Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Learn How to Apply Guitar Scales Chords

I've got a question that I'm not sure you've answered. I've been trying different progressions by numbers. Let's say I'm in the key of C and I want to do a vi ii IV I. The chords in the major scale are CDEFGA and I didn't include the major/minor tonalities because I'm using power chords.

You have several guitar theory related questions here. I'll try to break it down for you.

The major and minor chord tonalities still exist, even if you're only play roots and fifths. So, you must take them into consideration when you solo.

Now what I don't understand is if I want to play a C minor pentatonic riff over the progression in power chord forms, would that be wrong? For example, there is an A# in C minor pentatonic. The A#5 chord is not part of the chords in the key of C. If it is allowed to play the pentatonic over the chord progression in C, technically can't you "thicken" up the sound by throwing in a 5th there in each pentatonic note for the chords?

Playing C minor scale tones over a chord progression that stems from C major will definitely sound out of key. Instead, try the C major (a.k.a. A minor) pentatonic scale patterns.

I am also a bit confuse about the whole playing by number theory which would be great if you can clarify. I was playing a progression in E. Im starting out with the 6 chord and the whole progression feels like it's revolving around the 6, which is the C#. What I find very confusing is that in your chapter you mention the chords allowed in each key. But if the song feels like it's in a different key even by using the correct key chords, what does this mean? I know you talked about something similar to this in your video about using only the 5 and 6 chords, so the 1 chord is not there but the song would techically be in a different key.

Please explain this as I am very confused and I hope you understand what I'm refering to. In the key of E, the chords are (E, F#m, G#m, A, B, C#m). My progression revolves around C#m and sounds like its in the key of C#. How can this be true if in the key of C#, the chords are not the same as in E? I tried playing the pentatonic minor over it and it was hard to tell, but it sounded like C# fits in better than E.

A song can revolve around any scale degree. The example you outlined is C# Aeolian mode (a.k.a. natural minor or relative minor). The parent major scale is E, so you can play the E major scale over it. Since the root chord is C# minor, you can also play the C# minor pentatonic scale over it. In fact, you can combine both the E major scale and C# minor pentatonic scale. This follows the music theory rules outlined in Fretboard Theory Chapter 7: Roots, Keys, and Applying Scales.

Also, would the chord progressions in A be the same as in Am, just revolving around the minor chords? I think you've mentioned that but it's still a bit unclear whether or not the chords are the same in a minor key.

No, A major and A minor are two totally different keys. The A major scale does not have an A minor chord in it. A minor is found only in the keys of G, F and C. So a song that revolves around an A minor chord is in one of those keys depending on the other chords involved.

Play Until Yer Fingers Bleed!
Mr. Desi Serna (Google me!)

No comments: