When I was first learning to solo, I'd keep hearing how the best players target into chord tones and into color tones. My frustration was mainly with not being - in any way - able to do this idea of, "Targeting." I tried, but was always left feeling like... how in the world can I learn to target some certain tone? The entire concept seemed almost impossible to me.
Fast forward 30 years later, (to when I am now teaching the process of practicing chord tone targeting), I always stress the importance of 3 main areas that correspond to this type of study.
1). The constant development of one's ability to read music notation, (there simply is no better way to learn the notes upon the fingerboard than that of reading music notation). This is extremely important since knowing the location of notes on the fingerboard stone cold will give you the skill to nail them at will - whenever you'd like to.
2). The study of Harmony and Theory. Especially the study of intervals and chord construction. If you do not know how chords are built, and how they interact, (with other chords), you will never be clear on the areas of voice leading and harmonic arrangement. Once you can look at a chord on a chart in front of you, or think of the fact you are playing over a certain chord, and know the specific chord tones at that moment, you are miles ahead!
3). The final area is that of developing study plans, or practice guides. It is vital to have an outline for how you will be approaching the practice of material. A topic such as this will take a long time to master. Several things will need to be studied over and over again. Deep memorization is a huge part of this, so an excellent study plan is vital for your success.
Also, realize that since certain topics will take a very long time to develop to a high enough level until they will be useful to you, (in all of your different guitar playing projects), you will require a very disciplined approach in order to accomplish all of your playing goals.
Watch the video below to follow the complete Chord Tone Target lesson-plan:
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