#1
Hey everybody.

So I'm in a Thrash Band and in that one song I wrote a while ago, there's this cool break and I want to do a slower solo there (later it gains speed and there I want to do a shreddy-solo).
But I'm not that "theoretical" guy... So I'm struggling with this part because I can't get a nice Solo over it without sounding off. And I'm pretty lost, which scale exactly I can use...

So I just took a screenshot of the rhythm-track. I hope someone can figure out, which scale sounds good (This site says it's arabian?? but it still sounds like crap when I do some melody-stuff on it).

Screenshot Solo Part Rhythm

I appreciate your help!

Best regards!
#2
Well the most used scale is Pentatonic, which sounds good most of the time.
Maybe try Dorian, and Mixolydian.
But I think the best way to create solo is just to think the melody in your head, and play it on to your guitar.
#3
Well, to start with, Let's look at these chords, all common power chords.

I'll stack them in order from E on, not in song order, and let's see what the tea leaves say.

E F# G A Bb C#

In intervals we have 1 2 b3 4 b5 6 - That tells me some things immediately.

The first is I see an E diminished triad and an F#m triad

The second is I don't agree that you have a Persian Scale, because there's no b6. The C# negates that.

You have very close to a blues scale if we had a 5 and could assume the missing interval is a b7. This would be my first place to approach this, and if that was the case, I guess you could play Em Pentatonic b5, if Pentatonic is your scale of choice in this question.

So I think you have in essence a synthesized scale that you might use and understand a few ways, just to give it form relative to something else.

E Locrian (natural 2)
E Dorian (b5)
E Blues scale if you use the perfect 5th as a passing tone, or omit it entirely.

These are all subject to, assuming the final interval being a b7

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at May 15, 2015,
#4
What if you just started with sound instead of playing notes in a scale? I mean, even if you found a scale that fits the chords you are playing over, it doesn't mean your solo will sound good. Scales don't really give you ideas. So start with a musical idea. Try hearing something in your head and try playing it. If this is hard, sing the melody you hear in your head, record it, and then figure out how to play it on your guitar.

Good solos aren't random. They have an idea behind them. And by an idea I don't mean a scale. I mean you hear something in your head and know what you are after.

Start with sound.
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
#5
My professional college educated opinion is that Sean is right. You could also consider trying E melodic minor, just to see how it sounds. If you assume the missing 7th scale degree is a raised 7, and treat that Bb power chord that the riff sits on for a bit as a passing tone emphasized to create musical tension, then melodic minor might work. You'll just have to remember to include that Bb passing tone in your solo over that chord.

E is your tonal center, at any rate, and since you're in a thrash band, if you play fast enough just about any minor scale or mode (other than natural minor) should work.

EDIT: I think I like Sean's E Dorian idea best though.
Last edited by FrauVfromPoB at May 15, 2015,
#6
My suggestion: stop thinking, "What scale works here?" and start going, "What kind of sound do I want here?". Music is about sound, not plugging scales in.
#7
Quote by Sean0913
Well, to start with, Let's look at these chords, all common power chords.

I'll stack them in order from E on, not in song order, and let's see what the tea leaves say.

E F# G A Bb C#

In intervals we have 1 2 b3 4 b5 6 - That tells me some things immediately.

The first is I see an E diminished triad and an F#m triad

The second is I don't agree that you have a Persian Scale, because there's no b6. The C# negates that.

You have very close to a blues scale if we had a 5 and could assume the missing interval is a b7. This would be my first place to approach this, and if that was the case, I guess you could play Em Pentatonic b5, if Pentatonic is your scale of choice in this question.

So I think you have in essence a synthesized scale that you might use and understand a few ways, just to give it form relative to something else.

E Locrian (natural 2)
E Dorian (b5)
E Blues scale if you use the perfect 5th as a passing tone, or omit it entirely.

