IMPROVISATION


maramba.federico24
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Joined: 02/07/22
Posts: 11

Just a quick question, in a Am-C-F-G progression can i target only the chord tone of the key throughout the progression because the chord is changing very fast 2 beats each chord.

or should i target the chord tone of each chord as it change?

Please advise what would be the best approach to soloing for the above progression.


# 0
DraconusJLM
Registered User
Joined: 06/21/21
Posts: 360

C major or A minor pentatonic scale notes would work ( same notes, different root); same applies to C major or A minor scale; or you could just target some of the chord tones.

I think your ears would tell you if something wasn't working, so try various options (you could even throw in a mass of notes that don't fit the scale in order to build tension before settling on the root note of whatever chord is being played at that point.


I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

# 2
maramba.federico24
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Joined: 02/07/22
Posts: 11

Thanks for your advise, may be i can use a note outside of the scale and use it as a passing tone to land on the target chord tone.


# 3
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,857

This collection of tutorials is aimed at improvisation.

https://www.guitartricks.com/collection/learning-to-improvise

Originally Posted by: maramba.federico24

Just a quick question, in a Am-C-F-G progression can i target only the chord tone of the key throughout the progression because the chord is changing very fast 2 beats each chord.

or should i target the chord tone of each chord as it change?

[p]In that case the focus should be on creating melodic statements using the key signature scale. In this case A minor or C major.

However, it's almost always possible to target chord tones even if in some minimal way. Making slow phrases you could play the 1st, 3rd or 5th of each chord as 2 quarter notes, or even 1 half note!

You could start a quick line of 1/8th or 1/16th notes on the 1st, 3rd, or 5th of each chord when it's happening. And that gets you 4 or 8 notes per chord.

You could use sweep picking to outline each chord very quickly! Regardless, if you target them or not you should definitely build melodic phrases.

Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 4
maramba.federico24
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Joined: 02/07/22
Posts: 11

Thanks very much Chris..very soon I will start practising sweep picking but for now I am still doing moderate speed picking to ensure starting and landing note is within the chord tone as chord change.


# 5
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,857

You're welcome!

Originally Posted by: maramba.federico24

very soon I will start practising sweep picking but for now I am still doing moderate speed picking to ensure starting and landing note is within the chord tone as chord change.

Keep in mind that it's fine to vary your phrasing enough that chord tones don't happen exactly as the first or last note of a phrase. Or even rhythmically line up exactly with when a chord happens.

In the end, melodic phrasing is the goal. And learning the scale, targeting chord tones are just tools in the process of developing musical phrases. They are not ends in themselves. They are often a helpful step in the process when learning to improvise. And often when you break down & learn a lick you like you'll find that the scale of the key signature along with references to chord tones are part of the structure.

Sometimes you will find chromatic approach tones (outside notes, outside of the scale), or rhythmic shifts that push chord tone references to the next bar or chord! And as long as that results in a good sounding melodic phrasing, then it works.

Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 6