#1
Ive written this chord progression, (E5,A5,B5,A5) and I was wondering if I needed to switch scales, or keys when changing between chords. if so, could I just use the major scales for each chord?
Gear
Peavy Basic 60 bass amp
Fender American Precison W/Quarter pounders
SX SPJ-62
Acoustic B100
SX SJB-75 LTD NA
#2
If you look at the notes found within those chords it will help you determine which scale(s) you might wanna play:

E5: E and B
A5: A and E
B5: B and F#

From this information you know that your scale should have an E, F#, A and B in it. There are many scales that have these notes within it, but from the chord progression (I - IV - V - IV) I would guess that it will be either the E major, or E minor scales:

E Major: E F# G# A B C# D# E
E Minor: E F# G A B C D E

In terms of changing keys, you could change keys for each chord if you wanted to but it is not necessary. Sometimes it will sound better to stay within one key, while other times it might sound best to change keys over each chord. It's all about what sounds best in the given situation. Try a few different things and use your ear to pick out what sounds the best to you.
#4
it could work a number of ways:

Method 1:

you could change scales with each chord... since your progression is neither minor or major (the chords don't contain thirds, only a root and fifth), you could use pretty much any scale pattern you want. I recommend ionian (the major scale) or aeolian (the minor scale), or the pentatonic versions of those.

you can use the other modes as well, if you're familiar with them... but modal play usually sounds best over just one or two chords, since there are different sharps and flats in the modes that may clash the chords. but again, since your progression in this case is fairly simple, you could probably use any mode except locrian. i would avoid the diminished scale too, unless you're into really weird sounds.

naturally, you would want to use the root note of the chord to determine what key/scale you play in. I would use an E scale in the first chord, an A scale on the second chord, a B scale on the third chord, and maybe a different key than A for the last chord, just to sound different... maybe a C...

Method 2:

play any E, B or A scale over the whole thing, any way you want to.

Method 3:

play a riff or a walking line in E, but make sure to play something to sync up with the changes... remember that the key to writing riffs is to know theory, but not to use it when you're just trying to write killer riffs. What your brain knows subconsciously about theory will come out anyways, but the key to good riffage is to let it all go and just play what feels and sounds good. Once you have the basis of the riff, modify it to fit the song as needed.
Last edited by frigginjerk at Mar 30, 2008,
#5
I'm going for more of dark punk,(but not locrian dark, if you get what i'm saying) kind of line, but probably not E major now that I think about it. A minor sounds nice, i'll check into it.
Gear
Peavy Basic 60 bass amp
Fender American Precison W/Quarter pounders
SX SPJ-62
Acoustic B100
SX SJB-75 LTD NA