Make Your Playing More Melodic

Lead Guitar

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In this lead guitar lesson, we'll be continuing to learn about how to use the natural minor scale on the guitar. As a guitarist, it's easy to fall into the habit of just playing through scales, and not actually making any music out of what you're playing. A good place to start with making your playing sound more melodic is to focus on playing chord tones. In this lesson, we'll be using a C minor scale, C minor pentatonic scale, and C minor arpeggio to learn about how to do this properly.

The C Minor Scale

We'll start with the C minor scale since it's the foundation for everything we're doing in this lesson. Before you go any further, it's important to know all the note names in the C minor scale. The notes in a C minor scale are C D Eb F G Ab Bb.

C Minor Scale

Get familiar with the standard C minor scale shape. While you're playing through this scale, pay close attention to the root notes (C notes) and work on emphasizing them. Those are your most important notes in this scale.

C Minor Arpeggio

A great way to start learning about chord tones is to overlay a basic arpeggio over our scale shape. In this case, we'll be laying a C minor arpeggio over our C minor scale.

C Minor Arpeggio

You'll notice there are three scale degrees used in this shape. 1, b3, and 5. These refer to the three notes found in a minor chord. These will be your target notes when playing over a C minor chord like the one in the downloadable jam track.

Chord Tone Exercise

A great exercise for tying this all together is to start by ascending through the C minor arpeggio, then descending through the C minor arpeggio. Next, ascend through the C minor scale, and come back down the C minor scale. The last step is to go up and down the C minor pentatonic scale.

C Minor Pentatonic Scale

What this does is get you visualizing the chord tones within both the C minor scale and the C minor pentatonic scale. This will help you to be able to target specific notes within each scale that will sound best.

Be sure to download the jam track below the video and work on nailing these chord tones over the jam track. The jam track sits on C minor the whole time, so you shouldn't have any problems playing along to it.


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