All posts by Ben

Relative Major and Minor Modes

We understand that there are 12 major keys in music (C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B). Each of these keys have 7 note scales associated with them called the major scale. Each key also has minor scales too. When you first start getting into guitar you start hearing terms like these thrown around. It starts getting a little overwhelming especially considering that is 24 different scales I need to be learning. Not to mention other stuff like modes, harmonic and melodic scales etc.

It may seem like a lot of work ( and sometimes it is), but with the right understanding you will start to find out that all of this fits cohesively together and there is a method to all of this madness.

I’m not going to do a deep dive into modes, but I am going to touch on it briefly to help lay out the foundation. We’ll talk about the key of C for simplicity’s sake. For every key, there is a major scale (C,D,E,F,G,A,B). These are 7 notes of a defined interval from the root note C. The major scale is base for which everything else is calculated.

Here is the part where we talk about modes. The minor scale that you’ve heard so much about is actually a mode of the major scale. What does that mean? A mode is really just a variation of the same major scale (the exact same notes), but set to a different root note. For example, C Major is C,D,E,F,G,A,B, but D,E,F,G,A,B,C is actually considered a mode and different scale entirely. This new scale is called D Dorian. So when those exact same notes are played over a D chord or progression it will have a totally different vibe. The same is true for every note of the major scale.

Now that you know all of this, the minor scale is actually nothing special. It is actually a mode called the Aeolian mode and is scale derived from the 6th note of the minor scale. Continuing with our example, A,B,C,D,E,F,G is the A minor scale. It is the exact same notes as the C Major scale. There is a term for this. It is called the Relative Minor.

A minor is the relative minor for C major.

C major is the relative major for A minor.

That really is all there is to the relationship between major and minor scales. Plus, you now have a better understanding for how all modes work. You learn one scale and you are actually learning 7 scales.

Lets talk about this a little more.

So we are guitar players here so on guitar its all about the key of G. All of the scale patterns work nicely in G and a lot of the best guitar music comes out in this key.

G Major G, A, B, C# D, E, F#

so

E Minor E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D

G Major is the relative major to E Minor.

E Minor is the relative minor to G Major.

 

Lets get into some scale patterns and put this to work for us.

Here is a typical G Major scale pattern.

Lesson 1 Example 1

It would be typical to use this scale to improvise over a G major chord or progression. What we have learned here is that we can use this scale pattern over an E minor progression too.

Here is a typical E Minor scale pattern that is commonly used.

Lesson 1 Example 2

You would normally use this to improvise over an E minor chord or progression. As expected, this will work over a G major chord or progression too since it is the exact same notes (I know I’m sounding like a broken record by now).

Hopefully, this is helpful to you seeing how different mode scales and their patterns can add up to be one connecting pattern all over the neck. When you know what key you want you can shift that overall pattern up or down the neck. We’ll get into all of this in future lessons too.

 

Where We Are and Where We Are Likely Going

The Internet of Things may be something that we have or have not yet started to think about, but it is coming quick and will likely change everything. I think the Aha moment for me was a few days ago when I was looking online at the FitBit Charge HR. This is one of the new fitness trackers that has recently caught my eye. However, I’m not currently in love with their app’s ability for me to add food correctly to the list of things I’ve eaten for the day. The Myfitnesspal app is much more suited for this task. Now I’m discovering there are ways to sync the two apps together, although I have not bought the device and have not pursued this further. However, that is where the light-bulb moment came in.

Everyone is currently focused on building and developing IoT devices and they will all have their own proprietary user interfaces and apps. That is good, but not great. Remember in the early days of social media when there were tons of them and you were lucky if you actually knew someone who was on the same one as you? It took the Myspaces and Facebooks of the world to be that unifying force to bring everything together before people starting getting real value out of them. I don’t believe the IoT revolution will be any different. We are currently in the wild west of the IoT movement and that great unifying force has not come along yet.

I believe the next big successful company will be the one who can come in and focus of the software side of IoT and do it right. People aren’t going to want 50 different apps to control all of their IoT devices once this all ramps up. The next big thing needs to be Apple simple and support all of the hot devices that are already out and are on the horizon. Most importantly, there needs to be conditional interactions between devices. Maybe if I tell my fitness tracker that I’m awake or it records my first steps for the day I can have a rule that knows to kick on the smart home outlet in the living that has the lamp plugged in.

This is already the vision of the IoT, so I’m not going to pretend I came up with it.  I’m just simply stating that the next software company that does this right will move the ball forward for the IoT. IoT device interactions can’t just be for the geeks or this will never take off. The average person needs to be able to set this up in a few minutes. There should also be a social aspect too so people can share their device interaction actions with others.

If you are a software developer its time to get to work on this!

Google Glass: The Future or a Passing Trend

download

So as of last week, Google Glass is now open to the public for purchase. That means anyone with $1500 burning a hole in their back pocket can now go out and get themselves a pair.

I’ve been following Google Glass since the idea was first released a few years ago. I’ve always imagined that if they could get the battery life right, get developers making applications for them, and not screw anything up in the process then this was going to be the next smartphone. That might be what actually happens. Google Glass can offer a lot of value to the world by putting the information you need right in front of your face without you even having to ask for it. Of course the backlash has and will continue to be huge. Never before has there been a piece of technology that could push privacy boundaries as far as this little wearable device.

