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TravisPierce

Obsessed With Note Choice

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Hi guys--I'm brand new to this forum and am loving it already. My question involves what notes you play around the "chord of the moment" as Kirk calls it (I love this whole concept of soloing). For instance, if I am in G, are there any other notes (not counting chord tones) besides the pentatonics of the current chord (which all together make up the G major scale) that are "usable"? Is say, the B note something I would use to embellish the C chord, for example? How about the C and G notes over a D chord?

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OldG    3

Don't forget you can use the relative minor pentatonic notes too...

Em works with G major a treat, as would Am with C, Bm with D etc.

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Kirk Lorange    128

Hi TravisPierce. Welcome to the forum.

Once you've outlined a melody using chord tones, you can basically use any of the leftover notes, you just need to know how to insert them. Since any chord tone can be linked to another by playing all the notes in between -- in other words, linked chromatically -- you can see how this is just fact. It all becomes just a matter of timing then; those secondary notes need to fill the gaps in the time line between the strong beats that the chord tones occupy.

I've always seen note choices as being a constantly shifting hierarchy: chord tones, then the other scale/mode notes, then the few that are left over, those that live in between scale notes that are at least a whole tone apart.

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Thank you, guys. Kirk, great to meet you. That answere makes sense. Is it safe to say that in a major key, the notes of the tonic major scale are the safest bets though? I suppose I've been missing the main point here: play the melody, or as many professionals say, "Play what you hear in your head," and the notes kind of take care of themselves. I like your anything goes in between take--truly a slide approach (I play some pretty decent slide using exactly the approach you talk about).

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Kirk Lorange    128
That answer makes sense. Is it safe to say that in a major key, the notes of the tonic major scale are the safest bets though?

If all the chords that make up the tune are the 'key chords', the 7 related chords, then yes, but not all tunes are built around those chords. Once you introduce outsiders into the progression, you need to know what notes change and how to adjust your melody accordingly. That's why I've always found it easier to just think chord of the moment, that way you'll never get caught out. Naturally, you still need to know what key you're in to know what chords to expect and their function within the key, as in I ii iii IV V vi vii, but really, music comes moment by moment, so it makes sense to be most aware of what's going on 'right now' ... which in a piece of music is 'what's the chord?' With practice, you can see the whole neck as the chord, which also means melody and harmony.

My book PlaneTalk describes a simple way of doing this. :)

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I just got Plane Talk--love the book and DVD! I am just analytical by nature and wondered as I watched the DVD, what guided your note choices as you stayed on the chord of the moment, as you bounced from shape to shape of the same chord, more so than the notes linking chords. What are your favorite "other" notes, besides the chord tones, over major, minor, and 7th chords? I guess I've come full circle with my question. It is soooooo nice of you to take the time and help us, Kirk. Sorry for all of the confusion.

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Kirk Lorange    128

These are questions you should ask over at the PlaneTalkers' Forum, Travis, but I guess it just comes down to a combination of taste and the ability to get the fingers to where you want them to be on time. Lucky for me, my taste doesn't require me to be too flashy or speedy. :winkthumb:

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Just to give you some ideas... if you are soloing over G major, you can through in the 7th, which would be a g major 7th feel. The ONLY rule for me, is that it must sound good. Usually when improvising in real situation I play it more safe, but experiment when alone so that when I'm in a real situation I'll know what works.

It is those outside notes that can mean all the difference sometimes, but you can't hang on them long, just flavor.

Brian

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Aunt Doty    0

" just a matter of timing"

That's what I seem to have a problem with. ....Inserting them without breaking up my timing or melody. I 'm hoping that this just takes time and will improve with practice. If I go super slow it works!:crying2::dunno: Hoping Plane Talk will help me when it gets here!

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It's getting clearer by the second. I think the thing to do is just focus ONLY on chord tones at first. Know their locations inside and out, connecting all of Kirk's patterns. As I listen to more and more solos, it seems that the other notes are indeed just connecting notes that are just hit briefly, only to return safely back to the chord tones. Again, I think if you just find cool ways to approach and "rest" on a chord tone of the "chord of the moment," everything will sound great.

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