#1
hi guys trying to learn a bit about sololing over chord progression.

i dont really understand why certain notes work over chords better than others

like why does an A note sound good over a E power chord

and how do you determine notes to avoid holding on the chord?
#2
It could be said that an A note sounds good over an E power chord because it creates an Esus4 chord.

It could also be said that it introduces tension, wanting to resolve to the 3rd or the 5th.

But the real answer is that it sounds good because you like it.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#5
Quote by tallguy97
how is a note that causes tension defined?


Generally, I'd assume if you're playing the chord Em, any note in the E minor scale would sound good over the chord. This changes if you're playing less traditional type music where notes that don't normally sound like they 'fit' are made to fit and still sound good.
#6
Theory doesn't really explain why things sound good. It just explains what happens in music. For example that now you are playing an A over an E5 chord. It doesn't tell you if it sounds good or not. It is up to you to decide if it sounds good.

A note + E5 chord creates an Esus4 chord.

And what notes create tension? Well, if you play a non-chord tone, it creates tension. For example play an A over an E major chord. It will sound dissonant. But if you play a G# after the A note, you release the tension.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jul 14, 2014,
#7
Quote by MaggaraMarine
For example play an A over an E major chord. It will sound dissonant. But if you play a G# after the A note, you release the tension.

tallguy97, can you sing the 3 intervals described here without an instrument? Perfect pitch doesn't matter, no need for the starting note to be E.

Relative pitch does matter, however.

R > P4 > maj3rd
#8
You guys are muddying the waters for the guy. He's a beginner to theory so teach him as you'd teach a beginner, then start adding the harder concepts.

If you want to solo over a chord and you don't want tension, play the notes within the scale of the chord. Play an Em scale over an Em chord, an A major scale over an A chord, etc.
#9
Quote by Milan999

If you want to solo over a chord and you don't want tension, play the notes within the scale of the chord. Play an Em scale over an Em chord, an A major scale over an A chord, etc.


You will still achieve tension with the above approach, so I don't know what you're hinting at.

It's also far "safer" to use notes diatonic to the key rather than the chord as you imply.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#10
@Milan999. The advice that has been give here is golden. This isnt muddying it up at all, its actually clearing the waters, muddying it would be to not explain these foundational concepts.

MaggaraMarine and the others here know their shit.
#11
does it make sense to finish on a minor 6th? over a minor chord

sorry if my stupidity is obvious
#12
^^^ It won't sound resolved because it's not a chord tone. However you can still play it if you want. Note that this "may" change the function of the minor chord to a major chord with that sixth note as it's root depending on everything that's going on.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#13
Quote by tallguy97
does it make sense to finish on a minor 6th? over a minor chord

sorry if my stupidity is obvious

Just try it and listen to how it sounds like. It's all about trying different things. If it sounds good to you, it is good. But if not, don't land on a minor 6th over a minor chord. Music is sound. It doesn't really work on paper. Without listening you won't learn anything about music. A lot of this has to do with the context. In some cases it may work and in other cases it may not.
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
#14
an A natural is in the key of E. Its the 4th step in the scale, its also a perfect interval, so it will always sound good.
Gear:
1987 Charvel Model II
2010 Carvin ST300C
1990 Charvette 100
1991 Ibanez RG560M
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Jackson/Charvel Star W/ Custom Graphics.
Ovation CP 247 Acoustic
Line 6 POD HD Pro X
Pro Tools 9

Tutorial: Studio Quality Programmed Drum Sounds
#16
Quote by RBM01991
an A natural is in the key of E. Its the 4th step in the scale, its also a perfect interval, so it will always sound good.


I think you should consider more than the chord it's playing over, as songs are rarely one chord.

What if the E chord is played in the key of B? Would it sound good then?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#17
Quote by AlanHB


I think you should consider more than the chord it's playing over, as songs are rarely one chord.

What if the E chord is played in the key of B? Would it sound good then?


Yeah...its still a perfect 4th interval in that key, since E is the 4th interval in that scale depending on the context it would sound good.
Gear:
1987 Charvel Model II
2010 Carvin ST300C
1990 Charvette 100
1991 Ibanez RG560M
2006 Fender Mexi Strat
Jackson/Charvel Star W/ Custom Graphics.
Ovation CP 247 Acoustic
Line 6 POD HD Pro X
Pro Tools 9

Tutorial: Studio Quality Programmed Drum Sounds
#18
Quote by RBM01991
Yeah...its still a perfect 4th interval in that key, since E is the 4th interval in that scale depending on the context it would sound good.


You are missing the point. Read my question again.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#19
Quote by AlanHB
You are missing the point. Read my question again.


No, you missed MY point sir. I said depending on the context. Eminor chord on a Bmajor scale probably not, but an E note over a B progression....yeah that's kinda normal
Gear:
1987 Charvel Model II
2010 Carvin ST300C
1990 Charvette 100
1991 Ibanez RG560M
2006 Fender Mexi Strat
Jackson/Charvel Star W/ Custom Graphics.
Ovation CP 247 Acoustic
Line 6 POD HD Pro X
Pro Tools 9

Tutorial: Studio Quality Programmed Drum Sounds
#20
Quote by RBM01991
No, you missed MY point sir. I said depending on the context. Eminor chord on a Bmajor scale probably not, but an E note over a B progression....yeah that's kinda normal


What I think is being asked, if you'll forgive the intrusion, is that if an E note is played, over or while a B major chord is sounding, will it sound good. At least that's what I think is being proposed.

