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Understanding how scales and chords link together

27 Jan

From my experience as a player and teacher, there are many guitarists out there who can play bits of scales and can play lots of chords.

But to really elevate your playing to the next level, learning how everything fits together in a theoretical sense will help massively.

You’ll be able to introduce different chords to your songs using the harmonized major scale, then come up with cool riffs using the relevant pentatonic scales over the top.

Major and Minor Scales:

  • Your Major scale is build up of 8 notes from the TTSTTTS rule (T=Tone and S=Semitone)
  • So G Major is G,A,B,C,D,E,F# and G
    These notes are then stacked on top of each other to produce chords/harmony:
  • G, Am, Bm, C, D, Em, F#dim and:
  • Gmaj7, Am7, Bm7, Cmaj7, D7, Emin7, F#min7b5 when harmonized to the 7th degree of the scale
  • Every Minor scale derives from the Major scale by starting from the 6th note:
  • So is E, F#,G,A,B,C,D and E and the same harmonies are produced:
  • Em,F#dim,G,Am,Bm,C,D and Em7,F#min7b5,Gmaj7,Am7,Bm7,Cmaj7,D7

Major and Minor Pentatonic Scales:

  • Your 5 notes of the Major pentatonic are built up from the 1,2,3,5,6 notes of the Major scale
  • So the G Major Pentatonic contains the notes: G,A,B,D,E
  • Your 5 notes of the Minor pentatonic are built up from the 1,3,4,5,7 notes of the Minor scale
  • So the E Minor Pentatonic contains the notes: E,G,A,B,D,

Linking chords and scales together

  • A song in the key of G major could contain the following chords:
  • G, Bmin7, Cmaj7, D

If you wanted to improvise over it you can use Gmaj/Emin Major/Minor scales and pentatonics. GO PRACTICE!!!!!!

Thanks for reading!

You can find me on Twitter at @jsmusicschool

Rock n roll

James

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Music Theory

 

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