I am a relatively new player having spent about a year and a half with the guitar. I have learned basic chords and can strum relatively easy songs with cowboy and a barre chord here and there so I have learned to do a little. I just work with songs that I like. I play almost everyday and usually spend an hour minimum and when I have time, much more. I am an older dude and I think it probably took me this long to get to where a motivated kid would have got in six months or less. I took a guitar class at the local community college last Spring and was exposed to some music theory and sort of understand the relationship of scales to chords but do not claim to understand it in depth. Guitar is a challenging hobby to me that I enjoy and I have no illusions of ever being great at this. I probably struggle with the ear part of music more than any other aspect. I have watched several videos and read several articles and thread discussions about learning to work with scales and how to use them with music (mostly backing tracks for me). I like mostly blues/blues rock type stuff. I have been following the Justin Guitar advice to learn one or two positions of the minor pentatonic scale and learn to use that before moving on. I do not spend a lot of time just running up and down that scale as I know the shape for two positions and just work with those, know how to move them for keys, etc. So far, I just try to play with those two shapes plus a few nearby notes that I can get to easily that I know are notes in the scale. I know enough that you can play say the G Minor on the 3rd-6th frets and move it to the 15th-18th frets and do that with any key. I do not have all of the fret-board memorized. I can navigate E and A shapes from learning the notes of the low E and A strings pretty well and can find the high E notes OK. I am still getting there on the D, G, and B strings. It sounds like there are different approaches that you can take to this. I have read about "chasing the chords" where you move from say A to D to E with each chord change. I have read that you stay in say the A minor pentatonic for songs in A minor or C major and just learn where all the notes are or the positions and work with that and do likewise for the other keys. I have read other things that say you just have to "feel" it. Most of what I do is try to adjust the timing to whatever piece and key I am playing with to use parts of licks or riffs that I have learned and just make up other stuff while playing with tracks in the context of the key. Sometimes it sounds OK and sometimes not. Sometimes I get something that seems to sound good and then cannot remember what I did a day or two later. Some questions. 1. I get that you can use say the A minor pentatonic scale with songs in Am or C, use E minor with songs in Em or G, etc. Some of the tracks that I use (blues/blues rock) offer suggestions of scales to use and in most cases if the track is in a major key it will suggest using the minor pentatonic and the major pentatonic for that particular key. For example, a simple track using some combination of a I, IV, V in the key of D major means you can use the D minor scale and the D major scale (B minor scale with a different root). For minor key tracks I generally see suggestions to just use the minor key and not the corresponding major key scale from the circle of fifths. I have also seen keys using all or mostly 7th chords and those tend to suggest just using the minor scales for that particular key. I would think you should be able to use the major scale that corresponds as well but do not see it suggested. So, I guess my question is what are the rules or the rule of thumb to use in terms of what scales keys to use with with chords in a given progression? 2. With some of the licks or riffs that I have learned I will sometimes see one or two notes that do not match the five note pentatonic. I try them anyway just sort of assuming that the artist knew a lot more than me and was guessing they were just using a six or seven note scale that I have yet to pursue. I have read about "passing notes" and thought that was a possibility as well. They usually sound at least OK and sometimes sort of stand out but that may be because I getting used to hearing sequences. I often see other scale suggestions that I have yet to learn. For the time being I am trying to use the KISS principle. 3. When you make your own stuff up, is there a method to that? Sometimes it works and sometimes not so much. Would appreciate any wisdom. There are so many things that you can try to learn with guitar and directions to go. Being able to play and improvise lead type playing on backing tracks was one of my big goals when I started and would like to get better at it. I have a whole bunch of other things to work on with this such as timing/phrasing, bends, slides, hammer-ons, vibrato, etc. and try to practice all that within playing with backing tracks. I wish I had someone to play with that knew more than I did as I think that would help a great deal. I wanted to put some work and energy into this for a while as I think it is one of the funner aspects of playing.