Breakdown of the chords, in a I IV V

rnbacademy.comrnbacademy.com Posts: 169Member
edited August 2016 in Technical or Theoretical Advice
 Hello friends.  Today I thought I'd visit something that I don't see discussed very often, and that is a breakdown of the chords, in a I IV V in terms of the scale tones we might see a typical player improvise with. Let's go with the key of A, and use the Am Pentatonic, a common choice over these kinds of blues chords.  The note names of this Pentatonic scale are: A C D E G   Over an A and then an A7,  (I) the intervals of this scale function as:R b3 (used as a passing tone) 4 5 and b7 Over D and then a D7: (IV) A C D E G the intervals of this scale function as:5 b7 R 9 11 Over an E and then E7 (V) A C D E G the intervals of this scale function as:11 b13 b7 R b3 (passing) As you can see, it's not a perfect fit, although we do have the D (root) The 5th, arguably the weakest of the stable notes, and the b7 if the chord is a D7.   The major 3rd is not given/represented. Over the E7, our choices aren't much better!  We have the Root and b7 and that's pretty much it, in terms of stable tones. We see then, a typical problem with understanding how to play and fit our usual scale, into a blues type I IV V.  What can we do, to make this kind of playing fit more into the pocket, given all the crazy outside notes (and lack of stable chord tones)? Maybe we can do the Major Pentatonic?    An analysis of the Major Pentatonic next time, over these chords. Till next time, play well. Sean www.rnbacademy.com  

Comments

  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator

    My understanding was that over the D, you are playing D, E, G, A, C, which is R, 2, 4, 5, and b7 and over the E, playing E, G, A, C, D, which is R, b3, 4, b6, and b7.

    Am I mistaken?

  • rnbacademy.comrnbacademy.com Posts: 169Member
    Originally Posted by Jocko:

    My understanding was that over the D, you are playing D, E, G, A, C, which is R, 2, 4, 5, and b7 and over the E, playing E, G, A, C, D, which is R, b3, 4, b6, and b7.

    Am I mistaken?

     

    Thanks for the comment!  Actually you are correct, in a sense, and your comment showed me where I had written something that was slightly off, and had some typos.  I try, but inevitably something unknowingly slips through.  Great catch, and I have since made the edits needed.  Thank you.

     

    As to your question about it being 2nd and 4ths, I could see that as well, it depends upon if you feel the note is a sus2 or sus4 function.  Certainly in blues we've all seen the 7sus chord (not as often the sus2) but there are plenty of 9th's in use.  So, to my ears it depends upon how you perceive the function of that interval.  In the case where you play what you might consider to be a 4th (with a Major 3rd in the chord, under it), I'd say you have a rather nasty sounding minor second clash of an 11th, and I think that's, more what I would tend to see it as.  The 3rd present means its not a sus4.

     

    For example, D F# A in my D major chord and I play the G as my lead.

     

    Does that make sense?

  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator

    Yes, I get that.  Looking forward to where this is going.

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