#1
Ok, so let me first apologize if this doesn't belong here, but I couldn't find another place it would fit more. Also, let me apologize if this has already been asked a couple times, but I couldn't find a thread like this. So, to get to my point. I have been playing blues for a while, but I feel like I lack when it comes to solos. I know scales and keys and the how, but I can't seem to find cool licks. What I am trying to say is can anybody show me any cool blues riffs and licks I can move around to a certain key that I can incorporate in a solo? That would help a lot. Sorry for the long post, too.
#2
I'd listen to lots of different blues players. Listen carefully to what they do, pick out the phrases and licks you like, be able to replicate them by singing them, so they're internalized. Then transcribe them on to guitar in your chosen key.

You may want to try phrases from other instruments, even vox.
#3
albert king would be a good place to start..(he has a crisper bite than BB..) his phrases are just pure blues..but as simple as they may sound..it will take ALOT of practice to make them yours..as with any other players work..clapton, hendrix..the licks and runs they play are in their body and soul...playing the blues for real is work..

play well

wolf
#4
As they said, just listen to other guitarists. It's really the best way.

David Gilmour, my favorite guitarist, says he was influenced a lot by Hendrix. I don't usually catch things that sound like Hendrix, but that's a good thing--he made the style his own. And what a great style it is, I might add.

As for me, I tend to emulate Gilmour to an extent. I know what he does. He "cuts the fat," trimming out sound where he thinks it shouldn't be yet. Learning aspects of a musician like this, but from several different musicians, will give you a good edge on developing your own style.

Good luck to you.
Quote by Trowzaa
I wish I was American.

~ A Rolling Potato Gathers No Moss ~
#5
without having to google all of the greats, (Albert King, BB King, Hendrix, Buddy Guy etc...) go on YouTube and search Joe Bonamassa... He's copied them all.. Improved on some, but he's studied all the greats and boasts that Clapton was one of his greatest influences...

Just a suggestion..
I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
Beats Workin'
OLD GUYS RULE!!!!
#6
Quote by DrewMeyer
Ok, so let me first apologize if this doesn't belong here, but I couldn't find another place it would fit more. Also, let me apologize if this has already been asked a couple times, but I couldn't find a thread like this. So, to get to my point. I have been playing blues for a while, but I feel like I lack when it comes to solos. I know scales and keys and the how, but I can't seem to find cool licks. What I am trying to say is can anybody show me any cool blues riffs and licks I can move around to a certain key that I can incorporate in a solo? That would help a lot. Sorry for the long post, too.

You gotta know how each note will sound so you can use them properly on the spot.

Know the major scale: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, and be aware of how each note connects to the chord you're soloing over, especially if your chords don't fit perfectly (like if you're using dom7 chords). Incorporate blues notes (b3, b5, and b7) for flavor. For some extra interesting color use some extra chromaticism. The way I do it is I play a lick, then move it up or down one half step and play the same lick, so that all/most of the notes will be accidentals, then bring it back to the original lick for a feeling of closure. You can also play a lick that just sort of weirdly leads to an out of key note close to a chord-tone (if you play a b6 for example, know that it can resolve to 5). I'm assuming you already know basic harmony (how chords are constructed, 1-3-5, 1-b3-5, 1-3-5-7, 1-3-5-b7, 1-b3-5-b7).

Now here's the thing that helped me THE MOST. Come up with a shit-ton of random licks/riffs and play them to a METRONOME, start off at a really slow tempo to make sure you can play it perfectly, and slowly raise it to the highest tempo possible. Even if you think you'll never have to play that lick that fast, if you practice it as fast as you can, playing it slower will become much easier to do perfectly.

