#1
Ok, so i have been wanting to solo for a long time and just recently i decided to really buckle down and learn some music theory. I've been memorizing the minor pentatonic scale in E Minor. So far i know 3 positions.

I know the 10th position
|-------------------------------------------10-12------
|-----------------------------------10-12--------------
|-----------------------------9-12----------------------
|----------------------9-12-----------------------------
|-------------10-12------------------------------------
|-----10-12--------------------------------------------


The 12th position
|---------------------------------------------12-15------
|-------------------------------------12-15--------------
|-----------------------------12-14----------------------
|---------------------12-14------------------------------
|-------------12-14--------------------------------------
|-----12-15----------------------------------------------


And, the 14th position

|---------------------------------------------15-17------
|-------------------------------------15-17--------------
|-----------------------------14-16----------------------
|---------------------14-17------------------------------
|-------------14-17--------------------------------------
|-----15-17----------------------------------------------


i can make some cool little licks i guess, but i cant make a solo at all. Now that i know what notes to use (I think, am i allowed to go outside of that box^) i would like to know how to make a short little solo out of those 3 positions. If you want to make a solo out of those positions and then tell me how you did it, that would be awesome

I got all of these scales and position from here


Any help you can give me would be great, for i am not very good with all of this music theory stuff yet
#2
Makes some sentences in your head and play them.

Notes are words, some are long, others are short.

That's what I do.
ಠ_ಠ
#3
So just go through the notes making sure i only play the ones that are in those scales up there and see what fits and what doesnt? Like.. i make some mini solo thing, then hit a crap note, go back and start from the beginning? Is this what you do? Cuse that, that can take a lot of time, and i dont want to be doing it wrong for a long time
#4
Quote by ¤TabMaster¤
So just go through the notes making sure i only play the ones that are in those scales up there and see what fits and what doesnt? Like.. i make some mini solo thing, then hit a crap note, go back and start from the beginning? Is this what you do? Cuse that, that can take a lot of time, and i dont want to be doing it wrong for a long time


When I hit a note that sounds bad, I bend it to a note that sounds good.

But you can start again, let your feelings guide your playing.
ಠ_ಠ
#5
So it is ok to use notes that aren't in the scale above? Wouldn't this defeat the purpose of a scale? Or are scales just there to guide you?
#6
Quote by DespisedIcon
Makes some sentences in your head and play them.

Notes are words, some are long, others are short.

That's what I do.


And you're right ;]

And to TS, just think some melodies, phrases, try to copy your favorite players, who play pentatonic solos. You can easily make a solo in only one position, like the 12th one (it's the most common one). Just listen more and you'll get it.
#7
Quote by ¤TabMaster¤
So it is ok to use notes that aren't in the scale above? Wouldn't this defeat the purpose of a scale? Or are scales just there to guide you?


It's ok, IF you hear how the 'outside the scale' notes sound like, but you're not up to that level currently. What the guy above meant was that if you make a mistake, try to find scale tones by ear with bending or sliding. It'll help recognise all scale notes better.

Edit: sorry for double post.
#8
I think ill just stick to the scales for now then.

When you said "You can easily make a solo in only one position, like the 12th one (it's the most common one). Just listen more and you'll get it." How can i make a long beautiful solo out of that? Every time i try it sounds so.. i don't know how to put it.. it just sounds boxy? I'm not sure if you will understand what i mean but i don't like how i play in one position. Could you give me and example of a solo in just one position (preferably the 12th position)
#9
Quote by ¤TabMaster¤
I think ill just stick to the scales for now then.

When you said "You can easily make a solo in only one position, like the 12th one (it's the most common one). Just listen more and you'll get it." How can i make a long beautiful solo out of that? Every time i try it sounds so.. i don't know how to put it.. it just sounds boxy? I'm not sure if you will understand what i mean but i don't like how i play in one position. Could you give me and example of a solo in just one position (preferably the 12th position)


You can listen to a song in my profile that's called "If Spain Was Farther". It's done mainly in one position of the C minor pentatonic scale, with some C phrygian notes and a small 'excursion' to another position. It's not too spectacular, but it still sounds like a solo.

