Hey there,

I am currently working on improvising a solo over a simple 1-4-5 funk/blues (not swung) chord progression in the key of F. I am basically just using the F blues scale, and sometimes an F mixolydian (though I find that throwing mixolydian licks into this particular song sounds strange and out of place). A lot of playing I do involves soloing over these 1-4-5 progressions. I am finding that my solos are becoming dull, predictable and unoriginal. I am in desperate need of some new solo ideas, licks or anything that will help me achieve a better, more technical solo for this F blues progression. I want to be able to really melt some faces at the climax of the solo, so I guess I am looking for a few "go-to" shred style licks that work over an F funk progression.

I would really appreciate some help from anyone who can throw some ideas at me. They can be very difficult or very simple, anything will help!!

you said all you do is play over the same chord progression... try playing different progressions.
I think you need to understand that there is more to a solo than just notes. Try using dynamics, staccato, or doing something like tremolo picking while slowing bending a string. Experiment with different bends, use octaves, quarter bends on the G#, A#, C, and D# tend to throw a little spice into your solos, trying experimenting with different types of vibrato, and (if you haven't already) go outside of the typical 'Blues Box' and experiment with different areas all around the neck, throw in some Dorian-esque notes, skip strings. There are thousands of ways to make a solo stand out. I find the notes that you play during a solo have little importance in the overall sound, it's HOW you play them and the RHYTHM you use to do so.

I suggest just jamming along to different song and make a goal to never play the same thing twice during a solo. LISTENING is also extremely important. Listen to bands like The Allman Brothers for mind blowing blues/rock solos, and use those ideas to develop your own licks and styles.

Edit: I see your concerned with playing fast. Well, let me just say that playing fast is a good way of showing energy during a solo but when it comes to blues, fast typically tends to sound dull and confusing. You really needs to FEEL the solo and put every little bit of energy in your body into those notes. Which is hard to do when you are playing 30 notes a second. But... different strokes for different folks.
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Last edited by highwaysalmon at Aug 27, 2008,
^ Good advice.
When out of ideas you could also learn a solo that you think is awsome by a differnet artist and get some fresh ideas. Transpose any new licks to your key if you get any.

YES allman bros dude I like your thinking.^ I just saw them 2 weeks ago they were awsome. I am also learning blue sky including the long solo. Theres a good tab on this site for it. That has a million ****in phrases in the E major pentatonic. I get stuck in the rut sometimes too and it feels like ive tried every possible pent lick but theres always a million more.
work on phrasing, you can make a good solo with just 3 notes. See John Frusciante's work on can't stop, nothing fancy, but it works because of how he uses the notes.

edit: and there's no law saying you have to stick to the pentatonic, it's really the way you play that will determine how you sound, the scale is just a tool.
Last edited by farcry at Aug 27, 2008,