#1
I am a little confused about this pretty basic thing...

If my chord progression for a song is in the key of C...and is 1 bar of C major, 1 bar of F major and 1 bar of G major...and another guitar is soloing over these chords...

1) I could just strictly use the notes from C major and it would be in key...can someone explain theoretically why this is? Why can I play B note over an F chord when in the key of F the B is actually a Bb and why can i play an F note instead of F# when the progression moves to the G chord.

2) Can I solo in the key of C over the one bar of the C major chord, then solo in the key of F over the F major chord (playing Bb notes) and then solo in the key of G for one bar (playing F# notes)? If so, then how come most solos stick to just one key even during solos?

Thankyou so much if you can help.
#2
C major:
C D E F G A B C

C major: C E G
F major: F A C
G major: G B D

I'm assuming you mean the notes from the C major scale. The chords you are soloing over are pulled from C major itself. If you take a look at the scale above, you can see how it contains C, E, and G, which are the notes of C major (the first chord), and it also contains the notes of the other two chords (F major and G major). You can play any of those notes in C major, and you will still be in the key of C major.

I think what you are confused about is why you are using C major to solo over those chords. Chords come from scales, not the other way around.. meaning if you were playing C major, F major, and G major, you wouldn't play the C major scale, the F major scale, and then the G major scale. You would just play C major over them, because those chords are pulled from C major.

Sorry if it's hard to understand the way I wrote it, I'm not a very good teacher.
#3
Thankyou! That certianly does help...I am just curious...if the solo guitar wanted to make a solo more unique, could he play F#s during the G chord bar and Bbs during the F chord bar even if the song resolves to C?
Quote by ibz120
C major:
C D E F G A B C

C major: C E G
F major: F A C
G major: G B D

I'm assuming you mean the notes from the C major scale. The chords you are soloing over are pulled from C major itself. If you take a look at the scale above, you can see how it contains C, E, and G, which are the notes of C major (the first chord), and it also contains the notes of the other two chords (F major and G major). You can play any of those notes in C major, and you will still be in the key of C major.

I think what you are confused about is why you are using C major to solo over those chords. Chords come from scales, not the other way around.. meaning if you were playing C major, F major, and G major, you wouldn't play the C major scale, the F major scale, and then the G major scale. You would just play C major over them, because those chords are pulled from C major.

Sorry if it's hard to understand the way I wrote it, I'm not a very good teacher.
#4
Quote by dvm25
I am a little confused about this pretty basic thing...

If my chord progression for a song is in the key of C...and is 1 bar of C major, 1 bar of F major and 1 bar of G major...and another guitar is soloing over these chords...

1) I could just strictly use the notes from C major and it would be in key...can someone explain theoretically why this is? Why can I play B note over an F chord when in the key of F the B is actually a Bb and why can i play an F note instead of F# when the progression moves to the G chord.

2) Can I solo in the key of C over the one bar of the C major chord, then solo in the key of F over the F major chord (playing Bb notes) and then solo in the key of G for one bar (playing F# notes)? If so, then how come most solos stick to just one key even during solos?

Thankyou so much if you can help.



If you play a B under an F, you have a tritone, and its going to be functioning somewhat of a rootless G7, which pulls to the I

That's also a similar reason you can play with an F over G, because F is the b7 of a G7.

Try soloing the way you suggested and see how it works.

Best,

Sean
#5
Quote by dvm25
Thankyou! That certianly does help...I am just curious...if the solo guitar wanted to make a solo more unique, could he play F#s during the G chord bar and Bbs during the F chord bar even if the song resolves to C?


