How to Start a Guitar Solo in Any Key | Will Edwards | Skillshare

How to Start a Guitar Solo in Any Key

Will Edwards, Artist. Creative Problem Solver. Musician

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16 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Why Use Octave Patterns?

    • 3. What Are the 5 Octave Patterns?

    • 4. Relating to CAGED Chords

    • 5. Why Isn't CAGED Enough?

    • 6. Relating Modes to CAGED and Octaves

    • 7. What is a Modal Tonic?

    • 8. Quick Mode Review

    • 9. 1st Octave Pattern (Phrygian)

    • 10. 2nd Octave Pattern (Mixolydian)

    • 11. 3rd Octave Pattern (Aeolian/Minor)

    • 12. 4th Octave Pattern (Ionian/Major)

    • 13. 5th Octave Pattern (Dorian)

    • 14. Recipe for Success

    • 15. Demonstration, Tips and Tricks

    • 16. Conclusion


About This Class

Octave patterns are the fastest way to learn the guitar fretboard.  This course helps students make connections between the CAGED system and navigating the fretboard with 5 simple octave shapes.  The CAGED system is a universal methodology for navigating the neck that is used by millions of guitar players.  However, the 5 scale shapes and the CAGED system don't always seem to align easily for guitarists.  So, this course makes that connection super solid and helps demonstration how you can use a series of 5 octave patterns to master the neck simply.


