Discover The Blues Guitar Player's
Road Map To The Fretboard
Revealed: Powerful Scale Patterns For Crafting Great Blues Solos
Have you ever watched a great blues guitar player dive straight into a rip-roaring guitar solo, fingers flying over the fretboard, hitting a million different notes in various combinations… every one of which sounded fantastic? To the uninitiated, it may seem they’re choosing notes at random, but I can assure you, there is a great underlying method to the madness, and that’s what I’m going to share with you today.
Hi, my name is Colin Daniel, and over the last forty-plus years I’ve helped literally thousands of guitar players finally understand their guitars, using a range of rarely-taught concepts that most guitar teachers avoid like the plague. The thing is, in order to play the blues well – both as a rhythm or lead player, you first need to build a strong foundation of understanding the chords and scales the song is based on. Many teachers will simply give you some cool riffs and licks to learn, then let you go and practice for a while… but to be great, you need to go deeper!
So, You Want To Solo?
The guitar solo provides the ultimate means of expression for the guitar player… some would even say creating a great solo is the ultimate goal for many guitarists. However, just like anything else in life, if you want to climb a mountain, there are many important steps along the way that you must master first.
Every single great sounding guitar solo you’ve ever heard is based on a scale.
There, I said it.
It doesn’t matter if the person playing doesn’t know how to play a scale, or doesn’t know the name of the pattern, or even tells you point blank they didn’t use a scale to play it! Fact is, if it sounds good, it comes from a scale. Period.
So, the quickest path to creating great sounding guitar solos is to learn your scales! Scales provide patterns that you can use to build solos, and I’m not talking about so-called copy ‘n paste “solos” that simply sound like the scale either. I’m talking about great sounding, melodic and memorable guitar solos that will leave you whistling their tune afterwards.
It’s all in how you arrange the notes, and yet, the scale is the starting point. Think of the scale like a pile of children’s building blocks – each block is a note in the scale, and each person will create something a little bit different with those blocks, but they’re all using the same raw materials.
The Secret to Improved Speed And Accuracy
It doesn’t matter if you want to be a wild guitar-shredding machine like Stevie Ray Vaughan, or just create some great sounding, slower-paced guitar solos like BB King: learning and practicing your guitar scales is the secret to improvement. For that matter, scale practice will payoff in far more than just soloing ability! Your chord changes will improve, your timing, your feel… in fact, it really begins to affect everything you do on the guitar.
You see, unlike other instruments where you need to learn a different pattern of fingerings for each new scale, on the guitar, you can actually use the exact same pattern of fingerings to produce a scale in any key you want! This means that when you invest the time and effort to really burn a scale pattern into your muscle memory, it becomes a very powerful tool to creating solos.
Your fingers will begin to learn where the next note is without even needing to be “told” by your brain. They will know all the “safe” notes in that area of the fretboard, and you’ll be able to put your mental effort into choosing where you want to go, knowing your fingers won’t be stepping on any musical land mines in the process.
Learn your scales well, and you can expect to begin seeing these things in your playing:
The Right Way VS The Common Way
In my forty-plus years of teaching the guitar, I can’t tell you how many students have come to me, and told me that they already know a guitar scale. Then, they proceed to show me how they’ve learned a single open-pattern scale such as C major that covers one octave over three strings.
Unfortunately, this is a very common approach in many schools, but it is hard for me to express how frustrating it is when I see how badly this approach shackles the player and limits them!
In fact, just recently I had a fellow come to me for lessons, and he was playing the scale in this manner. I set him on the straight ‘n narrow, teaching him the full scale pattern covering all six strings, and how to properly use it, and within just two weeks I began noticing a massive difference in his overall playing ability!
Covering The Fretboard Like A Boss
Many guitar players start out learning the pentatonic minor scale, and that’s a terrific start. That scale is super powerful, and if you could only have one scale to create a solo with, that would be a great choice. But if you only stay in a single position, you’re missing out on a big chunk of the fretboard… depending on the key you’re in, you might be missing access to the lower end of your guitar, or perhaps you just can’t get into those screaming high notes with that scale pattern.
That’s where knowing multiple patterns comes in handy. And even better, knowing how to connect those patterns together, so that your fingers can make the transition from pattern to pattern fluently. In this course, we’ll cover not only the scale patterns you need to cover the fretboard, but you’ll also gain a deep understanding of how they all fit together, so you can actually make use of them in your playing!
Can't I Just Dive Straight Into Soloing?
Can a person become a football player before they first learn how to walk, run, catch a ball, throw a ball, and tackle… not to mention learning the rules of the game? Of course not! And yet, when it comes to guitar, people sometimes think they can just skip right to the “fun stuff” without first learning all the skills required to put it all together.
