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Old 05-01-2013, 07:27 PM   #21
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Great question. You can do whatever you want. The chord-scale approach, used often in modal jazz does just that. Let's say you have a chord progression:

Em7 / A7 / Dmaj7 / - /

This is a common ii V I progression. With the chord-scale approach, you could follow a E scale over the Em7, a A scale over the A7, and a D scale over the Dmaj7.

If you wanted to stay diatonic to (using only notes in the key of) D major you would use the E dorian mode, A mixolydian mode, and the D ionian (major) mode over their respective chords. But that can be unnecessarily complicated. You don't really need to think of playing an entirely different scale every time the chord changes when you know the entire song is diatonic to D major. You can just play in D major and target the various chord tones you want to hit within that scale.

An interesting sound to try would be playing in A lydian dominant over the A7. It sounds like a mix between the lydian and mixolydian modes, with a sharp four that provides a leading tone to the V, and a flat 7 giving it a dominant quality.

You could also just forget about scales and focus on the chord tones. Play whatever notes in between, alterations, whatever the hell you want, as long as what you hint towards the chord underneath it can work. You'll just have varying amounts of dissonance, which is awesome if that's what you're going for.

you can focus on chord extensions. What if you made the A7 chord an A7b9 chord? It'll give it a really cool, dissonant quality that's not used very often in a major tonality. Even if you don't put the flat nine (in this case, a Bb) in the chord itself, using it in your melody will definitely hint towards it.

Using the whole tone scale over augmented chords is also an option. There are tons of things you can try musically and they don't all have to fit into one diatonic key. It's really all about tension and resolution. Too much tension and dissonance doesn't sound good, and too little is just boring. experiment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by afromoose
Eventually I asked some advice from some experienced jazz players, and I found out two things - first of all, many jazz players are really angry that the chord-scale method is taught at all, because it's a totally confusing and actually quite wrong way to think about soloing over chord changes.


Yes, it is totally confusing, but it is not at all "quite wrong." Great music has been and continues to be made using chord-scales. They describe certain sounds, tools in a toolbox, if you will, that can be drawn upon at a moment's notice if they're well practiced.

You're not going to blow through Cherokee improvising with chordscales after looking at it for five minutes. You can go through it following key changes and using chords and arpeggios. But chord scales can be helpful in composition and especially when you're playing over altered chords or if you want to access a specific type of sound.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:01 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by afromoose
The fact that it sounds like G major will have more to do with the underlying chord sequence. If you play the 5 notes over a chord sequence in which it sounds like E minor is the tonal backdrop or centre, then those notes will sound like E minor pentatonic. If you use them over a set of chords where G major sounds like the tonal centre, they will sound like G major pentatonic.


Thank you afromoose.

That I understand. My focus was on what if you take the SAME chord progression? What's the difference between using the major pentatonic and using the relative minor pentatonic over that SAME chord progression.

Say we're in the key of G, and pick a chord progression. Now why would playing a lead using a G Major Pentatonic Scale give off a different "feel" or "sound" than using an E Minor Pentatonic Scale over that same chord progression?

Why -- again, playing over the same chord progression -- is the G Major Pentatonic said to give more of a rock feel and the E Minor Pentatonic a more country feel, when the notes of the former are the same notes as the latter?

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Old 05-01-2013, 08:07 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by rutle_me_this
Say we're in the key of G, and pick a chord progression. Now why would playing a lead using a G Major Pentatonic Scale give off a different "feel" or "sound" than using an E Minor Pentatonic Scale over that same chord progression?

if you're in g major, you're playing g major and not e minor, end of story
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Originally Posted by rutle_me_this
Why -- again, playing over the same chord progression -- is the G Major Pentatonic said to give more of a rock feel and the E Minor Pentatonic a more country feel, when the notes of the former are the same notes as the latter?

because you'll hear people say a lot of incorrect things and this is one of them
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:13 PM   #24
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^^^ Honestly people say that because they are not using their ears. The same notes in the same context get the same result. Stick to your guns. That E note on the low E 12th fret is the same as the E on 7th fret A string. Ignore anyone who suggests that these are different scales/modes crap. You're right to question this - it's the same note.

You can take it further and say that the tonal center could shift if there is no chord progession, but the vast majority of songs have a chord progression, rendering the point useless in application.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:14 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by :-D
if you're in g major, you're playing g major and not e minor, end of story

because you'll hear people say a lot of incorrect things and this is one of them


So there's really no such a thing as using an E Minor Pentatonic Scale to play a lead over a chord progression in the key of G? (And it should just be called using a G Major Pentatonic Scale?)



