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Old 02-06-2013, 02:10 PM   #1
PinkZepStones
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Help with solo theory!!!!

Hey guys, as you might be able to tell from my name my three favourite bands (dont hate me for being so "generic") are led zeppelin, pink floyd and the rolling stones.

Ive been playing guitar for nearly six years and terribly never bothered with theory, knowing only a handful on chords in major and minor and no full scales at all.

However ive been told jimmy page (my idol) uses pentatonic and almost everything he ever played solo wise was based on the pentatonic, ie harmonic minors and blues scale but always the base was pentatonic.

As such i thought id start on Am Pentatonic but imalready confused.

When i see Jimmy play or watch note for note covers on youtube it never looks like pentatonic, pentatonic compared to say major scale or even harmonic minor with the extra note is so "spaced out" on the fretboard i dont understand pentatonic is worthwhile for anything other then david gilmour type solo's, slow and sensual and melodic if you like, even though page has those kind of solos.

Basically what im asking is, assuming that im a novice in theory and my heroes are page and gilmoour, rather then specific keys, what type of scales are the ones i should be looking to learn, and how the hell do you play stuff like heartbreaker solo so fast when pentatonic scales are so spaced out!?! its not like im lacking technique i can play eruption if i bothered to fairly quickly.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZepStones
Basically what im asking is, assuming that im a novice in theory and my heroes are page and gilmoour, rather then specific keys, what type of scales are the ones i should be looking to learn, and how the hell do you play stuff like heartbreaker solo so fast when pentatonic scales are so spaced out!?! its not like im lacking technique i can play eruption if i bothered to fairly quickly.


1) Major and minor scale. Don't learn the patterns, learn the *sounds*
2) But apparently you do. 'Spacing' should not be a problem, ever, since you shouldn't be playing step-wise motion only anyway.

You never play 'in a scale', you play in a certain key. This allows for playing every note you want, even those outside notes. You're never restricted in note choice in music.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:40 PM   #3
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speaking of jimmy page

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Old 02-06-2013, 04:39 PM   #4
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:06 PM   #5
Sloop John D
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The groups and musicians you mentioned primarily relied on the pentatonic scale for their solos. A search for the pentatonic scale on google or youtube will give you access to a large number of resources that can teach you the scale and how to use it properly.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:19 PM   #6
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Why are you watching him play? Use your ears.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:18 AM   #7
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Man, **** "solo theory." Theory wont tell you how to play a solo. Your ear does. Try to sing a Page solo. Then try to play it without looking at a tab or anything. This is what we call "internalizing." The more sounds/melodies/etc. you can internalize, the more vocabulary you will have to use in your solos.

Remember, children learn to speak by listening first and then imitating. We dont have babies sit down and read about the "theory" of language. It just doesnt work that way.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:08 AM   #8
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Having some knowledge of keys, scales, and chords is very helpful in understanding music by ear.

BUT it's also very important that you actually know how what those concepts are, not just some vague idea that you read on a guitar website.

If you really want to see how these scales relate to your favorite players (Page is one of my favorites, too), then practice your scales, know what they sound like, and you'll start hearing them in the music you listen to.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:42 AM   #9
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These guys use the pentatonic as a basic framework and add to it. To vary your pentatonic lines, try learning the min pent scale starting from all different fingers, and combine these scale shapes right across the neck. Also, for a dorian sound, try combining two parallel min pent scales (e.g A+B for A dorian).
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:45 AM   #10
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is there a theory for rhythm playing too
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZepStones
Hey guys, as you might be able to tell from my name my three favourite bands (dont hate me for being so "generic") are led zeppelin, pink floyd and the rolling stones.

Ive been playing guitar for nearly six years and terribly never bothered with theory, knowing only a handful on chords in major and minor and no full scales at all.

However ive been told jimmy page (my idol) uses pentatonic and almost everything he ever played solo wise was based on the pentatonic, ie harmonic minors and blues scale but always the base was pentatonic.

As such i thought id start on Am Pentatonic but imalready confused.

When i see Jimmy play or watch note for note covers on youtube it never looks like pentatonic, pentatonic compared to say major scale or even harmonic minor with the extra note is so "spaced out" on the fretboard i dont understand pentatonic is worthwhile for anything other then david gilmour type solo's, slow and sensual and melodic if you like, even though page has those kind of solos.

Basically what im asking is, assuming that im a novice in theory and my heroes are page and gilmoour, rather then specific keys, what type of scales are the ones i should be looking to learn, and how the hell do you play stuff like heartbreaker solo so fast when pentatonic scales are so spaced out!?! its not like im lacking technique i can play eruption if i bothered to fairly quickly.


Most important thing to keep in mind when approaching music and trying to understand theory.

What things look like is irrelevant, it means nothing. Just concern yourself with what things sound like.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronowarp
is there a theory for rhythm playing too


There is no such thing as "a theory" for rhythm. You can improve your rhythm by using a metronome whenever you practice and doing rhythm reading exercises.

Also, Music Theory is not just a name for stuff people don't understand. Theory is a broad framework of analysis, it's not something you apply to random notes that puts them in order for you.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by cdgraves
There is no such thing as "a theory" for rhythm. You can improve your rhythm by using a metronome whenever you practice and doing rhythm reading exercises.


he was being facetious to make a point
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:19 AM   #14
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How is solo theory any different than normal theory? Am I missing something?
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by macashmack
How is solo theory any different than normal theory? Am I missing something?
Nope.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:41 AM   #16
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OP the advice you were given was solid, but not perfect. Jimmy Page also knew when to deviate as well from the scale.

Take the opening salvo from the Stairway guitar solo.

What does the first phrase resolve and sustain on?

F.

Is F in A Pent minor?

No.

Is it in the blues scale?

No.

But what was the chord on the record at that moment?

F.

So, while he played the "scale" he also knew when to deviate from t to make it work. And, you cant make it "work" any better, than to understand whats going on underneath the song and then use the right note to better "fit". In this case, he chose F over the F chord in that moment of the progression.

Scales are the starting point. Playing with understanding the big picture comes from understanding music, theory and how things "fit" together.

Best,

Sean
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:42 PM   #17
Dean Washburn
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by food1010
Man, **** "solo theory." Theory wont tell you how to play a solo. Your ear does. Try to sing a Page solo. Then try to play it without looking at a tab or anything. This is what we call "internalizing." The more sounds/melodies/etc. you can internalize, the more vocabulary you will have to use in your solos.

Remember, children learn to speak by listening first and then imitating. We dont have babies sit down and read about the "theory" of language. It just doesnt work that way.


My god man this is genious!
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:38 PM   #18
skilly1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by food1010
Man, **** "solo theory." Theory wont tell you how to play a solo. Your ear does. Try to sing a Page solo. Then try to play it without looking at a tab or anything. This is what we call "internalizing." The more sounds/melodies/etc. you can internalize, the more vocabulary you will have to use in your solos.

Remember, children learn to speak by listening first and then imitating. We dont have babies sit down and read about the "theory" of language. It just doesnt work that way.


**** yeah, well said, I learnt something myself from this post
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