#1
Is there anyone out there can direct me as to how to learn solos. I can play the guitar well, it's just i cant organize notes and shit correctly when it comes to solos. I can have main riffs and chords, but adding the solo is difficult. I dont know where to start, my guitar is currently a whole step down and i've been messing with d pentatonic major scale #10. I want to be able to jam out like these guys, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPK56pIhu3Y 1:40. Could someone possibly lead me in the right direction as to how to do this sort of thing? Hell i don't even know how to find out what key im in when i play, i just jam out. but when it comes time for the solo i get stuck. i hope im making sense. thank you for your time. any advice will be sufficient.

How could i go about learning what each note sounds like too?
Last edited by 75mm at Aug 23, 2014,
#2
There was another thread post just recently asking the same question about this, did you read that one?

I'll say this...

Well first you need to learn some basic blues stuff (BB. King style riffs or similar). I mean a lot of basic solo'n is more about the rythm of the note progression and the technique of the note bends than the notes themselves, since you can usually find a basic BOX pattern in the minor pentatonic scale just about anywhere in any key without knowing a darn thing about music. IT won't sound right even in the correct key until you add some technique, bends, and a MELODIC rhythm to solo.

I find by FAR the hardest part of creating a solo is the melodic rhythm, that is difficult, which is why many solo's sound like a bunch of random scales played fast based on a key (Which some are). I don't particularly like those kind of solo's though, I even think Steve Vai is often guilty of it. That is one thing I'll give EVH credit for, even though some of his solo's might now sound kind of goofy and campy, they all mostly had a unique melody.

I say learn blues first, because the first thing you need to learn for solo'n is how to make ONE note sound good, then two notes, then three, etc... etc...

Van Halen, Angus Young, and Slash knew nothing about music but found creative pentatonic riffs.

Get a backing track that you like (personally ambient backing tracks are probably the easiest because they have fewer chord changes), and then figure out which notes sound good, then try to randomly and creatively throw those notes into a melodic rhythm.
Last edited by coderguy at Aug 24, 2014,
#3
Does my key for the solo have to be the same as the chords progression in the background? Or would it sound good varied? Also, no i didn't read the other post.
#4
I'll let someone else answer, as I'm not a theory guy but in general just whatever notes sound right. i mean different notes are going to sound in key to different keys, i don't know all the theory. I should, but never had time to learn it all.

The only way I think to really train yourself to solo is:

1) Learn some basic riffs first that you can add to solo's
2) Learn someone elses solo's first
3) play to the same backing track for a long long time until you can do something that sounds good

I think that is the beginner idea of it.
#5
that is not learning solos, that is improvising, and it requires not only years of practice, theory, technique, but also talent for it

some people have a natural talent for improvisation, while other who have studied all the theory and practice in the world, cant improvise for shit
#6
Wanna improvise well.. practicing certain techniques etc will only do so much.. improvisation is essentially what's evolved and become of everything you've ever learned since the very beginning.
Let's say you play very lead oriented Angus Young like music for your whole life.. You're gonna sound a ****load like Angus Young.
The music that comes out of your improvising will have resemblance of all your influences and all you've ever known all jumbled together. You may not notice and others may not notice, but your influences are definitely somewhere there when you improvise.
I'm kind of rambling, but basically just keep playing and don't worry so much about what your improvising will sound like, because it will always sound like you in the end. In 5 years you'll improvise and sound completely different to how you do now whether or not you want to.

Edit: I kind of overlooked that the thread was about solo's. If you want to improve soloing then practice solo's. It's literally that simple. You'll start out sounding shitty like everyone does, but the more you practice soloing the better you'll become. Just don't expect to be able to sound identical to a solo overnight.
Last edited by vayne92 at Aug 24, 2014,
#7
Does my key for the solo have to be the same as the chords progression in the background? Or would it sound good varied? Also, no i didn't read the other post.


