Tommaso Zillio
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What is Chord Tone Soloing

Note choice is a big topic whenever we talk about guitar improvisation. How can you pick the best notes for your solo? Let me introduce you to the concept of Chord Tone Soloing.

Chord Tone Soloing is a very simple idea that helps you choose the right notes so that you sound "in" the backing track you are soloing over.

Of course, once you learn Chord Tone Soloing, you are not restricted in only playing "in": you can purposefully decide to not use it to sound "outside" like many Jazz/Fusion players do... but even then, to be able to really sound "outside" and sound good you first need to master the "inside" sound.

Chord Tone Soloing is very simple: the idea is simply to target one or more notes of the chord that is playing right now in the backing track (more details in the video). While the idea is very simple, putting it into practice may not be as easy if you do not know how to train for it.

These are some of the problems that guitarists that have not been trained correctly find when they use Chord Tone Soloing:

  • "I know what notes I need to play, but I can't find them on the fretboard in real time!"
  • "The chord progression goes by too fast, I keep losing track of it"
  • "I do not want to think about theory when I play" (indeed, if you train correctly, you won't need to think about theory: it will just be second nature. See the video below)

So how can you train in the right way? Watch this video where I explain it:

You can learn more about it by taking this free  course on Chord Tone Soloing  that will train you to make chord tone soloing second nature (course available for free for a limited time)

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@fl3k   2 years ago
Great as always Tommaso! I'll be working on this.
Thanks for sharing!
Joseph Lopez
@josephlopez   2 years ago
Really awesome lesson Tomasso, this is quite useful! When I recently got into studying jazz t was one of the first concepts my instructor told me to do when soloing, Targeting chord tones (or guide tones, as I was taught) is a great way to create solos that sound musical and make sense. Of course, as you said it in the video, it's also important to do it in a musical way.