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Joined: 11 Jun 2010
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Soloing Over Chords

by khane

11 Jun 2010
Views: 28153

I'm still learning this myself, but i'll take a stab at at.

Please add any information via comments.

Ok, so, Soloing over chords.

So, soloing over chords sounds good if you land on the chord tones during solos. This is not as simple as it may seem, so a good place to start is to know your notes.

So, if you know your notes then you should know what notes are in the basic chord triads that you are playing.

So, when your playing over a chord, for example (in C major) an Am chord (basic diatonic I ii ii iii IV V vi vii: Maj min min Maj Maj min dim) you would play in A Aeolian because that chord fits over the A natural minor scale. This example will stick to the minor modes because that the freshest in my memory.

Now as nice as it would be to solo over 1 chord the whole time, chord changes sound much nicer, so lets say a D chord is played next. What do you do? Well, if you know your circle of fifths, and you know that a D chord is made up of D F# A, you would see what key contains F#.

Now, you look at your order of sharps or flats (which I like to remember as (#) Fat Cats Go Down And Eat Burgers (keys: C G D A E B F# C#), and (b) Big Ears Always Dominate Great Corn Festivals (Keys: C F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb) note: remember, C has no # or b) you see that the key of G has one sharp, which is F#. So, over an Am/D chord change, you can play the Dorian mode. Why? because the dorian root is located 1 whole step below the minor root (A), which is G. So, to play the dorian mode, play a major with the root starting on G over a Am/D chord change.

Now, most songs have more than one chord change. So, lets say the progression goes Am/D/Bb. Now what? Well, because a Bb chord is made up of Bb D F, and with your trusty order of flats, you see that the key of F has one flat, which is Bb. So, you would play F phrygian over the Am/Bb chord change because the phrygian root is located 2 whole steps below the minor root.

And if you wanna add some tasty jazz sounds, you can play locrian (a major scale on the half-step above the minor root). To figure out what that chord change would be look at the circle of fifths again.

Now, you can either play those on any root over the neck, or on any root in a specific position (which looks real sweet cause your playing a lot of stuff in a small space, which I think is more impressive than running up and down the neck (which is still cool too)).

Hope that was helpful and not too confusing!


soloing over chords

by guitarbadass

i am a metal guitarist,so i am tryin to figuar out how to put solos with with rhythms and riffs i have writtin,what i wonna know is if the solo haves to be in the same time signature as the rhythm,i would assume so but wonna know 4 sure,and i wonna know how to make the solo sound good with the rhythm,i,m pretty good with theory so if you could tell me how to use theory to achieve this that would be great,,,,,,,,,,thanx



I lost your train of thought half way through. When you said. "A Aeolian because that chord fits over the A natural minor scale".... A Aeolian and A Natural Minor are BOTH scales and they are both the same scale; harmonically that is. You may want to go in and re-word this.

You started off alright, but I think maybe you rushed the second half of your lesson. There is a "save unfinished lesson" feature, that is great if you just want to jot down some ideas for the future when you have time.

Hope I was too harsh. I don't want to discourage you from writing more lessons in the future! Just add a little more thought.

Rock on!


Ooops, I mean to say ^^^^^ "Hope I was NOT too harsh"!

Rock on!


what he said makes sense, he just says the scale/ mode differntly in the same sentance. that was silly of him to do though. as it would confuse beginners, im not saying your a beginner though.


to guitarbadass

First off I would say that no the leads do not have to be in the same time signature. ie a 4/4 rhythm guitar part with a 5/4 lead part. So for the second measure your first lead note will start on the second beat (the down beat) of the rhythm guitar and so on. it offsets the lead a bit so it can allow for more repetition with the illusion that you're playing something different. Don't overuse the repetition though because it will wear thin after a while. Be creative with it. You can come up with some amazingly interesting combinations.


since I am a begginer and all I don't really know what phrygin or dorian is so can you help a guy out here a bit?


You need to learn the major scale first - but Dorian and Phrygian are modes of the Major scale. In time you'll understand that they're alternate positions of the major scale - and because of this they have their own unique sound which is why they're called a mode. :)


Alright, this makes more sense now. Thanks.



Dorian is a D Mode.
If you look up Dorian on the Internet it will have D Dorian.
Phrygian is a E Mode.
If you look up Phyrgian on the Internet it will have E Phyrgian.

The Modes are C,D,E,F,G,A and B just like with the Scales
except unlike Scales,when playing Modes you only press the White Keys,
yet with Scales you press both the White Keys and the Black Keys.

C Ionian
D Dorian
E Phyrgian
F Lydian
G Mixolydian
A Aeolian
B Lorain

Here is the way Modes are when simplified


You can learn them.
I did learn them in one evening,literally.


@ TheMusicWriter Your statement is true but only if you are using the C Major scale. If I am playing D Major then D is Ionian, E Dorian, F# Phrygian and so on. It takes more than one evening to fully grasp the concept of Modes.

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