Outlining Guitar Solos and Targeting Chord Tones

Outlining Guitar Solos and Targeting Chord Tones

(Part 3 of 3)

Lead guitar players often target the notes of chords they play over. This helps to identify the strong notes in a scale and more closely tie the solo to the chord progression. The way that I target chord tones and outline chord progressions while guitar soloing is by visualizing the chords I’m playing over within the scale pattern I’m using. I do this using the guitar CAGED chord system. For example, in my “Blessed Be Your Name” guitar video, I used primarily A major scale pattern 3 (pattern 3 as I teach the patterns in my book Fretboard Theory). The chord progression is A E F#m D. Because of the CAGED system, I can play any basic chord in any position. I can also play any basic chord as an arpeggio pattern. Prior to playing the guitar solo, I mapped out the chords A E F#m D in the scale position I was going to use. Then, as I soloed, I visualized the chords in the scale pattern as they changed, targeting a note from each chord on beat 1 of each measure. Sometimes I hit a chord’s root, other times the 3rd or 5th. I didn’t really think about the intervals, I just played the closest arpeggio pattern note for each chord when it came up depending on where I was in the scale pattern.

I practiced this for a while over the Blessed Be Your Name play along jam track I created, often stopping the track to work things out, correct mistakes and refine my parts.

To learn more about scale patterns, the guitar CAGED chord system and arpeggio patterns, see my book Fretboard Theory or my DVD The CAGED Template Chord System.







Guitar Theory

To learn more about music theory for guitar, including scales, chords, progressions, modes, and more, sign up for a free preview of my Fretboard Theory books and DVDs by using the form on this web page.

Play Until Yer Fingers Bleed!
Mr. Desi Serna
Website: https://www.guitarmusictheory.com
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Comment ( 1 )

  • Marina

    Excellent demonstration and explanation of how to target the chordal tones in the progression

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