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#1
Im used to playin the same old rock stuff and would like to branch out a bit, does anyone know a good way for coming up with some bluesy stuff.
#2
Fool around in the minor pentatonic.
"Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel."- Jimi Hendrix
#4
Depends on what key you want it in.
Heres the A min pentatonic

---------------------------5-8---
----------------------5-8--------
-----------------5-7-------------
------------5-7------------------
-------5-7------------------------
--5-8----------------------------
Edit: Thats the box position. You can move it to change keys.
"Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel."- Jimi Hendrix
Last edited by bBreaker at Jul 24, 2008,
#7
Just do what all great bluesmen do, steal from older bluesmen
*Official Deadhead*

The times they are a-changin'
#9
If you want to get good at the blues, the only way is to listen to a ton of blues and - *most importantly* - learn the songs by ear. Theory can't teach you how to play with your soul- it can only be used as a tool as you discover how to do so. Firstly and fore-mostly learn to play emotion.
#10
i'm still drowning in this genre. well, for my standards. i get frustrated with blues. i'm still trying to figure out where to combine scales and how to blend them (by ear)... i'm trying to run all over the neck... and the neck says "yeah right rookie. not yet" lol so i keep trying.
#11
I think a big problem some people have when trying to learn the blues is that they go and learn scales and theory first. If you try to learn theory when you're starting as a musician, you're led to believe that music is something that can be learned from a textbook, like a physics course. Music should primarily be treated as a natural expressive process, and much later, when the musician is ready, as a science.
#12
Quote by Donswald
I think a big problem some people have when trying to learn the blues is that they go and learn scales and theory first. If you try to learn theory when you're starting as a musician, you're led to believe that music is something that can be learned from a textbook, like a physics course. Music should primarily be treated as a natural expressive process, and much later, when the musician is ready, as a science.


i think it's a mix of both. you need at least a little bit of theory. or else you'll be driving blindly. i say at least some understanding.
#13
Do you think Robert Johnson (the bluesman - theres something like two other musicians with the same name) had access to a wealth of theory books and websites in the twenties? Alot of early musicians didn't even have mentors- their trick was that, by listening to music, and figuring it out by ear, they became familiar with their instrument on more than a technical level. Eventually, by listening to enough music and playing expressively, they could simply feel the music and hear it in their head, and immediately know how to play it on their instrument.
#14
i agree. music is all soul. no matter what it is. you need to conntect. i totally, totally understand. i'm not a theory freak. not at all. i'm just learning enough to understand what i'm doing. the little i know has helped a lot. i'm learning theory and scales as i please, slowly, not rushed. but i think every guitar player should have a little discipline, as far as learning the basics. at least. i'm with you though... it's all in the heart and soul.
#16
Quote by Donswald
If you want to get good at the blues, the only way is to listen to a ton of blues and - *most importantly* - learn the songs by ear. Theory can't teach you how to play with your soul- it can only be used as a tool as you discover how to do so. Firstly and fore-mostly learn to play emotion.

Because "playing with emotion" is an ENTIRELY subjective term, I wouldn't suggest that at all. You don't have to immerse yourself in theory, but having a basic understanding of what you're doing before you get started will be much more helpful than dicking around trying to "play with emotion".
#17
Quote by :-D
Because "playing with emotion" is an ENTIRELY subjective term, I wouldn't suggest that at all. You don't have to immerse yourself in theory, but having a basic understanding of what you're doing before you get started will be much more helpful than dicking around trying to "play with emotion".

+1

Robert Johnson knew his theory, in that he knew his instrument well enough to know how the notes work together. He may not have known the correct terms for things, but that's NOT the same as "not knowing theory". Besides, he sold his soul to the devil so he's a poor example

If you want to get better, learn some theory. The whole "feel player" thing is complete bollocks, nobody plays what feels good, they play what SOUNDS good. The guitar is a musical instrument, it makes sound - nothing "feels" good, it's a big plank of wood with nasty metal strings on it. If you're talking emotional feeling then that's rubbish too, I'm not disputing that music can convey emotion to an audience, or that your emotions won't influence how or what you play - however to be succesfully guided by your emotions, and likewise influence other people's, you need to have an understanding of the instrument you're playing otherwise you can't express yourself fully.

