#1
Hello,

What scales can I play over the following chord progressions?

Am | Dm

and

C | E | Am | F | E

Many thanks in advance
#2
Usually I have the same problem, but usually minor oriented scales work over the minor chords, like Aeolian, Harmonic Minor, Melodic Minor, and Pentatonic. But I'm a bass player, so I don't know too much about that. I'm not too sure about the whole progression I may have to do some research.

Whats the key of the song? Maybe that will help me answer.
Quote by FbSa
^That's it! No other idea will even come close to that one. Joetime get's a pizza!
#3
Your basically playing in the key of A minor/C major, except for your Emaj chord, which can be looked at as borrowed from A minors parallel major key, A major or as borrowed from A harmonic minor. So play A minor/pentatonic or any mode from C major over it except over the Emaj chord, play either A major(or a mode from it, preferably E mixo) or E phyrigian dominant.(the fifth mode of A harmonic minor).

Hope that helps!
Last edited by metalphil0323 at Feb 28, 2009,
#4
I'm not too good at working out keys, wish i knew The chords listed above are the ain two progressions
#5
The first is D minor (I'd suggest replacing the Am with Amaj to strengthen the resolution), so use the D minor scale.

The second is in A minor, so use the A minor scale.

A major(or a mode from it, preferably E mixo) or E phyrigian dom.(the fifth mode of A harmonic minor).


No, modes have absolutely nothing to do with this. The progression is firmly in the key of A minor.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
Last edited by Archeo Avis at Feb 28, 2009,
#7
Quote by Archeo Avis
The first is D minor (I'd suggest replacing the Am with Amaj to strengthen the resolution), so use the D minor scale.

The second is in A minor, so use the A minor scale.


No, modes have absolutely nothing to do with this. The progression is firmly in the key of A minor.



I didnt say he HAD to use a mode. But modes go over certain chords better. And since he is in A minor and E major is not in the key of A minor to have a decent sounding solo you need to know where you borrowed that chord from and what scales will work over it. And two possible places are from A major or A harmonic minor. He doesnt have to use those modes, but thats why I said what scales the modes are taken from.
#8
Metalphil is right it makes sense, A minor and C major have the same accidentals.

To find the minor from a major its six whole steps counting the one you start on. In the key of C, everything is natural so its minor counter part is in the key of A.

To find the major scale from a minor one, its I think three whole steps counting the one you start on. In the key of A minor the C is natural.

Its been a while since I've been in school so someone correct me if I'm wrong before someone takes false information...
Quote by FbSa
^That's it! No other idea will even come close to that one. Joetime get's a pizza!
#9
Quote by Archeo Avis
The first is D minor (I'd suggest replacing the Am with Amaj to strengthen the resolution), so use the D minor scale.


Then you will play a Bb over an Am chord. Doesn't seem right.

Over all the chords you can play A natural/pentatonic minor.
Over the E you can play the A harmonic.
#10
Quote by Joetime
Metalphil is right it makes sense, A minor and C major have the same accidentals.

To find the minor from a major its six whole steps counting the one you start on. In the key of C, everything is natural so its minor counter part is in the key of A.

To find the major scale from a minor one, its I think three whole steps counting the one you start on. In the key of A minor the C is natural.

Its been a while since I've been in school so someone correct me if I'm wrong before someone takes false information...


No, you're right. A minor = C major A minor is also A aeolian( six mode of the C major scale)

But like I said, to make a smooth sounding solo instead of always playing the major/minor scale over the major/minor chord its taken from, you have to look at keys and what modes go with each chord to get a certain sound.

And also, TS borrowed a chord from a different key, so he needs to know which key/scale that chord comes from. Which, like I mentioned, could possibly be borrowed from A major or A harmonic minor, based on what key hes playing in.

Again TS, best of luck!
#11
Quote by metalphil0323
I didnt say he HAD to use a mode. But modes go over certain chords better. And since he is in A minor and E major is not in the key of A minor to have a decent sounding solo you need to know where you borrowed that chord from and what scales will work over it. And two possible places are from A major or A harmonic minor. He doesnt have to use those modes, but thats why I said what scales the modes are taken from.


