#1
Hi All,

So over the last two days I have been trying to learn theory, all very interesting but now stuck with confusion. I'm trying to learn how to solo between chord changes.

Right, I have chosen the G Major Pentatonic to work this all out / breakdown:

G Major pentatonic notes:

G(1) A(2) B(3) C(4) D(5) E(6) F#(7)

So I can use 1 4 5 which fits in the key of G:

G Major Chord (G B D)
C Major Chord (C E G)
D Major Chord (D F# A)

I'm playing G major 3rd fret, C major 8th fret & D major 10th fret, which don't sound that great together but I put that down to my playing.

This is where I get confused:

I assumed these chords would fit perfectly with the G Major Pentatonic Scale but they don't interlock perfectly.

1. I thought the D Major Chord on the 10th fret would actually sit over 3 or 4 scale position/boxes but not the case.

2. I thought all the notes in the chords im playing would be in the G major pentatonic scale but not the case, the F# in the D Major & the C in the C Major don't exist.

Basically:

Is it correct C & D Major dont sit on top on the G Major Pentatonic scale? Second, not all the notes in the chords have to be in the scale (looks like just one or two of the three will do the trick)?

Any help/advice/confirmation on the above would be sweet, been trying to decipher this like the da vinci code over the last 2 days.
Last edited by opensesame10 at Jul 8, 2017,
#2
well..you are confused...a pentatonic scale has only 5 notes..a common pent scale is using the notes 12356 of the major scale..so in G major the notes are
G A B D E

Now the Parent scale of the pent scale is G major.. G A B C D E F# and the pent scale uses 5 notes from this scale.

now you can form chords using just these notes..do some homework on pent scales and the chords formed from them..as for the C & D chords you can use their own pent scale so the C chord would have a pent scale 1 2 3 5 6 -- C D E G A..and you can form chords from those notes...NOTE: we are still using notes derived from the G major scale ...and the D maj pent would be 1 2 3 5 6 - D E F# A B...again all notes from the G maj scale and you can form chords using just those notes

hope this helps
play well

wolf
#3
Is it correct C & D Major dont sit on top on the G Major Pentatonic scale? Second, not all the notes in the chords have to be in the scale (looks like just one or two of the three will do the trick)?

Yes, C and D major chords can't be built out of the notes of G major pentatonic. This doesn't mean G major pentatonic won't sound good over those chords, though. It will work just fine over the C major chord - it will just lack the root of the chord, but then again, that's the least interesting note to play over a chord so who really cares? G major pentatonic in relation to C is G = 5th, A = 6th, B = maj7, D = 9th, E = 3rd. So you've got the chord tones of Cmaj7 + the 9th and the 6th that are not actual chord tones but will sound pretty consonant over the chord.

Now, when it comes to using G major pentatonic over a D major chord, it will work, but there are a couple of issues. If we look at the notes of G major pentatonic, in relation to D they would be G = 11th, A = 5th, B = 6th, D = root, E = 9th. The problem here is that the 11th will clash with the chord. If you are using power chords, though, it will not be a problem, because the 11th will only clash with the third. Another problem is that the scale lacks the third of the chord which I would argue is the most important chord tone (when we talk about triads). And it also lacks the 7th. Though, in rock music people just make it work. As long as you don't emphasize the notes that clash with the chord tones, it will most likely sound just fine (in other words, don't land on the 11th). Also, because it's the key pentatonic scale, it will still sound pretty consonant, even if it doesn't fit the chord perfectly.

But yeah, not all of the chord tones need to be included in the scale. But it makes sense to compare the notes in the scale to the chord tones. Notes that are a half step from chord tones, especially if they are a half step above the chord tones, are notes that will sound dissonant over the chord. This doesn't mean those notes shouldn't be used. They will work perfectly fine as passing tones. But landing on them will sound dissonant. Then again, sometimes that's what you are after, but it's just a thing that you need to be aware of.

Also, sometimes it just sounds cool if you don't have that many chord tones in the scale. Try D major pentatonic over C major. In relation to C major it would be D = 9th, E = 3rd, F# = #11, A = 6th, B = maj7. As you can see, there's only one actual chord tone that's the third. But the root and the fifth don't really sound that interesting so that's really not a problem. Instead, this scale choice emphasizes some of the "spicier" notes. Also, none of the notes are "avoid notes", so even if there aren't many chord tones, all of the notes will still sound just fine over the chord.
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
#4
That was a decent explanation. I would suggest to begin by just playing in one shape of your pentatonic scale and just listening to how the notes sound over the different chords. When the chord changes, the key does not and your shape/scale doesn't have to either. The tonic is the only thing that changes, thus changing where your licks sound good revolving. Try staying in the exact same shape and using the notes you noticed are missing over the chords that are appropriate for them. What Wolflen said to do is great advice, though I suggest you start there.
#5
Thanks everyone, very educational and useful. Has helped me back on track with learning.

I guess another thing with theory is it's useful to apply logic to achieve nice sounding music, but I guess listening by ear and making changes based on the sound is also just as important - like in this example where it didn't sound correct.

When someone is self taught, with no theory knowledge - I assume if the sound is nice/fits it will align with all the theory?
#6
Quote by opensesame10
Thanks everyone, very educational and useful. Has helped me back on track with learning.

I guess another thing with theory is it's useful to apply logic to achieve nice sounding music, but I guess listening by ear and making changes based on the sound is also just as important - like in this example where it didn't sound correct.

When someone is self taught, with no theory knowledge - I assume if the sound is nice/fits it will align with all the theory?

Theory is just description of sound and musical concepts in general. Whatever you do can be described by theory, at least in some way. Theory never says "you can't do x". It's just the description of common practices in music. But just because something is common doesn't mean it is a rule that you need to follow.
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