Intro to Chord-Tone Soloing

Ever wonder why certain notes in a guitar solo sound so good? Learn how to nail those satisfying notes every time in this video lesson, made for one of my Seattle students, Chris.

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  • Dude, great lesson. I’m liking the wall of guitars haha.

  • Bruce Bailey

    Joe, you unlocked the mystery for me of how guitar soloists know what notes to play that fit into a song. Great lesson; glad I signed up!

  • Pieter de Milander

    Hi Joe, Congrats on a very effective teaching method. Compliments to your crew – lighting, sound and visual material! Could you please explain the following: – 1) Why or When would you choose to either play the Pentatonic (5 x note – ex B’s and F’s or C-A-G-E-D system) mode or the Diatonic (7 x note – ex # and b) scale? 2) What (practical)value does the Cycle of Fifths – or knowledge thereof – add to the Scales and Modes patterns? 3) Why is there so much emphasis on the Minor Pentatonic scales – except for the use of the same pattern wherever you find yourself on the fretboard – whilst the 7 seperate modes – C:Ionian, D:Dorian, E:Phrygian, F:Lydian, G:Mixolydian, A:Aeolian and B:Locrian – where there is a constant progressive pattern revolving around the uniformaty of T-T-s/T-T-T-T-s/T – are neglected? Thank you for your interest in our problems. Regards, Pieter de.

    • Hi Pieter,

      1) Each note relative to the root has a particular sound. A scale is just a handy collection of those notes. The major scale is defined as 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. Major pentatonic is 1 2 3 5 6. Minor pentatonic is 1 b3 4 5 b7. Phrygian is 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7. And on and on.

      So if I happen to choose minor pentatonic, it’s because I want the sound of those notes. If I throw in the b2, I haven’t shifted my thinking to “OK, let’s go to Phrygian now!” I just want the sound of the b2. Note choice comes first, and it’s what the listener hears. We only group them into scales in analysis afterward.

      2) Major and minor keys are easy to visualize on the cycle. Check my article

      3) Not sure what your question is here. Who’s emphasizing minor pentatonic and neglecting the modes?