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a question

Stephen East (25)

Guitar Theory Forum · 5/24/2005 11:37 AM
i only know the basics of guitar such as chords what i really want to do is learn to solo but i have no idea about scales and which scales go with which chord progressions any assistance would be great
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Re: a question

5/24/2005 11:38 AM

Stephen East (25) wrote:

sorry about the double post

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Re: a question

6/25/2005 1:41 PM

Adam Thomson (806) wrote:

I am learning by listending to lots and lots of blues solos and breaking them up into phrases.

I learn the phrases, then learn to play those same phrases in different parts of the neck - for this I first break down the first position pentatonic scale into three areas or boxes I call zones (then identify the same zones in the other four patterns of the pentatonic scale) and see where the phrases fall. That way I know that I have, say, 20 phrases for zone 1 and, knowing all the zone ones on the neck I can play those phrases in different places with full security.

This is great because whenever you get lost you in solo or start to feel insecure you can just go back to zone 1 or any of the other zones for which you know phrases and just play away feeling totally safe.

The first stage is to build up a repetoire or library, lets call it, of about 100 phrases in A and learn to link them up in different orders over a blues progression in the key of A. Just experiment to see which ones go best with the other ones. Like parts of a jigsaw puzzle you can put together in different ways.

I have about 200 phrases Ive noted down from Buddy Guy to SRV to Magic Sam to BB King. In fact every blues guitarist I can get to listen to. A particular favourite of mine at the moment is Smokin Joe Kubek.

Then, when you can link these phrases in A up together fairly seemlessly, the next stage is to think about playing those same phrases in the key of D over the IV chord of the progression and, finally, in E for the fifth chord.

Playing the phrases in A all the way through will sound fine but learning to play them in the other keys for the appropriate chord changes will make your playing sound much more sophisticated.

Does any of this make sense? Im not sure if others have tried this method but it really is working well for me, and I now find myself playing pretty ok blues solos.

Now, Im working on mixing all of the above with phrases im getting out of arpegios. Sort of to inject some color every now and again and get out of the pentatonic.

Has anyone else tried this approach? Would be interested to hear some feedback.

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5/24/2005 12:06 PM

Vlatko Mirceski (3246) wrote:

Man, if you are fresh, I recomend you to pick some more precise goal. For instance you could choose traditional way, and start with the basic blues progressions and pentatonic scales. Try "lessons" pages, then pick either basics or blues and explore them. You can find a lot of help at "wholenote". If you favorize any music style, feel free to write to about it, and i'll be glad to help you find some good path for you.

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5/25/2005 5:33 AM

Jon Riley (9697) wrote:

Yes, I'd start simple, with the blues. Listen to as much as you can (especially old blues).
The most important thing about improvisation is to imagine singing with your instrument - responding to a vocal line, maybe with just one or two notes; making a comment on the song.
Get into the feel, and try and hear WHY soloists play what they play, and when they play it. (It's as much about rhythm and timing as it is about notes/scales.)

Jazz is (basically) just a more advanced form of this principle (blues is the soul of jazz). It's a big mistake to try and learn all the technical stuff before you have a feel of why and where you might want to use it.

The other thing you should do (apart from get deeply into blues) is learn to play the vocal melodies of songs. Mainly the melodies of any tune you want to solo on, but ALL melodies are good to learn.
The more melodies you know, the more phrases you'll have in your memory banks to draw on to make solo phrases from.

Knowing what scales fit where is a side issue, really. (A bit like an athlete training for a race by going shopping for running shoes....:-))
Learn NOTES (notes in chords, notes in keys, notes in scales, notes on the fretboard).

The better your chord playing (and knowledge) gets, the better your rhythmic sense gets, the more sensitive your ear gets - the more set up you are to begin soloing.


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Re: a question

5/25/2005 5:47 AM

Stephen East (25) wrote:

i suppose i am really after a book that teaches the basics from learning chords up to scales

i listen mostly to rock/indie/heavy metal

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Re: a question

5/25/2005 12:54 PM

Christian Miller (1937) wrote:

I'd say learn the blues for rock as well. But I'm quite old fashioned.

It's how I learned. While it might not get you shredding, it will get you playing solos, and will help you work on tone, delivery, and phrasing.

Blues is not really based on scales. The blues scale is a good all purpose set of notes, but most blues masters use notes outside the strict scale.

After that, you can think about the major and minor scales. Learn about how chords work in keys.

I highly reccomend Ricky Rooksby's books. They are mostly based around songwriting, which I think might be a good appraoch for your particualr tastes.

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5/25/2005 4:11 PM

Charles Gacsi (42523) wrote:

As a part of your progress, do not forget to work on technical material for controlling the hands and fingers by improving dexterity.


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5/25/2005 7:11 PM

Steve Cass (14763) wrote:

Hi Stephen--

I'd like to suggest my lesson series here at WN called Playbook for the Beginner and Beyond. It's a series of 26 lessons that will take you from physically picking up a guitar to learning the basics about music to learning scales and applying them in different situations.

You can also click the brown tab above that says Basics. This is a link that will take you directory of beginner lessons.

But you need some complimentary information. Check out Charles Gacsi's lesson on Pick Control and Coordination #1 for example. He has over three hundred lessons posted here. Let the suggestions you recieve be main words for the lesson search engine here.

All the best,


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Re: a question

5/27/2005 10:52 AM

Peter Kiley (890) wrote:

If you are looking for a book to introduce you to music theory, Alfred Pub. has a three book series called "Essentials of Music Theory." It is a pretty good book that covers all of the bases. If that book is not advanced enough try out "Tonal Harmony" by Kostka/Payne. Great book, it is used in many universities for music majors.

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Re: a question

5/31/2005 3:53 AM

Joshua Newcomer (108) wrote:

Learn the major scale and the blues scale first. Then you have to become really good at improvising with your music. Use diffrent techniques including bending, pull offs, hammer ons, and slides. There is the tapping technique but I am not any good at that. Some of the artist that use tapping is Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen.

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