Leaving the Blues Scale Behind - with Andrew Wasson

This week on the GuitarBlog I've composed a complete blues-based melody for a 12-bar blues in the key of "A."

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For many guitar players, playing the stock Blues Scale over a set of Blues changes in a 12-bar format is a walk in the park. However, when you listen to many of the great Blues musicians, you begin to notice other scale tones that do not exist within the standard Pentatonic Minor/Blues scale. 

In this weeks lesson, I discuss how to play into the specific chord tones of each chord, as well as, use the Major Pentatonic scale for filler tones. This approach yields a number of highly targeted licks that lock down on the scale tones of the chords for each measure. Watch the video lesson below (contains on-screen TAB).


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Developing a good harmonic and melodic sense for what it means to play chord tones, (in terms of both learning to spot the tones themselves, and how to use them in a solo), luckily doesn't take years of study in a college, or a university setting! In this lesson, I've run through a fairly straight forward blues based melody composed over a 12-bar blues progression in the key of, "A." I hope it helps you to leave the Blues Scale behind, and focus primarily upon each measures chord tones.

About the Author:
Andrew Wasson is a 1992 graduate of Hollywood California's, "Musicians Institute," faculty of Guitar, (G.I.T.). He has operated Canada's "Creative Guitar Studio" for the last 20+ years.

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