#1
the chords are played on a piano, and are these:
a regulart Csus4 with an added C in the bass, then a Csus4 with an added Bb in the bass, and then a Csus4 with an added Ab/G# in the bass.
these would look like this on the piano:
C......C...F.G....C (imagine the piano keyboard)
Bb....C...F.G....C
Ab....C...F.G....C


so, which scales for guitar can i use to solo over these chords ?


thanks !
Last edited by The red Strat. at Feb 16, 2009,
#2
C Natural Minor. None of these chords contain the minor third of the scale, so it is free to be used however you wish. It does have the flat sixth and seventh, which is why I said minor.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#4
C minor pentatonic
C major pentatonic
C minor

C major could work as well if you flat the 6th and 7th degrees.


Also, not to cause confusion, but with a very static background harmony like that, you can get modal as well.
Both C dorian and C mixolydian have that flat 7th, but a natural 6th, so you have to be wary of that.
#5
You can use any scale diatonic to C minor, but since there's no third anywhere in there, you can also do cool things like the dominant Bebop scale (major scale with a b6 and b7). You could start with a lydian (major scale with a #4) , lydian dominant (lydian with a b7), mixolydian (major scale with b7) or major lick over the first chord and then change to D pentatonic minor, C dorian (major scale with a b3 and a b7) or C natural minor, then hang out there for awhile and go back and forth. It just depends on the context of the song - is it bluesy, happy, dark, etc?. Have fun with it and try new things. Try shifting your tonal center from time to time but keep the B's and the A's flat. You'd be surprised at how you can change the entire feel of a song with one unexpected note.
#6
C (D) (Eb) F G Ab Bb C. Those are the notes your playing, the ones in brackets being the ones you didn't use as they pertain to the C natural minor scale. As you can see, only two notes are left out of the natural minor scale, D and Eb. D flat can pretty much be ignored since it is also contained in five of C's seven modes (if you didn't understand that don't worry about it). So the note that really matters is that Eb that you didn't play. This is a very deciding note, since it is the main note in determining whether a chord and scale is major or minor.

In short the best scale to use would be C natural minor.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#7
i did forget to mention i hit the E instead of the F sometimes too.

does that eliminate some of these scales or not ?
#8
Quote by The_Sophist


In short the best scale to use would be C natural minor.


There's not necessarily a "best" scale. You can switch between C pentatonic minor and D phrygian ala Robby Krieger and create a subtly different vibe. The chord progression really lends itself to modality. It'd be difficult to keep the solo even remotely interesting for very long using just C minor.
#9
If you are hitting in instead of the E than it is an Fb, or a dimished fourth from the root, which is enharmonic (sounds the same) as a major third. I don't think I've ever encountered a scale with a flat fourth, anyone else?
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#10
Quote by Schmetlappio
There's not necessarily a "best" scale. You can switch between C pentatonic minor and D phrygian ala Robby Krieger and create a subtly different vibe. The chord progression really lends itself to modality. It'd be difficult to keep the solo even remotely interesting for very long using just C minor.


Firstly, if someone comes onto an internet forum to figure out what scale a chord progression is in than I doubt they are ready to modulate into modes mid solo. As for the C minor getting dull, most of the music written in history has stuck with one scale for the whole song, so unless you find 99% of all music ever created dull, then you disagree with your own point.

Edit : Sorry for double post, argument was posted while I was typing.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#11
I'd try C Mixolydian b13 (sometimes called C Hindu). It's one of the modes of melodic minor, the fifth, specifically. It's spelled exactly as it sounds like it would be, a Mixolydian scale with a b6/b13. So, in C, it would be spelled C-D-E-F-G-Ab-Bb-C. It sounds weird at first, but you'll eventually get used to its sound. You could also use C Mixolydian b9 b13, or C Phrygian Dominant. It's spelled C-Db-E-F-G-Ab-Bb-C. That would give you a flamenco sound, or an Arabic sound, or even a Hebrew sound (think "Hava Nagila").

With the transparent nature of sus4 chords, you can play nearly anything you want with them, although the bass notes you have give you some limitations.

Quote by The_Sophist
If you are hitting in instead of the E than it is an Fb, or a dimished fourth from the root, which is enharmonic (sounds the same) as a major third. I don't think I've ever encountered a scale with a flat fourth, anyone else?


The altered scale has a b4. Although it also has a b5, so I probably wouldn't use it over Csus4, unless I wanted to go outside a bit.

It isn't necessarily an Fb, since there are scales with both a major third and a minor sixth, like the scales I suggested.
Last edited by Holy Katana at Feb 16, 2009,
#12
Quote by The_Sophist
Firstly, if someone comes onto an internet forum to figure out what scale a chord progression is in than I doubt they are ready to modulate into modes mid solo. As for the C minor getting dull, most of the music written in history has stuck with one scale for the whole song, so unless you find 99% of all music ever created dull, then you disagree with your own point.