Yes, your solo is supposed to be a melody that works over the chords that are being played under. It's possible to "play outside" and sound good aswell, but that requires maaaaany years of practice, extensive theory knowledge, good technique, and is generally much harder to do, than playing "inside". Playing outside is mostly done by Jazz and Fusion players, so unless you like that sound, there's no reason to do it.

As for the song you linked, I consider the part at 1:40 to be more of a higher pitched riff/lead, than an actual solo. For me, a solo has to grab your attention and tell a story on it's own. This just spices up the riff that's going on under it.


If you want to learn solos, using tabs or learning by ear are both valid options. Getting a program to slow down the song, is very useful for learning faster solos by ear. I use Transcribe for it. Allows you to loop the solo over and over again, and allows you to slow it down so that you can hear every note that's being played clearly.

As for actual improvisation, the only way to get better at it, is to do it. Transcribing solos, studying theory, learning songs, listening to music, practicing technique. All of that will give you more tools and gadgets to use, but it will NOT make you better at improvisation. The only way to actually learn how to use all of those tricks, is to improvise.

Put on a backing track (there are many on youtube, or just record a chord progression yourself), and play over it. For example, loop Em - C - D, and you can just jam out in Em pentatonic until your fingers bleed. And yes, you WILL sound like you have no clue what your are doing, but just keep at it, it doesn't take that long to get over that stage :p
Last edited by Thrasherx00 at Aug 24, 2014,
#8
Quote by Thrasherx00
Yes, your solo is supposed to be a melody that works over the chords that are being played under. It's possible to "play outside" and sound good aswell, but that requires maaaaany years of practice, extensive theory knowledge, good technique, and is generally much harder to do, than playing "inside". Playing outside is mostly done by Jazz and Fusion players, so unless you like that sound, there's no reason to do it.

As for the song you linked, I consider the part at 1:40 to be more of a higher pitched riff/lead, than an actual solo. For me, a solo has to grab your attention and tell a story on it's own. This just spices up the riff that's going on under it.


If you want to learn solos, using tabs or learning by ear are both valid options. Getting a program to slow down the song, is very useful for learning faster solos by ear. I use Transcribe for it. Allows you to loop the solo over and over again, and allows you to slow it down so that you can hear every note that's being played clearly.

As for actual improvisation, the only way to get better at it, is to do it. Transcribing solos, studying theory, learning songs, listening to music, practicing technique. All of that will give you more tools and gadgets to use, but it will NOT make you better at improvisation. The only way to actually learn how to use all of those tricks, is to improvise.

Put on a backing track (there are many on youtube, or just record a chord progression yourself), and play over it. For example, loop Em - C - D, and you can just jam out in Em pentatonic until your fingers bleed. And yes, you WILL sound like you have no clue what your are doing, but just keep at it, it doesn't take that long to get over that stage :p


So say i create a few chords and a riff, how do i find out what key i play them in? Because once i find that out i could have a base for a solo to go off of right? i would know what scale to use.
#9
improvise is a very useful tool and for me it goes hand in hand with soloing , If you take a solo from tab and get down some of the key sounding parts from the solo you might think fuk it ill improvise the rest, you might even forget some parts of the solo you can fall back on improvising to finish it off .
#10
Quote by 75mm
So say i create a few chords and a riff, how do i find out what key i play them in? Because once i find that out i could have a base for a solo to go off of right? i would know what scale to use.


In general its wherever the song feels "home."

for instance Cat Scratch Fever, just keeps continually coming back to rest on the A chord. Its using 2 note "chords" to outline A,B,C in that main riff but you can plainly tell the "A" is the home base. Hence its in the overall key of A.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW8S58CYQqs

With it going from A up to C in that riff, thats telling you right away its A minor. The C note is the minor 3rd of an Aminor chord. A minor chord is spelled "ACE"

So the song is in the key of Aminor.

The song has a bridge before the solo that sounds like it goes to a D# then a C etc but then it just makes its way rght back to Aminor so to solo in it you simply use the Aminor pentatonic or Aminor blues for starters. As u become more experienced u may find ways to mix other scales into it etc.

