How to Start Soloing in all 12 Keys (30 DAY PLAN)

When most guitar players first start trying to play "guitar solos," their soloing is quite often confined to only a few keys. Most commonly, those keys are going to be minor keys of, "A Minor," and "E Minor." 

However, over time, (and with more practice studying songs and styles), guitarists will begin branching out into more and more keys. 

While this is great, it can sometimes take the guitarist many, many years of hard work. Fortunately this can be solved rather quickly, in around 30 days in fact... And, on this episode of the Guitar Blog Insider, we're going to accelerate this process with a 30 day action plan for, "How to Start Soloing in All 12 Keys"


Establishing a practice routine for working on soloing in all 12 of the musical keys will first involve becoming aware of a few things. The first thing is making it clear on what the keys are that you'll be focusing in on, and separating the Major from the Minor tonality.

This means that, if you've never taken the time to become clear on the 12 keys of music (and getting to know their relative minor tonality), you really need to begin starting out by learning the key signature concept first.

The 12 musical keys consist of keys that are constructed of both sharp and flat tones. Those tones are going to be mixed with natural tones. There's also a natural key that is all neutral letter names. It's called the key of, "C Major." It has no sharps, or flats.

Key signature ideas are best learned separated into the keys that contain sharps and keys that are containing flats. So, let's begin with the sharp keys. Those sharp keys, (in order of their sharp key signatures), will involve the keys of; "G, D, A, E, B, and F#."

Next, you'll want to know the flat keys. Those are the keys of, "F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, and Gb." Now, keep in mind that the keys of "F#" and "Gb" contain all of the same tones. They're generally referred to as overlapping keys. And, when all these keys are added up (considering the key of "C") and the overlapping keys of "F# and Gb" we get 12 keys.

The next idea to make sure you're aware of is that (those keys we just ran through) are part of the tonal group we call "Major" keys. And, they each have a direct association to what is referred to in music as a "Relative Minor," counter-parts.

How we judge those (associated minor keys), is by way of taking the 6th note of the major key and using that tone as the "Relative Minor." As an example, if I were to take the 6th note of the key of "C Major," I'd get the note of "A." This means, that "A Minor" is the related minor key to that of "C Major." And, since you can do this with all 12 keys, we can take those Major keys and develop a new group of 12 keys that are part of the Minor Tonality.

Doing that would give us; one neutral key of "A Minor," (based on C Major), and on the sharps side, we'd get; "E, B, F#, C#, G#, D#," and from the Flat direction, we'd get; "D, G, C, F, Bb, Eb." Once again, the last keys of "D# and "Eb," are considered as "over-lapping keys" and function musically as the same keys with different letter names.

Alright, now that you understand all of the names of the keys in music, along with how some notes overlapp across the key signatures, (and how they can be viewed as both major and minor), the next step is creating a practice routine for running through them all with a study system that will get you up to a level of skill for soloing in all 12 keys.

Here's what I'm going to suggest. Start with 6 keys, (3 major and 3 minor). And, over the next 6 days practice applying these keys over a basic jam-track that uses a simple, "I-IV-V" chord progression within each of your chosen keys.

You can record it on a loop pedal, or maybe even use your favorite digital audio recording system. Whatever you decide to record the 1-4-5 on... over the next 6 days make sure you practice soloing using the appropriate scales for every progression in all six keys, over the entire guitar neck. I demonstrate doing this in the video (at 06:24) with the key of "A Major." 

Once you've developed your 6-day routine for covering 6 keys, (of 3 major and 3 minor), the next step is to swap out those 6 keys for a new group of six. At that point, I'd suggest starting all over again, except, if you'd like to, you can of course change the chord progression, but only if you feel that you're okay with that.

What I mean is that, instead of using a 1-4-5, I'd switch over to something new. Perhaps try incorporating a 1-3-6-5, or maybe use a 3-6-2-5. Whatever you decide upon, (in terms of your chord progression), make sure that you create both a major and a minor tonality version. And, every 6 days, switch to a new group of key signatures.

Also, you'll want to keep in mind that over the course of a month, (if you can maintain this study routine), you'll have practiced in all possible keys in both major and minor. Setting up a fantastic exercise routine for learning to solo in all of the musical key signatures.

Well, I'd like to end the discussion by saying, thanks for joining me... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at and sign up your FREE lifetime membership.

When you want more, you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying the guitar courses I've organized for the members of my website.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section below... if you enjoyed this video, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more. Thanks again and we'll catch up next week , for another episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."



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