Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Music > Musician Talk
User Name  
Password
Search:

Reply
Old 06-07-2014, 06:55 AM   #1
KarateRick
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Scale and Chord Key Question

Does anyone know of a good resource for learning what scales to use in what key?

Also interested in a comprehensive chord progression resource.

Free and online is best if you know of any, but I will buy books as long as they are definitive.

Thanks
KarateRick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2014, 07:22 AM   #2
steven seagull
not really a seagull
 
steven seagull's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Southport, UK
Moved to mt

Unfortunately the quick answer you're looking for doesn't really exist, you're not going to learn what you want from a couple of forum posts. The answer is "learn music theory", but the MT regs will have lots of pearls of wisdom to get you on the right track
__________________
Actually called Mark!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
steven seagull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2014, 02:47 PM   #3
HotspurJr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarateRick
Does anyone know of a good resource for learning what scales to use in what key?


Here's the thing:

You can always use all twelve notes in every key.

You often want to use a subset of them that creates a certain feeling, but the real way to do that is to internalize the sounds of all 12 notes, and use the notes that create the sounds you want.

Some sounds are more popular than others, but really, if the question is "what scale should I play" the resulting music is not likely to be interesting. Start by internalizing the sounds of the major and minor scales, and then work on adding the most common accidentals. (eg, b7 in major, #6 in minor, b2 in minor) Once you've internalized those sounds, they will naturally come out of you when you play.

Quote:
Also interested in a comprehensive chord progression resource.


Again, really no such thing exists. A good resource for learning the foundations of functional harmony - that is to say, how each chord WORKS in a given key, which allows you to build your own chord progressions that make sense - is Pedler's "Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles."
HotspurJr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2014, 04:32 PM   #4
MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
 
MaggaraMarine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Finland
"What scales to use in what key?"

Well, if you are in A minor, you most of the time use the A minor scale. Of course you can also use accidentals but you will most likely use the notes in the A minor scale most of the time.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Ibanez Blazer
Digitech RP355
MXR Micro Chorus
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Hartke HyDrive 210c
MaggaraMarine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2014, 04:46 PM   #5
crazysam23_Atax
Burning away
 
crazysam23_Atax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Texas
As steven said, there isn't an easy answer to this. One thing that may be helpful is to see how others use notes/chords in a key. Start off with something simple, like easy rock songs (AC/DC is a good place to start, since all their songs are 3 chords). Then, move into more complex stuff.
__________________
Tunes?

Bandcamp

Now working on my upcoming EP "Discarnate". See the expected track list on my bandcamp.



Terry Prachett is funnier than you! Discworld
crazysam23_Atax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2014, 05:14 PM   #6
bassalloverthe
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by HotspurJr
Here's the thing:




Again, really no such thing exists. A good resource for learning the foundations of functional harmony - that is to say, how each chord WORKS in a given key, which allows you to build your own chord progressions that make sense - is Pedler's "Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles."



Not to be a dick, but such a thing does exist. Its called the harmonic progression road map and its taught in every theory 101 class
bassalloverthe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2014, 05:27 PM   #7
Sean0913
Music Theory Renegade
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarateRick
Does anyone know of a good resource for learning what scales to use in what key?

Also interested in a comprehensive chord progression resource.

Free and online is best if you know of any, but I will buy books as long as they are definitive.

Thanks


Do you know Diatonic Harmony?

When you are in a key, use that scale. If you are in G Major, as a key, use the G Major scale

If you in the key of B minor, use the B minor scale and its derivatives, B minor Pentatonic

Best,

Sean
__________________
Guitar Teacher/Mentor

An Online, Theory Based Guitar School

Stuck? I Mentor Guitar Players for Free.

If you are interested in the Academy, I offer a free Skype-based Demo. Just contact me on my profile, and we can work out the times.
Sean0913 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2014, 06:12 PM   #8
AeolianWolf
Tonal Vigilante
 
AeolianWolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: New York City
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarateRick
Does anyone know of a good resource for learning what scales to use in what key?


the answer to that is exactly what hotspur said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by HotspurJr
Some sounds are more popular than others, but really, if the question is "what scale should I play" the resulting music is not likely to be interesting. Start by internalizing the sounds of the major and minor scales, and then work on adding the most common accidentals. (eg, b7 in major, #6 in minor, b2 in minor) Once you've internalized those sounds, they will naturally come out of you when you play.


now, then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarateRick
Also interested in a comprehensive chord progression resource.

