#1
I've been playing guitar for a while and I've done my fair share of theory study. One question that I've never gotten answered is a really simple one. If I have a major chord progression like A-Bm-E-D, does it matter if I solo over it with a minor pentatonic scale, or would a major scale sound better?
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#3
A major or F# minor Play around with the regular major and minor scales, then the pentatonic versions.
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#4
RCalisto is correct. Quite honestly, we can't tell you what sounds better, since we don't control your ears. Try them yourself.
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#5
Quote by Psychedelico
RCalisto is correct. Quite honestly, we can't tell you what sounds better, since we don't control your ears. Try them yourself.

Well one reason I got confused in the first place was because, for example, an A minor pentatonic includes the same notes as a C major pentatonic scale... so if I'm playing an A minor solo on an A major progression, wouldn't that, essentially, be the same as playing a C major solo on an A major progression?
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#6
Quote by Karvid
Well one reason I got confused in the first place was because, for example, an A minor pentatonic includes the same notes as a C major pentatonic scale... so if I'm playing an A minor solo on an A major progression, wouldn't that, essentially, be the same as playing a C major solo on an A major progression?


Just beginning to learn theory, but could this be because A minor is C major's relative minor or whatever?
#7
Quote by Elioz
Just beginning to learn theory, but could this be because A minor is C major's relative minor or whatever?



In short....yes both C Major and A minor contain the same notes.....

But to answer Karvid's question..... different root notes create different intervals and therefore, different scales with different uses.
#8
Quote by Elioz
Just beginning to learn theory, but could this be because A minor is C major's relative minor or whatever?

I know, my question is would that affect the solo, theoretically. I'm not asking if it sounds right, per se. I'm wondering if it's strictly, in theory, correct. I wouldn't want to be soloing in C major when everybody else is playing in A major...
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Why is it that some folks quote praise from other members in their sig lines?
Its lame.
#10
im sorry to break it to ya man but i think you're taking the theory part of it too seriously. To answer your question though, no you would technically be wrong in doing that. However, i do think that what everyone else is saying is right as well. if it sounds right to you then it is right. Theory is more of a guideline, ecspecially when you are writing original music. Just look at a lot of the underground metal, they dont all seem to follow theory a whole lot but they still make kickass music.
#11
Quote by ♣LakeBodom♣
im sorry to break it to ya man but i think you're taking the theory part of it too seriously. To answer your question though, no you would technically be wrong in doing that. However, i do think that what everyone else is saying is right as well. if it sounds right to you then it is right. Theory is more of a guideline, ecspecially when you are writing original music. Just look at a lot of the underground metal, they dont all seem to follow theory a whole lot but they still make kickass music.

Quote by edg
You can definitely use Am pentatonic. That will give you a blues/rock flavor if
that's what you want. A major or A major pent will also work. Those are your
basic choices.

All right, thanks. I'll experiment with both, but for now, I'm off to bed...
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Why is it that some folks quote praise from other members in their sig lines?
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#12
Quote by Karvid
I know, my question is would that affect the solo, theoretically. I'm not asking if it sounds right, per se. I'm wondering if it's strictly, in theory, correct. I wouldn't want to be soloing in C major when everybody else is playing in A major...

NO!
BAD DOG!!
music is NOT about whether its correct.
its about how YOU hear it and how YOU think it sounds.
if you think it sounds good, screw everyone else.
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#13
Quote by Karvid
Well one reason I got confused in the first place was because, for example, an A minor pentatonic includes the same notes as a C major pentatonic scale... so if I'm playing an A minor solo on an A major progression, wouldn't that, essentially, be the same as playing a C major solo on an A major progression?



Good thinking.

And whoever said you could use the minor pentatonic is crazy, I think it would sound like crap. The "blues rock flavor" comes from using the minor pentatonic over DOMINANT chords.. not just a major chord.

I would use the major pentatonic or the A Major scale.

