Flowing Through Solos

To diversify your solos, you need to learn how to flow from one mode or scale to another.

Ultimate Guitar
Don't get technical over what terms I use (scale/ mode /position) I'm not going to distinguish between them, this is a visual learning lesson, not a vocabulary lesson. Overview - Do all your solos sound the same? Well you need to learn to change from one position on the neck to another and also learn how they all flow together. When you change a scale or mode, you change your whole viewpoint of the fretboard. This is because you have familiar patterns that your fingers are used to. When you move up to a different mode, your old patterns don't work with the song, so with practice you come up with new riffs which will change your sound a lot. I haven't seen anyone touch this subject before, and most people probably have picked up on it already, but I think it needs to be mentioned to people that have already learned the scales and reached a plateau in their soloing. First I want to start off with a simple pentatonic riff. Hold out the vibrato notes longer. 8----5------------------------------------------------ ----------8----5-------------------------------------- --------------------7^9----7---5---7--5~-------------- ------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------ Then if I were to follow up with another riff I could change the scale up a step: -10--10----8------------------------------------------ ---------------10---8--------------------------------- -----------------------9----7---7^9-7----7------------ ---------------------------------------------10-----7- ------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------ Did you see that I went from this scale... 8---5------------------------------------------------- -------8---5------------------------------------------ --------------9---7----------------------------------- ---------------------9---7---------------------------- -----------------------------9---7-------------------- -------------------------------------8---5------------ to this scale: 10---8------------------------------------------------ --------10---8---------------------------------------- ----------------9---7--------------------------------- ----------------------10---7-------------------------- ------------------------------10---7------------------ --------------------------------------10---7---(5)---- Most people don't do it this so abruptly where there is a whole riff in a scale and another in another scale. When you have that down you can flow from one to another in this sort of way the asterix suggests a scale change. ------------------------------------------5~----8-5-8- ------------------------------------8----------------- ------------------------5~--7---7^9---7^9------------- -----------------5---7-------------------------------- -------3---5s-*7-------------------------------------- 3---5------------------------------------------------- --*-10^11--10----8-----8----8---*15^17--15--12-------- -------------------10~---10--------------------15-13- ------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------17---------------------- -------------13~--*---20^22------20--17--------------- 14~-12--14------------------------------19---17------- ------------------------------------------------17-19- ------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------ -----------------------------17---------------------- --------17--------20---------------20---17----------- -17--19-----19^21------19^21---------------19--17---- --------------------------------------------------19~ ----------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------- I hope this helped, you can make an exercise out of switching from one of the scales on the bottom of the fretboard to one on the top without skipping a beat, it will really make your solos dynamic when you have mastered this.

27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Good point but someone starting out would be like what? because you didnt explain it very well. But still switching modes and scales take practice and it's different. good that you put up something different,
    Great article! I can't believe I didn't find it earlier. It's just what I've been looking for. Thanks!
    It would be great if you could come up with a lesson of how to get people to start "playing outside the pentatonic box". If you could come up with that, it would be much appreciated.
    if ur just starting out the best way to develope chops and "discover" the fretboard is through chromatic exercises...they are what helped me out a ton!
    Good licks! I would add that a metronome will help anyone looking to develop thier skills. Nice job!
    yeah, thats a good method. Its how I learned the frets above 12. you take the scales you know and move them up an octave.
    If you can identify every octave on the neck of your guitar from 0-12 frets, you shouldn't worry about to much overkill soloing in the "BOX". Frets 12-24 are another dynamic way to add some flare to your soloing. Play a solo in the 5th fret position using "BOX" positioning, next move your pattern or technique up to the 15th fret position, you moved your solo up one whole octave. If you can successfully do this you should then look for the same octave throughout the neck. Mess around and you'll eventually get it.
    ^ go to the columns forum. ideas are being generated for articles in the threads over there. if you have a new idea, or want to use on the ones listed in there, PM either myself or frigginjerk. we are the leaders of that forum. then we will talk together for confirmation. we will PM you back so you can write it. thanks for offering. we need writers. redwing
    -10--10----8----- ----- ---- -----10-- -8----- ----- ----- - ----9----7---7^9-7- ---7----- ----- ----- -----10-----7- - - ---- ----- --- ----- ----- -----
    Oh, I messed up, the last line of the second scale should look like this, with the seven being changed to an 8 ----- -----10--*8*--(5)----- -- hope that mistake wasn't incredibly cosmic
    yeah, I made it up..and yeah, i hate ads, for SrvGuitarfreak, Your right, I should have made it more clear for who this was geared to. I meant to say that it wasn't for beginners, but for people who know the basics of soloing, but don't use much of the fretboard, is their any way I can edit it? Thanks,
    i think i need one of these exact articles except with some of the music theory rules attached just so i dont sound so crappy in my attempt to move my scales and modes.