HedZeppelin's Tools of the Trade

Discussion in 'Lessons & Techniques' started by HedZeppelin, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. HedZeppelin

    HedZeppelin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Scales are like tools. Chord progressions are like "jobs". Therefore, you have
    to choose the right tools to fit each job.

    The basics are, for rock and blues, anyway, that for a I, IV, V progression,
    Such as A, D, E...or if you're just playing in A with a few variations such as
    in the song "Black Dog"....you can play an A pentatonic Major scale AND an A pentatonic
    MINOR scale,
    and it'll fit the progression. That's what Page is
    doing in that song.

    Another example, is the solo in "Stairway to Heaven". There, he's mixing
    the A pentatonic minor with the A minor scale (aeolian) scale. Since the song
    is in Am, the Pentatonic Minor (commonly referred to as the "Blues Scale")
    will work as well as the aeolian scale. The Pentatonic Minor scale is the MOST
    used scale in Rock and Blues, and is probably the most versatile.

    You should practice these scales and be able to visualize them, in "boxed"
    formats first.


    The diagrams below show the scales. The red dots are the root.
    The turquoise line in the first indicates the "A" chord.

    The turquoise dot in the second diagram
    indicates what is commonly referred to as the "Blue note".

    Note that the pattern is the same in both diagrams, just played on
    different frets. However, it is important to note that the "resolution" (Ending note)
    note in the first diagram is usually the root note, "A", while it is not necessarily
    the case in the second diagram. Commonly, the "Blue note" will end
    a lick, or the root note, or others.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. HedZeppelin

    HedZeppelin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    The Aoelian scale is shown below.
    Notice that we still have the "Box" that we have with the A Pentatonic minor,
    with a few "extra" (turqoise) notes:

    [​IMG]



    I find it particularly useful to record a chord progression, then play lead over it
    during its playback. That way, I can experiment and determine how things
    fit together. Of course, I don't play just "straight" notes, I bend and hammer-on,
    and pull-off notes.
    Bending up to a note is very common to give it that "sustain" that we're all looking for.
    Page does that alot, and another good example is the song "All Right Now", where the
    guitarist bends up to notes alot.

    For example, when playing a blues song in A, I'll bend up from the G (2nd string, fret 8)
    to an A.
     
  3. HedZeppelin

    HedZeppelin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    In the diagrams above, the two scales also overlap each other. That is,
    there are notes from the Pentatonic Major inside the box of the pentatonic
    minor, and vice-versa. However, that's a more advanced topic.

    While we should "think outside the box" eventually, I found that the
    "box" format is very useful for visualiztion purposes.

    Also, bear in mind that these are all "moveable" forms. If you're playing
    in the key of B, you'd play the first form on the 4th fret, and the second form on the 6th fret.

    I think of the Pentatonic major being based around the 3-note chord
    that is played on the D,G, and B strings (root on the G). (I forgot the
    tech term for this, it's some kind of inversion I think).

    I think of the Pentatonic Minor being based around the barre chord position.
     
  4. HedZeppelin

    HedZeppelin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Another point about the scales above....
    In a major key, you can play JUST the A Pentatonic Major only...or
    Just the A Pentatonic Minor ONLY...OR both.

    In a minor key, you can play JUST the A Pentatonic minor ONLY or
    the Aoelian ONLY OR both.
     
  5. HedZeppelin

    HedZeppelin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Relative minors and Chord theory

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Octave
    C D E F G A B C

    Note that the 6th tone of the major scale is "A", and therefore the relative minor is Am.

    However, you have to know what the notes in the major scale of a given key are first.
    Another way to determine the relative minor, is to go a step and a half backward
    from the chord in question.

    1/2 Full
    |--|----|
    A Bb B C
    |<-----|

    Therefore, if we want the relative minor of C then figure this:

    a full step backward from C is Bb. A half step backward from Bb is A.

    Now, let's find it in D:

    a full step back from D is C. A half step back from C is B. Therefore,
    The relative minor of D is Bm.

    How about G?
    A full step back from G is F. A half step back from F is E. (Em)

    A?
    A full step back from A is G. A half step back from G is F#. (F#m)

    Remember, that each fret on the guitar is a half step.

    Also, the very fundamental rule is:

    To go from one non-sharp or non-flat note to another, it is a full step,
    except for B to C and
    E to F...those are half steps. And, in between full steps are the sharps
    and flats. That is, a half step back from A is Ab. A half step forward is
    A#. Ab is the same as G#. A# is the same as Bb.

