Scales give us a blueprint of what notes will work and what notes will
not work when it comes time to play a solo.
The first thing you have to ask yourself when you are preparing to solo
is "What key is the song in?". For help on identifying key signatures
check the Guitar 101 section of the member's site. Once the key signature
of the song is determined you can easily find the right scale to play.
I've created a song in the key of A minor. It's chord progression is
Am, Dm, Am, Dm, F, C, Dm, F, C, Dm, Em, Am. Take a listen:
Since the song is in A minor I can use the A pentatonic minor scale to
solo over it. Below in tab is the A pentatonic minor scale in it's most
popular pattern (the E minor scale pattern with it's root on the 5th fret):
I can take notes from this scale to create a solo or melody.
Try playing up and down the A minor pentatonic scale while playing the
song's audio sample above. See how all the notes seem to fit?
Now if we just played up and down the scale, things would get dull quickly,
so I've created my own licks to solo with for the song using the notes
from the A minor pentatonic scale pattern above.
Click here to
go on to part 2 to see and hear the solo I've created...