How to solo like this?

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I've never been a big lead (guitar) player but really want to be able to play lead in the style in this song (the solo in particular):

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I understand the basics of this genre pretty well - circular I-IV-V type progressions, plenty of 3rd and 6th intervals but I'm not so sure about playing that lead style well (I can do it to a point, but I wouldn't say I do it well!).

Any ideas/tips gratefully received.

What kind of scales?

What kind of sequences (for phrasing)?

Techniques? 

Anything else? 

Thanks in advance.
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  • gringopiggringopig Frets: 560
    At first look I thought this thread was going to feature some horrific progressive metal guitarist zooming around in various modal zones but, heaven's! this is good.
    Get those major double stops going and head for the melody zone, I say! No pentatonic that's for sure lol. Loads of guitar players can't seem to get simple and just play a major key melody. 
    I'm no expert but thanks for that track!!
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  • gringopiggringopig Frets: 560


    Always been a fan of Lindley and he inhabits the same territory.
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  • Cheers gringopig! I'm glad you liked the track, and thanks for the David Lindley track, I can definitely hear the similarities.

    And yes, plenty of double stops etc. I go through phases of listening to old East African (and Zimbabwean) guitar music, and I just love it (especially a guy called Remmy Ongala, who gave me a guitar lesson backstage once, many years ago!). It's actually very similar to Rockabilly and country so, as mentioned, lots of thirds and sixths. I know how to layer instruments and get them weaving in and out of each other etc., it's just the lead phrasing I could do with brushing on

    It also sounds great with flatwound strings, which I have on my Jazzmaster :) 
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2114

    Any ideas/tips gratefully received.

    What kind of scales?

    What kind of sequences (for phrasing)?

    Techniques? 

    Anything else? 

    Thanks in advance.
    Scales: Mixolydian, ie major with a flattened 7th, plus a few chromatic passing notes.
    Techniques: Use your fingers. With a pick you can never get simultaneous notes in a double stop.

    If you don’t know Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” then that’s a good place to start.
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7296
    That’s nice. Definitely hints of rockabilly/ swing blues/ early RnB with the harmonised double stops. Some little slides reminiscent of T Bone Walker type stuff, that intro is almost Brian Setzer. I don’t hear much like that in the soukous type stuff I’ve heard so it feels like he’d been listening direct to those American influences.
    Chris Corcoran is a current U.K. guitarist who smashes that swing/ blues style and there are a series of lessons he did for Guitarist on YouTube. Probably not brilliant without the tab ( that was in the magazines) but as an oversight worth a watch. 

    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • MartieFuncumMartieFuncum Frets: 1
    edited July 12
    Thanks Roland, that's really useful.

    This is exactly the type of thing I want to understand, especially how to use the mixolidian mode (I already use my fingers).

    This is how I'd usually approach a I-IV-V type progression:

    I'll simply play the corresponding major scale. For example, if its C, F, G, I'll play in Cmajor. I'll also stray in and out of Am and add the odd passing note (and flattened 5th etc.), but I wouldn't know where to start with the mixolidian mode.

    I guess I understand that Am is the aeolian mode (Am being the relative minor of C), and so (kind of) know how to apply that (although usually as a minor pentatonic, very occasionally). I also know that the mixolidian mode corresponds with the V chord, but have no idea how to 'apply' it.

    Also, if it's a I-IV-V progression, would it work to play the corresponding mode for the IV chord?

    And what about major pentatonic? How on earth do people incorporate those? :-s

    Thanks again:) 
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  • mistercharliemistercharlie Frets: 330
    Major pentatonic is just a major scale with some of the notes left out. And as @Roland points out, C mixolydian is C major with a flatted 7th. 
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  • Modulus_AmpsModulus_Amps Frets: 663
    wow, bring back memories, you might want to look up Johnny Clegg, I remember seeing him give some lessons on tuning and technique many years ago.

    With the African vibe but more jazz focused check out Jimmy DluDlu

    Or some Blk Sonshine ...



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  • Thanks guys.

