Open String Guitar Soloing Part 1: Create Awesome Solos With Open Strings and Pentatonic Scales

In this video lesson you'll learn a very cool and unique way you can combine open strings with your pentatonic scales bringing a totally refreshing and unpredictable sound to your solo lines.

Ultimate Guitar
Open String Guitar Soloing Part 1: Create Awesome Solos With Open Strings and Pentatonic Scales

Open strings are often associated with open chords and melodies played in the open position on guitar. A lot of this sort of thing is covered in the early stages of one's playing, and after that, open strings often go by the wayside. However, open strings can bring a whole new fresh and unique sound to your solo playing on guitar, as you are about to find out.

In this first of a three part video series, I am going to show you a really cool way of combining your pentatonic patterns, that we all know so well, with open strings. This will bring a whole new, refreshing and unpredictable sound to your solo playing on guitar.

You are about to hear the pentatonic scale in a way you have never heard it before!

The great thing with this approach I am about to show you is that it's easy, but sounds really advanced.

Why is it easy?

Because of the consistency of what both your picking and fretting hands are doing throughout. Sure it takes some practice like anything, however it won't be too long before you are ripping up and down the fretboard creating all sorts of cool, unpredictable, and totally unique pentatonic solo lines.

The Picking Hand

Throughout this approach you will be using a banjo roll fingerpicking pattern. This involves your thumb (p), index (i), and middle (m) fingers of your picking hand, in that order, picking across adjacent strings of the guitar.

When ascending the pentatonic scale, you will use the forward banjo roll pattern:

You will use a backward banjo roll pattern when descending the pentatonic scale:

However, you won't be playing banjo rolls exactly. What you will be doing is taking these patterns and applying them across the 6 strings of your guitar in the following ways:



Once this pattern is connected with our pentatonic scales, as I am about to show you in the following video, you will have the ability to rip up and down the fretboard of your guitar creating all sorts of cool, refreshing, unpredictable solo lines.

YouTube preview picture

Examples Used In Video

Pattern 3 Ascending:

Pattern 3 Descending:

Pattern 3 Ascending And Descending:

About the Author:
Simon Candy is a guitar instructor from Melbourne, Australia specialising in all things acoustic guitar. Simon runs his own guitar school and also offers online acoustic guitar lessons to players from all over the world.

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    jamie melville
    This goes a long way to help my finger picking.Gives me a new way of thinking about note relationships.
    Is it possible to save some of these lessons to Favourite Folder?? I live on a boat, very limited internet access when 'm sailing. but wan to practice of line ( on Mobile App)
    If they're on Youtube you can use an app called iTube to cache them and play anywhere
    You can try with atubecatcher and then transfer it to your phone! of course you will need a computer and access to internet... i hope it helps