#1
Hello there, i am playing guitar for 4 months now, im trying to improvise over chord tones, but right now im trying to use harmonic minor but im kinda confused. Lets say for example i want to improvise over MJ's smooth criminal which is on the key of Cmaj,
if i use C harmonic minor,

on the pre chorus part lets say the original progression is

F - G - F - G -F - G
F - G - F - G - F - Esus4
E - Am

I i were to play C harmonic minor? is it okay? what should i do? thanks for your help


BTW, i can play over harmonic minor if i were to make a progression, i just need to know how can i apply it on these kind of situations
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#2
Try finding the root notes, F, G, etc... within C-Harmonic Minor scale mode (or box) that you are presently using, and start and end with those (F,G, etc...) that are similar to the chord notes you will be playing over. So when F chord rings out, you have a few seconds to play F, F, G, F, or something like that within it. I believe it might be easier to simply try playing the harmonic minor in F, which simply means finding that scale somewhere else on the fretboard, but i'm no guitar teacher or expert. Just my two cents which is probably incorrect. But try it and see if it works, or refer to a later post, which might be more accurate than mine.
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#3
Quote by Ross Alejandro
Hello there, i am playing guitar for 4 months now, im trying to improvise over chord tones, but right now im trying to use harmonic minor but im kinda confused. Lets say for example i want to improvise over MJ's smooth criminal which is on the key of Cmaj,
if i use C harmonic minor,

on the pre chorus part lets say the original progression is

F - G - F - G -F - G
F - G - F - G - F - Esus4
E - Am

I i were to play C harmonic minor? is it okay? what should i do? thanks for your help


BTW, i can play over harmonic minor if i were to make a progression, i just need to know how can i apply it on these kind of situations

That bit looks like it changes key, C anything isn't likely to apply there because there isn't a C chord in sight. I don't know the song well enough but it looks like that's a long enough passage to change the tonal centre.

If the song is in C major then you usually wouldn't use minor anything, you'd use the C major scale. You *can* use the parallel minor over a major progression to achieve a certain sound but I wouldn't recommend potentially confusing yourself like that after just 4 months. Don't get ahead of yourself, start at the beginning - learn the basics of how music works before worrying about the more advanced ideas.
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#4
thanks for the ideas, well yeah im really overwhelmed using this scale thing, and someone explained to me that as long as the chord notes are present on the scale, even if its not its root or fifth etc, as long as all the chord notes are present you should be fine, is that a effective way?
Just for today, do not worry.
Just for today, do not anger.
Honor your parents, teachers, and elders.
Earn your living honestly.
Show gratitude to everything.
#5
Hey try using the F major scale instead while improvising over this progression. I think you'll find it's much easier and proper.
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#6
is harmonic minor the only scale you know? or are you just trying to find a variety of uses for it?

To answer you question about it being OK... nobody can ever tell you something's not OK if it sounds good. (which is subjective anyway). So that's irrelevant. You can play any note over any chord. But I take it that's not the kind of answer you want.

this...
someone explained to me that as long as the chord notes are present on the scale, even if its not its root or fifth etc, as long as all the chord notes are present you should be fine, is that a effective way?
... also would be subjective... and could vary exponentially depending on the scale's other notes beside the chord notes - and the emphasis/phrasing of notes. etc. etc.

Are you just looking for one scale that will fit perfectly over a certain progression?
#7
Quote by cringer
is harmonic minor the only scale you know? or are you just trying to find a variety of uses for it?

To answer you question about it being OK... nobody can ever tell you something's not OK if it sounds good. (which is subjective anyway). So that's irrelevant. You can play any note over any chord. But I take it that's not the kind of answer you want.

this...
... also would be subjective... and could vary exponentially depending on the scale's other notes beside the chord notes - and the emphasis/phrasing of notes. etc. etc.

Are you just looking for one scale that will fit perfectly over a certain progression?


thanks for answering, and yes im trying to find ways on how to apply harmonic minor over a progression, coz what i want to do is to play harmonic minor on a cover song, what i mean is its easy for me to play over a progression if i were to make it, because i can get rid of notes that im not sure of.

what i want to develop is how to play over a progression, because i think its a critical thing.

and yes i want to play harmonic minor because i love its natural 7th feel.
Just for today, do not worry.
Just for today, do not anger.
Honor your parents, teachers, and elders.
Earn your living honestly.
Show gratitude to everything.
#8
Quote by Ross Alejandro
what i want to develop is how to play over a progression, because i think its a critical thing.

Good for you. That's a great attitude for a new player.

the most important answer is to try it and see how it sounds - that's always your best indicator.

THat said, I think you'll find that if you stay with the C HM, playing over a simple C major progression, you're probably going to land on some notes that sound just plain off key. With that scale... you are forming I and IV chords that are minor, not major... That's just an obvious problem right from the start.

If you were able to finesse things enough to make that sound good... then you'd be advanced enough to not be asking this question.

I might do this: try improv'ing over your progression using the harmonic minor for a while and see how it goes.

Then switch to the melodic minor (change Ab to A) and see if that sounds a little better.

Lastly, raise Eb to E... and now your at the regular C major scale.

Compare and contrast all 3 and see which sounds best. Then if you have more questions, ask away.
Quote by Ross Alejandro
and yes i want to play harmonic minor because i love its natural 7th feel.

That's cool but you need to use it where it sounds good.
You don't want to force it everywhere you improvise.
#9
Quote by Ross Alejandro

and yes i want to play harmonic minor because i love its natural 7th feel.



Harmonic Minor has a sharp 7 bud

C natural minor = C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - C
C harmonic minor = C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - B - C
Last edited by l33TgUiT@rd00d at Sep 20, 2010,
#10
Quote by cringer
Good for you. That's a great attitude for a new player.

the most important answer is to try it and see how it sounds - that's always your best indicator.

THat said, I think you'll find that if you stay with the C HM, playing over a simple C major progression, you're probably going to land on some notes that sound just plain off key. With that scale... you are forming I and IV chords that are minor, not major... That's just an obvious problem right from the start.

If you were able to finesse things enough to make that sound good... then you'd be advanced enough to not be asking this question.

I might do this: try improv'ing over your progression using the harmonic minor for a while and see how it goes.

Then switch to the melodic minor (change Ab to A) and see if that sounds a little better.

Lastly, raise Eb to E... and now your at the regular C major scale.

Compare and contrast all 3 and see which sounds best. Then if you have more questions, ask away.

That's cool but you need to use it where it sounds good.
You don't want to force it everywhere you improvise.


what a sweet answer! your sir are a good c*#t