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237 | Why Scales Sound Good (diagrams)
what nobody tells you
September 30, 2023
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Scales are fundamental to music. People tell you to "practice your scales." You spend hours (and years) playing them. But WHY do we need them? And why do they sound good in the first place.

In this video, we look at the answer:

https://youtube.com/live/V9STfLfaTXE

And these diagrams accompany the explanation.

Playing the C major scale, for example, it sounds good right? With its pattern of whole-step (w) and half-step (h) intervals:  w-w-h w w-w-h.

But WHY does it sound so nice? To answer this question, you need to understand the connection between three patterns — or what you might call the “Holy Trinity” of musical patterns:

Most musicians think of these patterns are three unrelated things. But they’re all fundamentally related … since each is just of subset of the last.

Which you can see here, where they’re all illustrated as concentric rings, with the chromatic scale at the center, the major scale around that, and the circle of fifths around the perimeter:

The chromatic scale (or all of the notes arranged in half-step intervals) is the mother of all note patterns — meaning everything in music arises from it, including the major scale, formed by a sequence of whole-step and half-step intervals.

And what’s cool is that the major scales in each key overlap like a daisy-chain pattern … to form one giant ring we call the “circle of fifths” (where each new key starts on the fifth note of the previous key — hence the name).

To see this in a more tangible way, here are the same three patterns, but with the chromatic scale shown as a piano keyboard....

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February 11, 2024
269 | Lesson 19 - Quick Update

Hey there. I worked on Lesson 19 (Circle of Fifths) all day yesterday. Here's a short update that we filmed last night. Enjoy!

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264 | Lesson 18 Update
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November 26, 2023
On the Topic of Holiday Discounts

Hello! 'Tis the season for this message:

00:00:53

Hey @MikeGeorge ,

Thanks a ton for all of your content. I can feel myself making sense of things I’ve been trying to grasp for a long time adding bits and pieces I found on the internet. I started electronic music on a DAW and thought music theory was too complex so I spent years trying things out randomly and sometimes discovering a theory concept on the way. I recently discovered you approach to theory and it really clicked for me. I can feel my musical confidence rising using ColorMusic and I start to have a glimpse at the freedom I could have following your method. This feels truly amazing and immensely motivating!:)

I’m currently trying to analyse songs I love through your method. I’ve looked around your website trying to find a PDF that would gather all the diagrams related to their specific keys and scales. It might not exist (yet). I’ve made a draft of it to show you what I mean

The example is a mesh of different scales because I couldn’t find all the diagrams for a ...

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@MikeGeorge can you please send me pdfs to illustrate all the keys with notes and chords as well as modes with all notes and chords?

Hey George I’ve just about watched every single YouTube video of yours and purchased the guitar and piano labels and wheel as the chord map. I want to print out some of the PDFs but everything isn’t so clearly organized. Can you please send me the pdfs where I can see every single key and the notes and chords that are in each key as well as every single mode and the notes and key in them?

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290 | The Andalusian Cadence

In music, there's a special chord progression called the "Andalusian Cadence." You've heard it before -- because it's used in many classic tunes. Here we look at this pattern to see why it sounds so good. And we explore different ways to tweak it to compose some other cool progressions....

Here are the diagrams for you to explore:

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Open Hour Q&A - Saturday, June 15

Hey -- We're hanging out via live stream Saturday, June 8 at 9:00 a.m. Mountain. (Ask any questions Live or post them on Locals in advance.) This Open Hour is for supporters. THANK YOU!

Here's the link to join:

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289 | Using Modes to Write Songs

Modes are your secret weapon as a songwriter -- because they take a plain chord progression and make it better. And there are different ways you can do this, as we explore using a couple of song examples....

Here are the chord progressions in Del Shannon's song "Runaway" for you to explore at your own pace:

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