#1
Hey everyone. I have always had a respect for blues and when I used to take lessons, I was taught a few blues licks and the basics on the blues solo. Well tonight I went to an open jam night and it was prodominately blues and my friends wanted to try and jam. I decided to participate thinking "What the hell, what do I have to lose". So we went up there and started jamming on a funky blues rythm in the key of "E". I was using the blues pentatonic scale. Things were going well but eventually my solos were starting to go stale.

I was wondering what I could do to add more flavour and excitement to my solos. Also, I was wondering if anyone could share any advice on how to compose a blues solo or if anyone could share some of those licks that give you chills haha. Anyways, thanks in advance.
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#3
alright dude what you have to do is learn solos of guys you really dig, whether it be SRV or BB King or whoever, just learn how those guys do it and steal some of their famous licks and incorporate it into your own jams, it really helps!
#4
are there any sites about the "extended pentatonics"?
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#5
Extended pentatonics is just another way of saying "the pentatonic scale across the entire fretboard." My guess is you're just playing the scale in the standard 4 fret stretch. There are other positions on the neck where you can play those same notes, they're just arranged differently and that should give you some fresh ideas.

Another thing you could do it start throwing in some major pentatonic passages. Or hell, be sloppy like Page and throw in a chromatic line or two.

The biggest thing with blues is to work on your vibrato. That takes alot of listening to other players and just forging your own identity with it. Vibrato is the biggest thing that helps me distinguish players from one another.
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#6
There's a quite a few of your typical clichéd blues/rock pentatonic licks you can always try, but if your sick of that kind of stuff I find its quite easy and effective to follow the rhythm notes or riff (if there is one) and merely add notes or little licks onto them.

For instance if you were playing some kind of chord progression, you could play the same chord progression maybe in a different octave, or add embellishments (sp?) to the chords in the form of hammer-ons or bent notes. In any case, it helps you get out of the pentatonic.
#7
have you heard yngwie's blues licks? they're like pentatonics on speed or something.. crazy.. those never run stale... and for some reason, they start to souds like harmonic minor scales after a while.. lol... so theres a variation of the pentatonic minor....
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#8
I don't think you wanna start comparing Yngwie with the blues. They are different approaches. One place you could start to learn a few licks would be in the CR licks/riffs thread in the CR forum. I have posted a few licks, and other people have. They are general licks that have been inspired or modified from CR artists, and they have actually helped me in some cases in my own improving. Develop some licks from those. Another thing, as someone said, is listen to different styles of blues/blues rock. Listen to Alex Lifeson of Rush's early stuff, like What You're Doing, and In the Mood. Those are based on the blues, although very rock inspired. He does, in those days, have a big blues influence on his solos. Another thing is develop some licks that you like. You can play the same lick a thousand times back to back, just phrase it differently. Also do some slides up to and down from notes. I mean, the things that people can tell you to do are endless. If you are of age, the thing I suggest most is going to see blues bands and blues players. If you really pay attention and listen to what is being done, you will, guitar in hand or not, learn something. I don't even have to watch to learn from listening to blues guys, or music in general. But you have to focus on different things to inspire you.

You should also try doing some cromaticism. Play some little 3 fret walk ups. Don't worry about what scale you are in. The thing is phrasing. If you play areally funky thing, it can sound very interesting. The way I view my soloing is my guitar is telling a form of story. The different parts describe what is being felt. You have to look at it from different perspectives. Like, if you're just playing, then you're going to pick stuff up you like. But if you look at it like I wanna make people feel a mood that I'm trying to project with my guitar, in this case a really bouncing funky riff. Not like Joh Frusciante funk, but more like bebop I guess. You want to play staccato licks and stuff too.

Staccato licks are when you do not let a note ring out after playing it. I'm assuming you know that, but I want this post to be informative to anyone reading. Now, another thing that you can do is play the rhythm part, but add quick little rhythm fills. You have to know when to and when not to do it though. Like, do it inbetween vocal lines and stuff, but do it enough to make people want more, but so that you're not over indulging. A lot of players have trouble distinguishing this line. So be careful and remember that the listener may not wanna hear you fills constantly either. There is a time for soloing and a time for letting the song play out. If you have a bass player or a guitar player playing with you, this will be easier to manage and sound better because you're not leaving the song hanging.

There are a billion things that I could tell you. I hope this helps, but I recommend going into the Classic Rock area of the forums under Band and Artists area and checking out the CR licks/riffs thread. You will learn some things. Make sure that if you ask a question though, you delete it so that we have more room for posts of licks, rather than a bunch of questions of how can I make myself sound better. The best thing you can do is just watch it. If you want some advice on CDs that you could listen to of blues players, though I don't know many, PM me and I will give you a list of things to check out. Bands and what not. You can find a lot on youtube.

Also, you will feel stock after a while of playing. Everyone goes through it. I heard from a member on this site that he recorded himself jamming with the band he plays with one time, and was very surprised upon listening to what he heard. He felt very stock also, but didn't realise how well he'd done compared to how he thought he did. So you do eventually sound repetitive to both yourself and a listener. So when you play, you wanna treat them to something that doesn't come too too often. Your solos need to be just the right time, which comes down to feel. Then when you feel done soloing, play the last few bars before the verse riff comes back, and then play the chords at the chorus/turnaround so that the guys you're jamming with know that you're done. Experience will help you a lot too. The first time that I jammed with a full band, my dads actually, I sucked. I'll admit it too. My playing was mediocre, and I wasn't very familiar with what they remembered to play because I hadn't rehearsed it a whole lot myself with a CD. But I did surprise myself on the second song we played. But, now with the experience I've got, I sound and play much better than I did then. But I've played with guys a lot now too. If you're outside of your comfort zone, you may not be pleased with how you do. But just keep cool and don't let compliments go to your head when you get em.
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Last edited by Page&HammettFan at Feb 2, 2007,
#9
Well, first off, that guy really wrote a lot.

