Getting Out Of The Guitar CAGED System Part 6: Lead Harmonies

When you think about the greatest guitar solos of the 70’s, what exactly was it that set them apart from the average solo? One of the things was their ability to not only play a great solo, but to play a great harmony on top of that solo as well. Fortunately, I am here today to demonstrate how guitar solo harmonies are actually not as hard as they look.

A lesson that is good to learn early on is that generally when you hear a guitarist playing something that seems unfeasible to you, there is usually an easy system you can learn to easily play the same thing yourself. However, if you want to learn how to play effortlessly, you need to learn the right scale system (hint, hint: not CAGED).

I learned about this particular scale system some time ago. It came in handy when I was asked to play a guitar solo on my friends song that he was recording. I ended the tune with a speedy lick up the fretboard that he seemed enjoy. Afterwards he turned to me and said (as a joke), "Wow that was great! Now quick, lets see if you can harmonize that!"

"Alright," I responded, "just one moment".

Without too much hesitation, I told him to go back to my part and I played the harmony.

He couldn't believe his ears, as he didn't actually expect me to play that harmony right there on the spot. But what appeared inconceivable to him, I truly knew could be pulled off by anyone using the right scale system.

The great thing about this system is that it can be used without any use of music theory. So take a moment now to watch the video and prepare yourself to write your own killer guitar harmonies.

What did I tell you? Learning this system is as simple as 1, 2, 3. Never again do you need to sweat for hours trying to figure out harmonies to your favorite solos. Now that you know just how straightforward this is, go pick up your instrument and try it out for yourself!

Tommaso Zillio is a professional prog rock/metal guitarist and composer based in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Tommaso is currently working on an instrumental CD, and an instructional series on fretboard visualization and exotic scales. He is your go-to guy for any and all music theory-related questions.

Tommaso Zillio