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Thread: Improvisation or...?

  1. #1
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    Improvisation or...?

    Ok, Iím noodling again.

    (But, hey, itís my guitar and thatís what I am going to do today ) Thatís not the question.


    Iím playing a 12 bar blues I IV V chord progression in A maj. Iím using the A minor blues scale to noodle over all of the chords.


    What Iíd like to try is to play a different blues scale over the IV chord. (D maj). Iíd like a couple of suggestions.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by time2kill View Post
    Ok, I’m noodling again.

    (But, hey, it’s my guitar and that’s what I am going to do today ) That’s not the question.


    I’m playing a 12 bar blues I IV V chord progression in A maj. I’m using the A minor blues scale to noodle over all of the chords.


    What I’d like to try is to play a different blues scale over the IV chord. (D maj). I’d like a couple of suggestions.

    Thanks in advance.
    With all the dominant seven chords some use the Mixolydian mode instead of the blues scale. Mixolydian is R-2-3-4-5-6-b7 where the blues scale is R-b3-4-b5-5-b7. Minor pentationic R-b3-4-5-b7 would also work. As would R-3-5-b7 over each chord.
    Code:
    Major Scale Box Pattern
    
    E|---7---|--R(8)-|-------|---2---| 1st string
    B|-------|---5---|-------|---6---|
    G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 
    D|---6---|-------|---7---|--R(8)-|
    A|---3---|---4---|-------|---5---|
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---| 6th string
    Noodle away.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 12-01-2012 at 06:27 PM.

  3. #3
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    So do you mean mixoydion with the root equals A or D note?

  4. #4
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by time2kill View Post
    So do you mean mixoydion with the root equals A or D note?
    Either one. I'd probably run A mix's notes over the entire progression, no not in mode order. Three close notes then a leap. R-2-3-b7 pause 6-b7-8-R, things like that. Don't forget to pause and let the melody breath. Use the notes of ---- in any order you think fits. The first four bars of the 12 bar blues progression gives you plenty of room for the entire R-2-3-4-5-6-b7, but continuing with that would get boring. So mix up the notes of the Mixolydian mode.

    That R-3-5-b7 makes a grooving bass line. Move the root on the box to the A chord then when the D chord is active take it over the D chord and then when the E chord becomes active move the riff over the E chord. Now this one you do play in chord tone order over and over. Great accompaniment groove while some one else is taking the lead solo.

    That R-3-5-b7 is also the dominant seven chord's arpeggio, and playing the chord's arpeggio over the chord is always a safe bet.

    This video gives you some suggested scales to use. Thought you might get some ideas from it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD-PjzXs4hg Can you hear the chord changes, kinda important that you can.

    I found the book Pentatonic KHANcepts by Steve Khan to be a great eye operner as to what scales you can use over specific chords. For example:

    Over the Emaj7 (6 or 9) chord here are some scale/mode choices:
    E major scale or E Lydian

    The pentatonic choices could be:
    G# minor pentatonic
    D# minor pentatonic
    C# minor pentatonic

    Why? Well G#m, D#m7b5 and C#m are all minor chords in the key of E major. Emaj7 has the E, G#, B, D# notes and if you went the (6 or 9 way) the C# comes into the picture. So you've got harmonizing notes with all of those choices. Like notes harmonize.

    Yep, I would never thought of the minor chords in a major key being pentatonic choices.

    Have fun.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 12-02-2012 at 05:38 PM.

  5. #5
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    Well, I thought I was going to be goofing off and noodleing around.

    Turns out it's a homework assignment.

    Instead of goofing off, I'm looking at the Mixolydian mode. I think I understand it, but I'm having some trouble with terminology.

    When someone says "A mixolydian", are they talking about the following notes:

    A B C# D E F# G A

    or are they talking about these notes:

    E F# G# A B C# D E

    The first one starts on an A note, but is derived from the D Maj scale.
    The second one is derived from the A Maj scale, but starts on the E note.

    So which set of notes is "A mixolydian", the first or the second?
    Last edited by time2kill; 12-09-2012 at 04:13 PM. Reason: Something else I don't know.

  6. #6
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    When someone says A mixolydian they mean

    A B C# D E F# G A

    (While it shares the same set of notes as D major, rather than thinking of it as "derived from" that scale it might be more useful to see it as an A major scale with a flatted seventh.)
    Last edited by walternewton; 12-09-2012 at 04:38 PM.

  7. #7
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    That makes a lot of sense.

    Thanks.

    (now I know, so......back to Malcom's post)
    Last edited by time2kill; 12-09-2012 at 05:06 PM. Reason: just love to edit

  8. #8
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by time2kill View Post
    Ok, I’m noodling again.

    (But, hey, it’s my guitar and that’s what I am going to do today ) That’s not the question.


    I’m playing a 12 bar blues I IV V chord progression in A maj. I’m using the A minor blues scale to noodle over all of the chords.


