Here’s a more advanced guitar lessons for those of you who are ready for it!
In this lesson Colin will give you some ideas on using 3rds from the G major scale. You’ll have to know your scales pretty well to follow this, as Colin moves around using the whole fretboard, though he’s also using the E pentatonic minor scale (open position) quite a bit as well.
That E pentatonic minor scale is relative to G major, so it works perfectly here.
Most of the examples in the video are coming off the 1st and 3rd strings, though you’ll see towards the end he also dives into the inverted thirds on the 2nd and 4th strings as well, just to change things up a bit.
You can find more lessons by Colin Daniel at RiffNinja.com – I highly recommend checking out his site as he’s got tons of top notch guitar lessons there.
If after watching this you realize that you need a brush up on your guitar scales, I recommend checking out my course on Guitar Scale Patterns!
Playing in the key of G means that we can use Em Diatonic OR Em Pentatonic. Both of these scales become super easy in the open position…
I really relate to the fretboard in patterns. I find them much easier to get my brain wrapped around than note names. One day soon I am going to do a full-length lesson on that. However, for the time being, have a look at the scale pattern on the page here – that is the Em diatonic minor scale.
Now go through each of the chords in the key of G (G, C, D, Em, Am, Bm) and find where the notes from each chord fit into the scale. You’ll see that every chord is built out of notes within that scale.
Next, get that scale pattern embedded in your head and pickup your guitar. That pattern now becomes your structure for improvising. With the pentatonic scale you can truly play any of the notes you want, wherever you want. With the diatonic scale, you have to be a little bit more careful, but you can usually get away with pretty much anything there as well.
Now that you’ve got that pattern stuck in your brain, watch this video, and do your best to follow my fingers and see how everything is coming out of that diatonic pattern. When you’re able to see that, it will really open up a door in your mind in relation to the guitar.
Please note I’ve indicated the extra E and A on the 5th fret. These notes are still in the scale, but those specific spots on the fretboard aren’t in the minor diatonic pattern – they are out of the G major diatonic pattern. It is important to know they are there though, and can of course be played. You’ll see one of the riffs in the video uses these two notes quite a bit.
One other thing – PLEASE don’t get hung up on playing the riffs exactly like I do. This lesson is to help you improvise – not copy. Take my ideas and make them your own, with your own rhythms or sequences.
Just have fun with it and let it all hang out!
As I already mentioned, I absolutely love improvising and playing this type of stuff. Consequently, I have no problem bringing a lot more in this vein, and yes, going into more detail about specifically what I’m playing. However, I need to know if you guys are interested in improvising, or if you prefer to learn common riffs to copy.
Leave a comment below and tell me if you love it or hate it.
There’s really no limit to what you can do with the pentatonic scale, and the absolutely coolest thing about it is that as long as you’re playing in the right key, you literally can’t go wrong with the pentatonic scale. Any single note you grab from there will work over top of whatever you’re soloing on top of.
A fun exercise you can do to convince yourself of this fact is to strum a couple of chords, then pick at random a note from the pentatonic scale, then play the next 2 or 3 notes in the scale, then strum another chord.
Improvising really isn’t as difficult as you might think. I know many of you have probably been trained in the school of “play what’s on the page, dummy – and don’t deviate!” but that really doesn’t do anything for you when it comes time to improvise or create a solo. You’ll find I maintain a fairly strong emphasis throughout my guitar lessons on how to develop your own skills improvising with the guitar.
The pentatonic scale is, in my opinion, the most important of all the guitar scales for improvising, because once you get the pattern down, you literally can’t go wrong.
This lesson should give you a bit more of a feel for how to get started improvising with the pentatonic scale.