#1
I have downloaded a few blues backing tracks and I want try improvising with them.
All I know is the backing track say for instance there in the key of G. I have learned the pentatonic scale but how do I use the scale to improvise over it?
Last edited by statocat at Aug 14, 2008,
#3
Quote by mrbiscuits315
G is on the third fret of the low E string, start you penatonic scale there. Go crazy.


Yes ...but all I know is what key it is in but I can't figure out what the chord progression is. Do I need to know what the chord progression is or is knowing the Key good enough?
#4
To be honest, sitting down with a backing track and just feeling out what notes you can play by ear is more fun. Work out what sounds good by ear, make a few phrases up and go from there.

I've got a couple cd's of backing tracks, ill just sit down with a few beers and wail over the top, different tunings, keys, scales...Its all good.
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#5
Learn the Major scales or how to construct one
C major is C D E F G A B
G major is G A B C D E F#
Blues usually have 1 4 and 5 chords so in the key of C you would have
C7 F7 G7
And in your key of G backing track it may have 3 chords 1 4 5 again
G7 C7 D7
so listen to see if you can pick out the 3 chords and try to follow along.
It helps if you can at least know the 1 4 and 5 chords of a few keys.

Im still learning theory so if any of this is wrong please feel free to flame me.

And to the guy above ^ hell yea i sit around every night i can with beer in hand rocking out. Letting yourself get into the rythem and feeling loose and having fun is majorly important as well.
#6
Quote by statocat
I have downloaded a few blues backing tracks and I want try improvising with them.
All I know is the backing track say for instance there in the key of G. I have learned the pentatonic scale but how do I use the scale to improvise over it?

Quote by mrbiscuits315
G is on the third fret of the low E string, start you penatonic scale there. Go crazy.

thats not entirely true if you start the g minor pent scale over the major key then it will blow. assuming the key is g major use g major or if it is g minor use g minor.
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#7
Quote by ACDCrule
can i just ask why did you make all you chords 7th chords?

Just becuase he said its a basic blues track and most of the 12 bar blues tracks I find are all 7ths. They dont have to be 7ths chords the main thing to grasp here is the 1 4 and 5 in a given key.
#8
Minor pentatonic can sound good over a major progression with the right phrasing.
#10
Quote by statocat
I have downloaded a few blues backing tracks and I want try improvising with them.
All I know is the backing track say for instance there in the key of G. I have learned the pentatonic scale but how do I use the scale to improvise over it?


if you've truly learned the pentatonic scale (is this pentatonic minor?) then you improvise over a G blues by playing notes from that scale over the chords...

many blues guys will keep using the same notes from the 'home' pentatonic minor scale even when the chords change... so in your example of a G blues... when the chord changes to C7, it's common to keep on playing the notes from G pentatonic minor (G, Bb, C, D, F)

so, at its simplest, your first steps in improvising over a G blues could well consist of wiggling around the 5 notes from G pentatonic minor all throughout the 12 bars

I suggest you really nail the 5 positions you can play the pentatonic minor in, so they become innate... you won't have to think about frets etc to find the right note... then you can look at expanding your choice of notes by adding in the flat 5th to make a blues scale, or the major 2nd, which is another common addition to the pentatonic minor

so, in your G blues... spend a good 10 minutes playing around with each of these sets of notes:

Position 1 (the number is the fret, the hollow marker is the root):



Position 2:



Position 3:




Position 4:



Position 5:



really NAIL the shape and sound of these pentatonic minor scales... they're the basis for so much rock & blues you need to know them inside out... when you're comfortable moving within these positions, try joining them together by shifting positions... try going up position 1 & down position 2 etc...

keep in mind that the goal is not to be able to wiggle up and down memorised fretboard patterns, but to create music... this kind of exercise is designed to get the sound of these notes into your head and subconsciously available under your fingers... and this is just the starting point