E major is most certainly in the key of A minor. In tonal music, dominant chords are major. Period. Minor keys are no exception. The chord was not "borrowed" from anywhere.

As for modes: The progression is not modal, so modes don't enter into it at all. You could conceivably throw in a few chromatic tones (say, F# over the Am chord, which would hint at dorian), but modes like E phrygian dominant or mixolydian not only shouldn't be played, but can't be played.

But like I said, to make a smooth sounding solo instead of always playing the major/minor scale over the major/minor chord its taken from, you have to look at keys and what modes go with each chord to get a certain sound.


No. Modes have nothing to do with this. They are played in musical contexts specifically designed for them, not over tonal progressions. The song is in A minor, so use the A minor scale.

And also, TS borrowed a chord from a different key


No he didn't.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
Last edited by Archeo Avis at Feb 28, 2009,
#12
The key of A minor has an E minor chord(E,G,B) since all A minors notes are all natural, E major has a sharp 3rd(E,G#,B,) meaning it is NOT in the key of A minor, making it a borrowed chord.

And the progression doesn't have to be modal to use modes, they're for flavor, to bring out the chords personality.


Edit:

Notice the Em chord in the key of A minor, and teh Emaj chord in the A harmonic minor scale. For Emaj to be in A minor is muct be borroed.


Last edited by metalphil0323 at Feb 28, 2009,
#13
Quote by metalphil0323
The key of A minor has an E minor(E,G,B) since all A minors notes are all natural, E major has a sharp 3rd(E,G#,B,) meaning it is NOT in the key of A minor, making it a borrowed chord.

And the progression doesn't have to be modal to use modes, they're for flavor, to bring out the chords personality.


As I just said, in tonal music, dominant chords are major. The key of A minor is no exception. In minor tonality, the seventh is raised when it is expected to lead into the tonic. It has nothing to do with borrowing a chord from another key. The key is firmly A minor.

And yes, the progression would have to be modal for you to use something like E mixolydian. What you are attempting to describe is the use of chromatic tones, which is something different entirely. E mixolydian, E phrygian dominant, and E "anything" have nothing to do with this progression. There is no reason to drag modal terms into the discussion.

EDIT: You don't seem to understand what harmonic minor is. It is not a scale, it is a convention within minor tonality in which the seventh is raised when it is expected to lead into the tonic.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
Last edited by Archeo Avis at Feb 28, 2009,
#14
Quote by Archeo Avis
As I just said, in tonal music, dominant chords are major. The key of A minor is no exception. In minor tonality, the seventh is raised when it is expected to lead into the tonic. It has nothing to do with borrowing a chord from another key. The key is firmly A minor.

And yes, the progression would have to be modal for you to use something like E mixolydian. What you are attempting to describe is the use of chromatic tones, which is something different entirely. E mixolydian, E phrygian dominant, and E "anything" have nothing to do with this progression. There is no reason to drag modal terms into the discussion.



But the dominant chord in A minor would be the dominant chord from the relative major scale,C major. Which is NOT Emaj, but rather Gmaj.
#15
Quote by metalphil0323
But the dominant chord in A minor would be the dominant chord from the relative major scale,C major. Which is NOT Emaj, but rather Gmaj.


*sight*

No. Just...no. You're confusing "dominant" with "dominant seventh chord". Dominant describes a specific chordal function. In diatonic harmony, the chord that has that function happens to be the one build off of the fifth degree. In A minor, this is E. Since minor keys have no leading tone, the seventh degree in raised whenever it is expected to lead into the tonic is order to create a stronger resolution. E minor barely, if at all, functions as a dominant.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#16
Whatever you say. I'm not going to waste anymore time arguing about this.


Good luck TS!
#17
But i'm still interested, what is that you're tryinng to say Archeo Avis, cause i also thought that A natural minor progression is with Em and harmonic progression is with Emaj.
#18
There is no such thing as a harmonic minor progression. Harmonic, melodic, and natural minor are all used in one key, which is a minor key. They aren't different keys, and harmonic/melodic minor are not really seperate scales. It is common to use all three when writing in a minor key. Minor keys use chords that are not diatonic, most commonly the V chord being major.
#19
Quote by deHufter
But i'm still interested, what is that you're tryinng to say Archeo Avis, cause i also thought that A natural minor progression is with Em and harmonic progression is with Emaj.


