Guitar Solo using Variations of the E Major Scale

This is more of an exercise in creativity than anything else. A few years ago we created several 30 second musical spots using a bunch of samples and it seemed like it might be fun to create some different guitar solo parts over them and put on a video to post. We recently found the audio tracks again just sitting on an old hard drive and here is one of them that I used to come up with some melodic ideas and just to practice some variations on some guitar licks within the E Major scale which are good for building solos.

Playing the notes from any guitar scale in variety of different areas of the neck is a great way to practice being creative on the guitar. This video is just a practice segment that was part of one of those 30 second musical pieces for a project we had going. It uses notes from the E Major scale in various licks with several variations I often use when playing.

The phrasing involves just basically taking the notes from the E Major scale and playing them in different locations on the guitar neck. Starting with a pattern and then building the guitar solo from there.

As you can see there are lots of different sounds you can get from one guitar scale when you play the notes in different areas on the neck. This solo includes some right hand finger tapping and also some arpeggio guitar licks also remaining diatonic to the notes in the E Major scale. The alternate picking licks use strict up down approach to reach the next lick in sequence more fluidly and faster.

The notes are: E, F#, G#, A, B, C# and D#. With all those sharps in there this scale is a little more complex to work with if you are thinking about the notes. This is why learning the interval notes on the guitar neck are a good approach.

The intervals for any Major scale are:

  • Whole Step
  • Whole Step
  • Half Step
  • Whole Step
  • Whole Step
  • Whole Step
  • Half Step

Once you have one guitar lick from the scale, you can come up with more as you build the solo idea. That is what this practice segment happens to be. It is beneficial to play these licks over the chord or chords which match the scale you are using to practice along with.

2 thoughts on “Guitar Solo using Variations of the E Major Scale

  1. When I first began it was taught that a variety should be used in one’s playing style. Not that I had a long classical education but what I did learn served me well. I like this style which may sound good on classical guitar too. You never know till you try it.

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