A long time ago I heard someone interviewing Joe Satriani. Not everyone knows this, but Satriani is actually a very good guitar TEACHER as well as player.
In fact, among his students, you'll find:
- Steve Vai
- Kirk Hammett (Metallica)
- David Bryson (Counting Crows)
- Kevin Cadogan (Third Eye Blind)
- Larry Lalonde (Primus)
- and a bunch of other high profile players
So when Satch says something about how to learn the guitar, it's worth taking note!
And what I heard him say, was this:
"The scale is the solo"
Sound too basic and simplistic?
The thing he was trying to get at was that so many guitar players don't use the scale when they're soloing... And yet that is the very place they need to be when they're soloing!
Satriani relates his solos so closely to the scales, that for him, there's no difference. Does that mean his solos always sound like scales?
No, far from it.
But it means that every note he plays is somehow, in some way, related to the scale, and he knows it and uses it. So don't let anyone tell you that you don't need any scales to learn how to solo - you can take it from the best that you do need them.
To learn the three main scale patterns you need, to cover the whole fretboard, and how to relate them to every key, I recommend my Guitar Scale Patterns course.
Now go practice your scales!