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> Creamy Solo (lesson), Made your own 'A Minor Pentatonic' solo
post Sep 3 2010, 01:10 AM
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Creamy Solo (Lesson)

So your've decided to stop copying and start creating!
This time we'll learn another pattern for the 'A Minor Pentatonic Scale' and then create your own solo from it.

The most common scale used in lead guitar playing is the minor pentatonic scale. Pentatonic means five tones/notes. In a A minor pentatonic scale these notes would be A, C, D, E, and G.

For those that don't know the original scale yet. Memorize this pattern, it will help a lot.

ascending (up)                  descending (down)
     1 4 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 4 1 4    4 1 4 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 4 1

See the previous lesson for more details: Solo And Techniques

The pattern for today is:

ascending (up)                 descending (down)          ascending (up)
             1 4 1 3 1 4 1 4      1 4 1 3 1 4 1 4 1 4 1       4 1 4 1

If you noticed this is also the 'A Minor Pentatonic' so it starts off on the D String - 7th fret which is a 'A' note. It is also recommend to end on the root note so we know what key we are in. The pattern lines up side by side with the previous one, it may of changed shape but it matchs the same edge (all the left notes will match the right side notes on the previous pattern). These patterns continue all the way up and down the neck, learn one, then learn others and add them in - you can switch between them still sounding in key - soon your be able to shred your way around the entire neck and make up whatever you want which still sounds awesome!


If your only use to the first pattern, yes it's possible to just stick with one as the second might seem confusing at first, but you can get some really cool licks out of it which would be difficult using only the first one so it's well worth learning as many of the others as well.

Pratice these scales using alternate picking (down/up/down). When picking, ensure its not leaning up or down but rotate it almost 90 degrees so the thumb is pointing downwards. For alternate picking, keep the pick almost perpendicular to the strings.

Ensure you are using just the tip of the pick. For really fast picking, avoid finger/thumb movement, wrist movement is probably best. Combinations of wrist and elbow movement can also work.

Try to get a smooth, even sound and timing. To help develop your picking it can be a good idea to practice playing each note twice.

Let's now add some more - the blues notes (E Flat):

ascending (up)                 descending (down)          ascending (up)

Add these extra notes can make it extra creamy with a blues sound.

Running up and down the scales is good practice, but not that fun.
Now once you got those patterns down, you want to start creating licks from those notes!

For example:

Remember D String - 7th Fret is the root note A (start and ending on it).
You want to add emotion and feeling into the lick - use hammer-ons (h) and pull-offs (p) and some vibrato (~) to draw out notes.
It is normal to sometimes repeat a lick 2-3 times, even more (maybe with minor changes) and then move onto the next.


B String - 10th Fret is the 'A' root note here. We'll hammer-on or slide into the note this time. Finsih on a hammer to root with a long vibrato.


Slide (/) - Instead of sliding immediately to a note, use a valued slide. Play out the first note, then slide the finger across to the next note.

Hammer-on (h) - Executed by picking a note and then hammering a left hand finger onto the string for the next note. You don't always have to have a note ringing to start off with, your notice it is also hammering between strings (without picking that note).

Pull-off (p) - Playing a note, then pull off the finger downwards (towards the floor) for the next note behind it. Ensure it rings out just as clearly as the first.

Vibrato (~) is a technique of rapidly moving a note up and down while ringing out. It can add expression to your playing. Play by moving the wrist, much like turning a doorknob several times in quick succession. Ensure the note always returns to the same position, don't bend it out of tune. This is what makes it sound correct or not. You can also do bend vibrato, but that too must return to the same bent note pitch. It is also a great way to keep the note sustaining as well as emotional quality to the music.

Starting to get the idea of scales to solos? Create your own and have fun!

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Sep 3 2010, 01:20 AM


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Sep 3 2010, 11:27 AM
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Very useful it's good that you covered various position not just 5th...

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Daniel Realpe
post Sep 3 2010, 09:20 PM
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this is GOOD stuff!

thanks for sharing!

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