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Scales and Their Chords

by JazzMaverick

17 Oct 2008
Views: 28012

This is my suggestion to some decent chords (or typical) which work well over these scales. I encourage all of you to try your own chords, too. But make sure they keep to the rule of the note! E.g. don't play a minor chord over a major note in a key.

Take this slowly, as not all of you are ready to learn this stuff. Please don't rush ahead! As boring as some stuff may be, rushing ahead will be your downfall. Understand everything and how it works before you move on.


Unfortunately, I cannot insert the "natural" symbol. I will show you what it looks like in this picture:

Since I can't insert it in the lesson, I will put (n) instead.


I Maj7
II m7
III m7
IV Maj7
V Dom7
VI m7
VII m7b5 ()

Harmonic Minor

I m(n)7
II m7b5
bIII Maj7#5/b5
IV m7
V Dom7#5
VI m7b5
VII Dom7b5/#5 b9/#9


Diminished on each tone.

Whole Tone

7b5/#5 on each tone.


I Maj7#11
II Dom7
III m7#5
#IV m7b5
V Maj7
VI m7
VII Dom7b9 11

Lydian Augmented

I Maj7#5
II Dom7b5
III Dom7#5
#IV m7#5
#V Dom7#5/b5 #9/b9
VI m(n)7
VII Dom7b9/#9 11

Lydian Diminished

I m(n)7b5
II Dom7b9b5
bIII Maj7b5
#IV m7b5
V Maj7#5
VI Maj7b5
VII Dom7#5/b5 #9/b9

Lydian Blues

I Dom7b5
bIII m7
III m7b5
IV m7
#IV 7b5
V m7 11
bVII 7 11

As I already said, take your time with each of these. Music takes YEARS! Don't rush ahead. :)


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honestly i didnt really get any of this, i get intimidated by the Dom7b5/#5 b9/#9 and all the diff chords you could use. it would be better if it was simplifed without the 7th.


This is beyond your skill right now man, don't look at this, just focus on the major, harmonic minor and melodic minor scales. Once you've analysed those, this should be easier to understand.

Jumping ahead is always a drawback and will leave you in the dark for so many things, music is a long process and it's so important to take it step by step.


This is was a great refresher man...


huhuhu! :sob: i don't know how to read this.. i want to learn in scaling.


Backtrack my friend :) If this is difficult you should go back and study the scales that I've listed. This lesson is basically explaining the chords which can be used in each scale and what works well for each mode within that scale.

For now you should work on the scales and try and study the modes within them.

Music is a long process! You need patience :D


lol random, can you give me a good key to play metal with? i wanna make some of m own stuff


Well, I don't see anything wrong with these keys, it's totally down to what tone you're trying to show and what you like to hear though, so i can't be too detailed. But basically you can create any song from any key you want.


Am, Bmaj and Em are very commen metal keys.




if you really want to be metal try to take a key that isn't metal of itself and try making it metal.


Metal is mostly made up of minor, harmonic minor, etc like Dm, Gm, the actual letter can be whatever (A-G)


Wrong... maybe the metal you listen to, 2jpe2, is baised off of minor chords and scales... but they're not ALL based on that... any single chord can be used in Metal - the fact that you're limiting yourself to only a few chords is very dissapointing.


Still, a load of metal songs are minor. But interesting thought Jazz. Can you suggest any metal songs not in a minor key? (except for some Van Halen style major progressions?) im really interested in that.


Trivium's new album, "Shogun" is pretty much all in Bb major (or B major I forgot, to be honest). I am sure there are more, but that is the only one I can think of off the top of my head. I know COB writes a lot of their songs in Major keys.

Jazz is right, you can't limit yourself just because you want to play a certain genre. True, many, many metal songs are written in minor keys and contain minor elements, but that is no reason for YOU to do that too. It's all about resolution and feeling.

Metal and Classical are very closely related... How many classical pieces do you know written in a Major key? And how many do you know written in a minor key? Beethoven's Symphony's No. 3 and No. 5 are in Ebm and Cm, respectively, while his Symphony No 7 is in A.

Metal is very much the same. There is no defining tonality for metal, minor or major - it makes no difference.

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