Using The Scale And Targeting Chord Tones

Now we're ready to put all these ideas together! We know the key or scale to use. We know the chord tones and when they happen. Now we're going to combine those two and use the scale while at the same time targeting chord tones.

So, we'll play the first 5 notes of the major scale starting on C (c-d-e-f-g) straight up in 1/8th notes, then back down, then holding the C for the next measure. This gives a handy way to play the scale while emphasizing the notes c, e, and g because those are the notes of the C major chord. So, likewise when the A minor chord is happening, you still play the C major scale but emphasize the notes a, c, and e (the notes of the A minor chord). To emphasize the notes in this case means to rhythmically stress them, to play those notes on the strong beats (1 and 3) or start and/or end licks on those notes. You can use all the notes of the C major scale, you just emphasize the chord tones of the chord that is currently happening. When the chord progression moves to the next chord, then change your emphasizing to reflect that next chord!

So, when the chord progression moves to the next chord, then change your emphasizing to reflect that next chord.and to be aware of what chord is happening at any given time during the progression and target the chord tones of the chord that is happening at the time in the music.

The A minor chord is next, so let's start on the note A, using the C major scale notes and create the same kind of pattern (a-b-c-d-e), up and down in 1/8th notes, holding the A at the end for the next measure.

Using the same phrasing gives us an immediately convenient way to unify or integrate these two phrases. We are building a similar sound pattern, or musical phrase, just changing the notes in order to suit the chord progression.

Next, is the F major chord in the progression. Use the notes (f-g-a-b-c). Again, we are looking to target and emphasize the notes of the F major chord in the C major scale. Finally, during the G major chord use the notes (g-a-b-c-d).

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