#1
Hey guys hows it going?

I am actually having some trouble getting my solos to have a nice sound. I am playing a squire strat. I start off by playing a chord progression, E D A for example. I solo in the key of E using the pentatonic minor scale and it sounds horrible. I tried soloing in the relative minor of E and that just isn't sounding good. Any help please?!
#3
You're using a Squire, that's the problem.

Or is it the other kind of "sound good?"

Might I suggest not using a pentatonic with a relative minor?
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#5
If you're playing an E chord, you want to play in the key of E major. E minor pentatonic is in the key of G major. Try play C# minor pentatonic to start with, or E major pentatonic if you know it.
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#6
Haha thanks for the advice... I was looking for a little better explanation, It is not the strat. I have heard many of folks solo incredible well with a Squire. It's not the size of the boat its the motion in the ocean.

Anyone want to point me towards any specific lessons or anything?
#7
Quote by black-sabbath
You're using a Squire, that's the problem.

Or is it the other kind of "sound good?"

Might I suggest not using a pentatonic with a relative minor?

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#8
Try to keep your solo in the chord structure. While you're at the E chord, play E, G#, and B, and use other notes in the scale as quick transitions between them if you need to. Then for D, try to use D, F#, and A more than other notes. For A use A, C#, and E.
Last edited by Vlasco at May 31, 2008,
#9
Quote by andrew6986
Hey guys hows it going?

I am actually having some trouble getting my solos to have a nice sound. I am playing a squire strat. I start off by playing a chord progression, E D A for example. I solo in the key of E using the pentatonic minor scale and it sounds horrible. I tried soloing in the relative minor of E and that just isn't sounding good. Any help please?!



Intrestingly enough I'm working on recording a cover of a Stones tune that's
pretty similar (It's only Rock & Roll).

If you had sheet music, you'd probably see the key signature written out as E
major (4 #'s). That's because E-D-A most like resolves to E. But, as with a
lot of rock/blues type of progressions, if the E were extended to a 7th chord, it
would probably sound better as a E7 (dominant), rather than Emaj7. So, what
you're actually looking at, for the basic scale, is E Mixolydian. And E Mixolydian
comes from the Key of A. All those chords fit perfectly in A (as the V-IV-I chords).

So, you could play E Myxlodian over it (or just think of it as A major. It's the same
notes, but not technically correct to call it A Major).

E Major pentatonic would work.

E Minor pentatonic would work (this will give you a bluesy sound).

Try any of those and attempt to hit chord tones at the right times.

Beyond that knowing how to use scales to improvise and make it sound good, just
requires practice. A lot of it.
#10
Quote by andrew6986
Hey guys hows it going?

I am actually having some trouble getting my solos to have a nice sound. I am playing a squire strat. I start off by playing a chord progression, E D A for example. I solo in the key of E using the pentatonic minor scale and it sounds horrible. I tried soloing in the relative minor of E and that just isn't sounding good. Any help please?!

You're soloing in the key of E minor when you're in E major, that's the problem. Play the E major pentatonic scale.
#11
if your only using pentatonics learn some licks and then mess around to make your own if your just starting out. be careful though that you don't just use licks though because then your imrov won't really be improv and will just sound recycled. just google pentatonic licks on google and loads of stuff should show up.
#12
Here's the secret that I use to playing solos.....Forget scales and theory, play what sounds good and you will get a more natural feel for playing and improvising. I know it's nice to know theory and to actually know theory and everything, but I feel getting to know the instrument hands on is better than just studying it on paper.
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#13
Quote by Captirk
Here's the secret that I use to playing solos.....Forget scales and theory


Seriously, that's a ridiculous statement to make.
#14
Quote by Captirk
Here's the secret that I use to playing solos.....Forget scales and theory, play what sounds good and you will get a more natural feel for playing and improvising. I know it's nice to know theory and to actually know theory and everything, but I feel getting to know the instrument hands on is better than just studying it on paper.
[Flameshield]


that's a good idea but the problem with that is you end up playing things that sound good to your ear and since most things that sound good are already familiar you will probably end up playing things that have already been beat to death. theory by itself is a waste of time but apply it to your instrument and it will give you a sort of guideline for your music (one that you don't necessarily have to follow by the way). theory's basically the result of thousands of people studying music over hundreds of years and coming up with a method to explain what your ear is already hearing. learning theory just lets you know what's going on musically (plus why bother trying to reinvent everything that's already been studied for hundreds of years) and as a result will probably provide a lot less frustration in the end.
#15
no offense to captirk of course . i actually have a friend who tried this approach for his songwriting the problem is no matter what you do it somehow corresponds to some part of music theory.
#16
Quote by mawjingo
no offense to captirk of course . i actually have a friend who tried this approach for his songwriting the problem is no matter what you do it somehow corresponds to some part of music theory.

It has to. Music theory is a descriptive tool that can be applied to all music, nothing more.
#17
Thanks for all the help. I really like all the input. So say I start a progression such as C G am F, would it be theoretically correct to play the C major pentatonic scale? Or I could play A pentatonic minor scale?
#18
Quote by andrew6986
Thanks for all the help. I really like all the input. So say I start a progression such as C G am F, would it be theoretically correct to play the C major pentatonic scale? Or I could play A pentatonic minor scale?

