Should you always make the changes?

I fell in love recently with the song “For Your Precious Love” by Jerry Butler. However, I prefer the Ottis Redding version for loads of reasons but for a guitar player it’s easier because it is in C (until the key change to D) rather than being in Db like Butler’s. It follows a typical Doo Wop pattern (I, vi, IV, V). I tried soloing over it and Major Pentatonic sounded the best. My question is this: should I worry about “making the changes” like you would with blues or jazz soloing? Emphasizing the 3d in Amin would just be playing a C anyways because they’re enharmonic? A sounds fine over the F, but the B makes it sound too jazzy because of the major 7 sound. For me, I kept gravitating toward playing slow phrases, playing them the same twice and then changing up the phrase rather than thinking about the chord changes happening underneath.

For those of you who are seasoned soloists what are you thoughts when you’re soloing over more R&B and pop progressions instead of blues? Do you try and highlight the chord changes happening underneath like you would in blues and jazz or just simplify things?

Wish I could offer a credible suggestion, David.

The best I can do is ‘if it sounds good it is good’. Play how you feel inspired to play by the music.

Unless you are trying to be authentic, like an original, then maybe learn a solo for a suitable song and see how it works.

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Hi David,
That question is easy to answer… No, that’s not always necessary.
And sometimes not even wanted…
And if you’re only looking for an answer for that song you’re talking about…then I have no idea.

Edit: 2 Davids above :grin:

I agree with @roger_holland

I think the only time it becomes important is if there are chords that are not in the key such that something like minor pentatonic no longer works.

IMLE, the more you mess around with soloing over chord sequences in the key the more you tend to work out that certain notes work better over certain chords.



There’s no answer to that question because it’s purely a personal preference. What I would do is work on all of the possibilities for it (maybe just a few bars - enough to get the feel of it) and decide what you feel is best, if you can’t make your mind up then post it up for critique.

I agree you can get by using a mix of the major and minor pent in the same Key. But as Keith says out of Key chords might catch you out. But you’ll only likely be a semitone away from something that will fit. I would play over the piece and see what works. For example in a minor pent using the 2nd and 6th might be your escape route over certain chords. Experiment and focus on what sounded sour, then don’t go back there or bend them to something sweet !

My 2 cents.

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Sticking to the key is certainly not obliged but the more you borrow out of it, the more it will feel fase of course, especially “strong” ones like the third and fifth.

I have nog guitar with me to offer meaning and detailed guidance it you’re answering part of the question yourself as it seems you are listening to what you’re playing already and knowing what you (dis)like :smiley:

Unattached from your case:
When I’m stuck in finding some good phrasing, I grab to the root notes and think like a bass player for a minute, coming up with some passing notes. It often pulls me down while I’ve been noodling in the upper strings already quite long. That often creates a dynamic achieved with 0% rocket science but it makes it more interesting for the listener. I often try to get creative based on those passing notes by adding some notes on top and dropping ones that make it too cliché

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