Over the E you can bust you the E minor pentatonic if you want.. that'll have the bluesy rock sound people are referring to
#14
What are dominant chords, I was following what you guys were saying until you brought in dominant chords. Can anyone explain what they are?
#15
Quote by Darkmessiahnz
What are dominant chords, I was following what you guys were saying until you brought in dominant chords. Can anyone explain what they are?



Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that dominant chords are built off the 5ths degree of a given scale since the 5ths degree of a scale is called the Dominant.


that would make G major the dominant chord in the key of C
#16
Ya, but in Blues they use dominant chords for all three positions (I,IV,V)

A dominant chord is a 7th chord.

Intervals : I III V bVII or with a flat third.
#17
Quote by Karvid
Well one reason I got confused in the first place was because, for example, an A minor pentatonic includes the same notes as a C major pentatonic scale... so if I'm playing an A minor solo on an A major progression, wouldn't that, essentially, be the same as playing a C major solo on an A major progression?


Yes, but never call a C major scale an Am scale.
#18
^ i do
actually i call a C major scale A minor more than i call an A minor a C major scale. i fancy minor so much more than major.
#19
Quote by RCalisto
^ i do
actually i call a C major scale A minor more than i call an A minor a C major scale. i fancy minor so much more than major.
If they're relative, wont they sound the same over the same progression? If so, wouldnt it be best to call them by the same name?
#20
^ of course. but isn't it so fun to add a senseless post to a senseless thread
#21
Quote by RCalisto
^ of course. but isn't it so fun to add a senseless post to a senseless thread


how do I respond?
#22
Quote by ouchies
And whoever said you could use the minor pentatonic is crazy, I think it would sound like crap. The "blues rock flavor" comes from using the minor pentatonic over DOMINANT chords.. not just a major chord.
I take it you've never tried it?

Playing the G from Am pent over A will create/imply a dominant seventh
Playing the C over D will do the same
Same for the D over E

And then you have the blues
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#23
Quote by ouchies

And whoever said you could use the minor pentatonic is crazy, I think it would sound like crap. The "blues rock flavor" comes from using the minor pentatonic over DOMINANT chords.. not just a major chord.


I'd guess that was me, and I'd say you're pretty much wrong. It doesn't have to
be dominant at all. Just major works fine.
#24
Quote by Ænimus Prime
I take it you've never tried it?

Playing the G from Am pent over A will create/imply a dominant seventh
Playing the C over D will do the same
Same for the D over E

And then you have the blues


But its not a blues progression. What about the b3? It'll sound completely noob to me.

Clearly the major pentatonic is the right choice.

edit: and implying a b7 over a chord that should be a 7 sounds horrid.
Last edited by ouchies at Aug 14, 2008,
#25
Quote by Ænimus Prime
I take it you've never tried it?

Playing the G from Am pent over A will create/imply a dominant seventh
Playing the C over D will do the same
Same for the D over E

And then you have the blues

It takes more than the b7 to get the blues, since a b7 doesn't just belong to a
7 chord.

The ultimate cause of, and to get the blues is, women. Sorry BGC, I know you luv it really.
Last edited by mdc at Aug 14, 2008,
#26
Quote by Darkmessiahnz
What are dominant chords, I was following what you guys were saying until you brought in dominant chords. Can anyone explain what they are?


a dominant chord/scale has a major 3rd, perfect 5th, and minor 7th.
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#27
Quote by ouchies
But its not a blues progression.
A7 D7 E7 is a blues progression, and these chords are created by playing A min pent over A D E.
Quote by ouchies
What about the b3? It'll sound completely noob to me.
A lot of the blues sound comes from using a b3 (or #2) in a major progression.
Quote by ouchies

edit: and implying a b7 over a chord that should be a 7 sounds horrid
A lot of the blues sound comes from using all dominant chords instead of diatonic chords.
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#29
Quote by ouchies
Yeah you are correct but this progression is A-Bm-E-D, you can't just isolate the A D and E and imply dominant chords over them, the Bm changes everything.

