(heavy guitar music) (melodic guitar music) – Hi, Steve Stine from Guitar Zoom here, and today what I’d like to do is help you in trying to make your
solos have a bit more melody and a bit more direction to them. So what I’ve got here is a jam track where I’m just playing C, G, A minor, and F. Okay, so C, G, A minor, and F. And my palette at this point is going to be the C
major pentatonic scale. Now, you might be using
something else, right. You might know your C major scale, your diatonic, or whatever it might be. Or you might know your C major pentatonic, but you might be playing
it in a different position. And all of those things are just fine. I just wanna show you kinda
what I’m talking about here. So, I’m gonna use this as my example. I’m gonna use C major
pentatonic sitting right here. Which is the same as A minor pentatonic, which many of you probably know. I’m gonna use that same shape
except my emphasis note is C. So I have C. And the reason pentatonic is so nice is because all the notes basically work really well over all of these chords. So these chords are in the key of C major, C, G, A minor and F, and the scale I’m using
is C major pentatonic. So it has some sort of
connectivity, right? So what many of us do,
especially when we first start kinda trying to learn how
this soloing thing works, is we’re memorizing
shapes on our fret board, scale shapes and chord shapes, and all these different
things, which we need to do. But unfortunately what begins to happen is we spend a lot of time hoping that we land on the right
notes at the right time. So let me show you an example of that. What I’m gonna do is I’m gonna take this C major pentatonic
scale that I just played, and I’m just going to try and kind of aimlessly play it over
this chord progression, over this jam track, okay? So no rhyme or reason, just kinda playing. (upbeat guitar music) Okay? And what I want you to notice is, none of it sounds necessarily bad, but it just doesn’t sound like it’s really making a connection. It just sounds like I’m
kind of moving around. So the trick here is learning how to make some sort of melodic connectivity to the chords that are being played and there’s two ways that
you can approach this. One way is you know your theory, so for instance you might know the notes of the C major scale, and you might know the
notes of the C major triad, and a G major, and an A minor, and F major. And you start finding those
notes on the fret board right? So I’m thinking okay, so
I’ve got a C triad here, so I’m gonna be thinking
about the notes C, E, and G, and then the G chord comes
up so I’m gonna start thinking about G, B, and D, and then the A minor chord comes up so, I start thinking about A, C, and E, right? So I’ve got, and then F comes up. And I might try and see
those on my fret board, and if you can do that
that’s great because that’s obviously the first
step to really trying to create some sort of melodic content, is making those connections. Now if you don’t really know your theory just hold on because I’m
gonna get to you next. But lets say you have that, so what I do is I start
making some sort of skeletal connectivity of these shapes so I’ve got C, E, and G. Now I can do this
anywhere on the fret board with any shapes that I know, chordal and scalular, but right now I’m just kind
of trying to think about this pentatonic sitting
here and I see the notes C, E, and G, and then G, B, and D, and then A, C, and E, and then F, A, and C. Now, I could do something like this, let me play that jam track again. (upbeat guitar music) Okay? Now, I’m playing a lot and I wouldn’t normally do that but the point is, you can hear that all
of a sudden there’s more connectivity happening between the chords that are being played, what I can see of these chords, and then the scale that I
was playing before, okay? So now if I start trying to
make some sort of connection between what I’m seeing right now, this C, E, and G, and G, B, D, and A, C, E, and F, A, C, and I also utilize the scale underneath it to give me kind of access to a road to move around a little
bit in between these. I can start making a bit more of a realistic authentic musical connection. And again, if you don’t know your theory you can certainly try what I’m trying here but don’t worry about
the words that I’m using, but I’m going to show you something else in just a second here as well, so let me show you again. (upbeat guitar music) And again, it might be a little much it might be not enough, it might be in a different
position than you’d like. All those things are completely up to you and what you’d like to
do when you’re playing. But you can tell that all of sudden it begins to sound more
like actual soloing, actual music, actual melody, if you were writing a song
or a vocal part for somebody. Now lets say you don’t really
understand your music theory and C and G and all these
things that I’m saying don’t really make sense to you, okay? That’s okay. There’s also a visual
aspect to this as well and for most guitar players I think we use both of these anyway. But lets say I was
visualizing this C chord, the fifth string bar chord, and then this G, the sixth string bar chord, A minor and then lets put F… For now to keep things easy put F down here on the sixth string. That’s a little bit further away than I’d like to be but