The solo in this video is a classic example of somebody who "plays what feels good", rather than what sounds good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPpaK5WubXo
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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#18
Date a girl, fall in love with her, and get her knocked up -oops. Give up all your dreams and sell your soul to the bank and an office job to support them. Save some money and a while down the track you might have enough to throw an awesome wedding. Then find out a week later she's been cheating on you for 18months - and still is. Then walk away with nothing but the shirt on your back and your guitar for company.
I'm pretty sure you'll come up with some real blues licks.
Si
#19
My advice? Immerse yourself in the blues. Check out some of Hendrix's bluesy stuff (Red House etc). Then branch out to SRV and then some more stuff. Haunt the Blues and Jazz section too and pick up some ideas of what to play and listen to. I love blues but for whatever reason i can't for the life of me think of suggestions for you.

Watch videos of the blues greats too and study what they are doing.

Also, type into youtube 'blues in a' (or whatever key you want) because there are some good backing tracks there which are fun to jam over.

EDIT: Oh god that video was awful. Was he even in key? He missed vital notes and ugggh it was terrible. The song as a whole was pretty dire but that solo. Trying to show off but not having the chops to do so. Dear me.
Last edited by darthbuttchin at Jul 25, 2008,
#20
Leave your wife, kill your dog, crash your car, then pick up your guitar, scream at the top of your voice 'Well I woke up this morning!' then play what just comes naturaly.
#21
Quote by gregger99
Im used to playin the same old rock stuff and would like to branch out a bit, does anyone know a good way for coming up with some bluesy stuff.


If you want to get a good blues lick, take this shape and incorporate the notes in red.

Quote by bBreaker

---------------------------5-6-8---
----------------------5-7-8--------
-----------------5-7-8-------------
-----------4-5-7------------------
------4-5-6-7------------------------
--5-6-8----------------------------


The notes in red are the major 3rd, flat 5, major 6 and b9.

If you are not sure which reds are which intervals then please ask.
Last edited by mdc at Jul 25, 2008,
#22
Quote by steven seagull
Robert Johnson knew his theory, in that he knew his instrument well enough to know how the notes work together. He may not have known the correct terms for things, but that's NOT the same as "not knowing theory".

The whole "feel player" thing is complete bollocks, nobody plays what feels good, they play what SOUNDS good. The guitar is a musical instrument, it makes sound - nothing "feels" good, it's a big plank of wood with nasty metal strings on it. If you're talking emotional feeling then that's rubbish too, I'm not disputing that music can convey emotion to an audience, or that your emotions won't influence how or what you play - however to be succesfully guided by your emotions, and likewise influence other people's, you need to have an understanding of the instrument you're playing otherwise you can't express yourself fully.

The solo in this video is a classic example of somebody who "plays what feels good", rather than what sounds good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPpaK5WubXo


Except, that in your description of the manner through which Robert Johnson 'new theory,' you described exactly what I meant by 'playing with feeling.' In saying play what you feel, I don't mean physically, on a 'big plank of wood with nasty metal strings,' as you put it. I mean being able to hear the music in your head, and then play it, without twiddling around for the right fret/note, or resorting to limiting knowledge of theory.

BTW, I know plenty of theory- I took A.P. Music Theory in high school and am about to attend a liberal arts music college to major in Jazz. I say this, not to sound pompous, but to make it clear that I am not defending those that don't have what it takes to learn theory. I am simply stating that a big mistake many beginning musicians make is to believe that knowledge of theory will create music for them.
#23
Quote by Donswald
If you want to get good at the blues, the only way is to listen to a ton of blues and - *most importantly* - learn the songs by ear.


Great advice. I would consider both of these tips to be the most important. If you have a theory background, studying the music from that perspective would be helpful as well.... but you absolutely should spend some time immersing yourself in the music, both as a listener and as a player.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 25, 2008,
#24
Quote by Donswald
Except, that in your description of the manner through which Robert Johnson 'new theory,' you described exactly what I meant by 'playing with feeling.' In saying play what you feel, I don't mean physically, on a 'big plank of wood with nasty metal strings,' as you put it. I mean being able to hear the music in your head, and then play it, without twiddling around for the right fret/note, or resorting to limiting knowledge of theory.

BTW, I know plenty of theory- I took A.P. Music Theory in high school and am about to attend a liberal arts music college to major in Jazz. I say this, not to sound pompous, but to make it clear that I am not defending those that don't have what it takes to learn theory. I am simply stating that a big mistake many beginning musicians make is to believe that knowledge of theory will create music for them.


I was the guy that learned theory or tried to learn theory before he played/listened. Music to me was numbers for a while. Now it's textured.
#25
Quote by steven seagull
+1

Robert Johnson knew his theory, in that he knew his instrument well enough to know how the notes work together. He may not have known the correct terms for things, but that's NOT the same as "not knowing theory". Besides, he sold his soul to the devil so he's a poor example

If you want to get better, learn some theory. The whole "feel player" thing is complete bollocks, nobody plays what feels good, they play what SOUNDS good. The guitar is a musical instrument, it makes sound - nothing "feels" good, it's a big plank of wood with nasty metal strings on it. If you're talking emotional feeling then that's rubbish too, I'm not disputing that music can convey emotion to an audience, or that your emotions won't influence how or what you play - however to be succesfully guided by your emotions, and likewise influence other people's, you need to have an understanding of the instrument you're playing otherwise you can't express yourself fully.

The solo in this video is a classic example of somebody who "plays what feels good", rather than what sounds good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPpaK5WubXo



Wow, the solo in that video^^ doesn't even deserve to be called a solo. I suck at soloing but that was down right awful.
#26
Quote by steven seagull


The solo in this video is a classic example of somebody who "plays what feels good", rather than what sounds good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPpaK5WubXo


Thats a horrible example. The only thing thats a "classic example" of is a crap guitar player playing a crappy solo.

Don't use it as an example of playing with feel in a "feeling vs knowing theory" argument...... thats pretty damn misleading and irresponsible.

Also, there is no "rather than"about it.... "feel" and "hearing" are all part of making music. I think most people know that when you talk about playing "what feels good"..... your talking about more than the physical aspect of "feel". What sounds good is part of "what feels good".


if you want to argue feel VS theory (which is stupid anyway).... use this video as an example of someone who plays "with feeling".


http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=1GSpbuFSr2o
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 26, 2008,
#27
Quote by Donswald
Except, that in your description of the manner through which Robert Johnson 'new theory,' you described exactly what I meant by 'playing with feeling.' In saying play what you feel, I don't mean physically, on a 'big plank of wood with nasty metal strings,' as you put it. I mean being able to hear the music in your head, and then play it, without twiddling around for the right fret/note, or resorting to limiting knowledge of theory.

BTW, I know plenty of theory- I took A.P. Music Theory in high school and am about to attend a liberal arts music college to major in Jazz. I say this, not to sound pompous, but to make it clear that I am not defending those that don't have what it takes to learn theory. I am simply stating that a big mistake many beginning musicians make is to believe that knowledge of theory will create music for them.

*sigh*
How, exactly, can theory be "limiting" in any way? In any other field of study the more knowledge eof the subject you have the better you can become, guitar is no different.

Theory knowledge is exactly what you're interpreting as "feel". The ability to hear things in your head and know how to transfer that onto the guitar comes FROM the study of theory, not in spite of it.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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...it's a seagull

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#28
Quote by GuitarMunky



if you want to argue feel VS theory (which is stupid anyway).... use this video as an example of someone who plays "with feeling".


http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=1GSpbuFSr2o

I don't want to side with anyone on this but I'm pretty sure SRV used a scale which contained 5-6 notes and any note in it would not be absolutely terrible to land on. The guy in the video didn't even know enough theory to use the pentatonic scale, he was playing entirely by "feel". I think it was a valid video example.
#29
nobody plays what feels good, they play what SOUNDS good.
wow... I'm tempted to sig that.
Quote by mdc
If you want to get a good blues lick, take this shape and incorporate the notes in red.


The notes in red are the major 3rd, flat 5, major 6 and b9.

If you are not sure which reds are which intervals then please ask.
I can understand the major 6 and major 3 (which is good for minor and major based blues respectively). I definantly understand the flat 5. But why the flat 9?

For gods sake people. Theory has NO relationship with creativity or technique whatsoever. If you learnt theory, but didnt practise, and you realised you sucked, you sucked because you didnt practise, not because you knew theory. Please dont criticise theory or the people that have taken an interest in it, it offends me (and a whole heap of other people).
And that guy in that video didnt suck because he knew no theory. He sucked because he followed the pentatonic scale too rigidly, was probably drunk, had almost no sense of phrasing and didn't practise enough before going on stage.

Truth be told, I wouldnt play much better drunk.
        ,
        |\
[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
#30
Quote by demonofthenight
But why the flat 9?


That's using a note from the Diminished H-W scale (Dominant Diminished Scale). It should be used tastefully, and as a passing note to create a subtle effect, otherwise it'll sound pretty bad.
#31
Quote by demonofthenight
For gods sake people. Theory has NO relationship with creativity or technique whatsoever. If you learnt theory, but didnt practise, and you realised you sucked, you sucked because you didnt practise, not because you knew theory. Please dont criticise theory or the people that have taken an interest in it, it offends me (and a whole heap of other people).

So true in so many ways.

Theory on its own will never make you a better player nor is it essential to make you a better player but it can definitely help and will never hurt (unless your stupid but then you would never be great anyway).

One could study theory in depth and be competent on paper without ever playing a note. Similarly one could play and play but never study theory - lose every argument on paper but sound F**ken amazing when they play.

Robert Johnson (I'm guessing cause I wasn't there) didn't learn theory. Training your ear and knowing what sounds good according to your own observations is not the same as studying theory. Theory is about learning and gaining an understanding for what others have observed in their musical experiences.

It is called theory because it hasn't (and can't) be proven. If it were it would be a theorem. The only way you can validate the theory is to observe it yourself and agree. Learning from the observations of master observations throughout the centuries can not possibly limit someone's playing. Can it help? Of course. Recognize it for what it is and see if you can make the same observations. I personally think everyone should, from day one, keep a notebook and write down their own observations and studies from their experience in music.

Back to topic. If you want to play the blues start with some shuffle rhythms. Here's how:
4/4 time, eighth note triplets, play notes in bold (other notes are rests) accent 1 2 3 and 4:

1 da da 2 da da 3 da da 4 da da 1 da da 2 etc etc

Start with some 12 bar blues and add in what sounds good. I like the guy that said steal from older bluesmen. That is the way of the blues. John Lee Hooker, Lightning Hopkins, Blind Willie McTell, Big Bill Broonzy, Robert Johnson, BB King, Keb Mo, Eric Clapton's later stuff (post MTV unplugged) SRV, Jimi Hendrix. Just for starters are all great people to steal off. They all stole off others and made it their own. It's the blues way
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Jul 26, 2008,
#32
Quote by GerGuam
I don't want to side with anyone on this but I'm pretty sure SRV used a scale which contained 5-6 notes and any note in it would not be absolutely terrible to land on. The guy in the video didn't even know enough theory to use the pentatonic scale, he was playing entirely by "feel". I think it was a valid video example.

no offense, but a horrible player with no feel is not a "valid" example of playing with feel. Its a "valid example" of a really crappy player..... thats about it though. It in no way represents what people are talking about when they refer to "playing with feeling".

Quote by steven seagull

Theory knowledge is exactly what you're interpreting as "feel".


no its not.

Theory is knowledge
"feel" is expression.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 26, 2008,
#33
Quote by GuitarMunky
no its not.

Theory is knowledge
"feel" is expression.

He said "you're interpreting" in response to the other user's post. He didn't say that's what it is.


Anywho.

Quote by darthbuttchin

My advice? Immerse yourself in the blues. Check out some of Hendrix's bluesy stuff (Red House etc). Then branch out to SRV and then some more stuff. Haunt the Blues and Jazz section too and pick up some ideas of what to play and listen to. I love blues but for whatever reason i can't for the life of me think of suggestions for you.

Watch videos of the blues greats too and study what they are doing.

Also, type into youtube 'blues in a' (or whatever key you want) because there are some good backing tracks there which are fun to jam over.

+1,000,000

You stole the words from my fingertips
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
#34
Quote by GuitarMunky
no offense, but a horrible player with no feel is not a "valid" example of playing with feel. Its a "valid example" of a really crappy player..... thats about it though. It in no way represents what people are talking about when they refer to "playing with feeling".


no its not.

Theory is knowledge
"feel" is expression.
Wait, isnt "feel" subjective then? If so, all arguments like so and so had so much more feel are void or that so and so is a crappy player because they have no feel is also void.
I'm starting to disbelieve that there is a such thing as a "bad player," even that drunk jerk's audience loved him (who were just as drunk as he was). Doesnt that make him a good player to those frat idiots cheering him on?

I wouldn't mind if someone came storming into this thread pronouncing that Robert Johnson was a dumb southerner with no feel and that Miles Davis, who studied theory, is a real bluesman with feel. Or that blues is a souless music, and that romantic classical music is the only music with feel.

Anyway, you want to write blues licks? Perfect your phrasing. From there you can achieve just about every sound you can imagine. You dont need to spend hours listening to music or studying.

/angry post.
        ,
        |\
[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
#35
Quote by demonofthenight


I'm starting to disbelieve that there is a such thing as a "bad player


yeah your right that dude sounded great!!!

anyway. You want to write blues licks. Listen to, learn, study and play blues.

Ignore ridiculous arguments over "feel" vs "theory" as they are not relevant or helpful.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 26, 2008,
#37
Quote by bBreaker
Depends on what key you want it in.
Heres the A min pentatonic

---------------------------5-8---
----------------------5-8--------
-----------------5-7-------------
------------5-7------------------
-------5-7------------------------
--5-8----------------------------
Edit: Thats the box position. You can move it to change keys.

thats actually the Aminor penatonic played in two different octaves
#38
Quote by GuitarMunky

Theory is knowledge
"feel" is expression.

I never said that that - I was merely pointing out that the ability to hear a note in your head and find it on the guitar without having to fiddle around looking for it is exactly what theory knowledge will help you develop.

Donswald referred to that as "playing by feel", I disagreed - as far as I'm concerned what he described was simply a stone cold argument FOR learning theory. Theory helps you understand and interpret what's in your head, therefore it actually helps you play "what you feel".
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#39
if you aren't playing by feel, you most likely aren't creating good music.

You have to feel the music your playing, if you arent into it it shows in your music. I do agree i didn't learn to express myself through music until i started learning theory. I think theory is most definantly something everyone should learn
#40
Quote by steven seagull
I never said that that - I was merely pointing out that the ability to hear a note in your head and find it on the guitar without having to fiddle around looking for it is exactly what theory knowledge will help you develop.


theory can help
ear training helps
experience listening to and playing music helps

so I more or less agree, except I don't believe those without theory knowledge necessarily have to "fiddle around". Good players "hear" it regardless of how they developed the ability.
shred is gaudy music
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