I started playing the guitar self taught, attempted guitar lessons (one to be exact) instantly knew that was not for me, I just wanted to play! I learned and used basic bar chords, standard open chords and just kept playing. In time I did become a pretty good rhythm guitar player. Between using guitar tabs and jamming with friends I learned allot. When it came time to play a solo, well, that was a different story.
The Guitar Solo Rut "The Box"
I started out practicing with the standard 4 or 5 fret guitar scales. At the time I was a rhythm guitar player in a band with a few people. A good friend of mine was the lead player and we would jam to many of the classics, it was fun. He would occasionally encourage me to take a solo and I hated it. No matter what the song, my leads always sounded the same. They always turned out to be just playing a guitar scale starting on a root note ...Boring!
Just Made Sense
I knew, in order to play unique sounding solos I had to break out of "the box" the rut of a guitar scale pattern. I needed an easy way to connect the different scale patterns to have a better vision of the fret board. That's when it just made sense, learn to see the fret board as one scale
I went through the process of creating study guides or "maps" of the full fret board, showing me every good note I could play. I made one for every key and started taking them to band practice. The very first night they had a dramatic effect. I taped one of the maps to my mic stand. We were playing a classic BB King song and when it was my turn to solo I went at it. I started by just picking at some random notes shown on the map. This instantly got me away from always starting on the root note and that changed the phrasing of what I was playing and it has only got better from there. Within a few weeks I was slowly becoming a lead guitar player. Honestly, my friend, who was the lead guitarist, asked me to print out a set of Guitar Maps for him to work with. Same result for him, They Work!
Anybody Else ?
One evening while jamming to a backing track, using one of the maps, I thought, If I was having such exciting success with this there had to be other guitar players that could get the benefit from this as well. I was right!