#1
Hi, the title is quite obvious. I like the way my improvs in the blues sound, but I know that they can be a lot better. I basically just use the Pentatonic Scale and throw some other notes in that I think sound good at different areas (tritones and what not). I had to switch guitar teachers when we were just starting to get into modes, so I don't really know which ones work well in blues and such, this new guy discussed some stuff with me on my first lesson, and we've been working melodic scales and jazz stuff together, because I told him I'd like to have a good understanding of Harmonic Theory, and knew perfectly well that him being a keyboard player all his life and that jazz was the most complex style to date with chords and things (as far as I've been informed) that it would be a good area to work in. But now my blues is suffering because of that, and here I can get a lot of different opinions. I don't know how many of you are familiar with the Band In the Pocket soloing CD's, but those are what I use. I occasionally will solo over the radio, and some CD's I'll improv a solo on. But what I'd like are some tips to what I can do to make them more interesting, the solos. What modes are good on blues, who can I listen to to help generate ideas and inspire my blues playing a little bit more, what personal experience you guys have that can help me. If this would be better in a different area of the website, I can move I can move it, but I think this is the right area. Thanks for all of the help in advance

EDIT: Please keep in mind, this thread was partially created to help other people who would like to get better at soloing with the blues. And I forgot to rules, the standard no flaming or spamming, so, I ask you, please do not:

Flame other users
Spam this thread
Say that it is a dumb idea, if one person walks away with more of an ability to play anything, including myself, then this thread has done justice to the forum.
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

The Low-Cardinal of Zeppelinism - If you're a diehard fan of Zeppelin, join Zeppelinism here


Winner of the "Biggest Led Zeppelin Fuck" award in the CR forum (2 years running!)
Last edited by Page&HammettFan at Jan 9, 2007,
#2
When it comes to the blues...

You got the blues scale...

And you don't need nothin' more.

Keep it simple, stupid.
Posers are like punks, except they do it for fashion

notUG PUNK FORUM PRESIDENT!
#3
If you want to use modes, I usually mix the Pent. with the Mixolydian.
Huzzah! It is I, S0ulja, the Duke Of Swiss, 3rd member of the Royal order of cheese!

PM Soulfly_freak or sock_demon to join
#4
I always like to try and incorporate the Dorian mode into my scales. It gives it a nice Santana-ish sound. The Mixolydian also works very nicely if you know how to use it correctly.
#5
^Never tried the Dorian in a bluesy context, can you post a lick as an example?
Huzzah! It is I, S0ulja, the Duke Of Swiss, 3rd member of the Royal order of cheese!

PM Soulfly_freak or sock_demon to join
#6
I don't really have time to post a lick but just think of it as the basic blues/pentatonic with the Dorian mode super-imposted on top. I tend to play mainly with the Blues and then make the last note of the phrase from the dorian such as the F# on the D String or B on the G string.

I don't know if that helps but I'm not very good at explaining things like this.
#7
The Dorian is basically a Major with a Diminished 5th right?

Or is that completely wrong?
Huzzah! It is I, S0ulja, the Duke Of Swiss, 3rd member of the Royal order of cheese!

PM Soulfly_freak or sock_demon to join
#8
^
I'm not too sure, they have a lesson on them. Noob at modes.

StaggHound, there's more to blues than just playing a pentatonic scale. Especially when you add the jazz shuffles to the mix, then you immediately gain a thousand possiblities in the first shape. Part of this thread's thought was for other people who would like to play the blues better.

I also suck at speed picking, do you guys have any advice on that? I know of a bunch of riffs I like doing now, bu I can't speed pick them, part of this though came from watching Clapton. Actually, he's the one who inspired the whole speed-pick thought in my head. I wanna do it, but can't get that picking hand fast. What are some thoughts, just sit down on two given strings and pick as fast as I can?
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

The Low-Cardinal of Zeppelinism - If you're a diehard fan of Zeppelin, join Zeppelinism here


Winner of the "Biggest Led Zeppelin Fuck" award in the CR forum (2 years running!)
#9
the dorian is basically a minor scale with a raised sixth instead of the normal b6.

