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complimenting chords

Music Theory
madman3123  
8 Feb 2009 11:57 | Quote
Joined: 08 May 2008
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ok how would i complement chords and specifically try to do this. Cause usually when i solo i just play licks that fit in a scale over a backing track i dont try to compliment the chords.

Sorry if this seems a bit rushed its just im probs gonna have to go soon so it is rushed.
Crunch  
8 Feb 2009 22:59 | Quote
Joined: 31 Jul 2007
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You could try the "chords to scale" tool. That sounds like what you're looking for to me, at least.
Guitarslinger124  
9 Feb 2009 07:41 | Quote
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pick your scale based on the notes in your chords as opposed just playing inside a particular key. for example while playing 7th chords it often sounds nice to play the melodic minor or harmonic minor scales or even just play seventh triads over your chord progression.
madman3123  
9 Feb 2009 09:50 | Quote
Joined: 08 May 2008
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erm im not sure if thats what i want

say i have a chord progression in the c major scale lets say Cmaj Gmaj Dm Am (kinda random) how would i complement those chords in a solo?

@guitarslinger your thing sounds good i just don't get it
Afro_Raven  
9 Feb 2009 11:08 | Quote
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Use your ears.
madman3123  
9 Feb 2009 12:01 | Quote
Joined: 08 May 2008
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well i usually just play jam till i get somthing that sounds good but i want to know if theres any theory that will give it more of a like pull musically and sound better
Crunch  
9 Feb 2009 18:38 | Quote
Joined: 31 Jul 2007
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B.B. King often plays a major scale over the first chord of a blues progression followed by minors on both the second and third (that's order of playing, not I, II, III). That gives you a nice happy bluesy feeling. Maybe that's what you're after?
madman3123  
10 Feb 2009 09:47 | Quote
Joined: 08 May 2008
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yea thats it so for a sadder sound you would use a minor for first chord then majors for 2 and 3 then?
Crunch  
11 Feb 2009 22:03 | Quote
Joined: 31 Jul 2007
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In this case, yes, that's what you would do. Try it with a B7-E9-F#9 progression. It's all very situational.
JazzMaverick  
15 Feb 2009 12:17 | Quote
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When we talk about complimenting chords it's about playing melodies that work within the chords, that play the notes of the chords, but through a melody, adding passing notes within. To really justify the chords, you need to start and end that chords section with the chord notes, otherwise it'll just sound weird, UNLESS you've planned it to lead into the next chord.

I haven't yet written a lesson on this because I felt it was too advanced for people, but now that the question has been asked I'll write one. In the mean time:

Arpeggios (Click Here)

Scales and Arpeggios Practice (Click Here)

(Arpeggios are chords)
these should hopefully help you to understand a little bit.
madman3123  
16 Feb 2009 03:08 | Quote
Joined: 08 May 2008
United Kingdom
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i know arpeggios i just thought that playing something like a c major arpeggio over a c major chord (for example) would sound a bit bland.

On a related subject can you harmonize chords cause i know you can play a harmony to single notes by moving 3 (99% sure its 3) notes ahead of that note in the scale. Well if you make a chord and then play and arpeggio of harmonized notes would that work?

i think i went on a bit so i'll end with an example

in the c major chord there are the notes C E G if you played an arpeggio with the notes F A C in would it harmonize with the chord?
JazzMaverick  
16 Feb 2009 11:18 | Quote
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Yeah, naturally it won't sound as impressive as other things, but it's a start to becoming a master. Take a look at my licks, that's when you're able to control your knowledge and really justify the chords you're playing with.

Your example isn't exactly complimenting the chord though, it's just using a different chord within the key of C, not the actual chord. It'll still harmonise with it, but won't justify the "sweet notes".
madman3123  
18 Feb 2009 03:46 | Quote
Joined: 08 May 2008
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isnt harmonizing a way of complimenting notes as well as playing melodies that work within the chords?
Zapped  
18 Feb 2009 10:04 | Quote
Joined: 18 Feb 2009
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Hi everyone, first post on these forums.

madman3123 says:

say i have a chord progression in the c major scale lets say Cmaj Gmaj Dm Am (kinda random) how would i complement those chords in a solo?


In addition to what JazzMaverick's said about playing the notes of the chords and adding passing notes, I'd say that every good solo starts with some kind of theme. It may be just a repetition of the verse or chorus melody, or a fragment of the melody which you'll turn into a theme/riff by repetition. You establish it, vary it (i.e. depart from it), then return to it.

For example, let's say you just extract a single measure from the song's melody and play it during the C major chord. Now when you move to G major, you can just adjust any C or E notes in the riff to B and D to match the new chord. And slide any passing tones (non-chord notes) in the same direction. Then do the same as you move to Dm and Am. It'll be a tad dull or formulaic, but that's fine for the initial statement of your solo - to some extent you really do want to drill your theme into the audience's head before you depart from it and eventually return to it.

For variety, don't use the suggestion in another reply where F-A-C notes are randomly played on top of the C major (C-E-G) chord. If you want to add new notes but still "fit", think about extended chords. So your C - G - Dm - Am progression might become a Cmaj7 - Gadd2 - Dm9 - Am7. You've now added the note B as a new "legal" note during the C chord, an A during the G chord, both a C and E during the Dm chord, and a G during the Am chord.

If your chord progression is already using extended chords, you might start thinking about tritone substitution to open up new harmonic possibilities. If the progression was Cmaj7 - A7 - Dm7 - G9 (I swapped your A & G chord locations to imply a cadence back to C at the end), maybe an Eb7 could work in place of the A7, and a Db7 in place of the G9. This could lead to a nice "slide" of Cmaj7 - Eb7 - Dm7 - Db7. Once you've substituted those new chords in, you can vary your lead work to use the new pitches available.

Hope those ideas help.

- Jim in Austin, TX
Crunch  
18 Feb 2009 11:52 | Quote
Joined: 31 Jul 2007
United States
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Well said Zapped, and welcome to the community!


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