If my song starts with a E power chord and then to a C power chord and then a D power chord which i riff with a little bit.

Does that mean the song is in E and I can use like the E minor scale or like E Phrygian for soloing?
it depends on how you want it to sound you could even use minor ove rmajor in a weird way but theoretically you can use Emajor.

If you wanna use E harmonic minor (which has a bit of the samey effect as phrygian dominanth) try this: A minor, D minor, E7.

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So the E Phrygian works as good as the E minor over the E, C and D power chords?
weait i;m wrong i made a mistake if it's e minor you could use e minor over it.

At this one you need to follow the chord or us 2 scales.

you could use e minor over the C and D chord and major it over the E

EDIT: E Phrygian wil work over this progression: E minor, F major, G major,.

With your progression you can do alot of things because it 's a modulation. so you can do crazy runs in e minor over the C and D chords and then hit a G# on the Emajor chord after that and ppl will think ur amazing

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Mar 4, 2007,
I'm not sure I get that. If I only want the E minor scale how should it look like then? Without changing the chords. Or do I have to?
Don't just get online and ask a stranger man... start using that head of yours!!!

Let's go through this step by step... all nice and neat:

E5 (what you kindly refer to as "power chord"), C5 and D5 are your three base chords. For now, let's pretend your little "riffing around" with the D5 doesn't come into play and therefore doesn't alter anything...

E5 isn't tecnically a chord, since it only hast two notes to it, these two notes being, E and B. C5 is composed of C and G and your D5 chord is made with a D and an A ("Power Chords" are created by playing the first and fifth from your root notes major scale).

So the complete listing of notes you are using durring your base riff are E, G, A, B, C, D.

Let's put those into a scale/function graph:

E - ¿? -  G  - A  - B - C  -  D   - E
1 - 2  -  3  - 4  - 5 - 6  -  7   - 8
I - ii - iii - IV - V - vi - vii* - I (based on the natural major scale)

So the scale degrees you are currently satisfying are Em (E, F#, G, A, B, C, D), C (C, D, E, F, G, A, B), G, Am, D be-bop... and a whole thousand other scales you can freely modulate in and out from...

So from now on, buddy, that's how you figure out what key you are in... and what scales will sound best over whatever you are playing.

Best of luck, come back with any questions, comments or snide remarks!