Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Alb85

Which scale jimmy use for the riff of Bring it back home

Recommended Posts

Alb85   

I don't understand which scale Jimmy use for the riff of Bring It Back Home. 

In the first riff the scale seems a E minor pentatonic + the g# note. 

Then the riff is transposed over  the twelve fred. If I remember is the following: In the G string he plays the 12 and 13 fred. In the B string he plays the 12, 14 and 15 fred.

Could anybody give me some music theory about this riff??

Many thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
woz70   
2 hours ago, Alb85 said:

I don't understand which scale Jimmy use for the riff of Bring It Back Home. 

In the first riff the scale seems a E minor pentatonic + the g# note. 

Then the riff is transposed over  the twelve fred. If I remember is the following: In the G string he plays the 12 and 13 fred. In the B string he plays the 12, 14 and 15 fred.

Could anybody give me some music theory about this riff??

Many thanks!!

It's based around the E mixolydian scale - which is an E major scale with a flattened 7th - but it doesn't use all the notes, so ends up being a Mixolydian Pentatonic.  The notes are : E G# A B D 
The second part of the riff, which harmonises with first part, uses another pentatonic (E G G# B C#) and here the C# acts as a kind of blue note which is bent up to the D.
There are literally dozens of ways to go about explaining the theory behind this, depending on whether you take a modal approach, a standard harmony approach, a chordal approach etc. etc.
However I doubt very much that Jimmy was even considering any sort of music theory when he came up with the riff.
The best explanation of how it came about and works is that it fits nicely under the fingers (as the majority of Led Zep riffs do) in the open position, is loosely based around an Em pentatonic shape (as a lot of the riffs are), and takes a big influence from early rock'n'roll and blues riffs.  Check out 'Dimples' by John Lee Hooker, and 'Greeny' by Peter Green as a couple of examples of possible references for the riff....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pluribus   

The correct answer is "Whatever scale James Brown used on the song Think, which Jimmy used as the basis for the riff to Bring It On Home."

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
huw   

I wrote an answer to a similar question on another forum:

The song's tonality is just a classic mix of major & minor pentatonic - in this case E major & E minor. As we've mentioned in the forum many times before this combination can also be seen as mixolydian and dorian combined. However you look at it, the resultant "mixodorian" scale is 1 2 b3 3 4 5 6 b7, an eight note set. It is possibly the most common note set used in "classic" blues rock.



The riff to BIOH runs up ABDE E(ocatave down) which is 45b71, low 1, then into the higher octave for BAG#AG#E (543431 ). On the repeat, the second line is cut short: BAG#A, and hangs on the 4th. To me this implies a momentary switch to the IV chord, after the bulk of the riff being a basic I7 tonality.

The high harmony line is (from memory, so don't shoot me): GG#BC#G# (b33563) DC#BC#BG# (b765653). On the repeat the second line is cut to DC#BC#, which as I mentioned hangs on the implication of a IV chord (A, of which C# is the third).

Both lines are fairly simple scale runs from the basic 8 note scale we looked at above, and at the cadences (rest points) they finish on chord tones: at the end of the first line they rest on E & G# (implying an E major chord), at the end of the second line they rest on the same notes, although the E is in a different octave. Third line, same as the first (how Ramones!) and fourth line, as I mentioned, rests on an implied A chord: A C#.

Because of the interval pattern of the scale, the interval between the two lines is not constant, although the melodic shape, the contour of the lines, is the same. I'll write out the lines on top of each other, high part above the low part, with the interval betwen them beneath:

GG#BC#G# D C# B C#B G#
A B DE E B A G# A G#E
b76 6 6 3 b3 3 b3 3 b3 3


How's that?

Hope that adds something for you?

:)

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/12/2017 at 3:13 PM, Alb85 said:

I don't understand which scale Jimmy use for the riff of Bring It Back Home. 

In the first riff the scale seems a E minor pentatonic + the g# note. 

Then the riff is transposed over  the twelve fred. If I remember is the following: In the G string he plays the 12 and 13 fred. In the B string he plays the 12, 14 and 15 fred.

Could anybody give me some music theory about this riff??

Many thanks!!

Something I wanted to add to this discussion is that in general blues music incorporates a lot of "mixing" of major and minor... In the key of A moving from C to C# or in E .. G to G#. This can be done with a slide, hammer on or bend. Find this all over the neck with each pentatonic position and it will help get that bluesy sound. This is just speaking about blues and not necessarily referencing BIOH. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×