My teaching contains a lot of theory, and a lot of practical application, rounded off with a lot of real-world examples. Some folks just don’t want to hear about the theory part – they just want to play! Hey, that’s fine, I get it, guitar is for enjoying, right?
The only problem with this approach is you’ll never progress very far as a musician.
People who take this approach are inevitably left with the old monkey-see, monkey-do approach to guitar. They can copy what others do, but they can’t be creative on their own…
And let’s face it. Playing the blues is ALL about being creative!
And that, my friend, is why before you solo, you must learn the scales!
Joe Satriani once said that the scale is the solo. Solos all work from scales – even if the person playing doesn’t understand that fact, or is unaware of what scale they are playing from. Scales define the good-sounding notes we have to work with, and therefore, any good-sounding solo must make use of the scales.
The good news is, once you learn a few scale patterns, you will find that soloing comes far easier and quicker than it would have if you had just tried to jump straight to soloing without learning how the scales work.
Blues Is About Feeling... And I Just Want To Play By Ear!
Well said! Yes, blues is definitely about expressing yourself through your guitar, and about feeling the music and becoming part of it. And some of the best musicians play by ear incredibly well.
But let me share a secret with you…
The best musicians who are playing by ear are not playing blind. They’re able to play by ear, because they know in advance what is going to work in particular situations. They may improvise on the spot, but they’re using scales and scale patterns to do that. They’re NOT just blindly and hopefully grabbing at notes on the fretboard, and making it sound good due to some incredible skill and luck.
They KNOW where the good notes are, through studying and practice!
Anytime you hear a guitar player do some crazy fast lick or run, you must understand that the foundation of that run is the scale pattern.
The Ultimate Riff Multiplier
In my 40+ years of teaching, I’ve often run across students who have learned a really cool lick in a particular song or key, but when we start playing in a different key, their minds go blank, and they ask me what riffs they can use in this new key.
Now of course there are some riffs that will only work in some keys, due to their use of open notes. But the vast majority of guitar riffs can in fact be used in any key, all you need to know is how they fit into the scale pattern!
When you learn a new riff, if you immediately relate it to a scale pattern, you’ll not only be able to remember it better in the future, find it easier to transition into the riff from whatever else you’re playing, but you’ll have a point of reference that allows you to move that riff into any other key you happen to be playing in.
So when a student asks me that question, I know it’s time for a little lesson on guitar scales, and how the riffs come out of the scales. After we’re through, they’re smiling from ear to ear because they’ve just discovered that all the riffs they’ve previously learned and practiced now apply to the new key as well! In fact, learn a riff in one key, and with some scale knowledge, you can effectively multiply that riff into at least 12 new riffs!
Minimal Memorization, Maximum Payoff
Some approaches to learning guitar require you to memorize a ton of different things: every note on your fretboard, dozens of odd and unusual patterns and relationship, and different patterns for each key.
Well, in The Ultimate Blues Guitar Course: Stage 2 – Scales you’ll learn an approach to your fretboard that requires very little memorization, and yet, once you really understand it, you will have a powerful and comprehensive understanding of your fretboard.
What’s the secret?
It’s simple, really. It is far more effective to learn a few rules that explain how and why things work than to memorize every variation on its own. There’s less to remember, and what you do remember, is far more powerful!
The Famous "Blues" Scale
In the guitar world, you’ll hear much talk of the famous “Blues” scale. Only thing is, I’ve heard about half a dozen different definitions of what exactly the blues scale is. Everyone seems to approach it a little differently. At its heart is the pentatonic minor scale, which is the most powerful solo scale of all time. I’ll teach you that most powerful of guitar scales, but we won’t stop there.
You’ll also learn how to modify it in a number of different ways to incorporate the “blues note” for when you want to add that extra shot of blues into a solo or riff. Plus, I’ll also teach you how the blues scale relates to other scales, allowing to become truly powerful in your hands.
Most courses you’ll come across will teach you scale after scale, but often that’s as far as they go – you’re left with a ton of different scales with different names, and not much sense of how they all work together. When you’re through this course, you will understand how in fact, all of these different scales are related to just one scale, which really helps tie things together in your mind! You’ll also understand how to modify that scale to fit what you’re playing, or where on the fretboard you want to play. In reality, you’re creating new scales by doing so, but the way you’ll learn here is a far simpler approach, which will lead to a better understanding of your fretboard, better recall of your scale knowledge, and ultimately, much improved playing ability!
Why Choose The Blues?
I chose the blues as the focal genre for this course, because nearly all of our modern musical genres trace their roots back to the blues. If you do your homework, and trace the influences back far enough, you’ll find that the blues fathered country, country-blues, modern blues, classic rock ‘n roll, and many other genres.
With that in mind, learning how to play the blues is really a great way to learn how to play many different styles down the road. Besides, the scales you learn from this course are universal – although they are very popular in the blues, there is nothing to stop you from using these same concepts in any genre that appeals to you.
