Western Sounding Chords and Scales


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05-09-2010, 07:50 PM
Do you gentlemen/ladies know any western sounding chords or scales? Like the type you would hear in a western cowboy movie.

05-09-2010, 07:54 PM
Triads and the pentatonic?

Blind In 1 Ear
05-09-2010, 07:59 PM
good old fasioned open chords.

05-09-2010, 08:03 PM
Check out Ennio Morricone:


There is no super secret formula like "use this scale and this chord with this chord" to get a sound. It's not about what you use, it's all about how you use it.

Look at songs that have that sound and see what is going on in the music. What intervals are used? Chord progressions? How are the scales used?

05-09-2010, 08:04 PM
Wa'll now most of thur cowboys 'ah kno' use that thur thang called a search ba' so as ta' avoid a'askin' the same question twice.-http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1292238&highlight=whistling

05-09-2010, 08:04 PM
Try a G chord, I haven't heard anyone play that in ages.

05-09-2010, 08:11 PM

05-10-2010, 07:11 AM
I would suggest reading that link.

They're right. The most important thing to making this kind of music is more the timbre of the instruments used that what they're actually playing.

You can't make this music without the trumpets, choirs, and whistling.

Also you have to keep in mind that Ennio Morricone has a full orchestra available to him for doing film score work, and he used strings and things to add texture to his compositions.

From a guitar point of view, I know they used baritones for a lot of spaghetti westerns.

05-10-2010, 09:39 AM
Do you gentlemen/ladies know any western sounding chords or scales? Like the type you would hear in a western cowboy movie.

Change scales over every chord in a I IV V7 to the appropriate major scale for that chord's name.

So in C Play in C Major, when it goes to F play in F major and over G7, play G Major. You may find it difficult to really sound country simply staying on a scale in a single key, uless you had such an intimate knowledge of chords and scales, in which case, you'd never have had to ask this question.

For example while C Major "works" for all those chords, its very hard to sound country by simply widdling about in C Major over those changes.



05-10-2010, 10:31 AM
Happy Trails...bumbadeeda, bumbadeeda (repeat over and over).


05-10-2010, 02:53 PM
Check out Ennio Morricone:

Im pretty sure guys like this kindof invented that old west style of music. I don't think actual cowboys played this music, they were probably more into folk music or ragtime. But, Mariachi music and other Mexican folk music would help give that south of the border clint eastwoood feel. Basically take influence from Ennio and other composers, folk music, etc. or experiment until you find sounds that reflect the old west to you. Good music should be about doing the stereotype or doing whats already been done.
EDIT: One more obvious influence to the style appears to be Native American music.

05-10-2010, 05:42 PM
I've kind of wanted to start a metalcore band with heavy western influences, what i've been doing is just looking up tabs and trying to pull ideas from them. Maybe that would work