Jammin' with Scales (Guitar Lesson)

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Brad Henecke

Jammin' with Scales

Now that you have mastered basic guitar technique, Brad gives you some advice on improvising with the major and minor blues scales. He has recorded a great backing track for you to jam with.

Taught by Brad Henecke in Rock Guitar with Brad Henecke seriesLength: 27:27Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (1:46) Introduction At this point, you have learned the Minor Pentatonic blues scale as one possible scale to generate blues licks from. In the previous lessons, Brad discussed the fifth position of this scale. This lesson continues forward with playing blues scales. Brad demonstrates how to play the fifth position pattern an octave higher. He also introduces a brand new blues scale: the Major blues scale. Brad opens the lesson with some improvised lines over a 12 bar blues. His licks are generated from both the Minor and Major blues scales.
Chapter 2: (2:17) Blues Scale at 17th Fret Play any open string on the guitar. Then, play the same string at the 12th fret. The second note is the same pitch, but one octave higher than the first. As a result, we can conclude that 12 half steps or 12 frets span the distance of an octave.

This concept applies to playing the fifth position A blues scale box. If this entire pattern is shifted up 12 frets to the 17th fret, the pattern appears one octave higher. Transitioning from one octave to the other in the course of a solo is a common trick among great improvisers.
Chapter 3: (3:25) A Major Blues Scale The finger pattern used for the Major blues scale is identical to the pattern for the Minor blues pattern. However, in order to play the major form of the blues scale, the pattern is shifted down three frets. As a result, the location of the root note within the pattern also changes. Now, the root note (A) is played by the pinky at the 5th fret.

This new scale consists of the following notes: A, B, C, C#, E, F#, A. As you can see, many notes from the minor pattern also appear in the major pattern.

This particular A scale consists of the following scale degrees: 1, 2, b3, 3, 5, 6.

When playing this scale, always start and end on the root note, A. Ascend the scale up to the high root on the E string. Then, descend the scale back down.

The Major blues pattern is another commonly used scale in blues as well as rock improvisation. Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page commonly switches back and forth between the Minor blues scale and the Major blues scale in the course of a solo. His solos in “Communication Breakdown” and “Celebration Day” are a few prime examples.

Note: Click the “Supplemental Content” tab for a fretboard diagram of the A Major blues scale.
Chapter 4: (2:00) A Major Blues Scale (continued) Brad jams along with a backing track to illustrate how this scale can be used over a 12 bar blues progression in the key of A.
Chapter 5: (3:26) A Minor Blues Scale In the course of a blues solo, guitarists rarely stay within the confines of one scale. As Brad illustrated in the previous scene, staying within one scale does work. However, it severely limits your options. Staying within one scale can be compared to a painter choosing to paint only with certain colors. For this reason, guitarists frequently begin a solo with one scale and end up in the other. Often, a guitarist switches back and forth between these scales several times in the course of a solo.

Brad demonstrates this point later in the scene. He begins a solo using licks from the Major blues scale. Then, he switches gears into the Minor blues box.
Chapter 6: (4:06) Minor and Major Together When Brad was playing his solo, did you notice the difference in sound between the two scales? The major form has an overall happier and brighter sound. In contrast, the Minor blues scale tends to sound a little darker.

Instead of simply switching from the major pattern to the minor pattern, the two scales are frequently mixed together within a single lick. If we combine both major and minor patterns into one single fretboard diagram, it is easy to see how the two scales overlap.

Note: Open the “Supplemental Content” tab for a diagram of the A Major and Minor blues scales mixed together.

Brad plays some great licks that demonstrate this concept. Experiment with combining these two scales together in your own licks.
Chapter 7: (2:31) Major and Minor Including the 12th Fret In Scene 2, Brad demonstrated how the Minor blues scale can shift up an octave (up 12 frets). This concept can be applied to the Major blues scale as well. Brad begins a solo by mixing these scales in the low octave. He then plays some mixed scale licks in the higher octave to kick the solo into high gear.

Practice switching octaves in your own solos. It is best to begin in the lower octave. Moving to the higher octave tends to increase excitement and dynamic tension.
Chapter 8: (2:22) Practicing the Blues Scale Tips for Practicing Scales:
1. Practice each scale using alternate picking everyday as part of your warm-up routine.

2. Add tricks such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, and bends to your licks.

3. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things! This is the best way to avoid falling into a tiresome rut! Playing the same licks over and over won’t get you very far. Make a habit of developing new licks.

