As I’m sure lockdown number two is becoming seriously boring for everyone, today I have a guest post that will be super-handy if you have a guitar lying around.
Anything worthwhile takes time and effort and learning an instrument involves many hours of study
and practise. However…
Using one simple scale, you can improvise over freely available jam tracks almost immediately.
Let’s jump straight in:
1) Dig out your guitar from the back of the cupboard where it’s been since you bought it.
2) Make sure it’s in tune. There are apps available for this. I use ‘Boss Tuner’ on my iPhone.
3) We are going to use the scale below:
Just for the record this is the scale of A minor Pentatonic in first position.
Note: The red dots indicate the root note of the scale, in this case ‘A’.
4) Go to YouTube and search for “jam track in a minor”. Choose one in a style you like and open it.
My personal favourite channel for jam tracks is QjamTracks.
Any of the notes shown in the diagram above should work with the backing track as long as your
instrument is in tune and you’ve chosen a backing track in A minor.
Just ‘noodle’ at first, meandering around the notes. While nothing should sound ‘bad’ you should
soon discover what sounds good to you over what chord. Emphasising the root notes on strong
beats should help make things sound more melodic.
Play around. Have fun!
TIP 1: This particular scale will also work over backing tracks in C major.
TIP 2: The scale is movable. Learn the notes on the 6th string and you can play over tracks in any
key e.g. move the shape up to 12th fret and we are now in E minor / G major.
TIP 3: There are 4 other Pentatonic shapes available – also movable – so you can play in any key
further up or down the neck as comfort and musicality dictate.
TAKING THINGS FURTHER: There are a multitude of instructional videos available on YouTube
and many of the people who run channels also give 121 lessons over Skype.