#1
Hi all,

question : Other than the generic explanation and a few examples in I IV V - ii V II can't find any information about phrasing, resolving melodies or chords.

I saw a youtube video: fretjam.com How to Solo Over Chord Changes - 3 Step Approach
fretjam.com Most Effective Way to Solo Over Blues Progressions


- I really have no Idea what notes to start or finish a melody phrase or a cycle of chords, Nor do I really what chords to open of close sections. I assume that chords have intervals just as single notes have tonal, modal and chromatic intervals.

- Therefore I really have no idea how to solo over backing tracks, or write songs.
#2
Quote by 094568029434geo
Hi all,

question : Other than the generic explanation and a few examples in I IV V - ii V II can't find any information about phrasing, resolving melodies or chords.

I saw a youtube video: fretjam.com How to Solo Over Chord Changes - 3 Step Approach
fretjam.com Most Effective Way to Solo Over Blues Progressions

- I really have no Idea what notes to start or finish a melody phrase or a cycle of chords, Nor do I really what chords to open of close sections. I assume that chords have intervals
Correct. Chords are built from intervals, and (usually) take their names from their most significant intervals
"Major" chord = has a major 3rd
"Minor" chord = has a minor 3rd
"Major 7th" chord = has a major 7th interval
"Diminished" chord = has a diminished 5th (and maybe a diminished 7th)
Quote by 094568029434geo

just as single notes have tonal, modal and chromatic intervals.
Well, "single notes" don't.
Pairs of notes form intervals. Chords are formed from a pair of intervals (root-3rd and root-5th) to begin with.
Scales are defined by their intervals from the root - and, like chords, "major" and "minor" scales are named after their 3rd degree. (The common major and minor scales are defined by other intervals too, but named after their 3rd.)
Quote by 094568029434geo

- Therefore I really have no idea how to solo over backing tracks, or write songs.
You need to learn your chords more thoroughly - and also learn to play some melodies.
Once you can play any chord in any position on the neck (and learn a few tunes and solos), then you'll see how closely melodies and solos relate to them.

Here's a B B King lesson where he's demonstrating how he resolves to chord tones, on the 3 chords in key of G (G, C and D, the I, IV and V as he calls them). He's not really explaining what he's doing (he's no teacher!), but he obviously knows where all the chord tones are, everywhere on the neck, for all 3 chords:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVe24YFGoiM
He's working from G blues scale, of course, but bending it into the chord tones, and ending his phrases on chord tones.
Learning your fretboard (thoroughly) is crucial!

For songwriting, btw, it's a craft you can pick up better by studying songs themselves rather than theory. Some theory knowledge will certainly help, but there's plenty of ideas you can pick up from other people's songs without knowing any theory. Just learn all the little things you like, and you can put them together in a different order. Follow your ear to find what sounds good.
Last edited by jongtr at Jan 7, 2016,
#3
There's no really good objective answer for this. I recommend you analyze some of the music you like and find out the chord structure and what the melodies highlight. Writing a chord progression out of context is easy, but writing one that fits a song can be a lot trickier. If you want to learn how to write modal/modulating progressions try thinking about a generic chord progression but change one of the chords to fit with a different mode. A short and easy example would be Cm7 to Bb7 to F7 to G7. The first, second, and fourth chord are typical chords to find in C minor, but the F7 borrows from Dorian. You could even substitute the Cm7 with a C7#9 for a much bluesier/less resolved sound since the C7#9 is basically treated as a Cm7 but with a major 3rd added in for tension. If you want modulate there are so many options available. A common trick is to treat one of the chords in your progression as a chord from another key and then take it from there. As for resolving I mean the strongest tension to resolution is the V to i, but you can also do IV - iv - I, bII7 - I, and VII+ - i for example. Resolving is just finding your tension then relieving it with the "home" chord or tone. That all depends on your key and what chord you're leading into the resolution.
Last edited by NothingRocks at Jan 7, 2016,
#4
Listening and learning by ear is the only way to really get phrasing. There's not really any instruction manual for it, unless you want to write ye olde minuets and trios.

As for melodic resolution, resolve to the triad tones unless you have a good reason to do otherwise. Chord 7ths and non-chord tones tend not to sound "resolved" when you put them at the end of a phrase.
#5
Quote by NothingRocks
a generic chord progression but change one of the chords to fit with a different mode. A short and easy example would be Cm7 to Bb7 to F7 to G7. The first, second, and fourth chord are typical chords to find in C minor, but the F7 borrows from Dorian. You could even substitute the Cm7 with a C7#9 for a much bluesier/less resolved sound since the C7#9 is basically treated as a Cm7 but with a major 3rd added in for tension. If you want modulate there are so many options available. A common trick is to treat one of the chords in your progression as a chord from another key


THank you for your reply,

So instead of I IV V, i could try I IV iii, I IV III, I IV VI i IV vii etc. that is a nice idea. But, as i know the intervals as Unison major second, major third, perfect 4th etc, tonal modal chromatic , I do not know what to name the chord intervals for diads, triads and extended chords, let alone their inversions.