------

the song u listed sounds like its in dminor. The power chords D, F, G tell u its in d minor. The F is the minor 3rd of the d chord. d minor is spelled DFA so its basically approached the same way as cat scratch fever was.

notice how it keeps coming back to "rest" on the D. So they key is D, specifically D minor

They are throwing in a G# and a D# but those are just sort of quickie embellishments. The part at 140 is just pretty much going up the D blues scale and throwing in the D# at the end.

There is a quick "solo" at 2:44 using the D minor scale at the 10th fret and whats called the "Bb King box" at the 13-15th fret(2:54).

Near the end at 3:19 it does go to the key of Aminor. if you were to solo over that specific section youd use a minor

When they change keys its called a "modulation"


---

learn your minor pentatonic and minor "blues" scales. that will cover like 90% of stoner rock and other rock styles too
#11
Quote by 75mm
So say i create a few chords and a riff, how do i find out what key i play them in? Because once i find that out i could have a base for a solo to go off of right? i would know what scale to use.


after a while you just know automatically by the feel of it. The same patterns repeat over and over again endlessly.

lets say in the key of A minor. you will be seeing the same patterns over and over again for the rest of your life lol.

these are basic power chord combinations:

A C D in whatever order coming back to A (put that in D and its your stoner song verse DFG chords...SAME pattern.) Put it in E (EGA) and its the Purple Haze verse chords

AGD in whatever order coming back to A. That would be a large percentage of AC/DC songs. Use Aminor to solo or also learn to work in more A major pentatonic licks for a slightly country rock type sound...which Angus also does as well as the Stones

ACG. Another basic A minor pattern. change it to F# minor (F#,A,E) and its crazy train and a million other songs.

ABC. Cat Scratch Fever, Ozzys "I dont know" main riff...followed by G,D back to A lol. Like I said, same patterns over and over. Use a Aminor to solo

AGF or FGA. I call those "Scorpions chords" for instance listen to "No one like you." Also many Judas Priest and Iron Maiden songs use the same chord pattern. Again,a minor

ADE. thats a basic I, IV, V blues type pattern. use a minor pentatonic, blues, or a major pent. these chords could also be aminor, d minor, e minor which would be a purely minor blues song

Any of those patterns might also have an E chord thrown in.

if you list the notes of the A minor scale u get. ABCDEFGA. What a coinkydink....all the patterns above are made from those notes


once you recognize the patterns youll see them over and over in whatever key. Communication breakdown by Zep has the intro and verse pattern EDAD which is the same pattern as our AGD above. Then on the chorus they go A, B for your basic EAB blues chords which is the same as the ADE we listed above. The Zep song keep coming back to E to rest so its in the key of E
#12
Quote by JohnProphet
after a while you just know automatically by the feel of it. The same patterns repeat over and over again endlessly.

lets say in the key of A minor. you will be seeing the same patterns over and over again for the rest of your life lol.

these are basic power chord combinations:

A C D in whatever order coming back to A (put that in D and its your stoner song verse DFG chords...SAME pattern.) Put it in E (EGA) and its the Purple Haze verse chords

AGD in whatever order coming back to A. That would be a large percentage of AC/DC songs. Use Aminor to solo or also learn to work in more A major pentatonic licks for a slightly country rock type sound...which Angus also does as well as the Stones

ACG. Another basic A minor pattern. change it to F# minor (F#,A,E) and its crazy train and a million other songs.

ABC. Cat Scratch Fever, Ozzys "I dont know" main riff...followed by G,D back to A lol. Like I said, same patterns over and over. Use a Aminor to solo

AGF or FGA. I call those "Scorpions chords" for instance listen to "No one like you." Also many Judas Priest and Iron Maiden songs use the same chord pattern. Again,a minor

ADE. thats a basic I, IV, V blues type pattern. use a minor pentatonic, blues, or a major pent. these chords could also be aminor, d minor, e minor which would be a purely minor blues song

Any of those patterns might also have an E chord thrown in.

