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Play Blues Guitar 10: Advanced Soloing Approaches

Electrify your blues guitar solos with this Blues Learning Path core course.
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Overview

Welcome to Play Blues Guitar 10: Advanced Soloing Approaches for late intermediate to advanced students of blues guitar. This Blues Learning Path core course is presented by 8 top TrueFire educators: Robben Ford, Andy Timmons, Corey Congilio, Carl Verheyen, Mike Zito, Oz Noy, David Hamburger, and Robert Renman. The Advanced Soloing Approaches curriculum is comprised of select blues guitar lessons from the educators' existing TrueFire course libraries.

The ability to improvise freely, and creatively, over any given groove or changes is one of the key skills that distinguishes the advanced and pro player. The insight and performance studies in this core course will advance your technical, creative, and improvisational skills. Learn the soloing examples note-for-note and then use the ideas and technical approaches to craft your own solos and improvisations.

Play Blues Guitar 10: Advanced Soloing Approaches is organized into 2 sections. In the first section, you'll work on concepts and insight into more in depth soloing techniques. Then in section 2 you will work through many Performance Studies as you hone your soloing style.

When you've completed the lessons here in Advanced Soloing Approaches, you'll find more lessons focused on soloing in Advanced Soloing Principles, also a Play Blues Guitar 10 core course.

The educators demonstrate all of the key examples over jam tracks (where and when applicable) to simulate a real-world application, in a musical context. Key examples are also tabbed and notated for your practice, reference and study purposes. Take as much time as you need to work through each video guitar lesson before moving on to the next lesson. If you want to dig deeper or wider into any of the topics covered in this core course, check out the rest of the courses in the Blues Learning Path where you'll find more examples, techniques and insight from top TrueFire educators. Grab your guitar and let's get started!

About

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Play Blues Guitar 10: Advanced Soloing Approaches - Introduction

01: Play Blues Guitar 10: Advanced Soloing Approaches - Introduction

Welcome to Play Blues Guitar 10: Advanced Soloing Approaches for late intermediate to advanced students of blues guitar. This Blues Learning Path core course is presented by 8 top TrueFire educators: Robben Ford, Andy Timmons, Corey Congilio, Carl Verheyen, Mike Zito, Oz Noy, David Hamburger, and Robert Renman. Now let's get started!

2 min
Concepts and Insight - SECTION 1: Overview

02: Concepts and Insight - SECTION 1: Overview

In this section you will work on a ton of advanced concepts like motivic development, altered scales and playing over changes. Taking the time to get these concepts down will help move your soloing to a much higher level.

1 min
Modal Blues Playing - Concept 7

03: Modal Blues Playing - Concept 7

Modal Blues Playing - Concept 7 is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Timmons and is sourced from Electric Expression: Blues. Now I want to expand a bit on the basic pentatonic ideas that we have talked about by starting to think slightly modally. In this video, we'll use the chord's scales to map out what notes can be used to make up our blues lines.

10 min
Passing Tones & Outlining Chords - Concept 9

04: Passing Tones & Outlining Chords - Concept 9

Passing Tones & Outlining Chords - Concept 9 is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Timmons and is sourced from Electric Expression: Blues. Let's talk now about some non-scale and non-chord tones called passing tones. The most organized ways of using passing tones is to connect two scale tones with the notes in between or to outline the shape of a chord while playing notes within the shape. However, you can almost get away with playing any tone by resolving it well.

7 min
Motivic Development - Lead 1: Overview

05: Motivic Development - Lead 1: Overview

Motivic Development - Lead 1: Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Motif Revolution. This track is an up-tempo shuffle in the key of A, with bass, drums and rhythm parts. There's some good space here, so I can develop something that really flies!

4 min
Motivic Development - Lead 1: Demonstration

06: Motivic Development - Lead 1: Demonstration

Motivic Development - Lead 1: Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Motif Revolution. Let's look at some of the lead ideas we developed in the overview, making sure to give the rhythm part some space to shine through.

3 min
Motivic Development - Lead 7: Overview

07: Motivic Development - Lead 7: Overview

Motivic Development - Lead 7: Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Motif Revolution. This track is an upbeat rumba in Bb. One of the things we can do to build a motif is to play a phrase up an octave, giving the listener something to refer to earlier in the lead part. We'll also repeat the same pattern for each chord in the progression, using some double stops to mix things up.

3 min
Motivic Development - Lead 7: Demonstration

08: Motivic Development - Lead 7: Demonstration

Motivic Development - Lead 7: Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Motif Revolution. Let's use the techniques we talked about in the previous video to build a motif over an upbeat rumba in Bb.