These are all subject to, assuming the final interval being a b7

Best,

Sean
This is the sort of help (understanding) I have often sort at these forums... many credits to this reply Sean!!!

Edit: Re-read thread and wanted to extend my credit to Frau also!
Last edited by tonibet72 at May 16, 2015,
#8
Wow... I'm blown away. Thanks a lot Sean0913. That was the kind of answer I was hoping for. Haven't tried it yet but I will come back and tell you if it worked.

To the other guys: Yeah I agree totally with you. I really AM that kind of guitar player that just follows his ears and (it sounds cheesy but) his heart. In my old band I was the rhythm guitar player and I wrote the songs and our lead guitar player just had to do some solos here and there and we were arguing a lot because of that.
But I learned to play guitar by myself and I'm not pretty familiar with scales and stuff so I struggle to improvise over a specific rhythm track. The solos I wrote before were created like that but this time (just this specific case) I couldn't play anything that didn't sound off and weird because of that strange rhythm track (I didn't want to change). So I asked you guys!

And again: thanks a lot to Sean0913! You're the man... man

Best Regards
#9
Still my advice is, follow your ears. Don't play anything if you don't hear anything. Maybe try singing it first, and then figure out how to play it on the guitar. Sometimes it's good to write without the instrument in your hands.
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
#10
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Still my advice is, follow your ears. Don't play anything if you don't hear anything. Maybe try singing it first, and then figure out how to play it on the guitar. Sometimes it's good to write without the instrument in your hands.


I agree with this wholeheartedly.

Asking "what scale" in this sort of situation almost always leads to a fingers-first approach to playing, and good music very rarely comes out of a fingers-first approach.

What do you want to hear? What ideas do you have?
#11
Assuming by "Thrash" you mean Thrash Metal?

If so, I would simply see that as Em - Bb - Am. I consider the F#, G and C# powerchords to be more like passingtones than actual chords.

Stick with Em, then switch to E Locrian (Bb Lydian) when you get to the Bb powerchord, as it will perfectly outline the chord, then back to Em for the Am powerchord. Ofc, focusing on chordtones is the only way to go if you want to actually make it melodic, especially with a nondiatonic progression like this, but if you want to just stick to the scales and shred, Em with a small switch to E Locrian is the way to go.

I don't understand how you could possibly get the idea to use E Dorian over this. Ok, I do get that the idea comes from the one single time where he hits a C# powerchord, but it would sound absolutely shitty when you get to the Bb, not to mention that the Maj6 interval from Dorian has no place in any Metal that's not Prog (especially not in Thrash). This is ofc, me assuming that you are suggesting to use Dorian over the entire progression, not just for that single chord (which to me is more of a passingtonet).
#12
I agree with the Trasher - I think you're gonna have to change scale on the Bb chord. Stick to chord tones and fill in the gaps with your ears!
#13
Quote by Thrasherx00
the Maj6 interval from Dorian has no place in any Metal that's not Prog (especially not in Thrash)


How so? I could find a lot of metal songs with a major 6th. For example a lot of Metallica solos use it. One example that comes to my mind is the end of the solo in Enter Sandman. Also, NWOBHM bands like Iron Maiden and Saxon use it a lot.
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
Interesting points above but here's my thoughts. My answer to 95% of scale questions will always be Aeolian/Minor. Since you're playing Thrash Metal, you should know there are quite a few approaches to the solo. You could tremolo pick the roots of the chords, sweep-pick the chords, play a good melody, mess with the scale, and/or a mixture of the above. Don't forget to embellish some of the notes.

Also I wanted to share the secret to B.B. King's vibrato (I got it from my former guitar teacher)because he's dead but his vibrato must live on. The motion for the actual vibrato is comparable to "turning a juice jug". This vibrato is bluesy, expressive, and possibly contains microtones. Just wanted to get the word out.

Dorian is also used in Folk Metal, Power Metal, and occasionally Melodic Death Metal.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).