An approach to soloing in country

The scale of choice for the country guitarist is usually the Pentatonic scale. It’s a 5 note scale derived from its parent scale, the Major Scale:

This is the key of C Major

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

C D E F G A B

The Pentatonic scale is 5 notes from this – less notes, easier to solo with, right?

1 2 3 5 6

C D E G A

So if a Country Song had the chords C to F to G (all major chords) they would want to play C Pentatonic against the C, F Pentatonic against the F, and G Pentatonic against the G.

This can be tricky switching between scales while staying in the same key!

The trick to learning this is to start off by taking your favorite lick or idea in C Pentatonic and moving to the same lick to F Pentatonic, then to G Pentatonic. If any chord has more time in it – say 2 bars while the other chords have 1 bar each, then play a bit more in that scale with some interesting fills.

Once comfortable in moving around like this, try staying in one space. The Pentatonic scale can be played in a sliding fashion or straight vertical patterns. Try going up one Pattern in C, coming down a pattern in F, then up a pattern in G.

Remember to use a backing track when you start feeling comfortable with it so you can work on your ideas.

Keep Picking –

Spencer

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