Example: A minor dorian would be:
A B C D E F# G A

instead of:
A B C D E F G A

as far as licks, something real basic would be like this (again, using Am as an example)

-8-7-5---------
---------8-7-5-
-----------------
-----------------
-----------------
-----------------

or this:

-----------------
-----------------
----------4-5-7--
-4-5-7---------
-----------------
-----------------

licks like this are so common in rock, often found smack dab in the middle of what otherwise sounds like a minor penta solo (example: Free Bird) it almost seems like complicating things too much to call it "dorian", maybe instead calling it good ol' minor penta with some added notes....
#10
^Thanks for the explanation.

Huzzah! It is I, S0ulja, the Duke Of Swiss, 3rd member of the Royal order of cheese!

PM Soulfly_freak or sock_demon to join
#11
^
I've done stuff similar to that, I've used those notes in a kind of jazz shuffle, just different keys. But thank you for posting that. One lick that I like, you can improvise all of it, but is this. I think it sounds rather nice, but then again I did it!

-15-12--------------
---------16-15-13--
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------

I hope you enjoy it, just a kind of upbeat feeling blues in A minor, I forgot to mention it. If you have a Band In the Pocket Blues Album, I haven't played over the second in a while, but this one works rather nicely on the A minor numbers on the first one. There are more that I like that are better, but there are just so many to list, I may post em in here soon.
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

The Low-Cardinal of Zeppelinism - If you're a diehard fan of Zeppelin, join Zeppelinism here


Winner of the "Biggest Led Zeppelin Fuck" award in the CR forum (2 years running!)
#12
I think there we covered this in a recent thread.

First, I'll assume you're talking about more traditional, and not Jazz Blues.

The heart and soul of the sound is going to be minor pentatonic. So, that really
will be your "unifying" scale. Adding the b5 to create the Blues scale is a small
addition.

Next, as someone else put it pretty well, you can think of the Blues as going through
3 key changes on the I7, IV7 and V7 chords. So, FOLLOW the chords. Simply
saying you're going to use a mode, like Dorian, over everything doesn't necessarily
totally work.

The first step I'd think about, beyond the minor pent, is the arpeggiated notes of
the chords. You can start adding them to minor pent licks and really get a lot
more melodious in your Blues solos.

The next step in your thinking, might be thinking Mixolydian. This is where the 3
key changes notion comes in. Since all the chords are Dom7 chords, You can play
the I, IV, and V Mixolydian scales over each chord change.

So, where does Dorian come in? Well, first of all note that a minor scale (like pent)
over a major chord is the essence of a Blues sound. Dorian is a minor mode.
Furthermore, if you look at the Mixolydian, the IV Mixolydian = I Dorian in terms
of notes! You can't really say you're playing "Dorian" over everything, because
when the I changes to a IV you'd actually be playing Mixolydian. Also the I Dorian
over the V chord, won't necessarily work so well. If you continue to play I Dorian
over the V Chord you'd actually be in V Aeolian.

So, that's the nutshell modal analysis over the typical I, IV, V Dom7 Blues progression.
If you think about it in Mixolydian terms, that to me is a good way of looking at it,
even if you want to use some "Dorian".

Finally, instead of the 3 Mixolydian scales, you could also use 3 major pentatonic
scales. These are all just subsets of the Mixolydian with the same I, IV, V roots.
This might give you a more "country" blues type of sound.
#13
^
I actually am referring to the kind of Jazz Blues as well, kind of like what Eric Clapton has on his Clapton and Friends DVD. But thanks for replying anyway, I didn't realize that this had been done before though unfortunately. I'm looking for a Jazzy-Blues or just standard Blues to Blues-Rock type of sound. But I have played in instances with my dad's friend where a Country-Style Blues would be nice, because he does change the songs a little bit to be a kind of halfway line between the two. So that's good advice to take.
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

The Low-Cardinal of Zeppelinism - If you're a diehard fan of Zeppelin, join Zeppelinism here


Winner of the "Biggest Led Zeppelin Fuck" award in the CR forum (2 years running!)
#14
Quote by S0ulja23
^Never tried the Dorian in a bluesy context, can you post a lick as an example?

