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improve and solo

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New Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter it possible to play the fivwe forms of pentatonic only in one root?is it same with modes? it possible to merge a scales in improve or solo,example aeolian and ionian or pentatonic and blues major?
3.if rhytem of a song is G,B,C,E,D is that mean that i only can solo or improve only in G,B,C,E,D? it possible to play a licks in many root,example G diminished lick i play it in E or C or D or B etc?

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582


OK, I am not a theory guy at all, so people with more actual knowledge of music will probably come on here. But I'll try to answer your questions.

1) I'm not quite sure I understand your first question. There are only 5 notes in the Pentatonic Scale. Regardless of which of the 5 positions you are playing in, you are still only playing the same 5 notes. So if you were playing the G Minor Pentatonic scale your notes would be G - Bb - C - D - F. Thats it. It doesn't matter if you are in the 1st position at the 3rd fret, or 4th position at the 10th fret, it's still just these same 5 identical notes.

And you do not have to start a solo with the root not. You could start or finish with any of the 5 notes. However, it does sound good to start or end a phrase with the root note. It locks people into the chord.

2) Is it possible to merge scales? Yes. And many great guitarists often do. For instance in the great solo by Eric Clapton on Sunshine of Your Love, the song is in the key of D. In that solo, EC goes back and forth from the D Minor Pentatonic to the D Major Pentatonic. And you can overlap the scales. You could superimpose the notes from the D Major Pentatonic 2nd position (10th fret) over the D Minor Pentatonic 1st position (10fret).

3) Your 3rd question I will leave to the theory guys. But it is possible to play many different scales over any particular chord.

I will talk about Rock because that is what I know best. Oftentimes in Rock the solo will be played in one scale (most often the Minor Pentatonic) regardless of the chord progression. So if you had a song that was going from a G to a C to a D to an Em back to G, the lead guitarist would play the G Minor Pentatonic over the whole progression. This is very common in Rock music. But of course you could play the G Major scale, C Major scale, D Major scale, E Minor scale and back to G Major scale over the chord changes if you wanted.

I am not sure if I understand the last question, I'll let the theory guys answer that.

The "Root" is just the note that represents the particular chord you are playing over at the moment. You do not have to start or end a solo on the root note. You do not have to include the root note whatsoever. It is just another note like any other in the particular scale you are playing. I am just telling you that so you don't get too fixated on the root. Of course it sounds good to use the root note over a chord. But you don't have to! :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis