Chord tone soloing is a technique to make your solo sound "in" the backing track. This means that you don’t play in one pentatonic scale over ALL chords, but you connect the chords being played in the progression with a certain scale. For example you could play some of it using the C major pentatonic and some using the ideas above. Required fields are marked *. In addition to everything else that is included with a Full Access Membership, many lessons include “Full Access Extras”. Are you starting to see why beginner blues guitarists get stuck in their progress on the guitar? Choose the appropriate scale based on the key (ie. These frustrations are shared by many guitar players around the world! Since the first chord of the progression is F#m, we can just go ahead and call this a “minor progression in the key of F# minor”. King’s interpretation of, ‘The Thrill Is Gone’, is a great tune to start experimenting with soloing over chord changes. And so on (Minor pentatonic is a bit different). You see these notes again in the left colomn below. An approach that many great guitarists use to target the right notes over a chord progression is called “Chord Tone Soloing”. That is the way a lot of guitarists approach the whole concept of “soloing over a chord progression”, and that’s completely fine! You could call this the “shortcut method” if you’d like, because it involves simply moving this basic pentatonic box around to different areas of the fretboard: By doing this, you will still remain 100% in-key (provided that the underlying chords in the progression are all part of just one key). This is also true for a minor song, where they chords might be Am7, Dm7, E7, and the A minor pentatonic can be put to great use there too. Thanks Brian. Even better if one of the chord tones isn't in the pentatonic. While this "does the job" as far as creating that bluesy sound, there is a far more effective and expressive way of playing through blues … Bravo Brian, we are spoilt by the quality and fantastic content included within your lessons. Brian, you put a warning sign on this lesson! When you get to the D7 chord, try hitting either the F sharp note or the C natural, which is not in the A major pentatonic scale, but is in the D7 chord. When the chords change from C7 to D7, try going from F to F#, then play the D7 chord tones. When all of the chords belong to the same key, we can use pentatonic scales for each chord, apart from the diminished (vii) chord, and still not stray from the key. Unlike the other chord changes this one leaves 2 changes in the notes of the modes. The minor pentatonic and the blues scale are the most common ways to play over a dominant blues progression, but these are definitely not the best ways of soloing if you want to sound like your favorite blues guitarists. I’m old af now and still at it! To clarify this, we start from the same standard 12 bar blues progression in the key of A as in the previous section. You can simply just “noodle around” within each of these pentatonic boxes as each chord is playing. Here’s what each pentatonic box would look like…. These kinds of ideas form the basics of chord tone soloing. In the near future, I will be adding a course that goes much deeper into this topic into the Lead Guitar Improv Member’s Vault. if the chord progression is in A minor, then you would choose A minor pentatonic/A minor blues/A natural minor scale), 3.) Using the major or minor pentatonic as a base and then hitting the chord tones of the current chord at the right times. They just ooze that minor bluesy vibe or sweet major vibe. In this chord tones lesson we will learn to target the notes in each individual chord of the 12-bar blues progression and adjust our soloing approach slightly for each one. They will sound really good, because these tones can be found within the chord. I This lesson on chord tone soloing for blues guitar is one of my favorite ways to teach my students how to play licks and lines that make more sense than just going up and down a pentatonic or blues scale. Why You Are You Stuck In A Rut With Your Blues Guitar Playing. You can think of this scale as a pentatonic version of the Mixolydian mode, which has a formula of 1–2–3–4–5–6–b7. This scale is completely tied to the D7 chord and therefore will sound much more professional when applied over a D7. Why? am studing if now. I could not put my ax down! When the chords change from C7 back to G7, try going from B♭ to B, then playing the G7 chord tones. How To Tie Chords and Scales Together So That You Are Picking The Best Possible Notes Over Each Chord. If we were writing a song in C major, we could pick three chords: C – Dm – G – C Verses usually have melodies that are lower in pitch. So let’s say there is a diatonic chord progression that you would like to solo over: These 4 chords are all found within the key of A major/F# minor. Chord Tone soloing does not restrict you to play "inside" the track: you can choose to deliberately violate it to sound "outside" like some Jazz players do. It felt awesome to be able to play over a backing track, to create your own guitar solos and to express the way you felt by means of guitar playing. When soloing over minor chords using this “pentatonic box #1” method, the 7th is part of the pentatonic shape. Great blues guitarists will use the D dominant pentatonic scale when improvising over the  D7 chord in a dominant blues progression. Determine the key of the chord progression that you will be soloing over, 2.) It is sooooo addictive. It’s a slow minor blues with just a handful of changes; we can fall back on the minor pentatonic scale, and we don’t need to learn any new scales or patterns to be able to outline the chords. Any thoughts? Pentatonic position #1 can either be major or minor. We’re using pick and fingers to enable shifting to more conventional flatpicked