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Which Key, Wich Scale- Am G F G

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Postby WatchTower » January 3rd, 2009, 8:42 pm

One doubt rised while studing "Turning scales into solos", and again, when looking at "Three's a Crowd".
It has been a long way:
1- When deciding to play a minor pentatonic on a progression in the key of C (1.b is there anything like a Cminor progression or a minor Key?), will I play "A minor penta" or "C minor penta"? A "A minor" sounds definitely better but while I'm asking it occurs to me that… actually I'm playing a "C Major penta" :? . So when and how do I choose a minor pentatonic? How are they related?
2- In order to translate the Am G F G progression (a Dylan's famous) into Power Chords, I tried as usual to find out wich pentatonic could be played as solo, "A minor penta" seemed the answer but since there were no such chords in a Key A, I came out with a Key C = Am G F G. Hum… is anybody following?
Why power chords then? Because http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGnNbI97 ... re=related!
If David Hodge is around… Thanks.
ps. Well, is this correct: vi IV V IV?
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Postby NoteBoat » January 4th, 2009, 1:14 am

1. Taking 1b first, yes - you can make a progression in any key. A I-IV-V in C minor would be Cm, Fm, G (or G7 etc).

Now for 1a...

The key of C has the notes C-D-E-F-G-A-B. The A pentatonic minor has the notes A-C-D-E-G, so all the notes are also in the key of C; you won't have any conflicts. The C pentatonic minor has notes C-Eb-F-G-Bb, so you have conflicts on E/Eb and B/Bb.

But those conflicts are typical of blues music... so using the C pentatonic minor gives you a bluesy sound, and using A pentatonic minor gives you more of a country type sound. Either one works.

Now for a small technical detail - there are lots of different minor scales. The A natural minor has notes A-B-C-D-E-F-G - exactly the same notes as C major. What makes a scale major or minor is the tonal center - the note the melody revolves around, and resolves to. So if you're using the notes of A pentatonic minor over a C major progression, your ear is probably leading you to use the C major pentatonic scale (C-D-E-G-A), which has exactly the same notes as A pentatonic minor!

2. If you're using chords Am-G-F, you have notes A-C-E (Am), F-A-C (F) and G-B-D (G). Line them all up and you have A-B-C-D-E-F-G... which is the key of Am (or C major). So A pentatonic minor would work. If you use power chords for all of them, you have A5 (A-E), F5 (F-C) and G5 (G-D) which makes A-C-D-E-F-G. All the same notes except B - which isn't in the A pentatonic minor anyway - so it still works.

For the PS, you generally have a I chord in the progression somewhere. That sets the key you're in and gives you the tonal center. If you're in Am, it would be i-bVII-VI-bVII. If you're in G, it would be ii-I-bVII-I. Not sure what that has to do with Womanizer, though... because that's got a lot of chromatic chord motion
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Postby WatchTower » January 5th, 2009, 5:39 pm

NoteBoat wrote:For the PS, you generally have a I chord in the progression somewhere. That sets the key you're in and gives you the tonal center. If you're in Am, it would be i-bVII-VI-bVII. If you're in G, it would be ii-I-bVII-I. Not sure what that has to do with Womanizer, though... because that's got a lot of chromatic chord motion


Quite precious your help but for the one above I guess I should read your book :wink:

Can Am G F G be the progression vi IV V IV in the key of C?
Since there's no I it's more probably i bVII VI bVII in the key of Am / or ii I bVII I in the key of G?

I know that with the formula W W H W W W H I'll get a major scale and the chords related to it , I ii iii IV V vi vii.
With W H W W H W W I'll build a minor scale but is there any formula to find out if the related chords are minor or major? Because in your exemple above it appears i and a bVII. Could it be something like i ii III IV v vi VII?
Anyway the song is All Along The Watchtower and I don't know if I'll play it better if I go on asking and asking. But I'm still curious… about Womanizer well check this one http://www.guitartutee.com/b/britney-sp ... womanizer/ it's just power chordish although I adore the other.
Have a great 09 and thanks.
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Postby Fretsource » January 5th, 2009, 7:14 pm

WatchTower wrote:I know that with the formula W W H W W W H I'll get a major scale and the chords related to it , I ii iii IV V vi vii.
With W H W W H W W I'll build a minor scale but is there any formula to find out if the related chords are minor or major?

The relative (natural) minor has exactly the same set of chords but shifted along 6 places
Key C = C maj Dmin E min F maj G maj Am Bdim
Key Am = Am Bdim C maj D min E min F maj G maj

Exactly the same chord set!
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