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- Learning Blues Guitar
I have been teaching guitar professionally since 1992, when Don’t Fret Guitar Instruction was established. Over the years, I have taught countless students (beginners to advanced) how to play or improve their chops. Past students include four members
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Alvin Lee Music
Most often, blues is played with barre chords as opposed to open chords. With this progression, try using
- Root 6 G7
- Root 5 C7
- Root 5 D7
Once you have mastered this group, take the progression up the fretboard so it is turned around.
- Root 5 G7
- Root 6 C7
- Root 6 D7
The more positions and voicing you can play these chords in, the better. It breaks up the monotony.
This entire solo in based in Gm Pentatonic Box Pattern #3
- Scale spelling: C D F G B♭C D F G B♭C D, as illustrated below on the fretboard.
The scale begins on the third degree of the Gm Pentatonic scale: C. It is a two octave scale. Before attempting the solo, practice the scale as quarter notes, eighth notes, triplets and sixteenths while maintaining the same tempo.
Use the fingering notated, making sure to play in a legato style. That is, give all notes their proper duration before moving to the next one, do not cut notes off. Keep your fingers close to the fretboard, do not let them fly away.
The bent notes are all full bends (two frets). A great way to test your ear's intonation is to play the target note, that is, the pitch to where you are trying to bend the string to (in this case, B♭ to C), then bend the string up from B♭ and try to match the pitch, C. Great exercise for the ear!
All the phrases resolve on the root of the chord. This is a sure-fire way of creating a good solo. Try to learn the root G, the fourth C and the fifth D, in all box patterns. A good exercise here would be to learn them in this pattern, Box #3, work with them, get them ingrained and move into other patterns. Other strong target notes would be the third, fifth and seventh.
Bb Major-Gm Pentatonic Scale Box Pattern #3
Blues Pentatonic Solo #5
On the video, the solo is played once with the progression and then the rhythm backing goes through the progression again without the solo. Practice playing with the solo, then play through the solo with the rhythm backing during the second pass.
Blues Pentatonic Solo #5
Lorne Hemmerling (author) from Prescott on December 27, 2012:
Thank you very much for the feedback, look for lots more in the new year. Cheers, my friend!!
Sonny Hodgin from Indiana on December 26, 2012:
Thanks for posting all this information on blues soloing. I've personally found it useful. Voted up and useful!