Tag Archives for " Minor Scale "


Using Open Notes in Guitar Solos

If you look at your scales, and actually dissect them to see what notes are in each scale, you’ll see that in many keys, some of the notes you’re playing are also available to you as open notes.

This lesson is more to open you up to the idea than it is to show you in close up detail what my fingers are doing (no closeups today). So once you can get the general idea of plucking an open string, then one of the notes from the scale you’re in, then you’re pretty much set to go nuts and try this out on your own.

One of the coolest things about this soloing technique is that you can use it to sound like a much faster player than you actually are. You can pull this one out of your bag of tricks and make it sound like you’re really shredding, but in reality you’re only moving around between a couple notes. Pretty slick eh?

As with all improvising, there isn’t really a right or wrong way to do this – as long as you’re using the right notes!

Two excellent places to start with this soloing technique are in the A minor scale and the E minor scale, as in both scales you can use all the open notes (talking about the diatonic scales here). Once you’re comfortable doing this, more on and start looking at other scales, like B minor and C# minor and see how you can use the same technique in there. Hint: you won’t necessarily be able to use all the strings anymore!

Video Problems? Watch directly on YouTube


‘A’ Diatonic Minor Scale

The diatonic minor scale is very similar to the pentatonic scale that you’re probably familiar with by now. The only difference is that you’re adding the two notes the pentatonic scale leaves out. In the A minor example in the video, these two notes – the ‘color’ notes – are B and F. In the scale pattern, that’s the II and the VI notes.

Diatonic Minor Scale for Guitar

If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about with the II and VI, you might want to checkout my bass and joyo pedal electric  guitar lesson on I, IV and V. It’s quite a fundamental one in my opinion, and really helps open up the guitar.

But onward and upward! Today we’re talking about the diatonic minor scale. Please add this one to your practice routine – its a very important scale – more so than the major scale, as the guitar favors the minor. Piano teachers (and most guitar teachers) always start you off with the major scales (most commonly C major), but that’s because piano is geared for that. Guitar isn’t. Guitar is an extremely minor-friendly instrument.

Besides, A minor is the first scale that was ever invented. Not C major.

How do I know that?

Simple. When you start counting your marbles, do you start at 3? Nope, you start at 1.

So, the first scale was simple – A, B, C, D, E, F, G.

NOT C, D, E, F, G, A, B – that just wouldn’t make sense, would it?

Anyways, there’s your guitar scales trivia for the day – let’s get on with the lesson!

Watch the the lesson on Youtube

If you’d like to learn more about guitar scales and how they fit together all across the fretboard, I recommend checking out my Guitar Scale Patterns course.

Comments or Questions? Leave one at the bottom of the page! And make sure you practice your diatonic minor scale lots today!