Improvising on the 3 Tonalities with Andrew Wasson

Using lateral triad progressions to build interesting jam-tracks for the study of soloing in the; Major, Minor and the Blues tonality.

Ultimate Guitar
Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio answers questions from off of his Guitar Blog website.

Q). I was wondering about something you said from an old video. How a part of our guitar practicing should be improvising, and that we need to learn how to solo in at least three main tonalities. Well, I looked up tonalities and all I could find is that there's two, (Major & Minor). Can you tell me what's the third tonality and can you also cover the best way to get started making up guitar solos.
Ken – Indianapolis, IN. USA

A). In Classical Music-theory we will find tonality separated between; Major and Minor. However, in Contemporary music theory and in Jazz theory, we tend to associate the Blues tonality as a separate third tonality.

The Blues tonality applies the use of Dominant 7th chords to the: 1st, 4th and 5th harmonic degrees of the scale. In this video lesson, I demonstrate how to go through a "fun to practice" approach for incorporating an improvisation routine covering the: Major, Minor and Blues Tonalities. 

Video lesson (with on-screen TAB):

YouTube preview picture

Guitar players can use triads in a very horizontal "along the neck" method to practice working on soloing for the three main tonalities. This approach is both easy and fun to do, (all the while producing interesting jam-tracks for improvisation study). 

The most popular tonalities faced by improvisers will tend to be the, "Basic Major" tonality, "Natural Minor" tonality, and the "Blues" tonality. Once a player can perform simple improvised solos over each of these tonalities, their playing will greatly expand and they gain a much higher sense of musical ability.

About the Author:
Andrew Wasson is a 1992 Graduate of Hollywood California's Guitar Institute of Technology (G.I.T.). He has operated his Canadian Music School; Creative Guitar Studio, for the last 20+ years... teaching thousands of guitarists both in studio sessions, and through his popular YouTube Channels and websites. Hundreds of FREE lessons are available at

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    You just showed the chords used in a 1/4/5, what about the notes/characteristic tones and possible licks you could use on those chords? This was barely even a lesson on which 3 chords to use as a backing track for soloing!
    Ohhhhh, L@@K, it's Dummy again. What are you saying today dummy... Ahhhh, you totally missed the entire point of ANOTHER lesson on Ultimate Guitar. The lesson, was about the tonalities. As for "characteristic Tones" - have you ever heard of "CHORD TONES?" And, go make up your own licks, that WASN'T the point of this video. Is the videos title, "Guitar Licks for Dummies?" Ummmm, Nope doesn't seem to be... Geeeze Dude if you want to Troll, and be a lame-ass brain-dead NEGATIVE keyboard warrior, go do it on your video game forums online and not on one of the best guitar lesson sites on the net. Oh yeah, and get a life while you're at it too. Sheesh.