#1
I've decided to get into theory, and as the thread title says, I can solo across the entire fretboard, but i have no clue what im actually doing. To bring a question to this, i'm wondering; What scales can I play if my song is in F#?
#3
I'm sorry, but based off of what you posted. I feel like you have a very tenuous grasp of what it means to write a solo.

I mean, obviously, the easiest way to 'solo' is to arpeggiate the chord itself, that will keep you tonal. But I really feel like you should put 'soloing' on the back seat and learn the very basic elements of music theory.
#4
Quote by Merloth
I've decided to get into theory, and as the thread title says, I can solo across the entire fretboard, but i have no clue what im actually doing. To bring a question to this, i'm wondering; What scales can I play if my song is in F#?
Quote by Merloth
I've decided to get into theory, and as the thread title says, I can solo across the entire fretboard, but i have no clue what im actually doing. To bring a question to this, i'm wondering; What scales can I play if my song is in F#?


So, what do you mean by soloing? What do you mean by "being able to solo across the entire freatboard"? Can you improvise meaningful solos, or compose them?

As to what scales you can play in the key of F#, the answer is all and none. You can play any note you want as long as you know what you're doing, but I wouldn't think of scales while soloing.

You really need to take a step back and learn things from bottom up. Learn all the notes in the chromatic scale by heart, learn to find them on the fretboard, learn the basics of intervals, learn about keys and what they actually mean and learn functional harmony.

And about scales, there are practically only two scales you need to worry abut right now: major and minor. Don't start looking into stuff like modes and odd unorthodox scales before you actually know what major and minor keys are and how the major and minor scales relate to those keys.
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#5
Quote by jovan.ignatich.
I mean, obviously, the easiest way to 'solo' is to arpeggiate the chord itself


Harmonics and my whammy bar disagree with that.
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#6
Quote by Merloth
I've decided to get into theory, and as the thread title says, I can solo across the entire fretboard, but i have no clue what im actually doing. To bring a question to this, i'm wondering; What scales can I play if my song is in F#?
Why do you ask? If you can "can solo across the entire fretboard", then you must be using your ear very successfully already, so soloing in F# will be no problem - you don't even need to know it's called F#.

If, OTOH, you mean you can only solo in a few keys (let me guess - A? E?, D?, G?), then soloing in F# just means taking whatever you play in E and moving it 2 frets up. Or whatever you play in G and moving it 1 fret down.

But it might also help to know if it's F# major or F# minor. Or F# blues. The scales are different - but you only need one scale in each case. (That is, you only need one set of notes to begin with, but any additional notes can be used in passing.)
#7
Quote by Merloth
I've decided to get into theory, and as the thread title says, I can solo across the entire fretboard, but i have no clue what im actually doing.

That's a good reason to learn some theory - to figure out what's happening in music.

To bring a question to this, i'm wondering; What scales can I play if my song is in F#?

Scales aren't everything. As people already said, learn about major and minor keys. And learn about chords. But yeah, basically if the song is in the key of F# major, F# major is the most obvious choice, and if it's in F# minor, F# minor is the most obvious choice. And if there are non-diatonic chords, you want to change some of the notes to fit those chords. So basically, over F# major use F# major + accidentals and over F# minor use F# minor + accidentals. That's the simplest answer, and I guess that's what you are already doing. But if you are not, that's fine too. As long as it sounds good, it is good.

What I would do is record some solos and analyze them. Figure out what you are doing (because that's what you wanted to do). What notes are you using? How do they relate to the chords? How do they relate to the key? The whole point of theory is naming sounds and common practices in music. Theory is there to support your ear. But I would say ear always comes first. If it sounds good, it is good. And there's most likely some kind of a theoretic explanation to it too. But theory is all about finding common practices in music, not really for telling you what you should/shouldn't do. That's what your ear is for.

So if you can already play good solos by ear, does it really matter what scales you "can" use over a backing track in F#? You can use any note you want over anything. It is all about sound and any note can be made sound good.