1. Introduction: Welcome to the course. This is all about demystifying the fretboard, but specifically focusing on unlocking octave positions and active pattern. So what does that mean? Well, in the first group of lessons here, I'm gonna talk about what these active positions are. And I'm also going to kind of explain how they relate to another framework that a lot of people know the cage system. But I'm also gonna explain why you want to relate these Why it's so valuable to know both the cave system and the octave patterns. Ultimately, you're going to see and step by step hands on demonstrations how you can connect these five simple, simple octave positions and patterns on the fretboard, two modes and scales as well as cords from the cage system, and then navigate the fretboard with total freedom. Because you're always aware of your options harmonically and your options melodically. So that's the goal. Of course. The first several lessons. We're gonna be kind of discussing the philosophy and implications, and then the latter lessons are really highly practical hands on demonstrations. So I wish you luck and let's continue 2. Why Use Octave Patterns?: so it makes a lot of sense to ask why use active shapes and Octa patterns at all? And there are three main reasons. First, these air, very simple patterns and anything simple is a lot easier, right? The second thing is that they provide context because thes air octaves thes air route notes that provide context in our key and within our scale. And finally, the third and maybe the most valuable reason is that these simple patterns allow us some kind of connection to navigating the fretboard with ease, using a lot of new points of reference. And that's ultimately what a lot of guitarists need when they're trying to de mystify. Fretboard is an understanding of their reference points. Understand where there have what's around them, and the octave positions do a lot to help us with that. 3. What Are the 5 Octave Patterns?: in this lesson, I'm gonna actually show you what five octave patterns are just in case you are already familiar with these through the course we're going. Teoh, connect these up with what's known as the caged system. But that's going to kind of be expanding our awareness, these Octa patterns of the foundation, the fundamental ingredient in this group of lessons. So we start with this'll octave right here, which is from a C to another. See? Okay. Now, it's not important that this is a C eyes the same octave fatter, even though it's from C sharp to see sharp. But this is our octopus issue. We're gonna call this first position and then we move on up to our second position again. The same notes an octave. Of course, this is our second position octave shape. And then, of course, we have this which is the hardest to play. We have three notes because way have to Octomom's. This is our third position, our third octave pattern. Okay, then we come up to this one here again. We have three notes to these notes are being shared between the third position in fourth position and then finally our fifth position looks like this. So these are all sees, and you can hear how there's air all exactly the same note. So I've got a pdf that you can download and print out. It's got the guitar tab for these and also Cem court diagrams. Okay, the court diagrams are showing the octave so they're not cords. But the court diagram mechanism is a great way to communicate this so you can download that as well. Memorize these five Octa positions and then come back will continue the course. 4. Relating to CAGED Chords: Now we're gonna be relating these five Octa positions to the cage system because the cage system is a universally recognized in a very efficient way to break down the fretboard. So often, Position one relates to a C chord in our C major chord. Two notes that are a route right. Our CNC fits perfectly into a C major court. Now, in this position, what we know in the cage system as an a position. See court, we have the octave represented again. Now, in the third position of our third octave position, this is what in the cave system would correlate to G position court, a very hard court to play in the middle of a song. We don't really use this core position, but I'm playing here as a demonstration. And then, of course, we've got our e position cord from the cage system and we've got B those opted position, that fourth Octa position right there. And you can also remember this is the fourth Octa position correlates to the fourth letter in the word caged e position. Okay. And then the final won their final of the fifth octave position on 5th October. Pattern belongs to R D position cord from caged, which makes a D shape. Right. So remember to correlate these five positions these five octave positions that you've memorized and then try to correlate them to this case system. How, if you're not familiar with the case, is, um, I'm kind of assuming that you will be, And if you're not familiar with it, it's basically just those five chords. The main thing going on here is that all of these cords are C courts. They're all seat major courts. Brett. So, um, the cage system is is a way off navigating harmony or cords on the fretboard. It's very effective. What we're doing by connecting this up with the octave patterns, however, is building a link between maladies I soloing and our improvisations hooking up melodies with harmony or courts. Okay, so connecting up melodies and harmony and creating a framework for doing that. So the octave positions, one important ingredient correlating it to the cage system, is just basically correlating this to cords. It's very helpful, and I think it will help make sense with things as this particular group of lessons continues. But fundamentally, this is oriented around the octave positions because that's where we start to liberate our creativity in soloing and improvising and coming up with melodies. 