It only takes a single note to change the minor pentatonic scale into the “blues scale.” And what a world of difference that one note can make! As in the previous lessons in this series, we’ll provide you with MP3 sound files in order to help you create your own solos.
Scales and Modes for Guitar
Are scales important for playing guitar? You bet! They are the cornerstone of a few things you absolutely need to know: such as chords and solos. But you don’t have to be a music theory expert to get this stuff. Start here with the beginner lessons and work your way up – we’ll teach you everything you need to know about scales and modes.
Last time out we sampled the different flavors the major and minor pentatonic scales offered us as tools for soloing over blues progressions. While each had its owns merits, we can create an even more tasteful (not to mention useful) solo when we combine the major scale with the blue note elements of its own minor pentatonic. Come listen!
While it’s vital to use a chord progression to help you decide on a scale, knowing the style or feel of both a song and a scale is just as important. This lesson focuses on the minor pentatonic scale and why it is used so much for blues (and other genres) in major keys.
After spending our last lesson looking at all the notes in a scale, this time we’re going to just look at a few. One of the best things you can do to get going as a soloist is to minimize the number of notes you use in a solo. Focusing on one, two, three or four notes will help you on both rhythm and phrasing, which make a solo a lot more interesting than just stringing as many notes together as fast as you can.
Putting together solos is not easy for a lot of people, and the conventional teaching (“just use your scales”) doesn’t always make sense when you’re just starting out. In this, the first of a series of articles, we take a listen to the differences in tonal color between the major scale and the major pentatonic.