Many of my students want to know how to improvise and build guitar solos over a 12 bar blues progression. Using guitar licks as bricks you can build an effective blues solo. First off you need to know the notes and the main pattern (AKA pattern 1) of the minor pentatonic scale. These notes will be the building blocks of your solo.
The next step in constructing your solo is to create phrases or licks using these notes. These licks will act as bricks to construct your solo. The solo we’re building has a combination of licks with some using string bends and others that don’t. These bent licks are based on a phrase and its variations. Some of these phrases also use pattern 2 the minor pentatonic scale. Note that all these licks except for #3 start in the “and” after beat 3. Read More
Last Sunday I ventured out to the Melbourne Guitar Show for the afternoon. I mainly went to check out the Guitar Players Acoustic Session and The Finale Jam. Of course there were also all the exhibitor stands full of guitar and bass gear to check out too.
At these sort of events I personally find it hard to hear or play gear due to so much noise going on and am happy enough just to window shop as I walk by. Any way I probably have more than enough gear and guitars even though there were some good deals on offer! However there were a few products that grabbed my interest and I would recommend checking out.
Fican Guitars www.ficanguitars.com are a range of guitars created by Australian luthier Stuart Monk that looked really interesting. Read More
Think You Know Your Scales? Think Again! – Part 2
In the previous lesson Think You Know Your Scales? Think Again! – Part 1 exercises using the G major scale in 1 static position were shown. These guitar scale exercises outlined the scale broken into different intervals and steps. In this guitar lesson we will use the same exercises but with a 3 octave pattern moving across the fretboard in various positions.
Even more so in the last lesson watch the fingering to ensure that the scales are played effectively especially when changing position. Practice them slowly at first then increase in tempo with a metronome or drum machine. A beginning tempo of 80bpm is recommended.
As previously mentioned learning the pattern for the major scales also covers the 7 modes of the major scale. Read More
As a lead guitarist you’re expected to know many guitar scales and their patterns in various keys all over the fretboard. The best way to really get guitar scales under your fingers is to practice them broken into various intervals and steps. Practicing scales this way will help you learn the fretboard patterns and fingerings for them. It also helps to train your ears to hear the note intervals in a scale too. Plus these exercises can also be used to form part of your improvised solos.
The first examples use the G major scale in 1 static position. Watch the fingering following the principle of 1 finger per fret to ensure that they are played effectively. Practice them slowly at first then increase in tempo with a metronome or drum machine. A beginning tempo of 80bpm is recommended. Read More
Like a reversible jacket or shirt the pentatonic scale has 2 sides giving you 2 scales for the price of 1! So if you’ve learnt one scale you already know the other one. The most commonly used and learnt version is the minor pentatonic scale which works well in blues, rock and other styles of music. However do you know what this scale also has a major side for songs in a major key?
For example if you’re learnt the B minor pentatonic scale these same notes (B D E F# A) are also the notes of the D major pentatonic scale. Play the same scale pattern but start and end on the D note and it becomes the D major pentatonic scale. This becomes more obvious if you play the scale over a D major chord or a song in the key of D major. Read More