#1
I was just wondering what you all do to spice up your solos? The Blues Scale can sometimes get fairly boring after a while, so I'm sure you guys throw in some extra scales and such. I personally like throwing in some Modes, like Mixolydian and Aeolian, and I've recently started using Arpeggios, so all that stuff gives it kind of a Blues with a tiny bit of Jazz overtone kinda sound. So what do you all do?
Feed your mind.
#2
passing tones, like go from the minor third to the major 3rd, or trill the 5 and the flat 6th.
I like using the flat 2 like this


rake
|–––5––6/7–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|
|––5–––––––8–5––8b(10)~~–––––––––––––––|
|–5––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|
|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|
|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|
|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|

(key of A)
Last edited by qstionauthority at Aug 28, 2008,
#3
I posted this a few days ago in another thread so I'll just post it here again.



(some parts are irrelevant to your question but whatever)

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.

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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#4
I'm not sure if you understood salmon. I'm not asking for advice, I just want to see how everyone else likes to go about it. I just haven't been in the blues/jazz forum for a while and thought I'd make a return with a thread to see how everyone goes about their thing.
Feed your mind.
#5
Play the changes.


I don't really know how to apply modes, so I don't know exactly what you're talking about when you refer to your modal noodlings.


But I tend to modulate keys on the changes a lot.

I also use the full natural minor scale, and some chromatics here and there. Also, some chordal soloing can work, depending on the situation.
#7
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that is key.

I personally also have a spliff tucked in at junction of the headstock and neck of my strat, and occasionally toke on it to add some more spice to my solos.

also this is kind of important I feel, personally because I've myself been guilty of it. when you're playing say a G7 chord, it is perfectly acceptable to substitute it with any of the dominant extensions like the 9,11,13. However, when and if you do so, be conscious that even though you're playing within the dominant framework, you ARE adding all these added colors, and when you're soloing over them it is of vital importance to address those colors, as opposed to treating the change merely as a different sounding G7 chord. I know it sounds very fundamental and basic, but for sure you'll be surprised the change it can induce in your playing when you are aware of this at that vital moment.

Also, tri-tonal substitutions might work, given the context you are playing against. Of course if you're playing straight ahead 12 bar blues, it might sound a lil' "out there", but I've seen a lot of people do it with a lot of panache.

the buddhists call it pratitya-samutpada, which translates to present-moment-awareness. Try it, and it'll spice up all your soloing, I guarantee. That failing, let me know, and I can cook you up some custom Indian cuisine with extra spice, for a nominal fee.
#8
Quote by imgooley
Play the changes.


I don't really know how to apply modes, so I don't know exactly what you're talking about when you refer to your modal noodlings.


But I tend to modulate keys on the changes a lot.

I also use the full natural minor scale, and some chromatics here and there. Also, some chordal soloing can work, depending on the situation.



I'm assuming when you say you don't know how to apply modes you mean placement on the fretboard. If you do know how to then just skip ahead to the next paragraph XD. But with modes, every mode is basically a number. Let's take Mixolydian in the key of E, since Mixolydian is a very bluesy Mode. The reason why it's bluesy is because it is a FIVE compared to all the other modes. They all got numbers 1-7, and Mixolydian is a 5, the magic blues number, ze dominant if you weel. So if you're in the key of E, you just place it on the 5 of E which is B. Tadah! =P

Now if you mean that you just don't know how to use them and make it sound good, then it all just comes down the practice xD. I find that if you don't overdo it, it sounds better in a Blues context. For example, here's a lick in the key of E (again xD)

(/) Slide Up (\) Slide Down (h) Hammer On (p) Pull Off (b) Bend (r) Release (v) Vibrato

E|----------------------------
B|--------7h8p7---------------
G|--7--9---------7/9\7-----7--
D|--------------------------9-----
A|----------------------------
E|----------------------------

And uh, don't let go of the last nine, just let it ring out with the 7. But when you hit the 7th fret on your B string, that note isn't in the Blues Scale, it's in the Aeolian Scale. Pretty sloppy tab, and it might be wrong since I don't have my guitar with me, but you get the point. xD
Feed your mind.
#9
Quote by Firebread
I'm assuming when you say you don't know how to apply modes you mean placement on the fretboard. If you do know how to then just skip ahead to the next paragraph XD. But with modes, every mode is basically a number. Let's take Mixolydian in the key of E, since Mixolydian is a very bluesy Mode. The reason why it's bluesy is because it is a FIVE compared to all the other modes. They all got numbers 1-7, and Mixolydian is a 5, the magic blues number, ze dominant if you weel. So if you're in the key of E, you just place it on the 5 of E which is B. Tadah! =P

No, I understand the fact that the modes are based off which note in the diatonic major scale comes next, 1-7, but I forget the names. In blues, you would use the 4th and fifth modes the most, along with the 1st, because you are switching tonal centers on the chord changes.

Which is why I said "modulate on the chord changes".

What I don't understand about modes is simply the names, and why people say "play X mode in Y song" without giving the context of where it would fit within the chord progression.

So when you said "Mixolydian" I didn't know you meant the fifth, which makes perfect sense within the context of blues.

