#1
The Goal: Incorporate chords tones/arps into my lead playing.
I think “playing over changes" (playing a different scale over each chord)
is a quantum leap over wanking on one scale/mode for an entire solo.

The Method:
I am using the CAGED thing.

Tonight, for a few hours, I just played the C chord in all 5 CAGED positions.
Over and over. I played the arps over a droning C note in the looper.
Sometimes, I called out the note names as I played the note (C E G)
Sometimes, I called out the intervals as I played the note (1, 3, 5)
(I am trying to memorize both)

I also played the associated major scale "box" position for each CAGED box.

I now have a good grasp of finding C major chords/notes all over the neck.
COOL! I plan to just do this for every chord.
Figure a few hours for each chord, along with ample review for past chords,
This should take a month or two, I guess.

Doing this, I expect to accomplish the following:
1) memorize all the notes in every triad. (starting with major, then minor, and then 7ths)
2) memorize the notes over the entire neck.
3) memorize the entire major scale (and hence, all 7 modes)

I think I can do all 3 at the same time, with the plan of action I’ve decided on.

But, here is my question. Can someone give me a taste of how I will implement this new knowledge into my playing? I mean, I'll do it for all 12 chords, but so far I have gotten down the first: C major. Can you give me an example of how I can use my new C major skills in my playing? I just want a taste of where my playing will be headed.
1978 Les Paul Custom Sunburst
2001 USA Strat (Hot & Cool Rails)
Effects: Boss GT-6 with Tech-21 Power Amp
Last edited by MissingSomethin at Jul 7, 2013,
#2
Quote by MissingSomethin
The Goal: Incorporate chords tones/arps into my lead playing.
ie: “Playing over changes.”

The Method:
I am using the CAGED thing.

Tonight, for an entire hour, I just played the C chord in all 5 CAGED positions.
Over and over. I played the arps over a droning C note in the looper.
Sometimes, I called out the note names as I played the note (C E G)
Sometimes, I called out the intervals as I played the note (1, 3, 5)
(I am trying to memorize both)

I also played the associated major scale "box" position for each CAGED box.

I now have a good grasp of finding C major chords/notes all over the neck.
COOL! I plan to just do this for every chord.
1 hour for each chord, along with ample review for past chords,
This should take a month or two, I guess.

Doing this, I expect to accomplish the following:
1) memorize all the notes in every triad. (starting with major, then minor, and then 7ths)
2) memorize the notes over the entire neck.
3) memorize the entire major scale (and hence, all 7 modes)

I think I can do all 3 at the same time, with the plan of action I’ve decided on.

But, here is my question. Can someone give me a taste of how I will implement this new knowledge into my playing? I mean, I'll do it for all 12 chords, but so far I have gotten down the first: C major. Can you give me an example of how I can use my new C major skills in my playing? I just want a taste of where my playing will be headed.

1) I'd learn the formula for the augmented and diminished before sevenths and learn how to put them together via intervals.
2) construct modal vamps for each note and learn all natural notes by soloing on one string at a time
#3
If the song is in the key C major, you can use the notes of C major. Go to youtube and search for "backing track in C major" and have fun using your patterns.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#4
Quote by MissingSomethin

I think “playing over changes" (playing a different scale over each chord)
is a quantum leap over wanking on one scale/mode for an entire solo.

Why would you want to do that? If the chord progression is for example C-Am-F-G, it usually sounds the best if you play C major over everything. And don't start with the "C ionian over C major, A aeolian over A minor, F lydian over F major, G mixolydian over G major" crap. Because all those scales have the same notes and you are really only playing C major scale over everything. You need to learn to use the scale, not look for new "exotic scales". Most solos mostly use notes in one scale and they sound great. You can do lots of stuff with just pentatonic scale. Learning all notes on the fretboard is one thing but learning to use the notes is another. And you should learn both. So don't just memorize all notes, learn their sound, learn how to use them.

And you said you learned the C major scale but you don't know how to use it. So you are learning it just for the sake of learning it? I would first find out why I'm learning something. But yeah, find a C major backing track and improvise over it. But try to think, not just play.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jul 8, 2013,
#6
You don't really need to "play a different scale over each chord", to be honest a lot of the time that's just needlessly overcomplicatiing the issue. I agree that in some improvisational contexts when the chord changes are frequent and unorthodox then it's a handy way to approach it.

However if you're playing actual songs with familiar things like diatonic chord progressions and pleasing melodies then that approach could potentially make your playing sound a bit disjointed when what you're really wanting to produce is a melodic lead line that fits nicely with the backing. And if you think that approach will give you a framework to play round, a "blueprint" to give you an idea of which notes to use at any given point, well you already have those. They're called "chords".
Actually called Mark!