Edit: If you want to hear a master of one box soloing, look up B.B. King. For example this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ny5ajCn0xw

It's mainly in one position of minor pentatonic scale.
Last edited by UNIe at Jan 19, 2009,
#10
wait a sec.. You can mix different scales? Like im using a E minor pentatonic scale, i can use a E phrygian scale? (Not sure if there is one, but hoping it makes sense to you)

Edit:

Just listened to your song. That doenst sound boxy at all. Whenever i try something like that its like.. not good. Ill keep trying though. Thanks for your help so far.
Last edited by ¤TabMaster¤ at Jan 19, 2009,
#11
Quote by ¤TabMaster¤
wait a sec.. You can mix different scales? Like im using a E minor pentatonic scale, i can use a E phrygian scale? (Not sure if there is one, but hoping it makes sense to you)

Edit:

Just listened to your song. That doenst sound boxy at all. Whenever i try something like that its like.. not good. Ill keep trying though. Thanks for your help so far.


Yes, you can mix your scales, but don't do that at this time, it can get complicated. Try playing a lot along with some backing tracks and listen carefully how each note sounds on different chords.
Last edited by UNIe at Jan 19, 2009,
#12
Quote by ¤TabMaster¤
So it is ok to use notes that aren't in the scale above? Wouldn't this defeat the purpose of a scale? Or are scales just there to guide you?


Going out of scale or key is called chromaticism (something like that "chromatic").

I love going out of key to create interesting stuff.

The first solo in Welcome to the Jungle by GnR basically has more chromatic notes than "in key" ones.
Dimebag Darell of Pantera uses them alooooot such as in the Cemetary Gates intro and solo.
#13
I see. Well i think i'll stick to in key stuff for now, since all of this sounds really complicated and will come at a later date. I'll look around for some backing tracks in E. Where do you guys get yours?
#14
Learning patterns is very helpful; however, it is not learning theory. Do you know why those patterns are the Em Pentatonic? Please read the theory lesson in my sig for theory.
#15
Quote by ¤TabMaster¤
I see. Well i think i'll stick to in key stuff for now, since all of this sounds really complicated and will come at a later date. I'll look around for some backing tracks in E. Where do you guys get yours?


http://jamcenter.com/

click on "E"

!Not all of these backing tracks are pentatonic compatible!
#16
Quote by ¤TabMaster¤
I see. Well i think i'll stick to in key stuff for now, since all of this sounds really complicated and will come at a later date. I'll look around for some backing tracks in E. Where do you guys get yours?


http://www.guitarbt.com/

Or it would be even better if you could get hold of a program like Band In A Box or something similar, where you can write your own chords, choose a style and play as many choruses as you want.
#20
Quote by ¤TabMaster¤
Ok, so i have been wanting to solo for a long time and just recently i decided to really buckle down and learn some music theory. I've been memorizing the minor pentatonic scale in E Minor. So far i know 3 positions.

...

Any help you can give me would be great, for i am not very good with all of this music theory stuff yet


You do realise that within those patterns you've learned there are actually only 5 notes, namely E G A B and D.

Those notes are the E minor pentatonic scale, the patterns aren't the scale itself, only where you can find it - if that makes sense.

Like bangoodcharlote said, learning patterns isn't learning theory - theory is learning about what's behind the patterns and understanding how and why you can use them. Have a read of Josh Urban's Crusade articles in the columns section.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#21
Hmmm. Thant kind of makes me sad. Only 5 notes, and all that time memorizing the patters up and down. So if you have strong music theory, you know what the scale is just by the notes on the fretboard?
#24
Quote by ¤TabMaster¤
Is every scale only 5 notes? Im sorry if these are really stupid questions, but i m new to this.


A scale can have 1-12 notes.
Most western scales have 7.
The pentatonic scale is an exception, it's kinda like an allrounder.
#25
I see. Well, im going to go fool around with some jam tracks and the E Minor pentatonic scale. Thanks for the info guys, helped a lot
#26
Quote by ¤TabMaster¤
I see. Well, im going to go fool around with some jam tracks and the E Minor pentatonic scale. Thanks for the info guys, helped a lot


practice all you can, at the beginning an improvisation is gonna sound like a boring piece of doo.
I can pull of a decent impro after about 6 months of improvising and every week I get better.
#27
Im surprised that noones mentioned this.