A song is not "in" harmonic minor. Harmonic minor is not a key.
Minor keys lack a leading tone, which makes minor based harmony considerably more difficult because the tonal center is easily displaced. As a result, a number of conventions were developed that govern the construction of minor tonality, with harmonic minor being one of them. To strengthen the resolution, composers would raise the seventh whenever it is expected to lead to the tonic. This is a technique that is used within a minor key.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#20
Quote by deHufter
But i'm still interested, what is that you're tryinng to say Archeo Avis, cause i also thought that A natural minor progression is with Em and harmonic progression is with Emaj.



Emaj works when you raise the 7th degree in A minor to give it a proper resolution, but thread started didn't ask what he did to make that resolution, he asked what scales could be used. By raising the 7th, the chord no longer fits diatonically in teh key of A minor, because the raised 7th is part of A harmonic minor.

I'm not saying Archeo is wrong, I'm saying for TS's SOLOING sake, he needs to know where that raised 7th comes from. And instead of just always playing an Emaj scale for every Emaj chord, he could look at it as borrowed from the parallel major scale, A major which has an Emaj chord, or at part of A harmonic minor, which also has a E major triad built off its scale degrees.

And no harmonic minor isn;t a key, but there are chords built off of it which TS has apparently used, so he can play harmonic minor over it for one sound, or A major for a different sound.
Last edited by metalphil0323 at Feb 28, 2009,
#21
Quote by metalphil0323
Emaj works when you raise the 7th degree in A minor to give it a proper resolution, but thread started didn't ask what he did to make that resolution, he asked what scales could be used. By raising the 7th, the chord no longer fits diatonically in teh key of A minor, because the raised 7th is part of A harmonic minor.

I'm not saying Archeo is wrong, I'm saying for TS's SOLOING sake, he needs to know where that raised 7th comes from. And instead of just always playing an Emaj scale for every Emaj chord, he could look at it as borrowed from the parallel major scale, A major which has an Emaj chord, or at part of A harmonic minor, which also has a E major triad built off its scale degrees.

And no harmonic minor isn;t a key, but there are chords built off of it which TS has apparently used, so he can play harmonic minor over it for one sound, or A major for a different sound.


Now I'm confused. The progression is in A minor. How is he going to play A major and over what?
#22
Ok, so if i got it right...a minor progression is just 1 1/2 1 1 1/2 1 1, always 'natural', but a leading tone like 7 resolutes better to the root than b7? So instead of the 'normal' Em you will use the Emaj cause in this instance it has the 7 instead of b7.

-edit- wait in minor the 7th is b7 right? So you have to say raised 7?
Last edited by deHufter at Feb 28, 2009,
#23
There is nothing to suggest A major. The A minor scale works just fine over the V chord provided you pay attention to the 7th (no, you are not somehow "modulating" to A harmonic minor just because you play a major seventh over the V chord).
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#24
Quote by deHufter
Ok, so if i got it right...a minor progression is just 1 1/2 1 1 1/2 1 1, always 'natural', but a leading tone like 7 resolutes better to the root than b7? So instead of the 'normal' Em you will use the Emaj cause in this instance it has the 7 instead of b7.

-edit- wait in minor the 7th is b7 right? So you have to say raised 7?


Yes the E major chord pull to A minor alot stronger then E minor would, which is why the V chord is major in a minor key. Diatonic no, but that is what is almost always used. I have never heard of it having anything to do with relative majors. Play A minor over the progression and when you get to the E maj chord throw in some G#'s.
#25
Quote by blueriver
Now I'm confused. The progression is in A minor. How is he going to play A major and over what?


Emaj is not diatonically in A minor, but if he looks at it as "borrowed" from a diff key or scale, the scale which he plays over it will have a dramatic change in the mood of teh song. The key of A major has an Emaj chord, so he can use that for a brighter sounding emotion, but Emaj can also be made from the triads from A harmonic minor, which was made with a raised 7th to give minor a better resolution, so he can use harmonic minor for a more dark sounding emotion, depending where he wants to take teh song.

