Guitar Solo Fretboard Theory

Guitar Solo Fretboard Theory

Unite Your Scales, Modes and Chords
Learn to play solos by playing "thru" the chords. Learn fretboard patterns as we write licks with theoretical structure.
4.7 out of 5 stars (based on 3 reviews)
Who's this course designed for? Guitar

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What You'll Learn

The guitar fretboard uses 5 scale patterns to map any key onto your guitar’s fretboard.  You can use these 5 scale shapes (and 5 matching octave shapes) to play along with chords, progressions and write songs.

The easiest way to learn music theory on the guitar is by using octaves.  Octaves (and octave patterns) make it a breeze to play in any key, in any mode over any chord progression.  Learning how octaves are used to navigate through chords will bring confidence to your playing.  Octave navigation makes it more fun to play off the top of your head AND ensures that you’re solos sound great!

Professional guitarists memorize hundreds of songs by using Roman Numerals.  Roman Numerals are also known among professionals as the Nashville Number System.  The practice of using Roman Numerals to play chord progressions has been in use by songwriters, classical composers

Modes are the same as the 5 scale patterns on the fretboard.  The 5 patterns are often learned as part of the CAGED System.


Learning fretboard music theory is a lot easier than you think.  5 scale patterns will unlock the entire fretboard… memorize 5 patterns and use them to play in any key!

All keys, all chords and all guitar modes match one (or more) of the same 5 scale patterns.  When you’re playing music around your house you can use these 5 scale patterns to jam, solo or even write new songs.

Chords & Numerals

Sometimes it can seem lik there are so many chords in the world that only a few people have the time to learn them all.  But, that simply is a misunderstanding… All chords are related to each other by either a key or by a  scale.  To understand how this happens, professional musicians use 2 things: (1) Roman Numerals and (2) modes.  Both of these exist on the guitar fretboard in repeatable patterns.

Chord Progressions

Chord progressions can seem almost unlimited, but in the real world we use only a handful of progressions most of the time.  Once you understand how to play chords using Roman Numerals, your whole life with guitar gets much, much easier!


Every style of music will use a certain mode, so knowing modes adds a lot of flexibility to your guitar playing!  While there are 7 modes (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian), they can be altered to match any chord in any key very flexibly.  In fact, even all the modes are derived from a single major scale.  So, the more you understand about modes, the simpler the guitar fretboard gets!


Every songwriter needs to find the right chord progression for their song.  The more broad a songwriter’s chord palette is, the more broad their expression can be.  Learning about common chord progression AND numerals will broaden any songwriters palette.

This course explains how numerals are used by composers and paves the way for songwriters to study chord progressions (in any key) more easily.  Learn how Roman Numerals make it easier to think about chords and melodic possibilities.  Numerals are “key-agnostic”, meaning that they are a true representation of a chord progression in all keys at the same time.  Whether you’re writing a guitar solo or a song melody, why limit yourself to one key or one scale?

Fretboard Music Theory

This course will teach any guitarist how to navigate the guitar fretboard using 5 octave patterns. These octaves are the fundamental building blocks of all fretboard navigation.  Using these octaves, you’ll learn a reliable method for soloing and play along with any chord progression in any key.


Everyone knows about a major and minor scale.  Not everyone knows about the modes and the guitar fretboard, though…

Guitar fretboard theory brings the major scale, the modes and chord together under one roof.  Do you know how they’re all related?  Can you move between keys and chord progressions easily?  Even if you can’t, I’ll bet you can imagine how confident that would make you feel, right?  That is the power of fretboard theory and you can learn to navigate it in this short course.

Guitar Fretboard Theory

If you’re struggling to create your own guitar licks, improvise musical guitar solos and navigate the fretboard in a creative yet precise way – then this course will help you overcome whatever has held you back… until now.  Learn how to translate any chord progression into a well-structured guitar solo using simple fretboard patterns.

Where You’ll Start…

We’ll use principles related to the CAGED System.  Although we’ll review important information, this course will be most constructive for guitar players who are familiar with the CAGED System and the common major scale on the guitar.  Once we’ve reviewed the most important principles, we’ll get into writing some guitar licks and see how to make them fit perfectly into any chord progression.

Solo Over Any Chords

Improvising (or even pre-planning) a guitar solo can seem like an overwhelming task when you think about how many chords *might* be in the song you’re soloing over, right?  Wrong.  This course shows you how to make any chord progression into a framework of pre-planned licks.  As you practice them, you’ll be developing your own personal “lick library” and you’ll be able to plug them in just about anywhere.  The trick to this is understanding how octave patterns and scale patterns work together to make the guitar fretboard easy to navigate.

When You’re Finished…

There is so much substance in this course that you may need to watch and rewatch it to get all the goodies :). But, by the time you’ve digested all the tips and guidance in this course, you’ll have a clear understanding of how the guitar fretboard is patternized to assist you in playing better solos.  You’ll recognize that scales and octave patterns are navigational tools that unlock the mysteries of the fretboard elegantly.

What's Included?

Will Edwards

  • 38mins of video
  • Optimized for mobile
  • Instructor support available

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What students say...

Now I’m making my own licks

August 22, 2022

Pretty sweet, man. I wish I understood the modal tonic thing better but I guess it’ll just sink in eventually. What I liked here was the steps making a phrase. I’m doing that all the time now. Yeah its simpler than I thought. Still I’d like to really feel better seeing how modes fit into what I’m doing.

Al Leonard

Starting to Click

July 6, 2022

I wasn’t really following the idea of scales and chord being related, but I think I’m sort of seeing it now. Octaves are not scales, but the modal tonic idea and playing them inside the scales helped me see what I was doing on the fretboard. It was like oh yeah! I get it!

Lee H

Numerals and Modes

June 16, 2022

I didn’t think I’d like this course since it sounds pretty mathematical. But, I guess theory makes a lot more sense with these skills nailed down. I appreciate your patient explanation and email support. Great as always.

Tim Portillas

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