Sion morris playing lesson1If you are like me and are not a professional musician, but all the same like to play guitar for relaxation and enjoyment, then my 'Play-along' technique is for you!

This lesson is completely self-contained and although is a derived from the Mode Decoder, in fact, you will NOT even need a Mode Decoder to be able to learn and play with this lesson! Its simply a description of how I see and use my Mode Decoder, but simplified right down. The technique described here will allow you to enjoy many hours of playing guitar with MINIMUM learning and MAXIMUM enjoyment.

After many years of learning scales, then song tabs, becoming bored with them and moving on to the next, the holy grail of guitar playing for me has been to be able to pick up my guitar, turn on the radio and be able to pick up the song and just play along. And then pick up the next song... and the next! All without even knowing the key or mode of the song - in fact without knowing any music theory at all!

This is exactly what I can do now - and you can too  I will show how in the following few simple steps.  

Normally if you want to play along to a song, you either need an encyclopedic knowledge of scales and an ear to detect which one a song is playing in, or you would need to Google a song's tab to learn, or finally watch someone teaching thhow to play that song on YouTube or similar.

Unlike these methods of learning, this way uses only one main 'magic' pattern. I call it a 'magic' pattern because, it containins all the notes you need to play into most songs and will magically fit into most radio songs and album tracks. Along with soloing single notes you will also learn a few chords to play in relation to this pattern and you will soon be able to listen, find, lock and play, strum and solo along to most radio / album music.

You will learn:

  • how to find the 'home fret' for any song
  • The 'magic' pattern of 11 main notes (and 3 useful extras)
  • some chords to insert

You may already know how to play the Minor Pentatonic scale shape (below) If you don't know it already, you may find it useful to familiarise yourself with it as the main pattern is based on two locations for this shape. This is completely optional, but as you may already know it (and maybe use it with The Mode Decoder), you may find it speeds up the learning of the main 'magic' pattern - you can continue without learning this of course.

The famous minor pentatonic scale shape:

minor pentatonic scale

Let's get started