Why Is This The ULTIMATE Blues Course?
Simply put, because in my ever-so-humble-opinion, it is.
Seriously, if you’re the type of person who expects to learn everything there is to learn about playing blues guitar in a half-hour McDonald’s Happy-Meal-lesson, then you’re in the WRONG place. That’s not my teaching style, and you’d be better off to go find someone else to teach you blues guitar, because you won’t be happy with this course.
If however, you’re the type of person who wants to really, truly LEARN how to play blues guitar, then this is the place to be. Sure, at times it might feel like we’re moving along a bit slowly, but I can assure you, out of my 45+ year experience in training over 5000 guitar players one-on-one, everything in this course has been purposefully placed there to build a rock-solid musical foundation for you.
By the time you’re through this course, you will not be left with any holes in your knowledge about blues scales, the only place to go from there is up and branching out… getting more and more advanced in your playing. You will not find yourself puzzled by the foundational stuff.
The Ultimate Blues course doesn't just put the Blues together, but the whole fretboard and great theory together... all while focusing on Blues application. Just spectacular like all of Colin's lessons! I always learn something new and useful. PICK UP the ULTIMATE BLUES COURSE!!
Stage 2: Scales
This particular course is NOT the complete Ultimate Blues Course. The complete course is four distinct stages, and this particular stage we’re talking about today is all about scales. You can find Stage 1 here.
There are many courses available on how to play blues guitar, but few (if any) take the time to really truly establish an unshakeable foundation in your guitar playing that will give you the confidence you need to tackle any challenge. The Ultimate Blues Course does that. The part we’re discussing today is Stage 2: Scales.
Chords are the foundation, the starting point, of everything else that happens in the blues. Understanding how to play them, how they’re related to each other, how they join together to form keys and how you can adapt them for the blues lays the foundation for going further, with rhythms. Scales are also super important, because your scale IS your solo… and taken all together, Chords (I), Scales (II), and Rhythms (III) form the foundation you need to get where most people really want to go – Soloing (IV). If you jump straight to soloing without these key ingredients in place, you will be limited in your ability to play and understand what you’re playing.
The rest of the Ultimate Blues course is available on our shop.
Is This Course At My Level?
This is NOT a straight-up beginner course. If you’re just starting to play the guitar, then you’d be much better off starting with my beginner course instead, then come back here when you’ve completed it.
However, with that said, this course is designed for players to jump in at a low-intermediate level. You need to be fairly familiar with your basic open chords, and perhaps know a few bar chords, or at least have attempted bar chords before. Other than that, the most important qualification is to come with patience, and an open mind that is ready to learn.
If you apply yourself, you WILL learn from this course, and your playing will progress greatly.
But I Just Want To Rip Out A Sweet Solo!
Patience, young grasshopper! To be truly great at just about anything in life requires first understanding the basics of what makes it work. Just like the karate kid had to practice “wax on, wax off” a million times, there are things you need to master before you get to the fun stuff too. A friend of mine brews beer as a hobby – he tells me you can’t make a decent batch until you first understand how yeast, malts, water, and hops all work together. Trying to skip past all that will leave you completely in the dark as to what you’re doing, and furthermore, if you ever doget a good batch, it will only be by pure blind luck, and hard to repeat.
The exact same thing is true for the guitar. Sometimes learning guitar feels like climbing a mountain. The path is steep, tiring, and feels like it will never end. But every now and then you get to a nice lookout point, and realize that while you’ve been sweating away, you’ve actually managed to climb a good distance. And then you’re back into the trees again for a while… Along the way, there are some that encourage you, some that discourage you, some that give bad directions that end up wasting your time and effort, and occasionally, someone that gives you quality directions and can even lead you to where you’re trying to go.
That’s my role – to give you all the tools you need to get to the top of your guitar mountain. But, just like a mountain climber with a Sherpa, you’ll have to trust me that I know the way, and even if at times if feels like we should be going quicker or in a different direction, I promise you, there’s a well-thought out reason for each step along the journey.
If you don’t have your scales down cold (both in theory and practice), your soloing is going nowhere. The dynamics of how notes relate to each other are incredibly foundational to making those solos that people actually remember, solos that sound great. Learning about scales and theory is a crucial step in your blues journey, and the better you understand the topics in Stages 1 and 2, the better you’ll be able to really succeed with the later stages.
I have taken steps to becoming a more advanced guitar player.
I feel like I have taken steps to becoming a more advanced guitar player. Really like the way Colin teaches. Have learned techniques that I can use whenever I play the guitar. Thanks for such a great program.
How Do YOU Learn Best?
