#1
To start off I would like to say I'm mostly self taught and have never taken formal guitar lessons. I would consider myself I decent guitarist and have been playing for roughly three years. Now with that said, I barely know ANYTHING about music theory and which chords go together and barely have any knowledge of scales. I know all your basic chords open and barred, but beyond that I am pretty much helpless. I generally just work around until I find chords and notes that sound good together. Anyway, to the point, I have been working on a song and have my basic riff and chord progression down. The problem is I would like to add a solo and I have literally no clue what sort of scale would go along with the music. Here's the chords I'm using

E|---x---x---x----3---
B|---3---3---1---3---
G|---0---0---2---4---
D|---5---2---3---5---
A|---5---3---3---5---
E|---x---x---x----3---

Which I believe is some form of a G chord into some form of a C chord into Fmaj into Cmaj. So can anyone please give me some advice on what sort of scale would fit into this, if any?
Last edited by DeanIsLig at Oct 2, 2013,
#2
Are your strings named correctly?
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#3
try the minor pentatonic scale man. It's the standard for all solos. Try it out and see how it sounds in the various positions.
#4
Quote by strat-O-matic92
try the minor pentatonic scale man. It's the standard for all solos. Try it out and see how it sounds in the various positions.

That works great until it doesn't. Playing a minor pentatonic won't work in a lot of scenarios. It's the standard for a lot of Rock and Blues solos but nowhere near all solos.
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#5
Quote by BladeSlinger
Are your strings named correctly?



No I did them upside down Sorry haha it's been a long day. Also, if it matters, it's played on a very clean electric or acoustic.
#6
I'd try C major to start maybe C major pentatonic. Try to focus on mimicking the motion of your chord tones.
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#7
Quote by DeanIsLig
No I did them upside down Sorry haha it's been a long day. Also, if it matters, it's played on a very clean electric or acoustic.

Don't think it matters. I'm seeing a D5 - CM9 - FM - GM.

I'd do it in C major. The C major scale would work and its relative minor A minor (learn about relative minors). C major pentatonic would work, of course, and A minor pentatonic. Pay attention to what chords you're playing over though.

Look at each note in each chord. Look up the chromatic scale then you can find any note on guitar starting on an open string or twelfth fret.

D5: G, D

C Major 9: C, G, E, D

F Major: F, A, C

G Major: G B D

Knowing how the chord is built helps you make your solo move over chords better. The C Major 9 might be C Major with an added 9. I can't remember if there is a difference right now.
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#8
That second chord is a Cadd9. The third one is a C6add4.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at Oct 2, 2013,
#9
Quote by KG6_Steven
That second chord is a Cadd9. The third one is a C6add4.


Any particular reason why you went with C6add4 instead of F?
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#10
Quote by BladeSlinger
Don't think it matters. I'm seeing a G5 - CM9 - FM - GM.

I'd do it in C major. The C major scale would work and its relative minor A minor (learn about relative minors). C major pentatonic would work, of course, and A minor pentatonic. Pay attention to what chords you're playing over though.

Look at each note in each chord. Look up the chromatic scale then you can find any note on guitar starting on an open string or twelfth fret.

G5: G, D

C Major 9: C, G, E, D

F Major: F, A, C

G Major: G B D

Knowing how the chord is built helps you make your solo move over chords better. The C Major 9 might be C Major with an added 9. I can't remember if there is a difference right now.


Fixed.
Last edited by Macabre_Turtle at Oct 3, 2013,
#11
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
Fixed.

Derped
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#13
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
I indeed derped my fix. Refixed.

I meant I derped. G is a fourth from D. Not sure why I said D5.
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#14
Quote by BladeSlinger
I meant I derped. G is a fourth from D. Not sure why I said D5.


Well, I derped too, because I underlined two places where you derped, but only corrected one of them.

Poor OP must be terribly confused.
#15
Try G minor pentatonic. It seems like your progression is in the key of G (it starts and ends with a G chord, it kind of has the pull back to the G major chord) and when I play it, it definitely sounds like G major to me (BTW - did anybody actually try playing the progression or did everybody just look at it and decide it's in C major, because it doesn't sound like C major to me). G minor pentatonic would fit pretty well over a G major chord progression that has the bVII chord. Also try G major pentatonic and if you want to add all the notes, then G mixolydian scale (ie, G major scale with F instead of F#) (I know people will hate this scale name but it's a fact that the scale is called G mixolydian - OK, you could also call it G major with a b7 accidental).

