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Learn To Play Guitar: A Little Touch Of Guitar Improvisation

By: Peter Edvinsson

I would like to present a few small tips on how to improvise on your guitar with a pentatonic scale in A-minor. We will use two chords and make the whole thing quite impressive. Grab your guitar and come on!

Guitar improvisation is not a completely uncomprehensible art that cannot be learned. You can practice the art of improvisation by learning scales, learning patterns to use in improvisation, by composing melodies on your guitar and by simply improvising a lot.

When you learn to play guitar I think it's a good thing to use time to experiment with chords and scales. This will help you develop your creativity and your own style of playing.

The following exercises will show you a way to practice scales and chords together.

First I would like to give you two chords you can use. The first chord is A7 and you can play it in the open position like this:

1. --0---
2. --2---
3. --0---
4. --2---
5. --0---
6. ------

Now we will look at a small lick in the fift position on the guitar. This mean that you place your left hand on the neck with the first finger on the fifth fret. Here is the lick:

1. --5--8--5-----5--
2. -----------8-----

I suggest that you first play the A7 chord on your guitar by strumming once over the strings and after that playing the lick.

Now we will add the D7 chord. It looks like this in the open position:

1. --2---
2. --1---
3. --2---
4. --0---
5. ------
6. ------

With two guitar chords at your disposal you can play this:

A7 - lick - D7 - lick - A7

You will now learn another lick to make this piece of guitar improvisational music more interesting:

1. --------5--8--5--
2. --5--8-----------

With this lick we have introduced one more note in the A-minor pentatonic scale. With two licks and two chords we can play the guitar piece as follows:

A7 - lick 1 - D7 - lick 2 - A7

Of course you can learn to combine the notes in many ways. I will give you some more notes in the A-minor pentatonic scale if you want to improvise more freely. Here are seven notes in the A-minor pentatonic scale in the fifth position:

1. -----------------5--8----
2. -----------5--8----------
3. -----5--7----------------
4. --7----------------------

Learn to play this guitar scale by heart. After that you can try to combine the notes in different ways. Create patterns or play the scale backwards or try to create interesting melodies. The last touch of guitar improvisation looks like this:

A7 - improvisation - D7 - improvisation - A7

You can of course use this guitar improvisation pattern with other chords and scales. The principle is to choose two chords that can be used with the same scale and improvise between them.

Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music teacher. Visit his site Capotasto Music and download your free sheet music and learn to play guitar resources at

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