I try to summarize below my “knowledge” on how to write licks or solos but please correct me if I’m wrong or feel free to add anything what you think can be helpful. I would really, really appreciate that.
So, the 2 choices I have while improvising/soloing are:
Relates to all
I can play the same scale over the chord progression – if the progression is in E minor, for example i – iv – v / Em – Am – Bm – I can play the E minor scale for the whole thing.
Treat each chord like different event
For the same progression I would play for each chord it’s own scales. For example over the Em chord the E minor scale, over the Am the A minor scale and over the Bm the B minor scale / or any of the minor modes over each chord. (over Em the E Dorian, over Am the A Dorian etc… )
But how to chose the right notes in the scale, to build licks and solos, and not just play random notes and wish that whatever I’m playing makes at least a little sense… in Wayne Riker’s book, The Complete Electric Blues Guitar Method, he gives few tips how to use each note of the blues scale ( I guess it’s the same for any scale, so if you don’t play the blues scale and you don’t have the b3 but 3rd, it’s not a blues note, but the below is still true )
The Root – Chord tone. Strong starting and ending note.
The b7 – Chord tone. Primary blues tone, very strong ending note.
The 5th – Chord tone. Strong.
The b5 -Primary blues tone. Effective mainly as a passing note.
The 4th – Neither a blues tone or a chord tone. Suspended tone, the weakest note of the scale, best used as a passing tone.
The b3 – Primary blues tone. Very strong. Best used in the middle or at the start of the lick.
Also in the same book there is another perspective, like “There are only twelve notes you are messing with, just play all of them and make sure you land on the right ones.”
So basically by the ‘right ones’ they mean the chord tones, (R, 3rd, 5th, 7th)
I would be really grateful if you could add more or explain this in more depth… I started analyzing few solos if they follow the above and which note is used and how… I can share those notes here too if you want, but in the meantime I would like to see your thoughts on the above