#1
ok so your in a gig and your band mate is playing a song and says for you to solo but you dont know what the key is so you screw up and play all these off notes! What do i do to prevent that scenario? how do i Find the Key to things ar start chord patterns like if i know the key is (A) what notes or other chords can i play to that A chord that will sound good in a song im making...


Thanks alot! This is so Important!
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#2
a very general rule of thumb is if a song starts and ends on the same chord then that chord can be considered the key. e.g. time of your life by green day would be in G.

you don't seem to want a load of technical jargon (and believe me, i don't know a lot of it myself!) but what i would do, having found what key a song is in, i would take the relative minor of it and solo in that key's harmonic minor.

eg. song's in the key of A >> relative minor is F#m >> solo wud be in F#m pentatonic

song's in the key of E >> relative minor is C#m >> solo wud be in C#m pentatonic

song's in the key of Dm >> relative minor is Dm >> solo wud be in Dm pentatonic

and so on.

that helpful?
#3
how do you find the relative minor of the key, o wise controlfreak?
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#4
It has to do with the chord progression your mate is playing and the mode the song is in. For a certain mode in a certain key, there is a set of chord you can use that sound well together. If you know which chords he is playing, you can figure it out backwards and you'll know what scale(s) you can use to solo.

It's not easy to figure out theoretically what you have to play on the fly, so if you are playing live and improvising (kind of a live jam act), he'd better tell you the key, or you'll have to "feel" what sounds better.

The relative minor is the same as the key if that key is minor and one and a half steps lower if the key is major. (I think that's right... but i'd appreciate if someone confirms this).
Last edited by darkstriker at May 25, 2006,
#5
^wow, thanks
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#6
^^ yup darkstriker that's how it's done!

if you have a chord (say B major at the 7th fret) just count down 3 frets from that chord (G#m at the 4th fret) and you've got you're relative minor.

C would be Am
D would be Bm
E >> C#m
F >> Dm
G >> Em
A >> F#m

almost 90% of songs can be solo'd in with the relative minor pentatonic.

some might say it's not that original but the minor pent is a powerful scale and soloing tool.

a good way to prac is to record yourself playin a few chords (maybe G, C, D, C) and jam away with it with the Em pent scale
#7
good advice controlfreak, I will do that.
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#8
so controlfreak, if im playing a C chord i can solo to am? and if i know the key, what chords go well with that E chord? someone told me before that if the key is E you have to do this:

legend: w- whole step
H- half step

w-w-h-w-w-w-h... this correct?
...Allman Brothers For Life...
#9
If you don't even know the chord progression, just run up and down the low E string until you land on what sounds like the note everything resolves to. Then figure if thats the major or minor root. Thats what I do, atleast.

If you do know the progression, you might want to look at a few lessons about chord progressions to know what chords fit in where into what key.

I ii iii IV V vi vii(dim) I
#12
you should study some music theory, it'll really help you for figuring out keys for soloing. If you don't know theory, you will come up to a dead end in song writing, most of the time.
#14
let say that if a song prgression is e,c,d
can i solo using em pentatonic?
#15
C - C D E F G A B C
F - F G A Bb C D E F
Bb - Bb C D Eb F G A Bb
Eb - Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
Ab - Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab
Db - Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db
Gb - Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb
Cb - Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
C - C D E F G A B C
G - G A B C D E F# G
D - D E F# G A B C# D
A - A B C# D E F# G# A
E - E F# G# A B C# D# E
B - B C# D# E F# G# A# B
F# - F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#
C# - C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C#


I like to do what Santriani calls fishing, which is basically descending through out a scale on the high E string until i can find a note which sounds good and then i follow that key... or if I can pick out ANY chord that he is playing I will just solo over that chord and just play what sounds right... i have a bag of tricks pretty much and I draw from it when i don't know what the hell I'm going to do.


I have this problem because 90% of every lead guitar part I play is not written down at all so its mostly improvised.
Last edited by silentdud at May 29, 2006,
#16
Quote by silentdud
C - C D E F G A B C
F - F G A Bb C D E F
Bb - Bb C D Eb F G A Bb
Eb - Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
Ab - Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab
Db - Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db
Gb - Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb
Cb - Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
C - C D E F G A B C
G - G A B C D E F# G
D - D E F# G A B C# D
A - A B C# D E F# G# A
E - E F# G# A B C# D# E
B - B C# D# E F# G# A# B
F# - F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#
C# - C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C#

.


what does this thing mean...?
#17
They're all the notes in each respective key.

So if you want to solo in the key of A, you can use any of the notes in the A major scale - shown in that list, A B C# D E F#G# A - anywhere on your guitar fretboard and it will sound good.
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#18
Interesting stuff ... Does anyone know any good theory books which will teach you this stuff ??
#20
um, two quick things--

the minor pentatonic down 3 frets, by the way, is called the major pentatonic scale. good for stuff in major keys. if the song is in a minor key, or you want to solo over it rock/blues stlye, just play the straight minor pentatonic from the root note.

second... shame on you for not knowing the key of a song before a gig!
#21
^ actually that was a fake scenario he DOESN'T want to happen! The easiest and best way is to just ask your guitarist what kep he is playing in. Dont worry, there is no shame in it. As you progress as a player you will be able to see and hear, but for now don't be scared to just shout across. but NEVER in a gig. You should know your set inside out before you gig
#22
^^ so if the chord prog is Em G D C and you're soloing in Em pentatonic over it can you change it all down 3 frets or 1 1/2 steps? so it'd be like you're soloing in C#m penta?