#1
Hey all,

So I'm in a hard rock band, and some of the solos I have aren't in key (they're mainly powerchord based songs that I play solos out of key) and it got me thinking, the solos sound good, and others have said so, so it got me thinking should scales restrict guitarists as I know alot of people are reluctant to venture out of key. Take some of the most well known solos of all time, Sweet Child O' Mine has a weird scale pattern, he starts off in Eminor pentatonic, but then goes off elsewhere, and November Rain isn't played in key (I don't think) and Kerry King rarely plays in key (I don't like his solos)

What do you guys think?
#2
The general rule of thumb is once you have a idea of how music theory works, you can do whatever the f'k you want with it.
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#3
The big secret about scales and modes and music theory is that none of it matters. If it sounds good, it sounds good. That's what matters. If you stick to what traditional theory demands then you will never play anything of value. Every legendary classical composer dicked around outside of what theory demanded.
#5
Quote by grohl1987
The big secret about scales and modes and music theory is that none of it matters. If it sounds good, it sounds good. That's what matters. If you stick to what traditional theory demands then you will never play anything of value. Every legendary classical composer dicked around outside of what theory demanded.
Theory doesn't demand anything. Joe Satriani nailed it when he said theory is like a ruler. You need a ruler to measure a length, but a ruler doesn't limit you to a certain lengths.

When you say "never play anything of value" can you tell me of a song which you think has value? Because almost every rock solo is in some minor pentatonic plus a few notes from the associated scale (I particularly like the flat 6th). All the jazz guys knew their theory back to front. Lots of shred solos are based off arpeggiated scales. Pretty much only industrial/noise is beyond the reach of theory.

OK, maybe you would say theory doesn't matter and learn to solo purely by experiment with chromatic scales. Well I tried that for a year and got nowhere until someone taught me the minor pentatonic and how to harmonise a chord sequence. It transformed my soloing and my songwriting, and now when someone plays a chord sequence I can quickly identify the key and solo over it. Even if I was brilliant enough to learn to solo totally by ear, I would still end up playing in key because there are mathematical reasons why certain notes sound good. So "if it sounds good, it sounds good", but if it sounds good it was also incorporated into the theory of western music some 6 centuries ago. So unless you want to play using notes other than those in western music, theory does matter and it is unbelievably useful.
Last edited by the evil edge at Jun 29, 2011,
#6
I understand what you're trying to say.You probably don't know your theory thus making you think that you're not exactly playing in key.What you dont realise is that you are possibly using the modes within scales and soloing using those particular modes etc.You get the point?
Scales shouldn't restrict guitarists but having said that having knowledge of what youre doing is essential.
#7
Theory does matter, I agree, but I also think that theory shouldn't dictate what someone can and can't do, it should be used as guidance but not as a rule IMO
#8
Quote by theking4everr
I understand what you're trying to say.You probably don't know your theory thus making you think that you're not exactly playing in key.What you dont realise is that you are possibly using the modes within scales and soloing using those particular modes etc.You get the point?
Scales shouldn't restrict guitarists but having said that having knowledge of what youre doing is essential.


Thanks for the reply, I've just started taking music theory lessons haha. Hopefully I'll have a better understanding soon!
#9
Quote by controlledchaos
Hey all,

So I'm in a hard rock band, and some of the solos I have aren't in key (they're mainly powerchord based songs that I play solos out of key) and it got me thinking, the solos sound good, and others have said so, so it got me thinking should scales restrict guitarists as I know alot of people are reluctant to venture out of key. Take some of the most well known solos of all time, Sweet Child O' Mine has a weird scale pattern, he starts off in Eminor pentatonic, but then goes off elsewhere, and November Rain isn't played in key (I don't think) and Kerry King rarely plays in key (I don't like his solos)

What do you guys think?

Playing in key doesn't mean you have to stay in key all the time. Notes outside the key sound very good when applied well, but you're still in key.

The solo in Sweet Child O' Mine is in Eb minor and while it includes the note Db, he seems to venture to D at times which is the major seventh of the scale. So really, he's just in Eb minor the whole time. You probably think it's more complex but it isn't.

November Rain on the other hand looks a lot like Ab minor and practically doesn't feature any out of key notes. It's completely in key.

I don't like Kerry King's solos either.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#10
The whole point is to play what sounds good. You don't score any extra points for staying in a particular key, though it may help you stick to playing what sounds good.
#11
slash only goes to that D note when the bflat chord is in the background, and a bflat major has a D note in it, other than that it's just like natural minor and pentatonics
#12
theory, stuff like scales and whatnot, isn't limiting. rather, its a great way to open doors. the more that you know about theory, the more complex and original your melodic work can become. additionally, knowing more theory keeps you from just guessing your way around chords.

also, soloing completely out of key wouldn't work at all. alot of times, there are reasons that guitarist appear to solo out of key because they have changed keys (jazz), they're playing with modes, or they are using a different type of scale pattern (Kerry King uses harmonic minors alot. they look like minors, save for the natural 7)
#13
Quote by ArtemR
slash only goes to that D note when the bflat chord is in the background, and a bflat major has a D note in it, other than that it's just like natural minor and pentatonics

E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#14
TS, if anyone ever says that theory in ANY WAY restricts ones playing bitch slap them and then kick them in the nads for not knowing better

as it was said before scales are just "safe zone", everything played in key will inevitably sound good (how creative it is to run scale back and forth is up to you, but at least its not completely random) and other notes are there at your service to create other specific/dissonant/tension building etc. sounds

Learn your theory, it wont tell you WHAT to play, it will show you HOW to achieve whichever sound you want
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#15
Thread starter, you obviously don't know theory at all. Slash solos being out of key? Give me a break man, slash uses the minor pentatonic and minor scales and THAT'S it. He's ALWAYS in key. And all of this b.s. About "theory limits people to what they do" like, wtf? I've never met another musicians who has been like "oh man, this sounds awesome, but it breaks my theory rules, can't use it..l. That's idiotic. People use theory to know what sounds good and what sounds bad, but in a good way. Check out some fully diminished chords and full tone scales. You have to KNOW the rules to BREAK them. Do yourself a favor, and just learn the basics of theory. It'll change you as a musician in the best way possible. Theory will never limit creativity. ONLY focus it.. Trust me.
by the time you read this you will be wasting your time because it doesnt say anything
#16
Think of it like this...
If music is a language... a way to express yourself...

your suggesting or asking....
if I don't study and learn the language... I should be able to talk better...

the people in the above messages say it great... it isn't restricting anything.. it is helping you be more expressive... and understand what the hell it is your trying to say... you mature as you learn... and are better able to get the stuff in your head.. OUT!!!

I think people who say that("learning theory restricts you").. use it as an excuse not to grow as a musician..
I have yet to see any good player NOT know some theroy... The ones we tend to love like VAI, Satch... and the list goes on.. all KNOW theory...