    Most of us don't really memorize the tones of a given major scale, at least I don't.
    I do know that there are no sharps or flats in the C major
    scale, so the tones in that scale are C, D, E, F, G, A, B.

    A chromatic scale of course, is playing notes in succession, without regard
    intervals, such as a chromatic scale in the key of C would be
    C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B (12 tones).

    You can determine the notes of the major scale by laying out the chromatic,
    and numbering each tone There are 12 tones in a chromatic scale:

    1..2.....3..4....5..6..7....8..9...10..11..12
    C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B

    So, how do we determine what notes are in the C major scale?

    The major scale is comprised of tones 1,3,5,6,8,10 and 12 of the
    chromatic scale.

    One way to remember this is that

    There are 7 tones in the major scale.

    Starting at the first tone, The first 3 tones are comprised of Odd numbers (1,3,5)
    Starting at tone 6, The remaining 4 tones are comprised of even numbers (6,8,10,12)

    So then notes in the C major scale are:
    Tone 1 - C
    Tone 3 - D
    Tone 5 - E
    Tone 6 - F
    Tone 8- G
    Tone 10 - A
    Tone 12 - B

    Now, let's try something a little more challenging. Let's find the notes
    for the G major scale.

    First, layout the chromatic.
    1....2....3....4....5....6...7.....8....9.....10.. ..11....12
    G....G#..A...A#..B....C...C#...D....D#...E......F. ....F#

    Now, get the notes for the major scale which are 1,3,5,6,8,10 and 12:
    G......A.....B.....C....D.....E.....F#

    These are the notes of the G major scale
     
  6. HedZeppelin

    HedZeppelin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    The formula for a major chord is:
    1, 3, 5 of the major scale

    Minor:
    1, b3, 5 of the major scale

    Dominant 7th (or just "7th)
    1, 3, 5, b7 of the major scale

    Maj. 7th
    1,3,5,7 of the major scale

    Therefore, if we want to know the notes for a Gmaj7 chord, we
    look at the G major scale and pick out tones 1,3,5 and 7 which correspond
    to notes G, A, B and C#.

    Ok, now you've probably seen 9th chords, 11th chords and 13th
    chords right? Those are all part of the "Dominant 7th" family.

    But wait a minute....there are only 7 tones in the major scale! Where
    are the 9, 11 and 13 tones? Use the following:

    9 = 2
    11 = 4
    13 = 6.

    Therefore, a 9th chord is the dominant 7th chord with the second tone
    of the major scale added to it. The 11th chord is the dominant
    7th chord with the 2nd tone (9th) and the 4th tone (11th) added to it.

    9th chord:
    1, 3, 5, b7, 2

    11th:
    1,3,5, b7, 2, 4

    13th:
    1,3,5,b7, 2, 4, 6.

    So, why am I telling you this? Simple. If you don't know a 9th, 11th
    or 13th chord, you can play the plain old dominant 7th chord and it'll
    fit. The 9,11,13 notes are there for coloration, so you can fake it
    if you need to...unless the other musicians have a REALLY good ear, anyway!
     
  7. HedZeppelin

    HedZeppelin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    CORRECTION:

    Therefore, if we want to know the notes for a Gmaj7 chord, we
    look at the G major scale and pick out tones 1,3,5 and 7 which correspond
    to notes G, A, B and F#.
     
  8. Enzo

    Enzo New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great information. Thanks so much for posting Hed!
     
  9. HedZeppelin

    HedZeppelin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    You're welcome! Hope some others can use it as well!
    Thanks for acknowledging the post!
     
  10. 1Way

    1Way Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,310
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    negotiable
    HedZep, love it man, I've been waiting for an explanation like this for a long time. THANKS! I need to soak in the last two instructional posts.

    In the mean time
    Question, I know the Pentatonic scale and I understand the blues scale adds a few blue notes, when and how might you try to implement the minor blues/pentatonic scales?
     
  11. Voxman

    Voxman Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    14,245
    Likes Received:
    584
    Location:
    LINY and Satillite Beach
    Next trick is to move the same pentatonic fingering over the same chord up and down the neck in different positions as that gives you all the cool tensions, passing tones and "color tones " .... extremely simple still and very effective
     
  12. HedZeppelin

    HedZeppelin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    [quote author=1Way link=topic=15773.msg202043#msg202043 date=1197821949]
    HedZep, love it man, I've been waiting for an explanation like this for a long time. THANKS! I need to soak in the last two instructional posts.

