Improvisation Lessons

Welcome to the section on guitar improvisation. The lessons in this category focus on use of scales, modes, and arpeggios to improvise (or make up) music over chord progressions. This could also be referred to as soloing. One of the guitar players jobs in many forms of music is to solo or take a lead in the section of a song where he or she has free expression of melody. These lessons will focus on these concepts and give you specific licks you can use to build your vocabulary.

Soloing with Pentatonic Minor

Soloing with Pentatonic Minor

In this lesson we will analyze the pentatonic minor scale and how to apply it along with other embellishments to the art of playing lead
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Bells and Whistles

Bells and Whistles

In this lesson we will cover more tricks to add to your lead playing. Trills, Double Stops and vibrato are demonstrated and discussed.
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More Pentatonic Minor Licks

More Pentatonic Minor Licks

In this lesson we will learn and study several popular licks using the Pentatonic Minor scale.
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Transposing Licks

Transposing Licks

In this lesson we will practice and learn how to transpose licks to different keys.
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Open E Pentatonic Minor

Open E Pentatonic Minor

In this lesson we will study the open E Pentatonic Minor scale and study some licks based out of the open position.
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Riffing with E Pentatonic Minor

Riffing with E Pentatonic Minor

In this lesson we will learn two riffs based out of the open E Pentatonic Minor position.
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Blues Scale Licks

Blues Scale Licks

In this lesson we will study ways to apply the Blues scale in your lead playing.
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Tying It all Together

Tying It all Together

In this lesson we will cover blending the Pentatonic Minor scale and the Blues scale in your lead playing.
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Some Major Pentatonic Riffs

Some Major Pentatonic Riffs

In this lesson we will learn and examine some licks and riffs using the Major Pentatonic scale.
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Relative Pentatonic Major and Minor

Relative Pentatonic Major and Minor

In this lesson we will discover how Pentatonic Major and Minor are related and how we can use this relation to move around the neck and expand our lead vocabulary.
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More Pentatonic Major Licks

More Pentatonic Major Licks

In this lesson we will learn some examples of how to use the relative pentatonic minor scale to expand our major pentatonic licks.
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Some Dorian Licks

Some Dorian Licks

In this lesson we will study and learn some ways to use Dorian in your soloing and improvisation.
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Travis Picking Continued

Travis Picking Continued

In this lesson we will study more on Travis Picking.
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Applying the Mixolydian Mode 1

Applying the Mixolydian Mode 1

In this lesson we will learn how to apply the Mixolydian mode to our lead playing
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Applying the Mixolydian Mode 2

Applying the Mixolydian Mode 2

In this lesson we will learn more examples of how to apply the Mixolydian Mode to our lead playing.
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Combining Mixolydian with Blues Scale

Combining Mixolydian with Blues Scale

In this lesson we will combine the Mixolydian mode with the Blues scale in our Blues improvisation.
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Chuck Berry Style Blues

Chuck Berry Style Blues

In this lesson we will study blues improv in the style of Chuck Berry combining Mixolydian and Blues scale
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Using Pentatonic Major in Country

Using Pentatonic Major in Country

In this lesson we will learn how to use the Pentatonic Major scale to make our leads sound more country.
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The Country Scale

The Country Scale

In this lesson we will learn the Country Scale and how to apply it to our improvisation and lead playing.
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Country Riffing

Country Riffing

In this lesson we will learn some country style riffs using the b3rd and b7th.
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Country Licks

Country Licks

In this lesson we will learn some country licks you can use in your lead playing.
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More Country Licks

More Country Licks

In this lesson we will learn some more country licks you can use in your lead playing, combining the country scale and pentatonic major.
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The  Pentatonic Box Fingerings

The Pentatonic Box Fingerings

In this lesson we will cover the 3 remaining pentatonic box shape fingerings. These shapes can be applied to pentatonic minor or major depending on where you start and the root notes you choose.
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Applying the Pentatonic Boxes to Minor

Applying the Pentatonic Boxes to Minor

In this lesson we will learn some example licks in pentatonic minor using the pentatonic box shapes.
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Applying the Pentatonic Boxes to Major

Applying the Pentatonic Boxes to Major

In this lesson we will learn some example licks in pentatonic major using the pentatonic box shapes.
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Improvising 101

Improvising 101

In this lesson we will discuss basic concepts and approach to improvising over chord progressions. We will talk about analyzing chord progressions, determining scales to use, and arpeggios.
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Blues Improvisation

Blues Improvisation

This lesson is a basic introduction to improvising over a 12 bar blues pattern. Use of pentatonic major and minor are discussed.
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Blues Improvisation 2

Blues Improvisation 2

in this we will continue with concepts on soloing over blues changes.
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Improvising With the Major Scale

Improvising With the Major Scale

In this lesson we will learn about soloing with the Major scale.
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Soloing with Dorian

Soloing with Dorian

In this lesson we will be studying concepts for improvising with the Dorian mode. For this lesson you should be familiar with the 5 pentatonic box shapes and all the modes of the major scale.
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Dorian Box 2 (Relative Phrygian)

Dorian Box 2 (Relative Phrygian)

In this lesson we will be continuing our study of improvising with the Dorian mode. This lesson focuses on the use of box 2 or the relative Phrygian fingering for Dorian.
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Dorian Box 4 (Relative Aeolian)

Dorian Box 4 (Relative Aeolian)

In this lesson we will study the use of box 4 of the Dorian mode. Box 4 is the relative Aeolian fingering.
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Adding Blues Scale and Octaves with Dorian

Adding Blues Scale and Octaves with Dorian

In this lesson we will experiment with adding the b5 from the blues scale and octave techniques to the Dorian mode.
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Ascending and Descending Dorian Licks

Ascending and Descending Dorian Licks

In this lesson we will cover the concept of ascending and descending licks within the Dorian scale.
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Phrasing

Phrasing

In this lesson we discuss the concept of phrasing as applied to soloing over chord changes. We will study some possibilities and things to focus on to develop this skill.
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Double Stop Bends in Style of Stevie Ray Vaughan

Double Stop Bends in Style of Stevie Ray Vaughan

In this lesson we will study some unique bends in the style of SRV. This technique can be great for adding to your vocab of licks
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