Where To Start With Soloing

As most people who have been playing for a while will tell you, one of the most fundamental things to learn in improvisation is the blues. Coincidentally, which scale is one of the best to use when playing the blues, you gessued it, the Pentatonic.

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I thought it might be a good idea to post an article to help people get started on the road to (nearly) simple guitar improvisation. I've seen a lot of article telling people to start by learning major scales, but in my opinion there is an easier way to get started, Pentatonic scales. As most people who have been playing for a while will tell you, one of the most fundamental things to learn in improvisation is the blues. Coincidentally, which scale is one of the best to use when playing the blues, you gessued it, the Pentatonic. So, I'll give you a simple explanation. Pentatonics are based around the notes of the major scale, however, each Pentatonic scale contains only 5 notes, the 1st 2nd 3rd 5th and 6th notes of the major scale. Also, to make it even easier, we can take these notes and form them into a repeating pattern on the fretboard of your guitar, such a pattern is frequently called a "Scale Pattern." Here is the one for the Pentatonic Major Scale:
nut 
E | - | - | O | - | - | O | 
A | - | - | O | - | O | - | 
D | - | - | O | - | O | - | 
G | - | - | O | - | O | - | 
B | - | - | O | - | - | O | 
E | - | - | O | - | - | O |
So, the scale pattern above would be for the G Pentatonic Major. Now if you look closely you will notice that the low E string is fretted at the 3rd fret, which is a G. So, from this we can learn that if we move the same pattern up and down the neck, the scale we are playing in is the same as the first note fretted on the E string. For example, if I were to move the scale up so the first note on the low E string were an A (5th fret) then I would be playing A Pentatonic Major. So, all you have to do is practice learning where the notes are in the pattern, then you can start jamming along to your favourite songs, just move the same pattern up or down the fretboard until you are in the right key, and all the notes which you are playing will fit in perfectly with the song. One other thing to mention, as I said before, is that the Pentatonic scales arre best used for blues style songs. However, they are also used extensively in most types of modern rock music. So what are you waiting for, get jamming.

