#1
[[4/4, 100 bpm, Am=1 bar, other two chords lasting half]]
From my understanding, to solo correctly you gotta play a complimenting melody over the current chord in the progression (super simplified explanation)

Example: I wrote this melody to server as an intro to the solo, a few months back over the progression above. My goal was to keep within the chord that was being played at the time (Am=ACE, C=CEG, G=GBD but with a C thrown in for good measure) which all fit neatly into the A minor scale

-Am C G Am
E|--------------------------------------
B|--------------------------------------
G|--------5----------------------------
D|------7---7---------2---0----------
A|----7-------7-5---3---3---3-2----
E|5-8-------------3-------------3-5-


The question now is can I switch scales mid-solo over the same exact progression? As in instead of sticking to the scale that progresses, play the corresponding scale to the chord.

Example: (no visual this time) With the first chord (Am) I'd switch scales and play the solo in Am. on the third chord (G) switch scales and play the solo in G. so on and so on.

Hope I didn't confuse you guys too much heh.
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
Last edited by eric_wearing at Oct 16, 2013,
#2
How is the song in G major? I think it's in A minor, at least if you look at only that progression. Also if the Am starts and ends the progression and you also spend more time on Am chord, it is most definitely in A minor. Listen to where it resolves to. It doesn't resolve to G if I play it.

I wouldn't think too much about changing scales. I would think about using A minor scale with accidentals.

But do you need to use any accidentals? Do you hear any accidentals? If not, you don't need to use them. With just seven notes you can do lots of stuff.

Also A minor and C major scales have exactly the same notes so I wouldn't think that way. A is always your root note if the progression resolves to A. Just learn the scale degrees and the sounds of them.

If you can't do good sounding stuff with just seven notes, you shouldn't look for new scales, you should learn to use those seven notes.
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 Oct 16, 2013,
#3
Quote by eric_wearing

Example: (no visual this time) Though the song is in G major, with the first chord (Am) I'd switch scales and play the solo in Am. on the second chord (C) switch scales and play the solo in C. so on and so on.



I wouldn't recommend it.
#4
Quote by MaggaraMarine
How is the song in G major? I think it's in A minor, at least if you look at only that progression. Also if the Am starts and ends the progression and you also spend more time on Am chord, it is most definitely in A minor. Listen to where it resolves to. It doesn't resolve to G if I play it.


Thanks, I haven't worked on this particular song in a few months and I was so sleepy last night when asking this lol. My bad

Quote by MaggaraMarine
Also A minor and C major scales have exactly the same notes so I wouldn't think that way.


Learned that this summer ^_^ Relative minors. Guess I chose a bad example then eh? All in all I was wondering if there are any musicians who's ever done so
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#5
^ Yes, people do use accidentals. But I wouldn't think them as separate scales. I would think them as A minor with accidentals. You could use F# over your progression too. It wouldn't really clash with any chord. So think in A minor and add some accidentals. Learn about scale degrees and intervals and scale construction (minor scale formula 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7).
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
#6
This is pretty clearly in Am (you even have an aeolean cadence there at the end).

There's a very good reason why it is helpful to think not in terms of switching scales, but rather in terms of accidentals. This is because the function of each note does not change. As you develop your ear, you'll realize that you can hear various scale degrees in context. In Am, all F notes have the same "color," as it were. In the key of Em, all C notes have the same color that F notes have in the key of Am.

(It's a little more complicated than that as the underlying chord can impact the way a note sounds, but that's a shading on top of the note's color.)

(Obviously "color" isn't really the right word to describe this as - we're talking in metaphors here. However, it is that clear, once you have your ear well developed. You hear the scale degree).

As an improviser, generally, you don't want to change the way you're thinking about the notes every time the chord changes. The notes will have the same color to you (more or less) and therefore thinking in shifting scales doesn't make any sense at all. That F note is still (for lack of a better word) "blue" - why would you switch to a scale where you normally think of blue as being some other note? It's needlessly complicated.

There is an exception to use, used sometimes in jazz, called chord-scale theory. Chord scale theory is designed for long improvisations over complex chord progressions, and the idea is that each chord corresponds to a certain scale, and you can imply that chord by soloing in that scale. This idea has gotten less popular recently, and in any event you only really see it in a) jazz contexts where b) the chord changes are slow, because the whole idea is to allow you a very broad palette to imply the chord, and if you have fast changes it's actually very limiting, because it doesn't work if you don't play the notes specific and unique to that chord/scale combination.

(eg, simple version: I'm playing over a C9 chord. So I'm going to pick a scale that has a C E G B and D in it. But if I don't play all of those notes, I'm not implying a C9 - so if I only have a measure on the chord, I'm actually incredibly limited in what I can play. If I have a several measures, I have a tremendous amount of freedom).

