In a standard 12 bar blues, what scales could I use to improvise over it with? No one say the obvious answer of the blues scale, but when I improvise the blues I just stay within the blues scale and I want to move out of that.
i think you should stay within the blues scale, or it may not sound like a blues piece...
Quote by sbikram
i think you should stay within the blues scale, or it may not sound like a blues piece...
Your kidding right?

if you want to improvise over a 12 bar blues progression, than you should probably use the pentatonic scale with a few out of key notes. So if your 12 bar blues is based around Bb, use a Bb pentatonic (if the chords used are all dominant chords, it doesnt matter if you use the minor pentatonic scale or the major pentatonic scale).

Dont worry if your playing within patterns when you first start off. Even "pros" like clapton and page still use patterns.

But you should probably learn 2 or 3 patterns and become good at using them both at the same time. If you can slide between 3 or 4 notes in the pentatonic scale on a fretboard your doing well.

Keep in mind that phrasing is the most important part of a solo. Try to phrase like a singer and copy a singers phrasing, especially those slow expressive singers. Think of it as if your singing with your guitar. This is how those bluesy guys used to improvise.

And you said you wanted to break out of box shapes? Than use the odd out of key note. It's best to learn intervals in this case, this way you can say "okay a b5 over a dominant chord sounds like this." Just experiment and keep a mental log of what each interval sounds like over each chord. It's best to use slides and bends to go to and from these out of key notes.

Also, you might want to watch melodic control. Watch it here. Try to apply your knowledge of intervals to what he's saying. So if he says a F over a D minor chord sounds good, you should know what interval that F note makes with that D minor chord so you can apply that same interval to each other chord.
Last edited by demonofthenight at Aug 31, 2008,
Natural Minor scale works out well in a lot of places. An example would be "Since I've Been Loving You"

Also, try playing some slide guitar. I found learning slide guitar helpful in hearing arpeggiated licks more easily.