EDIT: There is another thing I don't quite get.

When you refer to a mode, it is that you play the same notes within the scale starting on a different note, right?

Not playing different intervals starting on the same tonic note?
Last edited by imgooley at Aug 29, 2008,
#10
Quote by imgooley
No, I understand the fact that the modes are based off which note in the diatonic major scale comes next, 1-7, but I forget the names. In blues, you would use the 4th and fifth modes the most, along with the 1st, because you are switching tonal centers on the chord changes.

Which is why I said "modulate on the chord changes".

What I don't understand about modes is simply the names, and why people say "play X mode in Y song" without giving the context of where it would fit within the chord progression.

So when you said "Mixolydian" I didn't know you meant the fifth, which makes perfect sense within the context of blues.

EDIT: There is another thing I don't quite get.

When you refer to a mode, it is that you play the same notes within the scale starting on a different note, right?

Not playing different intervals starting on the same tonic note?



Well, Modes aren't like say, an Arpeggio, you can use an Aeolian scale, all throughout the song. As for the names, if I remember correctly, in ancient Greece, they'd have different modes for like different people. Like Dorian would be the mode that the Warriors would listen to and so on, because they all have a unique sound. And yes I believe you are right that it is the same notes within the scale starting on a different note.
Feed your mind.
#11
Quote by Firebread
Well, Modes aren't like say, an Arpeggio, you can use an Aeolian scale, all throughout the song. As for the names, if I remember correctly, in ancient Greece, they'd have different modes for like different people. Like Dorian would be the mode that the Warriors would listen to and so on, because they all have a unique sound. And yes I believe you are right that it is the same notes within the scale starting on a different note.

But wouldn't it sound out of place to play say, the sixth mode (whatever that is) over a five chord, because the tonal center is different?
#12
noones mentioned the diminished scale yet so thought id throw that into the mix
the half/whole dim scale works very nicely over dominant chords, its an old bebop trick i think - the scale gives the regular 1, 3,, 5, b7 as well as some nice extra colour tones/altered notes for extra jazziness!
( b9, b3, b5/#11, 6 )

especially works well going into the IV
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#13
to imgooley:
i think youre quite right , its best to think of standard dominant I IV V blues changes as modulations, always playing the V chord - so if u were playing modally, you would use mixolydian (the 5th mode of the major scale). But not quite sure about Lydian (the fourth mode) as that has a major 7th note in it which would clash badly with the b7 of the dominant chords you're playing over.

However, Jazzers do like using the lydian dominant scale , which has a #4 and a b7. (the lydian dominant is the 4th mode of the melodic minor btw)
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____

If ya don't give a sh!t ya getcha hellyeah
Throwin' fists in the pit ya getcha hellyeah
Think you're f~ckin' with this well hell no.
Balls, volume, strength getcha' come on!
#14
Quote by imgooley
But wouldn't it sound out of place to play say, the sixth mode (whatever that is) over a five chord, because the tonal center is different?



It should still work, if I'm not mistaken.
Feed your mind.
#15
Quote by Firebread
It should still work, if I'm not mistaken.


well if you're playing A Aeolian (6th mode) over G7, course it works because youre just playing G mixolydian

but G Aeolian over G7 doesnt sound quite right to my ears anyway (because of the b6 prob)

Having said that i'd quite happily noodle away with a G Dorian mode over a G7. But a easier/different way of looking at it is just adding a 2 and a 6 as passing tones to your regular minor pentatonic.
Don't make me sick into my own scorn
____

If ya don't give a sh!t ya getcha hellyeah
Throwin' fists in the pit ya getcha hellyeah
Think you're f~ckin' with this well hell no.
Balls, volume, strength getcha' come on!
#16
I mix in the mixolydian (ROFL), and I also throw in pinch harmonics every now and then. I also frequently use ascending double stops.
#17
i use blues scale for everything, ut i tend to follow the chords rather than change shapes, but extend the scale as well.
also, it's okay to artisticly(sp?) place out of key notes, in to slide from or just move away from quikly.
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#18
Myxolydian (though i don't think about ti like that, that's silly) just recognise that, often, that chord your playing is a straight 7 so a major scale fits if you b the 7. 2nd and 6ths from the major scale fit easily into any major blues. Also, occasionaly playinh with some notes from the diminished scale. The best thing to do is to look to other styles of music, see how they do things and try and bring it home to blues.

Like gypsy jazz, manouche the harmony there is often so specific and interesting that taking some of that and putting it in the blues can be great. Playing the dim scale over a standard 7 chord is a normal trick that adds colour. If i'm playing with something more complex that a simple blues then i just really pay attention to the changes and try and go with them (or against them) when I feel it's appropriate.
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#19
I was pretty much a minor pentatonic guy for years (about 3 - since I began), and then I took some lessons from Matt Young, the lead guitarist in a local band called Sweet Japonic that I really like, and he showed me how to bring in some major elements into my playing, and now I feel that I can do a lot more. He also showed me the B.B. King box that B.B. King uses A LOT in his playing so I can pull some of his tasty licks into my solos.
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