Step 4 Using The Scales
For some chord sequences you might get away with using just
one of the two scales ( see lesson 1 ) exclusively but normally you have to
switch between the two scales depending on which part of the sequence you are
In this example I have recorded a basic A minor run down chord sequence
| Am / / / | G / / / | F / / / | E / / / |
and then improvised some lead over the top.
I have tabbed out the lead line for reference but the point is not to learn what I have played but to improvise your own lines using the techniques already discussed.
I have put a second soundfile, with the chords only, for you to play along with.
Let's look at the four chords.
On A minor either scale is O.K.
On G use the Natural Minor only.
On F either scale is O.K.
On E use the Harmonic Minor only.
Basically if the chord has a G note in it use the Natural Minor and if the chord has a G# note in it use the Harmonic Minor - for all other chords either scale is O.K. (experience and taste ultimately tell you which to use )
Like many areas of music there are no hard and fast rules here but avoid having a G note and a G# note together in the same phrase - use one or the other.
I personally like to use the harmonic minor quite a lot and switch to the natural minor when it is required - but again this would very much depend on the actual sequence.
The chords to play along with