#1
I want to learn how to play solos on my own, not just how to read tab and copy what it says (basically all I can do)...I've figured out a few cool sounding solo-ish licks, but just either by luck or playing up and down the fretboard till I found notes that sound good together. I have some questions. When someone says they're going to be playing in the key of __(insert letter) , what does that mean? Do scales help with this? What are scales? Do chords help? (link to huge list of chords, prefferably printable)? What are blues notes? How do people learn what notes sound good together because I consider myself pretty good at guitar but I really struggle to make things up on my own.
#4
Start with pentatonics and modal scales, find out what modal scales are first since pentatonics are just modes with notes missing (literally). Once you're comfortable with that it should start making sense.
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#5
What you need to do is learn something people don't like to learn. Its called theory.
Playing in the key of __ refers to playing over a set of chords that "belong" to a certain scale. Every Major or Minor Key has 7 chords. For example, in the Key of C Major the chords are as follows:

C Major
D Minor
E Minor
F Major
G Major
A Minor
B Diminished

When some (or all of) these are the chords being played in a chord progression it is referred to as a chord progression in the Key of C Major.

To play over these chords you can use the scale C Major the notes being C D E F G A B.

This is just some of the basics of Music Theory. The process of finding out the chords in a particular scale is called Harmonizing a (or in this case a Major) scale.

As for blues notes those are the notes of the Blues Scale that give the particular blues feel. A blues scale is nothing more than a Pentatonic scale with a b5.
#6
Yeah you definitely need to study some theory.

Basically, certain notes sound good together; this means they're in the same key. So the key of A has certain notes, the key of C has certain notes, and so on. If the song you're playing is in the key of C, any notes from the scale in the key of C will "fit".

So scales are vital to soloing. As mentioned above, the pentatonic major and minor will get you started, you can find those online, just Google it. Once you know the notes in the scale, you can use those in your solos and the notes won't sound out of place.

A blue note is used in the blues scale (that was probably obvious) and is basically there to add tension. When soloing, you aren't supposed to stay on the blue note for any period of time but basically just hit it in passing.

Start with those pentatonic scales and go from there. As for figuring out what key a song is in, I'm sure there are some resources online but I highly recommend the book "Scale and Chord Relationships". It has a lot of information about figuring out which scale fits with which chords.

Good luck!
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#7
If you've learned the theory behind the scale's you can try it out. I've recently found some video's on youtube that helped me a lot. Just search for 'guitarmaps' and you'll find some backing-tracks to solo over, and you'll see a picture of a guitar neck with all the notes you 'can' play in that key.

Good luck
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#9
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So on http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/guitar_scales.php what do the yellow dots on the strings mean?


Those are the notes that you play in succession.
I looked at some of the scales and I don't play all of them the way that the site puts it.... But oh well, as long as it's the same scale, I guess.
Gotta finish my work, then play some grooves, so I can turn my room into a house of blues...
#10
I still don't get it...sorry. Anyone have any tips for memorizing the scales? Acronyms or something? Thats how I learned to tune my guitar haha...
#11
Quote by WarriorArtist94
Start with pentatonics and modal scales, find out what modal scales are first since pentatonics are just modes with notes missing (literally). Once you're comfortable with that it should start making sense.

ffs no no no no no.

stop using the word "modes" just to try and sound clever.

TS, ignore the modes for the forseeable future, they're not going to be any use to you until you've got a decent grasp of the basics of the major scale and harmony.
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#12
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ffs no no no no no.

stop using the word "modes" just to try and sound clever.

TS, ignore the modes for the forseeable future, they're not going to be any use to you until you've got a decent grasp of the basics of the major scale and harmony.


+1, keep it simple for now. Start with pentatonic.

I memorized scales by memorizing the pattern of notes...the "shape" just like memorizing a chord. If you play them while looking at the diagram for a few days you'll memorize it in no time.
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#13
If you do it enough, it'll be more like muscle memory and you won't have to think about it at all. That's the point at which you can start constructing sick licks out of thin air.
Gotta finish my work, then play some grooves, so I can turn my room into a house of blues...
#14
start with pentatonics, five note scales, and then do some theory, move onto modes later, although they are pretty damn useful for rhythm as well, i write all my solos in E phrgian and blues scales, depends what i'm writing.
#15
Everyone shut the **** up about modes.
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#16
Ok I'm working on pentatonic scales I've got C major down. Anyone have a list of the chords that go along with the scales or w/e?
#17
analyze what notes are in the scale, then use them chords in the scale, you`ll then learn how variants of these chords fit over the scale.

i`ll probably get this bit wrong `cos i`m moderatly drunk atm

but the C major scale contains the notes

CDEFGABC

so you`ve got

C major
Dsus2
Em (minor 3rd)
Fmajor or Fsus4
G or G5
Am cos it`s the 6th note in the scale it is the relative minor
Bdim7

like i said, i might be not entirely correct due to my drunkard state of mind
#18
I don't know if it was explained well. A scale is first of all a squence of notes with defined intervals between each one of them. You can then apply the basic chords in the scale as a combination of three notes - the root (the note of the degree being played), its third (the note two degrees above the root) and its fifth (the note four degrees above the root, or two degrees above its third).

There are also "inversions" where the order of the notes (in the sense of pitch height) is changed.

You don't need to "learn and memorize" a "huge list of chords" because there's no such a thing. There are several types of triads that build the base of the chord, and after you know them and their inversions you can just apply them wherever you want. There are then also chords with non-triad notes added (usually the seventh or added notes from the octave above), but after you know the scale these are also easy to apply.


It also seems like people are having a hard time explaining the meaning of modes.
First, you should simply learn the Major/Minor scales first. These pentatonic scales (which have 5 notes) are just a stripped down "version" of them that has less tension. If you'll be familiar with the diatonic scale (a scale with 7 notes) you'll also know those Major/Minor pentatonic scales.

Second, almost all of those modes that are likely to be used in modern western music are basically the same set of intervals, just that in consideration with one of these modes (the Major scale - or "Ionian mode", for example) another one just uses a different note from it as the tonic (that is the first degree in the scale which relieves the "tension").

The Major scale's set of intervals is Tone - Tone - Semitone - Tone - Tone - Tone - Semitone. If you play this from C it would go C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C.

The Minor scale goes Tone - Semitone - Tone - Tone - Semitone - Tone - Tone.

Looking at these sequences shows that if you'll play an octave of the Major C scale from its sixth degree you'll simply get an A Minor.

As in the number of notes in this scale, there are 7 of these type of modes, and they all basically just use a different note as the tonic. What makes it a specific mode would probably be the melodic and harmonic sequences you'd use in relation to the perceived tonic, and also most certainly the note you've started playing from.

Sorry for the long reply, but I've started writing it some time ago and sent it just later so I've eventually added in some other stuff as well.


For how long have you been playing?
Last edited by user1a at Aug 1, 2010,
#19
You definitely need to learn music theory so you can understand how scales and chords relate to each other. Knowing scales and chords don't necessarily mean that you will have a good solo, you must also learn how to phrase your notes properly. Phrasing is a vital element in soloing.
#20
pentatonics are easier to learn and play along to, just listen to any acdc or zz top track they are full of pentatonic solos, plus you can easily use power chords for a backing track.
#21
Learn the penatonic and blues scale pattern, it is the heart of rock soloing. Even just staying in one position you can whip up a rockin' solo. From there you can move to others.