#1
Guys,
After self teaching guitar for a year (chords stuff), I am moving into lead guitar which is what I always wanted to do.
For me lead guitar is playing song melodies and soloing or improvising with that melody theme/tune.

e.g. if I am playing the main tune of "Say something .. I am giving up on you" song, instead of playing the whole song word for word I feel inclined to develop around that tune and improvise/develop it further in my way. That's what I want to learn.

When I see melody tab of any popular song, it seems that it is always in major or minor scale (mostly major).
And the licks and riffs are in pentatonic (or/and blues) scale.

So I am forming an opinion (which I wish to verify with you through this question thread) that vocal part of song is usually in diatonic scale where as the solo guitar fills between the vocals are in pentatonic. And if I wish to learn improvising on vocal melody lines or improvise on backing chord structure of song then I should focus more on improvising in diatonic scales like learning melodic sequencing, ear training on diatonic intervals etc. And that pentatonic stuff is mainly for playing guitar solos that are not vocal lines.

All soloing material (books, online courses) are always about rock/blues pentatonic scales. I have yet to find anything on diatonic.

Educated and constructive advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
Sam
Last edited by samirguitar at Jan 6, 2017,
#2
I'm not sure you can categorize it so easily, there's a lot to consider. Are you analyzing chord-by-chord, looking at the whole song, by section..

There are a lot of pentatonic vocal melodies, but also lots of diatonic melodies. There are too many songs to say which there's more of. Which approach you choose to take to melodies is a matter of personal and stylistic preference. Many approaches can be used even within the same genre, artist, album, or song. As a musician, it's advisable to be fluent in either approach.

If you want to know what approach is used in the music you like, sit down and work work out the melodies. I think you'll find that it's a bit more complex than just diatonic vs pentatonic.

All that said, your question here is about what you should focus on, so I'd say to start figuring out the melodies that you enjoy, and discovering the different ideas song by song.
#3
samirguitar

here is a nice exercise to practice that will help you develop harmonic and melodic ideas on melody lines in a tune..both diatonic and pentatonic

creating a pentonic scale on ALL scale steps in the key of the song,,,example: the tune is in the key of C and most melody notes are also diatonic to that key
using this pentatonic scale: 1 2 3 5 6 / C D E G A for C Major..Now create the same scale pattern on ALL scale degrees..

So the next pattern would for
D minor 1 2 3 5 6/ D E F A B
E minor 1 2 3 5 6/ E F G B C
F Major 1 2 3 5 6/ F G A C D
G Major 1 2 3 5 6/ G A B D E
A minor 1 2 3 5 6/A B C E F
B dim 1 2 3 5 6/ B C D F G

Now you can play these in a progession like manner..over the chords in the progression..lets say:
C G F Amin G C..and run the pent scale of that chord..then mix and match..run the Amin pent over the F chord the G pent over the Dmin..etc - experiment..

to make it more varied flat the 3rd in each pent..and add an approach note before the scale and a tag note after it..so for the C Major pent:

B C D Eb G A Bb

try that with all the scales..then with the notes not in the pent scales try creating a melodic lick before and after the scale .. so the notes not in the C Major pent are 4 and 7 / F B
now you are using all the notes of the scale and some altered notes so with the notes F B add ANY notes to them and create a melodic lick..
now you can play parts of the melody of the song..break it down into two or four bars and fit it in with the pent scales

also alter the rhythmic feel..use dotted quarter notes..triplets etc to make it interesting also octave jumps and chromatic runs..

this will take a bit of constant practice but you will begin to "see the light" if you keep at it..

hope this helps
play well

wolf
Last edited by wolflen at Jan 7, 2017,
#4
wolflen
Thanks for such a detailed response.
I understand the direction/framework you are showing me.
It feels lot of work on every song; but I will take it one step at a time.
Have you come across or used yourself any teaching material (book, online) as a guide for such line of practice and development.
Thanks again
Sam
Last edited by samirguitar at Jan 8, 2017,
#5
This response is mainly focused on how you are learning, but I will try and explain why I think that how you are learning is affecting what you are learning in a very positive way. To put it short and sweet, the first few parts of your post seemed to put across that you're learning music and improvising in a very natural way, and rather than give you several scales, I'd encourage you to continue down the path you're already on. Mind you, that is not to discredit the other posts, which do hold quite valuable information, it's just that I think you're already going the right way which needs to be developed further before you actually start putting names to things.

Quote by samirguitar
Guys,
After self teaching guitar for a year (chords stuff), I am moving into lead guitar which is what I always wanted to do.
For me lead guitar is playing song melodies and soloing or improvising with that melody theme/tune.

e.g. if I am playing the main tune of "Say something .. I am giving up on you" song, instead of playing the whole song word for word I feel inclined to develop around that tune and improvise/develop it further in my way. That's what I want to learn.


What I mean to say, is that what you're writing here is something I very much like to see in my own students. You not only know what you want to learn, but you're already learning that in a very natural way. So rather than giving you scales, I'm going to write down a few tricks. Basing a solo on a melody is one of the core elements of improvising. And it can actually be a lot more difficult to use that as a skeleton than to just 'noodle about'. The other way around works as well, but holds more danger to actually 'noodle about' without any sense of direction or purpose. The reason that melody you like is so prevalent in the song, is because it is actually a good melody. If it was crap, it wouldn't be in there. So by all means, use it as a base and start altering it.

However, when altering it, try to take principles of music rather than say, roadmaps. Consider it similar to walking across a field. You can certainly get in the bus and be driven to the other side, but that won't teach you why the ride was bumpy. You won't get physically aware of where to, and where not to place your feet, or why.

