Let’s start with the minor triad (1, b3, 5) in G; we’ll use this as the basis for all our available note choices. If you’re not familiar with minor triads then play around with the following diagram until you’re comfortable with the location and sound of most of the notes.
In theory, and depending on the chord you’re playing over, you could add in any other note but for the purposes of this lesson we’ll be focusing on the most common ones.
7 or b7?
If you’re playing over a m7/m9/m11 chord you’ll probably want to go for the b7 as the 7 will clash with the b7 of the chord. However, if you’re playing over a power chord (1, 5) or a straight minor chord then both will work. The b7 will give you a bluesy/rock sound while the 7 will sound a little more out there and have more pull to the root.
The b6 will give you a darker minor sound while the 6 is lighter and more bluesy (think Robben Ford). Both will work over most minor chords but the b6 will clash with the 6 in a m6 chord.
The b2 will give you a drastically darker, Spanish kind of eastern sound and will work over most minor chords except m9/m11/m13. Remember that the 2 is also the 9 so where you see chords with a 9 or a b9 in the them, you can use these notes to good effect.
When you get comfortable locating the intervals, find some slow backing tracks that display the chords you’re playing over so that you can start to take melodic control of your solos.