Originally Posted by: Mglambo
So my question...in this case since the 2 chords were back to back, should I have figured that those were the 4 and 5 chords and the key was A, even though there was no A (or root) ever played? Thanks!
Any time you are improvising (soloing) you should be aware of the key signature & the chord progression, then build melodies.
You can just solo over each chord as it occurs. And sometimes that's the only way to handle an unusual chord progression. For example, if one or more chords aren't in the same key signature.
So in this case it would have been fine to play D major pentatonic while the D was happening. But as soon as the E arrives it's time to adjust! For example, to E major pentatonic, or mixolydian.
Also, in that particular case just playing as if you are in the key of A major isn't going to work, because that's more of an ambiguous modal chord sequence that never resolves to a tonic. So maybe some blues licks in A major or minor pentatonic that outline the IV & V chords.
But that's a non-standard progression. It's best to know how to solo over a complete chord progression that has a full structure & resolves. Then you are better able to adjust to a special case like that one.
I have a whole series of tutorials on improvisation.
Introduction to Improvisation For Beginners
Improvisation in a Major Key
Improvisation in a Minor Key
Improvisation in a Major Key Series 2
Improvisation in a Minor Key Series 2
And these that focus on soloing over chord changes with blues licks might be helpful also!
Major Notes In Minor Pentatonic 1
Major Notes In Minor Pentatonic 2
Hope that helps! Please ask more if necessary! Best of success!
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