I thought I might post this. I received a question from a fellow member and I put this together. It is basically meant for beginners of playing over changes, and I, in no way, claim that it is perfect or answer's every need. Some of this may take a little time to digest, but your will be miles ahead in your lead and chord work by taking this in. If it seems a little complex as the beginning don't hesitate to write me and I will be glad to help you in what ever way I can. All my best. I think this might help a little to understand this concept. (GET OUT YOUR GUITAR) Most of 1900's - 2000's popular music has been built on the I-vi-ii-V or the I-IV-V progressions. Translating this to the fret board is something that we all learn when we begin to play guitar and learn first the "cowboy chords" and later-more importantly-barre chords. I tell my students to think of their index finger as a capo. when playing in the E, A, or D shape barres. The interesting thing is that if you learn the position that you are playing a given song in and you know the 1 chord the 4 and 5 are right there too. So lets play in G on the eighth position. The one chord would be in the D shape playing off the G on the 8th fret, 2nd string in a D shape, or for more accuracy actually a C shape. So if we want to go to the IV chord we simply play a C barre chord based on the E shape from fret 8, 1st string. And then we can play the V or D in the E shaped barre chord on the 10th fret, 1st string or in the A shaped barre chord on the 5th fret, 5th string or 7th fret 3rd string. Now we have the 1, 4, 5 laid out before us to use in the song. Any of these positions can be used to play any inversion or altered chord. When the time comes to play lead we are thinking in terms of chord tones. The G chord is made up of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th of the G major scale or G-B-D. So when we play the lead-without sounding like we are playing scales-we want to think melodically of the tune we are playing. Does it call for a slow, heavy echo distortion, tone and style-such as found in a ballad? Or does it call for more of a distorted in your face shred, or whatever you feel will fit the material best? Let's say that the lead starts on the 1 chord; G B D. Following the general idea of the founding fathers of lead, we want to take the arpeggio and expand it. So let's begin the lead on the D note. (I very seldom start a lead on the 3rd. This is such a strong tone that it is better employed later toward the end of the lead as you are trying to finish your statement.) So if we start on the D where do we go??? Well, to give the fateful secret of most players, we'll mainly use the Blues scale with passing tones and chromatic passes. This is where the creativity and practice come in. The G blues scale in the key of G on the 8th fret second string consists of: |Fret| |Notes| STRING 1) 10-9-8-7 D-C#-C-B* 2) 11-10-8-7 Bb-A-G-F# 3) 10-9-8-7-6 F-E-Eb-D-C# 4) 11-10-9-8 C-B-Bb-A 5) 10-9-8-7 G-F#-F-E 6) 11-10-9-8-7 Eb-D-C#-C-B...... *I have included some passing tones such as the B because the B is the third of the major chord of G and in the 1 is kind of an important tone. I also included the Eb which is the b3 of C. If you look at the notes you now have the following scale to play out of; G-A-Bb-B-C-D-E-F-F#-G Now, you won't be using the entire scale on every chord. Out of this scale we take the 1-2-b3-4-b5-5-b7-1 or G-A-Bb-C-C#-D-F-G The 4 or C chord is out of the same scale but with C at that start: C-D-Eb-F-F#-G-Bb-C The 5 chord follows the same pattern: D-E-F-G-G#-A-C-D So looking at each of the separate chord scales we can see that they are all in the position of the 5th fret to the 11th fret. This is includes the chords and the lead tones. Now the fun part, and this is where the bullet hits the bone. THIS WORKS ALL OVER THE NECK. If we stay in the key of G the 1-4-5 can be played out of the 3rd position or fret with the G in the E shape, and the D and C in the A shape, barres respectively. So using the 3 different chord structures of the E, A, D, shape we can go up the neck and play in any key by simply using the different shapes of the barre chords. By employing the notes from each of the scales as we move from chord to chord we can develop a nice melody that is melodically pleasing, and theoretically intricate. So first job. 1. Learn the positions of the 1-4-5 on each of the frets for each key. 2. Learn the 4 scales and their notes presented here and you will begin to employ this and move your playing out leaps and bounds. I sincerely hope this helps. If you have any other questions, get in touch right away, and I will get you your answers. As you learn this try remember a little secret: the b3 to a 3rd tone and a 7 to 1 tone are both very strong melodically. Also, you will want to use the 3rd tone of the 1 chord sparingly. In 4 part harmony it is a "rule" when scoring to use the 3rd only once in each beat. You can double the 5th or 1, but hardly ever the 3rd.Start your lines off on one of the 1 or 5 tones from the chord (i.e., 1-3-5) to begin and build your solos so that they move from a strong beginning and steadily grow in intensity. Also, it all begins with "cowboy chords". At first it may seem overwhelming, but once you get the feel for the changes, the entire fret board will open up to you. Anyway, all the best and again, anything I can do to help let me know.