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The Most Important Scale For Improvising

The pentatonic scale is the most important scale to learn first for improvising. Other scales are useful too, but the pentatonic scale has only five notes in it, is easy to learn, and will not conflict with any other notes, as long as you're playing in the right key. In this lesson we'll learn the 3-position pentatonic climb, which is amazing for soloing because you can access so much of the fretboard all in one fluid scale pattern.

Step 2: Working With A Progression

The first thing to learn before you start improvising is your scale (which we learned in the first video). In this example, the A minor pentatonic scale is used, as well as the 3 position climb.

In this lesson, we'll discuss the chord progression we'll be using to solo over, because the progression provides the context for your solo. The progression is in C major, and goes like this: C - G - Am.

Then, with Ryley playing the rhythm, we'll begin to experiment using the scales from part 1 over top of that progression, in no particular order. The pentatonic scale that we're using will not lead you astray; some notes may sound better in certain places than others, but you will not have any that sound BAD. That makes it the perfect scale to begin improvising with.

Adding Color To Your Riffs

In the first video, we saw how the scale is the basis for improvising... You have to know the scale before you can start improvising!

In the second video, you learned a chord progression, which provides the context for our solo.

In this video, we look at a very popular string stretch riff, and begin to apply it to those two scale patterns we're working with. This is the stage where the scale finally starts sounding like music!

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