Quote by blueriver
Then don't post advice that is wrong. If you are playing over an A minor progression you are not playing D or E minor pentatonic. F and B are the notes missing from A minor pentatonic that make it Natural minor. You are playing A minor.

oh, this is ridiculous... i'm out of here

you know-nothing bozo's can talk amongst yourselves
Quote by Archeo Avis
You're not playing modally just because you've shifted positions on the fretboard. Over an A minor progression, the notes ABCDEFG are A minor, regardless of the order in which you play them. Save modes for modal music.

why do you pretend like everyone's an idiot but you?

honestly, if the forum was full of anal retentives like you, no-one would dare ASK anything, and no-one would dare respond

frankly, i've not been impressed with many of your posts.. you seem more interested in proving something (to yourself maybe) than helping people...

i'm not going to debate anything about music or anything else with you, so don't bother to try

try bullying someone else... Archeo the big brave newbie basher, i'm not scared of you
here's one idea to add into the pot

over every diatonic chord, there are 3 minor pentatonics you could use...

i.e. you're in the key of A minor and you're currently playing a D minor chord... you're not restricted to D minor pentatonic (i.e. D, F, G, A, C) over the top of it, you also have the notes from A minor pentatonic (A, C, D, E, G) and E minor pentatonic (E, G, A, B, D), because they use notes from the parent key of A minor

so one easy way to get some more unusual sounds simply by using a variation of what you already know is to learn what pentatonics will go over a particular chord (there's always 3), and use them... the most obvious example is to imply dorian by shifting what you're playing up two frets, but that's just the tip of the iceberg

what you'll find is that, between them, those 3 pentatonics contain all 7 notes of the parent key... so you should relate them to that... and instead of just wiggling pentatonics, always have a mental framework of how your particular pentatonic relates to the 'full' scale... so even if you don't PLAY them often, you should always know where the major 6th is, where the 2nd is etc, and have them on hand to add flavour when you need... many good blues/rock players stick to mostly pentatonic minor, then add the 2nds & 6ths very judiciously at exactly the right time... rather than just having them thrown into the blender with about equal value to the other notes...
Quote by 13secondslater
Noob question but how do i harmonize for two guitars?

the usual way in rock is to follow the shape of the main line, displaced a 3rd, 5th or octave

when writing vocal harmonies, often the harmony lines outline the harmonic movement rather than double a melody... in other words, the backing singers show chord movement... so you could mix the two and come up with something that harmonizes with the main guitar what uses a mixture of chord tones AND the 'harmonised 3rds' approach... that way you'd get something a bit more organic and less obvious

you could use the above approach to weave a line around the main line... or make one that descends or rises dramatically through it

I disagree with the poster above me that it's not a question worth asking. 'Do what sounds best' isn't much better as an answer
intervals can have different effects depending on the timbre of instrument you play them on

some instruments are vastly richer in harmonic overtones than others... so a C and and Eb played together on a synthesiser that's just producing a sine wave will have a totally different sound than the same pitched notes played using the bridge pickup of a Les Paul through a cranked Marshall... because the overdriven guitar's harmonic overtones for those two notes will produce much more 'complex wave phase interaction activity' type stuff

so, expect some intervals on some instruments to sound different to the same intervals played on others
Quote by JesterShred
why have you wasted your time to get an Ultimate-Guitar name, if you don't even play? but anyway, i personally don't like strats at all, in any way shape or form. they have a very high pitched, weak tone to them, i believe the gibson is not only better for tone quality, but for learning how to play, they're sturdy guitars, and it's tough to make them sound bad, where as a strat can very easily sound weak, and have a high pitched tone even when carefully adjusted.

you've obviously never dropped many guitars over your long and distinguished career
there's a difference between pain because you're injuring yourself, and the kind of painful ache you get from working your muscles hard... any adult human being should be able to tell the difference between the two... a bit of hard work never hurt anyone

you won't get the kind of downpicking speed needed to play MOP correctly unless you put the time in practice it... start at 140bpm or so, making your chugs nice & even & tight.. then increase your tempo by 5bpm.. continue until you can't keep up then knock it back one notch so you can

this can take weeks, months or maybe even years to get up to the 190bpm of MOP (or whatever the tempo is), but you will get there if you put the work in

remember you need to make the right sound with the minimum of movement... (if you could get the right sound using alternate picking, hell i'd do it... i'm not a masochist, but when you need a downpicked sound, there's no alternative) some people (I personally do) like to anchor their pinky and ring finger near the high E string.. this means your hand isn't floating, which cuts down excessive and unwanted movement

it's not really a case of muscle strength, it's more stamina and the conditioning of those 'fast twitch' muscles that athletes go on about
Quote by Sibirski Duh
How many of you play by ear?
And how long did it take to learn if you weren't born with it?

it's a lifetime's work... and you get better the more you do it

I think even complete newbies have something of 'an ear' for music... in that we can all tell the difference between something out of tune or dissonant, and something in tune or consonant..

well, that's your starting point for playing by ear: play notes against chords and listen to the differences between various notes... you'll learn to recognize the sound of a 5th, a minor 3rd, a 9th etc... do it more and more, and you get better and better

people who think they have no chance of playing by ear are completely wrong... it's just building on a skill you already have in a basic form

start with really ugly intervals like flat 5th's and minor 2nds, because they're so strongly dissonant they're easy to recognize
Quote by rockadoodle
Hey guys,

I was always under the impression that freebird was in the key of g major, but upon investigating the chord progression, there seems to be an F major chord in there that doesn't belong in the key of gmajor. Is this song in a different key than G? Thanks

it's in G... building a major chord on the b7 is very common in blues-derived music
Quote by insanitybreed
I have a question - If I were to play a fast metal riff just using a couple of power chords (eg E5, F#5 and G5) then what scales/modes could I use to solo over it? Im confused because there's no 3rd in the chord.. thanks.

you could use any note at all

use your ear and play as many different things as you can over it... the notes that sound the best? they're the right notes... there are only 12 notes, so it shouldn't take too long to work it out

if this is an Em riff (it probably is with those chords), try notes from E pentatonic minor first of all... they'll probably sound most like what you're looking for... but again: USE YOUR EAR to work out what sounds good to you... it's so simple you don't need theory. If it makes you go 'uggh', it's wrong...

I think people should be encouraged to pick up their guitar and LISTEN to it before asking stuff like this, no offence intended, but you need to trust your instincts and your ear
medium-high for me... I like to fight it a bit

I think this comes from playing bass for so long - and on bass, you definitely get a better tone from having a highish action with no buzzes... on guitar though, when you get all the overdrive & compression going, I'm not as convinced it's as necessary
Quote by kckyle

my friend is buying one of these higher end mexican made model strat like the road house. but i argue him to buy the one i provided link for above.

i'd go for the japanese one you linked to
Quote by Martyr's Prayer
is not a drunk or drug addict

many great artists have been drunks or drug addicts

not that i'm condoning drug use, but it doesn't seem to have been a limiting factor for some of the greatest musicians

I think it can be just a part of someone's personality... why would someone driven to stand in a football stadium in front of thousands of people expressign themselves then be expected to go backstage and have a cup of tea? the insecurities and neuroses... the need for bigger & bigger thrills etc make substance abuse a natural thing for many people for whom music is also natural

again, i'm not condoning drug use, but they often go hand in hand with creative people... I have to say I don't think they HELP you be creative (though some of the weirder ones can make your mind go in directions you might not otherwise have considered.. hello LSD)
Quote by kumamilesbear
ok, so i'm sure many people will hate me for thinking this, but does anybody else think that humbuckers in strats look ugly? i mean, cmon people!
fat strat and normal strat
if i wanted a humbucker sound, i would just get a midboost circuit for the guitar.
so, what's peoples opinions on this?

