Learn Beginning Guitar Soloing

Rock guitar is a love affair. A love affair subject to the same emotional roller-coaster you might have felt for your first love. Before you get ready to kick your main squeeze to the curb and move on to the next hottie (I don’t know…maybe the cello), why not try learning the first step to developing a detailed knowledge of what you and your guitar can do!

The E pentatonic Scale!

Assuming you have a handle on standard tuning (at least you have a tuner I hope!), the E pentatonic Scale is easy to learn and “Tons O’ Fun” to mess around with. This scale is also compatible with roughly 50% of the rock songs you probably listen to. There’s this kinda inside joke with serious musicians, that the E scale is a joke, too easy, perfect for us low-life scum referred to as…”ROCKERS!”(headbangers,metal-headz,punks,etc.) As a painfully practiced participant of the Public School System, I was told the same thing. Fear not intrepid seeker of the universal knowledge that is ROCK!…these music snobs are just a little jaded.

Standard tuning is E A D G B E, notice that two of the notes when played “open”(without touching the strings) are actually E. Pretty convenient huh? Take a look at this piece of tablature.


That’s the E pentatonic Scale in first position, and your assignment!

The way to play this is to imagine that each dotted line is one of your guitar strings…

——————————————-0–3————-1st string( E )
————————————0–3——————–2nd string( B )
—————————–0–2—————————3rd string( G )
———————-0–2———————————-4th string( D )
—————0–2—————————————–5th string( A )
——–0–3————————————————6th string( E )

The ” 0 ” on each line represents playing the string “open” or without touching the string. The other numbers (2,3) correspond to the frets upon which you should place your finger. By the way, in first position, the numbers (2,3) also correspond to the fingers you would use…

pointer finger= 1
middle finger= 2
ring finger= 3
pinky= 4

To play this properly in the beginning, you need to follow a few rules…

1. Play slowly! (You can speed up later “naturally”, THIS IS CRITICAL!)
2. Play each note sequentially (in order from left to right),
3. Play each note evenly, counting as you go (1..2..3..4, 1..2..3..4)
4. Once you reach the end of the scale, play it backwards…


That’s it!

Oh, not enough….all right read on….

Once you’ve taken a few days and practiced the scale (please practice a little everyday :-p )
You can start messing around…and “that’s where the fun is!”

Try playing around with your timing, try and get musical…the best music teacher I ever had made sure to teach me this one thing…”once you learn something new, always try and sound musical when you play, whether on stage or practicing in your garage”. I hope you will try and apply this idea to your practice; it’s the best way to get your groove on!


The three chords you need to know to play along with the E pentatonic scale!
More E pentatonic patterns!
A few examples of Rock Songs in E!


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