Hi All,

Quick question, if I'm playing a 145 in the key of G but with solos/licks between chord changes what's the theory for resolving the solo before jumping to the next chord?

For example: G major, solo, C major, solo, D major, solo, loop back to G major.

Resolving each solo to the tonic (G) sounds good but wondering the other options - for example would resolving the solo after G major to the 135 notes of C chord make leading into the C major good?

Basically what options do I have when in key of G, to make entrance/exit of solo here > C major, solo, D major.

Thanks in advance.
You're safest to resolve right on the change. You should practice that way to start, anyway.

There are other things you can do to add interest, like holding a common tone over the change, or resolving to a tasty non-chord tone.

There isn't much an objective right or wrong in blues. The most important thing is that you're aware of what you're doing relative to the chords and have some idea where you're going. Practice resolving to chord tones on the downbeat, and once you can do that, start mixing up the tones and rhythms. 
Depends on whether you end your solo before or after the chord change. The general rule is to land on chord tones of the current chord (doesn't need to be the root or the tonic - this is only important if the song ends there, and even then, sometimes leaving the ending "open" sounds cool).

If you play a long sustained note over the chord change, you could find a note that fits both chords, or you could also first play a note that fits the first chord but not the second chord, and then when the chord changes, slide it a half/whole step up/down so that it fits the next chord.

For example:

B -> C
G major -> C major

It's also possible to anticipate the chord change by playing the chord tone of the next chord just before the chord changes.

But do whatever sounds good to you. You may not want to land on a G if you are playing over a D major chord because that will clash with the chord. Over the C major chord it's going to sound just fine because G is a chord tone of C major.

EDIT: If you want your solo to "lead" to the next chord, just play an ascending or a descending scale run that targets the chord tone of the next chord, and land on that note exactly when the chord changes.
Quote by AlanHB
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jul 14, 2017,
Thanks for the replies, all of this is great for my learning, just one thing.

I'm not soloing over the chord changes, I'm playing the chords and solos linear. So wondering the options on notes to start/end the solo which best fits the transition between me playing say C major, solo, D major.

So would playing C major, starting the solo on C note ending it on D note, then playing D major make sense regarding transitioning between them.

The reason I ask is because when I play C major then solo and change to D major it can sound disjointed. Just trying to understand roughly the theory/logic.
There is a way to practice the development of soloing skills you could try; it is designed to help learn to hear how solo lines and chords relate to each other.

The easiest and most direct approach is to just play lines over recorded chord changes (something you record or any recorded song).

- play the recording and pick any starting solo note; if it does not sound right, move it until it does
- so you are playing a solo note that sounds fine over a chord...
- when the chord changes, let your ear tell you whether the next note should be up a half step or a whole step, and play that
- so for each chord change, move up either a half or whole step, and hear in your head which will sound right

Once this is working, start to include variations

- moving up or down
- moving further
- moving more often during the chord

The reason this works is that you will be able to tell if you should move a half or whole step easily, even with unusual chord changes because the note you are playing and the harmony that a half or whole step away sounds like are close enough that even the untrained ear will hear it. You should confirm that you can do this easily for even the hardest music you like. Then begin the same thing with the variations (and you will come up with your own ideas for more variations)... eventually your ear's "span" of what it can hear will approach the "span" of what you can reach from one position on the finger board. With this confidence, you go on to include position shifts.

A nice thing about this is that it is not boring - it changes along with the variation in music with which you are playing. It is also useful in the sense that it increasingly approaches the way one hears and performs an improvised solo (a similar method of navigating through harmony changes and hearing the possibilities).
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I'm assuming you are playing alone (no accompaniment). If you are soloing over G major chord, end your solo with a G major chord and then play the next chord. That would be the simplest thing to do. Maybe not the "smoothest" sounding way, but it will work. This way you don't need to worry about how you approach the next chord. Then again, this may make your playing sound pretty disjointed.

Another thing to pay attention to would be voice leading. This means you need to pay attention to the chord voicings, and especially the highest note of your voicing because this will be heard as the "melody". The last note of your phrase could be the chord itself. Chords and melody don't need to be separate things. Actually, if you are playing without accompaniment, it makes sense to play a more "chord melody" kind of a solo - you would be kind of playing rhythm and lead at the same time.

But yeah, if for example you use the open D major chord as your "D major voicing", when you change the chord, F# would be heard as the "melody note". So what you should play before the chord change should target F#. But instead of just playing F#, you would just play the whole open D major chord.

Another thing would be playing double stops. For example if you are going from C major to D major, you could play something like
   C D

And maybe after that play the full chord, or just continue soloing. You don't need to play the full chord to imply D major harmony. As I said, chords and melody don't need to be separate things, and you can build melodies with chords. But you can also imply chords with melodies. And this is a really important thing to remember, especially if you are playing alone (not over a backing track/accompaniment). So you don't need to play a full chord whenever the chord changes. You could just play something that outlines the chord in some way, or maybe use double stops or whatever.

But it would be interesting to hear an example of what you are doing at the moment. So can you record a demo?
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.


Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jul 14, 2017,
Awesome, both replies are above and beyond useful.
Defiantly some great take aways I will try.

I can record but the output will be shameful the double stops is a great one, I've already started to use them in a tab I'm learning (Beatles - let it be solo) + I picked up some Jimi tips on YouTube which also contain double stops etc.

@pluspaul - great advice and I was kinda one step ahead, I got this Boss RC-1 loop pedal this week so that should do the trick on the looping.
opensesame10 While you're experimenting, listen to the difference between playing a semitone above a chord tone, and a semitone below, in terms of the "clash" that occurs.  

Another nice sound to add to the list is the use of suspensions.

e.g.  With C and D and G triads, the following sound good.  IN each case, the lower string notes are left ringing having hit them, while the top notes change

e:  0 - 2 - 0      For C, and
b:  1
g:  0

e:  2 - 3 - 2      For D, and
b:  3
g:  2

e: (3)              For G
b:  1 - 0  0
g:  0      0