Is it necessary to use only notes and chords that belong in a specific scale?



Asked by: Will Wingfield

TL;DR: No. You can use anything you like, as long as it sounds good to you. You can use many scales or not use any; you can use chords from some scale or use chords outside that scale. Just experiment with the theory knowledge you have and you’ll see that the rules are made to be broken.

Do chords depend on the scale?





“Chords have different notes on different scales” is not true. (It’s sometimes true that we might give the same chord different names in different keys though). But “different scales (or keys) have different chords” is true.

Do all notes have to be in scale?

You can even use notes that AREN’T in the scale, while still being firmly ‘in E major’. A blues player might linger on G natural. A bebop jazzer might enjoy featuring B flat. It’s wide open.

Do chords have to be in the same scale?

In your average chord progression, most of the time all of the notes will stay in the scale that correlates with the key of your song. If the song is in G major, your chords will contain notes that are found in that scale- G major, C major, D major, E minor, A minor, B minor.

What scales to use with what chords?

This means you can play any scale over a chord, if that scale contains the root, 3rd and 7th of the chord. For example, you can use any scale with a C, E and B in it over a CMaj7 chord, even if it doesn’t contain a G.



Omitting and Changing Notes.

Scale Degrees Comments
Blues scale 1 ♭3 4 #4 5 ♭7 ♭3 = #2 = #9 Omits 3

How scales and chords work together?





Scales and chords are interrelated. There are two sides of the same coin. A scale is a horizontal representation of a particular collection of notes and is built up in 2nds; A chord is a vertical representation of that same collection of notes and is built in 3rds.

How do you know what scale to use in a chord progression?

Major sixth within a major pentatonic scale we have the notes that make a major chord with two additional notes these two additional notes are very safe to use because we find them in most scales.

Do songs use multiple scales?

Yes, this is done routinely. Also, you might have C# minor for one part of the song and then E major for another part of the song. Quite a lot of music uses key changes like that – i.e., changing scales in the middle of a song.

Do you have to play scales in order?

It cannot be just any group of notes in any order, because even playing a scale down changes the distances between the notes. For example, a major scales has the following pattern of whole steps and half steps: W W H W W W H.

How do you mix chords and scales?

And in a cool way I think and apply to each of these scale degrees some scale shapes and if we blend both together we'll be able to create that.



How do I choose a scale for a song?

Deciding on a Scale for Composition

  1. use the scale I default to in my head which is C minor.
  2. use a scale based on a mood.
  3. improvise freely in a random scale (that is also many times C minor or some other minor)
  4. choose a scale according to a plan.
  5. find an exotic scale if I want something special like Egyptian or Japanese.


How do you know what scales to use?

How To Always Know What Scales To Use



  1. Find the key. To find the key of the song, ask someone around you or just assume that the last chord in the song is the number one chord in the key. …
  2. Find the root note. Then go to your low E-string and find the root note. …
  3. Find the scale.


How do I choose the right scale?

So if you happen to know scales that reflect the key of a minor like the a minor pentatonic scale or the a natural minor scale or some other scales that we'll get into in this video.

What comes first chords or scales?

You need the note to build the scale. You need the scale to build the chords. Once you can visualize that, you have something to grow on. So, having a note is easy but as soon as you add another note to it, things get more complex.

How are notes and chords related?

A note is a single sound while a chord is a group of sounds played simultaneously. Notes denote duration and pitch of a sound while chords denote harmony. Notes contribute to the melody whereas chords contribute to the harmonic structure of the melody.



How many chords are in a scale?

In western music chords are traditionally built by using every other note beginning on each scale degree – giving you a choice of 7 diatonic chords in a Major scale. The formula to make a Major scale is the same for every single Major key. The I, IV, and V are the only major chords in a traditional major scale.

How do I choose chords for a song?

Chords need to do 2 things: 1- Support the melody, and 2- establish and reinforce the key.

  1. Sing your melody over and over, and establish the key. …
  2. Determine a harmonic rhythm that works. …
  3. Once you’ve chosen a basic harmonic rhythm, find a chord that fits most of the notes within that number of beats.

What’s the difference between chords and scales?

If you see a guitarist strumming all of the strings, they’re playing a chord. If you see a guitarist playing one string, and moving their fretting hand to change the notes, they’re playing notes in a scale.

What guitar chords should I learn first?

The first chords to learn on guitar are Em, C, G, and D. Let’s get started in “first position” or “open chords.” These chords are played close to the nut and utilize a number of open strings. The next chord you should learn is C, or C major. For this chord, you only need to strum the top five, highest-sounding strings.



Can I self teach myself guitar?

While a guitar teacher can help, it isn’t the only option. You can effectively learn guitar by yourself if you follow the right resources. There are some aspects of learning guitar that are easier when you have a teacher but it is possible to learn guitar completely by yourself.

What is the hardest guitar chord?

The six-string F chord is one of the hardest standard chord shape to play on the guitar. When many people try to play the F chord on guitar (and often succeed) it’s with far too much struggle and effort than is actually necessary. Even extremely influential guitarists can have a hard time with barre chords.