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Soloing/Scale question


(@trueg)
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

Say i have this chord progression, Am C G D, what scales could i use to solo over it? Would the minor pentatonic scale in fifth position work for this? Thanks for any tips i am just learning how to solo over chord progressions other than typical 12 bar blues.


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(@niiickmuse)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8
 

Well, there are a lot of scales you could use. It just depends on the sound you want.

The A minor pentatonic would work, technically, yes.

You could use the C Major scale, A natural minor, to name a few..or you could use some arpeggios...but there's really an endless amount of scales and things you could use. Just try to not be bound by the pentatonic or any scale shapes...really try to stretch them out and experiment with new sounds. Try to do things on your own and see if YOU like the sound, not if they technically work or not.

Good luck!


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

Yes, the A minor pentatonic would work. That's got notes A-C-D-E-G, and your chords have:

Am = A-C-E
C = C-E-G
G = G-B-D
D = D-F#-A

So you won't have any real clashes.

I wouldn't go with C major or A natural minor, because of the F# in the D chord.

Other scales that line up perfectly with your chord notes:

A Dorian
G major
E natural minor
E pentatonic

If I were called on to solo over that progression, I'd probably use A Dorian if it were clearly in a minor key, and G major if it was clearly in a major key.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@trueg)
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

Thanks alot noteboat that was really helpful.


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(@blutic1)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 280
 

You need to either make or buy some jam tracks. These are great. http://www.cvls.com/guitarlessons.html

The little booklets tell you what the chords are and give suggestions for scales to use. Once you get the hang of each type of scale and what feeling each produces, you will be ready to experiment.


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(@almann1979)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1283
 

this is where i get confused...one reply here stated either Gmajor (G ionian) or A Dorian could be used. now both of these contain exactly the same notes, so how can you be said to be playing one of those instead of the other?? is it to do with the notes you resolve on?

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

Sort of. It's the "tonal center", which is the central note of the melody. That's almost always the note that you resolve to, but there are other factors involved as well, so that's not a 100% rule.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@barnabus-rox)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2976
 

I ain't no expert but Am as your first chord to me makes it in the key of Am to my way of thinking , and if it was me I would play the A minor scale over it .

But NoteBoat and others are far more experienced and have a lot more knowledge than me ...

Just adding my 2 cents in

Cheers

Trev...

Here is to you as good as you are
And here is to me as bad as I am
As good as you are and as bad as I am
I'm as good as you are as bad as I am


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(@fretsource)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 974
 

The problem with A (natural) minor, Trev, is that it contains the note F, not F#, whereas the chord sequence (in the D maj chord) contains F#, not F. You'd have to be careful not to let them clash when it comes to the D chord.

But even if you take care to avoid the clash at that point, the repeating chord sequence (assuming A is indeed the tonal centre) has established in the listener's mind, consciously or unconsciously, the mode ABCDEF#GA, which is A Dorian. So even if it doesn't clash with the other chords, the note F natural might sound a bit 'off' wherever it appears.


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