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    Unforgiven
    hm i dont understand what to do can someone help me please, or should i just learn chords cause ive only been playing 2 months?
    triv fan
    you must be the final authority on the relavence of all the lessons on this site cause youre mouth has been runnin across the last 15 ive read and it s never sayin anything worthwile, if this is all so basic too you why are u looking at the lessons portion of this website anyway mr guitar god
    rzorblde
    how many types of pentatonic sclaed are there one in my book said it as this e|open and 3rd b|1st and third g|open and second d|open and second a|open and third e|- can someone please explain this to me and other confused newbies rzor
    Ferinos
    Jesus Christ people a bit of enthusiasm for newbie guitarist wouldn't be at all bad you know! I currently get lessons from a mate, but I came here hoping to pick up a few tips, and so far I don't grasp much of it, and to top it all, when I see peeps talking like a lot of you did above, it kinda really dampens a newbies spirits. If I wasn't getting lessons, this site would be enough to depress me for life. Stick to tabbing out the songs, stop giving lessons please.
    asdfjkl
    the pendatonic scale you put up is wrong. besides, there are other shapes you could use too.
    triv fan
    oswald talk all the guitar shit u want , if you practice and truly love it thats fine, but you wanna mention the stars and stripes or any of her children again imona have to reach out and touch you ,you feelin me "mate"
    VelvetAlley411
    Trashing on Punk? Haha thats funny considering band members of The Unseen probably are better than you will ever be at guitar.Alright lesson though,next time explain changing keys a little more and give the diagram examples
    EpiphoneKnight
    Back to that G-C-D progression I was talknig about: You don't HAVE to end the solo on the G, but for starters that's a good place to do it. For example, it's possible to end on a D and sound ok, (because then going back to the G chord immediately after kind of acts as the resolve there) but it's not as easy as ending with a G. (You'll understand the coolness of solo better by ending on G at first.)
    madguyposerhomi
    those ppl who are confused in the diagram check in the scales section and search it.u should understand it by then
    philipp122
    Isn't that G pentatonic minor/A# pentatonic major? G pentatonic major 1st popsitions starts on open E.
    philipp122
    dcookie87 wrote: why is it that the G pentatonic major scale is different on http://www.theguitarfiles.com/scale.php to on here?... is that site wrong or am i just looking at it wrong?
    Yeah, I knew it. The scale up there is G pentatonic minor, which is the same thing as A# pentatonic major. The scale positions are the same for maj. pent. and min. pent., just moved down the fret board. For example, the A major pentatonic starts at the second fret and follows the same shape as A minor pentatonic which starts at the 5th fret. So no, you're not looking at it wrong. The lesson is wrong.
    LionHeart_sh07
    Hmmmm, strange i kinda learned the Major Scale first, it took a bot of time, but to get the petatonic, i just subtract the unneeded notes, its kinda becoming like second nat Very nice
    bpas41
    are you a lefty cause u tabbed the tuning of the guitar wrong unless you are a lefty then it's right
    Jbetter_thanu
    a fairly good lesson for beginners, i already knew this stuff, it is pretty sad if u cant understand i dont see any tips on SOLOING! this is supposed to be soloing, i know its good to start and practice with pentatonic scales but c'mon, lame job as far as soloing stuff. and it IS possible to write a good song that sounds good(with a LOT of trial and error) but knowing scales is the best way to go, but not just run scales as a solo, that takes no skill and/or creativity, but it should also be (gonna sound korny) heartfelt, and it should be something the WRITER is proud of and likes. also, SLASH rules, his solos on knonkin on heaven's door aren't filled with tons of incredibly fast notes and crazy effects, but is simple and (also gay sounding) "passionate" if u will. (not to say the fast hard awesome stuff isnt goood though, i like it)
    playing4_Christ
    so easy basic concept, but its so hard to understand for people that dont know it in your article. dude cmon sidwinder has it better
    Reggy
    First of many, straight out of a book, sorry, no flaming intended, just want everyone to know.
    sing4am
    If anyone can't figure this out, or hasn't figured it out on their own, then you really need to work on more basic stuff such as chords, pull offs, hammer ons, and getting creative with power chords first. And another good tip to soloing is don't do it by the book, instead just look up simple solos in tabs and work on those and see what sort of finger positions you need to make (you should use all your fingers or atleast the first three when soloing). And after months if you still can't figure it out maybe its time to put down the guitar and pick up the trumpet.
    whizz8kid
    you all most be stupid, this is the most simple lesson that are on www.ultimate-guitar.com
    escalation_666
    what?... someone doesn't understand this? =s! basically what he's saying, is that the pentatonic scale can be moved around to whichever key the song is in so to 'jam' along with it... for those of you who dont understand the diagram go put your guitar away and get to school :s.
    escalation_666
    and listen 'onetime' and the idiot below him, dont even try call music shit. scales have been working for years, and will continue working for years to come. millions of successful guitarists have used and based their entire discographies around scales. so if you think you're above them then you obviously need to think about where you are in the world. sitting at home unemployed learning stairway to heaven undoubtably. the majority of that song is based round scales too. idiot.
    EpiphoneKnight
    Almost any variations with the Pentatonic Minor (which is what his chart shows, btw) should sound reasonably good. I learned in a class that the blues often had a 1-4-5 chord pattern. Now, if you have a rock song with a 1-4-5 chord pattern, Pentatonic minor should work. (Of course it works other times too, but that's a good initial thought.) So say a basic song has three chords, starts with G, goes to C, then D, a Pentatonic minor solo should sound reasonably good. If you end solo on a G it should sound good for an ending. You should be able to start solo anywhere on the scale I think. It's really super easy. I'm not sure all I said is right, but I think so.
    JGuill
    Right, it is minor!! I think the best thing to do is to learn the fingerboard first. Once you know all the notes on the fingerboard, it will make it alot easier to solo over any chord progression, and you will also know that this scale is minor!!!
    Hells_bell45
    Ok, you UG guy. I think we all know that you have to know the pentatonic scales to solo.What we want to know how the hell these guys improvise so frickin good. Please help me! Could you like... I don't know, put out a lesson with tips or something?
    Fender18guitar
    its ok i got some scales but my solos kinda sound like crap but ... UG has helped me some how i think well i agree with hell_bell45 put out a lesson with tips that would be usefull.. thx:d
    cube30
    uh...isnt that scale the minor pentatonic scale?..not the major?...
    Genome_666
    What is the best scale to learn for solos in hard rock? I'm not sure if it is the pentatonic scale or not. Could somebody give advice?
    fixxxer_928
    hey man, can some one re-write this lesson in a way that all of us can understand...and by the way, no dickheads comment about this saying 'this is so easy to understand' b/c half of us don't know what the hell is going on
    Oswald
    I am not going to FUckin shud up you american.... It is good to know scales if you want to play solos and *** you and your "Iam the greatest in the world" crap.....
    andeh
    to the guy who ses hes been playin 5 years without scales but can play like slash... oswald is saying that you need scales so that you can make up your own solos, sure you can copy slash and kirk hammet, but can you make up your own solos as good as theirs? ...thought not.