5. Why Isn't CAGED Enough?: so it might be worth asking. And maybe you're wondering why isn't the cage system enough? Why do we need these Octa parent? And like I said in the last lesson, you know, it's really that the cave system helps us navigate fretboard where cords are concerned. And that's just one way of talking about harmony, harmony and cords and more or less the same thing. Now, cords and harmony are essential. They're an essential ingredient in music, right? So we don't want toe exclude them by any means. It's just that when it comes time to improvise a solo or write a melody or improvise a melody, you know, soldiers and melodies are basically the same thing. But to do that, the cave system really doesn't give us a good framework because it's focused just on courts . And harmony doesn't really have any melodic value connecting up these, uh, active patterns. And, as you see as we go through these lessons, specifically connecting them up, too familiar scales and modes. Suddenly we bring together a whole lot of information being together modes. You know, most people study motile playing, and it's always kind of elusive for a lot of my students, Um, this is gonna connect all that up so that you you know where the root of your key is really valuable. Point of contacts. Point of reference tohave. You're going to be equipped with tools that air specifically powerful for making melodies and solos rather than just chords. But it's gonna be connected with this universal framework. Uh, that's also useful for chords so that as you're playing melodies as you're playing solos, you're also aware that where the cords are different points, so bring it all together in a one cohesive framework. And that's why caged the cave system isn't really enough and why we want to take thes octave shapes and we want to connect them and integrate them into our cage system. 6. Relating Modes to CAGED and Octaves: Now, as we move through the rest of the lessons in the course, I'm gonna be giving you a lot of hands on kind of one on one demonstrations. I'm gonna give you a very quick overview here. So this is not intended to be the full lesson, but just kind of a bird's eye view, because I think that that'll frame up the total value of these group of lessons for you so that as the lessons continue, you know, you can kind of plug in the useful pieces and really digested a lot more effectively. So what I want to do here is just a very quick, um, review of five five scale patterns in a specific order. And I'm gonna correlate them two modes and we're gonna be doing each one of these in detail a little later on. This is just a very quick summary and correlating it to our our doctor patterns. So we start with our first active pattern here. I don't play this within what we call the first position C major scale. Or you could also call this and and I prefer to call it E fridge in. Okay, so that's a mode as the fridge in mode. And it belongs with our first position octave physician octave shape gave the next one I know as G mixed Bolivian again from using modes motile names. Right? But you could also call this the You can also connect this with second position of our active pattern. Okay, so the third position octave shape, third octave pattern matches this scale. Okay, Which I'm gonna call, um, a alien alien mode. That's a motile name, but it's the same as natural minor thing. This is a minor, but if you want to call it by its motile name, you call it a oly. Next, we have our fourth octave shape, fourth octave pattern. Okay? And that goes along with this scale, which many of us know as the major scale. But we can also give this a motel name of Ionian, so we could call this three Ionian Booth. So inside here way, find our fourth position of the octave. Now our final Octa position. The fifth Octa position looks like this. OK, And the scale that this is going to match is Dorian. That's the motile name. Okay, now I've got PDFs that outline thes shapes for your these scale patterns and labels them correctly with the motile names. And in the case of Ionian and a Olean, I also point out that those air major and minor, respectively this is just a quick run through. I'm going to do each one of these in more detail later on. 7. What is a Modal Tonic?: It's just one more thing I want to cover, and that's this concept of a motel tonic. This is a term that you'll hear me use, and it's a term I recommend you start. You know, paying some awareness to a motel tonic is the pitch that sounds like home in the song. So, for example, if you know anything about modes, you'll know that, uh, the fridge in, for example, this'll scale, way mode. That's the fridge Ian mode that contains all the same notes as C Major. And this isn't really a course on modes, but this is just an example. If none of this makes sense to you, I don't think that it's terribly important that you understand it. But it is a this concise definition of one of motile tonic is. So what's the difference between C. Major on the fridge in? Well, the notes are exactly the same in both scales. The difference is the motile tonic in C major see feels like home. It see it feels like where we arrive in is grounded in the fridge. In the note, that's our tonic is E. So that's what a motile tonic is. Is that it represents a mode. So in the key of C Major e represents the fridge in mode E is our fridge in talk. Okay, so that's what Motile tonic is. You'll hear me use it, and I think it's just a nice way to refer to this rather abstract relationship between the modes and their related major keys. 8. Quick Mode Review: Now I want to do a quick review with you. Of the five main modes we're going to be using, there are seven modes total if if you're familiar with Lo Korean and Lydian where I could be using those here and the main reason is that they don't correlate to our octave patterns in a simple way. So we're gonna be using fridge in, followed by mixed Lydian, followed by a Olean, followed by Ionian or Major Followed my door and I'm gonna show you what there's are and I've got a pdf you can download that shows you these five mode patterns with guitar tapas. Well, so if you don't know them, then you can download that. And I highly recommend memorizing them before you really dive too deep into these lessons. So here we go. This would be a fridge in my now we have the mixer Lydian mode way have the alien or minor natural minor thing. And then, of course, we've got Ionian, which is the same as our regular major scale. And then finally Dorian 35 modes fridge in mixer, Lydian, a oleander natural minor, followed by Ionian or Major and Dorian are the ones you really want to know. For the next five lessons, we're gonna look at each one individually and correlate them to think cage system, but also more importantly, our octave parrots. 