Learn to use the major pentatonic scale to play smoking leads in major keys!
The major pentatonic scale is the most commonly used guitar scale when playing a guitar solo in a major key. In this short lesson you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started playing and using the major pentatonic scale in your guitar solos.
Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll learn in this guitar lesson:
0:20 I’ve had lots of guitar players ask about how to play a guitar solo in a major key. In this lesson I’ll show you a simple hack for using your minor pentatonics in a major key as well!
0:55 Major keys and minor keys – what’s the difference? In a minor key it’s common to use the minor pentatonic scale to solo. But this won’t work in a major key. For that we need the major pentatonic scale.
1:25 If you take a minor pentatonic shape and move it down 3 frets it becomes a major pentatonic scale. This is a super handy because you can now use all your minor pentatonic scale patterns to solo in major keys. You can also recycle lots of your favourite pentatonic licks and bends into major pentatonic licks. They won’t always work but often they will.
3:25 I’m going to solo over a chord sequence in the key of D major. For this I can move my D minor pentatonic shape at the 10th fret down 3 frets to the 7th fret and play D major pentatonic scale.
4:51 You can hear how the major pentatonic scale fits great with the chord…sounding melodic and strong. Learn how to decide whether to play in major or minor when you play a solo.
5:23 Can you mix up major pentatonic and minor pentatonic scales on guitar. Yes you can, but it’s good to get the hang of using them seperately first before you try mixing them together.
In this guitar lesson you’ll learn a super powerful way to use the ‘clues’ in the guitar licks you learn to make up hundreds of your own ideas. Finding and using these ‘clues’ is the key to building an awesome sounding rock guitar soloing style…you can literally ‘breed’ hundreds of licks with a bit of practice. Let’s jump in!
Guitar Soloing – Breed Guitar Licks Like Rabbits! (guitar lesson breakdown)
0:05 Random, rambling guitar solos a problem? Not sure what to play when you step for a solo? Just feel like you’re mindlessly ‘running up and down scales’? The key is to find the clues in the licks we learn.
0:38 We can ‘harvest’ these clues from all the licks we learn from the great players..and use them to build hundreds (or more!) great sounding licks of our own.
0:45 Let’s look at some examples from the A blues scale down at the 5th fret. Check out this lick I’m going to use for the lesson.
1:20 Often guitarists learn a lick and try to duplicate it the exact same way every time they play a solo. Trouble is…they often can’t remember it (I’ve certainly been there…and you probably have too!)
1:40 But what if we forgot about playing the whole lick and focused on just stripping out the good bits? If I break this lick into chunks I can take each ‘chunk’ and try to rework it into ideas of my own.
2:02 Hear me demo reworking the first part of the lick over a backing jam. I’m trying to recycle it into all sorts of similar but new ideas instead of repeating the same thing round and round.
2:43 Let’s take the next part of the lick: the common bend on the G string. Hear me demo messing with this as I jam over the backing track!
3:45 So what kinds of results can you expect from doing this? Well, you could see instant change…I’ve seen it in my students many times.
What you’ll find is that you’ll be much less likely to just ‘run up and down’ a scale shape when you play because you’ll have some ‘clues’ about what to play.
Here’s What Nobody Ever Tells You About Playing a Great Solo!
0:24 Rhythm is the most important thing to nail when we play a solo.
How do we know? Because every great sounding player has a strong rhythmic groove! The fact is the right notes with a boring rhythmic feel will always sound boring…but ‘weird’ notes with amazing rhythm- can sound amazing (John Coltrane, Scott Henderson, Allan Holdsworth anyone?)
0:40 So in this guitar lesson I want to show you a simple way you can practice developing your rhythm. It’s easy to do and is even fun to do…
0:55 Try thinking like a drummer. You don’t need to go out and buy a chest wig and a tank top (only joking..)
Instead put most of your focus on nailing the groove…instead of thinking so hard about the notes you’re playing! Hammer out the rhythm of your solo phrases and licks with gusto and passion. This will give your phrases rhythmic life and expression.
1:50 I’m going to demo this for you now over a backing track. I’m really trying to ‘lock in’ with the drums and bass, and the groove of the music as a whole – instead of just ‘playing in time’.
2:06 Imagine someone walked into your practice session as you were soloing without backing. Would they hear where the beat was just by listening to you solo? They should be able to!
2:25 So what kinds of results can you expect from doing this? Well, you could see instant change…I’ve seen it in my students many times.
It’s a fast way to improve the sound of your soloing…and you don’t really need to learn anything new – you just play what you already play with more groove!
Learn how to easily create dozens (even hundreds) of awesome sounding repeating guitar licks to use for high energy solos. Repeating guitar licks are an easy and effective way to create exciting, high energy guitar solos and we hear them used by all the great rock and metal players like Slash, Vai, Page, Rhoads – pretty much all of ’em use some repeating licks in their solos.
But how can you come up with your own awesome repeating licks?
Well stay tuned because in this video I’ll show you an easy way you can create ear catching repeating rock licks from our old friend the blues scale!
Repeating Guitar Licks – How To Make Your Own Awesome Repeating Rock Licks!
0:15 Repeating licks demo. Hear me solo using some repeating licks similar to the ones I’m going to show you in this guitar lesson.
1:00 In this lesson I’m going to show you how to take one simple repeating lick and create lots of simple and logical variations on it. This is a great way to build out a guitar style because you’ll see how you can easily start to make up new licks and ideas simply by reworking things you already play and know…cool!
1:15 Here’s how you can play the A blues scale pattern down at the 5th fret. Also I show you how to modify it slightly to give a ‘symmetrical blues scale’ shape. This is great for repeating licks because the fingering is the same on every string making it easy to adapt a lick to other string sets.
3:00 Repeating Lick 1. Here I’m going to show you a simple repeating lick. This will be the starting point for the other repeating licks we’ll create during this lesson.
3:54 This repeating lick is cool…but how can we change it to create a new repeating lick. The symmetrical scale pattern we’re using makes this pretty easy. In this example I’ve just moved it onto the B and high E string.
4:38 String skipping can be a cool way to ‘open up’ a repeating lick and create a new idea. Here we skip the B string to get a dark, bluesy repeating lick. Watch the string skipping. It might test out your fretting hand!
5:45 Extending the original repeating lick is a cool way to create a new idea. We’re going to extend it into a lick that lasts for 4 beats instead of 1 beat. This high energy repeating lick is heard in the playing of guys like Zakk Wylde.
7:03 This repeating lick can easily be transferred to the top two strings like we did before. This is how easy it can be to create your own repeating licks – it doesn’t need to be complicated to work!
7:32 String skipping can open this lick up nicely too. Here we can skip over the B string to create a cool string skipping repeating idea which will sound great in your solos.
9:09 All these repeating licks are simply variations on the original starting lick. This what’s so cool…you’re building new licks by looking at what you can do with the starting note. With a little imagination the sky is the limit. You can create dozens or hundred of new repeating licks (and non repeating licks too). If you add the G string 7th fret back in then even more possible repeating licks emerge. How awesome is that?
Get creative, experiment and above all…have fun. See you next time!
Get a powerful start to your rock guitar soloing every time with these 3 great tips. A powerful start to your solo will grab the listeners attention and make them pay attention to what you’re playing, a weak start to your guitar solo and they might not even listen at all.
Use these 3 tips for your guitar soloing which will make people listen and have more impact every time!
Guitar Soloing – 3 Tips for a Great Start to Your Solo!
Here’s what you learn in this guitar lesson:
00:50 A bad start to your guitar solo can spoil it from the start. Here I demo how lots of players start their solos. It doesn’t really grab the listeners attention and make them want to hear the rest.
1:21 When we play a guitar solo we need to ‘set it up’ and announce to the listener that a solo is coming. If we just stumble into our first lick then we’re not doing this. How can we do it?
1:39 Guitar Soloing Tip 1 – ‘Dig In’
We need to attack the notes and play them like we mean them! Commit to the notes you’re playing and deliver them with confidence and conviction. This alone will make a huge difference to your solos and how they start. Techniques like palm muting, and vibrato as well as decorative touches like sliding into your first note can help make your first phrase much more compelling.
2:24 Guitar Soloing Tip 2 – ‘Bending’
Starting your solo with a bend is an easy way to get a better start because bending can be one of the coolest sounds we can make on guitar. I’m soloing over a backing track in the key of A minor and I’m using A blues scale to solo with. Here I show you some common and powerful bending moves from this scale.