That progression resolves to C, so you're playing C major, not A minor. You could play an A minor scale "shape", but because the scales have the same notes and your tonal center is C, you're playing C major and never A minor. It is very important to understand this concept; many people on these boards do not and it leads to endless arguments.
#19
the Amin pentatonic "shape" would work but you've gotta make sure that your root is C because your playing a major chord progression (because your tonic chord is a major chord). so to play over that chord progression start your pentatonic scale on the C (where your pinky is) and try playing over it with C as the root of the solo.

the only difference between the minor and major pentatonics is the root. The root for the minor starts on the index finger the root for the major is on the pinky (assuming your using the first box pentatonic shape).

p.s. it would help a lot too if you would find the other Cs in your scale so you can resolve to those instead of always having to go back to the low E to resolve your solo.
Last edited by mawjingo at Jun 1, 2008,
#20
Quote by mawjingo
the Amin pentatonic would work but you've gotta make sure that your root is C because your playing a major chord progression (because your tonic chord is a major chord). so to play over that chord progression start your pentatonic scale on the C (where your pinky is) and try playing over it with C as the root of the solo.

No, read my above post. The solo doesn't have a root, the scale you're playing does. You're playing C major, easy as that.
#21
yeah i know but i think he only knows the pentatonic shape so i'm trying to help him play in the major key.

unless i misunderstood your post (which is a possibility )
#22
Quote by mawjingo
yeah i know but i think he only knows the pentatonic shape so i'm trying to help him play in the major key.

unless i misunderstood your post (which is a possibility )

Yes, I get what you're saying; I'm just saying that he is always playing C major in that case, even if he starts a lick on an A note.
#23
oh okay yeah that 's a good point. TS he's right on it doesn't matter where you start your solo but what does matter is whether you emphasis playing A or C both Amin and Cmaj contain the same notes but with the chord progression your using Cmaj will have a stronger sound and therefore sound more "right".

if i'm saying giving wrong instruction please correct.
#24
I'm sorry if I came off as "Theory are stoopit, it iz 4 tha N00B5" I meant to say not to rely too heavily on theory, but I guess I got a little carried away.
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#25
Quote by mawjingo
oh okay yeah that 's a good point. TS he's right on it doesn't matter where you start your solo but what does matter is whether you emphasis playing A or C both Amin and Cmaj contain the same notes but with the chord progression your using Cmaj will have a stronger sound and therefore sound more "right".

if i'm saying giving wrong instruction please correct.

You shouldn't look at this as a matter of "right" and "wrong", and the emphasis on either A or C doesn't determine what scale you're playing. They won't have "stronger" sounds because you're simply never using A minor over this progression. It's much more involved than that, and here's why.

The scales contain the same notes, yes, but keep in mind that a scale is comprised of unique intervals from a specific tonal center, that tonal center being the root of the scale. In his progression, it's a very typical progression in C that will resolve to C. Therefore, C is the tonal center; if you play the notes C D E F G A B in any order and any way, you'll be using those notes in relation to the tonal center, C, and that's why you are never playing A minor in this case. It's only C major, that's the bottom line.

Does that clear anything up?
#26
Okay thanks, This whole time I was playing my solos in the relative minor. Using the pentatonic minor scale. So basically I should just try to solo in the major pentatonic?
#27
oh alright yeah i see what your saying. that's a better explanation than mine (and less confusing). ok we're cool now

@captirk
no problem
#28
Quote by andrew6986
Okay thanks, This whole time I was playing my solos in the relative minor. Using the pentatonic minor scale. So basically I should just try to solo in the major pentatonic?



I think the E minor pentatonic should sound perfectly fine over that particular progression (Edit: Nm I thought you were doing an E - A - B) Just find out which scale works with that progression and use it. However you can spice it up using harmonic minor or other types of scales. Pentatonic scales are easy to solo in but not that dynamic because they leave out some of the notes that create tension which is really good when you are soloing.
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Last edited by dannyniceboy at Jun 1, 2008,
#29
Quote by andrew6986
Okay thanks, This whole time I was playing my solos in the relative minor. Using the pentatonic minor scale. So basically I should just try to solo in the major pentatonic?

Then you missed the point of my posting. You were not soloing in the relative minor.
#31
the relative minor of C is A... Which means if I solo using the pentatonic minor starting on an A I would be playing correctly. Right?
#32
kinda. but the problem is that what your trying to do is play a minor scale over a major chord progression and it ends up sounding wrong because basically your mixing things that shouldn't be mixed. for right now just play major over major or minor over minor.

I'll try to illustrate what your saying with a different example. let's say i'm chugging away in dminor. now the relative major of dminor is Fmaj but just because that's true doesn't mean that it fits in well with the progression. instead I should play using a dminor minor scale.

so when you have a chord progression where C is the tonal centre (means that it's the strongest sounding chord in the progression) play with a Cmaj pentatonic. if it's a chord progression in Amin then use the Amin pentatonic. just try it and you should hear what i'm saying.
#33
Wow, everyone's just missed the point of everything I have said.

For the love of God...
If your tonal center is C in this case, you're playing C major. Even if you played the "pentatonic minor starting on A", you're just playing in C major but beginning your lick on A. You are not playing A minor. It's very simple.

Mawjingo, you're way off, sorry. If you're in D minor, again you're not playing the F major scale, but rather you're playing in D minor but beginning whatever you're playing on an F note. "F major" and D minor wouldn't sound different at all; in every point in your example, you're just playing in D minor. You're not choosing between the two because there's no choice to make.

Everyone's confused, I suggest you reread everything I've said.
#34
Quote by Captirk
Here's the secret that I use to playing solos.....Forget scales and theory, play what sounds good and you will get a more natural feel for playing and improvising. I know it's nice to know theory and to actually know theory and everything, but I feel getting to know the instrument hands on is better than just studying it on paper.
[Flameshield]


Fair enough, but I wouldn't want to sit in and listen to him play the plethora of wrong notes he's going to hit till he figures out what 'sounds good'.
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