I do not know any rules for resolving chords, or for opening and closing melodic phrases at all. I do not know how to target modes or chords, but i know the theory and formulas of chords and natural harmonic and melodic scales
#6
a couple of suggestions...if your serious about learning music

learn diatonic harmony (its not that hard and will clear up a lot of your questions about how chords/scales/intervals relate to each other)

as jon and cd have said you need to learn chords..and the fretboard..

now this is not criticism its very important advice--forget MODES they are only going to confuse you..trust me..your far away from knowing/using them with knowledge..

If you can..get a good teacher to help you for a couple of months..

Learn some very simple tunes..London bridge..even mary had a little lamb and happy birthday
see how the melody and chords work together..take the chords apart -- notes in C maj = C E G -- see where these notes are in the melody..do this with all the chords in these simple tunes..and look at the melody notes played against the chords...for these tunes study the first and last chords and notes in the melody..

learning something you don't know - easy or complex helps you to the next step in the learning process.. "basic triads" are not so simple should you begin to study Bach..
play well

wolf
#7
Quote by wolflen
a couple of suggestions...if your serious about learning music

learn diatonic harmony (its not that hard and will clear up a lot of your questions about how chords/scales/intervals relate to each other)

as jon and cd have said you need to learn chords..and the fretboard..

now this is not criticism its very important advice--forget MODES they are only going to confuse you..trust me..your far away from knowing/using them with knowledge..

If you can..get a good teacher to help you for a couple of months..

Learn some very simple tunes..London bridge..even mary had a little lamb and happy birthday
see how the melody and chords work together..take the chords apart -- notes in C maj = C E G -- see where these notes are in the melody..do this with all the chords in these simple tunes..and look at the melody notes played against the chords...for these tunes study the first and last chords and notes in the melody..

learning something you don't know - easy or complex helps you to the next step in the learning process.. "basic triads" are not so simple should you begin to study Bach..


+1. All the advice above is good advice.

Also, you don't need to think to hard about every chord in a diatonic progression when you're soloing. (i.e. you don't need to spell out (some of) each chord in the progression, and this is especially true at speed.) Improvising around the tones in the I triad across the progression has a lot of mileage ... target them for landing notes, where the melody can rest, and then maybe go silent. Think of the other notes as connectors to get you to these targets.

Also, realise that the biggest unifying factor in phrasing is commonality of rhythm used when a phrase gets repeated (maybe the notes change, but the rhythm is more or less adhered to as variations of a phrase are explored).

The phrase has a useful characteristic for the vocalist ... gives them a chance to breathe! Guitarists don't have the inconvenience of breathing interrupting a flow of notes.

Listen to vocalists for phrasing
#8
Quote by jerrykramskoy
+1. All the advice above is good advice.

Also, you don't need to think to hard about every chord in a diatonic progression when you're soloing. (i.e. you don't need to spell out (some of) each chord in the progression, and this is especially true at speed.) Improvising around the tones in the I triad across the progression has a lot of mileage ... target them for landing notes, where the melody can rest, and then maybe go silent. Think of the other notes as connectors to get you to these targets.

Also, realise that the biggest unifying factor in phrasing is commonality of rhythm used when a phrase gets repeated (maybe the notes change, but the rhythm is more or less adhered to as variations of a phrase are explored).

The phrase has a useful characteristic for the vocalist ... gives them a chance to breathe! Guitarists don't have the inconvenience of breathing interrupting a flow of notes.

Listen to vocalists for phrasing


Right,if you're "metalling" your way through a solo and want to speed it up a notch,think of the chord tones as two ends of a bridge and every other scale note is just fills,the actual bridge,which you cross and land on the chord note.

A good harmony though is crucial for that in my opinion. A good solo has a good backing,it's split 50/50. Amirite?
#9
Quote by 094568029434geo
Hi all,

question : Other than the generic explanation and a few examples in I IV V - ii V II can't find any information about phrasing, resolving melodies or chords.

I saw a youtube video: fretjam.com How to Solo Over Chord Changes - 3 Step Approach
fretjam.com Most Effective Way to Solo Over Blues Progressions


- I really have no Idea what notes to start or finish a melody phrase or a cycle of chords, Nor do I really what chords to open of close sections. I assume that chords have intervals just as single notes have tonal, modal and chromatic intervals.

