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Thread: Rules, tips, tricks similar to relative minor rule.

  1. #1
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    Default Rules, tips, tricks similar to relative minor rule.

    Similar to playing the G pentatonic scale over the Em chord(3 steps up from the Em chord), is there any other rules similar to this? I don't know too much theory and I find this very helpful for improvising. Are there any other tips, tricks, or rules to memorize which scales/arpegios/double stops to play over different chords that always applies?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Rules, tips, tricks similar to relative minor rule.

    Not to highjack but could I also ask here what it means to play something "over" something else? If that's not an easy question to answer, please just say so and I'll post it separately.

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    Default Re: Rules, tips, tricks similar to relative minor rule.

    what it means to play something "over" something else?
    In this particular example, it means that if a tune is in Em (or an Em chord is played for a length of time), you can improvise over that using the notes of the G major pentatonic scale. Em is the relative minor G major, meaning that the two scales share the same notes. The relative minor is three half steps (or, three frets) lower than it's kindred major tone. So, Am is the relative minor of C major, Bm is the relative minor of D major, etc.

    For the OP, one easy thing that I find helpful is the idea that, in common chop chord shapes, the fretted notes on any two adjacent strings are a double stop. Take the G chop as an example:

    7-5-2-3
    7-5-x-x is a G double stop
    X-5-2-x ditto
    x-x-2-3 as well

    The pentatonic scales really flow easily out of these double stops also, just takes knowing where the root note is.
    Mitch Russell

  4. #4

    Default Re: Rules, tips, tricks similar to relative minor rule.

    To play "over" something means simply to play at the same time as. Guitar plays Em, you can play notes from the G pentatonic scale "over" this Em chord in the guitar, until the chord changes, etc. I guess the idea is the melody is riding above the accompaniment (or should be, anyway.)

    Here's a few patterns that are a bit hard to describe with words, but might be useful.

    To add a lower double stop note on the string below the melody note (i.e., if the melody note is on the A string, what fret to add a double stop on the D string?), try this rule:
    - If the melody note is the root note of the chord (i.e. C note over a C chord), then play the double stop note 2 frets higher on the other string.
    - If the melody note is the third of the chord (i.e. E over C chord) then play the double stop note 3 frets higher on the lower string
    - If the melody is the fifth of the chord (i.e. G over C chord) then play the double stop note 4 frets higher on the lower string.

    A few examples. The chord is a G chord. The melody is on the G note on the E string (3rd fret). The G note in a G chord is the root, so the double stop note is 2 frets away (5th fret). So you play xx53

    Chord is F. melody note is C note on the A string (fret 3). The C note in an F chord is the fifth, so the double stop is 4 frets higher (7th fret). Play x73x

    Chord is D major. Melody note is F#, 2nd fret on the E string. The F# note in a D chord is the third, so play the double stop note 3 frets higher (5th fret) : xx52

    You can work out similar patterns for the double stops that happen above the melody, and also for minor chords, if this method appeals to you. i realize there's a bit of theory to be understood to apply it, but it's not too bad if you already know the notes of the fretboard.

    Cheers
    MRT
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    Default Re: Rules, tips, tricks similar to relative minor rule.

    Thanks for the responses! Any others?

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    Mano-a-Mando John McGann's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rules, tips, tricks similar to relative minor rule.

    A minor triad from the 5th of a chord will give you the 5, b7 and 9 of the chord.

    If you were jamming on Sweet Georgia Brown with the E7 as the first chord, try playing lines based around a Bm triad (B D F#).
    You can flesh out the scale notes in a variety of ways. One of my faves is melodic minor (1 2 b3 4 5 6 7, or B C# D E F# G# A# over the E7, yielding 1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7 on the E7, also known as lydian dominant).

    There are many many of these ways of playing something simple from an unusual standpoint (think "minor from the 5th of the Dom7 chord") to get cool results. I like these sounds as they get you away from centering your lines on the most typical note, the root of the chord of the moment, as you 'think from a different root'. By emphasizing B rather than E, the line has a different character.

    Learning about chords, and how they are constructed from a theory standpoint, will open many doors like this.

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    jbmando RIP HK Jim Broyles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rules, tips, tricks similar to relative minor rule.

    I am just trying to avoid confusion here and not trying to start trouble, but G pent is not three steps up from Em. G is 1-1/2 steps up from E. Three steps up from E is A#. G is a minor third up from E, but in terms of steps, which are whole tones, or two frets on a fretted instrument, three steps up is six frets up.
    "I thought I knew a lot about music. Then you start digging and the deeper you go, the more there is."~John Mellencamp

    "Theory only seems like rocket science when you don't know it. Once you understand it, it's more like plumbing!"~John McGann

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    Default Re: Rules, tips, tricks similar to relative minor rule.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Broyles View Post
    ... but G pent is not three steps up from Em. G is 1-1/2 steps up from E. ...
    To continue (hopefully!) avoiding confusion, let's note that G is actually three half-steps (and/or three frets) up from E.
    - Ed

    "What our group lacks in musicianship is offset by our willingness to humiliate ourselves." - David Hochman

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