#1
I was checking out John Oswin's YouTube lesson on the old Tony Joe White song Polk Salad Annie. John goes through some really cool fingerpicking techniques that I'm still working to get right. In the middle of that,I got curious to see how it would sound if I just played the chords he had listed:

E7-E7-A7-A7-E7-E7-GMajor-AMajor-GMajor-AMajor-E7-E7

Short answer is that this progression sounds really cool to my ear. It's a lot of fun to play and I was going to record a couple of 12 bars worth as a backing track to use while working on my improv skills. What's got me stumped is that I can't figure out what scale this is taken from (which is what I'll need to know in order to improvise over it). If this is an obvious question, I apologize. Some internet digging didn't turn up anything like this kind of hybrid progression. Any answers would be greatly appreciated.
#2
You'll have to tell us where the song resolves or feels like it ends, but it's most likely in E major.

If it's in E major, you use the E major scale. You'll have to employ accidentals to accomodate for the E7 chords and the G. E minor penatonic over all of it will work.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#3
Quote by jds2


E7-E7-A7-A7-E7-E7-GMajor-AMajor-GMajor-AMajor-E7-E7


E7 = Amaj

A7 = Dmaj

Gmaj - Amaj = Dmaj

Since you're not letting us know what kind of 9's and 13's are on those dominants chords, just stick to the dominant chord's major keys.
#4
^^^ Are you suggesting that this chord progression modulates from A to D?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#5
That's a bluesy progression in E major. E minor pentatonic will work over everything.

And it's in E major all the time. It just uses accidentals (b3 and 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
I this thread last Night, started replying and got interrupted so adding my voice a little late. ALWAYS start with analyzing what the tonal center of a song or section is. In this case it's clearly E. Then think of the mood. Is it consistently the major mood? And although G# , the third degree of E major is present, the E7 th is more ' bluesy' and leaning toward the use of the minor mood. The E minor Pentatonic scale gives the skeleton of what's appropriate and the use of the blues note, the flat 5th, Bb, as well as chord tones like G# over the E7 and C# over the A will make your soloing fit the specifics of the clearly blues progression you are asking about.

Same answer as M marine. Good luck
#7
Thanks for the very detailed replies, and I apologize for not giving enough information. I'm still rather new to this aspect of my playing. With regard to the way I'm playing the E7, I use the easy two-finger version (2nd fret on the A string and first fret on the G string; all others open). I'm also playing an open two-finger A7 (2nd frets on both the D and B strings). And I've been ending the song by resolving to E major. My guess was to try an E minor pentatonic, but I thought I'd check in first and see if that made sense. I really appreciate the guidance.
#8
Quote by jds2
Thanks for the very detailed replies, and I apologize for not giving enough information. I'm still rather new to this aspect of my playing. With regard to the way I'm playing the E7, I use the easy two-finger version (2nd fret on the A string and first fret on the G string; all others open). I'm also playing an open two-finger A7 (2nd frets on both the D and B strings). And I've been ending the song by resolving to E major. My guess was to try an E minor pentatonic, but I thought I'd check in first and see if that made sense. I really appreciate the guidance.

Well, you don't need to ask. Just try different things. There's no rules in music, other than if it sounds good to you, it is good. You are allowed to use all 12 notes over any chord. But it just may not sound good. You could just loop the progression and try all different notes over it and use the ones that sound the best. And remember that different notes work over different chords. So not every chord in the C major scale will work perfectly over every chord in a C major song (or they will if you make them work but there are notes that work better and worse over the chords - and to find those notes you just need to try different things). Chord tones are always safe 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