- Therefore I really have no idea how to solo over backing tracks, or write songs.


I don't think there is any real theoretical answer to that. You can do whatever you want. Some stuff sounds better than others.

You can draw any lines you want. Some lines make cool drawings, some don't. But that doesn't mean there's a theory of lines so you can learn how to draw.

When you play a note, it sounds a certain way depending on its relationship with the rest of the music. You choose which sounds you want, and when. You could talk about tension and release, but sometimes you might want to finish a phrase with tension, and sometimes you might want it to be settled, it's all up to you.

That's what separates your preferred players from your less preferred. The choices they make. It's not the quantity of schooling they have, or books they've read. It's some kind of magic, and to me, that's a big part about why it is so special.
#10
Quote by fingrpikingood


That's what separates your preferred players from your less preferred. The choices they make. It's not the quantity of schooling they have, or books they've read. It's some kind of magic, and to me, that's a big part about why it is so special.


I know chord harmony, chord extentions, the chords of natrual scales and jazz scales. But, I don't know about phrasing, so When i solo over a backing track, even though i am in the right key, it sounds very very bad. Becuase I don't know how to open or close phrases, or hwo to come in and out of chords.

-I honestly can not find any material on the internet on how to approach soloing over backing tracks or chord charts, 8, 16, 32 bar blues etc
#11
Quote by 094568029434geo
I know chord harmony, chord extentions, the chords of natrual scales and jazz scales. But, I don't know about phrasing, so When i solo over a backing track, even though i am in the right key, it sounds very very bad. Becuase I don't know how to open or close phrases, or hwo to come in and out of chords.

-I honestly can not find any material on the internet on how to approach soloing over backing tracks or chord charts, 8, 16, 32 bar blues etc


That's one of the magical aspects of music. It's like if you asked the great comedians to teach you how to be funny. There are some things they could teach you, some styles of comedy they could name, and stuff like that, but at the end of the day, they are just funny, and think funny things.

Great phrasing, to me, is not in the theory at all. It's just in how you feel, what moves you. I don't know how my mind comes up with phrases, nor progressions, rhythmic choices, or something funny off the top of my head. It just happens.

There's no real algorithm you can follow, or set of directions, or anything like that.

So, although you can learn a number of "if this then thats" you will only really end up being able to make something that works, rather than something that's interesting, because you aren't choosing what to play based on the feel of the music, you'd be choosing based on what chord is playing, or some logical reason, but to me, music is not logical that way.

So, really all I think you could do, is listen to a lot of music in teh genre you want to play. A lot of improvisation in your genre, and then do a lot of improvisation in your mind or with your voice, not thinking about your guitar, or scales, just the sounds themselves.

Then you'll develop your voice. I can't improvise like BB king, maybe if I really studied him I could impersonate him well enough, but music or art, is not really like that to me. BB king is one way, Joe Pass is another, Tommy Emmanuel is another way, and they are all good differently. Just getting ideas from who knows where. Same thing when you speak to someone. They know english, but they have their own personality, and will say their own things. Some people come up with really interesting things to say. But if you want to improve, it will be difficult to do so by studying grammar, or sentence structure, or any other quantifiable things, like how often people say certain words, or which words follow which others, or anything analytical like that. That's not where the interest comes from. So, all really you can do, is listen to interesting people, and just practice speaking, trying to say interesting things, focused on the content of what you're saying, and how you're saying it, and how that makes you think and feel, rather than being focused on the mechanics of language.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Jan 18, 2016,
#12
Chords and scales are the vocabulary, melody and phrasing are telling your listener a story.

This little thing is tongue-in-cheek but there is more than a little truth in it for crafting a solo that people can relate to:

#13
If you can slap on the Trane changes whenever you want, you don't need that chart
"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
#14
Quote by Cajundaddy
Chords and scales are the vocabulary, melody and phrasing are telling your listener a story.

This little thing is tongue-in-cheek but there is more than a little truth in it for crafting a solo that people can relate to:

Yes, that's perfect, except maybe they forgot one thing:
7. If you any phrase you play sounds too dull - repeat it. It will then sound much cooler. Then play it a third time, but change the last note. Instant "motivic development", but still minimal enough to be cool.
#15
Quote by Cajundaddy
Chords and scales are the vocabulary, melody and phrasing are telling your listener a story.

This little thing is tongue-in-cheek but there is more than a little truth in it for crafting a solo that people can relate to:



Love it!!