Free and online is best if you know of any, but I will buy books as long as they are definitive.


these aren't the kind of things you can buy. these are the kinds of things you earn and attain through years of practice and study.

yes, even if you manage to find a resource.

think about it this way - suppose one day i decide i want to conduct a surgical operation. if i go out, buy a few tools, read a book or two, and somehow find a poor sap willing to be operated upon, am i properly equipped to do what i'm seeking out to do?

the answer to that, of course, is no. but it's because the answer is no that you need to work, study, listen, learn, apply, etc. if there were a quick fix, everybody would be a hit songwriter, and there would be no value in it.
__________________
i'm on the vidya!

xbox gamertag: Aeolion
psid: Blackwindsamurai (holy **** i want a shorter one)
AeolianWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2014, 06:21 PM   #9
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
 
Dave_Mc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northern Ireland
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
As steven said, there isn't an easy answer to this. One thing that may be helpful is to see how others use notes/chords in a key. Start off with something simple, like easy rock songs (AC/DC is a good place to start, since all their songs are 3 chords). Then, move into more complex stuff.


Is AC/DC the best starting point? They use a lot of borrowed chords and also have the whole blues scale/minor over major thing going on a lot of the time. I'm not sure I'd want to start with that (though if he wants to get into rock straight away then AC/DC would be an excellent starting point).
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
We had a guy in the band admit that he liked Nickelback. We immediately started looking for his replacement.


Dave_Mc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2014, 08:50 PM   #10
KarateRick
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Great answers guys! Thanks for the replies!!
KarateRick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2014, 05:29 AM   #11
MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
 
MaggaraMarine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Finland
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
Is AC/DC the best starting point? They use a lot of borrowed chords and also have the whole blues scale/minor over major thing going on a lot of the time. I'm not sure I'd want to start with that (though if he wants to get into rock straight away then AC/DC would be an excellent starting point).

Yeah, I would rather suggest some simple pop songs.

I mean, of course AC/DC is really simple but it's not that simple if you are just starting to learn music theory.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Ibanez Blazer
Digitech RP355
MXR Micro Chorus
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Hartke HyDrive 210c
MaggaraMarine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2014, 01:49 PM   #12
HotspurJr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassalloverthe
Not to be a dick, but such a thing does exist. Its called the harmonic progression road map and its taught in every theory 101 class


Maybe you missed the word comprehensive?
HotspurJr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2014, 02:34 PM   #13
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
 
Dave_Mc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northern Ireland
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
Yeah, I would rather suggest some simple pop songs.

I mean, of course AC/DC is really simple but it's not that simple if you are just starting to learn music theory.


Yeah AC/DC is kind of simple in one way (easy to play (apart from the solos... and even the rhythm is difficult to play well, I'd say) using quite simple chords you learn as a beginner), but actually deceptively complex in another way (more theoretically).
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
We had a guy in the band admit that he liked Nickelback. We immediately started looking for his replacement.


Dave_Mc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2014, 04:36 PM   #14
MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
 
MaggaraMarine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Finland
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
Yeah AC/DC is kind of simple in one way (easy to play (apart from the solos... and even the rhythm is difficult to play well, I'd say) using quite simple chords you learn as a beginner), but actually deceptively complex in another way (more theoretically).

And they are not even theoretically that complex. They just require some more theoretic understanding than many other songs. But if you know theory well, you can say they are pretty simple theoretically (borrowing notes/chords from minor is actually the only more "complex" thing they do and they do it all the time).
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Ibanez Blazer
Digitech RP355
MXR Micro Chorus
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Hartke HyDrive 210c
MaggaraMarine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2014, 06:28 PM   #15
AlanHB
Godin's Resident Groupie
 
AlanHB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canberra, Australia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean0913
When you are in a key, use that scale. If you are in G Major, as a key, use the G Major scale

If you in the key of B minor, use the B minor scale and its derivatives, B minor Pentatonic


TS, this is your answer. You don't need a book, just these two lines.
__________________
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
AlanHB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2014, 06:55 PM   #16
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
 
Dave_Mc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northern Ireland
^ Yeah

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
And they are not even theoretically that complex. They just require some more theoretic understanding than many other songs. But if you know theory well, you can say they are pretty simple theoretically (borrowing notes/chords from minor is actually the only more "complex" thing they do and they do it all the time).


Oh yeah absolutely.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
We had a guy in the band admit that he liked Nickelback. We immediately started looking for his replacement.


Dave_Mc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2014, 10:35 AM   #17
KarateRick
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
I think my confusion lies not so much in the understanding of playing a G Major scale over a G Major chord necessarily (although I believe it can be a lot more complex than that), but rather how to determine what scale (s) to use in a chord progression.
So if I want to solo over a song that changes chords in the following manner: G-D-Am-C - I'm not sure what to do. Do I change the scale key that I'm in every time time the chord changes? IF so how do I transition? OR can I just play over everything in the key of G Major since all of the chords are in the key of G?
KarateRick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2014, 11:45 AM   #18
MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
 
MaggaraMarine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Finland
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarateRick
I think my confusion lies not so much in the understanding of playing a G Major scale over a G Major chord necessarily (although I believe it can be a lot more complex than that), but rather how to determine what scale (s) to use in a chord progression.
So if I want to solo over a song that changes chords in the following manner: G-D-Am-C - I'm not sure what to do. Do I change the scale key that I'm in every time time the chord changes? IF so how do I transition? OR can I just play over everything in the key of G Major since all of the chords are in the key of G?