I think it boils down to this.... some people:

a. want the sound of a humbucker
b. like the feel of a strat
c. don't care too much what you think
the reason music has the power to get thousands of people all together in the same place is because it can work on so many levels.... so it stands to reason that you can be a good musician in many different ways... you can be stronger/weaker in some aspects than others and still be a great musician...

and I disagree with the last guy... kinda

I think the most important thing is to have your own musical voice, whatever that is... no great musician that you can name was ever any less great because they had technical limitations... Jimmy Page for example, is a laughably sloppy guitar player - he's also one of the greatest rock guitar players of all time, because he had great ideas, bags of character. great stage presence and great band
Quote by mattiwillohouse
thanks, and thanks to everyone who's pitched in (pun very much intended)


nice sig
a lot of metal guitarists will 'scoop' the midrange frequencies (i.e. reduce them), leaving their sound with lots of bass and lots of top end... this gives them a nice heavy chug, but also enough to high end to cut through a mix... the reduction in the mids can remove a lot of mush from the sound but also at the expense of a guitar's particular character... because for some reason, the mid frequencies, and how they change over time when you play a note, tends to be the most distinctive and variable range of frequencies from guitar to guitar... so scooping your mids can make your guitar sound a little more anonymous than if you had a bit of mid in there... so I think James Hetfield is talking about discovering exactly the amount of mids to leave in his sound that allowed the right amount of expressiveness and character to come through

the drawback with scooping is that you can leave very little room for other instruments down at the low end... which is one reason why records like Justice had very little bass guitar on there... the low end was provided by the guitars... one thing they did on the black album onwards was to have more mids in the guitars... leaving some room underneath for the bass guitar

bands like Korn had such a deep scooped guitar sound that the only bass sound that could fit was an almost inaudible sub-bass with a tinny rattle on top...

sometimes guitarists need to realise that they don't always have to be responsible for filling up the entire frequency range at all times... drop tuning means that you can have a huge sound on your own, no need for a bass player or anything... but I think it's important that your sound works as part of a band, which often means using a sound that sounds better in the mix than on its own

really, the secret to a balanced mix is that every instrument has its own space to sit in, and that their characteristic frequencies are not overshadowed by another instrument in that range... this is one reason why Fender Jazz basses are more popular now than Precisions... they tend to sit better (find space underneath and up in the high mids) in a mix when the lows mids are hogged by a large humbucker overdriven guitar tone...
Quote by ringocp2006
hi iv been a guitarist for 16 into any type of guitar playing. i wont list as i'd be here all day !

im into a heavy riffs melodic, blues, pop rock anything really...but i'd like to knwo why there is so many metal players out there?

is it becouse there is so much scope in the style or is it that the mighty overdrives and distortions cover up shady playing ?

dont get me wrong i love distortions to and many other f.x
but i cant get my head round why there is so many lovers of this music?

guitar playing is one thing? but within a band community the rest is pretty aggressive, i.E vocals and drums.. is it the built up tension of male ego or is it a cover up for sloppy playing.. yes i know there is some mighty fine metal players out there!

but look at the likes of Hendrix n Jimmy Page n even Clapton.. they aint agressive n nasty ?
again dont get me wrong i like a good pout now n then with a good riff here n there.

i just dont get how there is so many . even on ug there is a overload of metalers.
i dont dislike it..but intrueged to know why so so many .
sorry if i sound anti not each to there own i ya know..fecking loads of
id like to hear your views on this...p's dont give me abuse for not hailing the mighty metal..i just wanna know is all ...not a better place to ask than in here.
thanks Ringo
p's i have a few uploads of my own songs...nothing special..but i like it !

1. this forum specifically has a lot of metallers because of the snowball effect... a certain amount of people who like other stuff will come and think 'oh, it's mostly about metal... not for me, bye bye'...

2. metal features lots of guitar, with lots of technical tricks that impress guitarists.. especially younger guitarists... I wouldn't say metal was more difficult to play than other styles of music, but its difficulty is displayed very prominently (in the form of guitar acrobatics) rather than being difficult in more subtle ways like blues or jazz
Quote by Bamitchell
So..when I write a song I usually listen record a rhythm then improvise a solo over that until I get something that sounds right. Then I usually just write the general notes of the solo. But anyway, I hear a lot of people say they just improvise the solo every time. What do you guys think? Improvise or Compose solos?

