#1
Hello everyone,

I have been practising the 5 positions of the pentatonic scale since Christmas using the key of A. I have some questions about it's use and about power chords fitting into keys;

1. If a song is all in the key of A can I play the A minor pentatonic over any part of the song and it sound good? What about the key of Am? And what about A's relative minor F#m?

2. Can I use power chords in place of minor chords in a chord progression and still be staying in a certain key? For example if I play an I-V-vi in they key of A giving me A-E-F#m but change the F#m to an F#5, will this still be in key?

3. What does it mean when there is a "/" sign between two chord letters? For example I am learning the song Buddy Holly by Weezer and it states some chords as D5/A, E5/B and E/G#.

4. I am not sure how to word this question because I am not exactly sure what I am getting at but I have read that when soloing over certain chords/using certain scales it is necessary to watch for chord changes? Up until then I believed that you could play for instance, the C major scale over any C chord progression and it sound good (relative to how you play obviously). What scales/chords must you have a greater understanding of the chords being played rather than just know what key the chords are in?

Any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated.

Regards

lodgi
#2
If you're willing to go the self taught route, I'll recommend you a book. You have to study, and enjoy it also.

Answers to the questions you posed will mean nothing to you b/c there is no foundation of theory yet.
#3
I was told / means slid up the neck.
I'm learning Moby Dick and its in my tab. My teacher Has me slide all the way up the neck when I see this
#4
Quote by lodgi
1. If a song is all in the key of A can I play the A minor pentatonic over any part of the song and it sound good? What about the key of Am? And what about A's relative minor F#m?


i wouldn't say it would sound "good", but it'd sound "in"...that is, unless the progression employs accidentals. your best bet would be to follow the notes in each chord and use them as a starting block and reach out from there. the fretboard will come to you more naturally than just telling yourself "ok switch to this shape!"

also, F#m is only relative to A major. A minor would have a relative major in C#

2. Can I use power chords in place of minor chords in a chord progression and still be staying in a certain key? For example if I play an I-V-vi in they key of A giving me A-E-F#m but change the F#m to an F#5, will this still be in key?

as long as the song feels "at home" at A, you're gonna be in key. don't worry so much about staying in key - the whole basis of chord progressions is to establish tension and to resolve that tension. there are a million difference chords you could use for this purpose in any given context, especially if you get into unique voicings a la eric johnson. don't be afraid to explore

but yes, F#5 will be fine - it's just F#m with one note missing.

3. What does it mean when there is a "/" sign between two chord letters? For example I am learning the song Buddy Holly by Weezer and it states some chords as D5/A, E5/B and E/G#.


slash chord - basically, the chord (the first letter) is being played on the top strings whilst the bass note will be the second letter. so D5 over A, for example, it'd be a regular D5 chord on the 5th fret of the A string, but with you also fingering the 5th fret of the E string so there's an A in the bass of the chord.

this is usually used to make a simple bassline outside of the usual roots of chords.

4. I am not sure how to word this question because I am not exactly sure what I am getting at but I have read that when soloing over certain chords/using certain scales it is necessary to watch for chord changes? Up until then I believed that you could play for instance, the C major scale over any C chord progression and it sound good (relative to how you play obviously). What scales/chords must you have a greater understanding of the chords being played rather than just know what key the chords are in?


already answered this above. each chord you find will, usually, just have a root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th, and quite often not even the 7th. learn how to find these 4 intervals very quickly, and understand how they interact with the root. this is the foundation of chords, and most of the time when people are running scales, the reason they "work" is because of those couple of notes.

if you know where the 1-3-5-7 are of whatever chord you're playing over, you can literally do anything you want as long as you do it tactfully. non-chord tones are usually going to be dissonant ("bad") notes, especially if they're outside the appropriate scale that relates to that chord. your chord tones are consonant ("good") notes. the key problem being, if you play only "good" notes or only "bad" notes, the playing will be stale. so don't be afraid to explore over chord changes - as long as you remember that the chord is your anchor, and you're obligated to serve the progression.

this is why we try and steer away from scales - people get the idea that music is much simpler than it is. it's a large artform that takes a lot of work to master, but only a reasonable foundation to begin to understand. scales aren't a very large part of that foundation because they make it quite difficult to think for yourself and explore if you use them as a crutch (and as the first educational tool you're given, it's basically impossible to note use them as a crutch)

you need a knowledge of scales and chords, but only minimally. most importantly, you need to understand what they sound like, because, like thinking before you speak, if you don't know what you're playing in your head before you play it, you may as well be playing blind. as long as you learn to listen and use common sense, however, music isn't a very daunting beast once you've weened off of relying on shapes to work things out for yourself.
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