Playing Lead Guitar: Part 2

Difficulty: Medium/Advanced | Guitar used: Fender Telecaster | Tuning: Standard

In the first part of this article I introduced the backing track and a simple lead guitar idea using octaves. In this second part I’m going to create a guitar solo over the backing track. The first thing to do is think about what notes and chords you will be playing lead guitar over.

Section 1 consists of the notes E, D, G, A, Db. All of these notes except the Db are in the E pentatonic minor scale. As the E blues scale is just the E pentatonic minor scale with a Bb added, this will probably work too. Section 2 contains the chords G5, A7 and B7 which all contain notes common to the E blues scale.

E Pentatonic minor scale: E G A B D

E Blues scale E G A Bb B D

E Blues scale

|-0-3-5-6--7-10-12-15-17-18-19-------|
|-0-3-5-8-10-11-12-15-17-20----------|
|-0-2-3-4--7--9-12-14-15-16-19-21----|
|-0-2-5-7--8--9-12-14-17-19-20-21----|
|-0-1-2-5--7-10-12-13-14-17-19-------|
|-0-3-5-6--7-10-12-15-17-18-19-------|

This shows all the notes of the E blues scale on the guitar fretboard. Try jamming along to my backing track in part 1 and see what you can come up with. Keep reading to see my guitar solo based on the E blues scale.

Blues/rock guitar solo

                             PM------|
|-------------------------|------------------------|
|-------------------------|------------------------|
|---------------x-x-------|-------------12b12.5----|
|---------------x-x-------|-------12-14---------14v|
|-----------5-7-x-x-------|-13-14------------------|
|-0h3s5s6s7---------15\-0-|------------------------|

|-12---------------|-12-------------12-------------|
|-15b17r=15b17=====|====15-12-15b17----15-12-15b17-|
|------------------|-------------------------------|
|------------------|-------------------------------|
|------------------|-------------------------------|
|------------------|-------------------------------|

|-12----------------12-15p12----15p12----15p12----15p12----15p12----12\-|
|----15-12-------12----------12-------12-------12-------12-------12-12\-|
|----------14b16--------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|

                   G5
|-----------------|-------15-17b19-17pb19r15----|
|-----------------|-15s17--------------------17-|
|-14pb16r14p12----|-----------------------------|
|--------------14-|-----------------------------|
|-----------------|-----------------------------|
|-----------------|-----------------------------|

 A7                       B7
|-------17-19-18-17----17--------||--------------------------0-||
|-17s20-------------20----20-17v-||--------------------------0-||
|--------------------------------||--------x-------------------||
|--------------------------------||--------x-------0-2---------||X2
|--------------------------------||--------x-0h1h2-------------||
|--------------------------------||--15\-0-------------3b3.5---||

The solo starts off with a hammer-on to legato slides to get from the open E on the 6th string to the 7th fret. You pick the open E string, hammer-on to the 3rd fret and then slide to the 5th,6th and 7th fret in one motion. Bar 2 introduces a short scale run with palm muting used as directed. Bar 3 contains those bend and releases, similar to what I used in example 3 of my blues bends article.

Bar 4 is what the solo has been building up to. These quick pull-off licks are very much in the style of  Jimmy Page. Practise these slowly until you can get the timing right!

As the backing moves into section 2 ( G5 A7 B7) the solo moves up the fret board to stop it sounding flat but still just using the E blues scale.

Be varying the techniques and moving up and down the fretboard you can do quite a lot with just one scale that consists of 6 notes! In part 3 I’m going to be using the same backing track but using different scales over the chord changes.

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3 Responses to Playing Lead Guitar: Part 2

  1. Deirdre Conner says:

    interesting. ive been trying to learn blues guitar for quite a while myself now, but just never had enough time to practice. found bluesguitarforyou.com recently and working through their course now, so far i think im doing quite good

  2. Pingback: Playing Lead Guitar: Part 1 « Nearlyarockstar

  3. Pingback: Playing Lead Guitar: Part 3 « Nearlyarockstar

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