hey all. im a self-taught guitarist for about 1 n a half years, and mostly i just jam with my homies and ****. ive been jamming to zephyr song- by the red hot chili peppers, and ive come to notice that while the song is in Am pentatonic, it changes key throughout the song. i tried playing it in different locations, and i found that Bm pentatonic works as well when the change comes on (listen to the song, you'll know what i mean), as well as D. am i applying modal transitions? cuz i dunno what im doing when it comes to music theory, i tend to mostly rely on my ear
Last edited by shanethestoner at Jan 26, 2009,
the key of the song changes in the chorus, which is why your different scales work with it
and also in the interlude and such
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damn it, i thought i was on to something hahah. but yeah that makes sense i was kinda aware of that, but i was hoping for different hahah
Not too familiar with the song, but I'll chuck it on YT.

Yup, the verse is in Am while the chorus is in D. The D major pentatonic has the same notes as the B minor petatonic, which is why it sounds right. You're not actually playing the B minor pentatonic though, you're playing the D major pentatonic.

If you want something else to play around with, you can also use the pentatonic of whatever chord you are over at the time. You'd use this more for little licks in between chords rather than for a solo (where you want some continuity in your playing). For instance on the G chord of the verse you could play something like:


You're actually still playing the A natural minor scale, but you're restricting yourself to those notes more appropriate for the chord you're over.
Dm pentatonic also kinda works though, is that a mode off of B? im still trying to get modes, i just get how to get into dorian but its still confusing
Dm pentatonic is not a mode of B or Bm. Modes have a lot of details, all of which are vital to understanding them, so you can't just kind of know the fundamentals of music theory; you need to know it cold. The basics are in my sig, Freepower's sig, and the Crusade articles. Any of those will work. Once you're confident that you know that information, I'll work with you on modes. I can help you with the more basic material, too.
Quote by shanethestoner
Dm pentatonic also kinda works though, is that a mode off of B?

You mean it works over the chorus? That would be a blues thing; it's common in blues and rock (which is fundamentally blues based) to use the minor pentatonic over a major key (in this example D minor pentatonic over D major). You don't want to use this over particularly "folky" progressions (the verse for example), but the chorus is just I, IV and V - precisely those chords used in blues - so it'll work.

Quote by shanethestoner
im still trying to get modes, i just get how to get into dorian but its still confusing

Modes (at least 6 out of 7) can be thought of simply as extensions of the pentatonic scales. For instance, your first position minor pentatonic pattern in A is this:


Your Aeolian pattern is this:


Your Dorian pattern is this:


Notice how they are both just filling in the gaps of the minor pentatonic. The Phrygian is the same. Similarly the Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian are all different ways of filling in the gaps from the major pentatonic.
i see... i should just get a teacher hahah, i dont work well readin ****, its better if i hear the difference. thank you guys though, for the help