(Just to add, I just recalled one of the many people I've read who talks about the distinction, someone name Fred Sokolow. So he and the rest of them are wrong in making this distinction I've been asking about?)

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Old 05-01-2013, 08:21 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rutle_me_this
So there's really no such a thing as using an E Minor Pentatonic Scale to play a lead over a chord progression in the key of G? (And it should just be called using a G Major Pentatonic Scale?)


Yes

Play a G major chord. Now play Em pentatonic shape 1 over it... only it's not Em pentatonic shape 1, it's G major pentatonic shape 5. Get it?

Quote:
(Just to add, I just recalled one of the many people I've read who talks about the distinction, someone name Fred Sokolow. So he and the rest of them are wrong in making this distinction I've been asking about?)

Yes
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:22 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rutle_me_this
So there's really no such a thing as using an E Minor Pentatonic Scale to play a lead over a chord progression in the key of G? (And it should just be called, using a G Major Pentatonic Scale?)



you could use the e minor pentatonic shape, but approaching music this way is typically going to just sound forced, contrived, and/or dated (in my opinion). it's a fine stepping stone in terms of learning the fretboard, but you do need to understand that keys supersede scales.

this means that you can be using the e minor pentatonic scale in intention, but it's still the g major pentatonic scale, and at the end of the day, it's still just in g major. you'll want to pay attention to the context based on the sound, which means ignoring your finger movement (outside of fundamental techniques like avoiding fret noise and the like)

just learn to make the distinction for now, though - figure out where the song resolves, and determine your key, and learn how scales function within that range. just remember to take scales as more than patterns - it's a series of notes, not a series of numbers - and eventually you'll find yourself not caring which scale you're in.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:34 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by rutle_me_this
Thank you afromoose.

That I understand. My focus was on what if you take the SAME chord progression? What's the difference between using the major pentatonic and using the relative minor pentatonic over that SAME chord progression.

Say we're in the key of G, and pick a chord progression. Now why would playing a lead using a G Major Pentatonic Scale give off a different "feel" or "sound" than using an E Minor Pentatonic Scale over that same chord progression?

Why -- again, playing over the same chord progression -- is the G Major Pentatonic said to give more of a rock feel and the E Minor Pentatonic a more country feel, when the notes of the former are the same notes as the latter?



Ok, I think this could get a bit confused if it goes on too long.

I think what may have happened is, someone has given you some advice for blues, and they've said, for a country sound, use major pentatonic, for a rock/blues sound, use minor pentatonic. So I'll try and write this really clearly!

FOR BLUES

In the blues, it's both major and minor (blues is odd). So you can use major pentatonic and minor pentatonic. The difference is, unlike your example, which uses 'relative' major and minor, these are 'parallel' major and minor. Which basically means the roots are the same. If it's blues in A, then you've got A minor pentatonic and A major pentatonic.


FOR DIATONIC MUSIC

Diatonic means 'in a major or minor key' (loose definition please don't pick me up! If you want further info on what diatonic means, just google it)

If you're in a single major key or minor key, you don't get to choose whether to use one or the other. Only one will work. If it's G major - you're stuck with G major pentatonic. If it's E minor - you're stuck with E minor pentatonic. No amount of wishful thinking is going to change the key.


I think part of the confusion may have stemmed from getting advice which applies to blues, which has a dominant sound at its centre and so is neither fully major or minor, and diatonic music, which is what everyone here assumes you're talking about because it's the basis of western music theory.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:51 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by rutle_me_this
(Just to add, I just recalled one of the many people I've read who talks about the distinction, someone name Fred Sokolow. So he and the rest of them are wrong in making this distinction I've been asking about?)


Please can you let me know the title of the book? I have a feeling it's blues or jazz blues style that Fred would be referring to. I think getting some context on where this advice has come from would help answer the question.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:04 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by fearofthemark
Yes, it is totally confusing, but it is not at all "quite wrong." Great music has been and continues to be made using chord-scales. They describe certain sounds, tools in a toolbox, if you will, that can be drawn upon at a moment's notice if they're well practiced.


Hi

I did say at the end of my post that I'm not an expert on chord-scale system, it's just my opinion it's not the best place to learn or start with jazz. I'm sure there are some useful applications, and the jazzers I know do apply it in isolation, they just don't start off that way and certainly would avoid teaching it that way to beginners completely.