4:06 Guitar Soloing Tip 3 – ‘Pick Up Into Your Solo’
‘Picking up’ into your solo is a very powerful soloing tool. Instead of just ‘playing’ your first note you can ‘lead into’ it with a simple phrase that sets up or introduces your solo. Hear me demo this soloing tip this several times over the backing track.
Using a ‘pick up’ is something we hear in all the great players solos. It’s a simple device but it really works.
5:45 Remember there are no ‘rules’ to playing a great solo so don’t follow these guidelines rigidly! Just experiment with each one and see how you can use it. You’ll quickly hear a difference to the start of your solos if you’re not using these devices already.
Have fun and see you again next time!
Jimi Hendrix Style Lick: Watchtower
Learn a classic Jimi Hendrix style guitar lick similar to what Hendrix plays at the end of his classic ‘All Along the Watchtower’ solo. This lick uses many classic Jimi Hendrix style moves and is a cool addition to your guitar lick bag. So let’s jump in and check out the this Jimi Hendrix lick!
0:15 Here’s the Jimi Hendrix lick you’ll learn in this guitar lesson.
0:29 The lick comes from the C# blues scale played up around the 9th fret. Here’s the scale pattern Jimi Hendrix is using for this particular lick.
0:45 Jimi Hendrix used to tune his guitar down one fret remember! So if you hear this lick played on the recording to ‘All Along the Watchtower’ it’ll sound 1 fret lower than it does here (because I’m in standard tuning!)
0:55 Jimi Hendrix Lick chunk 1. Here’s how to play the first part of the lick.
1:30 Jimi Hendrix lick chunk 2. Here’s how to play the second part of this guitar lick. Notice all the cool bends…take ’em and make sure you’re using these in your own playing.
2:09 Jimi Hendrix lick chunk 3. Here’s how to play the next part of this guitar lick. Notice the cool blues scale runs here. Take these and experiment with making up your own guitar licks using these as a starting point!
2:33 Here’s the complete lick played slowly.
2:43 Here it is played over the backing track.
Experiment with this lick to see how you can make it work in your playing and remember the most important thing is to create variations of your own.
Jimi Hendrix Lick -‘Hey Joe’ style
Welcome back to my Jimi Hendrix guitar lick series and it’s time for another Jimi Hendrix licks. This time it’s a lick similar to what Jimi plays at the start of his solo on ‘Hey Joe’. This lick uses trademark Jimi Hendrix blues style string bends and slides. So let’s jump in and check out the this Jimi Hendrix lick!
0:13 Here’s the Jimi Hendrix lick you’ll learn in this guitar lesson.
0:29 The lick comes from the E minor pentatonic scale played up around the 12th fret. Here’s the scale pattern Jimi Hendrix is using for this particular lick.
0:39 Jimi Hendrix Lick chunk 1. Here’s how to play the firstpart of the lick. It’s using some soaring string bends from inside the E minor pentatonic scale.
1:18 Jimi Hendrix lick chunk 2. More Hendrix style string bending ideas. Check out these bends…take ’em and make sure you’re using these in your own playing.
2:09 Jimi Hendrix Lick chunk 1 played slowly with chunk 2.
2:20 Jimi Hendrix lick chunk 3. Just more bluesy phrasing here with slides, vibrato and punchy phrasing. T
3:00 Here’s the complete lick played slowly.
3:14 Here’s the Jimi Hendrix lick played over the backing track now.
Hope you enjoyed this lesson. Remember to experiment to see how you can ‘twist’ this lick into some cool licks of your own.
Jimi Hendrix Licks – Killer Jimi Hendrix Lick Lesson!
Learn a classic Jimi hendrix style guitar lick similar to what Hendrix plays at the end of his classic ‘Hey Joe’ solo. This lick uses many classic Jimi Hendrix style moves and is a cool addition to your guitar lick bag. So let’s jump in and check out the this Jimi Hendrix lick!
0:12 Here’s the Jimi Hendrix lick you’ll learn in this guitar lesson.
0:24 The lick comes from the E minor pentatonic scale played up around the 12th fret. Here’s the scale pattern Jimi Hendrix is using for this particular lick.
Jimi Hendrix used to tune his guitar down one fret remember! So if you hear this lick played on the recording to ‘Hey Joe’ it’ll sound 1 fret lower than it does here (because I’m in standard tuning!)
0:34 Jimi Hendrix Licks – chunk 1. Here’s how to play the first part of the lick.
