He approached me to help them look at the concept and said writing the code for adding scale steps would not be a big deal...which I kind of thought it would be.
He and the code guy asked to help find out if people would like to see it added and so I'm posting here.

What do you think, would you like scale steps as a notation option in TablEdit?
Please let me know what you think.
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 14 Jun 2017 8:56 pm     Reply with quote

When you say "scale steps" do you mean the 'number system'? In other words, are you talking about root, 5th, flat-7th, sharp-4, etc. instead of D, A C, G#, etc.?
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Ron Bednar


From:
Rancho Cordova, California, USA
Post Posted 14 Jun 2017 9:31 pm     Reply with quote

Hi Jim,
Well it's not the Nashville Number System but similar. Scale steps are the same as intervals.
Tab editors scribe midi's usually in tabs or standard musical notation, scale steps would be another option.
Scale steps are the numbers in a scale, for instance the root is 1 and so on through 7, no matter what the scale is the notes have a corresponding number from 1 to 7.
Another example would be a trichord, like D is D,F#,A, the D is the root or 1 the F# is the 3rd of the D scale, the A is the 5th of the D scale, the chord is 1,3,5...
those are scale steps.
So noting a song in scale steps is different than tabs.
As an example here is Sunshine Of Your Love in Open D scale steps:
[img]

Does this make sense?
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 14 Jun 2017 10:16 pm     Reply with quote

Yes. Now, when the song goes to the IV chord, do you start numbering in that key, or keep up with the initial numbering scheme (movable do vs fixed do)?
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Ron Bednar


From:
Rancho Cordova, California, USA
Post Posted 14 Jun 2017 10:41 pm     Reply with quote

Jim,
You would stay with the original numbering system.
Maybe I'm a little confused? Not the first time.
Don't quite understand how changing the chord would change the key?
As in Open D the IV chord is G.
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 15 Jun 2017 5:01 am     Reply with quote

Ron, it doesn't change the key but one often speaks of the scale degrees within a chord, such as the root, 3rd, 5th, b7th, etc., regardless of what function the overall chord has in the key. So there are (at least) two ways of using the numbers and I just wanted to be clear which way you're using them.
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Ron Bednar


From:
Rancho Cordova, California, USA
Post Posted 15 Jun 2017 7:53 am     Reply with quote

Okidok! Smile
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 15 Jun 2017 7:54 am     Reply with quote

The Western musical scale we use is called the pentatonic scale and is based on two whole tones and a half tone.
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Ron Bednar


From:
Rancho Cordova, California, USA
Post Posted 15 Jun 2017 6:23 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
The Western musical scale we use is called the pentatonic scale and is based on two whole tones and a half tone.


Well Erv that's interesting and maybe worth it's own thread,
but I'm not quite sure what it has to do with if folks want a scale steps option in a tab editor?
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 7:06 am     Reply with quote

Ron,
Gee, I'm sorry, I thought we were talking about music. Whoa!
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Ron Bednar


From:
Rancho Cordova, California, USA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 9:47 am     Reply with quote

Sorry Erv didn't mean to dampen the fire.
But there doesn't seem to be much interest in intervals/scale steps in a tab editor so lets talk music.
I've been interested in modes myself since Paul McCartney wrote Eleanor Rigby in a mode not chords.
Modes are the ancestors of chordal music.
Where did you come up with the idea that the Western musical scale we use is based on the pentatonic scale?
Would like to hear about that.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 10:42 am     Reply with quote

I didn't come up with the idea.
I learned it from my guitar(and music) instructor some 60 years ago.
Just do a google search and you will learn all about it for yourself. Very Happy
The pentatonic scale is why we have:
C to D, a whole step
D to E, a whole step
and E to F, a half step
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Brad Davis


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 10:44 am     Reply with quote

I'm not sure everyone has a good idea what you meant by scale steps. Now that you describe it I think its basically what I assumed.

I tend to think in a mix of intervals and chords, but I'm not certain if I would really use it in a tab program. You're putting the mental effort of transposing the tab to the desired key up front, rather than letting the player do it later once they have learned the basic tune wherever it is nominally played. Depending on how you learned and how you think that may or may not be a big deal. I move tunes I've already learned around the neck all the time to hear the different timbre or to accommodate a singer.

Still if its easy enough to add the feature to Tabledit then why not? I would think he could let me just enter my tune the conventional way and just have a quick convert to scale steps feature, or let you enter scale steps directly if that's what you like and then convert to tab in a specific key when needed.
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Ron Bednar


From:
Rancho Cordova, California, USA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 12:10 pm     Reply with quote

Yes, that is the general idea Brad.To have the option of the song scribed out in intervals/scale steps as well as tabs and standard notation.
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 12:24 pm     Reply with quote

I'm thinking it would be a great idea having Chord degrees

rather than scale steps.

Eg if there was an option for CM7 set for one bar
then when you write out a scale it then also offers a feature of displaying the notes you enter based on the degree of the chord.

So you may do a M7#5 and it would display the degrees/notes by a simple setting.

I guess thinking about arbitrary scales without a chord focus is random.

Like If I'm playing a CM Ionian mode starting from the D its actually a D dorian

But If ,my chord for the bar is a Dm7 Would it still calculate the degrees based on the CM Ionian scale or the Dm7 Chord???

Or is that what you are offering?
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 12:27 pm     Reply with quote

I hope I'm not the only one that's confused. Whoa!
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Larry Carlson


From:
My Computer
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 1:19 pm     Reply with quote

Erv Niehaus wrote:
I hope I'm not the only one that's confused. Whoa!


Take my word for it.....you're not..... Mr. Green
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Ron Bednar


From:
Rancho Cordova, California, USA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 3:00 pm     Reply with quote

I'm right there with you Erv.

Quote:
Or is that what you are offering?


Nope. Smile Very Happy
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