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#7
Good point that I don't want to invest a year of memorizing if it does not add to my playing. I don't care about book learnin' music theory that can't be applied.

And yea, I am generally a classic rock style player, so I never really play leads in the major scale. I tend to play Penta, Dorian or Mixo. leads. So, how playing C major chord notes useful for me? I guess it's just 1,3,5. All of which are in the rock modes I use. But, on their own, it sounds pretty lame, and is actually just a stripped down subset of the 7 note scales I normally play leads with. I was playing these C chord apreggios and it just sounded like like scales, not a real solo. Nothing like a lead I'd play. It feels like I've taken 5 steps backwards just playing little chord arpeggios.

I love the idea of playing over changes, like Slash does in this solo at 1:01, as he moves from D to C arpeggios.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mC7jC3y3oq4

:: Riff A - D C G

|-----------------------|
|-----------------------|
|-----------------------|
|-7--------5------------|
|-5--------3-------7----|
|------------------5----|


Lead:
|---D arp-------------------------------------------- C arp---------------G lick---------------------|

|-15-14-------------------14b15-14------------------13-12---------------------------|
|-------15-------------------------15---------------------13------------------------|
|----------14--12S11------------------14--12S11--------------12--10-9---------------|
|--------------------12-------------------------12-----------------------9h10S12----|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------10------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
1978 Les Paul Custom Sunburst
2001 USA Strat (Hot & Cool Rails)
Effects: Boss GT-6 with Tech-21 Power Amp
#8
Certainly with that example I'd say familiarity with chords is far more useful than knowledge of scales if you want to be able to come up with something similar. However the distinction is also kind of moot in my mind, as in a practical sense scales and chords are pretty much the same thing, just arranged differently. However when I look at that what I see first and foremost is chords, at least from a conceptual point of view.

Obviously the chords have been embellished and extended but that's what I see at the heart of it all. That may well be down to how I've learned though and others may see it differntly.

Play a bunch of pitches sequentially, it's a scale.
Play the same bunch of pitches simultaneously, it's a chord.

Doesn't really matter what you call it, you're still using the same group of notes.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#9
Why do people even bother with the CAGED system? You're wasting your time with that part. The rest of it is good.
#10
I've heard too many people say it is the single greatest thing that ever happened to their playing. (CAGED, knowing the entire neck, triads/aprs)

So, it's a leap of faith. Probably depends on the genre of music you're doing. Might matter more to jazz/improv than so say punk or metal riffing.
1978 Les Paul Custom Sunburst
2001 USA Strat (Hot & Cool Rails)
Effects: Boss GT-6 with Tech-21 Power Amp
#11
Quote by MissingSomethin
I've heard too many people say it is the single greatest thing that ever happened to their playing. (CAGED, knowing the entire neck, triads/aprs)

So, it's a leap of faith. Probably depends on the genre of music you're doing. Might matter more to jazz/improv than so say punk or metal riffing.

The CAGED system is horrid though. Like any system that blocks you into specific positions, it can be limiting. Knowing the notes on the neck, triads/arp's (specifically the intervals of the triads/arp's, not just some lame positions of them), and learning the intervals of scales is much less limiting. Knowing the diatonic chords of the major and minor keys is also useful. The idea should be to eventually be able to play in any key, simply by knowing the intervals of said key and putting the notes of the key signature into those intervals and having knowledge of chords that fit (read: knowing the diatonic chords of that key). You can then play chords (both diatonic and non-diatonic, as needed) and lead lines/melody (even venturing outside the notes of the key signature to create tasteful tension and resolution).
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Jul 8, 2013,
#12
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
The CAGED system is horrid though. Like any system that blocks you into specific positions, it can be limiting. Knowing the notes on the neck, triads/arp's (specifically the intervals of the triads/arp's, not just some lame positions of them), and learning the intervals of scales is much less limiting. Knowing the diatonic chords of the major and minor keys is also useful. The idea should be to eventually be able to play in any key, simply by knowing the intervals of said key and putting the notes of the key signature into those intervals and having knowledge of chords that fit (read: knowing the diatonic chords of that key). You can then play chords (both diatonic and non-diatonic, as needed) and lead lines/melody (even venturing outside the notes of the key signature to create tasteful tension and resolution).

I don't think boxes are completely useless. If you want to play fast scale runs, it helps if you know the boxes. Then you don't need to think about every note you play. But yeah, of course it's also good to be able to play without needing to think about the boxes.

And @TS: Major scale is the "main" scale in music. Every scale is kind of based on it. You need to learn to use it. Use your ears. The major scale might sound lame right now but it sounds lame because you can't use it right. It's about the chords you are playing over. Over some chords certain notes just work better. Major scale has its place in rock music. And if you have a chord progression like C-Am-F-G, C major scale will fit it the best. It all depends on the chord progression. But you still need to understand the major scale. You'll notice that most scales you play are just major and minor scales with some accidentals.

