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Playing in E minor..Follow up question..

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Panther, Apr 26, 2005.


  1. Panther

    Panther

    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia
    I am wondering how to approach doing any solo type riffs/breaks in the key of E minor.

    That said, my theory is weak, so maybe you guys can help me out a bit.

    From what I've read-the key of e minor has only one sharp: F#

    The key of E has 4 sharps: C#, D#, G# & F#

    I found a chart online that shows the Major keys and their corresponding relative minor keys.

    The major key for E minor is G major.

    Does this mean that I can focus on the key of G for my riffs?

    What is the actual difference between G major, and E minor, if all of the notes are the same? Or is there still a different note in there?

    I really appreciate your help!
     
  2. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    E minor, being the minor of G major has one sharp, being #F, and not #G .
     
  3. Panther

    Panther

    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia
    Thanks, that was a typo!
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    You can't just play in E Minor or any key - you have to play the chord sequence and say something about that, or it's going to sound pretty random!! :meh:

    You can't just say - well I can pick any note from this key - it has to make sense in the context of the music !!
     
  5. Panther

    Panther

    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia
    I was just trying to determine what scales, notes and positions that would be available to me based on the break - I still have to know what can be played and what can't/shouldn't be played.

    The break just stays on the 'E'-which I suspect is an E minor chord, like in the actual song where Gilmour is soloing. There is no chord progression.

    From what I've researched, Gilmour based that solo off of the D pentatonic minor scale.
     
  6. tkarter

    tkarter

    Jan 1, 2003
    kansas
    R, b3,5


    tk
     
  7. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Well, E aeolian (natural minor) is the relative minor of G, and they both have 1 sharp (F#). But, when improvising over a Emin7 chord, you should be using E dorian (natural minor with a major 6th) which mean theres a F# and a D#.
     
  8. Panther

    Panther

    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia
    Thanks jazzin'.

    Will I EVER get this straightened out? :) :) :)
     
  9. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    The only difference between G ionian (major) and E aeolian (realtive(natural)minor) is that they start on different notes. Theres no other difference.
     
  10. tkarter

    tkarter

    Jan 1, 2003
    kansas
    The easy way to understand it think chords not modes. Communicate don't beat it to death. Think chords not modes. Worked for me and put me miles ahead of thinking about scales. Hear a chord play what works not at all hard to learn if you will.

    IMHO


    tk
     
  11. metalguy2

    metalguy2

    Dec 26, 2004
    Boston
    For the sake of soloing thinking in modes is probably alot more sound. I really think if I was thinking in modes when I was first learning music I would have come up with alot better basslines in the future and would have come alot farther along in understanding chords.
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    A bass line has to outline the chord progression or it is not really a bass line - it is just random noodling!! :meh:

    If you want to play melodies - these are almost always based on chord tones - in both cases it is about finding a smooth way through the chord changes!

    OK, so you can associate certain chords with certain modes/scales in context, based on their function in the sequence - but the best way to get anything meaningful going, is to listen to the chord sequence and get that sound in your head.

    You can't just choose random notes from a key - there are thousands of different possible combinations of chords which all sound different - hence the variety of music - not just 12 different keys!! :meh:
     
  13. jadesmar

    jadesmar

    Feb 17, 2003
    Ottawa, ON
    This makes no sense. I think you should feel free to ignore this advice.
     
  14. Panther

    Panther

    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia
    Bruce,

    What would you do then, based on the fact that it is open space, over an e minor chord?

    I was also suggested to me that E pentatonic minor was an excellent fit.....

    I just wanted to know what modes would work so I could SEE the spots on the fretboard that were available to me, and then go from there.
     
  15. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    the difference between g maj and e minor is in the sequence of half and whole steps.

    in a major scale the half steps occur between 3and 4 and 7and 8. in a pure minor scale the half steps occur between 2 and 3 and 5 and 6.

    your options for soloing are playing in e minor and also going to the relative major key as well as the parallel major key.
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well generally in Rock/Pop , Jazz Blues etc. there is always a chord sequence going on - which gives the tune its "sound".

    If we're still talking about a Brick in the Wall - then there are hundreds of guitar sites on the web which will tell you that the basic sequence is around C, Dm, F, G - but Rick Wright does add extra chords on keyboards in the guitar solo....:meh:
     
  17. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Where's the nonsense?
    min7 chords are based on the Dorian mode.
     
  18. jadesmar

    jadesmar

    Feb 17, 2003
    Ottawa, ON
    To begin with, the 6th of Em Dorian is not D#. A D# would generally sound chromatic/atonal against an Em7 ..

    Secondly, an Em7 chord consists of E-G-B-D or 1 - b3 - 5 - b7. Any mode containing those intervals would sound ok, some choices are better than others. If the chord progression modulates to G - C and D, a C# may (i.e. would likely) sound out of place.

    If there was an A major chord in the progression, I could possibly support your choice of an E dorian mode.

    The following modes would work over Emin7
    E-dorian
    E-phrygian
    E-aeolian

    In this case, the E-aeolian is pretty much where I would want to be.

    I do appreciate that you answered your own question however.
     
  19. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    My bad, I mean't C#. which is the major 6th. I don't know how I even thought it was D#. Although there is no real rule on whether the 6th is major or minor in a Xmin7 chord since it's not actually in the chord, the min7 chord is suposed to be a maj7 chord with a lowed 3rd and 7th. So when lowering the 3rd and 5th on the ionian mode, you get dorian. And in most songs, a dorian scale would be played over a Xmin7 chord. But there's no actual rule, since it's a chord which only contains a R, 3rd, 5th, and 7th.
     
  20. jadesmar

    jadesmar

    Feb 17, 2003
    Ottawa, ON
    For an Emin7 chord on it's own. I would agree with you, but there is more to the song.

    I believe the chorusy bits of the song in question modulate to G major. If that is the case, I would stick with C natural and help to define the E-aeolian/G-ionian sound, or just stick with E-minor pentatonic.. which we would both probably be happy with.