View Full Version : Soloing over chords

02-17-2003, 10:56 PM
I know this may sound like a dumb question, but how do I know what keys and scales I can solo over on certain chord progressions? I tend to play thrash and old school metal so I'm mainly using power chords, and I normally solo with natural minor, but could I, with for example, an A5 power chord, solo in A Locrian? Also, I tend to solo in just one key, is there any easy way to tell what single key I can solo with over multiple chords? I have been using Troy Stetina books and although I love them, they aren't quite clear how to tell what keys you can solo in. Thanks

02-18-2003, 08:02 AM
Hi FireStorm,

We had quite a similar discussion a while ago here: http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=663

Have a read through and feel free to let us know if this was in any way helpful. Otherwise, we can expand upon it here ...



02-24-2003, 10:50 PM
Hey sorry, but I'm still a bit confused. I have a number of scales (Lydian, Phrygian, Locrian, ect.) memorized but just by the fingerings and frets... Anyway, can I use whatever scales include the root notes of the fifth diad (power) chords I mostly use? For example, can a rhythm guitarist play a pattern that uses the E, A, D, and G power chords and I can play just E minor pentatonic and E natural minor because the E pentatonic and natural minor scale includes all those notes?

B A Stone
02-25-2003, 01:38 AM
Sure Firestorm, you could do that.

One of the cool things about power chords is that you can play just about any scale pattern over them because there are no "color" notes. So the pattern you use will determine the "flavor".

Try making, or have someone play, a backing of just an E power chord chugging away.

Start with the Major modes. Say you start with an E Phrygian, it will have a sort of minor/Gypsy feel. Then try E Mixolydian, there you get a melodic "singing" type feel. Try them all and see what flavor you get.

Then try some Harmonic Minor modes. The possibilities are endless.

In your E,A,D,G progression, try using one mode throughout. Like E Dorian, A Dorian, D Dorian, G Dorian, etc.

I'm certainly no theory expert, but try what I said and you'll see. This approached helped my ears know what my brain was thinking. And helps me recognize what other people are playing.

03-10-2003, 11:35 PM
To determine what scale you should use is very complicated so i would recommend getting a theory book.
All the scales you mentioned there are all modes. Perhaps u should try to finde a good internet guitar lesson site, and check out modal theory or modes, it will help you.

03-11-2003, 07:38 AM
Originally posted by Purple-HaZe
Perhaps u should try to finde a good internet guitar lesson site, [/B] :confused: :confused: ... erm ... do I hear a slight critique here? :D

Anyway, back to the topic. There are 3 articles left that I didn't transfer to iBreathe up to now. These articles are about chord scales / modes. I wrote them a while ago and am still in the progress of adding changes before they will be republished.

In the meantime you can get pdf files of these articles here:

Feedback is welcome :)

Hope that helps.