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> Key & Solo
post Feb 4 2009, 06:04 AM
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The key of E (major) has three primary chords. They are E, A and B or B7. So While the rhythm is being played, the lead guitar player can do his solo using the E scale but could the lead guitar player also use the A scale and the B scale when the bass player and rhythm guitar are playing A chord and B chord? The song is still based on the key of E.
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Ramiro Delforte
post Feb 4 2009, 06:24 AM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understood that you asked two things.

1- Can I play A major and B major over a progression I-IV-V in E major?

2- If that's true would I still be in E major?

Answering to the first one.
Yes, you can do that but be aware that playing over those chords with their major scales add some extra notes to the E major key and sometimes those notes are taken as dissonance. In the case of A major the same four note chord is on the base (A-C#-E-G#) that would be an Amaj7 the difference with the same chord in the key of E major would be that in the A major you have the natural 11th while in the E major you have A lydian (raised 11th).
Regarding the B or B7 chord is much more complex because as it's the dominant and have the b7 when you play B major you have the major 7th and that note would be a dissonance against the B7 chord.

The second question
Yes, you would be in the same key. The jazz theory uses that concept of playing in other keys but you're just adding some extra notes (there are some jazz players like Jimmy Bruno who doesn't use that concept at all but he uses the same notes because he thinks them as some added notes). Those "extra notes" in the jazz theory are more easy to understand if we relate them with a key center. So, you're gonna still be in the key of E but you're adding some "tensions" to that key (it's a way to simplify the whole thing).

I hope that's what you've asked for.


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Muris Varajic
post Feb 4 2009, 10:47 AM
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There's actually one other approach used much more often,
it's Mixolydian over each chord,
E Mixo over E chord, A Mixo over A chord an B Mixo over B chord,
this gives you feel of 7th chords and kind a rocky mood.
All major scales for I-IV-V progression is rarely seen in popular music
but there are no prohibitions whatsoever,
if you like the sound of it, you should play it.
That's not gonna be entirely in key of E (Mixo approach above isn't as well)
cause you'll not be playing pure E scale all the time
but as Ramiro said, there are some ways specially in Jazz
when you're adding extra notes with more tension to each chord in progression.


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