I do think that for the level the OP is at, chord-scale is inappropriate. It's too advanced.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:11 PM   #31
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First of all I believe there's some transposition of terms going on here. Instead of thinking "relative" minor, think Parallel Minor/Major.

So we aren't talking C major - A minor...they are the same notes and those arguing against it, baffle me.

We are talking C Pent Minor, C Pent major....ahh, yes, there is a difference.

C minor, has C Eb F G and Bb as its notes

C Major has C D E G and A as it's notes

In a typical C7 F7 G7 blues, this can have some importance.

First, it helps to instantly know the notes of every single chord. In this case we have 3. I'll break down the notes of each chord, but understand I do this instantaneously, which really helps

C7 - C E G Bb
F7 - F A C Eb
G7 - G B D F

- in the following breakdown we are assuming the scales are all pentatonic...

Over the C7, we could try C Major, it has the E and no Eb

OR we could C minor this and I might use the Eb as a "color" note but not "rest" on it

The F7 sounds great with C min, because of the Eb, but there's no A, so I might want to add that note over the chord in my "lines"

G7 sounds great with C Major, and I might add an F and/or B, to play with some chord tones.

Best,

Sean
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:35 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afromoose
Ok, I think this could get a bit confused if it goes on too long.

I think what may have happened is, someone has given you some advice for blues, and they've said, for a country sound, use major pentatonic, for a rock/blues sound, use minor pentatonic. So I'll try and write this really clearly!

FOR BLUES

In the blues, it's both major and minor (blues is odd). So you can use major pentatonic and minor pentatonic. The difference is, unlike your example, which uses 'relative' major and minor, these are 'parallel' major and minor. Which basically means the roots are the same. If it's blues in A, then you've got A minor pentatonic and A major pentatonic.


FOR DIATONIC MUSIC

Diatonic means 'in a major or minor key' (loose definition please don't pick me up! If you want further info on what diatonic means, just google it)

If you're in a single major key or minor key, you don't get to choose whether to use one or the other. Only one will work. If it's G major - you're stuck with G major pentatonic. If it's E minor - you're stuck with E minor pentatonic. No amount of wishful thinking is going to change the key.


I think part of the confusion may have stemmed from getting advice which applies to blues, which has a dominant sound at its centre and so is neither fully major or minor, and diatonic music, which is what everyone here assumes you're talking about because it's the basis of western music theory.




Quote:
Originally Posted by afromoose
Please can you let me know the title of the book? I have a feeling it's blues or jazz blues style that Fred would be referring to. I think getting some context on where this advice has come from would help answer the question.



OK, yes, I've been reading this stuff online and in books related to blues. One book is actually called Basic Blues. I think your explanation regarding "parallel versus relative" is where I have been mixing things up and where I needed clarification.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:45 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by rutle_me_this
OK, yes, I've been reading this stuff online and in books related to blues. One book is actually called Basic Blues. I think your explanation regarding "parallel versus relative" is where I have been mixing things up and where I needed clarification.


Great. Well that's good you got the answer to your question.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:49 PM   #34
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Great. Well that's good you got the answer to your question.


Thank you for clearing it up for me!

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Old 05-02-2013, 04:31 AM   #35
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I have read in the past on a number of occasions, and I'm paraphrasing, that if you have a chord progression and you want to have a "more country" sound, artists will often use the Relative Minor Pentatonic instead of the Major Pentatonic Scale. That for example, if they were playing a chord progression (say in the key of G) that they might choose to play a "lead" using the E Minor Pentatonic scale instead of using the G Major Pentatonic Scale. Now again, both "have" the same notes. But I distinctly remember reading and hearing about how the choice of that relative minor pentatonic scale over the major pentatonic -- E Minor Pentatonic instead of G Major Pentatonic for example -- would give the lead a more "country" feel. And every time I've heard this I would shake my head and say to myself, "the relative minor comprises the same notes of the major. So why would it 'feel' (as in sound) more 'country' to use the E Minor Pentatonic instead of the G Major Pentatonic, when again, we're talking the same notes?" That some how you get a more rock sound if you are using the major pentatonic, and a more country sound if you are using the relative minor pentatonic.

Why would something have a more country-ish sound if you used the relative minor pentatonic over the major pentatonic, again -- say one used the E Minor Pentatonic instead of the G Major Pentatonic -- over a chord progression? I know I've read this about this supposed difference in the sound you get -- one more rock, one more country-ish -- and this is the first time I finally figured I would ask, "What are they talking about, this different feel each creates -- when the notes are the same?" (I even recall reading how it was something groups like the Eagles often did in their songs.)



