Rev_Roach wrote:I find myself in the same situation a lot too. Wanting to stray more from the straight pentatonic melody but having a hard time making it work. You can tell Jerry obviously uses more than 5 notes. Situation is pretty common, definitely not just w/ BEW. A couple others from the top of my head are TLEO and Second that Emotion
The "missing" two major scale notes are the 4 and 7 (A and D#), and it seems logical to me to use the 4 over the IV chord (A) and 7 over the V (B), and of course passing tones too. Unfortunately, I have a hard time translating these ideas into practice without losing the feel of the great melody.
You got any suggestions? I know its a vague question but any help would be great. I feel like this is my main roadblock in lead playing right now.
I suppose that's the 64k question.
I'd say (if you don't already) try and lean on the notes of the chord triad you're playing over to begin and end phrases. I know I'm like a broken record with this, but to me it's a good way to give lead lines a chordal feel, thus, I don't want to say a more melodic feeling/flow, but at least one that more intimately relates to the chord progression.
So over C#m - C#, E, Ab
E - E, B, Ab
B - B, Eb, F#
A - A, C#, E
So we have E-F#-Ab-A-B-C#-Eb
This is exactly as you stated - E maj pentatonic with the 4 (A) and the 7 (D# or Eb) or E Ionian.
Note: slight miscue below- edit - added the 2nd E on the ionian line - I extended the scale and forgot the 2nd E
E Maj Pent--E-F#-Ab---B-C#
B Maj Pent------------B-C#-Eb---F#-Ab
A Maj Pent----------A-B-C#-Eb---F#
Sometimes laying it out like this helps me think.
Sometimes I'll play straight pentatonic licks over the respective chords - E over E & C#m, A over A, and B over B.
I'll add some chromatic runs, usually only short three note runs.
Additions to E maj Pent:
A, G (flat 3rd), D (flat 7th)
often you can do some 3 note runs up to and down to a note in the chord triad as you change from one chord to the next, for instance;
E-F-F# when going from E to B etc.
Another edit below: forgot the E as an added note to the B pent scale.
Additions to B maj Pent:
E (4th of B maj), D (flat 3rd), A (flat 7th)
same relative chromo runs
Additions to A maj Pent:
Ab, C (flat 3rd), G (flat 7th)
Same relative chomo runs
You can also do some 4 note runs between the 3rd to the 5th though I don't really do them for this song.
So I hope this helps some.
Honestly, for me the another big thing is getting a feeling for complementary phrasing. That is having a following phrase say something that fits in relation to the previous phrase - a resolving that encompasses more than one phrase.
I think this goes a long way to creating a good flow. Getting a feel for intervals and practice is the only way to get this going in a meaningful way, to me anyway.