Connecting E Major Scale Positions When Soloing on “Eyes of the World”
“Eyes of the World,” a 1973 Dead classic, is constructed around a medium-tempo funk/R&B groove over an E major tonality, and Jerry combines E major scale runs with clever use of chromaticism throughout the tune’s three solo sections. Throughout the entrance, he solos over an Emaj7 chord; the progression during the main guitar solo is Emaj7-Bm7; and the progression during the outro is Emaj7-Bm7-A. Jerry leans heavily on the E major scale in each solo, which he plays across the entire fretboard.
Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead’s leader and guitarist, is regarded as one of the most imaginative and unique soloists of all time, having established a distinct style that is an amalgam of rock, pop, country, jazz, bluegrass, Appalachian folk, and more.
His broad musical approach and playing style created the groundwork for today’s multi-faceted jam music movement.
We showed you E major scale patterns played in open/first position, as well as second, fourth, fifth, seventh, and ninth positions, covering all the usual patterns between the nut and 12th fret in the previous two columns. FIGURE 1 depicts a high-level overview of the most of these positions. If you haven’t already, We recommend memorizing these scale locations and reciting (and singing) the note and interval names while you play, so that when you glance down at the fret board, the E major “map” is crystal plain to you.
Let’s broaden our analysis to include E major scale positions played higher up the neck. FIGURES 2–5 depict the scale at the 11th and 12th, 14th and 16th places, respectively. You’ll notice that most of these patterns have you fretting three notes per string on all strings except the G, which has only two notes played; the exceptions are the fifth and eleventh-position patterns, which have you fretting two notes on the B string and three notes on the G. To properly finger these scale positions, a fret-hand stretch is essential, thus keep your hand as relaxed and flexible as possible throughout.
FIGURE 6 shows an improvised solo over the Emaj7 groove, focusing on lines that connect the E major scale’s 11th, 12th, 14th, and 16th position patterns. I start in 11th position and slide on the D string at the end of bar 3 to move up to 12th place. At the conclusion of bar 6, I slide up the D string to go from 14th to 16th position, where I will stay for the rest of the solo.
Examine all of the E major scale positions We’ve supplied, then attempt coming up with your own solo explorations. You’ll undoubtedly uncover some fascinating and useful methods to connect the various patterns as you go.