4. Practice the scales you know in all 12 keys.

5. There are four other boxes for both the Major and Minor blues scales. However, the two shapes discussed in this lesson are the most important. More time should be devoted to practicing these boxes.

6. Jam with friends as often as you can. You have an opportunity to jam along with Brad in the following scene.
Chapter 9: (3:07) Jamming with Brad Trading Fours
A common improvisation technique among jazz and blues bands is called “trading fours.” One member of the band plays four bars of the solo. Then, another member of the group takes a turn soloing for four bars. This process continues until the band decides to end it. In this scene, practice trading fours with Brad over a 12 bar blues progression. Brad begins the solo, so you will enter at bar five of the form. Trading fours typically occurs at the end of a tune once a few members of the group have taken full length solos.
Chapter 10: (1:54) Final Thoughts Backing tracks are available in the “Teaching Tools” area. We strongly recommend that you practice improvising along with the 12 bar blues rhythm track. This will greatly improve the rhythm and fluidity of your solos.

Video Subtitles / Captions

Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

BigBrianBigBrian replied on December 22nd, 2016

your playing the Amaj blues as an F#min blues aren't you?

BigBrianBigBrian replied on December 22nd, 2016

what is being shown is Amaj blues position 5 with a relative F#min blues position 1

gasepiogasepio replied on February 15th, 2016

I can't find tabs for the 12th fret section of the video.

EBNorthEBNorth replied on December 25th, 2014

Brad is a super nice guy and teacher. Now I notice his minor and major blues scales contain more notes than what other teachers show and what one finds on the Net. So now I am confused as to who is right.

grassercgrasserc replied on April 21st, 2015

Enter your comment here.

randy huangrandy huang replied on April 17th, 2014

Thanks Brad. Your lessons is really cool... I got one question about the 12 bars progression. I saw people use minor chord and domint 7 th chord in 12 bar progression. Can i use Major (7) chord in 12 bar progression ??

rckmsnrckmsn replied on March 19th, 2014

brad is the SE PRS has nice has the PRS?

starman4starman4 replied on October 27th, 2013

My Bad....The track is there now. Thanks.

starman4starman4 replied on October 27th, 2013

The "Blues Backing Track" appears to be missing.

paul112paul112 replied on October 9th, 2013

completely lost ....worst lesson thus far and i loved all others

antl58antl58 replied on May 30th, 2013

im a little lost i know my 5 boxes both [email protected]..am I wrong???or isnt the lower position (F#)( box 1) or the relative minor?? and wouldnt that then mean that the 5th pos, should be A mj? ( which is box 2)? mabye its me but it looks like only box 1 being played in both positions.

rockgod1rockgod1 replied on September 14th, 2012

I notice your playing with a prs. when I was considering getting my second guitar I tried a bunch of guitars and was about to leave empty handed as I felt not a single one of them were any better then my cheap guitar I already Had when the sales guy said wait try this one a PRS semi Hollow I just felt the neck and I had to have it. I said i'll take it the guy said I have not even done a demo of it. I said it's not necessary I am taking this one home. I also watched part of your video I am sure I will be paying attention to your lessons

samosamo replied on May 5th, 2011

Hi Brad! Great videos, great way of teaching, but what are those plus notes in the mix of the major and minor blues scale?

rckmsnrckmsn replied on April 2nd, 2013

can you flip this scale major& minor in other positions and would this work with the other 4 positions?

midlifemidlife replied on March 3rd, 2011

I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but this thread goes back to 2007 and little has been done to clarify the confusion a lot of us are having about overlapping the major and minor scale. Brad, I love the way you teach, but I am struggling with this. Is there a Jamplay lesson that explains the 5 positions of the Major and Minor Pentatonic scales?

jboothjbooth replied on March 4th, 2011


jboothjbooth replied on March 4th, 2011

Take a look at that I bet that series will clear up much confusion.

midlifemidlife replied on April 21st, 2011

Will do. I have been working through DJ's Blues lesson set. He does a great job demonstrating the 5 positions of the minor pentatonic scale.

carindamcarindam replied on August 16th, 2010

Brad Hi, I notice the tone of your guitar as very "different" from a standard electric guitar. You seem to have long sustains and distortions etc. How can i get that tone (i love that tone:))? which processors to use? Can you help?

jboothjbooth replied on August 16th, 2010

Ill forward this on to brad, but if I remember when we were recording most of these lessons he didn't go too hardcore with the effects.

