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Thread: Trying to figure out some different approaches to solo over a weird chord progression

  1. #1
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Trying to figure out some different approaches to solo over a weird chord progression

    I have a weird chord progression that I'm trying to compose a solo over:

    Bm7 - Bdim - Em7 - B

    I've been able to kinda make the Bm pentatonic scale work across it by playing it straight across the Bm7 and Em7, throwing in the b5 over the diminished chord, and then swapping the b3 for a 3 on the B.

    Is there a better way to approach this from a theory standpoint?
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  2. #2
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trying to figure out some different approaches to solo over a weird chord progres

    Not sure if I have a better way, but with a chord progression that doesn’t fit neatly into a key you may just need to change scales/arpeggios (whatever your preferred approach) as the chords go by.
    It’s really tough to improvise that way (for me) but if you take some time to compose logically thought out lines and phrases, you should be successful.

    I like your idea of following the Bdim change by flatting he 5th. That could be an interesting choice here.
    The root and b3 are common to both Bm7 and Bdim so there are a couple of safe notes too.
    Playing the 7th(A) over the dim chord sounds pretty wild too. Lots of tension and anticipation.
    I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with...keep me posted.

  3. #3
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trying to figure out some different approaches to solo over a weird chord progres

    Another approach is to look at it from a different angle. I'd play it into a looper, and have it playing while you do some other things around the house. You will start 'hearing' some possibilities over the progression, and start singing some melodies. You can analyze what you came up with after the fact.
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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trying to figure out some different approaches to solo over a weird chord progres

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    Not sure if I have a better way, but with a chord progression that doesn’t fit neatly into a key you may just need to change scales/arpeggios (whatever your preferred approach) as the chords go by.
    It’s really tough to improvise that way (for me) but if you take some time to compose logically thought out lines and phrases, you should be successful.

    I like your idea of following the Bdim change by flatting he 5th. That could be an interesting choice here.
    The root and b3 are common to both Bm7 and Bdim so there are a couple of safe notes too.
    Playing the 7th(A) over the dim chord sounds pretty wild too. Lots of tension and anticipation.
    I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with...keep me posted.
    I'll see if I can record a clip this weekend to post to show you what I'm on about.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Another approach is to look at it from a different angle. I'd play it into a looper, and have it playing while you do some other things around the house. You will start 'hearing' some possibilities over the progression, and start singing some melodies. You can analyze what you came up with after the fact.
    That's a good idea, thanks! I'm not the best at converting what's in my head to actual notes on the guitar, so at least it'll be some extra practice in that area. :P
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  5. #5
    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trying to figure out some different approaches to solo over a weird chord progres

    Melodies or solo phrases don't need to neatly fall into every single chord in a progression; in fact, they rarely do in most modern music. For the first three chords, I'd probably just find something melodic in a simple minor or minor pentatonic/minor blues vein, and if at times I decided to use a 3 on the last chord, I'd make it a major 3, not a minor 3. It all really depends on what the feel and melody of the song is, though. Hard to suggest anything specific with just a list of chords.
    Last edited by ItsaBass; 04-03-2019 at 09:11 AM.
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