Listen to SRV... yes, he uses the dorian mode (although he didn't really know it. he just considered the new major 6th and 9th he was adding in as flavor notes.)
Looking for my India/Django.
#15
^
I add those "flavor notes" all the time My favorite run is like this, it uses a tritone to connect two forms out of the Pentatonic Scale. I'll give examples of the two just for reference below. Go from form 2 of the Pentatonic Scale to one, and use this note to go between them, we'll say Am here.

-10-8----------------------
-------10-8----------------
--------------9-8-7-5------
------------------------7-5-
-----------------------------
-----------------------------

Kinda corny riff but it sounds decent over some progressions

Form 1: Form 2:
-------------------------5-8- ---------------------------------8-10-
--------------------5-8------ --------------------------8-10--------
---------------5-7----------- --------------------7-9----------------
----------5-7---------------- --------------7-10--------------------
-----5-7--------------------- -------7-10---------------------------
-5-8------------------------- -8-10---------------------------------

Those are in Am Pentatonic, working two octaves each time, just working all 6 strings I think is better practice. The Am Pentatonic Scale note are (unless I was just tought differently) A-C-D-E-G-A, including the A to signify that the scale starts over. The tritone is a sharp 4th, a flat 5th, whichever you wanna consider it.

EDIT: I'm sure that most of if not all people who view this thread know this scale, but I'm only posting it as a reference. I know a few people who use this site as a reference, some who are going to be taking lessons, already started on them, or are only farting around and looking at tab.
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

The Low-Cardinal of Zeppelinism - If you're a diehard fan of Zeppelin, join Zeppelinism here


Winner of the "Biggest Led Zeppelin Fuck" award in the CR forum (2 years running!)
Last edited by Page&HammettFan at Jan 10, 2007,
#16
buy a jazz book and teach yourself.

The order is: C ionian D Dorian E Phyrgian F Lydian G Mixolydian A Aeolian (aka A minor) B Locrian) and then back to C Ionian then when you want to switch keys, just go up by halfsteps until you reach desired key. Hopefully that wasn't too much info, but just go to www.theorylessons.com and learn the 7 modes of the major scale.

Happy Birthday to Jimmy Page, god of all things that rock.
#17
^
I know the names, so can you go a little into detail on that though? I never really got into modes yet, even though I plan on doing that this weekend, I don't know much about them. Playing from D to D in C major is Dorian? Or playing in the key or shape of D is Dorian?
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

The Low-Cardinal of Zeppelinism - If you're a diehard fan of Zeppelin, join Zeppelinism here


Winner of the "Biggest Led Zeppelin Fuck" award in the CR forum (2 years running!)
#18
Quote by Page&HammettFan
^
Playing from D to D in C major is Dorian?


That's pretty much right.


About Jazz Blues, not that I'm an expert in that area, is that it expands an the
basic Blues. Jazz generally explores more complexity in the harmony. Where
basic Blues would mostly use straight Dom7 chords, Jazz will use altered Dom7's
and other substitutions. So, that will open up the soloing more to other scale ideas
like Lydian Dominant (a mode of Melodic Minor), Wholetone, Diminished, etc...
#19
I'm willing to type out a lot about jazz blues if you're into that. Just say so
The "Popped Collar" Award(Sexiest)
Elvenkindje

The "Rest In Real Life" Award(Best Past MT Mod)
Elvenkindje
#20
^
I have to actually see it unfortunately in most cases to be able to do anything with it. But thanks. I've played solos over Jazz Blues, and with those progressions I've taken stuff completely disonant to any scale I've ever seen and just played a double-stop, and what surprised me was that it sounded awesome. But generally with stuff like that, for me atleast, it only sounds good if you follow it up with someting that fits in the scale.

EDIT: I just saw a show called The Piano Guy. This guy named Bradley something came on, I unfortunately didn't catch his last name. This guy was so amazing, he played the blues so very well on the piano.

EDIT 2: Bradley Sowosh was the guys name, incredible. He's flat out amazing.
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

The Low-Cardinal of Zeppelinism - If you're a diehard fan of Zeppelin, join Zeppelinism here


Winner of the "Biggest Led Zeppelin Fuck" award in the CR forum (2 years running!)
Last edited by Page&HammettFan at Jan 13, 2007,