Big Trummors – The power of five chords

5 chords aka power chords are absolutely beautiful. They leave more options on what you play on top of them. As you probably know 5 chords are made of just the root and the fifth note. No thirds to make it major or minor. Some people say 5 chords are not really chords at all, it’s just the interval of five. I love power CHORDS!

Here’s a funny thing that happened with the solo of Big Trummors (from Mr. Fastfinger’s album). When I was working on the solo I automatically started playing on Aeolian mode / minor scale together with minor pentatonic scale ( with perhaps a hint of blues pentatonic).

G minor =  G – A – Bb – C – D – Eb – F – G

G minor pentatonic = G – Bb – C – D – F – G

It is no surprise I was thinking these scales because they fit perfectly with the chord progression. Chords clearly said that it’s a minor scale progression.

G5 – F5 – Eb – C5 – G5 – Bb – Eb – F5


I started working on the solo by doing little test improvisations. During the jams on top of the backing track I accidentally played the note of B when the chord progression was in the second G5 chord. Wow, that note sounded absolutely great and gave the solo a nice twist. So I definetly wanted to keep that note on the final solo. Later realized that playing that B on top of the G5 chord during this case actually gives to tonality of using Mixolydian flat 6 scale (The fifth mode melodic minor scale). That scale made an appearance for only a few seconds but made the whole solo feel more magical to me.

G minor = G – A – Bb – C – D – Eb – F – G

G mixolydian -6 =  G – A – B  – C – D – Eb – F – G

But what scales or I was using at that time was irrelevant. It sounded good to my ear and that was what really counted.

By the way the whole chord progression is the following:

G5 – F5 – Eb – C5 – G5 – Bb – Eb – F5

G5 – F5 – Eb – C5 – G5 – Bb – C5 – D5

Here’s the first solo from “Big Trummors” transcribed for you.

The audio of that first solo:
Mr. Fastfinger – Big Trummors – Solo1 clip

Now here’s an extended backing track for the solo part.

Mr. Fastfinger – Big Trummors – Jam backing

Hope you enjoy jamming to it and try out improvise your own stuff. Try out the magic of playing that B note instead of Bb (Mixolydian flat 6) on those (bolded) G5 moments. I think we should definetly check out Mixolydian flat 6 and other modes of melodic minor scales soon here.

The moral of the story: Always play the notes that sound good to you. No matter if you think you’re in or out of the scale you’re supposed to play. If it sounds good, it is good!

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1 Comment

  1. Mika wrote:
    Very good Mr. Tsuken!
    Yes. B would be the major 3rd (with G as the root note). Most of the time major 3rd wouldn’t sound good at all together with a minor scale chord progression. But as you hear when you drop this note just in right place it makes the magic and nice twist. Good luck. Keep your ears open!
    If you listen to the whole song. You will actually hear that the main theme (initially played with synth sounds) also swaps between major and minor thirds.
    09/11 2:59:41 PM

    tsuken wrote:
    That B natural makes such a difference! Fantastic idea, I’ll start integrating that into my playing, I think. 8)
    06/11 9:03:26 PM