How does the Bm change everything? If you reinterpret it as D6 there's not much difference at all. None of the notes in Am pent clash with Bm. Playing Am pent over that progression doesn't sound bad to me at all.
And all blues uses dominant chords, btw
Yeah I know, thanks
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#30
Quote by Karvid
Well one reason I got confused in the first place was because, for example, an A minor pentatonic includes the same notes as a C major pentatonic scale... so if I'm playing an A minor solo on an A major progression, wouldn't that, essentially, be the same as playing a C major solo on an A major progression?


Don't solo in A minor over an A major progression, dude. Out of key = bad.
#31
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
Don't solo in A minor over an A major progression, dude. Out of key = bad.
Nothing in music is inheritly bad. Theres some weirdo out there that even likes harmonic b9's.

Regardless, I cant see any badly clashing notes with any of the chords except c#m (iii chord) and F#m (vi chord) and G#m7b5.
The notes that do clash are:
A b5'th over the Bm chord. b5ths are used heaps in jazz/blues music as an out of key note, so nothing here would sound THAT bad.
Theres a b5th, a 7th and a b9th over the C#m chord. The natural seventh mixed with a b9th and a minor sixth puts me off. Could sound nice though...
Nothing really clashes over the Dmaj chord (just dont plan on making it a maj7 chord, because than you'd get a m7 and #2 clash which doesnt sound nice over maj7 chords).
Theres a m6, b9th and a m3 (probably best said as a #2) over the Emaj chord, which sort of looks like an altered dominant thing (as in, not bad sounding, but sort of dark).
Because the F# minor chord has both an F# and a C#, there are two chromatic lines consisting of 4 notes. Not really my cup of tea, but you might like it
Theres a M7 and a M3 over the G#m7b5 chord, which would probably sound yuck.

See, instead of instantly dismissing something out of key as bad, check which notes actually clash. You might actually like some of the clashes.
Remember, theory arent rules
#32
Quote by demonofthenight
Nothing in music is inheritly bad. Theres some weirdo out there that even likes harmonic b9's.


Don't know who that could be?

I know i tend to say it comes from the H-W, but it can also come from Phrygian Dominant. Or you can just call it a "chromatic passing note" if it makes you happy....but you don't like b9's anyway, so who cares.

Easy by the Commodores (sorry for the spelling error) makes great use of the b9 when using the minor pent scale.
#33
Quote by demonofthenight
Nothing in music is inheritly bad. Theres some weirdo out there that even likes harmonic b9's.

Regardless, I cant see any badly clashing notes with any of the chords except c#m (iii chord) and F#m (vi chord) and G#m7b5.
The notes that do clash are:
A b5'th over the Bm chord. b5ths are used heaps in jazz/blues music as an out of key note, so nothing here would sound THAT bad.
Theres a b5th, a 7th and a b9th over the C#m chord. The natural seventh mixed with a b9th and a minor sixth puts me off. Could sound nice though...
Nothing really clashes over the Dmaj chord (just dont plan on making it a maj7 chord, because than you'd get a m7 and #2 clash which doesnt sound nice over maj7 chords).
Theres a m6, b9th and a m3 (probably best said as a #2) over the Emaj chord, which sort of looks like an altered dominant thing (as in, not bad sounding, but sort of dark).
Because the F# minor chord has both an F# and a C#, there are two chromatic lines consisting of 4 notes. Not really my cup of tea, but you might like it
Theres a M7 and a M3 over the G#m7b5 chord, which would probably sound yuck.

See, instead of instantly dismissing something out of key as bad, check which notes actually clash. You might actually like some of the clashes.
Remember, theory arent rules


I just picked a bad way of wording. I like dissonance. I use it a lot myself, and I listen to Dillinger Escape Plan who are so dissonant that people argue that they're not even music. lol. But, most people would agree that soloing in and A major scale over A minor chords is going to be a bad idea.