Here is a solo guitar piece in A major, I have entitled “A damp afternoon”. In it I seek to evoke a strange combination of ennui and mild rapture resulting from the enforced idleness of a damp afternoon contemplating the beauty of drizzle and grey skies. The composition is built around the major scale harmonised in sixths, or inverted thirds. After repetition of an A and B phrases, the same melody is largely repeated a fourth higher, in the key of D, with the final section replaced by desending sixths to the dominant chord, E, before repeating the melody again. In the second repeat of the melody, the defending sixths are replaced by ascending sixths finishing on the root an octave above. A middle eight follows of desending chords, starting on the fourth, which becomes minor, and moving through various shapes to a dominant chord, E. The first theme is repeated again, and concludes with descending sixths over an E pedal tone, before resolving to A major to end..
Here’s me noodling away to entertain myself! One of the great things about being able to play the guitar is that you can always enjoy creating some nice music for yourself, and indeed for others too! This piece is based around A minor, using the open A, D and E strings to create a bass pedal tone. Its important to be able to control the pick and move quickly from string to string, and you will observe that I use a floating hand technique to achieve this! This technique, combined with some scale and arpeggio knowledge, allows one to come up with solo pieces that sound rich and full! At least I think so, but have a listen, and you can form your own opinion!
You can never have enough of the E minor pentatonic scale. So here is another practice track, built around an E boogie power chord. There is just one chord! The organ comes in over the top with an E7 #9, while the bass line features sliding or bending between minor and major third. So hit those bends in your solo, especially the minor third!
Here is a practice track for practicing your myxolidian mode. Seventh chords occur as the chord built on the 5th degree of the major scale, and usually resolve to the Tonic chord, or the 1 chord of the major key. However in the blues and modal tunes, their may be no such resolution. There may be a change to another 7th chord. Or as in this track, there is just one chord the whole way. Notice how interest is built by having a melodic rhythm backing that varies.
The track is built on the D7 chord. So use the myxolidian mode of the G major scale. Or in other words, a D major scale with a flattened 7th. And listen to the next bass track as well, if you want to hear my ideas for soloing!
Here is the track without a bass line for the bass players. Listen to the other track too, with my Bass line, and see if you can copy aspects of it!
Here is a practice track for guitar players in the key of G minor. Its a G minor groove built around a Gm7 chord. Perfect for jamming away on a G minor pentatonic scale. For a different flavour, try a G dorian (Dorian mode of F major) or a G natural minor.
Here is the same track minus the bass line, and with a lead guitar part, especially for Bass players to jam away on. Try coming up with your own bass lines. Also see if you can hear my bass line from the track above, and reproduce it. The chromatically desending organ line that comes around periodically sounds extra good if you double that on the bass.
Use this practice track for polishing up your A minor chops. You can use A minor pentatonic, A natural minor, or A Dorian (Dorian mode of G major). There’s just one chord, Am7, with an occasional change up. See if you can figure out the chords in the change up. It shouldn’t affect your scale for soloing too much, although there is D chord which has a F sharp in it, so the A dorian would be better suited than the A natural minor over the change up. The A minor pentatonic has neither an F or F sharp, so isn’t affected.