Okay, sounds like you don't know too much theory, so this may just go over your head, but try and follow, because with time this will really help you. Trust me.
A lot of guitar players, when playing lead, like to use chord tones in their solos. Maybe not exclusively, but a largely. You can walk to and from them using chromatic tones or however you choose to, even just up and down the scale, but if you plan on holding one specific note, chord tones are usually the best choice.
With this in mind, some kind of lead like the one in Night Train might be easier to do with those chord tones. It may take some time to learn major chords, minor chords, and extensions, but it pays off with lead. There are a lot of great sources on this site to learn basic theory, so try to do it. After you've studied for a little while, your solos will be so much better. It's easier when you actually understand what you're trying to do, and not just having the sound inside your head. it may not help you right now, but try and learn those things. It helps in the long run.
If you don't know modes yet, learn them, but the C major and minor pentatonic scales both work well. C mixolydian works pretty well also, as does Dorian.
Another thing you can do is pass over a few notes in the minor scale to go to the major scale, like do a hammer on from the minor third to the major third. That works well, especially if you finish it with an arpeggio.
Another thing you could try is a harmony bit. Just because you have something that you like now doesn't mean that you can't improve on it any. Believe me when I say this. I made this one song that my bro and I wrote so much better just by taking the basic idea and working it out with another idea I had.
One thing you can do with harmonies is take and create a solo using nothing but chord tones. Don't go too over the top with this, because what you can try is playing the next note in the chord above the one you're on. Typically, this will be a third, but not always when you start moving into chords with higher extensions. You'll also have some more difficult fingerings because of this.
Another form of harmony that works really well is harmonising in thirds. You can create some cool stuff but you're better off trying to move outside the box with harmonies than just doing thirds.
^^ Right... Just because someone doesn't like someone else's music (or a group of people's music) doesn't mean they suck. Bit extreme dude. I hate John ****ing Frusciante, but I don't tell people that they suck just because I think he does.
^ The fourteen year old girl was actually a few years later, I believe... Like, in the mid-70s. Not the sixties. The order would be more like:
-Write the most prolific catalog of rock songs ever -Party like a rockstar all the way through your career, and become infamous for the ridiculous **** that you and your bandmates did.
And then, they weren't even the most prolific band in the world. The first few years were pretty consistent, but they slowed down a lot later on. Rush were the same way. They started to run out of things to say, I guess.
Modes are pretty simple once you've got them down. It took me forever to get it, because I'd have these moments where I'd just get it -- it would just click; but then I would forget what this strange revelation that I had was the next day when I tried to apply it. But I've figured it out now, and I think that I present it in a manner that is pretty easy to understand.
Let's begin with the Major Scale. This is probably the most important thing that you will ever learn, because without it, nothing else could ever make any sense to you whatsoever. Everything is based off of it, when speaking about music.
The basic formula for a natural major scale is 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7. Chords are typically formed in thirds, but some people will harmonize chords in fourths also (known as quartal harmony), but thirds are the most common and the most basic.
Okay, so what is a third? The interval of a third is equal to two whole steps. A minor third is equal to a whole step and a half step, which on the guitar is three frets.
When you play a third, you're basing it off of what scale you're using, and what note you're starting from in that scale. This is equally true of fifths, fourths, seconds, sixths, sevenths, etc.
So let's look at harmonization. We're going to use the major scale for this example.
That is a basic chord, and followed by all of it's extensions. The extensions aren't really necessary when you're forming chords, it's just useful to know what they are for if you see them in a song somewhere. You won't ever really play all of those notes in one chord though. The most important ones are, to me, the root, third, 7, and then whatever the highest extension is after that.
Okay, so do you think that you "get" harmonization? You take those same basic rules, and apply them to whatever scale degree (i.e. second, third, fourth) you're starting on. We'll do this once with a minor scale as well, just to use as an example.
So you see, when you change the formula to a scale, the first chord and all of it's extensions will change. When you go to harmonize chords, just start at the first tone of the chord, and count up in thirds.
If any of this confuses you, ask me to explain it better from that point on and I will. Tonight, I'm sorta pressed for time, so I'm trying to make this easy while simultaneously getting through it quickly. If it has been over-simplified, let me know.
Now we're going to move on to modes.
You define a mode as being major or minor by determining what the root chord is (major or minor). Just figure out what the third is, natural or flatted, and you'll know what the scale is (anyone who says something about Locrian, I'm getting to it).
So, the formula for each mode will be presented next to each name (in order, of course).
Note: The number that sits next to each mode here is representitive of which scale degree each mode starts from. Dorian is based from the second note of a natural major scale, so it has a "2" next to it. Makes sense, right?
Okay, that Locrian scale has a diminished fifth, which means it is neither major or minor. It is diminished. This is by far the hardest mode to use, because it is simply unstable. I don't know that I've ever heard a chord progression that was based off of this scale (though the intro to Metallica's "Enter Sandman" uses it quite effectively, and is by far the most popular use of the scale).
Okay, now let's look at each mode, broken into major and minor.
Now, when you're considering the notes in a mode, apply these formulas to the natural major scale. You spell each mode out from the root note (the one), and just write each note out in the mode. Note that these modes will share notes with another scale. E Phrygian is all natural tones, but it is not a C major scale or an A minor scale. It is E Phrygian.
Now, I advise you go read xx darren xx's thread on modal progressions (which has a bunch of YouTube links with modal chord progressions underneath, and him soloing over each one to show what they sound like). ONLY READ THIS THREAD IF EVERYTHING THAT I HAVE SAID HERE MAKES SENSE TO YOU! If you do not understand something here, then reading that thread will only make you even more confused.
If I said something here that confused you at any point in time, TELL ME. I will do my absolute best to explain it better. I kind of hurried this lesson because, like I said, I'm pressed for time tonight. It's not the best lesson I've ever typed up, but I think it gets the point across. I'll be happy to explain anything here better that does not make sense to you.
Okay.... Parallel Universe live at Slane Castle is NOT the best example of a good solo that uses that scale...
Check out Sultans of Swing a little bit. A few of those licks in that song use that scale a little bit. Just remember that you're not really doing anything particularly different with this scale. The characteristic of it is just that dominant V chord. It take some getting used to the shapes and stuff, but it's an easy scale to improvise with. The biggest thing is just making sure that you use the natural seven in the right spots.
I don't think there's any real secret to using that scale man. Just playing around with it, seeing what sounds good and what doesn't, that's how you're going to get good at using it. You wouldn't typically use it for an entire guitar solo, though. If you're on the root chord in a progression, the flat seven might be a better choice, even if the chord progression goes from the root to the V7 chord. It's a really fun scale, you can create a lot of wonderful sounds with it, but like everything else that you learn on the guitar, there's a time and place. A lot of times, it's difficult to find a time and place in most of the songs that you'll probably learn.
One of them's a lie. I'm sure there will be a lot of people who say that Mensch is just "trying to shut everyone up" or something, but they will still have faith in a reunion of some kind. I love Zeppelin, but it's not a big deal if they don't tour. Their time was 30 years ago. Now it's done. It's okay if they let new talent shine.
Key signatures and pentatonics are very easy. Just knowing what notes are in a key. The pentatonic scale is maybe the easiest thing you will ever learn, and possibly the most useful when soloing. It usually sounds good, and doesn't require much thought. If you've just run out of ideas, then play pentatonic stuff. That's what Kirk Hammett does, and look at where he is.
If you wanna believe that there's a Satanic message in Stairway to Heaven, go ahead, but I'm here to tell you that I think it's a completely stupid idea and that there isn't a Satanic message in Stairway.
18 Days sucks. If anyone disagrees, fine, that's your opinion, but mine is that that song ****ing sucks. My brother was like, "Oh, this is that other song of theirs," and I was like, "Well I don't see what all the hype was about." It is not THAT good of a song.
^ I was saying to use the dominant V chord in this context because I thought that it would fit great. I used a minor v in a chord progression, and then I used a dominant V I think four measures after that? It's not like it's off limits, it's just not as strong. But sometimes you're not looking for that dominant V chord in your harmony. Eventually it starts to sound kinda stale, because it's used in almost every minor chord progression I've ever heard.
