Relative Keys

Secret Guitar Teacher

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Published on 20 May 2016
For more information from the source site of this video please visit: http://secretguitarteacher.com/youtube/advanced/theory/lGWwfd1vzLU/83915339-relative-keys.php Relativity This is a lesson about relative major and minor keys in music and has nothing to do with Albert Einstein! ..although sometimes it may seem almost as hard to get your head around as Einstein's theories of Relativity! Relative keys are pairs of keys, one major, one minor, that share the same key signature. Let's look at a couple of examples: If we take the scale of C Major... ..which has a key signature of no sharps and no flats..so it is just the letters of the musical alphabet arranged in order from C to C . To find the relative Minor Scale of C Major we take the sixth note of the scale.. ..which in this case is A ... and build a scale on that just by following the letters of the musical alphabet in order from A to A... ...and applying the same key signature -- no sharps and no flats. Notice that the type of Minor scale produced by this method is referred to as the 'Natural' minor scale. So one way of defining relative keys is to state that the relative minor key is built on the 6th note of a major scale. But it is also useful to view it the other way round.. Take a Natural Minor Scale... We'll start with A minor in this example. Which as we have just discovered has a key signature of no sharps and no flats... and count up to the third note of that scale... A B C... ... and build a scale on that just by following the letters of the musical alphabet in order from C to C . Again the key signature remains the same -- no sharps, no flats, and we have produced the C Major scale which we can now say is the relative Major of A Minor. So, the relative Major of a Minor key is built on the 3rd step of the Minor scale. That's a bit of the theory, now let's take a look at how we work with this on the fretboard Here is a pattern we have been using as a Natural Minor Scale Pattern: If I play it here at the fifth fret starting on the note A I'll be playing the notes of the A Natural Minor scale . A B C D E F G A B C D E F G A ...two complete octaves and then a couple of notes out of the next octave as well ..B C So that's the Natural Minor Scale -- A to A with no sharps and no flats as we have just seen in the theory section of the lesson.. Now what will we get if we start playing the same pattern, but from the third note up? .. C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C .. two complete octaves of the C Major scale .. that's all the notes from C to C with no sharps and no flats.. Notice that just as we had a couple of extra notes from the third octave we could add on in the A minor scale .. ..when we play the C Major scale we get a couple of extra notes from the lower octave.. A and B.. So we get two scales for the price of one.. one pattern... Let's look at one more example just to clarify the thing about key signatures -- here's a pair of relative keys with a more complex key signature. Staring with E Major.. ...which uses all the letters of the musical alphabet from E to E, but is affected by a key signature of Four Sharps.. F for Father, C for Charles, G for Goes and D for Down.. But finding the relative minor key is just as simple as in our earlier example as long as you remember the rule: The relative minor key is built on the 6th note of a Major scale.. ..So the relative Minor key of E major is C# minor which uses all the letters of the musical alphabet from C to C as modified by the same key signature -- four sharps, Father Charles Goes Down And coming back the other way, if we started with the C# Natural Minor Scale: ..we would take the third note ,.. keep the same key signature of four sharps .. and that would give us the E Major scale which is the relative Major of C# Minor. Back on the fretboard we can use exactly the same pattern as we did with the pair of A Minor and C major.. But we have moved it up to the 9th fret so the first note of the pattern is C#. Notice that just by moving the pattern we automatically apply the correct key signature of Four sharps.. This highlights one of the great things about the guitar -- by using patterns for scales, chords, arpeggios and modes it is quite possible to steer round the need to understand music theory and still play great sounding guitar! However -- this can ultimately also be something of an obstacle as many guitarists never take the trouble to learn to understand what they are playing, and ultimately this often prevents them from realising anything like their full potential. I'm hoping you really enjoyed this lesson and found it helped clarify what is often a cause of confusion for guitar students. In the next lesson we'll show you how to use this understanding of relative scales to play melodies in Major Keys.. See you then!

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