Lead & Solo Help

Lead & Solo Help

Postby WSPHead » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:29 pm

I have been working on figuring out lead parts for a song I wrote. So far I have just playing the single notes of the chords in the song all over the neck of the guitar. I have added a walk up from F# to A in the verse, but that’s it. Any suggestions on other things to try, or how to figure out a good solo part over the bridge? Thanx!

The song goes

Verse F#m A E F#m

Bridge C#m E B A F#m
C#m E F#m A B
C#m E B A F#m
C#m E F#m A B
B A F#m


:D
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Postby strumminsix » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:13 pm

Well I'd start off by deciding if you are gonna play through the changes or over the change.

Through (aka playing the changes) would be that you are changing scales to match the chord being played.

Over would be that you are playing a single scale over all the chords and in this case either A, E or C#m should work very well.
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Postby Crazy 9.5 Fingers » Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:15 pm

All of the chords in both the verse and the chords are in the key of E Major (E Ionian). You will be happy to know that this makes soloing a relative breeze as you can play one scale and as the chords change, the mood of the notes change with it. I am not sure how you are with your theory but you can think of Me and My Uncle. The chords in the first few lines of the verse are E minor to G. Jerry can run on the E minor pentatonic scale which has the same notes as the G major pentatonic scale and as the chords change underneath his runs, the mood goes from happy to dark. Much the same for Dark Star and the A Mixolydian scale which is the same as E dorian, a relative minor of A Mixo. "Dark Star crashes...". The ethereal mood for the first two lines of the song are the sound of A mixolydian. When the lyric goes to "Searchlight casting.." the mood takes a definite shift towards the dark and evil which is really just Phil changing the root note from A to E. Jerry can still play the same notes but now they have a totally different mood.

For your tune the key is E major more specifically, E Ionian so your choices for soloing in that key are E Ionian and all the relative scales in that key such as F# Dorian and so on. If you aren't cool with the 7 tone scales, you can use pentatonics. The one that will work the best is A major pentatonic which is the same as F# minor pentatonic. The tones you are looking for are all there for every chord in your tune. You might want to think of it in terms of F# minor pentatonic as that is where your verse lines begin and end. Here is a decent link for some scales in case you aren't familiar with them. Good luck.

http://www.berm.co.nz/guitar/E.html
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Postby wisedyes » Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:39 pm

Playing off of and embellishing the sung melody line is always a safe bet. To papraphrase the late, great Joe Pass, you shoud always be able to sing/hum your lines. He always said that if you couldn't hum back the line you just played, then it really wasn't worth playing anyway.

A nice, melodic line is always more memorable than just guitaristic wanking, is what he was trying to get at, I think.
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Postby tigerstrat » Fri Jul 07, 2006 5:04 pm

Crazy 9.5 Fingers wrote: When the lyric goes to "Searchlight casting.." the mood takes a definite shift towards the dark and evil which is really just Phil changing the root note from A to E. Jerry can still play the same notes but now they have a totally different mood.


Good post, except I think you mean it shifts over to Em on the "Reason tatters", or 2nd line of the verse. On "Searchlight" it returns to emphasis of the A... usually.
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Postby caspersvapors » Fri Jul 07, 2006 6:48 pm

nice post Fingers
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Postby Crazy 9.5 Fingers » Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:42 pm

Yes, "Reasons...". My bad. I knew I should have double checked before I posted, then again, I am a pot head. Either way, great friggin' tune. The funniest thing I ever heard at a Dead show was from a very loud drunk guy a few rows behind me at Giants Stadium 1992. Coming out of space, every one is quiet trying to call the next tune and he screams "PLAY DARK STAR YOU FAT FUCK!"
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