Beginning Rock And Blues Soloing

Just a little kicker for those who want to get started in soloing.

Ultimate Guitar
I'll cut to the chase here and keep it simple. Now lets say your listening to a basic consistant rock chord pattern, such as A-C-G-E. We can choose pretty much any chord in this, but lets just go with A. Now look down and your guitar and find this note.
That note right there is your base note in A. The name of this note? A of course. When I first started soloing, I took the root note of a chord progression (in this case A, C, G or E) and I mapped out where I could go on this particular scale. From your root note of A, you can hit any of these notes:
The beauty of a solo is that you can start improvising from any note on this scale. You can listen to your A-C-G-E chord pattern and play any of these notes to it and make it fit. But my advice is to stay consistant and take a path with your notes like this:
(in case you are a beginner to tabbing "/" is a slide "h" is a hammer on, and "p" is a pull off. "b" means bend so if I put 7b9, it means you bend the 7th fret note up till it sounds like the 9th fret note). Notice how every note tabbed there fits in the scale I mentioned above. from here you can just play around until you get that scale in your head. the coolest part? the scale is the same for every basic note! Heres a few examples:
C pattern: 

G pattern: 

E pattern: 

D pattern: 
Theres a pattern each time, so once you get the pattern down, the only trouble you may have is finding the root note on the E string.. which only takes about a week of practice to get over. Remember, you can hit any note on the pattern, just make sure you're playing the A scale to an A song. For now keep it simple, and let me refer you some songs to practice with: Green Day - Time Of Your Life (in G) Lynard Skynard - Sweet Home Alabama (in G) Stevie Ray Vaughn - Pride And Joy (in E) Don't be afraid to play around with some bends, vibratos, slides, hammer-ons, and pull offs. And secondly, play it with heart, no matter if it sounds bad or not. they dont call it the blues for nothing. I'll be back with another blues soloing lesson when I'm not so lazy.

216 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Play what ever comes into your head!! I do and you would not believe how many times I have been in a mental home he he.
    Good try mate... looks like this lesson is for ppl who are starting out solos prob you could start of by teaching scales and proceeding to solos... And theres no need to get down scales of different keys jus teach em the shape of the major pentatonic and the root note.. hmmmm well peace out... overall not a good lesson but i'm sure you can do betta!
    the thing i find hardest when soloing is improvising, im pretty much a begginner, even though I've been playing for well over a year now (I'm waiting for a decent guitar teacher). But does anyone have any tips on improvising, i just play the same 3 or 4 notes over and over when i try and i play the same patterns and it sounds shit. please help
    one of the most useful scales when soloing is the A pentatonic scale, the same one angus young used
    This lessen is really good for me because it's hard for me to bend the string when i play a solo and this helps! thanks for the lesson 5 stars.
    nice lesson. Im not really a beginner but i made a couple solos out of it. Its good for warming up before u play too
    I'm completely new to soloing, just to be sure (because I have no idea what I'm doing) basically one way to solo is to take the notes from a certain scale and mess around with them and use certain techniques (vibrato, bends, etc.) to make it sound how you want?
    uhhhh, ok.... i just played all the scales, but how do you get from the scale to the solo.....if someone could send me a message or something explaining how a solo and s scale relate to each other that would be greatly apreciated...thanks
    Paul P. Webb II
    Hi, I've been playing guitar for almos four months now and I've just started to get intrested in soloing. Right now I'm soloing over a basic 12 bar blues A,D,E. with a pentatonic escale. I have a question and I was wondering if someone could help me: do I need to change the root of the scale evrey time the chords on the second guitar change? I mean if the other guitar is playng an A and then changes to D, Do I have to change from the pentatonic scale in A to the pentatonic scale in D?
    Hey pal, that's a good question. The answer is yes and no. Really good guitarists should be able to reflect backing chord changes in their soloing. And yes, you will find that if you do completely change your position from the G-form pentatonic box at 5th position while playing over the A chord to the 10th position over the D chord, it will deliver a great sound that really compliments your chord changes. Doing it with style is somewhat more advanced, so you may want to try it out little bits at a time and it probably will sound choppy, but in actuality you will be training not only your fingers to switch on command and you will be training your ears to hear changes and then determine what sounds good. But for simplicity's sake, you know that all the notes in your A minor pentatonic box are going to sound pretty good, and if you'd like you can be like everybody else and stick with that.
    high voltage wrote: This lesson doesn't make sense. Personally, I don't think it should have been accepted!
    he dosen't get it it shows how to use the blue's chord scale's to solo using them! dumb ass NOob!
    d_lord1 wrote: the thing i find hardest when soloing is improvising, im pretty much a begginner, even though I've been playing for well over a year now (I'm waiting for a decent guitar teacher). But does anyone have any tips on improvising, i just play the same 3 or 4 notes over and over when i try and i play the same patterns and it sounds shit. please help
    practics daily and use your pinky, this help's me to not play the same 3 to 4 notes over and over! "PRACTICS MAKE PERFECT"!!
    avatar ang
    THis is the first lesson on soloing that i actually liked....It was easy to read and helped me alot....thanx.....
    songs to practice with: GD-Time Of Your Life. Ye thats arpeggiated chords. Not a blues scale. Same with Lynrd Skynrd. Not sure about Stevie, but i know hes Southern Rock not Blues
    vvv so much easier.. use it all the time vvv E|-----5--8--| B|-----5--8-----| G|-----5--7-----| D|-- ---5--7-----| A|-----5--7-----| E|--5--8-----|
    Scales are tools for soloing, you really dont want to play straight scales along with music. a little bit of improv, a basic knowledge of scales and how to play in key, and a little rythm will go a long way.
    Makes alot of fundemental mistakes that will not be good for people once they progress past a beginning stage. I'll write a decent blues solo lesson tommorow
    why does this crap lesson get posted up but my smoke on the water tab dont!!! it was a really good frickin tab too!!!
    its gd and for me a beginer it helpd alot. i bet most of u ppl who dont like this article, have been playing for ages. well im new at this and im sure im not the only one who found it helpful!!!
    awesome for BEGINNERS people. if you (like silentdeftone) are so good at this already, then don't don't read the beginners article! Five stars!
    kt200261@kit wrote: hey, guys!! im just a biggener guitarist and im wondreing f sumbody could help me wat knd of scales do rock band use...s it pentatonic or sumtin...ill b much glad f sumbody could help me....strumming pattern 2.....much thanks!!!.....the nephilim...
    I see noone answered u so... i will.Rock bands use Pentatonic,blues,major,mi nor and dominant.
    that the frik kinda chord is this e-2 slid up anywhere on the guitar like to any fret b-2 barred g-0 d-0 a-0 e-0
    ok all that is is a pentatonic scale.youve provided no prerequisite to killer screaming solos that everyone thinks of. however crucial pentatonics are, you have failed to bring any substance to them or even mention that you are using one!
    I have only been playing since christmas and found this very helpfull Thankyou
    i play metal and acoustic, and i was listening to some blues the other day and i thought it sounded awesome. all you other guys who said this sucked and started getting all hard to understand need to just let it go. it helped me get the hang of it and start making my own little riffs.
    i think i must be stupid im so frusterated( i hate spelling cant u tell) uhh i just dont understand how u make up a solo from the scales u no what i mean uhhh i would like it if someone could email me and explain it plz thanks a bunch my email is