I don't think there's such a defined line between the two... although you can improvise a solo, it will always fall within certain parameters... i.e if you don't know every single note you'll be playing, but already know your solo will probably be in D pentatonic, use a certain tone, and be for 16 bars and that you intend to start off low & slow, then build up to faster & higher... then there's not much true 'improvisation' to be done... wiggling ones fingers around a few well-trodden pentatonic shapes is 'improvisation' of the lowest order, really

I think there's something to be said for approaching a solo all ways... if a specific solo is intended to underscore a melodic theme in the song, and is crucial to the composition, then planning the exact notes beforehand can be good...

on the other hand, to be present when a musician is literally creating something new on the spot can be thrilling... assuming they're really trying to surprise themselves with new melodic ideas, and not just pulling out stuff from their 'bag of licks'
Quote by XeNoCiDe730
Looks like the Hot Rails is the winner...sounds good.

thanks again!


any man with a Hicks quote in his sig deserves only the best advice
Quote by XeNoCiDe730


another vote for the humbucker in the bridge position... I have a SD Hot Rails in one of my strats and I can't complain at all
Quote by hendrixftw
I'm trying to write a little solo for a song. I'm difficulty finding a way to improvise over the top of it. The closes i've come is using A sharp pentatonic minor.

The song is On My Mind by Powerfinger. Basically im trying to solo over the rhythm.

The prog is:

A sharp 5 --> F sharp 5 --> D sharp 5



Any Ideas?

that tab doesn't match the chords you gave... that second chord in the tab looks like Ab or G#
Quote by JHFendrix
Is it possible to find the intervals for the key of D by doing the following? Is there more information here that I can see?

First I found the notes in the D Major scale by using the WWHWWWH 'formula'
This is what I got: D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D

Now, can I use this information to find the intervals for the key of D?

any major key uses the same intervals... y'know.. the 2nd is always a major 2nd, the 3rd is always a major 3rd etc... this is regardless of what key you're in...

to find the intervals, I guess you could add up the number of W's and H's between say D and F#, (i.e. W + W is two whole steps... a major 3rd in other words), but you're better off just learning that stuff than trying to extract it every time from the intervals between scale tones

forgive me if I misunderstood what you're asking
Quote by metlhed23
I suck at improvising. How can i get better?

work on your ear

work on your ear

listen to lots of music for inspiration and to widen your melodic imagination

work on your ear some more

the ultimate aim surely must be to be able to instantly play anything you could conjure up from the 'improvised guitar solo producing' part of your brain... that takes technique, but more importantly, it needs the ability to recognize exactly where your hands need to go in order to produce the right notes... you only get that from having a great ear

in fact, if you had an amazing ear and could do the above, you would need to know NO theory whatsoever in order to create a great improvisation. Why on earth would you? your music would be going straight from your 'melodic' mind, via your guitar, to your speakers.. you're not thinking theory, you're just imagining the sound of the music and making it into reality
Quote by victoryaloy
yep.. college.

the Fx threw me off cuz i've never seen it before in writing out major scales,
i've only use it in modes or chord construction.

you probably wouldn't do.. because most people would notate the piece in Ab major
for those who don't know... you can't have more than 1 variation of the SAME note in a key.... so you can't have G and G# in the same key... awkward as it may seem, you have to have ONE type of each of the 7 notes A to G... which is why things like Fx (f##) exist, and why B# DOES exist...

like Archeo Avis said... have a read of the theory sticky
Quote by acade365
B# doesnt exist.

yes it does... it sounds exactly the same as C natural (on a guitar it does anyway) but it DOES exist
Quote by soccerguy6494
i think its
G# A# B C# D# E G G#

you'd need an F of some sort in there
Quote by stratsrule1990
who did you auditoin for that asked for a writen test
id definately stay away from any band thats uptight like that

it could be a college, not a rock band
Quote by RCalisto
^ that's just being stubborn. if the chords imply all the notes in the melodic minor scale, why can't you just call it melodic minor? why do you have to go into chromatics when there's such an easier way of putting it?

calling it melodic minor shifts the discussion from chords to scales, which is potentially confusing

otherwise I don't see what the big deal is.. parallel major IV & V uses notes from melodic minor.. sounds fair enough to me

people change chords from major to minor (and vice versa) all over the place... I think often as long as you have a recognizable and expected root you can take great liberties with the flavour of chord you use on that root... I don't tend to see it as a chromatic shift away from the home key, more the temporary use of a different mood
Quote by metallicafan616
In music we are doing a topic on variation, i am the only person who has wrote my own bass line which we HAD to strat on in the first lesson, everyone else copied off the board

anyway, the rhythm part sounds rather sinister, its at 140bpm, standard 4/4 time, each note lasts a whole bar and it was written using the whole half diminished scale for some information about it - heres the line itself.


