Just felt like sharing this technique which i recently understood or rather i am still strugling to understand it more deeply. 1st Technique:- Follow the chord changes and play ur licks starting and ending on the notes of the particular chord for that particular bar. Now doin this we need to stick to a particular scale. lets take an example in the C Major scale C D E F G A B C Our common progression C Am F G We have to improvise or play a lead on this chord progression. Starting chord C - notes - C E G Start ur lick based on any of this notes and end it on any of these notes. This will help the lick to gel along well with the chord that is being played in the background. I prefer using pentatonic scales 5 positions for playing leads and improvising. So since Am is relative minor of C Major . Am pentatonic can be played for all the above mentioned chords in the progression.Similarly follow for the remaining chords. This is one technique of playing the lead. 2nd Technique:- Now here modes come into the picture. Lets take an example in the E major Scale. E F# G# A B C# D# Major chords - E A B Minor Chords - F#m G#m C#m Diminished chord - D#dim Progression used - E C#m A B (dont know how it will sound coz i dont hav my guitar to play and hear it right now. Just took random chords to explain the theory) Every Scale has 7 modes - Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrain Lets start wit the E chord in the above progression. Now as per the understanding from the 1st technique we can use the E major Scale or the C#m pentatonic scale for creating the lick for E chord. Similarly for C#m we can use C#m minor pentatonic. E - E major scale or E major pentatonic or C#m pentatonic can be used C#m - E major scale or E major pentatonic or C#m pentatonic can be used - A - F#Minor pentatonic can be used since F# is relative minor of A. This is a Dorian Mode of E major Scale B - G#m pentatonic can be used since g#m is relative minor of B. This is a Phrygian mode of the E major scale. C#m pentatonic - C# E F# G# B (1 3 4 5 7) F#m pentatonic - F# A B C# E G#m pentatonic - G# B C# D# F# In all the above Minor pentatonics all the notes fall under the E major scale and none of them is OFF note. The conclusion from this technique is WHEN YOU HAVE A MAJOR CHORD in a progression USE the MAJOR PENTATONIC OR THE RELATIVE MINOR PENTATONIC. This way u will get an idea how the modes are constructed and how they sound and thus giving ur Solo a very Decent professional touch . This holds true for other scales as well. 1st technique differs from the 2nd technique coz in 1st one we restricted ourselves to a particular scale whereas in other technique we actually used different scales(Modes). I hope i hav not complicated things over here .