Scales - Anyone
March 29, 2017 01:47PM
Help please ..Im new to this forum. Im a beginner at guitar. I love the blues. But I cant put different scales together. Having trouble finding notes that sound good. In different modes I guess? Can someone help me please. Thank you
Re: Scales - Anyone
March 30, 2017 02:10PM
You can go loooong way in blues and rock with the pentatonic scale. Add in a few "color notes" and you con do just about anything.

There are a number of positions to learn, but the place to start is with this pattern at the fifth fret:

| | | | | |
Oo o o oO Fifth Fret....
| | | | | |
| o Oo | |
o | | | o o
| | | | | |

The capital O's are the root notes when you are playing in A, or better yet Am. This exact same position also works for C major, but you're root notes will be in at the 8th fret of the high and low E strings and the fifth fret of the G string. It will also sound much more... "Major". To get this same sound in A, you can play this same pattern at the second fret.

Cool things to do in this pattern
1 - Just learn to play it up and down and all around. find an Am backing track on youtube, make sure your in tune and go to town.
2 - Fret the G string at the 7th fret with third finger and bend it up. You can bend it just a little for just a bluesy sound, or you can bend it up a full step.
3 - Do the same thing as mentioned 2, but fret the 5th fret of the B string at the same time. Pick both strings and then bend just the G string. On the full bend the two notes will match at the end of the bend.
4 - Same as number 3, except instead of holding the B string at the fifth fret with first finger, hold it at the 8th fret with your pinky finger.
5 - Bend the 8th fret of B string up with your third finger. Just like number 2 but up a fret and up a string.
6 - Number 5 while holding high e string at fifth fret with first finger. pretty much like number 3 but with a bit of stretch for your fingers.
7 - Number 5 while holding high e string at 8 fret with pinky finger. very similar to number 4
8 - High e string at 8 and bend up.
9 - High e and B strings at 8 either both with third finger or B with third and e with pinky. Bend them around together

Master those techniques and develop a really good feel for them and 80+% of Chuck Berry is in reach!

A few other tips... work on which notes you begin and end phrases on based on the chords being played (yes, as a soloist, you kinda DO need to know and pay attention to the chords while your playing). This begins by learning to play in phrases in the first place. Listen to any great blues guitarist... they don't just play an unending string of notes. They play little pieces of melody. A technique I learned for mastering this a long time ago is to think about your breathing while you are practicing. Play while you are exhaling and pause (hold a note) while you inhale. That will naturally create a sense of playing in phrases. Now time those to the rhythm of the music and play notes (especially the ones you hold) that align with the chords, and you are on your way. It all becomes second nature once you get the hang of it, but in the beginning you have to really think about it.

Color notes... You can play notes outside the pattern occasionally. You just need to be careful with them. The five notes used to make the pattern above will pretty much never sound "wrong" when you playing at the right fret for the key. Some will sound better than others, but they all kinda "work". Other notes will work over specific chords. It would take too long for me to lay out exactly which chords allow for which notes, but it's not to hard to figure out. Just look at the notes of the chords in the accompaniment. One great example in A or Am is the E7 that comes at the turnaround of a blues. G# (D string fret 6) will sound great at this point (Stevie Ray did this all the time!), but it will sound pretty terrible if you play it over the D part of the progression.

There's a thousand and one other things you can do, but there's a few ideas for you to try. Sorry if you already past this point and were looking for trickier stuff.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/2017 02:14PM by jjjtttggg. (view changes)
Re: Scales - Anyone
March 30, 2017 02:16PM
Looks like my pattern doesn't render very well. Just count across each fret. | means you don't play that string in that fret. o or O means you do. Each fret has 6 marks, so you should be able to figure it out....
Re: Scales - Anyone
April 02, 2017 01:11PM
Thank you..
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