#1
Hey
I'm currently learning about pentatonic scales. I don't always have time to practice since school has me
so busy,but I'm still practicing as much as I can. I read around the forum,and there's a lot of helpful advice,but it stil doesn't answer my questions.
1)How the heck do you make up a solo?
2)I have a book that taught me the forms of all 5 scales. There are practice songs,but it says "solo using the A minor pentatonic scale" and the say I should play A7 and E7....how in the world do I play a chord over the pentatonic scale then?
3) Why do I need to learn pentatonic scales?

Thanks in advance
#2
Answering in reverse order

3/ The minor and major pentatonic scales are very commonly used for soloing
2/ The book is asking you to make a backing track that uses those 2 chords (e.g. a groove of 2 bars on A7, 2 on E7, repeated). I wouldn't bother about the 5 positions of pentatonic yet. More important to understand its sound and how to use it.
1/ If we use 2/ to solo over, then try drawing the A minor pentatonic out in the neck region 5th fret to 8th fret. On top of this, draw the pitches from A7 in this area. Do the same again, this time drawing the pitches of E7 in this area. (i.e. where the E is rooted on 7th fret, 5th string, and in 5th fret 2nd string).

Then a simple concept to help soloing is try and pick out the chord pitches, where they exist in the pentatonic. For the other pentatonic notes, observe this:

a scale note a fret behind a chord note sounds ok (bluesy). A scale note a fret above is clashy, so shouldn't be emphasised. Use the drawings above to find these clashes. Initially avoid them. As chord changes, try and start with a chord tone of the incoming chord.

This is scratching the surface, but it'll get you going.

As importantly, try and make up some phrases (3 or 4 notes long, with various rhythyms) and repeat the phrase, just changing the notes.

Good luck
#4
Best advice I can give you is play along backing tracks. They served as the 'switch' for me to see and understand how the scales work. If you know the Am pentatonic, search youtube for an Am backing track.
#5
Well, you don't NEED to learn anything. But learning pentatonic scales helps you play many solos. It's one of the most common scales.

You could of course learn to play solos without learning any scales but of course you would come up with the pentatonic scale on your own by playing solos that use it. You don't need to think in scales but knowing the scales can help you.

How to make a solo? Well, first listen to the backing track. You need to know what you are playing over. Otherwise you can't really know what will sound "appropriate". Listen to the style of the backing track. If it's a slow song, you may not want to shred hundreds of notes per second. Also, if it's a Slayer song, a slow solo isn't going to fit it. Listen to the chords. Try to come up with a melody that fits the style and the chords. You don't want to play notes that clash too much with the chords. So try following the chords. This happens by playing chord tones (not all of the notes in the solo need to be chord tones but try landing on them). Your ear will tell if you are not playing a good sounding note.

The goal is to being able to play what you hear in your head. But that requires a good ear and a good ear-fingers connection. But yeah, pentatonic scale will sound pretty "safe" over almost anything. That's why it's usually one of the first scales people learn. Yeah, just start trying things. You'll learn to improvise by improvising. But remember to pay attention to how everything sounds like. Also remember using rests. You don't need to play all the time. You want to end your phrases and not play too long phrases.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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#6
Quote by JacobusV
Hey
I'm currently learning about pentatonic scales. I don't always have time to practice since school has me
so busy,but I'm still practicing as much as I can. I read around the forum,and there's a lot of helpful advice,but it stil doesn't answer my questions.
1)How the heck do you make up a solo?
2)I have a book that taught me the forms of all 5 scales. There are practice songs,but it says "solo using the A minor pentatonic scale" and the say I should play A7 and E7....how in the world do I play a chord over the pentatonic scale then?
3) Why do I need to learn pentatonic scales?

Thanks in advance


1. You solo by playing notes and deciding what you like, by ear. A few basic techniques never hurts, like various articulations. It also never hurts if you practice solos over a chord progression that fits the key.

2. I'd have to see the book in question. My guess is possibly arpeggios are suggested?

3. You don't ever "need" to do anything, but its a great frst scale, because f you have the right key, most of the notes work, and there aren't a lot of notes that will get you into trouble, and it's a very versatile scale that's useful in many genres.

Why don't you put that book down if its confusing, and instead take a scale, and a backing track in one key and play and listen and mess with it a bit? Do you take lessons, or are you self taught?

Best,

Sean
#7
Quote by MaggaraMarine
So try following the chords. This happens by playing chord tones (not all of the notes in the solo need to be chord tones but try landing on them). Your ear will tell if you are not playing a good sounding note..


Can you expand a bit on this, please? I know my scale shapes, and why they are shaped the way they are, but I haven't really bothered to learn any of the note names. When you say 'land on a chord tone' I know what you mean, but damn if I have no idea on the top of my head what constitutes a Bm or an F or anything. Should I be drilling the notes in each chord into my head by rote and learning what each fret note is, just to do this? Or do you mentally play a barre chord and see what frets are fretted, and use those (and know where they are - i can find nearby octaves pretty easily).. I currently navigate by, for example, knowing where that Bm root is, and simply playing the fifth above it for a chord tone, but I'd have to think quite a bit to know what the name of the note is...
Last edited by innovine at Oct 13, 2014,