Secondly...

Keep it simple, stupid.

And finally;

Don't stress the solo, because they aren't what it's all about. Noodle it until you find something you like.
#10
go off the pentatonic scale for the odd passing note, it stamps some individuality into the solo. you will have to figure out what works and what doesn't. also, include some major pentatonic runs, don't just stick with the minor pentatonic.
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#11
Cool guys, thanks for the advice. All of it was very helpful. If anyone has anymore advice im all ears haha. Thanks again, the respose so far has been awesome.
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#12
try using the different notes which are not necessarily in the pentanonic scale, like the major third and the raised sixth. I also like to incorporate elements of the natural minor scale into the pentanonic scale. Also the blues note, which is the flat five should come naturally, but you have to use it right or will not sound good. I would also suggest chromatic lines, but like the blues note, use it at the right time.
That should help.
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#13
Quote by StaggHound


Don't stress the solo, because they aren't what it's all about.

Don't stress over it no, but don't forget it. I strongly disagree with the second part. In a blues/jazz/jam type setting, those who can solo with the most variety and feeling are the ones who can shine. You don't come away going "Yeah, I played root chords all night again, Yes!". If you're playing with your band it might be different, but most jams are very improvisationaly oriented, so you want to have that skill. How could it be the blues if there were no solos?
#14
Quote by kmbuchamushroom
Don't stress over it no, but don't forget it. I strongly disagree with the second part. In a blues/jazz/jam type setting, those who can solo with the most variety and feeling are the ones who can shine. You don't come away going "Yeah, I played root chords all night again, Yes!". If you're playing with your band it might be different, but most jams are very improvisationaly oriented, so you want to have that skill. How could it be the blues if there were no solos?


Well, y'know... Blues isn't just about guitar, and it's not just about solos, so I'd say it the blues can very easily still be blues without guitar solos.

And Jams aren't about shining either; they're about, y'know... Jamming? :P

Now, a good harmonica solo, a good piano solo... Those are pretty damn important. Blues ain't just about the guit fiddle.
#15
Quote by perko
alright dude what you have to do is learn solos of guys you really dig, whether it be SRV or BB King or whoever, just learn how those guys do it and steal some of their famous licks and incorporate it into your own jams, it really helps!


Exactly, this is probably one of the best ways to improve your soloing.

P.S. Congrats on your first blues jam, btw. I hope you enjoyed it.
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Last edited by claptonfan55 at Feb 6, 2007,
#16
since nobodys said it..the most important thing for me is to go back to the root note but delay in doing this....build up the tension. Clapton is great for this.
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#17
Yea as well as learning the whole fretboard try some volume swell techniques and using the root note to chang to diferent scale such as Dorian and such.

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#18
Quote by ECistheBest
are there any sites about the "extended pentatonics"?

http://jguitar.com/scale?root=E&scale=Major+Pentatonic&fret=10&labels=letter&notes=flats&tuning=Half-Step+Down
E Major Pentatonic, but its in half a step down tunning, just go to tunning to change to your tunning.
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#19
Quote by statopaul_mark
Hey everyone. I have always had a respect for blues and when I used to take lessons, I was taught a few blues licks and the basics on the blues solo. Well tonight I went to an open jam night and it was prodominately blues and my friends wanted to try and jam. I decided to participate thinking "What the hell, what do I have to lose". So we went up there and started jamming on a funky blues rythm in the key of "E". I was using the blues pentatonic scale. Things were going well but eventually my solos were starting to go stale.

I was wondering what I could do to add more flavour and excitement to my solos. Also, I was wondering if anyone could share any advice on how to compose a blues solo or if anyone could share some of those licks that give you chills haha. Anyways, thanks in advance.

The best advice you could probably be given is to simply 'feel' the music more. If you're really enjoying yourself, the music won't go stale. Listen to some SRV, and jam along to it. That helps.
#20
it just comes with time man, i doubt Lightnin' Hopkins or Albert King were layin down fiery licks when they first started out with the blues. Its hard to explain, but just feel it. You say your using the Minor Pentatonic? Try using the blues scale, to give it that nice tension building b5. Use some double stops here and there kind of in conjunction with the rhythm. Hell man the tricks are infinite. just keep it up, and you'll find some of your own personal ones.
#22
Quote by kmbuchamushroom
Don't stress over it no, but don't forget it. I strongly disagree with the second part. In a blues/jazz/jam type setting, those who can solo with the most variety and feeling are the ones who can shine. You don't come away going "Yeah, I played root chords all night again, Yes!". If you're playing with your band it might be different, but most jams are very improvisationaly oriented, so you want to have that skill. How could it be the blues if there were no solos?



i think he meant don't just stand up there soloing the whole darn time.
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#23
Quote by zep123
i think he meant don't just stand up there soloing the whole darn time.


Actually, my inclination is more... There's no need for a solo, so don't worry if you aren't comfortable doing one.

The solo is far less important than playing in key, in time, and well.
#24
^
Very true. A lot of players seem to have difficulty playing in time at first.
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