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Old 03-22-2013, 06:57 AM   #1
mark.c
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Blues Soloing Help

I have been learning to solo the blues for a little while now and I have got a few licks that I use a lot but I need to get some more. I have kind of hit a wall with it and need to spice my licks up a little and I was thinking that a good way to do this might be to learn some solos from some songs. I'm not sure which solos from which songs to look at though. I am mainly soloing in A and G minor and major.

Are there any john mayer solos that are in these pentatonic scales that i could learn?
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:12 AM   #2
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You should be able to play the pentatonic scale in any key and in any position on the guitar. It is THE scale in all rock/blues/metal music in the last 45 years.

Learn some solos from some old rock bands that weren't really known for their guitarists. They tend to play fairly simple licks and speeds that are reasonable for most. Working your way through some of these will give you a good foundation on what sounds good.

The most important thing in my opinion is vibrato and accurate bends. An accurate full step bend with vibrato in time is blues soloing, imo. Pay attention to the best players like SRV, Gilmour, Clapton, etc. They all have amazing vibrato along with great chops.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:51 AM   #3
mark.c
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Thanks Kevin,

Thats exactly what i have been trying to do. I am slowely getting there LOL. Its taking a while for the other keys to sink in. I couldnt believe how much different the sound becomes moving licks from a to g for example.

I have also been working on the accuracy of my bends. I have been using a tuner to make sure im hitting the right notes.

Its more the licks that im struggling with. I end up just playing across scales and trying to find a root note at the right time. But this isnt very melodic. It sounds more like im just playing scales.

I have been looking at licks from the greats and as you said they are so fast i struggle to get them down. I might try and get some sheet music from them and see if i can grab some licks from them. Im struggling to work out which scale positions and keys they are in but i guess this will come with practice?
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:22 AM   #4
mark.c
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Im thinking that SRV - Life Without You. I have had a quick look at the sheet music and it appears to be in the key of A, and its slow blues so the licks are slower so that might be a good place to start?
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:21 PM   #5
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Try looking into some other scale options rather than learning a bunch of new licks. Do some research on the different ways to improvise over a 12 bar blues progression.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:34 AM   #6
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Forget about scales for the moment, that's not the problem.

Your issue is that you're approaching playing the guitar backwards, and it's a very common mistake that inexperienced players make. Scales don't make music. The guitar doesn't make music.

You make music.

So before you even start putting your fingers on frets and picking strings you have to have some kind of goal on your head, some idea of what you actually want to hear coming out of your guitar. Of course that's not something you can immediately do, and figuring out what you need to do on the guitar to get those ideas out is likewise difficult at first and involves a lot of work. You have to start trying though, because simply allowing your fingers to mindlessly wander up and down scale patterns in he hope that something good comes out isn't going to result in any progress. Experimentation and exploration are an important part of the process but you need to understand why you're doing things, and there's only really one reason for it all - to get a better understanding of the sounds that come out of your guitar and what you need to do to make them. Without that fundamental principle underlying everything your learn and do your progress will be a lot slower and disjointed
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:55 PM   #7
robertwilliam9
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You could try some blues modes (scales). I compiled a list for my students in this blog post.
Blues Guitar Scales: Master List
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:28 AM   #8
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Listen to solos by guitarists you admire and transcribe their licks. It doesn't have to be absolutely identical (after all they probably play their licks a little differently every time), just capture the essence of the lick. Then practise it in all 12 keys until you have 'internalised' it and it feels like a normal part of your everyday musical language.
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