So instead of the map, just alter the melody rhythmically, use stops, triplets, fifths, and add notes where you otherwise wouldn't have any, or take some away. Use the notes in that bar but play them in a different order, lower one or another, or play around them with a note just one or two frets higher or lower. You don't need to know a scale to add notes that otherwise wouldn't be there. This is why you playing with a melody as a base is so good, since if you add a note that shouldn't be there your ears will definitely tell you because that melodic foundation is already so prevalent in your playing.


Quote by samirguitar

When I see melody tab of any popular song, it seems that it is always in major or minor scale (mostly major).
And the licks and riffs are in pentatonic (or/and blues) scale.


There are a lot of reasons for these combinations, but they can be divided in two common reasons. 1 - It sounded interesting. That may be a bit silly, but this is where every theoretical concept ever came from. If it didn't sound like what the musician wanted to hear, it likely wouldn't have been in there in the first place. Music came first, later on we put a name to matters. 2 - It fit the pattern. And where the former is a reason that is easy to approve, even if not all agree on whether the music actually sounded good, the 2nd hasn't actually got a musical function.

Playing to patterns is very much a guitarists problem, many memorize the roadmap and stick to it, without daring to take the chance to step in some cow-dung along the way and find out it may actually be decent sounding. There is a reason why perfume tends to actually have a slight sense of excrement added to it's fumes, whether this is an odd human perversion I don't know. But the musical equivalent is known as tension and release. A beautiful note won't be beautiful without it's ugly-duckling-counterpart. This is tension and release. All notes have function and will push each other in certain directions, learning to hear that is the easiest way to learning how to use them.

As much as you've written in the first part of your post, letting 'patterns' take precedence in your playing can be the death of musicality, so be wary of that. That doesn't mean you should ignore the other posts, or the information in them, but that you need to let the musical concepts settle (which you were already doing by elaborating on what you played), before you add technical and theoretical identities to them.

Quote by samirguitar

So I am forming an opinion (which I wish to verify with you through this question thread) that vocal part of song is usually in diatonic scale where as the solo guitar fills between the vocals are in pentatonic. And if I wish to learn improvising on vocal melody lines or improvise on backing chord structure of song then I should focus more on improvising in diatonic scales like learning melodic sequencing, ear training on diatonic intervals etc. And that pentatonic stuff is mainly for playing guitar solos that are not vocal lines.

All soloing material (books, online courses) are always about rock/blues pentatonic scales. I have yet to find anything on diatonic.

Educated and constructive advice would be appreciated.

Thanks Sam


To answer this, as far as it hadn't already been done so by the other posters above me. No, there isn't often a distinction between instruments and scales. Either side can use any of them, amusingly much of them do actually mix. Even minor and major can work alongside. As counter-intuitive as that sounds, it is true, but you won't be able to play that properly if you can't hear it.

As for diatonic and pentatonic, one is roughly put and elaboration on the latter. We as humans seem to have a knack for pentatonic melodies, nearly every culture across the world uses the pentatonic scale. Certainly, some may start and end at a different point, but it appears to be an inherently genetic tendency to stick to it. Diatonic... well, it simply elaborates on this concept, and here too there will be different additions that take precedence in the music depending on the culture.

If you wish to visualize it and give yourself some structure, drawing them out can perhaps be of help to you. But instead of buying a guitar method of it, I'd encourage you to take that pentatonic scale and create every variation on it that you can.

Good luck
Wise Man Says: The guitar is obviously female, she's got hips, breasts... and a hole.
UG's Flamenco Club
Last edited by FretboardToAsh at Jan 8, 2017,
#6
Quote by samirguitar
wolflen
Thanks for such a detailed response.
I understand the direction/framework you are showing me.
It feels lot of work on every song; but I will take it one step at a time.
Have you come across or used yourself any teaching material (book, online) as a guide for such line of practice and development.
Thanks againSam

-----------------------------------------------------------

Sam..

I have been playing for years..in as many musical situations as possible and as many styles as possible..I studied with a master teacher/player who pushed me through the obstacles that many players face..the top things he stressed were persistence and patients..and true to his words..that method works..

today there are many sources to research in music and for all instruments..on guitar - any style - there are many sites..some good some bad..some for a fee many are "free" (remember you get what you pay for!)

I know you want to progress past your current playing ability..and that energy is good..Hint: hope it never goes away..I began with very basic folk guitar chords..and was fortunate to meet some excellent blues musicians and hot guitarists..and I was self taught for almost 10 years until I hit a wall..
I took classes on music theory and harmony (note: MUSIC theory and harmony-it is for ALL instruments) and applied what I learned as soon and as much as I could..this led me to discover jazz and the awesome world of jazz guitarists..which led to the study of jazz theory and harmony..and I had the great fortune to be able to study with Ted Greene..check his site tedgreene.com he has many lessons on every possible approach to guitar..and music..

Im sure you can and will find study material that "speaks" to you in developing you abilities..of course if you can study with a teacher that really understands where you are and where you want to go..your progress will accelerate many fold

In the meantime if my suggestions on the pent and diatonic scales and melodic ideas will begin to give you many musical ideas should you practice them with determination..do it for a month..if you don't experience progress you want..move on -- but if you do let me know..perhaps I can show you other ways to improve your abilities..
play well

wolf
#7
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#9
FretboardToAsh
Thanks for your insight.
User named "Hail" posted a video in this thread which sort of emphasizes what you have stated.
I suppose, the way of learning with experimenting and listening is profound; although it seems daunting if there is no one guiding you.
I agree and notice that all teaching material out there is very scale based soloing. I found one website yesterday called improviseforreal which tells to foregt about scales and patterns and focus on listening.
Thanks for your advice and encouragment.
#11
Thank you people for your well put thoughts which are most valueable.
I think I have a direction now that I will explore.

Best wishes
Sam