Cyberfret.com: Guitar Improvisation: The minor scale
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Beyond the Pentatonic
Minor scale guitar soloing
by Shawn Bradshaw

Using pentatonic scales is by far the easiest way to start to learn to improvise. There are also a lot of advanced ideas that can be created using pentatonic scales. But this lesson is about breaking the out of that pentatonic frame of mind, and start to explore some different ideas.

First of all, it is always good to build on the familiar when learning a new topic. Here you are going to take an A minor pentatonic scale, and add a couple of notes to make it a full fledged minor scale.

A Minor Pentatonic

A Minor

The ugly green dots are the added notes

Improvise out of your old friend the minor pentatonic scale just like like before, just add in those extra notes for added color. Again, your are just adding to something that you are already familiar with, rather that thinking of a whole new set of notes.

One thing to keep in mind is that these added notes only work in certain situations in which a minor scale sound good. If you are playing a major blues, and are used to playing minor pentatonic licks over that progression, DO NOT add these notes. It will not sound good. If you are playing a minor progression (Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin, Smooth - Santana) this will sound great. It is important to learn as much as you can about music theory to help you understand what scales will work in different situation. There is of course the old fashion way...use your ear.

 

Practice playing with an Am background.
All grooves are at 85 beats per minute.


Minor scale guitar licks 1 thru 4

 



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