In this guitar lesson, we’re going to cover an embellishment riff that I like using in songs that have an Em to G major chord change.
This riff comes right out of the E pentatonic minor scale, which hopefully you’re familiar with by now. Why E pentatonic minor? Well, the chords in question are Em and G, so those overlay perfectly with the Em scale. However, if you take a look at the notes that are being used, you’ll find they also are found in Root 5 B minor diatonic scale as well, which is relative to D major… which is the key the example chord progression is found in.
Personally I find it just a little clearer in my own mind to relate to it from Em, but either way is technically okay. Probably the B minor scale makes more sense to most people.
In case you want to play along, the chord progression I demonstrated this with is just D A Em G A.
Understanding your chords and how they integrate with your guitar scales is the key to finding riffs like this one. I recommend my Guitar Scale Patterns lesson as a great place to start.