Category Archives: Soloing

UD#64 Constructing Solo Ideas: Take it!

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Constructing Solo Ideas (UD#64) from Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek WHAT IS SOLOING? Soloing is when a musician improvises their own melody along with the chords in a song. Imagine you are playing a song with a friend. If he/she strums the chords you might like to play along with some cool sounding improvised picking. That’s called “taking a solo.” Pop and Blues music often feature instrumental solos. In Jazz as well as Bluegrass music it is the tradition to sing or play the melody of a song and then the musicians take turns playing improvised solos. If   …Continue Reading


UD#26 Never Jam Alone – Episode 3 (Major Pentatonic)

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UD #25 The Major Pentatonic Scale: Solo Anyone? from Ukulele in the Dark w/ Guido Heistek   Last newsletter we looked at how to play a Major Pentatonic Scale on the ukulele. This scale is very useful for soloing over Folk, Pop or Jazz progressions that are in a major key. The Major Pentatonic Scale is easy to learn and very useful. It’s a big help to have some notes under your fingers that you know will sound fine. This way you are free to explore your creativity by playing with rhythm and phrasing without having to worry about hitting   …Continue Reading


UD#25 The Major Pentatonic Scale: Solo Anyone?

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UD#25 The Major Pentatonic Scale: Solo Anyone? from Ukulele in the Dark w/ Guido Heistek When I was starting out as a player I loved to play blues music. I would play along with blues recordings for hours and hours. I used to jam with my uncle and we’d take turns accompanying each other as we took solos. What a blast! My main soloing material came from the Minor Pentatonic Scale which was first shown to me by my father. This worked great for blues songs and some songs in minor keys but I noticed that the Minor Pentatonic Scale   …Continue Reading


UD#22 Moving Scales up the Neck – Blues in All Keys

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UD#22  Moving Scales up the Neck – Blues in All Keys from Ukulele in the Dark w/ Guido Heistek NOTE: It will be useful to have a fretboard chart for this lesson. Here is a link to to a fretboard chart in case you don’t have one already. http://ukuleleinthedark.com/filesUD/ukulele-fretboard-2.pdf Last week we looked at using the C Minor Pentatonic Scale to play a solo on a blues in the key of C. But what happens when we play a blues in a different key? Like G, A or D? A GRAPHIC INSTRUMENT The great thing about a ukulele or a   …Continue Reading


UD#21 Soloing on the Blues

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UD #21 Soloing on the Blues from Ukulele in the Dark w/ Guido Heistek THE MINOR PENTATONIC SCALE: Blues and rock musicians from Howling Wolf to Jimi Hendrix use this very simple scale for soloing. Here is a recording of a C Minor Pentatonic Scale: Play the recording a few times and get the sound of the scale in your head. Sing along with the recording. Try to sing the scale without the recording. Generally, make friends with the scale. NOTE: It’s called a pentatonic scale because it only has five notes as opposed to most scales which have 7   …Continue Reading


UD#14 Hot Licks with Chord Notes

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UD #14 HOT LICKS with CHORD NOTES from Ukulele in the Dark w/ Guido Heistek This week I will talk about soloing: 1. How do I find the notes to use for soloing? 2. What do I do once I’ve found them. Over the past few weeks we’ve been looking at using chord shapes and a fretboard chart to explore music theory: The notes in chords, the difference between major and minor chords and more. Today let’s apply what we learned to soloing. Please go back and review UD #12 & 13 if you find you can’t follow this week’s   …Continue Reading