How to find a solo scale when the standard scales don't work

Hi pals

As you know, I always try to find (new) ways to do solos with the help of Scaler

I found that if I use the embedded Songs and Scales, finding then the right root note for solos is easy, but if I use Suggest and other tricks deeply, I am often unable to find the right scale for solos, I don’t know why, so I often try Ableton Scales by ear and trial & error, but it is a cumbersome and boring process

Now I found a better way

Here is the Scaler that I used to drive the accompaniment

Scaler-State_2024-02-28_002921.xml (13.6 KB)

I then used a second Scaler to “listen” the first one, and BINGO!

Here is a series of possible scales for my solo

I selected the 1st one, Eb Mixolydian mode, and I tried to use the Scaler Section B trick, but it didn’t work because many notes were out of tune, likely because Suggest creates too much “exotic” scales

So I dropped the matching Ableton Live scale (left), then I moved some square as you can see below (right), and I saved the new “Mixolydian blues 2”

And now I can play a solo with EZKeys (or a guitar), at least

P.S: I then moved other squares, finding other useful variants of the Mixolydian; it is a simple process all made by ear



I use a different DAW, but mine also offers Key Filtering that allows me to either filter out notes outside a chosen scale (creating silences), or “constrain” them into the scale by moving them. Of course that may select the ‘wrong’ nearest note.

I have almost no music theory at all, so what I tend to do is keep open one of the excellent online music theory pages e.g.

Music Theory Cheat Sheet: Keys, Scales, Chords, Notes & Intervals (

which gives me a handy additional guide and allows me to see adjacent scales or keys. Trial and error yes indeed, but I find that having the visual input from musical theory starts to be absorbed, and slowly (very slowly) I’m building a better basic knowledge of scales per key. This doesn’t really address your post, but I thought it an interesting topic to share :slight_smile:

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Surely enough!
The problem is that I am unwilling to study music, and I prefer jamming freely
This is why I always try to find the easiest way

indeed. Although… what you posted above certainly doesn’t seem like “the easiest way”?

I tend to think that the reason “theory” exists in many disciplines is because centuries of trial and error have led to a bunch of agreed principles. That’s NOT to say you should be using them - obviously be as free as you wish. But when one runs into difficulties, I tend to find that “the theory” is where the answers can be found.

Just sayin’ :slight_smile:

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He he, “easiest” is different for different people indeed
Maybe be I had to say “more accustomed to”

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