Have you ever asked yourself what scale do I play over all these chords. This can seem very intimidating if you don't know a little music theory. Say we had a progression using the chords D-7 | C | E-7 | A-7 what scale would you play over it? My choice would simply be the C Major Scale. Why you ask?
If you look at the progression above you will need to figure out what key your in in. If you know ahead of time this makes it
easier but, sometimes it doesn't work out. Jamming at a Jam Night is a good example!
No matter if your a beginner or a pro you should always be on your toes and know what to play over what progression(s) etc.
Of course this takes time but is well worth the effort. The best way I learned is start off with the first chord in the progression which is D-7. Now you have to ask yourself what key does D-7 (D minor 7) fall in?
The obvious answer is C major and the chords in the key of C are C,D-,E-, F-, G7, A- B-7b5 so D - 7 is the Minor II chord in the key.
D - 7 is also in the key of F which is a
Minor VI ( F,G-,A-,Bb,C7,D-,E-7b5 )
Now there are more, D-7 is the 3rd chord in the key of Bb Major etc...You get the point.
The next thing we need to do is eliminate what keys where not dealing with.
The progression above has the chord D - 7 which can be C,F,Bb etc., but if you look at the next chord which is C We can eliminate Bb because C minor falls in that key not C major which leaves us the key(s) of F major and C major.
Now go to the next chord which is E-7. This is the third chord in the key of C "AH HA"
In the key of F (A - minor) is the third chord so thats how we came up with C Major.
It's recommended to learn some basic chord,scale theory (music theory) which can be obtained right here at The Guitar Files.It is a good idea to get the Major scale down and know how the chords are layed out within the key.
For example in the Key of C the layout would be C,D-,E-, F-, G7, A- B-7b5
The theory stays the same only the key changes. So if you where to play in the key of D The Chords in the key of D would be D,E-,F#-,G,A7,B-,C#-7b5.
Practice this in all keys and record different progressions and see if you can play one scale over it without moving around like your lost. Believe me this is what your solos will sould like ("Your searching for that good note") Be ahead of the game and practice these simple steps and you will be amazed how easy soloing can be.