January 28th, 2009, 09:07 PM
I've been watching some of Doug Seven's instructional DVDs and am amazed at how often the guy deviates from scale patterns. At one point he even plays a piece and then makes the comment "Don't even ask me what scale that was in because I don't know, I was just playing" or something to that effect.
My question, which will probably be answered easiest by those that have seen Doug's material, is how common is it for someone to deviate from a scale pattern? Doug shows Brad Paisley's Nervous Breakdown intro and apparently Brad deviates some too. Obvioulsly it has to be done in taste, but as someone just starting to get my feet wet in scales, I was under the impression that the guitar fairy would visit you in the middle of the night and remove one of your testicles if you played outside of a scale.
January 28th, 2009, 09:14 PM
Go ahead and deviate -- that's where you'll find all the cool notes. :cool:
Seriously, scales are just a starting point -- a palette of colors that will work against a given set of chord changes. But if you only stick to the scales, your playing will often sound very "inside," i.e., not colorful. Chromaticism is where it's at. Play with different ways to get from one scale tone to another (often there's only one note in between anyway :wink:), and with different ways to get from a scale tone to a chord tone. :idea: Eventually you'll find yourself "just playing," not thinking about the scales so rigidly and just making stuff up. It takes a while, but you'll get there if you work at it. Best of luck, CS :-)
January 28th, 2009, 09:45 PM
You can play ANY note on the neck if you set up the right context.
Even in a Blues.
And I still have 2.
January 29th, 2009, 03:45 AM
Guideposts, not fence posts...
January 29th, 2009, 12:12 PM
In most popular music that has solos, the underlying chord progression suggests a major, or sometimes minor, key area. If you stick to the notes of that key area, you will blend in very well with the chord progression. If you play a note not in the key, then that can sound wrong, very cool, or sometimes both at the same time. A non-diatonic tone, which is what I am describing, has to be dealt with by the player. It can be followed by a semitone up, sometimes down (sometimes a whole step up or down) to a diatonic note. This will sound like resolution. Another method is to anticipate a note of a chord a few beats ahead. It will sound wrong at the moment, then right when the chord changes. In my thinking about blues, it is sometimes the chord, not the melody, that has the wrong notes. This is the case with the IV chord in bar 5. In a C blues, the note F is part of the chord, but sounds to me like a note that needs to resolve down to E or Eb.
A really good way to develop an understanding of keys and chords when soloing would be to transcribe a solo in a certain key. Then write down the chords above the notes. Then label each note with the arabic numbers 1, 2, 3, ... 7 to indicate which step of the scale the note is. Then write down another number to indicate which part of the chord the note is (root, 3rd 5th, maybe 7th). Then draw a big circle or something to indicate those notes that are not part of the key. You will find that the way these non-diatonic notes are placed rhythmically will conform to other solos by the same player, the same style, or the same era. This will illustrate that the concept of a wrong note is a stylistic consideration. It will be the style fairy who attacks you in the middle of the night, not a theorist.
January 29th, 2009, 12:15 PM
A thought I have often plagarized: "There are no bad notes, only bad resolutions".
January 29th, 2009, 07:47 PM
Another method is to anticipate a note of a chord a few beats ahead. It will sound wrong at the moment, then right when the chord changes. In my thinking about blues, it is sometimes the chord, not the melody, that has the wrong notes. This is the case with the IV chord in bar 5. In a C blues, the note F is part of the chord, but sounds to me like a note that needs to resolve down to E or Eb.
In a C Blues, going to an A just before the IV chord (F) is something the British guys seemed to like (Clapton, Page, Green). It sounds a little weird until the chord changes.
January 29th, 2009, 08:31 PM
Stop! Wrong! Do not deviate from scales. They are not guide posts. They are fences to keep you IN, and wrong notes out. Nah, just kidding. I'm a fan of Doug, too. I'm just now starting to get "out" of the scale thing. A couple of the guys here have hit it on the head, I think - the "pattern" or notes can be "out", but that resolution note best be a good 'un.
January 31st, 2009, 08:25 PM
Learn the major scale everywhere on the neck and in all keys and then dont worry so much about scales. It's easy to get caught up in scales. I wish I had never learned the pentatonic scales...I got trapped there for far too long! Everything is related to the major scale. BUT....try to think of the chords you are playing and where you are coming from and where you are going. Play the notes of the chord of the moment and notes that lead you to the next chord.....
February 3rd, 2009, 10:28 PM
Scales, major or minor are like the rules of the road, once you know the rules, then you can break 'em.
I've found simple box and triangle patterns in the right chord key works fine.
Nevertheless, I'm still learning the rules of the road, and working towards putting it into overdrive and doing 140mph on the highway.
February 12th, 2009, 07:39 AM
I have to agree with everyone here. I studied Music Theory in High School, and I learned a lot of it on my own, but Music Theory including scales, is only a tool. A very important tool, but improvisation is the key. Ad, manipulate, bend, stretch, mode your scales as much as you want, music is meant for enjoyment, if you can't enjoy what your playing it isn't music.
February 12th, 2009, 11:45 AM
If everyone just played scales how interesting would that be? Knowing the rules means you know how you're breaking them. Not knowing them may let you play the same but you just won't be able to tell someone what you just did.....that's if you even pay attention. I don't. Notes are like french fries. Once they are gone I don't think much about them.
February 12th, 2009, 11:56 AM
Guideposts, not fence posts...
I don't think it could be said better.
Notes are like french fries. Once they are gone I don't think much about them.
OK, maybe more colourfully.......
February 12th, 2009, 06:50 PM
Scales are the starting point, not the ending. Go ahead and experiment. Sure some, if not most of it will be horrible, but you need that experience in playing what you want to hear, not just what you already know.
It's the stuff that's not horrible that we're after!....and man! does it feel good when it works.