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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
 
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One little theory hang-up

I know all the modes and how they connect. My one issue is; what scales can I play when a song is in a certain key ? eg. if a rhythm is playing in the key of A maj, and I want to start soloing over that track; Should I play the major scale in the 5th position (ionian mode beginning at 5th fret), or can I play the pentatonic minor scale (from the Aeolian mode) in that 5th position ? Once I get started, I know where to go, but I have seen conflicting information on which scale to play in the key position. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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Re: One little theory hang-up

Quote:
Originally Posted by splitendz View Post
I know all the modes and how they connect. My one issue is; what scales can I play when a song is in a certain key ? eg. if a rhythm is playing in the key of A maj, and I want to start soloing over that track; Should I play the major scale in the 5th position (ionian mode beginning at 5th fret), or can I play the pentatonic minor scale (from the Aeolian mode) in that 5th position ? Once I get started, I know where to go, but I have seen conflicting information on which scale to play in the key position. Thanks in advance.
There are a few things I am confused with about your post...

Quote:
Originally Posted by splitendz View Post
eg. if a rhythm is playing in the key of A maj, and I want to start soloing over that track; Should I play the major scale in the 5th position (ionian mode beginning at 5th fret)
Are you talking about the low E string here?

Sure, if you're playing in A major, there would be nothing wrong with picking your phrasings out of the ionian mode starting on the 5th fret of the lower E string.

Quote:
Originally Posted by splitendz View Post
or can I play the pentatonic minor scale (from the Aeolian mode) in that 5th position ?
Again, I'm assuming you're starting from the 5th fret on the low E?

Whatever key you're in, and whatever modes you decide to play, it's really going to be based on the phrasing and what notes, or "blue" notes you want to accent (i.e., dorian, mixolydian, etc.).

The best thing to do is to listen to the chord progression you are working on and play in these modes over it and see what fits.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 04:56 AM
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Re: One little theory hang-up

I almost always start a solo on the tonic or 5th and the mode doesn't matter. 5th's work with any mode.

~j
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 08:29 AM
 
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Re: One little theory hang-up

Quote:
Originally Posted by splitendz View Post
I know all the modes and how they connect. My one issue is; what scales can I play when a song is in a certain key ? eg. if a rhythm is playing in the key of A maj, and I want to start soloing over that track; Should I play the major scale in the 5th position (ionian mode beginning at 5th fret), or can I play the pentatonic minor scale (from the Aeolian mode) in that 5th position ? Once I get started, I know where to go, but I have seen conflicting information on which scale to play in the key position. Thanks in advance.
Hey man. Although there aren't any rule I dont think that this would be your best choice, although I'm sure you could make it work if your phrasing was good enough. If you know all the modes of the major scale and how they all connect then I'm guessing that you have learned them in a 3 note per string sorta way, right?

If so then your fingering for a pentatonic scale is going to be clouded by the notes that you have been conditioned to learn. However there is no reason why you can't still use the pentatonic frame work to solo....

For instance you would need to use A major pentatonic over the A maj chord. Which is exactly the same shape and the 'box that everyone knows shape' but you start with your pinky on the root at the 5th fret....so you could think of it as F#m pentatonic I think but you have to hit A notes to make it sound like your playing in a major tonality.

I hope that this works for you. If all else fails just blaze away!

Chris
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 12:43 PM
 
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Re: One little theory hang-up

With the basic information given by you; that you want to solo in a major you have lots of scales to choose from. Most of these will work depending on the style of music and assuming that the chord stays on Amajor.

Any of the major sounding modes; ionian, Lydian, mixolydian should work
Also the altered major sounding modes from the harmonic and melodic minor scales, eg the Lydian augmented, ionian augmented etc should work too.

Pentatonics wise, the standard box we all know but starting from the second fret low E will work well. This is actually the major pentatonic. What you described about starting at the fifth fret is minor penatatonic which might work if the backing is bluesy and dominant sounding rather than straight major. This is why I previously highlighted the stylistic implications over which scales will sound good.

Whilst still kind of on the topic of pentatonics, try creating pentatonic versions of some of the modes. It's good fun and you will discover some nice tones. Also experiment with moving the pentatonic shapes you know into different positions, this can yield some interesting sounds. For example try playing your basic minor pentatonic starting At the ninth fret oner Amjor. This gives an almost Lydian sound IMO.