There are many other ways to view this, and other scales for diff emotions, but these were the first in my mind.


Quote by deHufter
Ok, so if i got it right...a minor progression is just 1 1/2 1 1 1/2 1 1, always 'natural', but a leading tone like 7 resolutes better to the root than b7? So instead of the 'normal' Em you will use the Emaj cause in this instance it has the 7 instead of b7.


Yes. It's raised for tonality purposes, but then there is a gap in between F - G# in harmonic minor, which is then where melodic minor comes in, with a raised 6th AND 7th.
Last edited by metalphil0323 at Feb 28, 2009,
#26
Quote by metalphil0323
Emaj is not diatonically in A minor, but if he looks at it as "borrowed" from a diff key or scale, the scale which he plays over it will have a dramatic change in the mood of teh song. The key of A major has an Emaj chord, so he can use that for a brighter sounding emotion, but Emaj can also be made from the triads from A harmonic minor, which was made with a raised 7th to give minor a better resolution, so he can use harmonic minor for a more dark sounding emotion, depending where he wants to take teh song.

There are many other ways to view this, and other scales for diff emotions, but these were the first in my mind.

I have to side with Arch this time, the E major clearly just acts as the dominant of Am. It would be better to use A minor to solo over the whole progression, if you used notes from A major then it would just sound out of place.

And from your first post it doesn't look like you understand modes.
#27
Quote by 12345abcd3
I have to side with Arch this time, the E major clearly just acts as the dominant of Am. It would be better to use A minor to solo over the whole progression, if you used notes from A major then it would just sound out of place.

And from your first post it doesn't look like you understand modes.



I agree with the fact that it acts as a dominant, but theres more ways to look at things, can you use just A minor over it? yes. Can you just play G# as a chromatic note over it? Yes. But there are so much more you cna do with it. yes it can sound out of place if you just use A major, but if you use it smoothly it can add a nice change to things. Like i said it depends where TS or anyone wants to go. But Emaj CAN not HAS to be looked at as a borrowed chord, meaning you have a place where, if you want, can add a different change to your solo/melody/whatever you're doing.
#29
Quote by bangoodcharlote
G# sounds fine.



Indeed it does. :P That is why, if used right, it can sound good, while adding a nice flavor to the song. Same with harmonic minor, which would most likely work best, and in most cases I would use myself, since it's most closely related to everything else in the song aswell as the Emaj chord, but i suggested thinking of Emaj as borrowed from Amaj(A minors parallel major) because you can get a nice change in mood that sounds good if done smoothly.

I never said any other way was wrong, there is no right or wrong, really.

Just different ways to look at everything.
#30
The V7 chord in a minor key has very little to do with the parallel major. G# sounds fine over E7, but fooling around with the A major scale over E7 in a Am C Dm E7 progression is probably going to sound awkward and forced. F# will be kind of weird and C# will be really weird.

In a lot of guitar-oriented music, you'll play the parallel harmonic minor over the V7 chord, though this isn't so much the case in classical music, where you often play natural minor the whole time and consider the b7 over V7 to be an odd tone over a dominant chord which is quite normal.
#31
Quote by bangoodcharlote
The V7 chord in a minor key has very little to do with the parallel major. G# sounds fine over E7, but fooling around with the A major scale over E7 in a Am C Dm E7 progression is probably going to sound awkward and forced. F# will be kind of weird and C# will be really weird.

In a lot of guitar-oriented music, you'll play the parallel harmonic minor over the V7 chord, though this isn't so much the case in classical music, where you often play natural minor the whole time and consider the b7 over V7 to be an odd tone over a dominant chord which is quite normal.



Indeed. But i didnt mean play A major over it all, just where it can sound good, over Emaj, but this would all depend on how long the Emaj chords being played if it's for a split second, then no id probably go with easier options, but if its a decent amount of time id try and add some nice A major licks and such to add a nice little step away from all teh minor stuff, since it can fit well over the Emaj chord.

