Challenge 2a – Play It Backwards

Repeat this chapter’s regular challenge – but play each scale backwards. Every starting note should be at or above the 12th fret.

Challenge 2b – Improvise

To improvise means to play what you feel without reading music. When you’re on stage jamming with a band and the bandleader looks at you and says, “Take it away!” – you’d improvise. Try this:

  • Use YouTube to locate a jam track in C major. For example, search for “guitar jam track in C major”.
  • Once the track is playing, improvise using a one-string C major scale. Just play what you feel, trying to invent little melodies or musical ideas. Be careful to play only notes in the C scale.
  • You don’t have to play the notes in order. You can skip around and jump from the 1st degree to the 4th degree to the 7th and back to the 3rd. It doesn’t matter – as long as you stick to the notes in the scale.
  • Once you’ve improvised using the C scale with a C major jam track, do this for several different keys. Just be sure to use the correct major scale for the jam track. For example, use the G major scale to improvise over a jam track in G major and a B♭ scale to improvise over a jam track in B♭ major.