Chord scale relationship?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by metallicarules, Jul 18, 2001.

  1. I'm finally getting serious about learning some theory but I'm having a little bit of a tough time with some things. I've learned a lot of scales and I've been able to apply them, for example I learned the double harmonic scale and I just improvised using those notes and I came up with some cool 'arabian' sounding lick. I don't know my chords too well, just major and minor basically (plus a couple others which I can't remember the names of right now) and I was wondering are chords just kind of guidelines as to which notes in a particular scale will usually sound good? So if a major chord is R, 3, 5 then in what situation would I only use these notes, and when might I go outside the box and use other notes in a scale that has the R, 3, and 5 in it like ionian or lydian? Would I use chords when the guitar is doing a lot of chord changes and maybe scales when the guitar is playing one chord for longer?
    I'm sure this makes no sense but if anyone can shed some light on this subject for me I'd appreciate it.
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Check out jazzbo's entire "Idiot's Guide to Scales" thread, and see if it answers any of your questions. Basically, a three note chord can be viewed either in terms of its own specific chord scale, or often also within the context of its "parent scale". If you study the concept of MODES (which is well covered in jazzbo's thread), you'll know when to use which approach. Either way, the chord tones will comprise 3 of the notes of the scale - the rest of the scale will consist of "non-harmonic tones". Deciding when to play which is a matter of color and personal preference, but it's a decision better made as a choice than by default.
  3. td1368


    Jan 9, 2001
    Metallicarules - I think your asking some good questions. I started asking questions like that and ended up taking lessons. Jazzbo's posts are great for information. IME though theory and concepts are difficult to describe verbally.