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what scale?

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pickslide  
20 Jun 2007 13:07 | Quote
United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Hi all, my first post as I'm new here...

I can play the guitar very confidently when I play material by other bands. But when it comes to writing my own stuff, I really struggle and could do with some tips. Theres a couple of progressions I have which I could use an intro, or a chorus, just one part of the song, but turning it into a complete song is my biggest problem.

Would also like to ask, how do you know what scale to use? Supposing the rhythm guitar plays Fm, C#, E, B, am I correct in thinking you just switch between scales where Fm C# E and B are the root notes or is it more complicated than that?
Davo  
21 Jun 2007 06:45 | Quote
Joined: way back
Canada
Karma
If you figure out the key of the song, you can flip between the major scale of that key, and the pentatonic minor scale of the relative minor of the major key (which is the 6th degree of the major key). So if the key of the song is C, solo in C major and A pentatonic minor. That sounds pretty good.

I don't know if the same holds true if you are starting out in a minor key - that is, playing the relative major (3rd degree of the minor key)

The other thing you can do is stick to the scale of the key the song is in, but start the scale on the root note of the chord you are playing... then you are effectively switching modes with every chord.

Of course... I'm not an expert, so I'd try it and see how it sounds.
blackholesun  
21 Jun 2007 14:09 | Quote
Joined: 04 Jan 2007
United Kingdom
Licks: 1
Karma: 11
Moderator
Hi, welcome to the forum.

You look at the notes that make up each chord, and put them together to make the scale that you use to solo with. You can use the reverse scale finder link at the top of the page to do that, which saves quite a bit of time.

The chords you said though don't go well together, because the notes that make up the chords don't make a particular scale. It doesn't mean you can't use them, but finding a scale to use to solo with would be hard.

To give you an easy example, using the chords D, G, A and Bm:


D G A B
F# B C# D
A D E F#


When you "add up" all the notes in those chords you get the notes D, E, F#, G, A, B and C#, which are the notes of the Dmaj scale.

For soloing over D, use D major. For soloing over G, use G lydian. For soloing over A, use A mixolydian. And for soloing over Bm, use A aeolian (the natural minor). All these modes have the same notes as D major, but they start on a different note, which is the same note as the root of the chord. You can check out how to play these by using the scales link at the top of the page.

Hope this helps

[to admin: could we have some kinda way of putting up user-made lessons? this question about scales comes up loads, and if someone made a lesson for it then people could just go to that rather than ask here, and then they can ask here, or even better on a discussion page especially for that particular lesson, if they don't understand it. I know its taking away from the forum format a bit, but there are loads of topics on here that are covered time and time again. what do you guys think?]
Afro_Raven  
21 Jun 2007 16:09 | Quote
Joined: way back
United Kingdom
Lessons: 1
Karma: 20
Moderator
To blackholesun - completely agree with your post to admin about permanent lesson pages. I read this forum earlier and was thinking the absolute same thing. If we could all pressure admin into these lesson formats it would make learning for everyone much quicker and easier, without having to trawl through loads of different forums to find the answer!

To pickslide - in blackholesun's explanation he said to use A Aeolian to solo over a Bm chord. I think he actually means B Aeolian.

Afro
blackholesun  
22 Jun 2007 05:27 | Quote
Joined: 04 Jan 2007
United Kingdom
Licks: 1
Karma: 11
Moderator
yes, i did mean B aeolian :) thanks
pickslide  
24 Jun 2007 12:31 | Quote
United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Thanks people. As practice, I tried to solo over the chords in the interlude of "a firm kick" by John Frusciante, the chords were Fm, C#, E, B.

As for the example you gave, where the scales are the same except for the root node. Should the first note you play be the root note? Or can you start anywhere on the scale?


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