What would be a good way to solo over the following chords such as F, C, and G? To me the best way to play over these chords would be play a minor pentatonic or a minor scale. Seeing as how guys like Slash, Zakk Wylde, and all of those other guys use that for soloing over major chords as the ones I have previously listed. But if you can recommend some really colorful and exotic scale and mode choices that would really help out a lot. Thanks.
C phrygian dom would be diff and interesting. Build phryg off the C and raise the 3rd half step. You now have phryg w/ a major 3rd. Also called Phrygian major. The trick is to noodle in this mode without sounding like a Nile fan.
Oh, yeah, it's 5th mode of harm minor.
That should sound really interesting. Especially with all of those flats in there. So it should definitely spice things up a bit.
Not necessarily. A lot of the notes (particularly the thirds of F and G) in there will clash, and really have no relevance to the layout of the progression.

Keep in mind everything I'm about to say is from an extremely methodical standpoint - listening to music and getting inspiration for phrasing, dynamics, articulation, soundscapes, textures, tone colours and expression and re-recreating and expanding upon those ideas is this goal; this is just a means of understanding one path of getting there.

I'd recommend working out the notes in each chord first:

C - C E G
F - F A C
G - G B D

... which fall under a C major scale; hence, you use a C major scale over those chords.

As for how you can approach soloing, you can use chord tones (that is, for example, C, E and G over C major) and their diatonic extensions (considering the 7ths, 9ths, 11ths, and so on of each chord), or use each chord's respective major key. Below are the chords with diatonic extensions (in order: root, third, fifth, seventh, ninth, eleventh, 13th), and below that, each chord's respective major scale (since they're all major chords)

C - C E G B D F A (Cmaj13)
F - F A C E G B D (Fmaj13/#11)
G - G B D F A C E (G13)

Major scales:
C - C D E F G A B
F - F G A Bb C D E
G - G A B C D E F#

... and use common tones to connect them together (such as the V of C, G, to act as the ninth over F, or the V of F, C, to act as the 11th of G, which creates contrast whilst maintaining some sort of unity).

How do you use these methods though? Think methodolodically (my coin term for methodically, but with melody in mind ). Play straight quarter notes of the C major scale over each chord, not worrying too much about rhythm or phrasing; just get an ear for the scale over the chord progression. Once you have an ear, get a little more adventurous with phrasing for now.
Once you've tried out this method, get back to quarter notes, but this time exploiting chord tones - just straight I III V patterns in one octave to start, and get an ear for that. Then try targetting different notes of each chord - maybe try accenting the third degree instead of the root, or the fifth. On this note, experiment with inversions too. Inversions are amazing.
Continue this method, but now using extensions of the chords - the seventh, ninth, and so on. Play as quarter notes, target different notes, and then adapt your phrasing and rhythmic approaches.
If you like, you can try the scale crossing method, but it will take a lot more thinking power to work out, so some time is best spent with a pen and paper, and dissecting how you can approach things before jumping in practically.

The hardest part is to not accent the ''1'' count of every bar, or chord change - hold a note over chord changes (though know what sort of sound you want and target those particular notes; the common tones being the best to begin with) - so experiment with syncopation, too, if you want to improve your phrasing.

Finally, and my biggest point of advice, is to listen to artists with interesting phrasing like Mimi Fox, Trey Alexander and Ron Jarzombek, who each effectively utilize these methods (of course, also listen to artists you like and hear what they do, and why what they do affects you).
Like I said at the start though, everyone else who posts will have different approaches - I've only offered one possible plan of action, and one set to try out.

A bit late over here, so if anyone catches major slip-ups (or any, I'm running for accuracy here!), please step in to let me know. also, if I can clarify or be clearer on anything, please feel free to let me know.

I hope this helps,

Last edited by juckfush at Sep 29, 2010,
Sorry, I didn't mean to condemn the idea

There's a context out there for sure where your idea would work great - polytonal music comes to mind - and using portions of that scale over these chords sparingly could open up a whole palette of sounds (though I'd be using the outside notes as passing tones, or for deliberate outside sound, as in jazz and fusion). Then there's the whole route of, once the piece has developed a bit and a tonality is set, exploiting those odd intervals more and more but with the same melodic contour as earlier parts, as an example. I'm rambling now. =\

I shouldn't have come off as totally denouncing the idea, because little bits of it can break up any monotony, but it really does have to be used very appropriately (which sways from song to song) and with understanding of the simpler concepts first; what you suggested would be very complex, but definitely interesting if done right!
Last edited by juckfush at Sep 29, 2010,
There are a couple problems with that ^

The progression written in the OP is tonally based (A I IV V progression), not modal, so modal usage shouldn't really be considered in this context. One of the only ways modes could be considered in a tonal progression is for the sake of intervallic distances: rather than targeting characteristics notes of modes, since a modality can never be established over a one-chord-per-bar sequence. Of course, jazz artists may approach chords modally, but that can be argued to be more closely related to chord tones of a key than modes specifically.

The other problem is that F Phrygian is the third mode of Db Major, and only has two notes in common with the key of C major:

F Gb Ab Bb C Db Eb

Wild dissonance!
In my opinion you shouldn't be using weird or exotic scales until you can figure out which ones you should be using on your own. Until you get to that point you'll just be flailing at notes without knowing how to use them well.
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Quote by Master Foo
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Well when I played along with someone earlier today. I discovered that pentatonic and minor scales were really the way to go. Bands like Van Halen, Metallica, Megadeth, Guns N Roses, Black Label Society, they all use pentatonic minor shapes. So if Eddie can create, in my opinion the world's greatest guitar solo using the pentatonic scale. Then I figure I might as well too.

There are so many things you can do with pentatonic scales by using repeating licks as heard on almost every metallica, ozzy osbourne, and megadeth album. That's what makes those licks amazing because they're so simple. Just stick with the meat and potatoes, skip the bread.
That's great you've found that the minor penatonic can be played over both major and minor progressions.

If you were playing the F, G and C chords just as powerchords it could be debatable whether the progression is minor or major, especially if there is no melody line (vocals) involved.

All those bands you have listed use minor, major, blues and pentatonic scales. You can too.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Quote by AlanHB
That's great you've found that the minor penatonic can be played over both major and minor progressions.

If you were playing the F, G and C chords just as powerchords it could be debatable whether the progression is minor or major, especially if there is no melody line (vocals) involved.

All those bands you have listed use minor, major, blues and pentatonic scales. You can too.

Thanks for the advise

I actually play the power chords aka fifth chords, while my friends plays on his acoustic the major chords C, G, and F. I'm also playing through his Johnson j station which is like a digitech multi effects pedal but minus the whammy.

There's actually this really cool lick I started messing around with last night that metallica tend to use in their solos. So I figure why not play like your heroes. Satriani plays like Hendrix. Wylde plays like Randy Rhoads. So I guess I'll play like Kirk Hammett.