Major scales

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Major scales

Post by sampatti1 » May 13th, 2017, 2:32 pm

When you are using, let's say a G major scale in the first position to improvise, can you play the notes that are on the scale pattern. For example the notes on sixth string are G A B (frets 3 5 7) can you play a G# or Bb (fret 4 or 6)? Thank you

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Re: Major scales

Post by Alan Green » May 13th, 2017, 3:07 pm

Not automatically, because neither of those notes appears in the key of G.

However, drop a Gm chord in there (try one after a G major chord, it sounds decent) and you can use the Bb, and use an E chord instead of E minor to get to the G#. Be careful with them though, you don't want to sound like you're telegraphing a key change.
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Re: Major scales

Post by NoteBoat » May 14th, 2017, 6:26 am

You can use anything you want, whether it's in the scale or not. The issue you'll have is making them sound good.

Notes in the scale that also appear in the chord you're playing over are the harmonic tones. A note that isn't in the chord is a non-harmonic tone... which could be a scale tone or something outside the scale. These tend to sound best when they're used as:

1. Passing tones. It's common to go G-G#-A, especially at a chord change where G is in the first chord and A is in the second

2. Neighbor tones. You're going from B-Bb-B or G-G#-G over a chord that contains the B or G note. (The same term applies if you're going B-A-B or G-A-G)

3. Appoggiatura. That's Italian for "to lean". If you're over a chord that has G in it, you could hit a G# and quickly resolve it to a G. These tend to sound best if your resolution is in the opposite direction - if you went up to hit the G#, following it with G will sound better than if you went down to G# and then further down to G.

Hope that gives you some stuff to experiment with.
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