One thing that I try to do a lot of when I play jazz is to play something that lands on a certain tone in a given chord. If you know which chord is coming next, and they have a common tone, that might be the one to target. As you learn to improvise in this way, you learn which tones sound good when you land on them. A lot of times, I don't like to stop on dimished tones, like a flat 9, or something like that. But, those tones make great passing tones. Also keep in mind, though, that what sounds like utter garbage to one player might sound like heaven to another.
I really guessed that it wasn't all majors like I was playing it, but I didn't even want to bother changing everything, because I knew looking at all of the replies that someone had already done all of that and there was absolutely no need for me to do it. I added a few chords on the end of it, too, though, and I think that what I did with it was very interesting. I'll post it later on tonight, but with not solo. I don't wanna attempt to outline those chord changes Leave that to the jazz masters. Something about the way I played it sounds pretty familiar, though.
TS, if you approach it the way that I have, with all chords major (and a somewhat odd rhythm.. timing is NOT 1 chord each measure the way I'm doing it), I don't know how you would go about playing over something like this. I'm playing it kind of weird, though, and I really don't know that anyone would EVER approach it this way. If it were done the way that I'm approaching it, I really don't know how you'd do it, unless you were playing over each chord, and not just from one scale. You'd get lost otherwise. I'll see about recording the rhythm that I'm playing, though, just to give everyone an idea of why it'd be so difficult the way that I'm playing this (which is completely wrong, I can just say right now).
For a verse you could try something like Em - G (this fits pretty well to my ear, but you may need to find a nice voicing for it) - D - B7 (NOT B MINOR!).
You may wanna "borrow" a chord from the harmonic minor scale. It's very common to use chords like a dominant V chord in a minor progression.
Another chord progression that worked was Em - D - G - D. Once again, finding the right voicings for these chords might be somewhat of a trick, but if you do, I'm sure they'll work beautifully. You're aiming for a pretty dark sound, correct? Rather than stacking your typical power chords, try using the third in the bass or something. If I used that progression, I would try and make the root of each chord have some kind of melody working.
Also, try arpeggiating these chords. You don't need to play full chords. You can break them down some. Riffing might work if you want a kind of Avenged Sevenfold sort of sound (they will usually riff away during the verse, and then have some kind of chord progression going on in the chorus). The best advice is to go listen to a few of the songs that you kind of want to replicate. Not copy, but just kind of get an idea of where you want your song to go. You might say, "Oooh, that's a nice kind of effect that creates, going from this to that," and decide to do it in your song.
Sometimes, you reach a point in your life where you have something that you really wanna do, but you need to give something up. If you've gotta give up recording your songs, it won't be the end of the world, as long as you can get the ideas down on paper to remember them.
^ I really don't see everyone has got such a problem with this. The demise of Led Zeppelin was nearly 30 years ago, in some ways longer if you consider how much worse they were live in the late '70s. The point is, Robert Plant is so much older now. He clearly isn't into playing loud music like that anymore. If you need proof, go listen to the Page & Plant Unledded album. Most of those songs aren't anything like the original recordings (most featuring an additional middle-eastern influence). If you listen to that album, it becomes obvious that that's where he's at now.
My word to everyone pissing and moaning is to just stop. The news isn't changing, and crying doesn't make things happen the way that you want them to. Plant is very clear on his stance about this whole reunion tour thing. Not to mention the fact that it is a VERY old topic.
Also, to answer your question about writing originals or doing covers, it all depends on what you and the rest of the band wants to do. If you wanna write your own music, then do it. But if you're completely content to just play other people's music, why do something that you don't want to?
Or we could just say Achilles Last Stand, which is easily the heaviest song they ever wrote.
After saying that I would forever laugh at them for citing Black Dog, I could, because they had been warned. After that, we've pretty much got the right... I told them why, and gave warning. If someone cites Black Dog after that, they would deserve it.