Once you've got a good bag of licks, tricks, and riffs, and you can play them well during your solo with a band, the next step is to give your solos some maturity, melody, and fluidity. At this point looking up licks on youtube won't help you out anymore. This is where you need to learn how to make a smooth melody-line that'll flow throughout the measures, as if you're guitar was singing. One good way to do this is to actually analyze vocal melodies from some of your favorite songs and play them on your guitar. You won't be able to find tabs for vocals, so you have to do it by ear (which is good for your learning). And try to give your solos some structure: remember that you're trying to tell the listener a story. An example of a solo-structure:

Start off with a melody that fits the major scale perfectly, generally avoiding the 4 and 7 (so you're basically using the major pentatonic scale). Sneak those 4s and 7s in there a bit more over time for some tension. Start playing some faster rock licks as transitions between major points of your melody. Incorporate more blues notes over time. At the height of your solo, the very peak, just get to shredding! Add in a good deal of dissonance and chromaticism and play some fast crazy licks (try your best to keep in perfect time, but nobody will really notice at this point if you get just a bit sloppy). This is the point where you add in your own flavor, whatever technique it is you love to do more than anyone else (tapping, polyrhythms, sweep-picking...whatever it is you're best at that people will notice you for). One common cliche is to end this part by climbing up the scale and squealing at a ridiculously high note. I like to play with that expectation; I know people are expecting that climb so instead of giving them what they think I'm going to do, maybe I just stop the solo mid-phrase, or I descend rather than descend, or I end a fast lick and go straight into some calmer, spacier playing for a while, or I do something silly (certain dissonances in certain strange, choppy, spaced-apart stabs and weird grooves can sound hilarious). This ending part is where you let people know that this song means more to you than a guitar solo everybody's heard before, you don't wanna play into their expectations, you do something that pisses them off a bit...But even though consciously they're thinking "man, I wanted to hear that high note..." subconsciously they're getting some interesting chemical activity going on in their brain that they don't get too often, and that's what keeps them coming back for more: the only way to make a statement musically is to stab your audience in the ears rather than singing them gently to sleep.
#7
Quote by Papabear505
without having to google all of the greats, (Albert King, BB King, Hendrix, Buddy Guy etc...) go on YouTube and search Joe Bonamassa... He's copied them all.. Improved on some, but he's studied all the greats and boasts that Clapton was one of his greatest influences...

Just a suggestion..


All of them + Gary Moore.

Moore's easily the most in your face blues players theres ever been. Muddy waters is another one to look for
#10
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zn-P0ZH3_M
Thought you were talking about drum sticks.
Read thread title as "Blue Tips"
Quote by Banjocal
sht up u flthy librl foogit stfu u soo mad n butthurdt ur ass is an analpocolypse cuz ur so gay "my ass hrts so mcuh" - u. your rectally vexed n anlly angushed lolo go bck 2 asslnd lolol
#11
Quote by sheppard30
This is the best thing ive read ever
Excellent description of what it is to really play

Haha thanks man. At the end of the day it all comes down to the song and how you feel about it, you just dig into your soul and pull out that solo
#13
Quote by TMVATDI
Haha thanks man. At the end of the day it all comes down to the song and how you feel about it, you just dig into your soul and pull out that solo


Well, yea.. but if your a carpenter trying to do a Transmission Job, you may have the expertise, but you don't have the right tools...

Playing Blues does require you to "dig into your soul" (love that analogy btw) but playing Metal Licks, for example won't quite get you there no matter how much soul you have..

Technically learn the licks, and scales... Play them with Feeling.. (funny faces are optional)
I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
Beats Workin'
OLD GUYS RULE!!!!
#14
Hey man, nice to hear from another guy interested in actually learning the blues. Great to see. There's a tonne of good advice in here already so I'll throw in my 2c. I'm a gigging blues guitarist, been playing for about 6 years, learning blues for about 5. My method for the most part has been to absorb as much of the music as possible, really digging deep into the roots of the genre.

IMO The most important part of learning to play good lead is by developing your ear. I started off already knowing a bit of theory about chord construction and modal scales and pentatonic scales which was very helpful. I would encourage you to get familiar with the shape of the pentatonic scale all over the neck, (the b5 or "blue note" as people call it is also important). The dominant aka mixolydian scale is also very important.

I would urge you to spend as much time as possible LISTENING to the music you want to emulate or learn from. Get record collecting, download it, surf youtube like a fiend. Find like minded individuals who know their stuff who can point you in the right direction.

Learn some songs off by heart. There are tonnes of good blues instrumentals out there, If you need pointing in any particular direction just ask.

TBH I find players like Bonamassa, Gary Moore and Clapton to be a lot more based in rock than blues. There are far too many SRV clones and people trying to sound like John Mayer.

You can't go wrong with early B.B. King (and I stress early, his playing has really really go down hill since the late 70's, his best stuff is in the 50's and 60's) and Freddie King (I've been slowly learning his instrumental blues album named Dance Away and Hideaway, such a huge catalog of licks in there)

For me, the key players for the style of lead blues guitar that I'm currently learning (because there are several different styles you can draw from or play) are:

Hollywood Fats of the Hollywood Fats Band or the Hollywood Blue Flames - Here's an instrumental he used to do originally by Clarence Gatemouth Brown

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlzk10Cq85o

Jimmie Vaughan, obv the brother of SRV and IMO the better player of the two.. did his best work with the Fabulous Thunderbirds on there first 2 albums. Here's one from him

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPIQcFRWpNw

Anson Funderburgh - Really tasteful player, has a great groove and plays that nice texas blues style right in the pocket or even lagging a bit. Take a listen to an instrumental of his:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfaemeLEZto&list=FLqR60tiUsmyAFa9scZFXbag&index=1&feature=plpp_video

It's a long road and lots of people undervalue what actually goes into being a REALLY good, tasteful blue player. It's about story telling, restraint, being able to coax what ever tone you want out of a guitar with just your fingers.. and its not just about lead guitar. Rhythm is just as important and is fundamental for helping your sense of timing and musicianship.

I guess we should ask: Who are some of your favourite players? What kind of blues do YOU like..
#15
The way I do it is I play a lick, then move it up or down one half step and play the same lick, so that all/most of the notes will be accidentals, then bring it back to the original lick for a feeling of closure.


I like that. Just tried it and it I'm not sure why I never tried that before. A very interesting way to take something that can become very repetitive and give it just a little more flavour.

Thanks for indirectly giving me that advice.
#16
^ Side stepping. It's pretty common especially in fusion.
#17
Quote by TMVATDI
You gotta know how each note will sound so you can use them properly on the spot.

Know the major scale: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, and be aware of how each note connects to the chord you're soloing over, especially if your chords don't fit perfectly (like if you're using dom7 chords). Incorporate blues notes (b3, b5, and b7) for flavor. For some extra interesting color use some extra chromaticism. The way I do it is I play a lick, then move it up or down one half step and play the same lick, so that all/most of the notes will be accidentals, then bring it back to the original lick for a feeling of closure. You can also play a lick that just sort of weirdly leads to an out of key note close to a chord-tone (if you play a b6 for example, know that it can resolve to 5). I'm assuming you already know basic harmony (how chords are constructed, 1-3-5, 1-b3-5, 1-3-5-7, 1-3-5-b7, 1-b3-5-b7).

Now here's the thing that helped me THE MOST. Come up with a shit-ton of random licks/riffs and play them to a METRONOME, start off at a really slow tempo to make sure you can play it perfectly, and slowly raise it to the highest tempo possible. Even if you think you'll never have to play that lick that fast, if you practice it as fast as you can, playing it slower will become much easier to do perfectly.

Once you've got a good bag of licks, tricks, and riffs, and you can play them well during your solo with a band, the next step is to give your solos some maturity, melody, and fluidity. At this point looking up licks on youtube won't help you out anymore. This is where you need to learn how to make a smooth melody-line that'll flow throughout the measures, as if you're guitar was singing. One good way to do this is to actually analyze vocal melodies from some of your favorite songs and play them on your guitar. You won't be able to find tabs for vocals, so you have to do it by ear (which is good for your learning). And try to give your solos some structure: remember that you're trying to tell the listener a story. An example of a solo-structure:

