ajeanne
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
21 IQ
#1
I'm just beginning to learn soloing and improvisation. I'm throughly confused. I understand that you should choose notes that are within the key of the song. So when writing a solo can you use more than one scale as long as the notes you play are within the key? Because all scales have overlapping notes. Also say I was using the C Major pentatonic scale to write a solo, can I use notes outside of this scale? Like notes that are in the C Major scale but not in the Pentatonic Scale?
Zaphod_Beeblebr
Shallow and pedantic.
Join date: Apr 2006
1,670 IQ
#2
For this particular example you have to realise that the C major pentatonic scale is actually a subset of the notes of the C major scale. By playing C major pentatonic you're already playing C major.

This could get a little complicated but bear with me:

When you're playing over a backing track or something like that you can use any notes you want but the ones that are most likely to sound "safe" are the ones from the key. Now, the thing is, notes that are actually outside of the key are called accidentals; how you get to using those accidentals physically (i.e. different scales, crazy arpeggios, whatever) doesn't matter. In theory terms, they aren't from different scales they are accidentals and nothing else.

Physically you can think of them however you like but it's definitely important to know that if, for example, you're playing in C major you can use any notes you choose but if you use notes apart from C D E F G A B then you're using accidentals and nothing else.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Album.
Legion.
ajeanne
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
21 IQ
#3
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
For this particular example you have to realise that the C major pentatonic scale is actually a subset of the notes of the C major scale. By playing C major pentatonic you're already playing C major.

This could get a little complicated but bear with me:

When you're playing over a backing track or something like that you can use any notes you want but the ones that are most likely to sound "safe" are the ones from the key. Now, the thing is, notes that are actually outside of the key are called accidentals; how you get to using those accidentals physically (i.e. different scales, crazy arpeggios, whatever) doesn't matter. In theory terms, they aren't from different scales they are accidentals and nothing else.

Physically you can think of them however you like but it's definitely important to know that if, for example, you're playing in C major you can use any notes you choose but if you use notes apart from C D E F G A B then you're using accidentals and nothing else.



so does that mean if i was writing a solo in the key of C Major I could use notes from any scale as long as they were in the key of C? For instance could I use the G Major scale but not use F#?
Zaphod_Beeblebr
Shallow and pedantic.
Join date: Apr 2006
1,670 IQ
#4
Quote by ajeanne
so does that mean if i was writing a solo in the key of C Major I could use notes from any scale as long as they were in the key of C? For instance could I use the G Major scale but not use F#?


You can use any notes you want, nothing's actually stopping you from doing so, but the only notes that are in key are the ones from the C major scale. A key doesn't tell you what notes you can play, it just tells you what notes are in that key. Mostly people stick to notes that are in key because they're less likely to sound horribly dissonant but there is still the potential for some pretty nasty sounding intervals in there. No matter what you do you're going to have to listen and pay attention to what you're playing and the backing you're playing over and make choices about the notes you play at any point.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Album.
Legion.
bburritt1
Sauron Hates EMG's......
Join date: Feb 2013
188 IQ
#5
Exactly! There is no rules! As long as it sounds good to you as a player then thats all that really matters. Doesnt matter if you go from C to Gb back to C shit play it!

(by the way i dont know what notes are or scales. I made my own scales based on the penatonic scale that i got from my one and only lesson. I dont recommend doing that...ever. Really limits you but doesnt. Ruins your chance as a studio player in most cases.)
The Rig of Joy:
Stiff Amplification Dirthead 20w
Bugera 2x12 Cab
Fender Partscaster Korean Made
Epiphone Prophecy
Washburn Southern Cross 34 of 100
Ibanez TS9,AD9,GCB95, Multi Chorus and TU2
ProphetToJables
Tight Tight Tight
Join date: Dec 2008
1,529 IQ
#6
From my own playing, rules are meant to be broken, passing notes outside of your regular pentatonic are what make a listener pay attention and draw them in.
Gear:

Gibson 2005 Les Paul Standard
Fender Road Worn Strat w/ Noiseless pickups
Marshall JCM 2000 401C
Marshall Vintage Modern 2266
Marshall 1960A cab (Dave Hill from Slade's old cab)
Ibanez TS9DX
EHX Little Big Muff
Freshman Acoustic
bburritt1
Sauron Hates EMG's......
Join date: Feb 2013
188 IQ
#7
Quote by ProphetToJables
From my own playing, rules are meant to be broken, passing notes outside of your regular pentatonic are what make a listener pay attention and draw them in.

^ he explained it better
The Rig of Joy:
Stiff Amplification Dirthead 20w
Bugera 2x12 Cab
Fender Partscaster Korean Made
Epiphone Prophecy
Washburn Southern Cross 34 of 100
Ibanez TS9,AD9,GCB95, Multi Chorus and TU2