if you list the notes of the A minor scale u get. ABCDEFGA. What a coinkydink....all the patterns above are made from those notes


once you recognize the patterns youll see them over and over in whatever key. Communication breakdown by Zep has the intro and verse pattern EDAD which is the same pattern as our AGD above. Then on the chorus they go A, B for your basic EAB blues chords which is the same as the ADE we listed above. The Zep song keep coming back to E to rest so its in the key of E


Thank you for all your help. You're making things a lot clearer for me.
#13
Quote by lalopunk
that is not learning solos, that is improvising, and it requires not only years of practice, theory, technique, but also talent for it

some people have a natural talent for improvisation, while other who have studied all the theory and practice in the world, cant improvise for shit


Well, the OP said "cant organize notes and **** correctly when it comes to solos"... To me it sounds like the OP wants to write his own solo's, and in order to do so, you can definitely do it with ZERO Theory. Heck about 50% of some of the most famous solo's were written by guys that knew ZERO theory other than pentatonic or box patterns.

I am not saying having theory doesn't help, of course it does, but it's not required just to create something.

Now to me improvisation means something created without preparation (according to the wiki), or in otherwords someone that can improvise on the fly and stay in key without ever having played over that exact backing track (even if they played over something similar).

Writing Solo's is NOT necessarily improvisation, writing a solo can be as simple as finding the notes that sound right over the track and then remembering what notes you played once you find them. Experimenting. This isn't improvisation because you are doing it with trial and error of MANY tries, rather correct the first, second, or third try.

Though almost all solo creations do involve some "lucky improvisation" if you want to call it that, but it's not really the same thing.

I agree that improvisation is VERY difficult if you think you can just pick up the guitar and hear the chord progression and rip a solo without hitting a wrong note. I know SOME of you can do that (maybe many of you), but that is VERY hard.

I think most people that write Solo's without knowing lots of theory sit there and find the notes that sound good with some trial and error (I mean it isn't that hard to do), and you're going to hit off notes now and then. You'll eventually know almost every note that sounds good at what parts and just keep experimenting.

That is "slowly creating a solo", not improvisation.

Before you can do solo's, you need technique on the notes, you need to be able to make the notes sing out. Also having a decent tone helps a lot, if your tone sounds like a dead chicken then it is going to be hard to get inspired to create a cool sounding solo.
Last edited by coderguy at Aug 25, 2014,
#14
Quote by coderguy
Well, the OP said "cant organize notes and **** correctly when it comes to solos"... To me it sounds like the OP wants to write his own solo's, and in order to do so, you can definitely do it with ZERO Theory. Heck about 50% of some of the most famous solo's were written by guys that knew ZERO theory other than pentatonic or box patterns.

I am not saying having theory doesn't help, of course it does, but it's not required just to create something.

Now to me improvisation means something created without preparation (according to the wiki), or in otherwords someone that can improvise on the fly and stay in key without ever having played over that exact backing track (even if they played over something similar).

Writing Solo's is NOT necessarily improvisation, writing a solo can be as simple as finding the notes that sound right over the track and then remembering what notes you played once you find them. Experimenting. This isn't improvisation because you are doing it with trial and error of MANY tries, rather correct the first, second, or third try.

Though almost all solo creations do involve some "lucky improvisation" if you want to call it that, but it's not really the same thing.

I agree that improvisation is VERY difficult if you think you can just pick up the guitar and hear the chord progression and rip a solo without hitting a wrong note. I know SOME of you can do that (maybe many of you), but that is VERY hard.

I think most people that write Solo's without knowing lots of theory sit there and find the notes that sound good with some trial and error (I mean it isn't that hard to do), and you're going to hit off notes now and then. You'll eventually know almost every note that sounds good at what parts and just keep experimenting.

That is "slowly creating a solo", not improvisation.