I think they are referring to the scale shapes: E minor pentatonic is the shape that starts on the 12th fret and G major pentatonic is the shape that starts on the 3rd or 15th fret. But I don't get it why you have to name the positions. It's the same scale all over the fretboard so calling one position G major pentatonic and the other E minor pentatonic is kind of confusing when you are really playing the same scale. If you are playing the notes in E minor scale over a G major song, you are playing the G major scale. They have the same notes and whether it's called G major or E minor scale depends on the key you are in.

So that information is misleading and pretty much BS. The shape you are playing doesn't change how your playing sounds like. Because you can play the same notes in every position. Of course people who think with their fingers rather than ears play different kind of licks in different positions and maybe the "minor pentatonic position" gives a more country sound than the "major pentatonic position" for them because the position kind of guides them to play certain licks.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:52 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by robbit10

Here's some information I will add. Let's see if it is correct. Here's how my guitar teacher explained it:
Every major root/scale has a relative minor root/scale. A relative minor scale contains the same notes as the major scale, but starts at a different note, which gives it the minor sound. To be more specific, it starts on the 6th degree of the major scale, which is the Aeolian mode.


I think than rather than say that a relative minor and major "start" on different notes, it makes more sense to talk about them having a different tonic. Yes, we usually learn scales "starting" on the tonic, but the truth is that if I'm in a G major context, and I start on an E note, I'm STILL in g major, and it won't have a "minor" sound.

Rather than think of the tonic as where the scale starts, think of it as the gravitational center of the scale - the place all melodies want to return to (not that you always let them. After all, you might stop an apple from hitting the ground by catching it).

To me, changing this way of thinking about tonic instantly gets rid of all sorts of silly nonsense like the "use the relative major for a new sound" nonsense earlier in this thread.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:53 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by mdc
Yes

Play a G major chord. Now play Em pentatonic shape 1 over it... only it's not Em pentatonic shape 1, it's G major pentatonic shape 5. Get it?

Agreed, except instead of thinking in terms of shapes, let's think in terms of notes and the intervals between the notes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hail
you could use the e minor pentatonic shape, but approaching music this way is typically going to just sound forced, contrived, and/or dated (in my opinion). it's a fine stepping stone in terms of learning the fretboard, but you do need to understand that keys supersede scales.

this means that you can be using the e minor pentatonic scale in intention, but it's still the g major pentatonic scale, and at the end of the day, it's still just in g major. you'll want to pay attention to the context based on the sound, which means ignoring your finger movement (outside of fundamental techniques like avoiding fret noise and the like)

just learn to make the distinction for now, though - figure out where the song resolves, and determine your key, and learn how scales function within that range. just remember to take scales as more than patterns - it's a series of notes, not a series of numbers - and eventually you'll find yourself not caring which scale you're in.

Mhmm. Mhmm. Mhmm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
I think they are referring to the scale shapes: E minor pentatonic is the shape that starts on the 12th fret and G major pentatonic is the shape that starts on the 3rd or 15th fret. But I don't get it why you have to name the positions. It's the same scale all over the fretboard so calling one position G major pentatonic and the other E minor pentatonic is kind of confusing when you are really playing the same scale. If you are playing the notes in E minor scale over a G major song, you are playing the G major scale. They have the same notes and whether it's called G major or E minor scale depends on the key you are in.

So that information is misleading and pretty much BS. The shape you are playing doesn't change how your playing sounds like. Because you can play the same notes in every position. Of course people who think with their fingers rather than ears play different kind of licks in different positions and maybe the "minor pentatonic position" gives a more country sound than the "major pentatonic position" for them because the position kind of guides them to play certain licks.

Not only that, but by teaching scales in terms of shapes, we end up confusing a lot of newer players. I really wish guitar teachers in general would just scrap the "box shapes" method of teaching scales.
I didn't even properly understand scales until I got a guitar teacher who had some classical training and explained that it wasn't the shape that was important but rather the intervals of the scale. Before that point, it was seriously over-complicated for me (to the point I felt over-whelmed), because I thought I had to learn all these various shapes for each and every scale. Once that teacher taught me about intervals, it was like, "Oh, so as long as I know what intervals a certain scale has, I can play it anywhere without memorizing its box shape? ". Now, maybe some people enjoy box shapes, which is fine. But a lot of people get the same idea I had, that you need to memorize box shapes and "think with your fingers" as you put it.


A lot of guitar teachers do teach that what's important is the intervals of the scale, but it's still a common method to teach the "box shape" patterns.
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