Add tension to your solos with the atonal 'X' scale

(Image credit: John Lee/Digitalman's Domain)

There are many ways to create tension in a solo by playing outside the original scale. The 'X' scale is not really a scale, but rather a shape with notes that are played in a certain sequence. Other than making a cool discordant or atonal sound, the X can be moved in any direction on the fretboard. This is useful when trying to bridge from one melodic idea to another.

Also, since there is no tonic in these patterns, you can start the X wherever you want on the neck in your solos. The faster it's played, the less its harmonic relationship to the key you’re in matters. The frantic sound, comprised of mainly tritones and major 3rds, sounds great in a modal jam or fusion context.

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