Okay I am fairly new to theory. I have been playing guitar for a little over a year and just started getting into theory. I know a few scales and modes and chords and I know all of the notes on the fretboard..But I have a problem with application.

I can also use help here:

1. What is a II V I chord progression and what are examples of others?
2. What scales could I use to improvise and what chords would be good with them?
3. And what notes, chords, scales etc. belong to what keys?
4. And what is a good way to practice to get the most out of that practice session?

I feel like I am asking obvious questions but I guess this is the only way to find out haha.

Thanks guys.
1. An Example would be Amin7-D7-Gmaj7
2. Ideally it would be A dorain over the first D Mixolydian oVer the 2nd and G Major or Lydian over the third but for now I would just consider those all G Major.
Originally posted by arrrgg
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easy way to answer number 3 is this:
in a major scale you have I ii iii IV V vi vii* ... the big roman numerals are major chords. the little ones are minor. the one with the * is diminished
in a minor scale you have i ii* III iv V VI vii*

in C major your chords will apply to the major chord line above = CM, dm, em, FM, GM, am, and b dim

in A minor your chords will apply to the minor chord line above = am, b dim, CM, dm, EM, FM, g dim
Last edited by vjferrara at Sep 29, 2009,
1.- it's I II IV I. you must put the one on the beggining because you begin on one note and resolve (finish) on the same. this first note and resolving note is called root note and that is what tells you the key. the word progression makes it sound hard to understand, but a progression can be defined in theory n00b words as "chors that go one after another". nothing complex in that. You could have a C G Gm F7 E A A#m7 progreesion or just G B C Cm
for example, you are playing C, then the second note from C, wich is D, then the fourth wich is F and then C again. If you begin with C, you are playing in the key of C, so the D chord must be minor(check answer 3 on a while to know why). In the end , the progression is:
C Dm F C

I'll edit the rest. wait
Watch the first 2 parts. Most of the time we say "oh i want to sound exotic so i will use X scale". we forget abut the chord progression under our lead and that part is really defining, and marty does a good job showing that on a video.
tl;dr: just folow the chords and experiment with notes too see how they combine.

You could record any progression you think of to improvise or go to a backng track site/guitar pro file and improvise over songs you like. If you cant buy guitar pro, download tux guitar, it's the same but free.
If you want to elarn modes and that, I recomend the book "guitar grimoire: scales" or something like that. buy it or just google and download from somewhere.

3.- this one is going to take the longest to explain. i'll take a while, but i'll make shure you can get everything. Wait for my next edit.
Dude, i couldnt finish tonight. it's a wordpad file. I'l paste it tomorrow on a PM for you.

Last edited by ldnovelo at Sep 29, 2009,
1. a II V I progression is usually used in jazz, where those are the chords in the key.
2. any scale can be used for improv, most sueful is major scales, minor, and variations of pentatonic. there are a myriad of scales for different sounds however.
3. Circle of fifths. learn it. www.magicbooktheory.com/cof.htm
4. practice is different for everyone and really depends on what youre trying to work towards. as long as you practice, regardless of how you do so, you will get better.
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1. A II V I progression is almost only used in jazz. It refers to the notes in a key and their chords. For example, an A minor (A B C D E F G A) II V I progression could be Bdim7, E7, Am7.

2. That all depends on what scale you're using or what chords you're using. You need to have one before you can start on the other. If you're using the above chord progression, you could use a scale in A minor or C major (among others). Alternatively, if you started with lets say an F# major scale, if you wanted to use the same II V I progression, you could use G#m, C#, F#.

3. To know what notes belong to what keys, you need to understand intervals. So here's the intervals for all the modes, and an example. (note: W=whole step=2 frets, H=half step=1 fret)

Major (Ionian)
E major = E F# G# A B C# D# E

G dorian = G A Bb C D E F G

F phrygian = F Gb Ab Bb C Db Eb F

A lydian = A B C# D# E F# G# A

B mixolydian = B C# D# E F# G# A B

Aeolian (natural minor)
C aeolian = C D Eb F G Ab Bb C

D locrian = D Eb F G Ab Bb C D

As far as the chords go, there are way too many to list here, but to see what chords work with what scales, go to www.all-guitar-chords.com and click on "scales to chords". Then just select the scale that you want to use and it will give you a list of chords for that scale.

4. To get the most out of a practice session, work on things that you are struggling with. Don't neglect the things that you're good at, but concentrate more on the things that need work.
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Last edited by Junior#1 at Sep 29, 2009,
Learn the major scale, so you understadn how its construsted - that is in terms of steps (WWHWWWH), notes (eg C Major is C D E F G A B), and intervals from the root (Root, Maj 2nd, Maj 3rd, Perfect 4th, Perfect 5th, Maj 6th, Maj 7th, Octave).

Keys are based on scales, so C Major includes all the notes in the C Major scale, and resolves to C (that means music in C Major wants to end on a C), so understand the Major scale and you understand Major keys.

Learn to harmonise the Major scale by stacking 3rds (eg to build a chord on the root of C Major, you take the C as the root of the chord, then add a 3rd above that (E is a 3rd above C), and then add another 3rd above the E (G is a 3rd above E), so your chord is C E G, which is the chord C Maj) - that will teach you chord construction and what chords fit in what key. Which in turn will let you identify what scales will work with what chords for improv

Chords from a scale are normally referred to by Roman numerals, where the chords are named by which degree of the scale they are built off and capital/lower case is used depending on the nature of the chord - so capitals are used for Major chords, lower case is used for minor chords, and symbols are used to indicate diminished/half diminished chords.

Pretty much every other scale you'll ever need can be derived from the Major scale, so get that nailed and you'll find every other scale is a whole lot easier to understand. Don't worry too much about modes until you really understand the major scale either - they rely on an understanding of the major scale as they are derived from it, and you'll have a pig of a time trying to get your head around modes if you don't understand the Major scale. Once you do understand the major scale, modes are pretty simple.