#1
So I know the scales and modes, and can look up a basic chord progression ans find a scale or arpeggio to solo over it. However, in many songs each chord is played over just a second or two then it goes to the next. How do you make a song react to the chords in there when it changes so fast? Like C, D, E progression, each is played for 2 seconds..how do you switch scales in that short of time?

Also..hoping for a recommendation of an app or book for music theory like this. I've been through the justinguitar stuff and am looking for more. I want to focus on soloing.

Thank you
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#2
You're not really switching scales, you're just in the key of E. Whether that's major or minor is up to you.

There are many such threads in Musician's Talk if you're willing to put up with nerds there.
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#3
Quote by 21GunSalute
So I know the scales and modes, and can look up a basic chord progression ans find a scale or arpeggio to solo over it. However, in many songs each chord is played over just a second or two then it goes to the next. How do you make a song react to the chords in there when it changes so fast? Like C, D, E progression, each is played for 2 seconds..how do you switch scales in that short of time?

Also..hoping for a recommendation of an app or book for music theory like this. I've been through the justinguitar stuff and am looking for more. I want to focus on soloing.

Thank you


Loads of folk start wondering this as they get into theory.

The answer depends on how "in key" the chord progression is. If the chords are all derived from the same scale and tonic (e.g. all the chords from G major), then songs don't really need to chase the chords. Instead a melody will concentrate on bringing out the tonal centre, a lot by emphasis of the notes in the tonic triad (so, notes from G maj triad being emphasised). This is even more the case if the chords are flying by.

If slow, then each chord could be spelled out, but sounds very "exercise-like". SO, a blend of above and these arpeggios can be done.

Just think that when you solo over a progression, the notes you choose are a) interacting against the chord of the moment, and quite possibly clashing, but also b) interacting againt the tonal centre (over time) and the tonic triad, again possibly clashing.

So try experimenting, and be prepared to take on board when clashes happen. For example, in G major, the iii chord is Bm. The 4th note in the scale is C. Play C against Bm, and you get a serious clash. The name of the game is then to deal with the clash. The bad approach is to hang on to the C. Equally bad is to juist stop dead into silence. Both these contrast the clash even more. Instead, move on (up or down a semitone, for example ... here down is the better choice since you're moving to a chord tone). And at speed, clashes are far less noticeable.

A good fun thing to try is a groove on one chord (some kind of seventh chord), and deliberately play notes a semitone above each chord tone, as and when you feel like, then resolve to the chord tone. Mix this with other scale notes. It will help break the concern that the "right" notes have to be played. Any note can be used, depending what comes next, depending how you emphasise.

Something else worth knowing ... the brain isn't too good at remembering detail from a fleeting experience (e.g, a piecve of a melody), especially the first few times. Instead, it hones in on the beginning and the end, and doesn't bother too much about the stuff in between. So, use that ... choose appropriate notes at the beginning and end of a melody (a phrase). Again, especially true at faster speeds.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Apr 24, 2016,
#4
Thanks. I guess I always find myself in awe of people on youtube and such talking about how this section of the song is lydian, this is dorian, this is a diatonic something something..and then for some reason all that was put that way on purpose by the musician. I want to understand WHY the musicians chose a certain scale or pattern for a part of the song.
We're just a battery for hire with the guitar fire
Ready and aimed at you
Pick up your balls and load up your cannon
For a twenty one gun salute
For those about to rock, FIRE!
We salute you
#5
Quote by 21GunSalute
Thanks. I guess I always find myself in awe of people on youtube and such talking about how this section of the song is lydian, this is dorian, this is a diatonic something something..and then for some reason all that was put that way on purpose by the musician. I want to understand WHY the musicians chose a certain scale or pattern for a part of the song.

The thing is, a lot of the time those people are talking out of their arses...being able to sort the facts from the bullshit is a skill in of itself.

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#6
One thing you can do is, target chord tones on the strong beats.

So take C and D and E. Lets pretend that you knew music theory and you were seeing this progression. In this example, since you know theory, you're set.

You see C and D, and E in rapid succession. you know theory, and so you surmise quickly this is not a diatonic progression.

One approach is to look at C D and E as a IV V vi, in G, except the E is not minor in this, so over E you'd want to acknowledge the G# (since you know theory, in our little pretend exercise, you know E major is E G# B)

So you could play in a G Major scale, and target chord tones in each chord on the strong beats, and over E, you'd target the G#, and change your scale to accompany that one note. You aren't "switching scales" at all, you are changing a single note over one chord. and accenting chord tones of the strong beats.

Best,

Sean
#7
Quote by 21GunSalute
Thanks. I guess I always find myself in awe of people on youtube and such talking about how this section of the song is lydian, this is dorian, this is a diatonic something something..and then for some reason all that was put that way on purpose by the musician. I want to understand WHY the musicians chose a certain scale or pattern for a part of the song.


All depends on context.

Diatonic ... just means using the chords from the scale (typically major or minor)
Chord progressions and melody all work to give sense of home on the tonic.

Modal stuff normally gets resorted to where there's a repetitive groove ... e.g. Am7 D9 ... this would work well with A Dorian. Or A B/A ... here A Lydian. Maybe just A7 ... Mixolydian. Gm7/A Am7 ... A Phrygian.

Some chords just get used purely for their own sound, not in a functional progression per-se.

E.g. Amaj7 x 4 bars; Cmaj7 x 4 bars: Bbmaj7 by 4 bars ... each of these can be treated in isolation, as each is in its own key (A Lydian, C Lydian, aned Bb Lydian would be common choices).

Dominant chords used to set up following chord can use a whole horde of scales.

Suppose you're in A major, and instead of playing Bm(7) E, B7 is used to strengthen the change to E ... here can still use A major scale, but make the one adjustment so you have a maj 3rd (D#) rather than min 3rd (D) to match the change of flavour for the B7.

So, there's a whole spectrum from purely diatonic progressions, to alterations to the diationic chords, to adding in chords rooted on non-scale tones, as filler chords, connectiong diatonic chords, to moving away from progressions to modal grooves.

Ultimately you're controlling tension and resolution.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Apr 24, 2016,