To people that want to improvise but can’t get started

You picked up the guitar a while ago and learned some songs. You can make it sound really nice and have fun playing these songs, but…

How do they play (those) solo’s?

You can learn the notes of the solo’s you hear, because they’re probably all over the net. Search for ” [song-title] solo tab”.

If you’re like me you want to come up with solo’s of your own. You want to learn to improvise. But… where do you start?

The answer is simple: Learn the pentatonic scale!

The pentatonic scale is a scale of five notes and it’s really easy to play. Every guitarist began soloing in the pentatonic scale. It sounds good, it’s the most used scale in rock, blues, and so on and you can learn it really fast. See the diagram below.

Standard Pentatonic scale

 

This is the pentatonic scale on a small area of the neck. Don’t worry you can have lots of fun with just this scale form. The red dots are the root notes of the minor pentatonic scale. There’re other scale forms you can learn to cover the whole neck. But I suggest you start here.

Now check out this video where I play this scale so you can play along and have an idea how to play it.

Extended minor pentatonic scale

See the diagram below for the extended slide variation of this scale,

Slide form Pentatonic

In the video below I play the extended version of the scale so you can check it out. I also show you an alternative fingering for the highest note. Pay attention to the fingering when you switch from the g-string to the b-string.

Your ring finger is on the 9th position thn your index finger goes to the 8th position

This is the scale to get used to and to play around with. You’ll have so much fun.

What can you play?

Go to Youtube and search for “blues backing track in A”  or you can of course look for a  rock track. Play along with these tracks and learn to use the scale. I used to put on some Eric Clapton songs and just play over the entire track. I just played over it like I was part of the band. Listen for the root note. Move your index finger around the low E-string and find the note that sounds good. That’s probably the root note of the scale and play your heart out.

Have fun!
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