#1
So I am trying to get into improvise and solo over chord progressions. Problem is I don't really know how.
Things I already know are
- The ionian scale in 5 modes
- You have to start with the root note in the key of the song...

But that's all I know and for some reason if I begin to play it just doesn't sound ''right''.
I don't know if this has something to do with major and minor or something else.

Could someone explain me a little bit about it?

Thanks in advance!
Gear:
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Jack and Danny Brothers Ls-5
Ibanez Gsa 60
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Zoom g9.2tt (for sale (NL))
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Blackheart Little Giant
#2
If when you say modes, you mean scale positions, those are not modes.

Modes are far more advanced than where you are at right now. Learn the MAJOR SCALE. If whatever diagram you are using says anything about modes, scrap it and go somewhere else.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#3
Okay sorry for that...

Anyway I know the Ionian on 5 different starting positions but how do I know if I am in major or minor?
Gear:
----------------------
Jack and Danny Brothers Ls-5
Ibanez Gsa 60
----------------------
Zoom g9.2tt (for sale (NL))
----------------------
Blackheart Little Giant
#5
Quote by HauntingtheWick
Ionian is the modal name for the major scale. Minor is called the Aeolian. I hope this helps


right, but he shouldn't be worrying about modes now. not to mention that major =/= ionian and minor =/= aeolian. they have the same notes, but they're in a completely different context. anyway, i'm not going to make this a mode thread. as far as i'm concerned, </modes>.

Quote by niels-uiterwaal
how do I know if I am in major or minor?


ideally, you'd use your ear. if your ear isn't trained enough, then you need to know the notes. if you don't know how to look at the notes and discern major or minor, then it becomes a bit of a problem.

after your ear, you should know your keys, but it seems to me that you don't know them yet - so your last option is to turn to look at scales and chords. for this, you need to learn your intervals. learn to discern a major third from a minor third. i'd get into it here, but really it's a lengthy matter (don't get me wrong, it's quite easy - it's just lengthy). i advise you to search the lessons here on UG for intervals. there's bound to be something useful.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#6
FYI - You don't need to start on the root note.

Do you know the chord names of the progression you are trying to solo over? If you give us that we may be able to help the process.
#7
Quote by jsepguitar
Do you know the chord names of the progression you are trying to solo over? If you give us that we may be able to help the process.


well, i don't know if we can help him through just knowing the chord names. improvisation CAN be taught, but not vicariously.

but maybe it could serve to give him an idea as to how other people would improvise. so if you DO know the chords, put them forth.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#8
D-C-g are the chords.... I was playing along with sweet home alabama might be easier to just put that out there.

And also this backing track:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI3ZN_WDJhY

Thanks for taking time to help me guys!
Gear:
----------------------
Jack and Danny Brothers Ls-5
Ibanez Gsa 60
----------------------
Zoom g9.2tt (for sale (NL))
----------------------
Blackheart Little Giant
Last edited by niels-uiterwaal at Jun 11, 2010,
#9
Quote by niels-uiterwaal
D-C-g are the chords.... I was playing along with sweet home alabama might be easier to just put that out there.

And also this backing track:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI3ZN_WDJhY

Thanks for taking time to help me guys!

Figuring out the chords is very important. You should be able to recognize the notes in each chord, but most importantly, you should be LISTENING to each chord as it comes in and moves on. Your improvising will never get better unless you pay attention to your note choices instead of stumbling onto them, blindly following a scale shape. (It is not easy, believe me, but as you get more familiar with scales and chords and accidentals in general, your playing will naturally expand.

Playing an E major lick will sound a lot different over an Emajor chord than it will over an F#minor, although both could work.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
Last edited by hockeyplayer168 at Jun 11, 2010,
#10
Some tips for improvising over Sweet Home Alabama. I apologize in advance if you already know a lot of this, but maybe someone else will benefit. First off, this song goes against the myth that you can tell the key based on the first chord or note. The chords in the progression are D major to C major to G major, which are the V-IV-I chords of G major. The notes of the chords are D major (D,F#,A), C major (C,E,G) and G major (G,B,D). If you consolidate the notes you get the G major scale (G,A,B,C,D,E,F#). Some progressions are more complicated in that they include chords from outside the key, but this one is straightforward. You can play the G major scale over all three chords and the notes fit. Another idea is to use the G major pentatonic scale (G,A,B,D,E) which is featured often during the Skynyrd version.

One tip is to try to emphasize the chord tones, so when you are playing over D major you want to play the chord tones (D, F#, A) on the strong beats, or on notes you hold for a longer duration. Use the other scale notes to bridge the gap from chord tone to chord tone. This is just a way to ease into improv, not a rule that always has to be followed. Sometimes you’ll want to feature non-chord tones to create tension.

The original song uses a lot of common pentatonic licks, so if you know any of them your can throw a few in.

Try to vary your rhythms, don’t just play non-stop 1/16th notes. Stop and rest every now and then at times when you’ve completed a phrase.

What you really need to do is improve your ear and the connection between ear and guitar. Then your improv will be more based on what your ear wants rather than having to work everything out on paper. A good idea is to hum or sing a solo over the progression, and then try to figure out how to play it on the guitar. That’s a really good exercise that I would highly recommend.

This only scratches the surface of improvising, but maybe you’ll try it and get something out of it. What you want to do is get away from mindlessly running up and down scales or wherever your fingers take you and really focusing on how the notes you play will sound over the chords. Good luck.