#1
I have just started writing my own songs but there is one thing that i just dont understand. How do you know which scale to use for a solo or plucking over the top of the chord pattern?
I have been playing for a while and done bits of guitar theory but seem to have missed out some essential things that I actually want to know! All the other forums i have looked at explain it in a really complicated way!
please help me
#2
Short answer - the scale that uses the same notes as the chords, with the same root as the song resolves to.
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#3
Quote by azza0011
I have just started writing my own songs but there is one thing that i just dont understand. How do you know which scale to use for a solo or plucking over the top of the chord pattern?
I have been playing for a while and done bits of guitar theory but seem to have missed out some essential things that I actually want to know! All the other forums i have looked at explain it in a really complicated way!
please help me


There's no shorthand for knowledge. How far are you willing to invest in your own development so that you understand things better?

I know the scale by looking at the chords, I know diatonic harmony, I know the proper names for the notes which form the scales and the chords as I look at it.

We teach all this stuff, just so you do understand; there are options out there that if you want to and are serious, we can teach these things in ways that aren't complicated.

Best,

Sean
#5
start off by learning major and minor scales, they of course go along with major and minor chords. for different genres of music, the biggest one being of course jazz, is where you will start to find scales of notes which we call modes, there is a mode for each scale degree of our 4 major types of scales, 1 major, and three types of minor. another good thing to practice is your chord arpeggios. Also make sure you know what type of chord is assigned to what scale degree. in a major scale your major chords are 1 4 and 5, minor is 2 3 and 6, and 7 is diminished, that will help out with your modal playing as well.

unfortunately it isn't very easy to discuss stuff like this over the internet so i recommend talking to other players about it because then you could see what they are talking about. there is also a handful of books out there that will answer your question instantly.

good luck and have fun

E
#6
Quote by azza0011
I have just started writing my own songs but there is one thing that i just dont understand. How do you know which scale to use for a solo or plucking over the top of the chord pattern?
I have been playing for a while and done bits of guitar theory but seem to have missed out some essential things that I actually want to know! All the other forums i have looked at explain it in a really complicated way!
please help me


Here's the problem.

You're asking for a simple answer to a complex question, and none exists. The simplest answer is determine what note your pattern resolves to, and use either the major or minor scale of that note.

The real answer is that there is no one right answer. The answer depends on what sound you're trying to create.

For example, let's say we had a really simple progression of G, D, Em, C.

That pretty much screams "G major" (if you've taken some theory, you should understand why - if not ... then go take more theory. You didn't learn enough).

So you could use the G major scale. But if you wanted a bluesier sound, you could use the G minor pentatonic. With a melody that resolved strongly to E you can use E minor (same ntoes as G major). You could also use shifting pentatonc scales (G maj, D maj, E min, and C major) over each chord, for a very melodic, expanded chord-toney feel.

If you can use the minor pentatonic scale, that probably means you can also use the G minor scale - so long as you're careful about a few of those extra notes. Or, of course, you could do the common blues thing (explained really well on Mike Dodge's lesson site) about mixing G minor and G major pentatonics.

And those are the easy choices, that one would hope most intermediate guitarists would be able to work with. (ANd if you don't know major, minor, both pentatonics, and have some ability to understand how the pentatonics blend, don't work on any other scales). Some advanced guitarists would pick other choices, although often it's not stuff you worry about naming. (eg, my bass playing came up with something that was in Bb minor with a flat fifth. We didn't worry about naming it, we just played it. By relating it to the minor scale, I was able to play it).

So the right question is not, "what scale do i use?" but rather, "What sound do I want to make? What scale gives me that sound?" - the decision on scale comes AFTER the decision on sound.

Develop your ear so you're more capable of answering that sound question.