For Beginners: How To Begin Soloing And Write Your Own Stuff

author: ron4ik16 date: 10/25/2012 category: for beginners
rating: 8.2 / votes: 45 
For Beginners: How To Begin Soloing And Write Your Own Stuff
A lot of us, guitar players, have always wanted to play those face-melting solos written by guitarists like Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Mick Mars, Vito Bratta, Kirk Hammett, Ritchie Blackmore, and many others. And when we are in the mood to go look for a good tab and learn the solo(or whole song) then we get the tab, learn the solo and play it. But when we try to make our own solos, then we oftenly have at least 1 of these 2 problematic situations: 1 - we don't have even the slightest clue about how to compose anything (especially a guitar solo) 2 - we CAN compose something, but it's by far NOT great. This article is supposed to she'd some light on composing music (especially a guitar solo). First off, to write a good solo, you need to learn some music scales (unless you are so talented, that you can write awesome stuff without practicing and learning). I suppose, that you, the one who is reading my article, want to play rock/metal music. This is the primary reason, why I made this article - so that there would be more GOOD rock/metal guitarists. (Aside from wanting to make a lesson of course) But! The scales that are used in rock/metal music, the scales, that are, kinda,"rock scales" are also used outside of rock music. You can sometimes see a "rock scale" in jazz solos, in blues, and et cetera. Sometimes, a scale that is used in, for example, heavy metal, can be seen in a pop song(mostly it is either the major scale, the natural minor scale, or sometimes the harmonic minor scale). Needless to say, in those cases, those pop songs are rock/metal infused. (Just take a look at Michael Jackson's "They Don't Care About Us", "Black Or White", a pop-rock/funk tune, or "Beat It", you'll see it). That is why, in this article, when talking about music scales, we are going to put emphasis on scales, that are used in most genres of popular music(this means stage music that has been popular throughout the 20th century:jazz, blues, rock, pop and so on) So, here we go...

THE 5 PENTATONIC SCALE TYPES (aka "The 5 pentatonic scale shapes"):

These are a must-know for any good guitarist, especially, if you are playing rock/metal. As for the genres of rock and metal - these 5 scale types are most specific for: blues rock, hard rock, arena rock, southern rock, boogie rock, country rock and to a lesser extent - metal (especially traditional heavy metal and glam metal). The reason, why these 5 scales are called "scale types", is because a scale is a specific note pattern, which can also be considered a form/shape for your fingers to follow, and this pattern can start from any note of the 12-semitone note system. To put it simply - it is because you can play these forms from, basically, any note you want (or, you could say, from any fret on the guitar, if it's easier for you to grasp), and it will result in a scale. NOTE! Tune your guitar to Standard E (aka the standard tuning)! The scales shown here follow the key(a key in music is the scale, on which a song/musical motif is based on, and is usually followed) of E minor (and it's relative scales). The shapes presented are played in 2 octave range (plus the next note of the pattern. The reason behind it: a visually simpler form).

PENTATONIC SCALE TYPE #1:

The minor pentatonic:
E|---------------------0-3-|
B|-----------------0-3-----|
G|-------------0-2---------|
D|---------0-2-------------|
A|-----0-2-----------------|
E|-0-3---------------------|

PENTATONIC SCALE TYPE #2:

The major pentatonic:
E|---------------------3-5-|
B|-----------------3-5-----|
G|-------------2-4---------|
D|---------2-5-------------|
A|-----2-5-----------------|
E|-3-5---------------------|

PENTATONIC SCALE TYPE #3:

The dorian pentatonic:
E|---------------------5-7-|
B|-----------------5-8-----|
G|-------------4-7---------|
D|---------5-7-------------|
A|-----5-7-----------------|
E|-5-7---------------------|

PENTATONIC SCALE TYPE #4:

The phrygian pentatonic:
E|-----------------------7-10-|
B|-------------------8-10-----|
G|---------------7-9----------|
D|-----------7-9--------------|
A|------7-10------------------|
E|-7-10-----------------------|

PENTATONIC SCALE TYPE #5:

The mixolydian pentatonic:
E|-----------------------------10-12-|
B|-----------------------10-12-------|
G|------------------9-12-------------|
D|-------------9-12------------------|
A|-------10-12-----------------------|
E|-10-12-----------------------------|
...and we're back to the

PENTATONIC SCALE TYPE #1

(this time - it is 1 octave higher that the initial shape #1): The minor pentatonic:
E|-------------------------------12-15-|
B|-------------------------12-15-------|
G|-------------------12-14-------------|
D|-------------12-14-------------------|
A|-------12-14-------------------------|
E|-12-15-------------------------------|
Since we are in the key of E minor, the FULL proper names for each pentatonic scale this time, in order of appearance, are: E minor pentatonic, G major pentatonic, A Dorian pentatonic, B phrygian pentatonic, D mixolydian pentatonic. You may have noticed, that if you play only THE FIRST notes of each pentatonic, then you get the E minor pentatonic (in a range of 1 octave). This shows, that these 5 pentatonic scale types are related to each other. How? It is because these 5 pentatonic scales (or also - scale types), are MODES of each other. Basically, every scale has multiple relative modes. And the words phrygian, dorian, mixolydian... They are names of scale modes. But, those mode-names belong primarily to heptatonic scales (7-different-note scales, which also have 7 different modes, including the initial one), not to pentatonic. So, I had to give them a name, and I borrowed the names of the heptatonic scale modes.(Besides, any educated guitarist would understand it, and wouldn't argue about it). So here is the conclusion of the lesson: With these 5 scales (scale types) you can do some awesome soloing! And remember: you can play them from any fret on the fretboard, and all these 5 scale types will sound good together if you use them within the right key. Just remember what key the song/musical motif follows! Rock on! ;) P.S. You can break rules in music and achieve good results with experimenting, but for that you should learn a lot of music theory, and a lot about music as such. Not to mention, that you should be careful while experimenting. (But you can be a CRAAAZEEEEEY experimentator, if you want to.
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