Before you can do solo's, you need technique on the notes, you need to be able to make the notes sing out. Also having a decent tone helps a lot, if your tone sounds like a dead chicken then it is going to be hard to get inspired to create a cool sounding solo.



how do these guys do it then? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1zB8brc7qM im still heavily confused because i dont know what im doing really. but i want to be able to jam out like these guys and they seem to be staying in the same key? but are they sticking to one scale?
#15
I don't really know what you mean, but the beginning intro of that sounds like he is using a bend and then ending with a bend. It is mostly a very simple box pattern at different parts of the fretboard.

People do things differently, not everyone does it the same, so I cannot tell you HOW he wrote it, hence whether he improvised in one or two tries, or if he took weeks to write it, who knows. That said, it sounds like very basic pentatonic stuff and he could have very well improvised it.

A lot of the sound he is achieving from that solo is related to his tone and bends and vibrato, and maybe some in his pickups (and of course his FX processing, delay, reverb, etc...).

You need to learn how to vibrato one note first and do bends. Look up vibrato and bends on Youtube, there are hundreds of videos.

Some musicians have claimed to just rip a solo out in one try, while others say it took them weeks to write one. When you are newer, you'll take longer.

Most solo's, except for the more advanced stuff, are going to be based around box patterns, simply because there are limitations to how far peoples' fingers can reach anyhow, so you really don't have that many notes to choose from, which is one reason it's not that hard to write box solo's.

The hardest part is doing an interesting rhythm and knowing which notes to emphasize (hence bend or vibrato or let sing out).

It's easy to figure out which notes are IN KEY over a backing track, just play all the different notes on the guitar repeatedly over a backing track and remember which ones you hit that sounded in tune. That's it, takes about 30-60 minutes of noodling to figure out the notes even if you have no clue on what you are doing...

Figuring out what notes are "potential candidates" in a solo part is simple, making them sound good and in a melodic rhythm with correct emphasis at the necessary parts is the more difficult part.
Last edited by coderguy at Aug 25, 2014,
#16
Quote by coderguy
I don't really know what you mean, but the beginning intro of that sounds like he is using a bend and then ending with a bend. It is mostly a very simple box pattern at different parts of the fretboard.

People do things differently, not everyone does it the same, so I cannot tell you HOW he wrote it, everyone creates things differently. I don't know how he "wrote that solo", whether he improvised mostly or actually sat down for a while and experimented. That said, it sounds like very basic pentatonic stuff and he could have very well improvised it.

A lot of the sound he is achieving from that solo is related to his tone and bends and vibrato, and maybe some in his pickups (and of course his FX processing, delay, reverb, etc...).

You need to learn how to vibrato one note first and do bends. Look up vibrato and bends on Youtube, there are hundreds of videos.

Some musicians have claimed to just rip a solo out in one try, while others say it took them weeks to write one. When you are newer, you'll take longer.

Most solo's, except for the more advanced stuff, are going to be based around box patterns, simply because there are limitations to how far peoples' fingers can reach anyhow, so you really don't have that many notes to choose from, which is one reason it's not that hard to write box solo's.

The hardest part is doing an interesting rhythm and knowing which notes to emphasize (hence bend or vibrato or let sing out).

It's easy to figure out which notes are IN KEY over a backing track, just play all the different notes on the guitar repeatedly over a backing track and remember which ones you hit that sounded in tune. That's it, takes about 30-60 minutes of noodling to figure out the notes even if you have no clue on what you are doing...

Figuring out what notes to play is the easy part, making them sound good and in a melodic rhythm with correct emphasis at the necessary parts is the more difficult part.


So it's basically all in the technique? How would one transfer from scale to scale though with it sounding good? Also for backing tracks, what do you mean? i dont have any backing tracks to play off of haha. So how would i transfer from soloing on the 10th fret with a certain scale to a lower fret say the 5th fret and playing a scale there? it sounds awkward if i try it
Last edited by 75mm at Aug 25, 2014,
#17
You have to noodle around repeatedly and rewind a lot in the beginning, then once you know the notes and patterns that sound good over a backing track, well then it gets easier over time.