lets just do that for now. So what I wanna do then is let’s say I’m just kind of learning
how to play my pentatonic so I’m seeing this C major
pentatonic sitting right here. But at the same time I’m also
seeing this C major chord, this fifth string bar chord. G major. A minor. F major. And while I’m thinking about
it I also wanna say this, remember that as guitar
players we don’t always have to rely on last
minute improvisation like, we don’t have to wait
until we get in front of an audience or get
in with other musicians, before we start figuring
out what we wanna do. It’s very okay to pre-plan
some ideas, some elements, maybe you don’t do the entire solo and all these different things. But you know I think we always think that we always have to be
dangling from the cliff to come up with ideas to
really be good musicians and it doesn’t always have to be that way. Sometimes already having an idea or a plan before you come in is
a great place to start. So that’s what we’re kind of doing here is developing a plan. So I’ve got this C, G, A minor, and F. Now I can see this pentatonic
but let’s again say I don’t know my pentatonics very well so I don’t have them all
memorized on my fret board. So when this C chord
comes up I’m visualizing this C right here, so as I’m visualizing my pentatonic, This is the same note as this. But I’m seeing it off
this shape right here. So I’m making a connection visually between the chord and
scale that’s being played. So now I can see already
if I kind of visualize that pentatonic and this C major chord on the fifth string, I can see that some notes
are connecting, right? This one. And this one. And this one. I can see those three for
sure are part of this scale, and if I look deeper I can
see some of the other ones. That already is gonna
give me more to work with than just guessing, right? So even if I just thought
this one, this one, and this one, which
are part of that chord, and they’re also part of that scale. So on the C chord, (upbeat guitar music) That’s gonna work. (upbeat guitar music) That’s gonna work. (upbeat guitar music) That’s gonna work. Okay? So I know that there’s
notes that are going to work and it will do that over each chord. Let me show you over G. So we have a G chord scale, and again if we try and
visualize that G chord we have: Now it’s a bit outside
the position that we’re in but that’s okay. So we can, again, the
more you can learn about chord shapes across your fret board and the more you learn about
the positions of your scales, the more you’ll see these things overlap and you can create some
really awesome stuff that way. So we’ve got this G chord sitting here so now what I’m gonna do is, I’m gonna try and emphasize some notes out of that G shape. Now it requires me to have to move though because my position is right here. In this scenario we’re in right now. Again if we were talking
about more positions we’d have more options, but let’s just stay with what we’ve got. So I’m in this position, that’s really a nice note. I could slide from five and
come back to the four here. Now the cool thing about this four is that it’s not a note of the C major pentatonic, but it is a note of the G major
chord that’s being played. Therefor it becomes a new, fresh tone. A new, fresh note for
me to use in my soloing and it sounds very colorful. Had I never used it, it
wouldn’t be available to me. But now that I know that it’s there it’s a great note to try and
emphasize over that G chord because it’s different. It’s not just pentatonic. Now that isn’t the only note
I could emphasize, right? I’ve got this whole shape so I could go, and drop down to this right here, which I could find on the next string. If I start exploring my
fret board a little bit I could find it in other positions too, but again, I don’t want
to get off the idea here. So I can drop down to that
or I can drop down to this or I can play this five or this five because they’re all part of this chord. So now I’m gonna take that C and that G and use this logic a little bit and here’s what I’m gonna do: I’m gonna play this note, over the C, because it’s part of that chord. You can see that’s part of that scale. Okay and if you know
your theory this is a C. Or if you know your
notes on your fret board. It’s a C. So it makes sense. Over the G what I’m gonna
do is I’m gonna move back to the four because
it’s a part of that chord. Now if you know your theory I’m moving to the third, the major third, which is B. That’s what I’m moving to. So let’s just start with that. (upbeat guitar music) Okay. Now that works. It’s not very exciting, but it works for creating a melody. Alright so lets keep going now
we have A minor that pops up. Now A minor I can see
is five, seven, seven, five, five, five, five. Okay? You know your theory we’re
dealing with A, C, and E. Right? And I can also see my
pentatonic sitting right here. So I again wanna make that connection. I can play this or this or this, I can play any of those notes. But from a melodic standpoint
since I’ve done five and four, I could go back to the five because that’s part of that chord. That might sound nice. Or I might keep going down and go five, over the C, four over the G, and then seven over the A. Now lets try both of those, so lets see what this sounds like. (upbeat guitar music) That sounds kind of nice, now lets try it the other way. (upbeat guitar music) And that sounds nice too. Okay. Now we come to the F chord. Now our F is way down here, so that means we’re gonna
