Alright, this may sound stupid, but i'm just starting to learn solos, and how do you actually apply scales on solos ? i think what i know now is only the major scales, and a little about the pentatonic scales i think. which scales should i learn now ?

now, all that i know about soloing is only listening to the songs, and then pick according to the notes... btw, sorry if anyone posted this before, i searched but couldn't find any
Well, IMO the best scales to learn first are the pentatonic, especially the minor pentatonic
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well if you play what sounds good to you, chances are you are using a scale and not noticing it.

cant go wrong with the pentatonic, but even wanking around with major scales sounds good sometimes
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okay, let's say i'm playing the solos on "drive" by incubus, what scale is that actually ?
i assume youre talkin about creating your own solos, which im learning also, im learning the basics of songwriting. the way i do it is create a song around a chord progression say in the key of C and then i'll do a solo with a C major scale and thats how i do it, sounds good for me.
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cant go wrong with the pentatonic

I beg to differ. You can indeed go wrong with pentatonic scales, and even if what you are doing is correct theory wise unless you can think of a way to make your solos stand out you are still going to sound like thousands of other guitarists.
okay, let's say i'm playing the solos on "drive" by incubus, what scale is that actually?

I've never heard the song, but looking at a tab of the solo the notes it uses are E, G, A, B and D. That could fit a lot of scales, which is why knowing the key of the song is important. From looking at the rest of the song my guess at the key would be E minor, which means that the solo is probably in E minor pentatonic. The intervals of the minor pentatonic are the root, a minor third, a perfect fourth, a perfect fifth and a minor seventh. That would make the notes of Em pentatonic E, G, A, B and D; which is why I guessed the pentatonic scale in the first place. I don't work off patterns that much, but if you want to do drills playing the scale it's often done this way:
Last edited by scrilly at Feb 8, 2007,
Quite often the solo is also based on the chord being played at the time, there's some lessons in the lessons section (which I guess you havn't looked in) on solo'ing and scales.
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well my best advice would be to practice the scale until you can play it no problem up and down, then once you can do that learn licks and make up your own licks.

Then combined you licks together and go up and down the scale on the fret board to use as fillers when going back and forth from licks

(like say you have a licks on high e and b string, then you want to play your next lick on the low e and a string, use the scale to fill in going out of that lick and going up the next few strings to your next lick)

hope that makes sence, and play it in the right key of the song.
i think i've got it so far, one more question, again, maybe stupid, but so far all the scales i've seen looks either like what scrilly posted, or something like a barre chords. so, looking at that, i'm beginning to get confused, can i actually go up or down the strings ? as in let's say i'm playing on 12th fret on g-string, then i continue with a 15th or 12th fret on the high e-string. can i do that ? or is there an order i need to follow ?
The thing I posted is tab. It's a run through two and a half octaves of the scale. The other things you're looking at are scale diagrams, which are just another visual representation. If you're playing through the scale in order, you would play it as I have tabbed it out, and then back down again. However, when you're using scales to construct a solo you are not confined to a set order; hell, you're not confined to that pattern - it's a very basic tool to help learn where the notes are. Ideally you should know that Em pentatonic is E, G, A, B, D and know all the places on the neck that you can play those notes are. Any of these notes fit the scale:




Erm... thanks, i think i get it. =) but one more question, what does this means ? "The intervals of the minor pentatonic are the root, a minor third, a perfect fourth, a perfect fifth and a minor seventh"

i know what's a root, and i think i understand what's a minor in a chord, but what's a minor when it's only one note ? and also, perfect, and third, fourth fifth and seventh ?

also i just realized that i was indeed playing the pentatonic scale =) hey, i didn't even notice !
Scales can be really helpful. use the root 3rd 5th 7th and octave then go lower and play like everything you mised.