Changing the scale over every chord would not sound good in this case because the chord progression is in G major all the time and doesn't even use non-diatonic chords.

If there are no key changes, there's no point in changing scales all the time. Of course you can use accidentals but I would first get used to the sound of the notes in the major scale (because those are the notes you will use most of the time) and start experimenting with accidentals a bit later.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Ibanez Blazer
Digitech RP355
MXR Micro Chorus
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Hartke HyDrive 210c
MaggaraMarine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2014, 01:53 PM   #19
HotspurJr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarateRick
I think my confusion lies not so much in the understanding of playing a G Major scale over a G Major chord necessarily (although I believe it can be a lot more complex than that), but rather how to determine what scale (s) to use in a chord progression.
So if I want to solo over a song that changes chords in the following manner: G-D-Am-C - I'm not sure what to do. Do I change the scale key that I'm in every time time the chord changes? IF so how do I transition? OR can I just play over everything in the key of G Major since all of the chords are in the key of G?


You would play in G major over that, almost always.

There is a (mostly used in Jazz) technique called chord-scale theory where you pick a scale for each chord, but this is really not very relevant in a simple case like this. It will make life much more complicated with minimal return.

When somebody looks at a chord progression like that and thinks in terms of changing scales, it usually suggests that they don't really know their scales as scales, but rather as shapes. And this is a key factor: you want to start to think about scales as SOUNDS. You're not soloing "in a scale" - you're using that set of sounds as your primary note choices.

Let's take a slightly more complex chord progression to show how this works:

G-C-A-D.

Now, three of the same chords, but the difference here is that the A is major. I've also mixed up the order to make the chord progression more functional: A-D-G is a very classic use of a secondary dominant. Because this progression is a very functional II-V-I, this is going to feel very G major (perhaps even more so than if the A chord were minor) but now you've got a problem. A major has a C# in it. C# isn't in the G major scale.

So you could, if you wanted, switch to the A major scale there. But that creates a lot of challenges. G major has an F#. The A major scale has a F#, C#, and G#. But the A major chord is the notes A, C#, and E. No G#. So switching to the A major scale is bringing in a G# that you don't need, and is going to be a tricky note to deal with because it's a b2 in G major and that's a note we rarely hear in major contexts.

But we don't need that G#. We just need the C#.

So what most good rock, folk, metal, and other non-jazz, non-classical contemporary musicians will do is simply, when they're playing over the A chord, simply use a C# when they otherwise would have played a C.

They changed dynamically, not switching the whole scale (who needs that G#?) but just switching the note that's going to cause a problem.

And they're able to do this easily because they're not thinking in terms of a shape on the fretboard, but rather a collection of sounds. They don't have to remap everything ("oh, wait, I'm now in this shape") they just either avoid the C-naturals or play them as C-sharps over the A major chord.

This sounds really complicated, but as you learn to think of these scales as sounds, not locations on the fretboard, it gets easier and easier. It also gets easier with experience. You know what a II-V-I is, and so know how to handle it without thinking. You know that the bVII is another common non-diatonic chord, and you learn how to handle that. etc.

But if your progression is diatonic - all the chords contain only notes from the parent scale - just roll with that scale. Remember that you can use other notes any time if you want to, but usually people master the sounds of the parent scale first, and then slowly work in the accidentals.
HotspurJr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2014, 02:03 PM   #20
Sean0913
Music Theory Renegade
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarateRick
I think my confusion lies not so much in the understanding of playing a G Major scale over a G Major chord necessarily (although I believe it can be a lot more complex than that), but rather how to determine what scale (s) to use in a chord progression.
So if I want to solo over a song that changes chords in the following manner: G-D-Am-C - I'm not sure what to do. Do I change the scale key that I'm in every time time the chord changes? IF so how do I transition? OR can I just play over everything in the key of G Major since all of the chords are in the key of G?


This is why you have to learn diatonic harmony,as a starting point. Seriously. Then you wouldn't have these questions.

Best,

Sean
__________________
Guitar Teacher/Mentor

An Online, Theory Based Guitar School

Stuck? I Mentor Guitar Players for Free.

If you are interested in the Academy, I offer a free Skype-based Demo. Just contact me on my profile, and we can work out the times.
Sean0913 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:36 PM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.