Using a Guitar Solo to Develop Scale Patterns

Using a Guitar Solo to Develop Scale Patterns

Make your next solo a perfect guitar solo by studying an entirely  new perspective of how scales are applied over chord changes...

One of the most frustrating (often confusing) areas for guitar players tends to be the application of scales. It's easy enough to do a quick Google search and find a few hundred articles covering guitar scales, with patterns on the neck and shapes all across the fingerboard. That's the easy part... 

The hard part is understanding how to apply them over a group of chords. In this lesson, we'll reverse engineer a 16-bar guitar solo and examine how the chord changes were covered using both Major and Minor scales out of the key signature. Once we're done, you'll have a whole new perspective for how scales are realistically applied over chord changes to create a guitar solo.

PART ONE: The lesson begins in example one with the first four bars of the  lessons 16-bar guitar solo. The initial eight bars of the piece are in the key of "F Major." Our study of the solo begins by examining three scale patterns used within the first four bars. They include the "F Major" scale shapes of; Pattern #1, Pattern #2 and Pattern #3.

Example two shifts to working on the solo's next four bars. The scales used in bars 5 to 8 operate out of four different scale patterns. The "F Major" scale shapes used in those measures include; Pattern #4, #2, #1 and #5.

PART TWO: Example three heads into the next half of the guitar solo. This second section jumps to the relative minor key center of "D Minor." In bars 9 and 10 we begin with a scale line that applies the "D Natural Minor," scale shapes of; Pattern #1, Pattern #2, and Pattern #3. In bars 11 and 12 the Pattern #4 "D Minor Pentatonic" scale is used to finish the melodic line.

Example four examines the final four measures of our guitar solo with a look at bars 13 to 16. The "D Minor Pentatonic" scale becomes a primary fixture of this part of our solos' melody line. Scale shapes of; Pattern #1 and #2
"D Minor Pentatonic" operate across measures 13 and 14 in the 5th position. The solo shifts from the 6th position to a full step bend at the 13th fret in the final measure.

Take your time working through each segment of this 16-bar guitar solo. It will take a few practice hours to fully comprehend how every measure of the guitar solo is related back to each major and minor scale pattern. 

As you slowly develop each section of the solo, spend some extra time referring back to the scale pattern and understand how each scale shape was applied. You may even be surprised at how little of the overall scale shape was used to form the melody line of each segment of the 16-bar guitar solo. Enjoy the lesson!

Using a Guitar Solo to Develop Scale Patterns

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