But again it all depends on the direction of the music, and the sound you want and so forth. It's just a little less obvious way of looking at things, and adding some "spice" to what ya do.

Why paint with one colour when theres so many to pick form?


Edit: I also ment with the parallel key, was that thats one place to find Emaj, if you look at it as a borrowed chord, giving you a place to start for finding some scales to solo with.
Last edited by metalphil0323 at Feb 28, 2009,
#32
You could end up looking like Pollock with randomness all over the place for absolutely no reason (yes, I'm being condescending, in several ways, in fact).

You can play whatever you want, but "happy" licks from a major scale are going to clash with a minor tonality. That clash may be desired, but the V7 chord in a minor key is not the time to say, "Ah, I should use the parallel major now!"
#33
Quote by bangoodcharlote
You could end up looking like Pollock with randomness all over the place for absolutely no reason (yes, I'm being condescending, in several ways, in fact).

You can play whatever you want, but "happy" licks from a major scale are going to clash with a minor tonality. That clash may be desired, but the V7 chord in a minor key is not the time to say, "Ah, I should use the parallel major now!"



Yes I understand, and even agree, but in the context of the whole thing depending how the songs being written, even in a minor key focusing on that mainly, a little touch of "happy" can still add to, without taking away. Thats why i mentioned using a little bit more of a modal approach with E mixo, mixo can be very bluesy if used right and clearly goes over Emaj, usually more so E7, but still can add a nice bit a flavor to things.


Edit: Im also glad you seem to atleast SOMEWHAT understand what I was getting at.
Last edited by metalphil0323 at Feb 28, 2009,
#35
What you're doing is "Sue's Extended Pitch-Axis Theory," but that works much better when you play minor tones in a major key than major tones in a minor key (in general).

Don't ask me to explain my theory if you don't understand standard pitch-axis theory; I'll just say a lot of stuff you won't understand and there are plenty of places (Google) to read about standard pitch-axis theory.

Quote by deHufter
I only wonder then, why do they make different minor progressions like:
http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/chord_progressions.php ?
The chords come from harmonizing the various minor scales.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Feb 28, 2009,
#36
Quote by deHufter
I only wonder then, why do they make different minor progressions like:
http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/chord_progressions.php ?



Well, different minor progressions or even major progressions and sound very different from one another depending how teh notes resolve, obviously. And the more you spice things up with chromaticizim, the more interesting your progressions will sound. Thats why i like jazz influenced music.

One i love is in teh key of E major and is: E,B,A,C

Cmaj is clearly NOT in E major, but can be looked at as borrowed and in which case a solo would need to change the scale over it, if you play E major over Cmaj you'll have a hard time making it sound smooth so best way to do it is used C lydian, which is from the G major parent scale.

And that's not just me talking thats from a lesson by John Petrucci.
#37
Quote by bangoodcharlote
The chords come from harmonizing the various minor scales.


Okay, officially i don't understand **** right now. Is there anyone who can explain this real easy from the beginning?

I know modes, I know scales, but apperently I dont know progressions....
#38
When you have a C major scale, C D E F G A B, you get the chords by harmonizing the scale in third. For C you get C E G, D is D F A, E is E G B, and you should see a pattern. You apply that same idea to D harmonic minor, D E F G A Bb C# and get D F A, E G Bb, F A C#, etc.
#39
Quote by deHufter
Okay, officially i don't understand **** right now. Is there anyone who can explain this real easy from the beginning?

I know modes, I know scales, but apperently I dont know progressions....



Play E, B, C#m, A

This sounds "good" to the ears because of how the notes resolve.

E has a B as its fifth, so going from Emaj to Bmaj will sound good for that reasong,
Going from Bmaj to C#m will sound good because of the upward pull you get moving up to the next diatonic degree in the scale, going thn from C#m to Amaj works because the also share notes C# in the Amaj chord as its third, and going back to Emaj sounds good because E is the Amaj chords fifth.

It's basically common notes, and the movement of notes causing resolution.

But thats just one chord progression in a diatonic key, and there cna be many in and out of key.


Also, move those chords around and in most cases any progression will sound just as good for those reasons.
Last edited by metalphil0323 at Feb 28, 2009,