With Glass, doing things like recording people without their knowledge, quickly identifying people you meet on the street, and even pulling up their social profiles and street address will probably be too easy to do. When you think about that it sounds like they designed the unit for stalkers. There are a lot of positives also. Being able to superimpose Google maps directions into your field of vision would be nice. It will also be useful for doctors and other professionals who need to quickly access personal files and records in their jobs.

One setback Google Glass has is that it still kind of looks funny. I’m curious to see whether the general public will embrace Glass in its current form. They may just become as status system for all of the geeks out there and not connect with the general public. I’ve heard that they are going to be working with Ray Ban and Oakley in the future to make them more stylish. This may help the adoption rate. I feel like we will all move to something like Google Glass eventually. The question is whether now is the time and if Google Glass will be the product to do it.

 

Free FE Exam Review Material

There are several books and even courses to help prepare for the FE Exam. However, some of this material can get kind of expensive. I found collection of videos for reviewing some of the material that you would find on the test. These are older review videos made available by Texas A&M.

All of the files are in a Real Media format which isn’t really popular or supported anymore. However, you can successfully convert them to other formats using http://www.convertfiles.com/ or some other tool. There are even PDF notes made available. These videos will give you a nice review of some of the general subjects like Chemistry, Economics, and Statistics with the information presented with the FE Exam in mind. It may take some effort to get the large files downloaded and converted, but it is a nice resource when preparing for the exam and its totally free.

Link to the video downloads page here.

 

 

The Tech Zone 5: AT&T Whines About Netflix, Facebook Acquires Oculus, and more…



Links for today’s show:

AT&T to Netflix users: Stop mooching and pay up

Facebook purchases VR headset maker Oculus for $2 billion

Spotify goes after college students with half-price subscription offer

Court Orders Turkey to Lift Twitter Ban

Diamond Wire promises to revolutionise data transfer in computers

Sprint to launch HD Voice calls nationwide in July

Apple wants to make it safer to text and walk with transparent texting

Amazon and Microsoft follow Google in price cuts

Microsoft Office Mobile is Now Free for iPhone and Android Phones

 

 

 

 

The Tech Zone 4: NASA Contest, Wearable Tech, Primordial Waves, and more…



Links for today’s show:

Microsoft releases OneNote for free on Mac and Windows, adds new note-taking tools

NASA will award $35,000 to citizen asteroid hunters

Google and Viacom end YouTube lawsuit, agree to work together

Twitter testing ‘Fave People’ timeline, lets you keep your favorite users in one place

Intel: Wearable technology is failing because it’s not doing enough

States jump aboard Justice Department probe of Comcast-Time Warner merger

U.S. Navy’s Robot Firefighters Prepare for a Test Run

Google’s Chromecast dongle goes beyond US, launches in 11 more countries

How the Biggest Scientific Discovery of the Year Was Kept a Secret

Forget the NSA. Tech Companies May Be Reading Your Email Too

‘We’ll eradicate Twitter’: Turkey blocks Twitter access

Wendy’s now lets you pay for a meal with its mobile app

Twitter kills its music app, which never got much play

Google’s 3D-sensing phones are taking a trip to the International Space Station

Turkey turns the screw on Twitter ban, blocks social network at ISP level

The Tech Zone 3: Snowden, Ubuntu Smartphones, End of XP, and more…



Links for today’s show:

Snowden says encryption and oversight are key to protecting the public from surveillance

Google wants Android to be your wearable OS of choice

Netflix got a bit faster on Comcast after opening its wallet

Ubuntu smartphones will cost $200-$400

ER doctors use Google Glass and QR codes to identify patients

VLC’s media player hits Windows 8 in beta form

Starbucks app to let you pre-order your coffee later this year

G.E. Has Found a Way To Cool a Fridge With Magnets

Microsoft is paying Windows XP users to jump ship

US Government Is Finally Giving Up Control of the Internet

San Antonio clears Google Fiber’s legal hurdles ahead of a possible deal

Your bank will pay Microsoft to keep running its ATMs

Get Ready for Video Ads in Your Facebook Newsfeed

The Tech Zone 2: Apple TV, Keurig DRM, Facebook Drones, Google Glass emotion apps, and more…



Links for today’s show:

After pulling in $1 billion in 2013, is a new Apple TV on the way

Revolutionary membrane can keep your heart beating perfectly forever

Qello Is Like Netflix for Music Documentaries and Concerts

Keurig plans to use DRM in upcoming machines to lock out competitor cups

Growing graphene on silver could improve solar cells

Android tablets overtake pricey iPads in latest popularity contest

Facebook plans to unleash an army of drones to connect the world

Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

Staring at a Screen Won’t Permanently Damage Your Eyes

NXP Staff Strike for More Pay

Intel Just Bought Itself One of the Best Fitness Trackers Out There

RadioShack plans to close over 1,000 ‘underperforming’ stores

Startup Slashes SRAM Power With Standard Logic Process

BlackBerry boss says there’s a 50 percent chance things won’t work out

Microsoft’s Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

More trouble ahead as mobile pushes PC industry into its biggest ever fall

Why Microsoft Makes $5 to $15 From Every Android Device Sold

New Ruling Means Commercial Drones Are Finally Legal… Sort Of

Brands’ Organic Facebook Reach Has Plummeted Since October

Got the feels? Google Glass app can recognize emotions

Fittingly, Facebook is building an Ikea-style data center in Sweden