Well, im learning basic theory, and im still learning the notes on the fretboard, scales, chords, etc. but i have a basic understanding. I feel pretty stupid though, im going to be jamming with some buddies at a party tomorrow night, and im pretty good at just winging it, i can (most of the time) figure out what notes sound good over what progression, but i dont exactly know how to play "in key." would you guys mind taking the time to explain it to me?
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just learn pentatonics, after the 12th fret all the notes are the same, i.e F# on 1st fret on low e is 13th fret on low e.

im still learning key, just put on some songs and try jam too them. Youll figure it out.
Well, you might look at some CAGED scale shapes and play around with them. Knowing when you are in key is very straightforward with caged. To mix it up a little, you can play any notes you want but end your phrase on a note of the scale to make sure it sounds in key.
I'm sorry, it may be because im pretty tired, but i still dont understand. Isnt there a formula to play in key? also, its ok if i play whatever comes to ear, right? i mean, music is about the sound, not the rules, right?
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Well yeah there are rules to playing in key, but it's more than a night's reading

Best strategy is to learn the main pentatonic box plus the two either side of it. Even just playing those you'll be sounding good in your average rock jam, but feel free to completely dick around any way you feel within the framework of those scale patterns - just keep in mind the golden rule, if you aren't confident keeping in key, be sure to end your phrase on a stock scale note. Hey you might end up sounding pretty good!

You can play out of key for effect if you choose, but if you aren't experienced it will probably end up sounding less like dimebag or miles davis and more like a punctured bagpipe. Just follow the simple rule outlined above and you'll be fine
ok, thanks. If someone could hook me up with that "more than a night's reading" that would be great, and hopefully keep me busy a while. Im going to go work on some licks that sound good over most anything. not sure what to call those... nuetral licks i guess. yea, i know the penationic box patterns a little bit, i play them loosley.
If you want to jam in/around Mooresville NC message me.
the jam went really well, thanks for asking. I play mostly blues, rock n roll type stuff. another guitarist ed out a bunch of metal, so i played a bit, just some cliche tapping type stuff, it got a crowd. (this is at a party). and then i put the guitar down, because nobody was really playing together, it was a bunch of wanking and hitting the drums alot. So i grabbed an accoustic, and another friend of mine got his accoustic, and we sat on the landing of the stairs and played a jam over "all along the watchtower" and a jam over % ." i mainly stuck to rhythm but i did a little bit of lead work over that, mainly by ear. A few s enjoyed the accoustic, and sat on the stairs with us, and we started to get a crowd there, it was nice. Mostly blues rock jazz influence stuff going on with that. I hope i made sense, ha ha ha.
If you want to jam in/around Mooresville NC message me.