Well C major consists of: C D E F G A B C

If you played a F# it would be a #4 (F is the 4th in C major, so F# = #4), and if you played a Bb it would be a b7. There are no rules that I'm aware of that stops you from using accidentals, so all that you would be doing is playing C major with #4 and b7 accidentals.
#6
this is a good question. when soloing over a chord progression such as the one you mentioned- there are 2 main options: 1.) soloing "through" the changes which is the 1st option you described- using C major or C major pentatonic over the whole thing. pretty standard approach. the reason this "works" is because the F chord and the G chord are the IV and V chord(s) (respectively) of C major. since those CHORDS belong to the key of C and especially since they are 2 of the 3 MAJOR chords that belong in this key- you can just solo in the 'parent key' and it will work. another option would be to opt for C minor pentatic over this chord progression which would give it a blues feel.( minor pentatonic over major chords). this approach is exclusive to blues harmony and defies the traditional rules of diatonic theory. the other approach- is t............ 2.) solo "with" the changes. this would be the latter option you described- treating each chord individually. typically the way this would be done would be to play arpeggio based licks for each chord as they change. you would be using the chord tones of each chord you are soloing over and coloring them with some outside notes of your choice. this approach is cool because it isnt even really scale based though the notes technically do come from a scale. if you were to do what you were talking about and use the full scale that corresponds to each chord you would get a more modal feel. in the key of C if you played "C major" over the I chord you'd be fine (diatonically) but if you played F major over the IV chord it would have a mixolydian feel to it because the B flat (the 7) would be a flat 7 in C major. if you used G major over the V chord it would create a lydian feel due to the F# (the 7) would be a #4 in the key of C. so to summarize: all of the options we have discussed will "work" but they will each work DIFFERENTLY! it depends on what you are going for. my reccomendation would be to experiment with these options with another guitarist or a recording AND to study up on the 7 modes of the major scale and chord/scale relationships. hope this helps!
#7
Thankyou so much for that reply! Definitely cleared things up for me Next step will definitely to try to get a better understanding of modes as I am lacking in that area!

Thanks again for that detailed post, much appreciated!

Quote by mickmarz
this is a good question. when soloing over a chord progression such as the one you mentioned- there are 2 main options: 1.) soloing "through" the changes which is the 1st option you described- using C major or C major pentatonic over the whole thing. pretty standard approach. the reason this "works" is because the F chord and the G chord are the IV and V chord(s) (respectively) of C major. since those CHORDS belong to the key of C and especially since they are 2 of the 3 MAJOR chords that belong in this key- you can just solo in the 'parent key' and it will work. another option would be to opt for C minor pentatic over this chord progression which would give it a blues feel.( minor pentatonic over major chords). this approach is exclusive to blues harmony and defies the traditional rules of diatonic theory. the other approach- is t............ 2.) solo "with" the changes. this would be the latter option you described- treating each chord individually. typically the way this would be done would be to play arpeggio based licks for each chord as they change. you would be using the chord tones of each chord you are soloing over and coloring them with some outside notes of your choice. this approach is cool because it isnt even really scale based though the notes technically do come from a scale. if you were to do what you were talking about and use the full scale that corresponds to each chord you would get a more modal feel. in the key of C if you played "C major" over the I chord you'd be fine (diatonically) but if you played F major over the IV chord it would have a mixolydian feel to it because the B flat (the 7) would be a flat 7 in C major. if you used G major over the V chord it would create a lydian feel due to the F# (the 7) would be a #4 in the key of C. so to summarize: all of the options we have discussed will "work" but they will each work DIFFERENTLY! it depends on what you are going for. my reccomendation would be to experiment with these options with another guitarist or a recording AND to study up on the 7 modes of the major scale and chord/scale relationships. hope this helps!
#8
no problem bro- its funny cuz when i started typing- no one had replied yet- then when i hit "post" i saw that you had several responses already! hahaha! glad i could help- i enjoy music theory so im glad i could help clear up some of the murky areas for you. a good thing to do is to have a friend play a chord for you and just have them strum away on it - or you could record yourself strumming away on like a C or something- then just SLOWLY play each possible note over the chord taking note of the affect that each note has. once you get comfortable with this- you will have a clear sense of what note will produce what affect and you will be able to create those affects at will. IMPORTANT: it will help to understand what each scale degree is (1, b2,2,b3,3,4,b5,5,b6,6,b7, or 7) as opposed to just A,A#,B,C etc. so that you can apply the same principle to other keys.