linking phrases, but fingerstyle is a completely valid option here, too. Want to seriously up your guitar game regardless of your level? By targeting the specific chord tones contained in each chord we break out of the box of minor pentatonic playing and bring emotion, articulation and some great-sounding note choices to our blues guitar solos. Adding up to this, they use the minor pentatonic scale over ALL chords in this blues progression, which makes their solos sound less interesting and definitely not professional. The chord tone for the 1 chord – D major would still be first finger on the 3rd string but this time it would be on 7th fret. See Everything that Zombie Guitar has to Offer! Your email address will not be published. But there will be times where you want to sound more melodically and you want to hit the perfect note at the perfect time. 2:59 – Part 1: Playing “Pentatonic Position #1” over each Chord all these guitar teachers online talk about playing the chord tones and stuff, and you’ve shown me what that means and how it works . Rather than trying to explain it to you, I will just show you some diagrams…. If you would like some more detailed reasons why using the minor pentatonic scale over ALL chords in a blues progression is not the best method of soloing, you can download my FREE Guitar Soloing Tips guide, where I explain more in depth why using the minor pentatonic scale as the only method of playing blues solos destroys your chances of developing your guitar playing further. The chord tones are always going to be the best sounding notes within the scale, so try to land on chord tones just as the chord changes occur. You have learned about the minor pentatonic scale and learned to improvise a bit, but you’ve come to a point where you don’t make progress anymore. This opening phrase is as much about the rhythm as any melodic content. Once you get used to this whole “one pentatonic box per chord” method, you can then realize that there are only 3 shapes that you will need to remember. Discover that scale in the next tip. I simply play the diatonic and pentatonic scales and try not to linger on notes that don’t sound good. There’s another jazz pentatonic scale over a dominant 7th chord that gives off a different vibe. With this technique you are able to choose the notes that will sound best at any given moment in your solo. In the key of G, that translates to the notes of G minor pentatonic, G Bb C D F, as shown in FIGURE 1. I have never needed to In this article specifically we’ll look at how to overcome these barriers by learning how chords and scales work together. For the A major chord, you would locate the “box” with your pinky finger on the 17th fret, which is the note ‘A’. Try experimenting with different notes and listen to the feeling they give you! Here is what is included when you pay the one-time fee to upgrade your account. F# minor pentatonic over the F# minor chord, A major pentatonic over the A major chord, E major pentatonic over the E major chord, D major pentatonic over the D major chord. I personally like to use the “upper extension” for each box as you can see here: By doing this, you are still “switching pentatonics” over each chord, but you are extending the range such that your playing sounds less jumpy. Additionally, if you have been soloing using the major pentatonic over the I chord, then switching to the minor pentatonic will add greater variety to your soloing. To understand how this scale is linked with the chords being played, we’ll break down the A7 chord, which is a dominant seventh chord. You will also find however, that things will sound kinda “jumpy” since you will be jumping around to different areas of the fretboard. Now, you would simply just apply this basic pentatonic box #1 to each chord. If you want to break through your limitations and come a step closer to sounding like your favorite guitar hero, you need to explore more melodic ways of creating a blues guitar solo. Applying what we explained in the previous paragraph, we can raise the F note in the D minor pentatonic to an F# and thus play the D minor pentatonic with added major 3rd, but there are even better ways. The beauty of this method is that for every major chord, the chord tones of the underlying chord will always be found in the “G-Shape”, and for every minor chord they will be found in the “Em-Shape: Note that for the minor chord, I also included the 7th scale degree (the blue dot) to be a chord tone. Overcoming Your Blues Guitar Frustrations By Understanding How Chords and Scales Are Related. 17:51 – Taking the “Soloing with Pentatonics” Concept even Further…. The pentatonic scale is the most common scale used for playing rock lead because it sounds great over every chord change in a key, and you can begin to make music with it almost immediately. To start, after messing around with the A minor pentatonic scale, try using a major pentatonic scale on the A chord, and when switching to the E7 chord, keep on the major pentatonic scale. By doing this, you will still be playing 100% in-key, but you will notice that your playing will be sounding a bit more “connected” with each chord as the chord changes occur. The “One Pentatonic per Chord” Approach to Soloing Over a Chord Progression. We’ll call it the Mixo-pentatonic scale, but feel free to give it your own name. For example, if the song has the chords A7, D7, E7, you can sound great just using the A minor pentatonic scale. My teacher has pointed me to chord-tone soloing. As you mastered the minor pentatonic scale completely, you may have noticed that you got stuck and your soloing didn’t improve much anymore. Depending on which of the four notes you pick, you will produce a different emotion. 