    In the mean time
    Question, I know the Pentatonic scale and I understand the blues scale adds a few blue notes, when and how might you try to implement the minor blues/pentatonic scales?
    [/quote]

    Ok...the minor pentatonic is very versatile. You can use it when playing against a
    major key....OR....a Minor key....or a dominant 7th key.

    Example....La Grange. That's really in Am (or A5, an A without playing the 3rd).
    You can use the pentatonic minor (commonly referred to as the "blues" scale) throughout.

    One nifty thing you can do on a 3 chord major key progression (like a I, IV, V) progression is this:

    the progression is A, D, E...
    Here are some of the options:

    1. Play the A pentatonic (refered to as the "country" scale..Skynyrd uses that alot) throughout the entire progresssion.

    2. Play the A pentatonic minor (blues scale) throughout the entire progression.

    3. Play BOTH the A pentatonic major (country) AND the A pentatonic minor (blues) throughout the entire progression.

    4. Play the A pentatonic minor (blues) scale ANYWHERE in the progression AND:
    a.) when the chord changes to D....play the D pentatonic MAJOR scale (country
    in D)
    b.) when the chord changes to E....play the E pentatonic MAJOR scale
    (country in E)
    However, when the chord changes back to the root (in this case A), you must go
    back to EITHER the A major pentatonic (country) OR the A minor pentatonic (blues)
     
  13. HedZeppelin

    HedZeppelin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    In the example above, the A pentatonic major starts on fret 2 (root on 3rd string, 2nd fret).
    The D pentatonic major starts on fret 7 (root on 3rd string 7th fret)
    The E pentatonic major starts on fret 9 (root on 3rd string 9th fret).

    The fingering for each of the pentatonic major scales is the same, just in different locations on the fretboard (refer to the pentatonic scale diagram).

    The pentatonic minor scale starts on fret 5.
     
  14. 1Way

    1Way Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,310
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    negotiable
    Blues vrs Pentatonic scales
    I thought you add the flatted 5th note to the pentatonic scale to get "the blues scale" (at any position), not lower the pentatonic scale three frets, correct?
     
  15. HedZeppelin

    HedZeppelin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Not sure what you mean.

    If you play the "box" diagram you'll see what I'm talking about, hopefully.

    In other words, check the A pentatonic fingering. When you want to play the same scale in D, use the same fingering, but instead of playing it on the 2nd fret, play it on the 7th fret. For the E pentatonic, use the same fingering,but play it on the 9th fret.

    The blues scale in A, use the same fingering, but play it on the 5th fret.

    I never get into what's flatted and what's not...I use the boxes.
     
  16. 1Way

    1Way Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,310
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    negotiable
    Some folk, perhaps many :? associate the 5 note 'Penta'tonic scale with the blues scale. Would you say that the 5 note Pentatonic scale is the blues scale? If so, then my confusion is cleared, rock on!
    :D
    If not, then perhaps you understand that the blues scale adds a blue note to the other 5, and I believe is usually played like a passing/bridging note. I'm sure it's referenced in numerous guitar instructional literature. So unless I'm seriously mistaken, I'm not sure why you mention the blues scale, when in fact it's the relative minor Pentatonic scale of the key/root.

    Perhaps the idea is that there seems to be a habit of bluesmen using the relative minor (three frets lower) while country guys like staying home root/key. Myself, I always use the root key of the scale at the same location for noodling around the root chord for example.
    Example:
    Like a standard 1-4-5 12bar blues form in the key of E. Myself, I would work around the nut as first position and utilize the 12th as mirror image of the nut and so on. But sounds like your saying I could play the entire song's lead via blues 1st position form starting at the 9th fret (3 frets down from 12th fret=key/root) instead of the nut/12th fret... I'll have to go try it out.
    :evil5: :rockin:
    Perhaps I'm mistaken about what the blues scale is in relationship to the Pentatonic scale. ... From my perspective, "The blues scale" consists of 6 instead of 5 notes.
     
  17. Voxman

    Voxman Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    14,245
    Likes Received:
    584
    Location:
    LINY and Satillite Beach
    The blues scale has b5 where the pentatonic doesn't, best used as a chromatic approach note, amongst other functions, in most circumstances but anything goes within a strong melodic motif based on the melodic/lyrical strength of the line itself
     
  18. ESSER

    ESSER Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,072
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    Ah.. it all makes sense now. Thru the bottom of a glass. ;D ^^^
     
  19. Voxman

    Voxman Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    14,245
    Likes Received:
    584
    Location:
    LINY and Satillite Beach
  20. ESSER

    ESSER Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,072
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    Too many windows ;)
     

Share This Page