Outside notes is a term that refers to atonal notes played to enrich or “spice up” a solo.  These notes, in most cases, end up being passing notes, but they can also be notes that only cause alterations in the chords, in order to generate dissonances not foreseen in the original harmony.

We will see this concept applied many times here in the website. Just keep in mind that “outside notes” are notes that do not belong to the natural scales of the tonality in question, but that can be used to give a special flavor to the solo.

Undoubtedly, they attract attention for the “pleasant out of tune” they produce. They are very interesting and innovative, but they need to be well placed and fitted, and that requires knowledge. Of course, you will learn how to use “outside notes” here in Simplifying Theory. This is one of our main goals! After all, leaving the tonal world aside and going for alternative ideas is a big differentiator.

Go to: Module 4

Back to: Module 3

Back to: Music Terms