#1
I've been reading a book on music theory and I'm beginning to get a good grasp on the modes and various scales. However, the book falls short in how exactly these can be applied.

For instance. Let's say I have a I II V progression in the key of A. I'd be playing A Bm and E. Now I can easily play the A pentatonic over this progression and it sounds good. But if I want to change the scales over each chord I begin to get lost.

I guess my question is, how do I go about analyzing a chord progression to figure out where I can change scales within the chord progression?

Thanks in advance.
#2
Personally, i stick with the A major scale for that type of thing.

What i would recommend, if you want to start 'playing the changes' is either a) arpeggiate the chords to begin with or b)concentrate on hitting the root of the chord within the A pentatonic major scale.
#3
Quote by shiner_man
I've been reading a book on music theory and I'm beginning to get a good grasp on the modes and various scales. However, the book falls short in how exactly these can be applied.

For instance. Let's say I have a I II V progression in the key of A. I'd be playing A Bm and E. Now I can easily play the A pentatonic over this progression and it sounds good. But if I want to change the scales over each chord I begin to get lost.

I guess my question is, how do I go about analyzing a chord progression to figure out where I can change scales within the chord progression?

Thanks in advance.


Well, if it's in a key, like in your example, you would generally just stick to the scale of that key. It's when there are actual changes, that a shift in scale would be appropriate.

Say if you did ...

A Bm E7 A

but then went to..

D Em A7 D


You would be in A for the 1st 4 chords, and then D for the next 4
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#5
Quote by tenfold
Play the chord tones over each chord.


I have to say, I hear this quite a bit. the thing is, if you take a look at most melodies, they actually include more than just the chord tones.

it's good to practice that way, to learn where the chord tones are, but when it comes to making melodies/music, those other notes often have a place as well.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 3, 2009,
#6
Quote by GuitarMunky
I have to say, I hear this quite a bit. the thing is, if you take a look at most melodies, they actually include more than just the chord tones.

it's good to practice that way, to learn where the chord tones are, but when it comes to making music, those other notes have a place as well.

Of course, but once you can get good at chord tones, you can learn to use other tones for flavor.
#7
Lets say that your I, ii, V = C, Dm, G7

While on the C Chord, I would do C Ionian Mode.

While on the Dmin Chord, I would do D Dorian Mode.

While on the G7 Chord, I would do G Mixolydian Mode.

for a more sonically textured approach:

While on the C Chord, I would do F Lydian Mode.

While on the Dmin Chord, I would do A Aeolian (natural minor) Mode.

While on the G7 Chord, I would do B Locrian (my fave) Mode.
#8
No - all you're really doing there is playing C major all the way through, in both examples. In order to emphasise the chord changes over your I, ii, V = C, Dm, G7 progression your ideal starting point is to look at playing C major over the C major chord, D minor over the Dm chord , G mixolydian is technically correct but likely to get swamped by the over-riding tonality of C. The best way to outline that chord is to use G major as your base but use that flattened 7th as a pivot to modulate around.

That leads you naturally into the options of throwing some notes from the parallel modes in over the other chords - but the moment you start following the relative modes of the tonic all you're doing is playing in the key of said tonic.

Also, if your changing scales over chords then the scale HAS to have the same root note as the chord - you can't play F anything over a C chord in any circumstances if you're looking at it modally.
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#9
Quote by tenfold
Of course, but once you can get good at chord tones, you can learn to use other tones for flavor.


yeah, I agree it's good to know where those chord tones are, and practicing through a song with just chord tones is a good way to become familiar with them.

I just always hear the "just play chord tones".... or "just play 3rds and 7ths"....
and it always bothers me because I think on its own, it's misleading.

Anyway, I meant no offense, and if I understand your suggestion correctly.... I do agree with it.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 3, 2009,
#10
If you want to use modes you're best off with a simple modal vamp. Check out Darren's modal chord progs lesson: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/music_theory/how_to_make_modal_chord_progressions.html

Make sure you understand modes in terms of intervals, not just how they are related to their relative major scale. Understanding them as seperate scales with their own intervallic structure makes it easier to understadn the different tonalities of different modes, and can also makes it easier to remember other things relatively unrelated to modes themselves.

Once you get your head around playing modes over a vamp - which will take quite a while by itself - I'd work out what modes work for you over a single chord vamp, then start thinking about how you might use different scales over a chord progression. You probably don't want to keep changing scales unnecessarily over a chord prog though - imo that would just get confusing to an audience.