#1
I'm pretty much near prefect with most techniques (alt. picking, hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, harmonics, bends, etc), but I'm having a little trouble keeping an improvised solo in the right key.

Let's say a chord progession with the chords A, D, and E is being played (power chords). If I want to improvise in the key of A (well, A pentatonic. I don't know, I think that makes it the key of Am? Sorry, I'm not teh l33t hax0r at theory), does that mean I have to stay in the A pentatonic scale for the WHOLE ENTIRE TIME? Today, I was improvising a bit to those chords, and when D was being strummed, I switched over to the D pentatonic scale, and to me, it actually sounded a LOT better. Then when A came back, I switched back to A pentatonic. Is this any right?

Can anyone clear this up for me? A bit confusing
#2
If you can answer my question, I'll give you a big explanation of why this stuff works..

What do you mean by A Pentatonic: The A minor pentatonic or the A Major pentatonic?
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#4
The chords playing are A5, D5 and E5. The notes in those chords are A E (from A5), D A (from D5) and E B (from E5). Put those in order and you have A B D E. This gives you lots of options on what to choose for a scale, I will not go into this, but trust me on that.

The reason why you pick A Minor pentatonic is probably because the A5-D5-E5 is a i-iv-v progression in the key of Aminor. A Minor Pentatonic is derived from A Minor, as seen below.

                    1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 
A minor:            A B  C D E  F  G
A minor pentatonic: A    C D E     G
                    1   b3 4 5    b7


Do you see that the minor pentatonic is just the minor scale, but without the 2 and b6? Those are left out because they create dissonance with some/most of the chords. For instance: Try holding an F over A5 or E5. Or try holding the B over A5 or D5. I guess you wouldn't really like the sound of it. This is a bit dumbed down, but you get the idea.

When the D5 is played, you switch to D Minor Pentatonic. Why is that? You were already playing in the key of A Minor, and D Minor pentatonic is in that key, as seen below.

                    1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 
A minor:            A B  C D E  F  G
D minor pentatonic: A    C D    F  G
                    5   b7 1   b3  4


As seen, you leave out some notes of the A Minor scale to avoid the dissonance. To be fairly honest, you leave out the B and E. Those are the 2 and 6 of the D5 chord. If you compare this to the previous pentatonic (A minor pentatonic) you see that we left out the 2 (B) and b6 (F) of A5 out.

The same thing happens when you use E minor pentatonic over E5.

                    1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 
A minor:            A B  C D E  F  G
E minor pentatonic: A B    D E     G
                    4 5   b7 1    b3


In this case, the C and F got left out. They create the most dissonance with the E5 chord, seeing as they are the b2 and b6 of E5.

Like I said, I dumbed the thing down a bit. Dissonance can be used very nicely to make sweet sounding phrases. However, you have to learn how to use it. Just switching minor pentatonics is a simple way to work around it.
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#5
Quote by RoboRobot
does that mean I have to stay in the A pentatonic scale for the WHOLE ENTIRE TIME? Today, I was improvising a bit to those chords, and when D was being strummed, I switched over to the D pentatonic scale, and to me, it actually sounded a LOT better. Then when A came back, I switched back to A pentatonic. Is this any right?


Of course you don't HAVE to stay in ANY scale. All depends on how you want it
to sound. D pent minor. Hm. Well, I'm not sure that's a substitution I'd make, but
it differs from A pent minor by only 1 note. There's lots of things you can play over
that progression.
#6
First of all, do you know any other scales other than A min Pentatonic?
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#7
Thanks, elvenkindje, cleared a few things up for me. And to modestmouse9191, of course I know more scales, I was just using Amin Pentatonic as an example.
#8
Ok i learned this from Marty Friedman, instead of staying in the scale the whole time. Keep switching scales, Like if the A5 is being played, then play the A pentatonic or major or minor or w/e, and then when it switches to D then play some kind of D scale. Or you can apreggiate the chord that is being strummed, but in this case u are very limited as far as apreggios because the are 5th chords.
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