Re: What scale/mode?

On Tue, 13 Jan 2009 19:47:55 +0000, Tony Done wrote:

"David Raleigh Arnold" <darnold4@xxxxxxx> wrote in message
On Mon, 12 Jan 2009 12:51:58 -0800, Tony Done wrote:

On Jan 12, 7:10 pm, "Lumpy" <lu...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Tony Done wrote:
The intro to this, acording to my latin wife, is a paso doble. I'm
sure you will all recognise the general form instantly:

I just love that sound, and I'm trying to get my head around what
scale/mode it is. It sounds really Arabic to me. Any suggestions?

It's a Bm scale. He sometimes plays the leading tone 7th (A#) and
other times plays the subtonic 7th (A natural). The 7th (in his solo)
is either a
half step or a whole step down from
the octave.

When he plays the A# for the 7th, he's playing a B harmonic minor
scale. When he plays the flatted or minor 7th (A natural) he's
playing the A natural minor scale or Aeolean mode.

When you hear the B harmonic minor scale being played over the V
chord (F#) it sounds like (and the notes would be) a Brizentine
(Byzantine) mode. That's the same as playing the notes of the
B harmonic min scale, but starting
on the V note. Dick Dale used that
scale a lot.

I'm not sure if it's a paso doble though. That would be an uptempo
dance in 2 (doble). Sort of a march. The trumpet solo does sound a
little like part of the several song styles played at a bullfight, I
just don't think it's the PD. The harmony/melody of that Bm scale
might certainly fit into a paso, but there's no rhythm to the solo.
It is all rubato.


You played on "The Love Boat"?
Yes. White tux, huge sideburns.

Thanks, I'm going to have to sit and think about that. The Byzantine
mode and listening to Dick Dale seems like a good starting point.

I'll explain why I found it interesting. I've been mucking about
playing Holel California as a slide piece in open D tuning, so I have
to imply the minor chords. Eg the opening Bm can be played either as
(B5, Gmaj) or as (B5, Dmaj), either seems to work. Similarly the Em at
the end of the verse can be played as (E5,Gmaj), and whole thing
concludes on F#maj.

That trumpet solo has that Spanish sound of a Paso Doble and obviously
fits into the scheme of things in Hotel California. What I discovered
was that the solo and major chords I used are closely related to
another famous Spanish piece, Malagena:

The instantly recognisable bit starts at about 1:20.

So here is this link between the 70s American pop and the western
reaches of the Ottoman and/or Byzantine empires over 400 years ago.
What is means for me is that I now have noodle capability based on the
F#maj, Gmaj and Amaj, or any transposition thereof.

Tony D

The most recognizable part is PD. I used it in my fandango, the last of
my "Seven Easy Pieces", which you might download. Otherwise, the piece
is original. The earliest example of something very similar that I know
of to That recognizable part is indeed Spanish, in one of the
Boccherini guitar quintets. Of course there is probably something

The Malaguen~a of Lecuona, possibly the most popular Spanish piece of
all, is not Spanish. Of course it's Cuban. It's a piano solo, and a
great one. It is playable on guitar, but not by Feliciano. Vincente
Gomez had an authorized arrangement, but it stinks. I wish I could
publish the solo version I played for decades. It would also make a
super guitar duet of intermediate grade.

The modality of the quoted part depends on how you end it. If you play
it in E and end on E, it's mode III, the so-called "Phrygian" mode. If
you end on an Am chord, it's an ordinaey minor. daveA

Free download of technical exercises worth a lifetime of practice:
"Dynamic Guitar Technique":
You can play the cards you're dealt, or improve your hand with DGT. To
email go to:

I'm a Jose Feliciano fan and I've seen him ranked in the top 10
guitarists is the world in the past. What he has in spades, in addition
to technical ability, is Latin passion. - Which IMO Malagen~a deserves.
I enjoy his playing, while I merely admire someone like Segovia. I can
see that his repertoire and style might not appeal to the more
classically minded.

OK, back to Hotel California, the key is Bm (at least that's where it
starts), the Malagen~a style twiddling is on F#, G and A mostly, and it
resolves to F#. What key/mode would you call it? Lumpy suggests

Tony D

In C# minor:

C#m G# at IV
B F# at II
A E F#m/a in /loco/ (old term for the lowest position for a chord)

It's in C# minor. In the original key, B minor.
The solo/break is based on the chords, not
on a mode. The "Welcome to..." is simply in C# minor also,
although it starts with an A chord. It's an easy chord
melody solo too if you're so inclined.

I used to play amiamiamiamiami|amiamiam ... on the first
three strings while strumming the bottoms of the chords
down and up with the thumb at the same time. I did it
on banjo as well as guitar, playing harp with the banjo.
Thumb all down makes it tighter in whole or in part if you want.
It's also possible to play the bass part instead of the chord on
the guitar, not the 5 string. That
takes care of the guitar solo part. The words are so neat
I don't know why you would want to improvise to the verses
anyway, but jazz improvisation, as Sidney Bechet said when
asked, is "melody and arpeggio" today just as it was back
in his day when he was one of the folks inventing jazz a century ago,
Berklee to the contrary. There is no reason to be confused by all the
plagal cadences or backwards progressions, whichever you like to call
descending fourths. Base your solo on the chords. That's a lot more fun.
Forget modes, they're boring. daveA

Free download of technical exercises worth a lifetime of practice:
"Dynamic Guitar Technique":
You can play the cards you're dealt, or improve your hand with DGT.
To email go to:

Relevant Pages

  • Re: What scale/mode?
    ... It's a Bm scale. ... might certainly fit into a paso, but there's no rhythm to the solo. ... you end on an Am chord, ... You can play the cards you're dealt, or improve your hand with DGT. ...
  • Re: Notes and sounds
    ... - Why else would the leader of the ACO play a Del Gesu that is ... I think that sound is an essential part of music, ... But I struck one chord of music, ... The guitar player need not suffer this ...
  • Re: The D chord and the D scale
    ... it is here is the scale memmorize it kid. ... Go to Guitar Center any afternoon and weekend, ... sorts of kids who can play hot licks, but couldn't play a song all the ... well you gotta run the scales and finger ...
  • Re: Diminished help
    ... mentioned is simple vizualization.Play a diminished chord at a low point ... on the neck then play it's corresponding scale and arpeggio.Then move ... fingerings for the scales and arpeggios will be the same all of the way ... things to play off the chord being discussed. ...
  • Re: So, Doug...
    ... I've given them technical exercises to work on ... > them how to approach the guitar like a piano. ... > chord voicings and knowing how they all fit together on the ... > and have them play them all up and down the neck, ...