You need a PC to do this with preferably. I use a program called REAPER, learning that software is a good start. I learned the basics of how to use the software in only about 30 minutes (but I am a programmer). However, it is fairly easy to use. You can convert Youtube videos to MP3's with a web site called http://www.youtube-mp3.org/ in order to convert Youtube backing tracks to useable MP3's. Otherwise, there are hundreds of web sites to download free backing tracks from.

Then save the backing track, load the Reaper software, add the backing track to TRACK 1 in Reaper, and start recording your noodling on Track 2. On and on...

It's not something you can just do though. It is useless to try to solo until you have at least developed a basic vibrato and bend, as well as you can do some trills or other types of hammer ons and pull offs or something.

Basically, a fairly generic solo like the one you posted is:

1) Bends
2) Sounds like it is all in a pentatonic box pattern
3) Some Vibrato, but the technique in that solo is fairly simple overall

Learn the Minor Pentatonic Scale in A first at Fret 5. It's simple, it's just 5-8, 5-7,5-7,5-7, 5-8,5-8. Then add a few notes or change which notes and you will accidentally be mixing major and other scales. Like I said I'm sorely lacking in theory, which is why I joined this site. Kind of slowly adding some theory and reading some books.

I just uploaded a couple of my original noodling solo's if you want to see what a totally clueless player like myself does when noodling (I am far from being a professional, I consider myself a beginner-novice at best). I only play for personal enjoyment, many here play in gigs (I never have).

I did those in Reaper, not that hard. A little sloppy, but at least it's something, and the extent of my theory is about box patterns, Doe Ray Me Fa Bla Bla, and Every good boy does fine from music lessons I had in 2nd grade. If you listen to my noodling, go easy because I didn't sit there and keep re-doing it to make it perfect.

To write stuff I noticed usually I go into this like meditative state and stuff just randomly comes out sounding good (well in my case maybe more like 'passable'), the more i practice the more I can "enter this state". For some though, they actually think it out, I don't.

See there are different ways. A lot of the great solo's were written by hitting that meditative state, and possible on some illegal substances (which I try to avoid). Maybe try a beer or two, but only after you have some technique at least.
Last edited by coderguy at Aug 26, 2014,
#18
Just IMO:

For your first few solo's, you should learn someone elses solo's at first. Don't try to write your own yet. That is a fairly simple one to learn you played (but there are even easier ones to learn, like BB King), so find the tablature on it and learn it, or learn it by ear (harder).

I know some people will say NO, but if you are just starting, learn the tablature and the bends of someone elses Solo. You have to hop on one leg before you can dance on two hands.
#19
Quote by 75mm
Is there anyone out there can direct me as to how to learn solos. I can play the guitar well, it's just i cant organize notes and shit correctly when it comes to solos. I can have main riffs and chords, but adding the solo is difficult. I dont know where to start, my guitar is currently a whole step down and i've been messing with d pentatonic major scale #10. I want to be able to jam out like these guys, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPK56pIhu3Y 1:40. Could someone possibly lead me in the right direction as to how to do this sort of thing? Hell i don't even know how to find out what key im in when i play, i just jam out. but when it comes time for the solo i get stuck. i hope im making sense. thank you for your time. any advice will be sufficient.

How could i go about learning what each note sounds like too?

in laymans terms "buya fretlight guitar" made by optech---thats what i did and im in the same situation as you...google fretlight.com and check it out----its a L.E.D guitar that lights up scales/modes/chords -i have the fg 561 pro model and its endorsed by alice cooper ...it has easy to use software....the down side is the crappy pickups --my 899.00$ model came with high end lindy fralin p92 which wernt metal pickups --so a pickup swap is needed if you play metal
#20
Not sure how a fretlight guitar is going to help really, other than showing you what notes remain in a certain scale or key.

I mean it's not like the hard part about learning a solo is figuring out the note, the hard part is the technique, or in some cases the speed of the notes to be played in an awkward movement of finger dexterity.
#21
Quote by IRONMAIDEN666XX
endorsed by alice cooper


A man well known for his guitar playing
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#22
that other "Blue Cheer" song u posted just sounds like a riff with maybe a "blues" note in the progression to give it that sort of mean sound. Sounds like he is just soloing using simple blues type licks from the pentatonic minor or "blues" scale for whatever key he is in.

