The NO THEORY Guide to Soloing Over Anything (Part 4)

guitar soloing without theory

If you’ve been practicing the three patterns, you can probably imagine what’s coming next. We’re going to move the whole thing to D, or the key of D Major. D Major is another incredibly popular key for rock and pop music, so it’s well-worth exploring. It also contains other options for soloing over chords we’ve already come across such as Em, G, Bm, and D itself. Let’s dive in.

A Quick Label Change
Every major key is also a minor key, simply slide down three frets from the major key to find it. The minor keys for the major keys we’ve already covered are as follows:

F Major / D Minor
C Major / A Minor
G Major / E Minor
D Major / B Minor

Don’t worry, they share the exact same notes and chords, just in a different order, which is why it’s easier to look at this as a circle using the chord wheels rather than a line.

Here are the famous three patterns, this time in D:

As you’re now very used to these patterns, try going up one and down the next or vice versa to help you see them as one unit. Remember these are generic patters, so you don’t really want to imprint the do-re-mi sound on your brain. I’ve marked the ‘root’ note in red so that it’s easier for you to shift the patterns to other keys, so don’t use it as a start and finish note. These patterns will come to life when you start playing them over chords and chord changes, so you don’t want to relate everything to the root.

The chords you can use these scales over are as follows:

If you want to practice this using real songs, check out this list of songs in D Major over at, which you can also use to find songs in all the other keys we’ve covered up to now.

In Part 5, we’ll look at the infinitely useful key of A Major / F# Minor.

About Graham Tippett 300 Articles
Compulsive guitar blogger and writer of many innovative guitar books.

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