Scales for soloing - Major scale vs pentatonic scale

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons, Tutorials & Tips' started by Guitarnewb101, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Guitarnewb101

    Guitarnewb101 New Member


    So i've been practicing major scales for about a month now. I mostly use the key of D, although sometimes I go to A minor (C maj) too. Although I remember almost it entirely by heart, and can easily play it at 90-100bpm, still I think that I need a sort of help to get through a progression of notes, like multiple trials and errors to get it right.

    So what I am asking is that do I need to practice pentatonic scales instead? I know they onle have the 1,2,3,5 and 6th notes of the major scale. Does it help to get rid of the 4th and 7th notes, like they cud be producing some useless or unmoody sounds??

    Any help wud ne appreciated, seeing that I havnt got replies to three of my earlier threads. :(

    anyway, cheers!
  2. dogsasleaders

    dogsasleaders New Member

    If you're looking to improvise, the selection of notes depends on the chords you're playing with, I think you already know this :p .
    Maybe you should practice the major and relative minor (Aminor and Cmajor, are the same scale, Dmajor and Bminor, same scale, like that) pentatonics and then try improvising with them.
    You should just do the metronome method till you can hit all the notes in a straight line without stopping, then try hitting alternate notes like 1st, 3rd,5th note of the scale etc. Practice the pentatonics and then move on to the main scale with all the notes. Do it slowly for a couple of days, then increase the speed slowly. You memorized the patterns, right?
  3. Guitarnewb101

    Guitarnewb101 New Member

    yeah, I did. To practice, I go up and down on a scale, either one single pattern/part, or the entire scale.
    So u say that in order to sound more melodious with the rythm, I should only/mostly hit the notes of that scale which are present in the chord of that particular part of the rythm? Doesn't that make it like an arpeggio?
  4. dogsasleaders

    dogsasleaders New Member

    Its an arpeggio. I'm going to contradict myself here, but sometimes its okay to play any note at all. It all depends on how it sounds. Sometimes hitting that F# note over a CMaj chord can sound good. Generally arpeggios of the base chord can sound great over it and adding extra notes in like the 7th interval makes it sound better. But if you don't want to focus on that too much, like playing the arpeggios only over chords, just try to trust your ear and practice improvising for like, 15 minutes a day, if you have the time that is, atleast 5 minutes. Record them if you can and listen to what you solo-ed, pick out the parts you liked and don't liked and try to analyse what you did there.
    Heck sometimes its even okay hitting notes outside the scale entirely if you can quickly switch into a good note or a note part of the scale. Example, the blues scale, it goes well with the rest of the notes but stopping on that sounds kinda bad. IT's all upto how you listen to your soloing, start slow, eight notes the fastest you approach. Dunno if I helped, seems like went a little off, but tell me if there's anything I confused you with :p
  5. Guitarnewb101

    Guitarnewb101 New Member

    yeah, i understand what u mean. Over the past few weeks, i have been practicing, and with changing scales, sometimes i sounded good, sometimes bad, all random and stuff. but to sound good at some parts, i had to increase my speed, and did some mistakes there. also, i can now quickly change scales because i have figured out how to use root notes in conjunction with other notes at a proper interval.

    But this question still remains, does a pentatonic sound better than the major if i am randomly practicing? I gues i'll have to practice both back to back and record them.
  6. wylder

    wylder New Member

    Both can sound great provided you play in key.

    However, the fact that the pentatonic scale has 2 notes fewer can make it a bit more monotonous. Also, the pentatonic scale doesn't have a 7th note which (like a 3rd) can build tension by transitioning to a minor feel when flattened. But this can also let you easily shift your solo from a minor to a major feel over the same chords adding a bluesy touch to it.

    A particular example that comes to my mind is the solo on "We All Die Young" by Steel Dragon. Zakk Wylde plays a brilliant solo on this track that reflects his style which is both melodic and aggressive.
  7. Guitarnewb101

    Guitarnewb101 New Member

    thanks, i completely understand what you mean to convey. :D
  8. rohan_91

    rohan_91 New Member

    I am planning to buy a new guitar?
    At present i own an acoustic hobmer archtop guitar like the one in here (14809 Hobmer archtop guitar (used, age unknown) - Vintage Fret Shop). But i have heard that such guitars are preferred for jazz style of music. I am confused between fender sa-100, takamine s35, yamaha f310, and granada prs-1. I am even thinking of buying an acoustic-electric. Please clear my confusion. My budget is 5000-6000 indian rupees
  9. kian

    kian New Member

    why dont you just try to play the first position of major pentatonic, its easy and sound a little 'Jolly' :)

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