But this digression is probably not really relevant to the way you play, and it's certainly not relevant to your example.
#7
ah so it's yet another theory? "chord-scale theory" as you call it. I'll do some research on it, thanks.

Just fyi, I was asking just from a theoretical view, just for my knowledge. I doubt I'd ever complicate my own music so much haha. Maybe if I ever make midi music ig.

Also, with relative scales: though C and Am/G and Em have the same notes, they don't sound the same at all (something about accenting a different note in modes or something?) How does one go about playing a major scale melody over the relative minor chord and chord progression
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
Last edited by eric_wearing at Oct 16, 2013,
#8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImxM4Rj5pOQ

This song uses a really slow chord progression with D, C and Bb chords. In this case you want to change scales because the progression is so slow. It kind of doesn't sound like it stays in D major all the time. Every chord change is kind of a modulation (I'm talking about the middle part of the song, not the intro or the outro).


^ You can't play E minor over G major. The notes get a different function in E major. They are the same notes but in E minor E is the tonic and in G major G is the tonic. If you are playing E minor over G major, you are actually playing in G major. Because it will sound like G major, not E minor because of the chords you are playing over. The chords in the background make a big difference in how different notes sound like. That's why you should always first listen to your backing track and then start playing and not just play in A minor if the backing track is in A minor. You may also notice that playing over changing chords is a lot easier than playing over just one chord. You need to be a good improviser to make one chord sound interesting.
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 Oct 16, 2013,
#9
Quote by eric_wearing
ah so it's yet another theory? "chord-scale theory" as you call it. I'll do some research on it, thanks.


Really, unless you play jazz, don't bother. It's a rabbit hole. You need to get away from playing music theoretically (eg "I'll play XYZ scale over this chord") and towards playing musically (playing melodies, embellishments, an hearing the "colors" I talked about above.)


Also, with relative scales: though C and Am/G and Em have the same notes, they don't sound the same at all (something about accenting a different note in modes or something?) How does one go about playing a major scale melody over the relative minor chord and chord progression


You have two choices (well, more, but the two most popular ones):

The first is to modulate into the relative major. That is to say, the song switches from Em to G major. This is pretty common. The major scale has a stronger pull so you don't have to do much to get something in E minor to start sounding G major once you start bringing in G major chords.

The alternative is to use notes from the parallel major scale. That is to say, you start bringing in E major notes. This requires skill and care, because it's easy for those notes to sound clashy or wrong.

But again, these aren't decisions you make academically. "I want something majory sounding here." Rather, you make these decisions musically: you hear the melody in your head and find it on the guitar.
#10
Really it's too early for you Eric to ask this question. You need to learn how to identify the key of a song before deciding to use out-of-key notes. If you don't know what the key is, you won't know what the out-of-key notes are.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#11
I've realized that over the past few months my technical skill as a guitarist has gone down but my theoretical knowledge has exploded. I guess it's cos I'm still missing a string and it gets frustrating after playing unfulfilled chords all the time...I just need a ride to best buy or GC downtown and I'll be set for a while.

Also. kinda starting from near scratch. I talked to the music dept. here and I'm playing fingerstyle now not as tough as I thought as long as you study of course.

These are all excuses though haha Guess I gotta jump back into technique now.
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#12
Quote by eric_wearing
I've realized that over the past few months my technical skill as a guitarist has gone down but my theoretical knowledge has exploded. I guess it's cos I'm still missing a string and it gets frustrating after playing unfulfilled chords all the time...I just need a ride to best buy or GC downtown and I'll be set for a while.

Also. kinda starting from near scratch. I talked to the music dept. here and I'm playing fingerstyle now not as tough as I thought as long as you study of course.

These are all excuses though haha Guess I gotta jump back into technique now.

All of this is great, but you didn't address AlanHB's post. Can you identify the safe notes of any key? In other words, what are the notes of any major key or any minor key? (Use intervals, not actual note names.)

If so, then you should further be able to play a chord progression, hear which chord is "home", and then determine which chords aren't diatonic (meaning aren't from the key). This would allow you to determine where you can play just the scale and where you should add accidentals or chord tones.

Honestly, I don't see a whole lot of reason to switch scales. It's one of those things you can do, but shouldn't -- without a VERY good reason, that is. (A couple of others already posted a few examples where there's a very good reason to change scales.) Rather, if you have a chord progression with a non-diatonic chord in it, then use accidentals or chord tones to smooth things out.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Oct 17, 2013,
#13
Well I don't plan to practice this stuff tbh. It's much too complex for what I wanna play.