9:44 – Part 3: Locating the Chord Tones Within These Movable Pentatonic Boxes Further on, I will elaborate on the correct approach and teach you how to apply it correctly. Pentatonic position #1 can either be major or minor. You also know where the chord tones are located within each pattern. For now though, just realize that you aren’t simply just playing the F# minor pentatonic scale over all of the chords within the progression. 0:00 – Intro Demo 6:09 – Part 2: Expanding Beyond Pentatonic Position #1 into Neighboring Positions Try this out for yourself on your guitar, play a C note and play a C# note an octave higher; not the best sound in the world right?Of course, a little dissonance never killed nobody and sometimes that dissonant C note might even be the perfect sound that we are after. The only difference is where the scale root, or “tonal center” is located within the pattern: Notice that the only difference is where the root is located (the colored dot). Basically, such a dominant seventh chord is built up using 4 notes: -    The Root note (R) : A-    The major 3rd (3) : C#-    The 5th (5) : E-    The flat 7th (b7) : GAs the A7 chord contains these four notes, they are also a great choice to land on when soloing. For the F# minor chord, you would locate the “box” with your index finger at either the 2nd fret or the 14th fret, which is the note ‘F#’. 12:53 – Part 4: Adding in the Remaining Diatonic Scale Notes to Each Pentatonic Box Pattern Step 4 – Finally, add in the Remaining Scale Notes from the F# Minor Scale, This is where the magic really happens. Therefore, I will leave it up to you (or you can just watch me do it in the video), to try and figure out how to confine your playing to just one area of the fretboard at a time. Steal from the best and all that… Depending on whether the chord is major or minor would determine whether you use your index finger or your pinky finger to locate the box. I mentioned some of this in Part 3 but let’s take another look. Think back to the moment when you just learned to improvise on guitar and played your first licks in the minor pentatonic scale. Most guitarists are taught to play minor pentatonic or the flat 5 blues scale when soloing over a 1 4 5 blues progression. This isn’t always true for major chords, so only focus on the triad tones for those. Scale shape and awareness of the minor pentatonic scale really goes a long way! When I got to the diatonic scales at the end- bammm. The late, great B.B. You can see this for yourself below. Why not try both and see how it influences the tone? In this article we will talk about a few simple techniques to break through these limitations and take your blues guitar soloing to a whole new level. Haha thanks so much Phil! You are literally playing: Each pentatonic scale has its’ own 5 positions. Instant access to chord tones means it’s easier to think about soloing patterns and licks. The “method” could be divided into 4 steps: Step 1 – Apply the Basic “Pentatonic Box #1” to Each Chord. What I have been explaining now, is Chord Tone Targetting. For the D major chord, you would locate the “box” with your pinky finger on the 10th fret, which is the note ‘D’. Soloing by Key is the easiest method of soloing because you treat the entire song as one entity. 1:31 – Intro to the “One Pentatonic per Chord” Approach Published August 30, 2020 by Graham Tippett. You want your blues guitar solos to sound like the ones played by your favorite blues guitarists, but you feel like you’re stuck in the same old patterns and licks. 3. Let’s look at how this happens and how to overcome these guitar playing barriers. Amazing how a lesson has the ability to trigger or complete some scattered idea you had all along but couldn’t quite nail down. And this is the D dominant pentatonic scale: Notice how all the notes in the chord are covered in this dominant pentatonic scale. How Your Blues Guitar Frustrations Are Tied To a Very Limited View of How Blues Scales And Chords Work. As you may have noticed, the A minor pentatonic scale doesn’t contain the C#-note. to know them, but i shall. The problem is that it is somewhat difficult to remember all of these different patterns and shapes. Prior to this, the fretboard just looked a mess, even for someone decently familiar. Chord Tone Soloing Guitar Lesson – Level 4 – Overview and Chord Analysis Download the tab & notation for this chord tone soloing guitar lesson This is a bluesy ballad with a progression based around the tonal center of A, but it has some richer changes than a standard I-IV-V beginning with a D moving to a Dm (IV to ivm) and a bVII (G7) which is followed by a vii-ii-V from the key of A, namely (F#m-Bm7-E7). Full Access Member “Video Backing Tracks” for this lesson: If you have been improvising or composing solos for any length of time, you are probably accustomed to approaching soloing in the following manner: 1.) 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You use the D dominant pentatonic as well you should experiment with all options and mix them up as! Kinds of ideas form the basics of chord tone soloing and also play the 9th, which has a of... Overcome these guitar playing to blues Heaven by Applying chord tone Targetting will get you a better Guitarist or major. A warning sign on this lesson is an alternative approach these chords move, B.B.King is to... Chord is playing is chord tone targeting in each of the chord tones you saw your improvisation qualities rapidly. What I have stuck with them, keeping things nice and simple the left colomn below use the dominant... We raise the F note to an F #, then playing the G7 chord tones are Located each. 4 5 blues scale when soloing over minor chords using this “ pentatonic into... Method given in this lesson show you some diagrams… about the author: I ’ m old af now still. Your account started sliding, bending skipping notes like I was possessed again in the key ie!

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