the drums are rather simple two, it has 2 bass drums each a semitone apart in pitch and played on each beat - sounding like the jaw theme tune (Da Dun Da Dun...) and alot of the weirder sounds on off beats to give it a dark kind of sound that axis of perdition have in most of their songs.

the problem is, i have to make a lead part over it when I'm finished with the rhythm section and have no idea how to make it sound so sinister. any hints towards this? if you need more information about it so far, i can probably answer them.

thanks in advance

lots of semitone & tritone intervals ought to do it
Quote by geetarmanic
So is the idea if it sounds good and seems to fit, it is OK, even if not in the key? A bit like playing the odd chromatic note in a scale to add a little extra to the music?

that's right.. think of a key and its diatonic chords as a kind of 'home' tonality that you can move in & out of, rather than a set of restrictions

there'll always be something that explains what you're doing and why it sounds cool or not... in your example, you're just borrowing chords from the parallel major key

which doesn't contradict what RCalisto said, because melodic minor is a very sweet and major type of tonality... (cos of the major 6th & major 7th)
Quote by NKF176
Has anyone ever heard of the brand Wesley? Cuz I am looking 4 a first guitar that ahs 2 be cheap, and so I can decide if it is 4 me...

well, it's cheap, and you can learn where to put your fingers, and get some kind of sound out of it... so it's better than no guitar at all

and I'd imagine it's a lot better than any guitar you could get for 89 quid 20 years ago...

it won't be great, but to learn on... go for it... but if you can afford to spend more, you should probably spend a bit more
Quote by devit

the iceman is a roughed up dean caddy. i hate fking copy cats

yeah but... that's a ripoff of a Les Paul with a pointy Explorer lower horn..
we're not going to solve the question 'what is authentic punk?', because even the people who were the 'original' punks had different ideas about what it was all about... some people thought it was about expressing yourself regardless of what other people thought, and regardless of how technically advanced you were, in ANY style of music... others thought it was about playing loud, hard & simple rock music... others thought it was a political state of mind etc.. others thought it was about clothes, mostly

if Joe Strummer, Sid Vicious and Johnny Ramone could have radically different ideas about what punk was all about, don't any here DARE tell me they know the TRUE meaning of punk, because there is no right or wrong answer

this is even before we get onto what people nowadays think is 'punk'... Sum 41 or Blink 182 isn't punk to me personally, but that's just ME and my idea

anyway... 'punk lead guitar' should probably emphasize aggression & simplicity over showcasing technical skills... your job is to underline what the song is ABOUT, or at least, play counterpoint (small 'c') to the vocals... punk lead guitar should probably be EGO-LESS, in that it diverges from tradition rock guitar in that the guitar solo is NOT about showing off your technique, or trying to grab the limelight and hopefully get some p***y afterwards as result... it's about serving the song and the mood (like all good guitar playing)
Quote by bambamm89
Take the E for example, what makes the E an E chord, and if I were to try to figure out other variations of that chord, how would I know which notes to use. The open E is composed of 6 notes; E B G# E B E. Is it an E chord because it has more than one E, is it because the first and last note start with E (Which I doubt considering the breakdown of other chords). How exactly does this all work?

like the others have said, it's an E because of the presence of the notes E, G# and B...

it's always a good idea to try to step back from guitar-specific things every once in a while, because in musical terms, a chord of E is the same thing (the presence of those 3 notes) regardless of instrument... we tend to think of 'chord shapes'.. when someone says 'a chord of E', as guitar players, we generally can't help think of the old 'open E shape', but that's just ONE way of playing a chord of E

at this point I would highly recommend looking at learning a little bit about 'The CAGED System'... I suggest you Google it, but it boils down to this: every chord you could play on the guitar is a derivation of FIVE separate chord shapes... C, A, G, E and D... so you could play your E chord as:

a C chord shape, barred at the 4th fret
an A chord shape, barred at the 7th fret
a G chord shape, barred at the 9th fret (tricky at first)
an open E
a D chord shape, barred at the 2nd fret

