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Improvisation idea to practice those scales

Chris Wiggin

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You may be doing this already but if not here's an idea for a great practice session that is going to really reinforce scales in every key and require quick thinking.

Start by loading up a backing track on YouTube in the style of your choosing. My favourite is a B minor blues so that I can practice my B B King 'Thrill is Gone" style licks. When you get to the end of the video don't stop it but let YouTube play the next track on it's random playlist. It will usually be in a different key. Tonight I did three (they are quite long videos so it ends up being about a half hour session) and got B Minor, G Major and F# Minor. If you start with a Blues backing track, they will usually follow in the same style but occasionally YouTube will throw in a curve ball and throw in as rock style track (for instance) so you will not only have to figure out the new key but a new style as well.

You ought to aim to start playing each time with the start of the new video so you'll need to figure out your new key quickly.  The easiest way to do this of course is just find the root note and stick to position 1 if you are in a Major scale or position 5 if you are in a minor scale for a few bars before going off up and down  the neck in other positions.

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