How To Make The Wrong Notes Sound Right In Blues Guitar

Are you tired of playing your guitar always following the same scales and ready to try to play outside the scale? Here I will explain you how to do it!

In styles like Jazz and Blues, guitar players (and not only) use a lot of "outside" notes: notes that are not really in the scale that is being used at the moment in the piece. In some cases, some of these outside note became so common that they were eventually incorporated in the scale: think of the "Blues scale", that is simply a pentatonic scale plus the b5 "blue" note, that is clearly an outside note. Another examples are the numerous "Bebop scales".

There is no advantage to restrict yourself to the scale when playing (in fact, it can make your solo sound too "stiff"). On the other hand, if you don't know how to use the outside notes, they will invariably sound "bad" when you play them. What can you do?

I am not going to explain all the possible ways to play outside the scale - in fact it's not a good idea at all to try to learn more than one way at a time. Whenever you read articles titled "17 ways to play outside" you should be vary: you run the risk to try all the option and mastering none. It's much better to learn one simple trick and spend some time with it until it becomes second nature.

This is exactly what I'm doing in the video below: I'm explaining one and only one trick, but it's trick that can take your really far if you take the time to master it, and at the same time it's very easy to understand and play. What's not to be loved? Watch the whole video so you can learn it too.

Tommaso Zillio is a professional prog rock/metal guitarist and composer based in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Tommaso is currently working on an instrumental CD, and an instructional series on fretboard visualization and exotic scales. He is your go-to guy for any and all music theory-related questions.

Tommaso Zillio

Send comments or questions to: