Ask @asktheguitarteacher:

Hey, I have been soloing and improvising with a variety of scales like pentatonic, natural minor and all the rest. But every time I always feel like what I am playing is 'box' playing or restricted playing and is sort of similar to my previous jams..... How can I get over this? Thanks.

Hi Prateek, thank you for your question. Soloing essentially encompasses 3 aspects; harmony, timing, and dynamic. To get over your problem, you'll need to explore these areas in more detail. As I'm sure you appreciate, there is a lot involved in this, so you'll need to put some time into it. A good way of starting is by studying a solo that you really like, that isn't doing what you can already do. Identify the scale(s) that are being used, when certain notes are played, how they react to the backing chord (intervals, tensions), how hard or soft they are, the technique being used, the note length, the rhythms within the line... you see where this is going ;) Whilst it's ok to get a tab to get you started, use your ear to hear how it's really being played, you'll probably end up disagreeing with the transcription. It will take some work, but it will be worth while.

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what are the other aplications of th melodic minor scale? i use it on dominant altered chords, is there any other use for it? thanks! im from the chapman forum

Sergio Pérez
I presume you are referring to the jazz melodic minor; 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7, rather than the classical version which ascends with a 6 and descends with a b6...
If you're playing over a min/maj7 chord then it's an obvious choice; otherwise it works well in a dorian sense, with the maj7 note being used to create tension or a passing note. I recommend spending time harmonising the scale into 7th chords to see how it can suit certain progressions- if you really like the sound of the scale that is!
Hope that helps :)

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