I think the best way of learning theory is by analyzing music. You wanted to know what you are doing in your solos. As I said, just record some solos and figure it out. What key is the song in? What chords does it use (I would also suggest figuring out the chord functions)? What notes are you using over those chords? How do those notes sound over those chords? Are there certain notes that don't sound good? Figure out why that is (maybe the notes clash with some of the chord tones or maybe the notes don't fit the key that well or something like that).
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#8
What do you think we did in the 60s? Soloing was based on the chord structure of the song being played, Clapton, Green, Beck etc played by inner feel.
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#9
Quote by John Swift
What do you think we did in the 60s? Soloing was based on the chord structure of the song being played, Clapton, Green, Beck etc played by inner feel.
Well, they played from the chords, and also the blues vocabulary (riffs, licks, etc) they'd learned from the all the music they'd copied. You can't play by "inner feel" without having absorbed the language first.

But I agree with what I think is your point - "scales" were not part of the language back then IIRC. Rock musicians learned at a higher level than the scale: they (we) learned chords and riffs, and soon understood how the two went together, that you could create riffs and licks by embellishing chords. It's not rocket science. If you know your chords, everything you need is under your fingers. I doubt anybody though theoretically back then. Theory comes along later, and often messes everything up by making it seem more complicated - taking the machine to pieces, and then not being able to put it back together. It's like assuming that in order to learn how to drive, you need to be able to build a car engine from scratch.
Last edited by jongtr at Jun 27, 2016,
#10
do you know the chords of the scale? think like Hendrix use the chords as a basis of learning the theory of scale/soloing
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#11
I never learnt any theory having started gigging in 1962, in 66 I joined the British army as an infantryman and on joining my regiment my brother (an NCO) told one of the regimental senior NCOs of me, I was asked to join the regimental band to play in what we called then a Beat Group also the dance band and to take an instrument up for the military band which I chose Saxophone.
As soon as I'd joined the dance band had a problem as the regular Bassist was not available so I was put on dance band duty but being unable to read at all at that stage I said but I can't read music but I was told that I had to do it, what I did was use the Guitar pad which had the chords and that is what I worked from and guess what I got the job on a regular basis purely because of the feel I had.
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#12
Quote by Rhys Lett ESSM
do you know the chords of the scale? think like Hendrix use the chords as a basis of learning the theory of scale/soloing

Assuming that these guys learnt theory is putting a bit of a smokescreen.
I also worked in a Traditional Jazz Band after I left t army, I initially went as a dep, all I had to work from were the chords written in a note book, I stayed for two years.
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#13
Merloth
Depends somewhat on what genre you're into. I know a lot of rock (metal ..., blues ...) players that work great in that, but get totally lost in anything to do with music based on the major scale ... they have no clue. But they don't care. There's also a well known, and true,. addage ... less is more. Another very true addage is that your soloing is only as good as your chord knowledge. So, what genre(s) are you into?
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jun 28, 2016,
#14
TS, I lurked. Very nice song dude. It's in the key of F minor, however, not F# minor. That means you can use the F minor scale. If you study theory, it will only serve to help you!

Good luck!
#15
Quote by mdc
TS, I lurked. Very nice song dude. It's in the key of F minor, however, not F# minor. That means you can use the F minor scale. If you study theory, it will only serve to help you!

Good luck!
Well, there's the correction for downtuning to drop C#, so F#m shapes but down another half-step.
#16
Merloth

I'll actually answer your questions
Your over thinking you should focus on scales over chord progressions cause simply playing a entire scale over 2 chords would sound awful even though the chords are in the scale especially if your adding off the wall scale patterns . Following the modes is great way to start a little theory over chords for song writing but not necessary if you simply just use your ear

If you meant scales for the F# chord you could simply play F# major or pentonics but don't confuse yourself you can mix other scales over 1 chord there's not a mandatory way . But the ideal for soloing is to play a note that doesn't sound like tension away from the chord
#17
Good stuff here.

How many scales can you use over F#? All of them, but some are easier than others. You're barking up the wrong tree.

You want to focus on playing logical and effective melodies over chord progressions.
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