    What I’d like to try is to play a different blues scale over the IV chord. (D maj). I’d like a couple of suggestions.

    Thanks in advance.
    You could maybe try B minor pent/blues, which is D "major blues": D E F F# A B.
    IMO it won't work as well (sound as "bluesy") as A blues, but you might like it and it's worth a try. (The major blues scale of any chord is always worth trying: major pent of the chord root, plus a b3.)

    What Malcolm is proposing is a strategy that follows the chords more, assuming you're working with 3 dom7s (A7, D7, E7). As he says, the mixolydian mode (from the chord root) contains all 4 notes of the dom7, plus 3 good passing notes. And there's only one note different between A mix and D mix, and between A mix and E mix.
    Or you could think of D mixolydian as A dorian if you like - which keeps the traditional blues focus on the keynote. All that changes as you switch from A7 to D7 is that the C# note becomes C (to reflect the 7th of D7); all the other 6 notes are the same.

    BTW, what he says about Emaj7 (while true) is not relevant to your question: you are in the key of A, and there are no maj7 chords in blues anyhow .

    A simpler (but less bluesy) "follow the chords" strategy is to use the major pent of each chord. This has a very upbeat sound (very inside, not edgy), and works quite well on fast tempos if you want a more country feel. If you prefer to think in minor pents it means:
    F# minor pent on A
    B minor pent on D
    C# minor pent on E

    A major pent (F# minor pent) can also work throughout, but will give a very sweet jazz/soul sound on the D chord (turning it into Dmaj7), and you probably want to avoid the A note when on the E chord.
    Last edited by JonR; 12-11-2012 at 06:21 PM.

  9. #9
    Registered User ednakayama's Avatar
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    Here is a group of notes I've found to be a rich vein of IV chord material.

    If A is your I chord, then on IV try this scale:

    A, B, C, E, F#

    or in degrees..

    1, 2, b3, 5, 6

    It works great over the IV chord, D in this case. To see why, analyze those same notes with respect to D:

    A, B, C, E, F#

    5, 13, b7, 9, 3

    I've bolded the tritone or guide tones of the D7 / IV7. This is a nice sound that really outlines the IV chord and stays "bluesy." The rest of the notes are the "good" notes over D7, i.e. no G (because it clashes w/ the 3rd of D7) and no D (because avoiding the root makes you hip).

    Incidentally, analyzing this scale starting at the F#, you get:

    F#, A, B, C, E

    or...

    1, b3, 4, b5, b7

    Which is a minor pentatonic scale with the 5th lowered, and probably where most people first encounter this pattern (I did). From there you are instructed to find applications of its modes, such as in the D7 example above.

    Of course, none of this is to say that people haven't been playing this stuff forever just because the notes sound good...

  10. #10
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    Wow. Thanks for all the great info.

    (that's a LOT of info.)

    What ending up happening was this:
    I started looking at the mixolydian. It's a major scale, so I somehow started looking at the major pentatonic scale. I'm so easily distracted. LOL.

    I'll keep looking back at it and try all the suggestions, but it may take awhile. LOL.


    Thanks again for the great info.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by time2kill View Post
    Ok, Iím noodling again.

    (But, hey, itís my guitar and thatís what I am going to do today ) Thatís not the question.

    Iím playing a 12 bar blues I IV V chord progression in A maj. Iím using the A minor blues scale to noodle over all of the chords.

    What Iíd like to try is to play a different blues scale over the IV chord. (D maj). Iíd like a couple of suggestions.
    Thanks in advance.
    I know that you are searching about a pentatonic that will work over D but i think that it will be a good idea to just use your A minor blues licks and try to spell a bit the changes. Try to do your blues stuff and hit some chord tones over the appropriate chord. You will need to practice your four note arpeggios or just the basic triad of each chord to be able to see the chord tones on the fretboard.
    Krah13
    www.lost-in-guitarland.com

  12. #12
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
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    As far as what works over what, there are three basic rules that spell it out, if you are interested. Rule one. Major chords have no flatted 7. Rule two. Dominant 7 chords have no natural 7 and Rule 3, minor chords have no natural 3. The point is that any other note will apply to the chord. Improvisation is an art that is learned by doing. The point is that in a Major chord, you can play any note against that chord, except the flatted 7. In a dominant chord, any note except the natural 7 will work. In a minor chord, any note except the natural 3 will work.

    Might I suggest not worrying so much as to what works and what doesn't work and just experiment with sounds and tonalities that you like. Is it right, is it wrong? It's not like the music theory police are going to come and take you away, but of course there are the people that will tell you it is wrong no matter how you approach it.

    Have you tried A Major pentatonic instead of A minor pentatonic (A Major pentatonic is equivalent to F#minor pentatonic) Since you asked....
    Last edited by joeyd929; 03-06-2013 at 11:22 AM. Reason: typo

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