But I do have the basics under my belt now, intervals, the importance of the major scale, the modes in it, triads, 7ths, 9ths, which note calls for a major or minor...the basics. I just wanted to kill this curiosity is all.
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#14
Quote by eric_wearing

All in all I was wondering if there are any musicians who's ever done so


Yes, in a way. But I'm not thinking of playing in G major I'm just otherwise playing in Am still while sharping the F to add emphasis to the G as a chord tone.
#15
Update (hope I'm not breaking a bump rule):

Two years later and I can see where I was wrong lol. Thing is I've been wondering how my favorite solos were made (though I've become quite the rhythm guitarist since). Apparently my intent with this question was instead of playing a flashy scale over the progression, play a flashy extended arpeggio over each chord.

As Justin Guitar put things, "playing the scale over a progression is like talking to the band while playing the appropriate arpeggios is like talking with the band".

AlanHB was right, it was too early for me to ask the question, however I just asked the wrong question. From a theoretical standpoint, it's a nice question...I notice the lovely stylings of Jeff Beck has a slow progression, is that the only time something so extreme as changing the scale is musically pleasing?
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#16
Quote by MaggaraMarine
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImxM4Rj5pOQ

This song uses a really slow chord progression with D, C and Bb chords. In this case you want to change scales because the progression is so slow. It kind of doesn't sound like it stays in D major all the time. Every chord change is kind of a modulation (I'm talking about the middle part of the song, not the intro or the outro).


^ You can't play E minor over G major. The notes get a different function in E major. They are the same notes but in E minor E is the tonic and in G major G is the tonic. If you are playing E minor over G major, you are actually playing in G major. Because it will sound like G major, not E minor because of the chords you are playing over. The chords in the background make a big difference in how different notes sound like. That's why you should always first listen to your backing track and then start playing and not just play in A minor if the backing track is in A minor. You may also notice that playing over changing chords is a lot easier than playing over just one chord. You need to be a good improviser to make one chord sound interesting.


Jeff Beck goes into a 12 bar blues when improvising and not sticking with the harmony of the head
#17
I feel really bad about this but I never understood the 12 bar, blues or jazz. What is the 12 bar exactly cos I nevergot a solid ddefinition though I can see how important it is.
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#18
As a guy who literally just wrote a huge article on obscure scales and application, all the advice here is good.

All you need to worry about right now it the major/minor and resulting pentatonic scale of the key you are currently in.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#19
Quote by jayx124
Jeff Beck goes into a 12 bar blues when improvising and not sticking with the harmony of the head

Yeah, you could see that as a 12 bar blues, but it's definitely not a typical 12 bar blues.

My point about the chord scale theory and that song was that the progression behind the solo is D7-C7-D7-Bb7-D7, and he changes the scale to fit the chords. And because the progression is so slow, you kind of hear each chord as a new key center. And that's also because none of the chords are diatonic to one key. You really can't solo in one key over the whole progression.

@TS:

The basic 12 bar blues is the basic blues progression that you will hear a lot in blues and 50s rock'n'roll (it's common in a lot of styles actually) - 4 bars of I, 2 bars of IV, 2 bars of I, 2 bars of V, 2 bars of I - that's the most simple 12 bar blues progression (but the last 4 bars usually have a bit more chords in them, V-IV-I-V being the most common). You can of course change it a bit and it doesn't stop being a 12 bar blues. The middle part of the Jeff Beck song was a 12 bar progression. But instead of going to the IV chord after 4 bars, it went to the bVII chord and then after 2 bars back to the I chord. But after 2 bars there wasn't a V chord, but a bVI chord that lasted 2 bars, and then back to the I chord.

Here's an example of the basic 12 bar blues progression (begins when the intro ends):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5arxGd_GPQ

This is a bit faster.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eHJ12Vhpyc
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 Apr 23, 2015,
#20
^This.

Pork Pie Hat is not anything close to a typical 12 bar blues.

Don't worry about CST and expanding the palette till you can comfortably solo over chords in a single key.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#21
Quote by eric_wearing
Two years later and I can see where I was wrong lol.


Can you find the key of a song yet?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#22
Really, when I first posted this I was trying really hard to break out of a rut I was in with my music knowledge. I was trying to push the boundaries of what I could learn cos man I was stuck! I can not emphasize how stuck I was.

So the progression popped in my head one day, nothing special Ik, and I decided to run with it til I had a full song...never got past what you see up there.

Major issues with not having a teacher, never really any direction as to where to go with what you learn or what to learn. By pure luck I figured out what's to do and how to do it. Heck, I'm really just learning how to correctly use arpeggios as well as finally learning all the notes on the fretboard.

Anyways, I'm still tryna figure out where to go from where I am.

Quote by AlanHB
Can you find the key of a song yet?

Yup, actually started transcribing my favorite underground songs since no one else is. Seriously, I'm not even into the "genre" these guys play but I am starting to lose track of the word genre unless it's a study thing....

But to answer, yes, I can find a key lol
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
Last edited by eric_wearing at Apr 23, 2015,