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FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Breaking Out of the Box- A Soloing Question.

Contributing Member

Alcohol- Because No

Good Story Ever Started by Drinking Milk
Sep 24th, 2016 11:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

I can play the bejesus out of the blues scale but I don't know how to move out of any key effectively for soloing. What type of notes or key am I supposed to be looking for. If I start a solo on say the fifth fret and I'm doing some phrasing and such and what to move to a higher key, what am I supposed to be looking for to keep the solo in a smooth progression.

Contributing Member

Seattle, Wa

Not quite my tempo
Sep 24th, 2016 12:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

Do you mean same key but higher position? For example you're playing a I-V-IV in A at the fifth fret and you want to continue playing that tune up at say, the ninth fret?

Contributing Member

Alcohol- Because No

Good Story Ever Started by Drinking Milk
Sep 24th, 2016 01:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

Something like that. Like any decent solo that I've listened to, the guitarist is playing the "box" at say the fifth fret or seventh fret and then goes to the 12th fret without skipping a beat. Is it root notes that I'm looking for to keep the solo going?

Contributing Member


Albino Blue
Sep 24th, 2016 03:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sounds like you might know all the 6 or so lead boxes already. If not, look here for an overview. To transition between boxes up or down, or across the neck etc, depends on the melody or solo you are trying to achieve (aka musical expression). Many ways to do that. The Backdoor Pattern (Lesson 8) helps to transition between the various boxes, to give you a way to connect the ideas and notes of the different boxes so there is smoothness in your playing up and down the neck etc. See the sample video on Lesson 8. Be careful you don't just flow a flurry of smoothly connected notes w/o the art behind them that makes them cool and melodic.

I encourage you to look at all 8 lessons there on the basic boxes PLUS the other ones on soloing ideas in the various boxes (more ideas on how to connect riffs etc to include transitions). See those fun riffs and connections at:


Also, scales help your riffs flow better too (pentatonic, blues minor etc). But at some point you just have to create the art that flows from your heart into your fingers. That comes from a lot of playing, practicing and jamming to see what works or sounds good.

GOOD LUCK. Still plucking and learning here too.

Boxes and Transitions.

Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Sep 24th, 2016 03:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

The best thing to do at your level of ability is to "play the changes."

If you apply the pentatonic approach to each chord in a tune (especially when the changes are not rapid-fire) you will be outlining the chord tones in your solo as the chord comp plays behind you.

Give that a try--because you already know the mechanics of it. All you need to do now is pay attention to the changes and shift your lead pattern to the current chord.

This approach is what supercharged my lead soloing abilities.

More info here...this is a good demonstration.

Contributing Member


National Anathema
Sep 26th, 2016 07:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

Learn some other modes.


LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Sep 27th, 2016 12:32 PM   Edit   Profile  

I think just learning patterns and modes makes your playing mechanical. For soloing, if you want to be melodic and go somewhere with it, pay attention to the Chord Tones of each chord your playing over. Chord tones are defined as the 1, 3, 5, (& 7 if there is one in the chord). The other notes (2, 4, 6) are extensions or flavor. If you were to emphasize just the chord tones over a chord, your playing will sound melodic. The trick is to also make it interesting. But that comes with practice. So learn the chord tones of each chord in the progression, and land on them as the change happens. The 1 is obviously the most solid and home, but can sound cliche. The 3 is probably the most important note, as it defines the type of chord (major or minor). You can often use the 3 of the chord that is coming up next, to first create tension and then a nice release when the chord hits.

This can all lead to Voice Leading. This is basically the technique of finding notes in the chord progression that are next to or near each other so that as you play over the changes, it's a nice smooth line, and not one that jumps all over the place. This is generally how melodies work, so if you go from chord tone to chord tone over the changes, you likely will have a melodic line that follows the changes.

Contributing Member


National Anathema
Sep 27th, 2016 12:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

"I think just learning patterns and modes makes your playing mechanical."

You can't improvise in ANY mode without knowing it first. You have to crawl before you can walk.

(This message was last edited by 5Strats at 04:14 PM, Sep 27th, 2016)


What It Was!

cross-dressing for Rodan
Oct 7th, 2016 08:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

As mentioned, check out:
- Voice leading
- Chord tones


- CAGED system
- Learn about tension/release
- Try avoiding the "One" (both the root and first downbeat of the bar). Start phrases on the 3rd, fifth, 6th, 7th, etc. Use flatted V, use 6th instead of 7th, use 9th and so on.

Sometimes it's small adjustments. The pentatonic/blues scale is still good stuff.. Don't let your fingers' autoreach system overrule a little learning and judicious application of different ideas. Making an effort to absorb 2 or 3 new approaches can make a world of difference in how you conceptualize soloing.

(This message was last edited by Dolemite at 10:32 AM, Oct 7th, 2016)

FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Breaking Out of the Box- A Soloing Question.

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