    So, if I play over a I-IV-V type progression in C (C, F, G) would I play in and out of C major (ionian), and G mixolidian (with the occasional A minor type stuff)...or would I play C mixolidian? 
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  • UnclePsychosisUnclePsychosis Frets: 5322
    It would be more conventional to play in and out of C major (ionian) and G mixolydian. 

    C mixolydian is C D E F G A Bb C. It could sound quite nice over the C major chord and probably also over the F major chord but the Bb will sound "interesting" (clash horribly) against the B natural in the G major chord... 

    You asked before about how you would apply the mixolydian - it's pretty straightforward. You just change the emphasis over the different chords. So when playing C ionian the "home" note is C and the other most important notes are E, G, and B (3rd, 5th and major 7th). The other notes in the scale (D, F, A) would tend yo be used more as passing notes. When you switch to G mixolydian you treat G as the home, with the other most important notes being B, D, and F. So here the passing notes become A, C, and E.

    Same collection of eight notes for both scales, but you change which ones are being emphasised. 
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  • MartieFuncumMartieFuncum Frets: 1
    edited July 20
    Thanks for your help UnclePsychoses et al.

    The problem with this type of music is that the chord changes happen really quickly. So, even though there's a I-IV-V chord progression of, say, C, F and G, over two bars of 4/4 (8 beats in total) it could be C(2 beats), F(2 beats), C(2 beats), G (2 beats). This differs considerably from a progression that might go C(4 beats), F(4 beats), C(4 beats), G(4 beats), which would not only have to be spread over 4 bars, but would give sufficient time to use different scales for each chord (because in context, 4 beats is significantly longer than 2).

    So I'm wondering, for the first of the above examples, where there's not really much time to be making such decisions (for me at least), is there a general concensus as to what scales would best to create solos that kind of surf of the waves of those cyclic 2 beats per chord progressions? 

    My current understanding is that (in theory) I could use: C major; C pentatonic; A minor; A minor; A minor pentatonic; G mixolidian (and possibly C mixolidian?). Is that about right? 

    And I really don't want to be over-thinking (or over-playing!) this, but I do want to spend some more time understanding the nuts and bolts etc. 
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  • vizviz Frets: 5032
    edited July 21
    When you’re playing in a simple I-IV-V piece which is written in C, then you can noodle in C throughout. As has been said, the main choice you have to make is whether, on the I chord, you flatten the 7th (ie C mixolydian) or keep it natural (ie C major, or ionian). Both options work. But both are “noodling in C”. 

    Whichever you choose, the critical thing for the V chord - that it has a flattened 7th - will automatically be sorted for you, because C major and C mixolydian both have an F. That also means that both options are conducive to moving to the IV chord, which is F. So the choice is yours. 

    If it were me, I’d probably use C major and noodle around using CDEFGABC throughout - UNLESS the chord changes were slow and I wanted to make a big thing about the move to the IV chord. In which case I’d play C mixolydian, because then the I-IV progression from C chord to F chord sounds like a proper V-I perfect cadence, which is nice. Then when I get to the V chord I’d make sure I’d switch and play a major V chord (with a B not a Bb, as @Unclepsychosis has said). 

    So in summary, you can do either. If the changes are too quick for you just noodle in C major. 
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  • viz said:
    When you’re playing in a simple I-IV-V piece which is written in C, then you can noodle in C throughout. As has been said, the main choice you have to make is whether, on the I chord, you flatten the 7th (ie C mixolydian) or keep it natural (ie C major, or ionian). Both options work. But both are “noodling in C”. 

    Whichever you choose, the critical thing for the V chord - that it has a flattened 7th - will automatically be sorted for you, because C major and C mixolydian both have an F. That also means that both options are conducive to moving to the IV chord, which is F. So the choice is yours. 

    If it were me, I’d probably use C major and noodle around using CDEFGABC throughout - UNLESS the chord changes were slow and I wanted to make a big thing about the move to the IV chord. In which case I’d play C mixolydian, because then the I-IV progression from C chord to F chord sounds like a proper V-I perfect cadence, which is nice. Then when I get to the V chord I’d make sure I’d switch and play a major V chord (with a B not a Bb, as @Unclepsychosis has said). 

    So in summary, you can do either. If the changes are too quick for you just noodle in C major. 
    Thanks Viz, appreciated. :) 
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