#1
This may be a very repeated question, but please bear with me. I'm a big theory noob. How do we use scales to create a solo? Are scales and keys the same thing? If I'm playing along a chord progression in the key of A minor, then am I supposed to solo in the scale of Pentatonic A Minor? Do we have to play the notes in order as they come in scales? Do hammer-ons/pulloffs/bends etc. have to be in accordance with the scale?

Thank you so much, for taking a few minutes of your day.
#2
A scale is a sequence of notes present in a key... a key being a group of notes related to a single tonic

If your progression is in A minor, you can use notes pertaining to that key, which means you can use the natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor or pentatonic scales... but you can also use other notes as passages, or borrowed from the parallel major.

You can also emphasize the chord tones in each chord of your progression
#3
Are scales and keys the same thing? At a basic level, yes I suppose it might help you to think of it like that. When music is in the 'key' of C major, it means that the chords used are best understood as coming from the harmonized C major scale, and melodies in this key by default would use the C major scale. However, other scales could also be used, the 'key' scale is simply the default diatonic scale. Knowing what other scales would fit depends on whether or not you understand the chords and how they relate to the key.

Do you have to play notes in the order they come in scales? Absolutely not! Melodies come from the notes in scales combined in new and different ways. If you really think about this question you will answer it yourself.. When you hear a good guitarist do their solos sound just like scales? - do they play from the bottom note to the top note over and over again?!
#4
Quote by FallenDestiny
This may be a very repeated question, but please bear with me. I'm a big theory noob. How do we use scales to create a solo? Are scales and keys the same thing? If I'm playing along a chord progression in the key of A minor, then am I supposed to solo in the scale of Pentatonic A Minor? Do we have to play the notes in order as they come in scales? Do hammer-ons/pulloffs/bends etc. have to be in accordance with the scale?

Thank you so much, for taking a few minutes of your day.


In its most basic form, the scale, as in the notes of the scale, and the chords in the key, are made of the same notes, so when you play a solo, they will "fit" together. From there you just use your ear to tell you what you like more than others, but for the most part the notes all "work".

Scales and keys aren't the same thing. Loosely speaking for the purposes of this discussion, a Key is a pitch (say A) or chord that the progression feels most "resolved" upon. A scale is a series of notes, with set number of intervals between notes until you end at the octave.

If your progression in in Am the A Pentatonic Minor is great for that, and so is A Natural minor. The great thing about this, is you don't HAVE to play everything in one order or another, you can use your own ear and play how you like, and just use these as places to find ideas which work for you. Even if you use things not in the scale, if you manage to find things that work for you, then its fine.

For example Eb isnt in the key of Am but we use it all the time as a flavor note. If I played the scale, you might recognize it immediately. It's the Blues scale. In the same way you can do this with other notes, as long as you like what you're hearing, and, don't be afraid to try things out and find ideas that you like.

Best,

Sean