What I would do is try to hum a melody (or sing it inside your head) that you want to play in the solo. Record your humming (if you can't instantly find the notes on the fretboard) and then try finding the notes on your fretboard. This way it won't sound too generic and you'll be playing using your ears, not just patterns that your fingers remember.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Oct 3, 2013,
#16
It could be in G Major but the F would have to be an accidental.
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#17
Quote by BladeSlinger
It could be in G Major but the F would have to be an accidental.

Yes. But sometimes you have to use accidentals. Using the bVII chord is really usual in rock music (AC/DC uses it in almost every song, most of their songs are bVII-IV-I songs). Just listen to the progression (don't just look at it). It really sounds like G major to me.
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
#18
Quote by MaggaraMarine
It really sounds like G major to me.


Yeah. It doesn't sound C major at all.

OP, here's the thing:

Soloing is about more than a scale. It's about a melody. Now, what happens when most guitarist learn to solo at first is that they learn scales as shapes, and they figure that all you have to do to solo is to move your fingers around in the shape, treating all the notes the same. They're all "Safe" notes.

But that's not really how to solo. You need to learn how to understand each individual note as its own thing - they're not interchangable. They each have their unique relationship to the tonic.

And in this case it means, specifically, that you need to be aware of your F-notes. Because you (probably) don't want to play the F# in G major over the F/C chord in this progression. (This is, it must be said, not the only clash you have to be aware of. You probably don't want to play a C note over the G chord, either, except as a passing note. HOW you play the notes is as important as what notes you play.

But there are other times when you might REALLY want to play that F# note, because of the strong "leading tone" effect that it has in the key of G. The leading tone is one of your most powerful tools as a soloist, and you wouldn't want to throw that away.

So it turns out that you have to know, in your G major scale, where yours Fs are, so you can use the natural or sharp Fs well against this progression.

And this is, of course, leaving aside the issue of other ways to solo over this. This sounds to me like it'd be something where the G major scale would work really well, but the G minor pentatonic might also work, giving a very different palette to paint with.
#19
Well scales aren't really Theory per se, but you do need to learn them. There are only 12. Literally every other scale is derived from the major scale in some way.

Start with C major.
Then F and G.
Then Bb and D.
Eb and A
Ab and E
Db and B
Gb and F# (this will blow your mind)

Once you can play all of them, play them in order of circle of 5ths/4ths - C F Bb Eb Ab Db F# B E A D G. When you can play them all, get them up to speed with the metronome. Within a couple months you should be able to run through all 12 scales up and down the whole neck in a few minutes.

Just as important is how you practice. Learn them from the lowest scale tone on the guitar to the highest. That means starting on open Low E, even if it's not the root of the scale, and going up to last position you can reach (19th-22nd fret of High E, depending on the scale).

Learn them as 3-note per string scales, and then 4 note per string. 3 note per string scales are similar to CAGED "shapes", but I think they're better because they make you change position as you go up and down. 4 note per string scales are extremely useful for moving up and down the fretboard when you want to change register completely.

Use a metronome, practice different note values, varying rhythms, varying techniques, etc.

And learn your chords and arpeggios, too, because those are what you'll actually use for playing guitar.
#20
This dude just said he doesn't know much music theory

Major or Minor Pentatonic is like a dumbed down version of the Major or Minor scale. Then there is Blues Pentatonic that adds a blues note. My first guess is you can use C major or A minor scales here, (C major and A minor have the same notes).

Also check out A Harmonic minor to add to that list just for shits and giggles.
#21
Quote by JunkieDreams

Major or Minor Pentatonic is like a dumbed down version of the Major or Minor scale.


Somebody who writes this shouldn't be making comments about other people not knowing much theory.
#22
The point of learning the major scales first is that they are an extremely easy to give you all the tools you need for playing and writing melodies. Every other scale derives from the major scale - if you can play all 12 major scales, you can also figure out and play all 12 pentatonics, minor scales, and "modes".

Somehow people are convinced that learning 12 scales is a massive undertaking that will interfere with your ability to play fun music. Maybe so if you're really lazy about it, but anyone who practices daily can master all 12 scales in a couple of weeks and enjoy the benefits.