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Old 09-05-2012, 07:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
Post Flat 2 Flat 5 Scale

Hi All, I have been experimenting with a Flat 2 and Flat 5 Scale approach, it is based around the heavy metal sound but combined with a set, 20 bar structure.


Whereas the 12 bar blues format is based around the I IV V progression, the example below is in the key of E major,

E / E / E / E /
A / A / E / E /
B /A / E / B /

Or in progression terms

I / I / I / I /
IV / IV / I / I /
V /IV / I / V /

Using this structure a multitude of variations have evolved in many music forms but they are all based around the above format. This system has worked well in the past, works well now and will always work in the future so it is a very good, well developed system.

This system is based around a 20 bar, I ♭II ♭V progression with the chord pattern as below, once again in E major

E / E / E / E /
B♭ / B♭ / E / E /
B♭ / B♭ / B♭ / B♭ /
E / E / B♭ / B♭ /
F / F / F / F /

Or in progression terms

I / I / I / I /
♭5 / ♭5 / I / I /
♭5 / ♭5 / ♭5 / ♭5 /
I / I /♭5 / ♭5 /
♭2 / ♭2 / ♭2 / ♭2 /

The above format has a justified, definite structure. 20 bars have been derive from the cyclic idea of the 4 2 2 4 2 2. Like a question and answer idea.

The first 8 bars is where the I chord dominates and in the second 8 bars the ♭5 chords dominates. It is almost like the I and ♭5 chords are battling for domination with neither side winning. The final 4 bars seem to break the rules of music convention here in that usually, in this type of progression, the dominant V, or in this case ♭5, chord, will generally lead back to resolve the progression at the tonic or I chord. However the ♭2 serves to create a tension to end the progression and because it is not resolved by leading back to the Tonic I chord, this adds to the aggression of the progression.

Chord Voicing

The chord voicing is very important in this system. Rather than use a conventional 2 string power, or 5th chord, we use a second inversion power chord with their octaves included to give the full, dark and powerful voice. To further enhance this powerful sound we also just play the chord using the root on the 5th string ie in the example below the Root would be on the 5th string and the Dominant note, 5th of the chord, is on the 6th string.

Fret 7 9

Second Inversion E5 Chord Voicing, big, bad sound - try it! we will then follow the same chord shape for the ♭5 but at the 1st fret, ie B ♭5 and then the same shape at the 8th fret the F ♭5

Regarding scale and note ideas using this system, we use the chord notes along with the corresponding Major scale, in this case E Major. This is only used as a framework however and scales that fit regarding Major and Minor pentatonic scales would work fine too, it’s better to introduce ideas of your own.

A Sample Approach

Similar to a 12 bar rock and roll approach to creating a riff that is based around the I, IV and V notes, try creating a riff and using the I, ♭2, ♭5 with the 20 bar pattern and work on this idea with ideas of your own.

Let me know what you think people
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