The concept of using two or more types of scales in your guitar solos is not a new concept however, how effective these hybrid scales are in your solos will depend largely on your choice of scales and how appropriate they are stylistic to the music you are playing.
Classical composers have often written melodies derived for one scale with an accompaniment derived from another type of scale.
How to Use Hybrid Country Guitar Scales.
(a) The melody may be composed of notes of the “A” natural minor scale: A – B – C – D – E – F – G – A.
(b) The accompaniment or counter-melody may be derived from the “A” Harmonic minor scale A – B – C – D – E – F – G# – A.
Notice how there is only one note difference between the two scales; however, that one note gives the composer several new harmonies to work with; the result being lots of musical surprises and interesting textures for the listener.
Now over to country guitar and hybrid scales: two scales that are always good to use are the blues scale and the chromatic scale, you can mix these two into almost any musical setting and today I’m going to blend the blues scale with the Mixo-Lydian Mode for a great country blues feel.
Step one – the thinking behind my scale choices.
(a) I’m after a blues feel so I’m going to go with the mode that produces the best blues flavor, the Mixo-Lydian mode, this mode produces a ‘pure’ sound that works well with dominant seventh type chords, the type of chords typically found in blues chord progressions.
You might be surprised to find that I did not go with the obvious choice the blues scale, the reason is I want to blend the blues scale with the Mixo-Lydian mode to create a musical contrast between the two scales.
Important: Too much of anything will spoil the effect; in this instance, if I began with the blues scale I won’t have anywhere to go and the solo will soon become boring. However, if I go with the Mixo-Lydian mode I can introduce the blues scale, and when I do it will sound even more ‘bluesy’!
My example will use the G Mixo-Lydian mode.
G Mixo-Lydian: G – A – B – C – D – E – F – G
And the G Blues scale…
By contrast, the G blues scale contains the following notes:
G Blues scale: G – Bb – C – Db – D – F – G
Step two: applying to the guitar fretboard.
The guitar is such a versatile instrument with multiple choices of fingering and string combinations. There are many ways we could play these scales but since I’m after a country guitar sound I’ll be looking for three things: open strings where possible and hammer-ons and pull-offs.
I’m going to break up this hybrid scale into small bite-size pieces that will give us a chance to perfect each section before moving on to the next.
Part 1: The notes are – G – A – Bb – B
Part 2: The notes are – D – E – F – G
After you can play each part smoothly try joining both parts together and instantly you will have a great country-sounding run. Keep playing the entire run over and over very s-l-o-w-l-y until you can play seamlessly without thinking about it. Now, it’s back to slaving over that hot country guitar!
Source by Mike P Hayes