I have a question about some specifics examples in a few songs, where my knowledge of music theory fails as an explanation as to why something sounds good. Here is a sorta of long winded question I have about a Paul Gilbert song.
Alright, starts out simple enough. It's a cute little riff in E Major. I understand how the modes work, and I get that the first riff works out, because even as the apparent 'root' changes, all of the notes are still relative to one another in the same diatonic scale. But then at 0:14, he literally plays the exact same riff
, only in G major instead of E major. I am scratching my head was to why this form of modulation works. G is not found anywhere in the E major scale. G major and E major are not relative scales at all, and in fact, G major and E minor
are. Is there some kind of rule that states what number of semi-tones a pattern can shift, in order to sound mildly disjointed but still appropriate for a song? I know there are supposed to be a few tricks for modulating from whatever key/mode to whatever other key/mode you want, but I don't really know what they are, and I suspect they are much trickier than this.
Here, I have a few other examples with minor scales moving by major thirds:
Here, at 1:29, there's a chromatic riff (which feels pretty close to minor, and it get's harmonized later on.) Then at 1:47 it switches to a similar riff, but the root is a major third higher. The only reason I could see this making sense is because all of the notes from both riffs almost
fit into like a half-whole diminished scale or something. Other than that, it seems like a totally random choice of notes which happen to sounds
cool, but I don't really know why.
Classic example! Alright, pretty much the whole song is just the root, a minor first, minor third, and major third. Again, making good use of the half-whole scale lol. But again, at 2:40, an altered version of the chorus riff plays, and momentarily after that, it's repeated note for note, only four semitones higher.
I've fooled around with the latter two examples and found that playing any minor scale pattern, and shifting that pattern uniformly through an augmented cycle (for example, playing in E, G# and C in any order) is a good way to change up a song. But for the life of me it still doesn't seem apparent as to why it works so smoothly.
I'm sure there are a lot of examples where you can find other songs modulating by any number of semitones, but can it just be done spontaneously? Why is it that when I try to pick two arbitrary scales in two arbitrary keys, and jam/shred them back to back, it doesn't sound fluid at all, but in these youtube examples, some riffs are moved up/down by intervals which aren't in the starting scale at all, and it sounds good?