I love improvising – just noodling around in a given key and having a generally good time jamming away on the guitar. A big part of that is in creating fills or riffs in between chords… So today’s lesson is purely to give you a few ideas that you can use to get started creating your own fills. In this video I’ve only looked at D major, and even as is, it’s a bit on the longer side.
Remember, the chords in D major are D, G, A (the I IV V major chords), and the relative minor chords: Bm, Em, F#m.
If you don’t understand where this came from, I’d recommend checking out my Unlocking I IV V lesson as in that lesson I explain how and why chords work together, which is a critical foundation for doing stuff like the improvising and fills we’re talking about today.
So once you’ve got your chords down for the key you’re working in, take one of them and have a look at the scale that it comes out of. In this case, the relative minor of D major is B, and because we’re using open chords, the B minor scale with its root on the 5th string (2nd fret) is ideal. Again – I go over this in a lot more detail in my Guitar Scale Patterns lesson.
Now that you know what chords you’ve got, and what scale is nearby, simply start trying notes or interval combinations from within that scale, and see what you come up with!
Here are a few that I enjoy using:
Watch Guitar Fills in D Major on Youtube