This is something I'm stuck with, how can I actually construct a solo? At the moment I need one for a VERY basic for a 12 bar blues in A, so its aaaa,dd,aa,ed,ae using just a basic power chord shape which is open a string, 2nd fret of d, 2 strum, open a 4th fret of d. just playing the 2 strings. and moving that across for the E and D also. But how can I actually construct a solo, do I just play some notes from the e, a and d scales? I don't really understand how to do it! Id like to know how to actually construct one so I'm not just limited to the one style of music. Especially when the majority of people I know play metal!

That's a big ask :-)

Your best bet is to get together with friends that do have musical knowledge, and preferably a good teacher ... this will speed up things for you.

Check out youtube also.

To get you going, you want to learn the A minor blues scale (A, C, D, Eb, E, G) and listen to the effect of each of these pitches against each of the power chords.

Listen out for clashes, and learn to de-emphasise these. But you really need to get some phrasing under your belt too. Check out your favourite blues players and notice where they start and stop playing against the backing. Do they start on the 1st beat of the bar? Or before it? Or after it?

I am starting to contribute articles to UG, and will be addressing this to an extent, but a little later, I'm afraid.

Good luck, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Nov 11, 2014,
Play the A blues scale. Use both minor and major thirds. Slides from b3 to 3 are what pretty much define blues imo.
I think the best way is to listen to your heroes and steal their vocabulary.

For blues, I started the same way everyone started. By stealing from:

BB (stole a lot), Albert (a little less), Freddie King (even less) and Elmore James (a lot).

In my opinion, I find musicians who do not steal vocabulary to be less enjoyable to listen to than those who do.
So basically what you need to do is to compose a sequence of phrases that will express the emotion and the vibe of that song.

That's what helps me:

1. Listen to the whole song from the top a couple of times.
2. Imagine the type of lead that would fit in there (fast / slow-emotional / clean / dirty... and so on) --> figure out the vibe of the future solo. (Final destination)
3. Knowing the key of the song (A) and the notes that are likely to use in this key, you're ready to brainstorm while improvising. (set the repeated playback of the lead section only - not to waste time)
4. Remember what are your strengths in playing, and try to stress them - that's your personality
5. Don't stop until you're satisfied with every single phrase of your lead.
6. After the lead is done, take a break (couple of hours) and listen to the mix of the song (including your lead) from the top till the end. If you feel it - great job!!!
If not - repeat the whole process)))))