Major Scales

New Member
Joined: 05/28/00
Posts: 7
First , thanks for the rapid response to my questions of the past. For you guys to take the time to respond to my "beginner" questions is first rate.
I am currently working on my the Major scale in all keys. My speed is improving and I can run the scale up or down the board with fewer and fewer mistakes.
My question is: when playing these scales they don't sound like a solo, they sound like scales and it's making me crazy.Any advise that may remedy this issue?
Also could someone give me a couple examples of songs that the solos are played with only the major scale,or is a good solo mixed with several different types of scales combined?
I know there are probabley a thousand songs that use just the major scale but I'm so new at this I really can't tell. Any help would be appriciated...... Thanks
# 1
Senior Member
Joined: 06/23/00
Posts: 207
Most solos (good ones) won't stick entirely to the notes in a scale. If you take one of your favorite solos and break it down, its likely that you'll find at least some parts that don't fit in with the scale that is being used on the whole. Passing tones are frequently used in solos. Passing tones are notes that don't fit into the scale, but are not emphasised (played softly, or on the upbeat) and are used to connect target notes.
In jazz, since you're switching scales all the time to play over changes, solos are not in one scale. If you want to hear something that does stick to the notes of the major scale, I can only recommend classical pieces to you. The problem you face (of making scales sound like music, not just mechanical) is a problem many guitarrists face and a problem that I think a majority of metal/shred players cannot overcome. Instead of thinking as a scale as a "scale" which you go up and down, think of it as a set of notes which will create certain sounds. You shouldn't always feel obliged to remain in the scale, and you should know the intervals of the scale well enough that when you play a note, you are playing a note, rather than a pattern. I think the biggest mistake guitarrists can make in terms of being musical as opposed to mechanical is to think of their solos in terms of scale patterns, rather than in terms of notes. It's very hard to improvise well if you think entirely in patterns, because you are not focussing on the effect of the intervals being played. Check out Shay Foley's "intervallic lineage" trick to see what I mean. I think the key to soloing well is to work on your fingers, but work on your ears as well.
# 2