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> Beginner Theory, Trying to figure out what scales work for song...
USMarty
post Nov 14 2012, 08:01 PM
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Hey guys,

I am extremely new to theory and I've been trying to figure out how to determine what mode to use for chord progressions. Now, I know this is a HUGE topic and we can really get deep so I want to make it a little more specific.

Let's take the song "Hurt" - Johnny Cash version ( Don't worry I'm not out to bastardize the song, I'm just trying to apply theory to a specific instance)

Basic chord progression is Am, C, D, Am. Now if we wanted to create a little solo there I'm wondering what appropriate scales to use would be.

I've broken down the chords and put together that the Key is in G. (At least I hope I got that right...)

Basic understanding tells me an A minor pentatonic would fit. Is it also safe to assume staying in the G major scale works as well?

Secondly, what modes, and more importantly why, would fit in there? And would we change up the modes to match within the progression itself?

Thanks in advance.
-Matt

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Qenzoz
post Nov 14 2012, 09:49 PM
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A Minor Pentatonic would fit & A Dorian would also fit.

And yes the Ionian mode / Major key would be G - A Dorian second mode in the G Major scale smile.gif

Cheers!

Tobias


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Nov 15 2012, 03:49 PM
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As Quenzoz said, this progression is in A dorian mode. Those chord appear if you harmonize in thirds the notes of that mode. Be sure to focus on the notes (arpeggios/triads) of each chord that is sounding (when it sounds).


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The Professor
post Jan 28 2013, 09:12 AM
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QUOTE (USMarty @ Nov 14 2012, 07:01 PM) *
Secondly, what modes, and more importantly why, would fit in there? And would we change up the modes to match within the progression itself?

Thanks in advance.
-Matt


When you can work out a group of chords in one key, then you don't have to change the modes. So for Am C D, you can stick to the G major scale, or A Dorian (same notes) as was mentioned above.

Only when the song changes key do you need to change your mode. If it stays in one key you can stick to the related mode to create your solos.

So, being able to group chords into keys is an important skill as it will allow you to find the right mode for that key quickly and apply the proper mode on the go.


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