4

I've written a song that's based largely around G major, with some C major parts. However, the G major progression utilizes a B7 chord, so it sits outside a normal G major scale.

I've heard lots of songs take the vi chord and turn it into a 7 as well.

I'm wondering how to approach writing leads over this or improvising over it. Is there a scale that typically fits well with this? Or should I just spend time figuring out how to adapt a the G major scale when the B7 hits, so I slide some of the? fingers down a half step?

2

You are just using the dominat chord of E minor which is the relative minor or V/vi if you were looking at it in Roman numeral analysis.

When improvising you would most likely use a variant of the E harmonic minor scale. One you could use is B Phygian Dominant which is the 5th mode of the harmonic minor scale. These scales are very related to the G major scale and the only note diffrent will be the D will be raised to a D#.

For the vi chord if it's just a minor 7th chord as I think you are describing you can just use the G major scale. However if is a dominant 7th which in the key of G would be an E7 you could look at it a few diffrent ways. It could be taking you to Am which in that case you could use a mode of the A harmonic minor to improvise similar to the B7 above.

2

Assuming that after the B7 you return to chords in G major, as Dom mentioned, the ear normally likes the minimum number of note differences.

If you are doing pop/rock type of music, I would suggest the E ascending melodic minor scale, { E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D# } to keep the number of new notes at a minimum while avoiding the minor third leap between C and D#. Just in case there is any confusion, ascending melodic minor scales may be played ascending or descending!

Style is another consideration. Harmonic minor scales have a leap of a minor third, which you may or may not want.

In modal jazz and serious music, the composer/improvisor may sometimes wish to stay on a chord for a while, treating it like a "harmonic island", and try to use a scale or mode that differs as much as possible.

1

There are loads of tunes that do just this. The B7 either goes straight to a C, or goes 'round the houses' up in 4ths via E, to A, to dominant D, back home to G. Music tends to gravitate a semitone so going to C does just that. Or, it'll move in 4ths, as in the oft quoted ii-V-I in jazz. That B7 as suggested in another answer, will move to the relative minor, Em. Notes to be used will basically be from G/Em

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.