raoelraoel replied on May 8th, 2010

so but it need to be in the same key those ' mixed scales' or else there will be 2 root notes,am I right?

carindamcarindam replied on August 16th, 2010

Brad Hi, I notice the tone of your guitar as very "different" from a standard electric guitar. You seem to have long sustains and distortions etc. How can i get that tone (i love that tone:))? which processors to use? Can you help?

sidksidk replied on February 24th, 2010

Hi Brad I have the same problem as others trying to figure out how both are combined. Sort of understand but do you explain it in more detail in a different lesson. Thanks.

analogkidanalogkid replied on November 28th, 2009

Great lesson Brad! This is really where it all begins for me. Just understanding (and memorizing) the various scale shapes and tonic notes and then just going for it makes the most sense to me. Thanks for a great lesson!!

tcottletcottle replied on October 17th, 2009

Man I am glad I signed up for jamplay its really helped me understand and motivate me to play more! Thanks Brad and thanks jamplay for the great instructors you have here!

mxcaggmxcagg replied on August 31st, 2009

Brad man, trading 4th's was an absolute BLAST! Thanks man.

benjamin10benjamin10 replied on August 21st, 2009

Dear Brad sir can you provide the 12 bar(A key)background music to help us to practise the blues scale. thank you ben

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on August 24th, 2009

Dear Brad sir ? you don't have to call me sir, but thanks LOL look in the teaching tools for the backing tracks .I don't think the backing track for this lesson is on there but there is a blues backing track that i did in the key of (A )that will work just fine for this lesson .Grab that blues scale and get rockin !!!

blueguitar420blueguitar420 replied on June 14th, 2009

i love messing around with the backing track

splineslingersplineslinger replied on June 8th, 2009

Thank You Brad! This really opened the doors for soling. I just need to learn new licks that sound great together. I am trying to figure out Brad's licks as they are great sounding. Brad, maybe you could pick one of your lead solo videos and tab out for us. This would be cool!

galenogarbegalenogarbe replied on May 8th, 2009

Anyway, this is a five stars lessons.

galenogarbegalenogarbe replied on May 8th, 2009

I am curious... shy you do not lock at the camera???

brett911brett911 replied on March 25th, 2009

I have no idea how the Major and Minor scales are combined and the presence of all these extra notes......... Please help.

jeepchick0534jeepchick0534 replied on April 12th, 2009

yeah, I know what you mean. This is a great lesson, but it 's one that Brad could've explained better. I am alos trying to figure it out. My guess is that he is saying to use all of the notes in the major AND minor scale together- which I am guessing that you couuld only use in a song that has both- which seems almost strange because, for example, a key of F would have 1 flat, and a key of Fm would have 4 flats. Would you have to only use the notes that are in the major while on the major chord, and the minor notes while only on the minor chord- or what???? I wish I knew too. Maybe someone will help us.

dash rendardash rendar replied on March 13th, 2009

Hey guys, if you want a song to practice this stuff to, I found a great song that really effectively mixes both E major and E minor pentatonic soloing. The song is in the key of E and you can generally solo with an E major pentatonic. But when it switches to the Em chord (and throughout the key change in the chorus), E minor pentatonic works really well. It's a great song too: "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea", by Chris Rea. Thought you guys might like to give it a whirl...

rob_smithrob_smith replied on January 15th, 2009

Hi, Have I understood this correctly ?? To build a solo that uses both major and minor scale notes - you move the box pattern down 3 frets - Eg: Playing in A you move box pattern 1 from 5th to 2nd fret and so the notes from pattern 2 are the extra notes that over lap pattern 1 being played 3 frets higher ??

jboothjbooth replied on January 23rd, 2009

For the most part you are right, but also be sure to understand why moving the pattern works like. Notice what the root notes are and how they are in different spots for the major and minor as that is very important knowledge.

rob_smithrob_smith replied on January 23rd, 2009

Can Brad or anyone else answer my question ? Thanks

guitarfoolguitarfool replied on January 7th, 2009

Hey Brad, thanks for the lesson, I've been playing the acoustical, for five years,,,just picked up my electric, what a switch. I've always been a good rhythm player, but sounded soooo slow playing the lead/licks,, so I think a lot of it is my right hand, I hope to correct that, I'm found the 12 bar blues download I can jam on, and HOPE through practice, and doing excercises on the minor I can move on to bigger and better things,,rock on dude!

metalmachinemetalmachine replied on December 25th, 2008

Hey Brad, what do the pink dots on the scales mean? does it mean that you play a few notes then end on one of those pink dots?

