#1
Okay, so I'm a complete theory noob, and me and some mates started a band a few months ago. We started covering some songs, but now we're righting our own stuff. I know how to write chord progressions and can make songs based just around chords, but I don't know how to write riffs over those chord progressions. I mainly use the pentatonic minor scale. I don't know how to identify what scale I can use to play over the progression. Any help?
Sending a dummy to my God.

Sending a dummy to my God.


Sending a dummy to my God.


Sending a dummy to my God.
#2
It's time to start learning some theory if you can't just hear what you want to play.


www.musictheory.net is a good starting place. And there are tons of guides on this site.
#3
Quote by iduno871
It's time to start learning some theory if you can't just hear what you want to play.


www.musictheory.net is a good starting place. And there are tons of guides on this site.



I've used musictheory for a while and it's been fantastic! Another cool site (besides the lessons on here) is Cyberfret; they have some good "chord construction" articles
#4
Quote by protest000
Okay, so I'm a complete theory noob, and me and some mates started a band a few months ago. We started covering some songs, but now we're righting our own stuff. I know how to write chord progressions and can make songs based just around chords, but I don't know how to write riffs over those chord progressions. I mainly use the pentatonic minor scale. I don't know how to identify what scale I can use to play over the progression. Any help?


Well first of all you need to know whether it's a major or minor key you're in, and also WHAT key (A, B, C, D, G etc).

Once you know that, you can use the appropriate scale to compose melodies/riffs/solos etc over the top of the chords.

For MAJOR keys you can use: major scale, major pentatonic, blues scale/minor pentatonic (yes, it works in major keys too), or even mixolydian modes in some cases (but don't worry about that too much for now).

For MINOR keys you can use: natural minor scale, minor pentatonic/blues scale, and in some cases the dorian mode and the harmonic minor scale (but don't worry too much about the last 2 so much for now).

Or your other option is to just follow the chord progression with your melodies, i.e. don't think about scales but rather play melodies that feature the notes of the chord that's currently playing; you can add notes around the chord too that 'sound right' to your ear...and if they 'sound right' then that is ok trust me....

Ultimately, you don't want to be thinking too much about music theory when composing songs. I know you're a fairly new musician, but your goal with time is to be able to compose by using your ear and your intuition and if things 'sound right' then who cares about the music theory, just play from the heart and whatever comes out can be considered 'correct' whether it follows the exact music theory or not.

Most songwriters don't think too much about 'music theory' when composing, they play from their soul not their intellect and try to express their feelings through the music. I mean, I know all the music theory but when I'm writing music or improvising a solo, I NEVER think about music theory.

So you could just have someone play the chords and then you compose something over the top that sound good to your ear...trust your senses more than music theory. Sometimes trial and error is a better approach as it's less rigid.

Most music theory was created to explain music that already existed, rather than the other way round.
Last edited by GuitarManNeil at Jul 15, 2010,