so, instead of seeing chords as a series of single shapes to be learned one at a time, the CAGED system lets you see the bigger picture, and work out the chord as you need it

remember also that because 'perceived harmonic environment' is something that happens over time, you don't always have to play a FULL chord using all 3 notes, for people to recognize what the current chord is at any one time... for a really simple example if I play a chord progression of E, G#m, A, then the notes B & F# together, then the listener's ear automatically perceives the harmonic environment on that chord as major, in the absence of any other contradictory information... because for one thing the memory of the D# in the G#m chord is still felt... so what i'm saying is, you don't ALWAYS have to play 3 note chords... most metal and rock music primarily implies its harmonic environment by the movement of root-fifth diads (i.e. powerchords) rather than the existence at any one time of 3-note chords.... (the reason being, overdriven guitar amps emphasize so many of a note's overtones that guitarists started leaving notes like 3rds out to reduce the 'mushiness' you get)

so, whilst a power chord 'E' is not strictly an E chord... it can frequently function in place of an E chord
Quote by Declan87
Heya, my band is playing "Foxy Lady" by Jimi Hendrix, and I'm having trouble finding anything interesting to play. The solo takes place over an F#7add#9 chord(the way we play it). I usually use the pentatonic to highlight the changes between chords, and the solo just sounds boring and drawn-out when I use the pentatonic alone. I'm also not really sure what scales 7add#9 chords are built from.

Any help would be appreciated.

7#9 chords (the infamous 'Hendrix Chord') get their character from blurring the boundary between a dominant tonality and a minor flavour.. the #9 is effectively a minor 3rd.. so you have a major AND minor 3rd in the same chord...

the most natural sounding group of notes to use over this would be mixolydian.. but you need to introduce a minor 3rd and play in that gap between dominant and minor... so consider experimenting with F# minor pentatonic, F# Dorian and F# mixolydian.. those 3 are the 'safest' and most obvious clumps of notes to choose from... lots of mileage to be had from bending that minor 3rd all kinds of distances

don't forget you can connect up notes chromatically to add flavour... such as connecting up the 4th & 5th with a chromatic note (the b5 blues scale note in other words), or moving from the b7 to the root is always good... chromatic movement downwards from the minor 3rd to the root can sound good in the right place...

with the hendrix chord you have an inherently 'unstable' harmonic environment due to the clash of the minor & major 3rd... so your listeners ear can generally take a lot more in the way of 'outside' notes than if you had say, a nice major 7th chord

for very long single chord vamps... listening to Frank Zappa might give you some ideas... his stuff can be 5,6,7 minutes long on one chord... frequently modal static vamps... i.e. dorian or lydian... he tends to get variety and interest by varying the note density, volume, register.. and of course, having the guys backing him change what they're doing to support the guitar... there's nothing worse than trying to introduce light & shade into an improvised solo, only to find the other guys are blindly hammering away without listening to what you're doing
I don't see why not... '...And Justice For All' is only guitar/drums/vocals, and it still sold shedloads

ok, there's a tiny tiny tiny amount of bass guitar there, but there may as well not be
Quote by mattvh93
hold the string down more from the side than the top

try this first of all... you don't really need to push down against the frets particularly hard if your finger is in the right place... i.e near the side of the string.... arguably pushing down harder on the string will reduce the amount of control you have over movement/vibrato etc, so go light where possible
Quote by RC52190
Just reach deep down and access the intellectual part of your mind for two minutes to read a couple of measley paragraphs instead of being like every other mindless jackass who posts shit in forums. Reading something for two minutes or maybe for you, ten minutes shouldn't be too strainful on your brain either way, should it?

ohh you're right, I have so many failings...

luckily one of them isn't losing my rag over stuff said in a guitar forum... still, we know what pushes your buttons now... (all hail the Spider III !!)

the word 'jackass' isn't much of an insult to me, matey... it sounds weird and alien to my English ears... you might as well call me 'bwana' for all it means

anyway, nice talkin to you, Spiderman.. good name eh? good luck trying to convince people that the sticky white stuff shooting out from around your wrist area is 'web fluid' tho... it never worked for me