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Old 05-06-2013, 01:27 PM   #1
Rawshik
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Getting out of the Pentatonic Rut

Does anyone have any advice to stop using the pentatonic ideas so much? I play in my church's band and so the majority of the time our chords progressions are exactly the same throughout songs; this makes my fills and passing notes extremely boring because I base them off of the same scale. Are there some other ideas I could try to improve my improvisation? Beyond pentatonic and arpeggios, I'm pretty much lost.
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:43 PM   #2
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Who says you need to? For church music, I doubt the audience would care that much about using the same scale, as long as it sounds melodic and accessible. Most of the vocal lines in top 40 pop are just pentatonic scales, maybe with a major 2nd here and there, and they're perfect for what they're meant to do.
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:44 PM   #3
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Have you been using each of the pentatonic boxes or just box 1? I find if I start myself off in box 4 or something I come up with different ideas than if I start in box 1...

I saw a Tom Hess thing once where he said about soloing and improvising using like only 3 notes etc. You could try a similar technique there too.

Could you guys harmonise your parts? Play your lines a 3rd/5th above or below each other's relative notes.

(I appreciate I say this as a guitarist but the concepts are transferable) :-)
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:53 PM   #4
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learn more music, and by ear. the reason you're stuck in scales and shapes is because you think that way.
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:55 PM   #5
Rawshik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnesybaby
Have you been using each of the pentatonic boxes or just box 1? I find if I start myself off in box 4 or something I come up with different ideas than if I start in box 1...

I saw a Tom Hess thing once where he said about soloing and improvising using like only 3 notes etc. You could try a similar technique there too.

Could you guys harmonise your parts? Play your lines a 3rd/5th above or below each other's relative notes.

(I appreciate I say this as a guitarist but the concepts are transferable) :-)


What do you mean by boxes? I don't know of any boxes.

Also, playing the entire line harmonized usually doesn't sound very good.

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Originally Posted by Hail
learn more music, and by ear. the reason you're stuck in scales and shapes is because you think that way.


When I write my own music, I pretty much don't think in theory at all. It's when I'm forced to a set chord progression that I get boring.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawshik
What do you mean by boxes? I don't know of any boxes.

Also, playing the entire line harmonized usually doesn't sound very good.



When I write my own music, I pretty much don't think in theory at all. It's when I'm forced to a set chord progression that I get boring.


by boxes he means that, say you play A minor, you get a box of notes from the 5th fret of the E string to 7th fret of the g string. By starting the scale from a different note i.e. C on the 8th fret on the E string, you end up in a different box of notes than the first one.

When it comes to improvising over a chord progression I'd advise you to look at how the chords interact and the notes the chords have in common. As I said in my first example when you have the A minor to improvise in, start the fill over on the C major or the D dorian scales. Hope this helps
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:50 PM   #7
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try adding notes from the major scale and start encorporating them into your fill or whatever youre doing
like lets say youre doing this

g---------------------
d-------------4----
a---------2-----
e2----5---------

you could add the second as well
g------------------------
d---------------4--6----------
a-----------2----------
e--2--4-5--------------

so im saying learn the minor and major scales and add the two extra notes inot your improv fills whatever youre doing

but to be honest the people listening wont care too much as long as it doesnt sound too bad in church especially ive learned that dissonances arent generally smiled upon
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:26 PM   #8
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ive learned that dissonances arent generally smiled upon

Triton intervals are not a good idea for church music

I think the thing is too play the pentatonic scale using interesting rhythms and techniques, not just playing that boring small "box". And a good idea is to add the major scale, as was said above.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:38 PM   #9
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Don't play too many fills and they don't sound repetitive. It's better to play one good fill than many mediocre fills. You could think yourself as a drummer. Does a drummer play fills all the time? I think if you are not a good drummer, you shouldn't play that many fills. Maybe only play the fill just before the climax of the song. Same goes with bass. Try to make the music you play sound good. Don't just think about interesting bass parts, think about interesting music. Interesting bass part =/= interesting music. Sometimes you need to play a simple line and it sounds great (Van Halen - Runnin with the Devil).

If you play too many fills, your best fill won't sound that good because you play fills all the time. But if there's just one fill, everybody will notice it and it will sound awesome. Sometimes less is more.

You can do some great things with only pentatonic scale. It's also about rhtyhm.

^ Tritone is a cool interval! It might not even sound dissonant at all if you use it right. Or it does sound dissonant but it sounds dissonant in a good way.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:43 PM   #10
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Do things you wouldn't do with a pentatonic. That's all.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine

^ Tritone is a cool interval! It might not even sound dissonant at all if you use it right. Or it does sound dissonant but it sounds dissonant in a good way.



it does sound good but i played in a church once...only once

everytimg i played a tritone i could see the old fashioned pastor wince so naturlly i played more of them
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:58 PM   #12
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Well; try out some other scales and see which ones appeal to you. You could start with the major and minor modes in all positions, then throw in a diminished scale or even a whole-tone scale and see if they are good fits for your playing and style of music. The only way to get out of a rut is to practice new things. It is boring and frustrating, but it is the only way that works.

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