I’ve taught more than 5000 guitar players one-on-one over the last 40+ years, plus thousands more online, and during that time I’ve come across every kind of learning style imaginable. No student is exactly like another, and I’ve discovered that the best approach is to actually use multiple approaches. In one-on-one lessons, I always write out notes for my students, in addition to explaining and demonstrating. It is this combination of techniques that really helps people learn quickly and deeply.
I’ve applied that same approach to teaching in a course, as I would to my one-on-one students. In The Ultimate Blues Guitar Course: Stage 2 – Scales you’ll get a complete 84 page course book PDF along with 6.5 hours of video instruction.
This book isn’t simply a collection of tabs to help with the video (like what most other video courses provide), but instead you’ll actually find the theory and concepts we talk about explained and even diagrammed in detail. Sure, I’ve included tabs and diagrams for everything, but there’s so much more than that as well. Plus, there are additional examples in the book of the things we cover in the course, that are not included on the video. If you follow along in the book as you go through the course, you’ll find it really complements and helps confirm the things you’re learning!
By being able to both read and hear what I’m teaching, I guarantee you will be able to learn the guitar much quicker than otherwise.
100% Risk-Free Satisfaction Guarantee
If you’re hesitant about purchasing online, that’s okay – I understand. In fact, that’s why I stand behind all my guitar lessons with a 100% Risk-Free “No Weasel Clauses” Satisfaction Guarantee.
My guarantee states that if for any reason you’re not completely satisfied with the guitar lesson, I’ll give you a complete refund within 60 days of purchase, with no hassles.
This completely eliminates the risk on your part – you’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain by trying The Ultimate Blues Guitar Course: Stage 2 – Scales!
45+ Years of Guitar Teaching Experience,
At Your Service
So who is this Colin Daniel guy? Well, without tooting my own horn, I wanted to assure you that you’re in capable hands. I’ve been a professional musician and teacher for over 45 years… I’ve played hundreds of gigs, led dozens of bands, written and recorded dozens of original songs, and taught over 5000 guitar players in person, many of whom have gone on to become professionals in their own right. Recently I’ve been able to reach even more students via the internet, and I’d love to help you learn guitar too!
Let's Do The Math
The Ultimate Blues Guitar Course: Stage 2 – Scales is a 6.5 hour lesson designed specifically for the guitar player who want to master their fretboards. If you were to get in-person guitar lessons locally, you’d likely be paying the going rate of about $30 per half hour. Do the math, and you find out that the same amount of instruction would cost you $390… if you could find a properly experienced teacher, to cover the topic in the same detail as I’ve done!
Also consider that a normal one-on-one lesson would end up taking you far longer to cover the same material, that’s just the way these things work. I’ve put a great deal of thought and preparation into the videos and the book, so everything has been condensed as much as possible and laid out in the best sequence for you to learn.
At just $70, The Ultimate Blues Guitar Course: Stage 2 – Scales is not only an incredible way for you to learn to play the guitar, it is also a whopping 82% discount over the minimum you might pay to get the same training elsewhere.
Yes! I'm Ready To Master My Fretboard!
The Ultimate Blues: Stage 2 – Scales course is laser-focused on developing your understanding of pentatonic guitar scales, how to relate them to keys and solos, and how to find your way around the fretboard. Prepare to watch your fretboard knowledge increase exponentially!
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Are you ready to become a Riff Ninja like me, and take your blues guitar playing to levels that you never before dreamed possible?
Keep on Rockin’
PS: The Ultimate Blues Guitar Course: Stage 2 – Scales will give you an excellent foundation in all of the scales you need in order to play the blues, how to connect them on your fretboard so that you’re fully equipped to build great sounding solos. This course is ideal for players who have mastered their chords, and want to move on to the next stage.
PS. If for any reason you’re not satisfied, you’re protected by my 100% Risk-Free Satisfaction Guarantee for a full 60 days.
Enough for me to go as far as I want to with the guitar!
I'd got to that stage where I could play the open chords okay, had a bit of rhythm and had been mucking around with the pentatonic minor scale and getting better on barre chords. But the truth is I'd been all over the place on U tube looking for a bit of theory and bamboozled by so many scale courses. I really needed to focus on one thing so I checked out all the big internet teachers sites and free u tubes before honing in on Riff Ninja. To be honest the name had put me off a little but when I read about their scales course it kind of rang a bell with me.
Having bought the scales course I can tell you I am absolutely thrilled with it. Colin's teaching style is relaxed, gentle and very clear and thorough. He doesn't assume anything about you but just allows you to focus on the core scales as the building blocks for wherever else you may go.
These core scales I have been pleased to discover will be enough for me to go as far as I want with the guitar.
I've never written a recommendation before but compelled to now. Professional site, service and a huge discovery for me is Colin Daniel who for me is the best internet teacher I have seen.
Great work, thanks and kudos to the Riff Ninja team. Have bought the strumming course now and no doubt the blues riffs shortly!