You shouldn't look for new "exotic" scales because they only work in certain situations. You need to learn to use the notes. Minor pentatonic is only five notes but you can do lots of stuff with it. It's not about what notes you play, it's more about how you play them.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#13
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
The CAGED system is horrid though. Like any system that blocks you into specific positions, it can be limiting. Knowing the notes on the neck, triads/arp's (specifically the intervals of the triads/arp's, not just some lame positions of them), and learning the intervals of scales is much less limiting. Knowing the diatonic chords of the major and minor keys is also useful. The idea should be to eventually be able to play in any key, simply by knowing the intervals of said key and putting the notes of the key signature into those intervals and having knowledge of chords that fit (read: knowing the diatonic chords of that key). You can then play chords (both diatonic and non-diatonic, as needed) and lead lines/melody (even venturing outside the notes of the key signature to create tasteful tension and resolution).


Yea, that's pretty much exactly what I'm doing. All of that.

CAGED doesn't mean you're playing boxes. (That does perfectly describe people who learn scales via boxes, however) As I see it, CAGED is just a method to be able to quickly recognize/find whatever chords/triads/arps on the neck. No more, no less. What you do with it is up to the player. Beyond CAGED/triads/arps, I also almost memorizing every note on the neck, and learning the intervals in the triads/arps/chords, and the note names in the triads/arps/chords, as well. Just for extra credit.
1978 Les Paul Custom Sunburst
2001 USA Strat (Hot & Cool Rails)
Effects: Boss GT-6 with Tech-21 Power Amp
Last edited by MissingSomethin at Jul 8, 2013,
#14
Quote by MaggaraMarine
I don't think boxes are completely useless. If you want to play fast scale runs, it helps if you know the boxes. Then you don't need to think about every note you play. But yeah, of course it's also good to be able to play without needing to think about the boxes.

You don't need to use boxes to play fast scale runs...

Granted, boxes can be useful, but they can also be limiting. It's interesting to note that some of the better players of the last 30 years didn't limit themselves to boxes when playing fast scale runs, by the way.

Quote by MissingSomethin
Yea, that's pretty much exactly what I'm doing. All of that.

CAGED doesn't mean you're playing boxes. (That does perfectly describe people who learn scales via boxes, however)

I understand that...

CAGED essentially finds good spots for chords and arpeggios and somehow ignores spots that are considered "awkward" (read: don't fit into the system). If you want a better explanation of the pitfalls/shortcomings of the CAGED system, someone here on UG recently wrote an article on how the CAGED system fails in several areas. Here's the article.

As I see it, CAGED is just a method to be able to quickly recognize/find whatever chords/triads/arps on the neck. No more, no less. What you do with it is up to the player.

Yeah, but it actually does mean you get set into specific triad/arp's patterns. Or at least, most people do.
Frankly, a better route is to learn chord construction and apply your knowledge of the notes on the neck. So, rather than going, "Oh, I find Cmajor here, here, and here", you learn to go "Cmajor consists of C, G, & E. Those notes are in these spots".

Beyond CAGED/triads/arps, I also almost memorizing every note on the neck, and learning the intervals in the triads/arps/chords, and the note names in the triads/arps/chords, as well. Just for extra credit.

Ok, cool. Drop CAGED. Learn the intervals of triads/arp's/chords instead.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Jul 8, 2013,
#16
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
The CAGED system is horrid though. Like any system that blocks you into specific positions, it can be limiting. Knowing the notes on the neck, triads/arp's (specifically the intervals of the triads/arp's, not just some lame positions of them), and learning the intervals of scales is much less limiting. Knowing the diatonic chords of the major and minor keys is also useful. The idea should be to eventually be able to play in any key, simply by knowing the intervals of said key and putting the notes of the key signature into those intervals and having knowledge of chords that fit (read: knowing the diatonic chords of that key). You can then play chords (both diatonic and non-diatonic, as needed) and lead lines/melody (even venturing outside the notes of the key signature to create tasteful tension and resolution).



CAGED is only limiting if you make it so. It's an excellent means to learn scale intervals and arpeggios and how to play them across the neck if you learn to how to connect the five "boxes." This is the entire point of the system: breaking down the fretboard into manageable pieces.

When you play the major scale (or any scale for that matter), you're operating inside of a giant pattern whether you like it or not. IMO CAGED is a much better way for a beginning guitarists to learn how scale/arpeggio/chord patterns situate themselves on the neck of the guitar irrespective of key and to train the fretting hand than simply "feeling out intervals" in a confusing mass of notes.