Be sure that everyone has the ability to stay in time. You'll never be able to keep it all together if noone can stay in time. A good drummer DEFINITELY helps with this, but it's still important for you to be able to yourself.
Sitting down with a metronome is probably the best thing that you can do when you're trying to learn a song. I've got no band experience, but I can tell you that working a part by metronome definitely helps you master it, probably even moreso than doing it with the original part. A lot of great reasons for using a metronome are the fast that if a particular part is too fast for you to play, you can work up to it, while still establishing the timing on the part, regardless of tempo. It is especially helpful when learning solos, because you can start them off really slowly, and then work them up. 5 bpm at a time definitely helps, because you're teaching your fingers what they need to do during a song or solo. It's no good to learn how to play a song at full tempo if every note is extremely sloppy.
If you're going to obsess over one band, there are certainly worse bands than Led Zeppelin to obsess over. Jimmy may not be the best guitarist in the world, but he's certainly a great songwriter. He's come up with many great riffs.
And for anyone who cites Black Dog, I shall forever laugh at you, because that was not Jimmy Page. That was John Paul Jones.
Most of that was just straight up pentatonic stuff. That's really all you need for a "happy" solo. That's always been my approach. Just don't do what that guy did there. There's a place for cramming as many notes in on one beat as possible, and you could do it on something like what he was playing over, but you've gotta build into it. It can be very dramatic to come out swinging, just playing straight 16th notes or whatever (Welcome Home (Sanitarium) by Metallica is a great example), but you don't want a solo to just never end. You want to stop on interesting notes, and just let those grab your listener. It doesn't help to hit every interesting note in a scale 6 times if you only play it for a quarter of a second. Be sure you've got some form of restraint, which I think everyone goes through a phase where they're got absolutely no restraint.
When referring to speed, anyone that knows what they're talking about are going to mean 16th notes. Eigth notes at 200 aren't really that impressive. That's little more than 6.5 NPS (Notes Per Second). That's why I prefer for people to do the math for themselves and figure out how many Notes Per Second they're playing, and be sure that they're doing it clean. It's much easier, when discussing speed, to know how many Notes Per Second you're playing, rather than BPM.
The formula for NPS is number of notes per beat x BPM / 60. If you're playing 16th notes, that's four notes per beat. 150 times four equals 600, divided by 60, is ten. Easy stuff.
Jammy, on that long post you just made, quoting me, I didn't mean that I wanted them to stop writing music together. **** that. I just don't want them to do it with 12 singers. They can narrow it down to one guy and do it with him. Even Malmsteen was capable of doing that for his new record, so I don't see how it could be that difficult for Led Zeppelin.
No, I understood. I just don't like the idea. Even with a different singer, it'll sound like Led Zeppelin. It'll be two original members and the song of another member. The only thing that they would be lacking is Robert Plant, so I think it would be very similar to Led Zeppelin. A big reason why I think that is because they're talking about touring so much. If Page was even considering touring, I can say with a VERY high degree of certainty that he would be practicing up, making sure that he remembers everything, etc. So Zeppelin will be in his mind (as I'm sure it will be with Jones too), so what came out would probably be very similar to Zeppelin.
And then there are the bands who play songs in E, which most hard rock acts do (even if it isn't particularly common for them). E is a very easy key to write in, and a lot of blues based and heavy metal acts really like it. Blues players like all of the open strings, and metal players are attracted to it (if they play in standard) because of the bassy tones in that key (though now it seems more like D and C minor are being employed much more often).
I disagree. Completely. Can you imagine hearing Physical Graffiti in it's running order with different vocalists on each song? Or any Zeppelin album, for that matter? It just doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Supernatural wasn't a very good example to me, either, because it sounds like a compilation of songs that Carlos played on for other people, not other people singing on Carlos' music. Zeppelin doing that would be just flat out stupid, and I think that they probably realize that.
Even if the backing track is non-existant, you can work out ideas if you can hear it in your head. A lot of times, when I'm writing music, I will come up with a part, and then a couple of licks to play over it, beit fills, or parts of a solo. Whatever, but I can come up with parts. Having these basic ideas in your head always helps when you go to solo.