have to jump down there to get to some of these notes of F. Okay? Well that’s okay. If we went. Maybe I drop down to this note. Because that might sound nice. Or if I was going. Maybe I’ll drop down to that. Again I’m out of my
pentatonic visual position that I was in, but I’m just trying to make
some sort of melodic connection. Now I’m gonna take it one
step further in a second here but let me show you
what I’m talking about. C. Here comes the G. A. F. And here’s the other way. (upbeat guitar music) So again I’m just
plotting some points here, just plotting some places that I can go. And there’s a multitude of
ways that you can do this but I’m just trying to
get you started here. Okay? Now to make this a little
bit easier on myself what would help is if
I could see some other F chord shapes on my fret board that are more compatible
with the position I’m in. So there’s one I like to use, I teach a course on caged chord system, and I use the caged, C-A-G-E-D, you’ll find videos I’m sure
too on YouTube and such but that I’ve got for this stuff, but the caged system what it does is it enables you to make a chord
across the entire fret board. So lets say I stuck F right here. Don’t worry about this
if you don’t know this I just want you to see this. So what I’m doing is taking
a C chord and moving it up until it becomes F, with my built-in capo here
which is my first finger. So what I can do now, is I can visual the F
chord sitting right here, my F, A, and C are all sitting right here. And that’s really nice
because now all of a sudden I don’t have to leave this position, I can see the F chord right here and then decide what I’d
like to do from there. So lets say I go C, I’m playing this G, I’m playing this A, I’m playing this, and then F chord comes up. I’m gonna drop down to
this note which is the F. The root. Okay? So it now looks like this. (upbeat guitar music) Okay now here’s where the fun begins the more you can learn
about this connectivity between the scale that you’re playing and the chords that are being played in whatever capacity you know, and of course this gives you a whole, another sort of avenue of
education that you can go through, because I’m telling you
the more you learn about your fret board and how
this whole thing works the more options you have, the more confidence you’re
gonna build in yourself, because there’s always
places that you can go that are gonna sound really nice. And there’s a lot of other musical tactics that we can learn too, and not just, you know,
landing on the right note at the right time. There’s lots of other
things we can learn too. But for now, again,
let’s just focus on this. So let’s say for instance, now I’ve got this basic idea set up, so what I wanna do is I wanna
start using the scale again to give me some interesting motion in between these things. And what I mean by that
is lets say I’ve got this sort of set up here, so I’m gonna play. (intense guitar music) And I start trying to
figure out some other things I can do between these
plotted points that I’ve done to make it more interesting. And again, I’m just improvising, it could be literally anything, right? (upbeat guitar music) It just, it could go on and on and on, and it’s really great
because that’s a great way to start just building
something that sounds like a real solo. And many of us, what we tend to do, is we tend to build something like this and then we’ll spend,
if we have enough time, again sometimes you only have, five or eight seconds to solo, so you don’t have a lot of time. But if you’ve got some time, you’ve written an instrumental or you’re playing over a jam track, or you play in a band
and you’ve got some space to improvise on stage in a
song or whatever it might be. What we tend to do is
kind of flip in and out of what I’ll call, pre-planned ideas and improv ideas where sometimes I won’t plan everything, I’ll just plan some ideas here and there, and I’ll start creating something, and then I’ll go off and do my own thing and I’ll kind of come back to
some pre-planned idea again. It doesn’t have to be
just this one position. It could be all over the fret board, but that’s where the creativity comes in, is as you’re moving around
and all of sudden you go, okay here comes an F I
need to make a connection. Okay well you move into that and you start trying to do that across your fret board. So I hope that helps you a little bit in understanding how to approach basic fundamental soloing
to create a melody. It’s just really important to learn how to see these two pieces
and kinda how to think about how to planning a
little bit ahead of time to make these connections so when you go to play
you’re not just relying on instinct or a 50/50 shot that things are actually going to work. You’ve actually got some things
that you’ve thought about that you know are gonna
work over each chord. So take care, stay positive,
and please share the video. Subscribe and just tell people
about it if it helps you at all, I would sure appreciate that. So take care and I’ll talk to you soon. Hey thanks for watching this video and if you liked please do me a favor, like it, share it, subscribe, and please check out guitarzoom.com.