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Author Topic: soloing over chords  (Read 815 times)


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soloing over chords
« on: December 09, 2008, 04:35:36 PM »
anyone have any good links that shows the theory behind what scales work over what chords? at the moment if a song is in Am i will just play in Am throughout the progression. i want to be able to change the scale as the chords change.

for example if im playing Am C D can i just use the Am scale, then a C maj scale, then a Dmaj scale? would the C and D scale be the same shape, but start on the different root? is it that simple? i dont think it sounds right when plyed like this but im new to the major scale lol! or is it best to stick in Am and just change position?

does any of this make sense or am i a complete retard?

Ian Price

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Re: soloing over chords
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2008, 04:38:51 PM »
Cheers Matteo - I was just about to post a similar(ish) thread!
I think I hate being indecisive.

Johnny Mac

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Re: soloing over chords
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2008, 05:14:50 PM »
I think you could just use Am Pentatonic throughout that progression, you can move the scale into different positions with the changes. With chord progressions, it depends what those chords are so those pentatonics don't always work. I did have a tape years ago, by Dave Mead that would use backing tracks with progressions that wouldn't work with pentatonics and only with modes. Joe Satriani's books will put you in the right direction as he is a guitar teacher as well.

Have a look here for scales and chords

These should help, have a look on using modes. They are all slightly different versions of the major scale. There is a section on how to apply them.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 05:25:55 PM by Johnny Mac »
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Re: soloing over chords
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 05:45:32 PM »
Not a retard as this is one those things that sorts the forever beginner-intermediate (like me) from better players.

You can change scales as you say and work out the 'quick ways back' to the root scale, or you can stay in the same scale and look for chord tones within the scale - so in Am pentatonic you can use the notes A, C and E as the main notes for the Am chord, then the D and A (and notes that connect them) for the D change and then C E and G (and the note that connect them) for the C change.  If they are the tonal centres of their respective change it should work.

I have a on magazine article on this - I could email a copy of it to you.   
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Re: soloing over chords
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2008, 06:05:30 PM »
Am, C major and D Major are all chords from the key of G major / Em.
It's a D minor in the key of C

With the chords you mentioned, Em pentatonic will work fine but so will the Am pentatonic

It's worth noting that in any minor key you can play 3 different pentatonic minor scales and still be playing notes in the same key but with a different flavour.

For example in the key of Em you could play Em pentatonic, Am pentatonic or Bm pentatonic. Each different scale just picks 5 different notes from the E minor scale.

It's even easier if you just think of it as always having the option to play a basic minor pentatonic shape at the root, 5 frets above or 7 frets above