#1
well im kind of a beginner in using scales to improv in a song. i dont know much other than the pentatonic minor and blues scales but i can rip em up pretty well. The question i had though was ... say if i wanted to jam over something. if someone are hitting up some chords.. say an E maj chord, then a C maj chord, then an A maj chord, should it be ok to play the Em pentatonic over those chords? or would an E maj scale sound better because of the maj chords? like i said, ive been using minor pentatonic scales and i think they sound pretty good even with maj chords. also, should i try to land the scale notes on whatever chords are being played next? or does that really matter?

thanks for the help in advance guys
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guitars:
ESP/LTD MH-250
Epiphone Les Paul 100
ESP/LTD EX-50

amps:
fender squier 15W
line 6 spider III 75W

pedals:
boss mega distortion pedal
dan donegan the weapon sig pedal
crybaby wah

#2
The easiest way is to solo in the key of the song.
A song in Emajor -> solo in E major

Theres subtle things you can pick up. Stylisticly some genres will have you solo in the key of the chord your playing. So if the chord shifts, you shift your scale to that note.

But essentially, if your playin an E major progression, an E major solo (E pentatonic) will work out just fine.
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If we did tune using the 5th fret on the G string it'd be a C. At the moment it goes G B which stands for George Bush. So obviously GB doesn't want you to C the truth! To the conspiracy cave!
#3
Quote by disturbed_1
well im kind of a beginner in using scales to improv in a song. i dont know much other than the pentatonic minor and blues scales but i can rip em up pretty well. The question i had though was ... say if i wanted to jam over something. if someone are hitting up some chords.. say an E maj chord, then a C maj chord, then an A maj chord, should it be ok to play the Em pentatonic over those chords? or would an E maj scale sound better because of the maj chords? like i said, ive been using minor pentatonic scales and i think they sound pretty good even with maj chords. also, should i try to land the scale notes on whatever chords are being played next? or does that really matter?

thanks for the help in advance guys

You can play whatever you like over the chords so long as it sounds good, you can use the E minor pentatonic over those chords, for example, you could use the E or G over C maj. or the E or A over the A maj.
You don't have to play the same note as chord, you can play any interval that occurs within that chord or the scale of that chord, e.g. any note that's in both C major and E minor pentatonic over a C major chord. Of course there are other notes that will sound good. just use your ears
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#4
actually if you're in E major, and you were wanting to use pentatonic, i'd personally use the natural minor (6th degree, in this case C#). it sounds more major. that's more into theory though; you could get away with just playing E pentatonic.
#5
actually if you're in E major, and you were wanting to use pentatonic, i'd personally use the natural minor (6th degree, in this case C#). it sounds more major. that's more into theory though; you could get away with just playing E pentatonic.


No. The relative minor has absolutely nothing to do with this. If the song is in E major, use the E major scale. Not only should you not use the relative minor, you can't use it. Keys don't work that way.
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#6
Quote by Archeo Avis
No. The relative minor has absolutely nothing to do with this. If the song is in E major, use the E major scale. Not only should you not use the relative minor, you can't use it. Keys don't work that way.


Thank you. I was waiting to get to the end of the post without any completely correct information posted.

TS: Make the CMaj a C#minor and it will be in the key of either A or E depending on the progression.

Look at it this way. Isolating those three chords, if you're ending on A, play an AMaj Pentatonic. If you close on E, you should play an EMaj Pentatonic. If you close on C#, play a C#minor pentatonic.

I hope that made sense, let me know if it doesn't.
#7
yea thanks a lot guys.. im just kind of having trouble understanding everything. it might sound wierd, but i can make a few chords to jam over.. once again say E maj, Cmaj, then Amaj... and i can play an E MINOR pentatonic scale starting on the 12th fret over that and it sounds great.. but i try to play an e major pentatonic scale starting on the 12th fret over the same chords and i cannot get it to sound right.. idk maybe im a little mentally challenged..
my gear:

guitars:
ESP/LTD MH-250
Epiphone Les Paul 100
ESP/LTD EX-50

amps:
fender squier 15W
line 6 spider III 75W

pedals:
boss mega distortion pedal
dan donegan the weapon sig pedal
crybaby wah

#8
anyone think they know why i am hearing this wierd?
my gear:

guitars:
ESP/LTD MH-250
Epiphone Les Paul 100
ESP/LTD EX-50

amps:
fender squier 15W
line 6 spider III 75W

pedals:
boss mega distortion pedal
dan donegan the weapon sig pedal
crybaby wah

#9
E Major - E G# B
A Major - A C# E
C Major - C E G

Which gives us roughly these notes to play with:
E G# A B (C) C#

E Major - E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D#-E

E Minor Pentatonic - E G A B D E

E Major Pentatonic - E F# G# B C# E

Which one does it more closely resemble?

You're probably playing a C# over C Maj, at which point it sounds "wrong" or dissonant because that isn't the sound you were expecting to me.

Follow my first point and make the C a C# Minor and you will be able to play the E Major pentatonic over it. The song will be diatonic (it will stay in one key, but it will be much easier for you to play over)

Not sure if I'm doing this right: C# Minor
E--4
B--5
G--6
D--6
A--4
E--x
Last edited by moonlightdrive at Mar 16, 2009,
#10
yea man awesome i think i seem to understand what ur sayin.. use whatever scale has the most notes in it that u are using in your chord progression, right?
my gear:

guitars:
ESP/LTD MH-250
Epiphone Les Paul 100
ESP/LTD EX-50

amps:
fender squier 15W
line 6 spider III 75W

pedals:
boss mega distortion pedal
dan donegan the weapon sig pedal
crybaby wah

#11
Close.

Whenever you play a song, unless it a bit more complicated it tends to be in one key. This key is what notes comprise every chord in the key, and every note that can be played over the key (except for avoid notes, but don't worry about those just yet).

Given JUST A Major, C# Minor, and E Major, one cannot be too sure whether or not the key is A Major, or E Major - these 3 chords are in both keys. This depends on the progression of the song, that is, how it "ends".

If you were to play C# minor, A Major, E Major, it would be better to use an E Major scale of some sort.

If you play C# minor, E Major, and end on A, it would be better to use an A Major scale or some sort.


I think it would do you all sorts of favors to read the Crusade articles in the Columns section of this site. They will explain in not too complicated but not too simplified terms exactly how this all works.