Want your guitar solos and licks to sound amazing to anyone listening?

The Hirajoshi scale is an amazing tool for this.

What is this scale?

It’s a pentatonic scale (meaning: it only has five notes) that originated in Japan.

No, this is not exactly the same as other pentatonic scales you may know, such as the pentatonic major or minor scales. Don't worry, it’s really easy and fun to learn.

But not like the usual pentatonic scale-- it has a very unique sound you don't hear very often.

Which means, when you begin using it-- you'll get an increase of new ideas to enliven your guitar licks and solos.

To start, check out the video below to see & hear the Hirajoshi scale shapes at work:


Now that you know the basics, listed here are the best ways to combine the Hirajoshi scale into your guitar playing:

Hirajoshi Scale Tip # 1: Connect the Shapes

In the video recording, I demonstrated to you 5 patterns of the Hirajoshi scale. These patterns combine together like gears in a machine to create ONE SCALE that envelops the whole entire guitar neck.

Here is your task:

Play the 5 shapes until you have the power to play them consecutively without even thinking about it.

This is essential to soloing all over the guitar without becoming lost.

Watch this video to get more advice on how to learn any scale all over the guitar:


Hirajoshi Scale Tip # 2: Take Advantage Of Rubato

One of my own personal lead guitar pet peeves is lack of rhythmic variety.

Translation: guitar licks that only use exact divisions of the beat (8th notes, 16th notes, or quarter notes) and never utilize rubato.

What is rubato technique?

Rubato means suddenly speeding up (or decelerating) your playing and not being in strict time.

Note: there is a BIG difference between playing rubato (intentionally stretching the rhythm) and playing out of time due to lack of ability.

See this video to see and hear many rubato examples and start using this technique in your guitar licks (rubato sounds notably great with the Hirajoshi scale and its solos):


Hirajoshi Scale Tip # 3: End Your Guitar Licks With Dramatic Vibrato

Vibrato, in my opinion, is the one essential lead guitar technique.

I often tell my guitar students: "if you don't do anything else but improve your vibrato, your entire guitar playing will sound awesome ... even if you never play much faster or cleaner than you are able to at this moment".

The secret to playing a wide and controlled vibrato is ... your fretting hand thumb.

Right after you get your vibrato technique where you want it to be, the next step is keeping you vibrato in tune. (This vibrato guitar technique lesson shows you specifically how.).


Hirajoshi Scale Tip # 4: Master Expressive String Bending Technique

You can make any guitar lick more colorful by milking it with string bends.

How do you do that?

The secret resides in the release of the bend.

This video demonstrates how to infuse more emotion into any guitar lick, simply by releasing basic string bends in creative ways:

Embed video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IVI5BGVYgo&feature=emb_title.


Use these tips as you practice the Hirajoshi scale and you'll love the sound that comes out of your amplifier.

The next step to making your guitar soloing sound creative is to quickly increase your guitar picking speed. I show you how in my new free eGuide: "How To Build Fast Guitar Picking Speed". Get it today and explore speed picking secrets most guitarists never learn.


Author's Bio: 

About The Author:

Tom Hess is a highly successful guitar teacher, recording artist and composer. He teaches guitar players from all over the world in his online guitar lessons. Learn more on the Tom Hess Wikipedia page.