9. 1st Octave Pattern (Phrygian): So we're starting a serious here. In the next five lessons were take each one of the five octave positions. We correlate to the cage system and scale and accord from the cage system. Indeed. Okay, so our our first position octave shape is like this now is relates to the sea court from our cage system. Case, you see is the first letter in the cave system. This is our first octave pattern. Now it relates to this scale, which I'm gonna call the fridge in E fridge in is a mode within the key of C major, and it contains very easily contains this octave pattern. So when you find yourself playing this Octa pattern, this is something we talk about a little later in the course. When you're kind of doodling and you find yourself playing this pattern, then I want you to be able to reverse engineer and immediately correlated to this scale on . Then you really got something because you've got the cord. That is probably gonna be really pertinent in the music, your plane. But you've also got a cool scale that you can shred around notes on and do some improvisation. Okay, so we have first position. Octave relates to this cord and relates to this scale pattern, which I'm gonna call E Fridge in a as a motel name. In the next lesson, we're gonna do the neck. We're gonna shift up the neck a little bit and look at the next octopus ish in the second position. 10. 2nd Octave Pattern (Mixolydian): All right. Now, in this lesson, we're looking at the second Octa position, which looks like this, and that's gonna correlate with this scale pattern, which is Jim? Excellent. On within that scale we have This octave pattern is our motile tonic. Even though it's a G mix Lydian scale, this is our Ionian motile tonic. See? Okay. Now, as we move up the neck unit by unit like this, we're going to see that there's relationship of one chord, one scale and one octopus second position octave pattern makes a lydian mode on. And, of course, the corn shape here is in a position court from Caged Francis C. Position a position. There's about C major courts. So we're gonna be drawing that correlation as we move a threat. Fort, We've done first position. That was We just did second position in the next lesson. Will do third position 11. 3rd Octave Pattern (Aeolian/Minor): third position, which we're discussing. This lesson correlates to the A Olean mode, which is also the same as natural minor. Okay, so we've got this position here Thes Aaron Octave obviously because r e strings, they're always tuned the same. So you know, whatever note we play his eyes on the same fret. They have the same name these air sees, but there's a see right here, right? So you can hear those are all the same Note there's air all seized. This is our third octave position and it correlates to this scale, which is a old or a minor. Now it also correlates to G position chord which is very impractical to play. But if for some reason you needed to do it, this is the way that you play it. It's a very impractical cord, but it's still helpful to relate this scale because it's the minor scale correlates also the minor pentatonic and some other stuff. So, you know, being even the the G shaped cord is not really didn't really have very many applications for us. This scale and this octopus Ishan really does. So this is the third octave position, and it matches the, uh, the G position. Court agrees, impractical, but keeps us on track with cave system. And then, of course, it also matches are a Olean mode on. We can still find it within our A minor or alien mode. We can still find the motile tonic are key, which is seen. 12. 4th Octave Pattern (Ionian/Major): All right, well, moving right along. Now we're looking at the fourth octave position, which looks like this again All sees Octa positions to octopus here. So there's three notes total, and this correlates our fourth position. Correlates with fourth letter in the cave system. E position cord. Okay, so this is an e position court in the cage system, and this is our fourth octave position, Okay? But it also correlates to the major scale. Also known by its motile name, Ione. Um, thing. So you want to start memory? You probably already have memorized the major scale. You want to memorize this correlation that within the major scale that the motile tonic, the major Ionian motile tonic has this octave pattern. Okay, that's all you're trying, Teoh. Find those, uh, within the mode and also understand that it relates to the cave system with the fourth chord, E e position court in cave system. Next, we're going to do the final one of the fifth position. Fifth Octa positions. You're gonna find out what scale it relates to our wouldn't mode And where the court is as well 13. 5th Octave Pattern (Dorian): way are with the final one. We're looking at the fifth position. This is our fifth octave position. Looks like this. Okay? And that's gonna correlate to our cage system with D position. Chord D is the fifth letter in Cage. And so we also know this as the fifth octave position, and that's gonna match this scale, which, if you already know this scale by hand, maybe it's in your hands. That is the Dorian mode. Okay, so the fifth active position is matched with the Dorian mode, and it's also matched with the D position court from the cave system. So that's what you want to memorize is that relationship? Now we're gonna look at some ways to apply this information, Of course, up until now have been covering this and concise lessons. But I'm assuming that you're going to take time to really memorize and practice these things with a lot of repetition. I don't think there's any way around. Ah, lot of repetition to get to the point where you know this stuff. These these shapes are in your hand. You know, even if you know modes, even if you already have muscle memory of this even if you know the octave shapes, maybe connecting it all up with cage system, the cord, the scale or mode and the octopus Ishan. Maybe I'm imagining that if you're here in this course, then you haven't memorized all