How To Play Guitar video series, part 2!
In this video, I first talk about how the open position chords become barre chords.
As you learn how to do this using the cycle of 4th exercise, you will also learn the names of all the notes on the fretboard. Simply call out the name of the chord as you play the exercise.
Once you know all your barre chord shapes you can build pentatonic scale shapes around them.
Around all minor barre chord shapes, you can fit a Minor Pentatonic scale.
It is very important that you take the time to understand the connection here between the chord shape and the Minor Pentatonic scale shape.
Simply practice as the Minor Pentatonic exercises suggest, always start by playing the chord shape, followed by the scale, followed by the chord shape.
This approach will manifest the chord shape with the scale shape.
The Major Pentatonic is what separates the content bedroom guitarist with the guitarist who wants to get to the next level.
Many players get away with playing all their solos using Minor Pentatonic “box shapes” as a blanket scale, don’t limit yourself, learn all Major Pentatonic shapes as well and take the step to understanding music, on the guitar!
All major barre chord shapes can be paired with a Major Pentatonic shape and once you completed the cycle of 4th exercise for both the minor and Major Pentatonic, calling out the names of the notes, you will know:
- All minor chord shapes
- All major chord shapes
- All Minor Pentatonic shapes
- All Major Pentatonic shapes
Play like Jimi Hendrix!
Should you pair the minor and Major Pentatonic with each chord of a progression you will be able to play like Jimi Hendrix did. At 2:30 and on into the video I demonstrate this by playing over the chord progression from ‘Little Wing’.
The reason Hendrix played in this way might well have been down to the three piece format his band was in. As the only chord and solo instrument in the band, Hendrix combined chords with pentatonic licks in a call and response manner with his vocal.
This filled out the sound of the band nicely and have become the benchmark for what most guitar players want to sound like.
You can play just like this as long as you get all your pentatonic and barre chord shapes under your belt, it really is as simple as that.
Follow the chords
In the final part of the video, I talk about how it’s easier to play notes close to the chord or pentatonic scale than it is to just guess.
I relate this to a singer who would do this naturally. As long as you start thinking in pentatonic shapes paired with chord shapes and progressions you will become like the singer and have your safe notes. From here on it’s about adding to the vocabulary.
The first note you add to go beyond the pentatonic scales is the b5, the blues note. This gives you the Blues scale, a very popular scale, often used as a blanket scale for blues and rock solos.
A blanket scale is a scale you play over a progression, so for example, an E Blues scale over a Blues in E where the chords are E7 – A7 – E7 – B7 – A7 – E7 – B7.
Even though this is a perfectly fine way of soloing, try swapping scale for each chord instead, just like I do over the Jimi Hendrix progression.
Ultimately, you want to be able to draw on either a Minor Pentatonic, a Major Pentatonic or a Blues scale, no matter where you are on the fretboard.
Take the intermediate course and learn how to apply these theories to your own playing.