Start off with a melody that fits the major scale perfectly, generally avoiding the 4 and 7 (so you're basically using the major pentatonic scale). Sneak those 4s and 7s in there a bit more over time for some tension. Start playing some faster rock licks as transitions between major points of your melody. Incorporate more blues notes over time. At the height of your solo, the very peak, just get to shredding! Add in a good deal of dissonance and chromaticism and play some fast crazy licks (try your best to keep in perfect time, but nobody will really notice at this point if you get just a bit sloppy). This is the point where you add in your own flavor, whatever technique it is you love to do more than anyone else (tapping, polyrhythms, sweep-picking...whatever it is you're best at that people will notice you for). One common cliche is to end this part by climbing up the scale and squealing at a ridiculously high note. I like to play with that expectation; I know people are expecting that climb so instead of giving them what they think I'm going to do, maybe I just stop the solo mid-phrase, or I descend rather than descend, or I end a fast lick and go straight into some calmer, spacier playing for a while, or I do something silly (certain dissonances in certain strange, choppy, spaced-apart stabs and weird grooves can sound hilarious). This ending part is where you let people know that this song means more to you than a guitar solo everybody's heard before, you don't wanna play into their expectations, you do something that pisses them off a bit...But even though consciously they're thinking "man, I wanted to hear that high note..." subconsciously they're getting some interesting chemical activity going on in their brain that they don't get too often, and that's what keeps them coming back for more: the only way to make a statement musically is to stab your audience in the ears rather than singing them gently to sleep.
Respect
#19
I've been playing blues guitar since I was 8..I was listening to all the same stuff on the radio as the other kids,Stones,Beatles.Preferred the Stones.Heavy blues influence on their first stuff.then I happened on an fm blues station in NY in 59.I was hooked.It's what i ended up for my career.Try the foundations of it.Muddy waters,buddy Guy,Little Walter,Albert king,because he crossed into rock in a way.Harder sound,licks,distortion.Guys like Clapton Paige,Beck all influenced by these Guys.There were some white guys got it.Paul Butterfield band,Kenny Wayne Shepard,Duane Allmand.There are a whole new generation of relatively new guys,Robert Cray,Taj Mahal,on and on.When I play rock,jazz,etc,I try to be tech. correct all the right notes in the right places,but I could care less.When I play Blues I let the guitar say all the things I can't.I don't even think.It's not how many notes you can string together faster,sometimes it's only 4 or five.Clapton is great at that.That's why we called him slow hand.It sounds simple,clean,pure,easy.Till ypu try it yourself.Then you realize how good he really is.Let the guitar talk for you.Say all the things you can't find words for.You can learn any progressions and licks,It's just hard to get them to say something.panheaad201
Last edited by panhead201 at Mar 14, 2012,
#20
It was 6AM,I just got done playing for the night.Looked at this to try and unwind.Laying in bed with the guitar across my guts,trying to sleep.This is the best thing I've read on here.Was recording my stuff I,ve written over the years.Had a little surgery that went bad and I lost all the feeling in my arms and hands.I've had to glue a flatpick to my thumb so I can hold it.It's coming back slowly.Joined this website cause I was going crazy about a month ago.You're getting a lot of good advice from a lotta guys taking this seriously.Blues audiences are pretty sophisticated.Kinda like a jazz club.They don't care how much your guitar costs,or what kinda pedals you use.They care about whats coming oughta your gut,or soul or whatever and through your fingertips.Not how many notes you can string together faster than anybody else,but what you do with em.They can pick out a poser in about 30 seconds.I can go in a pawn shop in Miss.,I'm lefty,and pick up a righty guitar and sit on an amp and play.Everybody in the store will stop what they're doing and listen.NOT because I'm that good,I just feel it.When I play I don't even think about it.Before a set I'll be nervous as a cat on meth.When the lights go on,I forget everything.Could be ten minutes,two hours,I could,nt tell you.And when its over,I'm wiped out.I wrote most of my stuff riding on the subway,listening to the wheels clack.My low budget metronome.Keep on playing,you're getting a lot of good advice and help from these guys.panhead201
#21
Quote by panhead201
It's not how many notes you can string together faster,sometimes it's only 4 or five.Clapton is great at that.That's why we called him slow hand.It sounds simple,clean,pure,easy.Till ypu try it yourself.Then you realize how good he really is.

His nickname doesn't stem from that. It's cuz he frequently broke a string during a performance, and while changing the string on stage, the crowd would engage in a "slowhand" clap.
#22
Wow guys, thanks a lot! So much good advice, much more than I expected. In reply about my favorite players, I like John Mayer, Dan Auerbach, BB King, Jack White, and Junior Kimbrough is pretty cool, too. I know I don't listen to all the "true" blues, but those are who influence my guitar playing.