If a song is mean, evil, aggressive rock, minor sounding etc then like 95% of the time u can just use the minor pentatonic scale for that key. Thats also what people call a "box" shape etc because it sort of looks like a box.
#23
Know your scale positions. Apply modes if you want. All you need to do is highlight those color tones to set the 'mood' for your solo.
E.g. minor 2nd and major 3rd are the color tones of phrygian dominant. Playing those two notes will set an 'arabic' feel.
The pentatonic scale, whether major or minor are great because they're only 5 notes and just about fit over anything.
Coming up with the melody is the hardest part.
#24
The most ESSENTIAL thing that anyone with an interest in improvising your own solos or playing other people's solos should do is to sing your scales as you practice them. Once you do that and you learn what the notes sound like you'll be playing the right notes without even thinking about it. It's pretty much the equivalent of mental and aural muscle memory.

If you do this you'll be playing the lead parts that you hear in your head in no time at all. Someone doing this will probably pick up stuff in half the time anyone else with the same time spent playing the guitar will do. It makes a huge difference.
#25
Thank you all for the help, these are the answers i've been looking forward to seeing. I've been starting to play using more technique and smoothness, rather than just playing scales up and down. for some reason i have a hard to playing others music, it just wont work. i can never get into their rhythm and beat. so i just play my own stuff. D pentatonic minor 11th is a lot of fun to mess around with when tuned to a whole step down. what are some good blues scales when tuned down a whole step? any pentatonic blues scale will do?
Last edited by 75mm at Aug 26, 2014,
#26
Quote by 75mm
Thank you all for the help, these are the answers i've been looking forward to seeing. I've been starting to play using more technique and smoothness, rather than just playing scales up and down. for some reason i have a hard to playing others music, it just wont work. i can never get into their rhythm and beat. so i just play my own stuff. D pentatonic minor 11th is a lot of fun to mess around with when tuned to a whole step down. what are some good blues scales when tuned down a whole step? any pentatonic blues scale will do?



tuning up or down shouldnt affect anything. for instance D minor pentatonic is still D minor pentatonic no matter how its tuned or even no matter what instrument you are playing on. The people listening have no clue how you are tuned anyway
#27
Yah, I prefer playing solo's on a 25.5" scale with the guitar tuned down 1/2 a step for easier bending. The only problem is that sometimes I feel it messes with my note memory... I know it seems silly since it's only one fret number off, but it still messes with me.

Tuning down a whole step seems a bit too drastic and might affect neck tension or make for floppy action (but I'm not sure I've ever tried that), cannot remember all the alternate tunings I've used.

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to permanently tune down my solo'n guitar 1/2 step, but I might...

I guess I just need to pick one way or another, or only play on a separate guitar that is always tuned down 1/2 step. My fingers literally fall apart on a 25.5" scale somehow.
Last edited by coderguy at Aug 26, 2014,
#28
If you still want advice, what I do is:

I first find the key of the song. To do this, just play a random note, slide up and down until you find how that note fits in the key, and then drop to the root note. Or just try to find the root note first by a chromatic climb.

Next, I find the tonality of the song. From the tonality lies the shape of the scale you can solo with. Happy= Major scale, Sad= Minor Scale. If you're playing something fairly complex you might have to listen to the chord changes if you have a good ear, or just look at the chord charts. A pop song has few chords, and you can usually stay in the basic major/minor shape. However, the song "How High The Moon" has a generally upbeat, happy tonality, but the chords change from major to minor variations often and quickly.

Once you understand how the song's chords work, use the scale shapes and mess around in the shape. Listen to the chord changes, and accent the notes of the chord and also adding tension within that chord and releasing it. Then you might want to start adding accidentals if it fits. With the basic major scale shape, adding a flat 3rd or a flat 7th then resolving to a natural note gives you a bluesy sound.