Watch the Targeting Chord Tones online guitar lesson by Jason Loughlin from Blues Connections: Minor

Let's learn how to target chord tones. These act as point of origins or points of destination. By always having a destination in mind, chances are you'll end up with more concise phrasing. It's so easy for guitarists to play long run-on ideas because we don't have to breathe, but you'll really hold the listener's attention with great phrasing.

Not playing is called a tension, which creates a sense of anticipation. Knowing where chord tones are and learning how to embellish them is something every improvising musician needs to know. All the work we did earlier in the course by saying the scale degree numbers out loud will now pay off. I've also included a PDF of some chord shapes for each position to act as a map or template. Here are some improvisation games I do with my private students:

Game 1: Resolve all of your phrases on the root of the chord you're playing over. Take a breath before starting the next phrase.
Game 2: Resolve all of your phrases on the b3 of the chord you're playing over. Take a breath before starting the next phrase.
Game 3: Resolve all of your phrases on the 5th of the chord you're playing over. Take a breath before starting the next phrase.
Game 4: Alternate the resolve of all your phrases between the b3 and 5th of the chord you're playing over.
Game 5: Alternate the resolve of all your phrases between the root and b3 of the chord you're playing over. Take a breath before starting the next phrase.

By doing these games you're tightening up your phrasing, learning where the chords are, and strengthening your ear to hear these chord tones within a chord. Try this in all 12 keys.