Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Had a funny theory moment with a student


A student asked me about soloing over the changes G E7 Am7 D7… The following explanation just kinda flopped out of my mouth… I posted it on FB… what I didn’t post was the moment of silence that followed with my student and I breaking out in laughter at the nerdiness of it all…

Working with a student on soloing over jazz versions of chords 1625 as in G major 7 followed by E7 Followed by Am7 followed by D7. First we soloed over the caged versions of these cords, but that is kind of confusing as the changes go by every four beats. This gives you an awful lot to think about when the point of soloing is not thinking. So we broke it down basically if this were a diatonic 1625 it would be G major followed by E minor followed by A minor followed by D major. The only chord that’s been changed up is the E minor becoming an E Major, correct? Enter Mr. music theory… let the nerdiness begin…

“The only difference between an E minor chord and an E major chord is the G natural in the E minor chord to the G sharp in the E major chord. SOOOOO…… Rather than trying to keep track of what form you’re playing out of over each chord, why don’t we just play the G pentatonic scale which is what you do in the diatonic version ( G Em Am D) but every time the E chord comes by, target the G sharp note. That is - target the note that is the outlier. So stay in the G pentatonic scale where ever you want to on the neck of your guitar just be able to identify that one special note (G sharp) when you get the E chord, and you will sound so sophisticated… which is why we play the guitar, right?”
This was followed by:
“Or you could just forget all about the G# and go ahead and play the straight-up G Pentatonic scale, and if you hit a G natural over the E7 chord, make a guitar-face”


Bend it!