This is my longest ever post from an iPhone so I'm stopping now before I lose it all!
I hope this helps!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: One little theory hang-up

Hey, good responses guys. Jaxadam; yes, when I said the 5th position, I meant beginning on the low E , 5th fret. I think you all are saying that I was correct in thinking that playing the Ionian/ major scale in the key of the song (eg if song is in Cmaj, play C maj /ionian scale eg. beginning in 8th fret on low E ) Aeolian would begin on 5th fret/ low E, Dorian would begin on 10th fret/low E... etc). I was just curious if a song is , for example, in the key of C, instead of playing the Aeolian mode beginning on 5th fret/ low E, could I play Dorian mode in that same position (5th fret/ low E), and connect the other modes from there (eg. phyrigean beginning on 7th fret/ /low E.... etc).; or would that be playing out of key ? In other words, do you always have to play the ionian/ major scale at the position of whatever key you are in, or could you begin with a different mode at that major position ?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-09-2010, 07:11 AM
 
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Re: One little theory hang-up

I'm slightly confused by your question. If u r playin in c maj then so long as you are playing the notes from c maj you are still playing in cmaj! If the chord stays the same, and you move to say, the "Dorian position" as I'll call it starting at what woul be the 10th fret for ease of explanation, you are still playing c Ionian or c major, not Dorian. If the chord changes under you, the notes you play now have a different function or relationship to the chord, therefore giving a new tonality.

You can play any mode in any position; the aj scale can start from anywhere on the fingerboard not just the 8th fret.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-09-2010, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: One little theory hang-up

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyG View Post
I'm slightly confused by your question. If u r playin in c maj then so long as you are playing the notes from c maj you are still playing in cmaj! If the chord stays the same, and you move to say, the "Dorian position" as I'll call it starting at what woul be the 10th fret for ease of explanation, you are still playing c Ionian or c major, not Dorian. If the chord changes under you, the notes you play now have a different function or relationship to the chord, therefore giving a new tonality.

You can play any mode in any position; the aj scale can start from anywhere on the fingerboard not just the 8th fret.

Correct; I understand what you are saying (sorry to confuse). I know that no matter what mode you transfer to, you are still playing the notes of C maj. My Q is: Do I have to play the notes of of Cmaj if the key of the song is C ? Or, could I play the notes from Dmaj, even though the key of the song is C ? Would that be playing out of key ?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-09-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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Re: One little theory hang-up

Playing D major over a C maj progression would probably not sound great considering d maj does not contain a C...

When playing over chord progressions you usually want to stick to a single 'scale'. If the progression was say, C, Dm, G or anything, you would want to just stick to playing the notes of C major. If you started playing all the notes of D minor under the dm chord and then went to play g maj over the G chord and so on it would probably not sound very good. You want to highlight the chord tones, not the whole scale of the chord being played.

Last edited by Magical Muffin; 01-09-2010 at 07:36 PM.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-09-2010, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: One little theory hang-up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magical Muffin View Post
Playing D major over a C maj progression would probably not sound great considering d maj does not contain a C...

When playing over chord progressions you usually want to stick to a single 'scale'. If the progression was say, C, Dm, G or anything, you would want to just stick to playing the notes of C major. If you started playing all the notes of D minor under the dm chord and then went to play g maj over the G chord and so on it would probably not sound very good. You want to highlight the chord tones, not the whole scale of the chord being played.
Thanks, that's what I was thinking.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-09-2010, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: One little theory hang-up

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Originally Posted by jemaholic View Post
I almost always start a solo on the tonic or 5th and the mode doesn't matter. 5th's work with any mode.

~j
Can you explain this a little more. When you say the 5th, do you mean the 5th note in the major scale ? eg. if playing a Cmaj scale, the 5th would be a G
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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Re: One little theory hang-up

i solo to the progression more than the key. take a simple progression. A, D, C, C.
against the A chord you can play either choices:
A minor, A major (that would be any minor or major mode), A minor arpeggio, A major Arpreggio, or if you called it A minor ,play the country inversion F major, or if you called it A major, play F minor.
than do the same choices transposing to the D, and then the two measures of C.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: One little theory hang-up

Quote:
Originally Posted by splitendz View Post
Can you explain this a little more. When you say the 5th, do you mean the 5th note in the major scale ? eg. if playing a Cmaj scale, the 5th would be a G
Bump for an answer to this... anyone ?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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Re: One little theory hang-up

Quote:
Originally Posted by splitendz View Post
Bump for an answer to this... anyone ?
He means the 5th note of the scale of the key he's playing in.

For example, the rhythm track is in D minor. The 5th of D minor is A - the note he'll start on. The 'tonic' is the same note as the key, so if he starts on the tonic he'll be starting the solo on D.

In answer to your original question, if the rhythm is A major, play your solo in A major (or you could delete 2 notes and use the A pentatonic major). If the rhythm is in A minor, play in A minor (or you could delete 2 notes and use the A pentatonic minor.

Here's some light reading for you that may help;

http://www.jsguitarforum.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=56336
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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Re: One little theory hang-up

Also note that major tonalities are not usually used in Rock or Metal.
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