Here’s a question I get all the time:
“I’ve read that in the key of C major, the ‘F’ is an “avoid” note. That means I shouldn’t play it, right?”
In a lot of books on musical improvisation, particularly jazz improvisation, they talk about “avoid” notes. In other words, they claim that in scales, there are certain notes to “avoid” because they don’t sound good. One such note (so they claim) is the 4th note in a major scale.
All I can say is that it’s a good thing that Beethoven had never read any of these books. If he did, he may never have composed the wonderful “Ode To Joy” melody. And it’s a good thing no one reads these books on their way to a birthday party. If they did, they wouldn’t sing “Happy Birthday.” And it’s a good thing that Charlie Parker didn’t read these books when he sat down to write the melody to “Confirmation.” If he did, the first measure might be a lot less catchy than it is now!
How can someone say to avoid 1/7th of a musical scale? That’s preposterous.
So the next time you read about any “avoid” notes, I hope you’ll avoid continuing any further.
Music is vast. Don’t let anyone limit it for you.
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But pentatonic did wonderfull job at the start anyway.
For me, pentatonic (no F no B 🙂 ) it’s the symbol of my music making/playing revival after so many years (20?)not touching any instrument.
So yes, “F” and “B” were avoid notes for several months, until I ve found more about theory.
now these notes still takes special place in heart as reminder of dark era:)
For me it was musical revival and breakthrough when I learned what is pentatonic scale, how to use it.
From child hood I thought music is tough, and jamming is for pros only. (Been playing a piano in childhood, now 36 years old)
I would never tell, I’be back at the piano ever again !
But by accident I’ve came into contact with some pentatonic instruments and whooo, I could jam, no wrong notes pressed 😀
I was so blown away and interested, and it still lasts, (also thanks to some special persons which keeps my flame very much alive, and I count you in between then Ron)
Excellent point about the Pentatonic scale, Martin! I think that’s also why the Blues scale is so easy to use, since it’s almost the same as the Pentatonic with only one additional note. Yes, keep your flame alive!