How Do I Know What Scale to Use for Guitar Soloing?

by Jesse

How do i know what scales to use when soloing? Is there a way to figure that out?


Hi, Jesse--

Yes, there is a way to know. Basically, you first have to determine the key of the chords that you are soloing over. If you need help with this, please visit Music Chord Progressions.

After you have determined the key, here are some guidelines:

1. If the chord progression includes ONLY the I IV and V chords, use:

**Pentatonic minor scale in the key of the progression or in the relative minor key (3 half-steps down)

**Pentatonic major scale in the key of the progression.

**Major scale in the key of the progression

**Natural minor scale in the relative minor key.

2. If the progression contains chords other than the I IV and V:

Use any of the above EXCEPT do not use the pentatonic minor in the key of the progression.

These guidelines cover only the basic scales used in MAJOR keys. There are other scales and the choices differ if you are in a minor key.

Hopefully this will get you started. Let us know if you have more questions.

You can find a review of all of the above scales at Absolutely Free Guitar Lessons

Best Wishes,

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