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E-G-D-C chord progression

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  • E-G-D-C chord progression

    in Soma by the smashing pumpkins (A-C-G-F)and "polly" by nirvana they use this progression a lot... and sometimes it sounds like it's lets say

    E-G-D-C chord progression... should one solo in E minor or G major
    like what key is it in?

    darling nikki by prince also uses a weird chord progression like that where the verse is like B-G-E-B-F#
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  • #2
    if you are implying that all the chords are major chords, as in: E major, G major, D major and C major, then you can see that G,D and C are all in one key and E is in another... E would be coming from E major, obviously, and the rest are from G major, or E minor (the relative minor of G major).

    Hence, I would deduce that you would play an E Major scale for the first chord (E,F#,G#,A,B,C#,D#) then flatten 3 of those notes to get E minor (E,F#,G,A,B,C,D,).

    Simple enough, no??
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    • #3
      E-G-D-C all major chords ... or do you mean Emin- G-D-C?

      That progression I hear the most often in songs like you stated is with the E chord as minor. If that is the case I would approach that as E minor (G major is the same notes) but the home tone just feels like E to me as opposed to G.

      I find sometimes you can over complicate the "what key is it in" question. Play the progression and just listen to it. What chord just sounds like home in the progression.

      Or it is what note is either played the most, begun or ended on. Stuff like that. You should be able to sense the key most of the time
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      • #4
        Even if it's an E major, generally in a rock setting, you can get away with treating it like an E7 in blues and solo over the E with an Emin Pentatonic kinda thing. Just when you hit the E chord you need to honor the G#.

        That being said, keeping in mind the E maj scale that Prof described would definitely add some melodic interest.
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        • #5
          in Soma by the smashing pumpkins (A-C-G-F)and "polly" by nirvana they use this progression a lot... and sometimes it sounds like it's lets say

          E-G-D-C chord progression... should one solo in E minor or G major
          like what key is it in?

          darling nikki by prince also uses a weird chord progression like that where the verse is like B-G-E-B-F#


          In addition to analyzing the chords to figure out what key to play in, take a look at the melodies and solo that the artists are using on these tunes. If you use the same notes (scales) they are using you'll cop the same vibe.

          Example:

          Hendrix version of Hey Joe:

          Chords: C, G, D, A, E

          All major. They don't 'fit' into any one key. Yet Hendrix primarily uses just E minor pentatonic over it and it sounds fine.

          You could come up with a key switching solution also that would sound great, although it probably wouldn't sound Hendrixy, if that was what you were after.
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