View Full Version : Incorporating scales....

08-24-2009, 01:51 AM
Anybody have any tips on how to work in some scale noodling with chord progressions....I know my chords (what i need for now) & a few scales but I cant seem to use them together....Is there something I need to do at the end of a progression to work into a lead....Im lost.

Thanks in advance for any advice.:shaka:

08-24-2009, 03:46 AM
You can mix scales up, but for a beginner I think it's good to get a feel for the character of each scale, so I'd suggest picking a chord and then jamming over that chord with notes from one of the scales you know. Different scales and modes have different "flavours".

Some scales generally sound more comfortable over certain chords than over others. Over any given chord you have a number of scales whose notes may work for improvising. For example, playing over a C Major chord you could try notes from the scales of C Maj, F Maj, G Maj, C Minor pentatonic, A minor pentatonic and loads of others.

Some scales will not work too well over some chords. For example, I mostly wouldn't jam over that C Maj chord using the C Dorian mode - although I would try that "scale" with a C minor...

Oy... this is actually much harder to explain than it is to do. Sorry if what I write seems jumbled.

It all depends on what kind of feel you want your phrases to have. Just as Major and minor chords have their own distinctive characters, the same is true of scales.

Check out the topic about pentatonic scales. Those are a great place to start understanding how scales and chords work together. http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=3

It is helpful to know the chord arpeggios as well as scales. Solos sound good if they move around, and resolve to, chord tones.

Man, that all sounds really vague as I read it back to myself. :( Sorry about that. Maybe someone more eloquent will be along in a while...

08-24-2009, 05:46 AM
hah, that's a hard thing to discuss in theory.

I was recently reading a paper on jazz anticipation and soloing, and I finally figured out that when people say "modes" they mean "play the scale with the same notes, but start at a different spot" Just like A minor scale = C major scale but you start and end on A.

You might try an exercise like this if you can record at home.

1) Learn the 8 note mode progressions starting at C, A, F and G
(i.e. know where the from C to C, A to A, F to F and G to G but stay in the C major scale, so that you aren't using sharps or flats)

2) Record the C Am F G chord progression, with two (or three) measures each, strummed out at a nice slow place.

3) Play the scale starting at C, then at A, then at F, then at G over the appropriate chords in your progression.

4) Start taking away notes, doubling notes, et c. to make it more interesting, and when the change is about to come think about getting back to one note away from the upcoming root note for the following chord.

For instance, if you're traveling from C Maj to A Minor, have the last note in the C Maj solo be a G or an B. (note, G is in the C Major Triad, and B is the top note of a C7 chord!) Then slide up a note (or down) and go to the scale that starts in A... et cetera.


5) Start throwing in accidentals from from the scale of the root note of the chord you're in, but mind to resolve to the C major scale again eventually. So over F Major chord, you could throw in a B Flat every once in a while, or over G Major chord an F Sharp.

6) Anticipate the chord change by throwing in accidentals (sharps or flats) from the scale of the chord that is about to come up. So while Am is still being strummed, play an A note, then a Bflat note. It'll sound wonkish, but if you hold on that note while the F Major chord starts to sound, the chord progression will resolve to what YOU were soloing, instead of you always following the progression? WHO'S IN CONTROL NOW?! AAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

I hope this helps...

08-24-2009, 08:19 AM
Thanks Guys!

Poisondart....The excersice program may just work for me....Thanks...I like easy to follow instructions....kinda like mile markers for me.

no offense buddhu.....:shaka:

08-24-2009, 09:26 AM
LOL. Gonna have a go at that stuff myself! :D