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on December 27th, 2008

the pink dots are the Root notes of the scale or key note .A good way to start building licks is to start on one of the root notes and end on one of the root notes .But don't always do that .Try starting on differnt notes for a differnt sound .change it up .

dash rendardash rendar replied on December 24th, 2008

Hi all. I was having a lot of trouble understanding where the combined Maj/Min Blues scale over 7 frets was coming from. So, I copied out the combined scale and then filled in the degrees of each note of the scale. When I did this, I could see that the scale only includes the following degrees: 1, 2, b3, 3, 4, b5, 5, 6, b7. To my surprise ('cause I initially thought the diagram must be wrong!), there are no degrees that don't belong in either the Maj or the Min Blues scale. Min Blues = 1, b3, 4, b5, 5, b7 Maj Blues = 1, 2, b3, 3, 5, 6 So, for me, that explains how the combined diagram is produced. If anyone else's mind works anything like mine, then this explanation might help. Now I know why it looks the way it does, I'll endeavour to commit to memory...

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on December 24th, 2008

Thanks for putting all that info together. That is a great help. The more ways of explaining lessons on here the better. Some people learn better when they can see a picture in there head. People also learn by listening to a explanation and then there is the hands on method. When you put them all together you have a really great lesson.

dash rendardash rendar replied on December 24th, 2008

Of course, superimposing Pattern 5 on the top of the Maj Blues, and then superimposing Pattern 2 on teh top of the Min Blues has the same result. But I realised that a bit late!

drigerdriger replied on December 1st, 2008

scene description is, major and minor including the 12th fret? it looks as though brad is playing well beyond the twelfth fret. am i correct in assuming brad just slid the combined minor/major pattern 12 frets to the 14th fret?

drigerdriger replied on November 30th, 2008

when i view the A major blues scale in the site's "teaching tools" section it show different shape than the one brad shows.

tjamesmichaeltjamesmichael replied on November 19th, 2008

First off Brad let me say that I have learned more from you here than my 15 years staggering around on my own. This is the BEST thing I have ever done for my guitar playing. Now let me ask. I like to change on the 5 chord to its penatonic scale. For instance I go to E during a solo in A. It sounds great. Why cant I do that for the 4 chord? Why when I play the D scale over the D it sounds bad? Thanks Happy Holidays.

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on November 22nd, 2008

I will cover this in an up coming lesson very soon.

txrokrtxrokr replied on November 16th, 2008

hey brad , have a couple questions, in your jams you travel out of the boxes you are teaching, is that an extention of the scale that you havent shown or what? and second, if the rhythem changes notes mid solo do you change the position or root you are soloing to or stay in the same key? thanx

paulconnolly3paulconnolly3 replied on October 10th, 2008

do all licks have to start and end with a root note?

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on October 10th, 2008

no all licks don't have to start on the root note but Its a good place to start when you are buliding your first licks .Try starting a lick on the 5th or the 3rd of the first chord you are playing .If you were playing a A7 chord that is (A -C#- E -G) played together .Try playing the 5th of the chord the E note first .

brynwebbrynweb replied on October 4th, 2008

Already knowing the shapes and how they relate, the biggest thing I learnt from this was how to actually jam with someone. I usually play on my own, but did try with a mate once. We ended up making a load of noise, which wasn't much fun! I liked the concept of 'sharing' bars. Now I know how to jam! Cheers Brad :)

plugyplugy replied on September 19th, 2008

hi brad sent a question to you that you answerd regarding the backing track used on this lesson on the introduction said you would post wondered when this will be posted and where to look thankss

dickieboydickieboy replied on August 25th, 2008

Brad, Another stupid question: you have shown us the blues scale in Am starting at the fifth fret. Does that mena if I play the same box starting at the 7th fret it is in B? and 8th fret C..10th fret D and so on? Plus, when palying with a Bass, if he goes from A to D, then I should go to D at the same time? Thanks for all the help.

plugyplugy replied on August 22nd, 2008

hi i put a post about the two box shapes seen in the lesson they are box pattern 1 on both and it doesnt fit if overlapped and noticed the question has already been asked about this and brad explains that one of them is shape 5 of a box pattern but this is not explained he shows it as box pattern 1 aslo we havent learned box pattern 5 yet as said in one of the posts very confuseing

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on August 22nd, 2008

I’m sorry for the confusion on this lesson, I didn’t do a very good job of explaining how I overlapped the scales .Sometimes it is easy to forget things that may confuse a student when the teacher has been playing for so long. I think I need to go further into this lesson and explain exactly what I did. Maybe this lesson should have come after all the Blues and pentatonic scale patterns have been gone through. I guess we live and learn as we go .This will be taken car of and I except full responsibility for that. In the meantime I will recommend that you learn all 5 of the Pentatonic and blues shapes or patterns before moving on with this lesson.

jboothjbooth replied on August 22nd, 2008

Are you looking at the chart where he shows the minor and major blues scales together? Which chart exactly are you looking at

plugyplugy replied on August 21st, 2008

i am confuse i see the two ist shape box pattens talked about is this the two patterns shown on the board in the lesson that are overlaped if so where are the extra notes comeing from and the extra frets played is there something else going on not disscussed as yet i have missed or not sunk into my brain yet thanks

jboothjbooth replied on August 21st, 2008

They are the first and second positions of the scale, meaning it's the same notes of the scale just down the neck. When you are using the same notes, you can play those notes anywhere on the neck and it will still be part of the scale. Let me know if this makes sense.

luispolloluispollo replied on July 3rd, 2008

Hi Brad, great lesson! You rock! I have a question: when you say these scales are movable, do you mean I could use it with any key? Or would the other scale patterns work best depending on the key and where you need to play up or down the neck? (Haven't watched the lessons on the other positions yet, sorry)

jboothjbooth replied on July 4th, 2008

I believe he is saying that if you move the scale up a fret or down a fret it is a different key, but still the same pattern.

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on July 6th, 2008

Thanks for answering that for me I have been busy with the band .Yes you can use this scale pattern for any key just move the pattern to where the root note lands on the same spot .for example if you wanted to play in the key of G minor you would play this scale starting on the 3rd fret because the G note is on the 3rd fret 6th string and that is the starting root note of this scale.

fsecalicfsecalic replied on June 17th, 2008

All I have to say Brad is thank you for an excellent lesson. I am very happy I joined this site, it is worth every penny. I have been playing on and off for about 4 years now, and finally I have seen the lite in this lesson. Now all I have to do is practice. Excellent Job

zagnut384zagnut384 replied on May 10th, 2008

Hi Brad. I have a question about the Major Blues Scale. What is keeping that from being an F# minor blues scale? I understand the shift in where the roots of A are located, but it seems like it can be also used as the F# min blues scale. Does that have any relation to the A Maj Blues scale? Thanks.

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on May 11th, 2008

Great Question ! Im Glad you noticed .There is nothing stopping you from calling the (A Major Blues scale The F# minor Blues scale . F# is the relative minor to A in the A Major scale built from the 6th note of the major scale . So you can use the same notes and same shape for both .It s where your starting note is that gives the scale the name .

tclowertclower replied on May 2nd, 2008

Hi Brad..I am a fellow Coloradan and new to this site. I guess I still don't understand the overlapping concept of the Amajor/Aminor scales. If they overlapped, how can there be 7 frets involved (each box uses 4 frets). Do you mean stacked on top of each other with the 5 fret the actual overlapped fret? I still don't see where the extra notes come from....other than that I love your lessons. Also, where do you discuss pentatonic scales? Finally, when I play the A form barred, my 3rd finger simply won't bend enough to keep from touching the 1st string and damping it. Any suggestions. I'm an old guy, maybe just dont have the flexibility.

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on May 2nd, 2008

Hi tclower ! I Dicuss the Pentatonic scale In my Lesson #11 . Sorry you are having trouble with understanding how to mix major and minor licks together. I’ll try to make more since out if it for you. Maybe I need to go a little farther into that lesson. The major and minor blues scale is stacked on top of each other. That mean some of the notes in the major and minor scale are the same in one box . The answer to why dose it span over seven frets is. It is two box shapes put together, so split it down the center at the 5th fret. There are 5 blues scale shapes of the Major and five blues shapes of the minor .I think this is what is messing you up. I am over lapping the first shape of the major blues starting on the 2nd fret and the 5th shape of the minor blues scale starting on the 2nd fret. Then I’m over lapping the first position of the minor blues scale starting at the 5th fret Over the 2nd scale shape of the major blues scale. This may be confusing if you don’t already know what the 5 scale shapes look like. I hope this helps you out.

frisafrisa replied on April 14th, 2008

brad still having promblems figuring the box scales

jboothjbooth replied on April 21st, 2008

What are you having trouble understanding? Is it anything in specific or just the concept overall.

ndjordjevicndjordjevic replied on April 20th, 2008

Brad, Can you please write some tab what you have been playing in this lesson.

jboothjbooth replied on April 21st, 2008

I don't know that he could even tab that out, it was 100% improvising :)

mlericksmlericks replied on March 21st, 2008

Am I missing something? In lesson 7 Brad talks about incorporating the 12th fret for the Maj. & min. second position, but it clearly show him playing on 14th & 17th which makes sense. So is this a mistake that needs to be corrected or am I way off? Thanks. I'm loving Brads Lessons!

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on March 22nd, 2008

That is a mistake that needs to be fixed .I thought is was fix but i guess not .

ironsonironson replied on March 12th, 2008

Brad, In your playing, you throw in these triads in the middle of the pentatonic (I think minor) scales, which sound nice. Can you explain how we look for those in the scales, and when and how we use em? Maybe a few examples?

ironsonironson replied on March 11th, 2008

For this major/minor penta scale to workin a song, do you think the song has to be a certain type, like a song that uses 7ths, like in your example? WOuld it work in a song that is just a song in a minor key, say, just a Dm? I dont think it would sound right mixing a maor penta scale in, while the minor scale works perfect. What can you say about where this technique works, and where it doesnt? Thanks, I learned a lot from you. Sid.

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on March 11th, 2008

I think you figured it out your self .the song has to be a certain type ,Blues strong I IV V Type chords . They can be 7th chords major chords .Minor chords don't sound so good with the major pentatonic .But some times will work you have to use your own judgment fot that . If it is a song in a minor key use the minor pentatonic .

nick2000nick2000 replied on January 25th, 2008

OK massive confusion....where are the extra notes coming from? if the pattern is the same just moved up 3frets to make a major blues scale I get that but when you over lap the 2 it does not equal out what is on screen or in supplemental? the only thing I can figure to make this work is mixing the 1st postion major scale and the blues penta scale..only explaniton that i can figue to explain say where the g note on the low e string comes in..am i nuts here someone please help!!!!!

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on January 25th, 2008

sorry to mix you all up .I think i get what you are asking . Lets just look at the Minor Blues scale on the 5th fret .the only way to over lap the major blues scale notes over the minor blues scale notes in this position is to use the 2nd scale shape of the major blues scale .I think this is what you were saying and if so that is right .so that means when you over lap major and minor scales on the 3rd fret you use the 5th scale shape minor blues scale to fill in over the major blues scale on the 3rd fret .

nick2000nick2000 replied on January 26th, 2008

thanks for the superfast response...i have written it out and think I have it now..thanks again brad very much..you are a great virtual mentor and one hell of a guitar player..I shall push foward now!!!!!!LOL

dkjamdkjam replied on November 28th, 2007

Hi Brad, When you mix major and minor keys together, there are some additional notes in the mixed pattern. They do not exist in the keys. For example, string 1 and 2 in 3rd fret. How can they be used in the licks?

verbenaverbena replied on October 28th, 2007

Nice lesson Brad :) I just have 2 questions : Can you mix up major and minor blues scale in every 1/4/5 progression, or is there limitations ? And when you use both scales, do you have to separate major and minor notes use ? IE, i'm in minor blues position, can I use in the middle of a "minor lick" a "major note" ? I tried, it sounds "correct" but my ear isn't perfect so I prefer to ask. Thanks for your time !

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on November 12th, 2007

hi thanks for the Question .yes you can mix up notes from the major and minor scales in any one for five progression .The only limitation is the way it sounds to you .if the chords are minor chords it might be best to use notes from the minor scales .If you dont like the way it sounds try something else .yes you can use a note here and there from a major scale in a minor lick .use your ear to find out what sounds best .

merlemerle replied on July 28th, 2007

Hey Brad, I'm rollin, see ya, Merle.

chrisjohnschrisjohns replied on July 24th, 2007

Just goes to show that even a JamMaster can still make mistakes, lol.

jboothjbooth replied on July 24th, 2007

Chris, that's actually an error, we have the corrected video filmed I Just need to replace it, Ill get to it this week. Sorry for the error everyone, it will be fixed soon :)

chrisjohnschrisjohns replied on July 24th, 2007

BTW, You totally rock, dude! :headbang:

chrisjohnschrisjohns replied on July 24th, 2007

Brad, In this lesson during scene 2 you say that the 1st string 5th fret is an A note, then also on the 12th fret 1st string is also an A note. Wouldn't 1st string 12th fret be an E note? I only mention this because I wouldn't want a beginner to get confused. :jamfest:

jboothjbooth replied on July 15th, 2007

Click the supplemental content tab below the video :)

jmaasjmaas replied on July 15th, 2007

I am enjoying the lessons from Brad Henecke, but just wondering if the licks he plays during the lessons are written down (tabs) and available some where in JamPlay ??

Rock Guitar with Brad Henecke

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

In this Phase 2 series Brad Henecke will school you in the art of rock guitar. You will not only learn how to play some of your favorite songs in this series, but you will also learn how to create your own.

Lesson 1

Basic Rock Guitar

This lesson covers the absolute basics of rock guitar. Learn about the electric guitar, pickups, amplifiers, changing strings, and more.

Length: 52:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Learning Chords

The first step of your rock guitar experience is learning some of the more popular chords and that is what this lesson is all about.

Length: 42:30 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Barre Chords and More

Brad Henecke introduces common strumming patterns and barre chords.

Length: 42:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Your First Song

In this lesson Brad covers some of the more advanced barre chord shapes. He applies these shapes to the song "Hotel California."

Length: 41:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Blues and Scales

Rock has its roots in the blues. Brad helps you explore the wonderful world of blues in this lesson. He also covers some chord theory.

Length: 48:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Tricks and Lead

This lesson is all about specific techniques used by lead guitarists.

Length: 52:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Jammin' with Scales

This lesson details how to improvise with the blues scale.

Length: 27:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

3 Songs

In this fun lesson, Brad Henecke teaches you riffs from 3 classic rock songs.

Length: 28:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Power Chords

Power chords help give rock music that "punch you in the face" feel. Learn basic power chords in this lesson.

Length: 13:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

2 New Songs

Are you ready to learn "Ain't Talking About Love" by Van Halen and "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC? That's what this lesson is all about.

Length: 27:32 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Pentatonic Scale

Brad teaches the first pattern of the minor pentatonic scale and explains how it relates to the blues scale.

Length: 14:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Second Pattern

Brad covers the second pattern for both the minor blues and minor pentatonic scales.

Length: 9:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Message in a Bottle

Learn the classic rock song "Message in a Bottle."

Length: 10:22 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Third Pattern

This great lesson covers the 3rd fretboard pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales.

Length: 7:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

Colorful Chord Tension

Brad demonstrates how open strings can be added to chord shapes you are already familiar with.

Length: 9:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

The Fourth Pattern

Brad covers the fourth pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales.

Length: 8:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 17


In this lesson Brad demonstrates how to play the Beatles song "Daytripper."

Length: 15:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

The Fifth Pattern

Brad demonstrates the 5th pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales. He also discusses practicing and memorizing them.

Length: 13:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

"Brown Eyed Girl"

Learn the classic rock song "Brown Eyed Girl" in this episode of Rock Guitar.

Length: 11:23 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 20


Brad introduces you to the importance of phrasing. Quality phrasing is essential when performing any melodic line.

Length: 14:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 21

Basics of Tapping

Tapping is an idiomatic guitar technique that offers a unique sound.

Length: 14:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Intro to Modes

Learning the modes is essential to the development of your scale vocabulary.

Length: 31:04 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Understanding Chord Shapes

Brad further explains what chord shapes are and how they relate to barre chords.

Length: 10:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Natural Harmonics

Learn the right and left hand mechanics involved in playing harmonics.

Length: 13:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Advanced Harmonics

Brad covers more advanced harmonic techniques such as harp harmonics, pinch harmonics and tap harmonics.

Length: 16:10 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 26

The Dorian Mode

Brad moves on in his modal lesson series to explain the Dorian mode. This lesson includes 2 backing tracks.

Length: 22:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 27

Phrygian Mode

Brad explains and demonstrates the Phrygian mode.

Length: 13:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 28

The Lydian Mode

Brad continues his discussion of the modes. You will learn the Lydian mode in this lesson.

Length: 9:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

Mixolydian Mode

Brad explains the Mixolydian mode and its practical applications.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 30

The Aeolian Mode

Continuing with his modal lessons, Brad Henecke teaches the Aeolian mode.

Length: 9:09 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 31

The Locrian Mode

The final lesson in our modal series covers the Locrian mode.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 32

The Ace Zone

Brad teaches some licks inspired by Ace Frehley of KISS. Incorporate these licks into your own solos.

Length: 7:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 33

Learn Licks

In this lesson Brad Henecke teaches you some fun licks that can be used in your own guitar solos.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Blues Licks

Brad Henecke demonstrates some cool blues licks.

Length: 17:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

Modes and Scales

Brad Henecke provides an alternate way of comparing modes and scales.

Length: 8:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 36

A Different View

In the last lesson, Brad Henecke compared some scales that are major or dominant in quality. Now, he repeats this process with minor scales.

Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

One String Scales

This lesson is all about 1 string scales. Learning scales on 1 string is essential to your knowledge of the fretboard.

Length: 8:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 38

One String Ionian Mode

Brad demonstrates a one string version of the Ionian mode. This lesson demonstrates the importance of horizontal scales.

Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 39

Aeolian Mode on One String

Brad continues his discussion of single string scales. He explains how to play the Aeolian mode across a single string.

Length: 4:11 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 40

Octave Scales

Brad explains how to locate octaves within scale patterns. He demonstrates a cool lick that involves playing simultaneous octaves.

Length: 7:07 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 41

Using Octaves

Brad explains how to use octaves in the context of an exercise. Octaves can also be used to build effective licks.

Length: 5:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 42

Harmonic Minor Scale

Brad introduces the harmonic minor scale. He explains how it can be applied to the solo break in "Sweet Child O' Mine."

Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 43

Learning by Ear

Brad Henecke provides valuable tips regarding the process of learning songs by ear.

Length: 23:00 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 44

Ear Training Game

Improve your ear training by playing "The Tone Is Right" with Brad Henecke.

Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 45

Diminished Arpeggio

Brad Henecke explains diminished chords and provides a fun diminished arpeggio exercise.

Length: 19:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 46

Understanding Time Signatures

Brad Henecke addresses time signatures.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 47

Diminished Chords

Brad Henecke explains the construction of diminished seventh chords. He also provides a diminished chord exercise.

Length: 10:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 48

Open G Tuning

Brad Henecke introduces open G tuning in this lesson.

Length: 23:50 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 49

Drop D Tuning

Brad Henecke introduces drop D tuning in this lesson. He explains many advantages of this tuning.

Length: 12:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 50

G Major Pentatonic

Brad Henecke teaches the G major pentatonic scale. He demonstrates all 5 patterns and explains how they can be transposed to any key.

Length: 22:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 51

Changing Scales with Chords

In this lesson Brad Henecke talks about changing the pentatonic/blues scales with each chord in a chord progression.

Length: 11:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 52

Mixolydian Scale and Chords

Brad will show how to use the Mixolydian scale with a blues chord progression.

Length: 6:56 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 53

Gear and Effects

This lesson is all about gear and effects. Brad begins his discussion with power conditioning and removing hiss from your amplifier. He progresses to discuss a plethora of effects pedals. Brad explores...

Length: 52:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 54

The Wah Pedal

In this lesson, Brad Henecke introduces the wah pedal and demonstrates its many applications.

Length: 15:53 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only

About Brad Henecke View Full Biography Brad Henecke was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on May 5th of 1963. He has been a fan of music for as long as he & his family can remember. You could always find him running around the farm wailing on his cardboard guitar, pretending to be a member of the rock band KISS. Additional inspiration came during his first concert when he got the chance to see Boston & Sammy Hagar in the early 1970's.

This opened up a whole new world of rock and roll music for him; his parents noticed his growing interest in music and enrolled him into guitar lessons when he was 13.

From there he jumped into two years of lessons at a local music store in Cedar Rapids. After discovering Eddie Van Halen, Brad knew that the guitar would always be a part of his life. He took his love throughout the city as he played as a pit musician & jammed at parties for friends.

This made him thirsty for more. He enrolled classes at Kirkwood Community College & also took lessons from the one & only Craig-Erickson (www.craig-erickson.com).

His love for music landed him a gig opening for Molly Hatchet in Cedar Rapids with a band called "Slap & Tickle". He has also played in the Greeley Stampede show for quite a few years with "True North".

Brad is currently playing in Greeley, Colorado with a rock band titled "Ragged Doll". They play a wide variety of music with an emphasis on classic rock from the 60's to present, with Brad playing electric guitar in the five piece lineup.

He currently jams on his all-time favorite guitar: a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24. Beyond guitar, he plays also plays drums & bass guitar. He has also been known to thrash a banjo from time to time. He is still actively playing & passing his 31 years of playing experience on to others (you!).

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