If so, I'll answer for you.

B D# F#

E G# B

The note E creates a minor 2nd dissonance over a B chord, even though it is a perfect 4th away. The reason, is context. AlanHB is correct. A clash with a D# with an E destroys the tonality of the B major chord.
#21
Quote by Sean0913
What I think is being asked, if you'll forgive the intrusion, is that if an E note is played, over or while a B major chord is sounding, will it sound good. At least that's what I think is being proposed.

If so, I'll answer for you.

B D# F#

E G# B

The note E creates a minor 2nd dissonance over a B chord, even though it is a perfect 4th away. The reason, is context. AlanHB is correct. A clash with a D# with an E destroys the tonality of the B major chord.


Like I said, context
Gear:
1987 Charvel Model II
2010 Carvin ST300C
1990 Charvette 100
1991 Ibanez RG560M
2006 Fender Mexi Strat
Jackson/Charvel Star W/ Custom Graphics.
Ovation CP 247 Acoustic
Line 6 POD HD Pro X
Pro Tools 9

Tutorial: Studio Quality Programmed Drum Sounds
#22
E -F#- G#- A -B - C# - Eb - E

As far as I am aware of, the A note is included on the octave of E major, and the E chord also consist an A note on it.

Fig. 1: Simple riff that can get along with E major

e |- - - - - - - - - - - - 5 h 4 - - - -
B |- - - - - - - - 5 - 4 - - - - - 5 - -
G |- - - 1 - 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D |- 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A |- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E |- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Try to play this riff and end with an E chord. 2 "A: notes are present on this riff. One on the 3rd string, 2nd fret and the other is on the 1st string, fifth fret. Basically, if a note is included on a major octave, chances are it will sound right.
#23
E -F#- G#- A -B - C# - Eb - E

As far as I am aware of, the A note is included on the octave of E major, and the E chord also consist an A note on it.

Fig. 1: Simple riff that can get along with E major

e |- - - - - - - - - - - - 5 h 4 - - - -
B |- - - - - - - - 5 - 4 - - - - - 5 - -
G |- - - 1 - 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D |- 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A |- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E |- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Try to play this riff and end with an E chord. 2 "A: notes are present on this riff. One on the 3rd string, 2nd fret and the other is on the 1st string, fifth fret. Basically, if a note is included on a major octave, chances are it will sound right.
Quote by kjcv
"When it sounds good, it's good." - Eddie Van Halen
Last edited by kjcv at Jul 16, 2014,
#24
Quote by tallguy97
hi guys trying to learn a bit about sololing over chord progression.

i dont really understand why certain notes work over chords better than others

like why does an A note sound good over a E power chord

and how do you determine notes to avoid holding on the chord?


I find that you are taking kind of the wrong approach to soloing for a couple of reasons. The first sort of mistake I think you are making, is that you are wondering "why does A note sound good over E power chord?" whereas, that is sort of the wrong question. Really, what theory is is more to look at your E power chord, and to look at the A, and then see what the A is relative to it. As mentioned, that makes a E sus4. That's the name we would give the chord. a Sus 4 sounds like that, and you like the sound of sus4.

That's really what you should take from it. That sound is called sus4.

But, I don't even find that information is all that important. I mean, it is important, you should learn the names of the chords, and how they are named, that is important information, but it is not really the key information. I don't want to sound like I'm downplaying chords and their names too much, because I want to be clear, that's important, however there is something else even more important imo.

The key, is the key. At first you should study only diatonic chord progressions for a little bit. diatonic means you only use the notes of the key. The white keys on the piano if you start on C, are C major. If you start on A, they are A minor. So, a progression in A minor or C major, is diatonic if it only uses the white keys.

The important thing to me, is where in reference to the key that a note is. Yes, it matters what the chord behind it is, but I find the relation to the key the strongest thing, and the chords themselves have character based on where they are in the key as well. I think of a chord as a collection of tones of the key, or, in reference to the key.

Imo, if you want to get started on the ins and outs of soloing, you should learn the roman numerals, I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-viio. Which are all the diatonic chords of C major, and the C major scale. Look at what the progressions are, in terms of the roman numerals, and learn to play them. Or you can just youtube some popular progressions and there will be backing tracks there you can play over.

This way, you can learn what things sound like. In a diatonic progression of C major, all the notes of C major will "work" or, "sound good" but what you want is to choose specific notes deliberately in order to create the melody you want. In this way, you can make the "bad notes" sound good. So how you phrase and context, is what will make a note sound good or not. Sometimes you play a chord on its own, and it's not so hot, but in the right context, it's the shit.

It gets slightly more complex than that, as progressions are not always diatonic, but I find it is a stronger approach to take small steps, and get those really down first.

If you don't know the pentatonic scale, then actually I would start with that before the major scale. The pentatonic is 5 notes out of the major scale pattern.

I say the pattern because the major scale pattern, and the minor scale pattern is the same. Like, A minor is all the white notes, and C major is all the white notes. It's the same pattern technically.

Blues is interesting because it is sort of half diatonic in a way I guess. It is very basic in chord structure, in a "all the same" sort of way, but in terms of what you can solo over it, it's actually quite advanced. So, it's not necessarily that I would recommend not playing it at first because it is too difficult, but I think it is better for your learning to save it until slightly later on.

The patterns are the same, but if you want to attach names and theory to the patterns, I find it is a little better to wait until you've gotten comfortable with pentatonic and major scale over a few diatonic progressions first.