This section of the chart and corresponding web page deal with lead guitar scales. The six scales presented on The Ultimate Guitar Poster:

1. Major

2. Natural Minor

3. Minor Pentatonic

4. Minor Blues

5. Major Pentatonic

6. Major Blues

represent a modern scale vocabulary and the basis of thousands of well known solos. These six scale patterns illustrate a professional guitarists basic or common knowledge scale repertoire.

Use the play along tracks found on this page to practice using the scales found on The Ultimate Guitar Poster.

Play Along Groove # 1

This is a I - IV -V groove in the key of G Major. Most rock players would immediately opt for a minor pentatonic or minor blues for that killer rock and roll sound. For a sweet or melodic sounding solo try a standard major scale or the more forgiving and user friendly major pentatonic and major blues.

Play Along Groove # 2

Here, the I - IV -V groove at left has been transposed to the key of C Major. Although the three chords are the most important chords in the key of C Major, they also form the basis of blues harmony. Therefore, it is very common to give this type of track a bluesy or funky treatment by using C minor pentatonic or C minor blues. I highly suggest you also learn to play over this type of groove using the major scale, major pentatonic and major blues scales found on your poster.

Play Along Groove # 3

This is a I - VI - IV -V progression in the key of G Major and has much more a major scale sound. Therefore the minor pentatonic or minor blues are not recommended as they sound too funky and will make you seem one dimensional. Once again, try a standard major scale or the more forgiving and user friendly major pentatonic and major blues.

 

Play Along Groove # 4

This is the same I - VI - IV -V progression found in play along groove number 3 transposed to C Major. Of course, begin with a standard major scale and then develop your licks with the more melodic sweet sounding major pentatonic and major blues. Tracks 3 and 4 also feature measures of stop time (breaks) to enable you to concentrate on the timing of your improvisations. Make sure that is is you that sounds good -not just the play along groove.

Play Along Groove # 5

This is a I - VI - II -V progression in the jazz style and is a perfect back drop for the major scale and its infinite melodic possibilities. To add a beautiful and simple twist to your soloing try the major pentatonic and the surprisingly cool and smooth major blues.

 

Play Along Groove # 6

Also a I - VI - II -V progression also in the jazz style give this play along groove the same treatment that you gave to play along groove # 5: major scale, major pentatonic and major blues.

Play Along Groove # 7

This is a typical rock or metal type chord progression which use G major as its I chord, the main chord of the song. Most musicians would still say that this song is 'in the key of G". Due to the presence of chords not usually found in the key of G the best choices for a soloist in this circumstance are the minor pentatonic or minor blues scales.

Play Along Groove # 8

This is the same progression from play along groove # 7 transposed to the key of C. This example contains chords not usually found in the key of C and calls for a lead based on the minor pentatonic or minor blues scales.

Play Along Groove # 9

A minor chord progression with a latin rock flavor. Use the G natural minor involved melody work and the G minor pentatonic and G minor blues scales for fast licks and riffs with a rock or funky sound.

Play Along Groove # 10

A latin rock groove in the key of C minor. The C natural minor scale will sound melodic, tuneful and may remind you of Carlos Santana. For funky riffs or fast rock leads use the C minor pentatonic and C minor blues scales.

Play Along Groove # 11

A jazzy sound in the key of G minor.Use the G natural minor involved melody work and the G minor pentatonic and G minor blues scales for fast licks and riffs with a rock or funky sound.

Play Along Groove # 12

A jazzy sound in the key of C minor.Use the C natural minor involved melody work and the C minor pentatonic and C minor blues scales for fast licks and riffs with a rock or funky sound.

Play Along Groove # 13

A funky sounding one chord vamp in the key of G minor. Use G natural minor, G minor pentatonic and G minor blues.

Play Along Groove # 14

A funky sounding one chord vamp in the key of C minor. Use C natural minor, C minor pentatonic and C minor blues.

BLUES PROGRESSIONS

Play Along Groove # 15

A classic Chicago style blues chord progression in the key of G. Use G minor pentatonic, G minor blues, G major pentatonic, G major blues. Of course it always fun to let the licks fly a good exercise however is to implement the intentional use of rests (silences) to make sure your playing is not overdone which is a common criticism we lead guitarists hear.

In addition to your scales try using the arpeggios which appear on your THE ULTIMATE GUITAR POSTER to introduce a more melodic element and as a nice change of pace.

BLUES In "G"

 

Play Along Groove # 16

Here you will be called upon to transpose your Chicago style blues groove (play along groove #15) to the key of C. Your most common scales of choice will naturally appear on your copy of THE ULTIMATE GUITAR POSTER.

All the same rules and suggestions from play along groove #15 apply. This time try consciously controlling the rhythms of your solos. As a suggestion take the following lick:

once you learn the lick continue to play the rhythm of the notes to only a different combination of scale tones or chord tones while maintaining the same rhythm. This is called establishing a rhythmic motif. Practicing and playing the blues this way will add polish and a professional sound to your playing.

 

BLUES In "C"

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