in other words

E5, E7M, Aadd9/D, E/A

anyone know what scale? thanks
E Minor Pentatonic will give the chords a bluesy, more rock edge. Or a simple E Major scale. Or this scale, I don't know whats its called (I don't the names of many scales)

E major or any of it's modes will work fine if you throw in an F sharp. I wouldn't recommend the E minor pentatonic because its minor third and seventh would clash with that chord progression. Try playing a lead in A Lydian
Oh wait, I think thats E Major, I already said that. Ha! I am daft with scales. Best ask in a different forum. Try Electric Guitar or other similar related ones. You could also try the G Major scale, it gives you chords a darker edge.
E maj- See the 3rd is omitted from the full chord. The second chord has a 7th added. Which is a G, should be a G#. Your Aadd9/D includes the B and has a base note of D and your E/A has a base note of A. As far as the E maj is concerned you are with in the scale. Now it alters the D which should be a D#. Mixolydian can also work. I'm not trying to dismantle your structure but try these ideas and see how it works. If you need more help or even the scale break down just let me know. No problem.
ok here's my two cents as i'm not quite sure what herotime was talking about.

1st chord - E5 just a big powerchord - no real major/minor tonality just E.

2nd chord - EM7 minus the 3rd. thus again, no real major/minor tonality determine by the 3rd. granted the Major 7 sounds a bit different over an minor triad, but it is used (i.e. Harmonic minor). so you have choices here as well.

3rd chord - Aadd9/D. that's not the only way of looking at this chord. it's also a Dmaj13 again without the 3rd. if you want the spelling of the chord its D A C# E B (1-5-7-9-13). This chord, because it lacks the third again could be used as either major minor.

4th chord - E/A. This chord could be seen as an inverted add11 chord. Here you have the major third of the E coming in so it does seem like this would be a good point of resolution in the progression.

as for what scale you could play, i would encourage you to look outside of what "scale" and instead focus on what "scales" (plural) you could play. looking at your progression it looks like the D13 is taken from the parallel minor (Eminor instead of E major). in that case you could play E major/E harmonic minor until the fourth chord. flip into E natural minor and then resolve to A lydian scale for the final chord (which should in theory give you a nice complex resolved sound as the scales are using E as tonal centre and resolving to a scale with A as tonal centre over chords which Move back to E).

edit: if you wanted to keep the third chord as Aadd9/D i would recommend playing A Lydian over the chord to reinforce that the chord is an inverted A chord.
Last edited by sisuphi at Jun 5, 2008,
Ah man... that stuff boggles me! I'd love to know it all though. I can play scales and tones of chords, I just have no idea what the names are! I learned them all meself.