Edit : Sorry for double post, argument was posted while I was typing.


99% of all music doesn't use one scale. That's just misinformation. Chromaticism has only been around for about 100 years. Pythagoras invented modality a few thousand years ago and until the late 19th century that's how every single major composer viewed writing melody over chords, and if you look at the solos of people who claim not to know any theory, a lot of what they're doing is modal. It just has to do with what sounds good. You don't need to be very experienced to learn about the applications of modes.

And there's no need to act offended when anyone disagrees with you. It's possible to talk about two differing viewpoints without coming to blows over things. Cm is the easiest scale to use, but not necessarily the best. And for what it's worth, you can slide the Cm pentatonic shape up two frets and you'll get a very similar sound to D phrygian.
#13
i'm kinda confused now...


the notes i use are, C, F, G, Bb, Ab, and E (i hit the E quickly and i then go to the F back again quickly).

I think i'm just gonna record the piano riff tomorrow and post it, so you guys know how it sounds and what scales i could use to solo over it, alright ?
#14
I'll check it out for you when I get home from school and try to post some examples of what I'm talking about. It'll make all this modal nonsense a lot easier to understand.
#15
I didn't say anything about chromatics, all I said was that modulation is rare outside of jazz and the most progressive of rock.

TS, if you can post up an mp3 somewhere so we can hear which notes you are stressing.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#16
Quote by Schmetlappio
I'll check it out for you when I get home from school and try to post some examples of what I'm talking about. It'll make all this modal nonsense a lot easier to understand.

cool, thanks man !

Quote by The_Sophist
I didn't say anything about chromatics, all I said was that modulation is rare outside of jazz and the most progressive of rock.

TS, if you can post up an mp3 somewhere so we can hear which notes you are stressing.

I could use the keyboard i have here to to record it now, i guess i don't need an acoustic piano.


i'll record it now and upload it onto my profile.
Last edited by The red Strat. at Feb 16, 2009,
#17
I guess I could have been more clear, chromaticism is the use of one scale over a diatonic chord progression.

In some more mainstream veins, The Doors used that pentatonic/phrygian modulation all the time. It's a really good first step for people who are just starting to experiment a little further with their solos because of its close connection to the appropriate pentatonic minor scale. Carlos Santana uses a dorian/phrygian/natural minor/pentatonic minor toolkit as well, and Jason Hale (the guy from Chiodos) will play some really interesting twists to his solos live that definitely go modal. I agree that it is mostly prog, metal and instrumentalists that get into this though. But it can never hurt to learn.
#18
It can hurt to learn at too early a stage though. I'll never forget my student that came in asking about modal chord progressions before he knew his major scales. Took me weeks to get that crap out of his head.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#19
Quote by The red Strat.
i'm kinda confused now...


the notes i use are, C, F, G, Bb, Ab, and E (i hit the E quickly and i then go to the F back again quickly).

I think i'm just gonna record the piano riff tomorrow and post it, so you guys know how it sounds and what scales i could use to solo over it, alright ?


Just use Mixolydian b13, like I said. Problem solved.
#20
Quote by Holy Katana
Just use Mixolydian b13, like I said. Problem solved.

sounds kinda weird though


i'm having some trouble converting the wav to mp3, but i'll upload it when it's done.


Edit: oh dear, i forgot to mention i use an A too
Last edited by The red Strat. at Feb 16, 2009,
#21
Quote by Schmetlappio
There's not necessarily a "best" scale. You can switch between C pentatonic minor and D phrygian ala Robby Krieger and create a subtly different vibe. The chord progression really lends itself to modality. It'd be difficult to keep the solo even remotely interesting for very long using just C minor.

This song is rooted in C, so it would be C dorian, not D phrygian.
#22
Ok, i uploaded it. first take, and there's a little mistake at the end.
I normally use the sustain pedal but because i played this on my keyboard, i didn't have a sustain pedal.

it's called 2nd upload.
Last edited by The red Strat. at Feb 16, 2009,
#23
Well, you're using a G, Ab, A, Bb

no scale has all of the notes you're using, but i'd say it's in C major. Mess around with the C major scale
Last edited by Peaceful Rocker at Feb 16, 2009,
#24
Everytime my rythm section comes up with something that defies the scale's I know, I just treat each chord as a separate thing, I'm sure there is a lesson on this site about that.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#25
Quote by The_Sophist
Everytime my rythm section comes up with something that defies the scale's I know, I just treat each chord as a separate thing, I'm sure there is a lesson on this site about that.

which lesson do you mean ?