1:07 Jimi Hendrix Licks- chunk 2. Here’s how to play the second part of this guitar lick. Notice all the cool bends…take ’em and make sure you’re using these in your own playing.
1:50 Jimi Hendrix Licks- chunk 3. Here’s how to play the next part of this guitar lick. Remember why we learn guitar licks: to gather together ‘structures’ and ideas to use for making up our own licks and solos! Take these and experiment with making up your own guitar licks using these as a starting point!
2:25 Here’s the complete lick played slowly.
2:40 Here’s the Jimi Hendrix lick played over the backing track now.
As always take this and see how you can use it to make up cool licks of your own. Have fun and catch you next time!
Would you like to master pinch harmonics technique and give your solos that magic ‘pro’ touch?
Stay tuned to discover what they are,how to nail the technique and how to make them sound awesome for powerhouse rock and metal solos!
In this lesson you’ll discover
After watching this lesson, you’ll be able to master this awesome technique and get your harmonics sounding as cool as Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, Zakk Wilde, Billy Gibbons and many more.
How to Play Pinch Harmonics on Guitar
0:23 Check out this intro jam to hear a demo of what pinch harmonics sound like. In this guitar lesson you’ll learn what pinch harmonics are, how to get them and how to make them sound awesome. Let’s jump in!
0:30 Pinch harmonics…what are they?
If you don’t know what pinch harmonics are, well you’ve definitely heard them before! They’re what guitar players use to get that ‘squealing’ sound on a note.
0:45 Pinch Harmonic Technique
Want to know how to play pinch harmonics on electric guitar? Let’s look at the techniques you need. It sounds easy when you break it down but does take a little while to get the hang of.
The basic technique for getting pinch harmonics is striking the string with the pick and your thumb, sort of at the same time (at least that’s what it feels like). This sounds easier than it is! Don’t be frustrated if your pinch harmonics a little inconsistent to start with…with practice you’ll get those ‘squealies screaming’!
1:40 Pinch Harmonic Tips
1:45 Try picking along the length of a string playing a pinch harmonic. Notice how they come out a bit easier at some points than others. If you target these ‘sweet spots’ it can help you to learn the technique. Notice where these areas are and hit the string there when you want one! As a guideline, around the neck pickup area on your guitar is often a good spot to target.
2:45 Pinch harmonics are possible with a clean sound, but they’re much easier to get with a distorted guitar sound. Crank up the gain a little and use your bridge pickup to make them easier.
3:15 If you just use this technique then it doesn’t sound like much…but add some vibrato or a bend and they come to life. So think about how to ‘manipulate’ the harmonic – this is the secret to getting awesome sounding pinch harmonics in your licks and solos!
3:55 So there you go. You know what pinch harmonics are, how to get them, and how to use them as an awesome guitar effect in your playing.
There’s a lot of Blues licks out there to play in your solos, but there is a specific Blues guitar lick that every guitar player must know. It sounds great at the beginning, at the end or at any point of the solo while playing a 12 bar blues. So, in this lesson you will learn to play possibly the most classic Blues lick ever
Blues Guitar Licks – Is This the No.1 Must Know Blues Lick
So there are hundreds of blues guitar licks out there. But there is one lick which is played by all the blues guitar greats…and in this lesson I’ll show you how you can start playing it too. It’s one of those blues guitar licks that sounds great almost anywhere in a blues solo and it’s an essential addition to your blues guitar lick library. Let’s dive in!
0:26 Learn to play possibly the most important and ‘must know’ blues lick there is! All the legends know it and use it. It’s an essential bit of blues guitar language.
0:42 Here’s the A minor pentatonic scale shape at the 5th fret. This is the scale that this lick (and dozens of other blues guitar licks you must know!) comes from.
1:04 Here’s the No. 1 blues lick you must know played so you can hear it. Sounds familiar eh? Let’s break the lick up and look at how you can play it.
1:57 I’ll jam over a 12 bar blues in the key of A now. See if you can spot the blues lick in my solo. You’ll hear how it works at all sorts of places throughout the 12 bar blues.
2:45 Blues Guitar Licks Variation. Here’s a basic variation you can do with this lick. It’s just a simple tweak, but can be handy for getting up to the higher notes on the neck in the sliding blues scale.
3:54 So what can you do with blues guitar licks like this one? Take them and practice using them that’s what! Experimentation is the key to making it work in your solos so don’t hesitate, jump in and see how you can use it right away.