those relationships. But there's there's some repetition involved, and it's important that you really spend time with it. 14. Recipe for Success: So let's talk about a recipe for success with this, Okay? There's three steps. I'm an outline now. The first step is kind of doodling, right? So let's say you gotta jam track plan. You've got some chords, you're playing with a buddy and they're playing guitar and you're just jamming along with it, right? If you just doodle eventually probably you're going to wind up uh, settling on the tonic of the key. And that's just because it's the easiest here. And, you know, for example, if we're playing a 12 bar blues, you see, and you're doodling around it just feels right to land on the sea. So you just do the left the first step and nine times out of 10 are western ears. If you're used to listening to Western music, you're gonna settle on the tonic. Now that you know where the tonic is, you know, during your kind of doodling around, you want to try and figure out Well, okay, that's my tonic. But which of the five octave positions does that remind me of the quickest right? Find it. Find an octopus's Ishan. Then the third step is you reverse engineer From that octu position to a scale in court. So, you know, from the previous five lessons that you're Octa pattern is gonna match exactly to accord from the cage system. And it's gonna match toe one of these modes that we've been talking about. One of the five examples that I gave you. She want to re injury Reverse engineer that quickly. Okay, so you want to be able to know this stuff and do this kind of transaction in your in your head quickly. And and that's the goal. That's really the kind of grail of this situation. The Holy Grail of learning. This material is that you can take it from a doodle to a really comprehensive intellectual understanding of where you are with the music. Okay, so those are the three steps that you want to practice, and you can do that with any old jam track. I've got a jam track in C major that you can download along with this course if you want to do that. But you can also find countless jam tracks on YouTube and other resource is, and the one I provided is just kind of something that you started. But the idea is always the same. You start with the doodle, you figure out where an Octa pattern is, and then you reverse engineer to that cage relationship and a mode or scale that you're playing so that you can have a really solid framework for navigating the fretboard. And that, of course, is why this course is about de mystifying the fretboard. Okay, so now let's look at an example and then we'll close out, of course. 15. Demonstration, Tips and Tricks: e. I want to give you some example sort of tips and tricks for further success. Okay, The first is, let's say you you're finding that you are You've located this Octa powder, okay? And you want to know Well, how to actually jam that out, like, yeah, I understand that, intellectually, but that's not really musical. You're not just gonna be doing this and even correlating that's this scale, you know, you can run the scale, but that's like the worst nightmare of improvisers having to run scales. So what you do is you connected up arpeggios, right? So you know these air, your roots you can grab that are pez You You can do that right? What I just played is just arpeggio notes just straight quarter tones with a little bit of ham around and pull off itself. So that's the first thing you can do is, uh, correlate this in riel? In the real world, when you're playing, you can just play arpeggios off the route notes. Now, another thing you can do is to become aware of your color tones around those court tons, right? So, just by knowing where the octave route is, where the Ione and Tonic or the major tonic of key is because you found the Octopus's Ishan right? That's the root of your key. So if you know the arpeggios root 3rd 5th you know where the food is two and four or the 9 11 are right. You know where that six is? He gonna find the color tones as well. And then, of course, you find chromatic because there's the ones that are in the scale. So, um, knowing where the Octopus's Ishan is can give you, ah, launch fat, if you will, for exploring the full depth of the chromatic scale where you've got all 12 notes to deal with and you can identify how they're going to impact your solo emotionally, so that is a really great way to apply this knowledge. 16. Conclusion: In conclusion, What this course has helped you do is learn the five octave positions on the guitar fretboard. As you move up, they're always gonna move in that exact same direction to start on first position. Second position comes after it. If you start on third position, right, starting third position like that, the next one's going to fourth position. Fifth position, first position, second position. So so once you can. Coralie and you've memorized that relationship between the octopus Ishan and a scale or mode and accord from the cave system. Then you can kind of bounce back and forth between thinking in terms of harmony and cords and thinking his scales. And that's what's happening when you see guitar players kind of like jamming out. And they seem to sort of sometimes be playing lead, sometimes kind of playing rhythm, playing chords right? Well, that's one of the things that they're doing is they're aware that wherever there hand is, there's accord and wherever their hand is, there is also inactive, and that octave is giving them framework for navigating to all the other nuts. The key to learning all of this is that you need to spend time doing repetition and mainly follow those five lessons included here where I talk about the 1st 2nd 3rd 4th and fifth Octa positions and their relationships to modes and cords from the cave system and work with those repetitive Lee. Until that knowledge is something that you own and you're truly comfortable with and you know, like the back of your hand. If any questions come up through this course, there's anything you feel like. You need more explanation. Please reach out to me some of totally available to help. And I hope that these lessons have been illuminating for you, and I look forward to maybe senior another course. Thanks and best of luck.