The most important part of playing a solo is not the notes you play, not the licks, but the phrasing. The way it rises and falls, grows in intensity and slows down...
#28
Quote by PinkFloyd73
Im surprised that noones mentioned this.

The most important part of playing a solo is not the notes you play, not the licks, but the phrasing. The way it rises and falls, grows in intensity and slows down...


aren't licks pretty much phrasing?
Or is phrasing more the way you play a lick?
#29
i always though phrasing was like bends and slides and vibrato and stuff like that. Show how much i know :P
#30
Quote by ¤TabMaster¤
i always though phrasing was like bends and slides and vibrato and stuff like that. Show how much i know :P


Phrasing is building of phrases, and in this case, musical phrases ;] It's more about picking the notes that you want to hear than using various techniques.
#31
Quote by ¤TabMaster¤
Is every scale only 5 notes? Im sorry if these are really stupid questions, but i m new to this.


The pentatonic minor scale uses the five most tonally distinguishable notes from the natural minor scale.

Some of the notes that you hear that sound good, but aren't necessarily in the patterns you have learned, MAY just be the notes that have been omitted from the natural minor scale.

The five notes that make up a pentatonic scale are the 1 b3 4 5 b7. You can still play the 2, and the b6 and still be in key. If you ever find yourself in a pentatonic rut, add those notes in and play the full minor scale.
To be brave is to take action in spite of fear. It is impossible to be brave without first being afraid. To take action without fear is not brave, it is foolish.
#32
there are also a few forms of the pentatonic your missing...look up all 5 shapes...learn them...but soloing is much more than just playing notes that work. its understanding chord relationships and, in my opinion about 90% articulation.
#33
Take a look at the phrasing article in my sig.

TS, a scale is essentially a way of organising which notes you choose. The pentatonic scales are a very safe way of hitting "good" (probably better called "safe" - it's hard to hit a real clanger of a note with a pentatonic scale) notes over most popular music, hence their popularity.

Of course, you may ask, well, what do I do with them? The answer is rooted in your perspective.

Soloing is just stepping out to the front of the mix and single handedly expressing yourself musically (it can be pretty much anything else too, as you get musically cleverer!) - scales are a tool to help you organise your thoughts.

If you find yourself trapped in boxes, practice (yes, practice!) moving through ideas that are too long and move through too much neck to stay in one box. Indeed, as your understanding of music theory improves, you'll see more and more connections between notes.

For the time being, just try and confidently hit notes you like in a way you like. That's a really important part of soloing that we tend to pretend we never did when we get decent at it. (I remember sitting for about a month trying to figure this out!)

With the confidence will come curiousity and the desire to improve. Those pretty much lead you to the next step on the endless path of music.

Late niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight ramble!

Oh, and try to sing and idea and copy it with your guitar. Eventually the creative process should go like this

Imagination->Sound.

That's because you spend a ****load of time getting so good at the stuff in the middle that you just don't notice it anymore. Develop your imagination and get playing.

Slap me if I ramble.
#34
Quote by ¤TabMaster¤
Hmmm. Thant kind of makes me sad. Only 5 notes, and all that time memorizing the patters up and down. So if you have strong music theory, you know what the scale is just by the notes on the fretboard?

Well, you still need to learn the notes and intervals of a particular scale - but knowing where the notes are on the fretboard means you can locate the scale. Knowing the notes isn't an advanced concept though, it's the most basic, fundamental part of learning theory - if you don't know the notes then you can't learn any actual theory. Patterns are an aspect of a scale, they're not the scale itself.

That's why you shouldn't start trying to learn stuff in the middle - because you don't really know what it is you're learning or why you're learning it, you're just learning "a something".

Anyway, you shouldn't be sad that the pentatonic scale is only 5 notes, you should be happy that you can make cool sounding music with so few notes.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#35
Just want to throw out this little nugget:

It's called a pentatonic scale because it has only 5 notes.

"penta-" as a prefix means "5".
Gear

Gibson '57 Les Paul Reissue
Marshall TSL 601
EHX: Big Muff, Metal Muff, Small Stone, POG, 2880
Ibanez TS808
Voodoo Labs Microvibe
Analogman Chorus
Morley Bad Horsie II
Keeley Compressor (C4)
Nova Delay
MXR 10-band EQ