5 min
Listening - Workshop: Insight

09: Listening - Workshop: Insight

Listening - Workshop: Insight is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Revolution. A short but very sweet video excerpt from the live workshop on the subject of listening; "If someone plays high, you play low."

1 min
Altered Scales - Scales: Demo

10: Altered Scales - Scales: Demo

Altered Scales - Scales: Demo is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Revolution. In this section of the course, Robben devotes a lot of time discussing and presenting scales and their applications. Thus far, Robben has presented many altered chords, which are the chords where the 5th, 9th or 13th has been raised or lowered -- now he drills down on the scales to play over those altered chords, and this helps to unravel the signature Robben Ford sound.

9 min
Playing Over Changes - Soloing: Demo

11: Playing Over Changes - Soloing: Demo

Playing Over Changes - Soloing: Demo is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Revolution. In this last section of the course, Robben pulls it all together and presents valuable insight, guidance and revealing performances related to soloing and improvisation. In this first lesson of the section, Robben discusses playing over changes.

15 min
Soloing Example - Soloing: Performance

12: Soloing Example - Soloing: Performance

Soloing Example - Soloing: Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Revolution. Now that you have a handle on Robben's underlying theoretical and harmonic concepts, observe how Robben applies them in an extended improvisation. Take note of his use of altered scales, arpeggios and the way he builds the solo to make it more exciting as it progresses.

5 min
Improvisation - Soloing: Insight

13: Improvisation - Soloing: Insight

Improvisation - Soloing: Insight is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Revolution. For Robben the essence of improvisation is "taking a leap" and feeling confident enough in your mastery of the fretboard to try something new without getting lost or hitting a wrong note.

17 min
Crafting a Guitar Solo - Soloing: Insight

14: Crafting a Guitar Solo - Soloing: Insight

Crafting a Guitar Solo - Soloing: Insight is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Revolution. Robben discusses how to approach crafting a guitar solo and finding your own voice on the instrument. The recommendations and examples are particularly insightful for players who tend to build solos primarily by stringing licks together.

9 min
Pentatonic Approaches & Concepts - Overview

15: Pentatonic Approaches & Concepts - Overview

Pentatonic Approaches & Concepts - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Oz Noy and is sourced from Improv Wizard. In the next couple of segments, we'll talk about the pentatonic scale that we know and love. We'll focus on phrasing over the pentatonic scale as well as finding the "bending note" within pentatonic shapes. Let's dig in!

1 min
Pentatonic Phrasing Techniques - Demonstration

16: Pentatonic Phrasing Techniques - Demonstration

Pentatonic Phrasing Techniques - Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by Oz Noy and is sourced from Improv Wizard. In this lesson, we'll use the notes of the pentatonic scale, move them around and start thinking about them rhythmically to create phrases. I'll demonstrate how you can make interesting lines out of as few as four notes.

7 min
Pentatonic Targets For Bends - Demonstration

17: Pentatonic Targets For Bends - Demonstration

Pentatonic Targets For Bends - Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by Oz Noy and is sourced from Improv Wizard. In this lesson, we'll talk about the pentatonic shape and which notes can be bent. We'll look at bending in several different positions, and I'll demonstrate how to play and create pentatonic phrases using bends in improvisational settings.

10 min
Performance Studies - SECTION 2: Overview

18: Performance Studies - SECTION 2: Overview

In this section you will find some amazing solos across a variety of grooves and keys. As you work through learning these solos you will see not only your technique improve, but also your understanding of harmony, melody and phrasing.

1 min
Carl's Shuffle 1 - Introduction

19: Carl's Shuffle 1 - Introduction

Carl's Shuffle 1 - Introduction is a video guitar lesson presented by Carl Verheyen and is sourced from S.W.A.T. Blues. Personal taste and regional differences account for a lot of how we feel time. I'll also show how I've made use of slide guitar licks transcribed for non-slide guitar playing.

2 min
Carl's Shuffle 2 - Solo 1: Performance

20: Carl's Shuffle 2 - Solo 1: Performance

Carl's Shuffle 2 - Solo 1: Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Carl Verheyen and is sourced from S.W.A.T. Blues. Notice how I lay a little bit behind the beat in the beginning. I'm always trying to maintain the swing feel on a shuffle, and it ain't easy using a drum machine track! But you can hear my time against the very rigid time of the track, and that feel is what I want to impart in this lesson.

1 min
Carl's Shuffle 3 - Solo 1: Breakdown

21: Carl's Shuffle 3 - Solo 1: Breakdown

Carl's Shuffle 3 - Solo 1: Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Carl Verheyen and is sourced from S.W.A.T. Blues. The shuffle feel is explained in this lesson. The difference between duple meter and triple meter is an important thing to understand, and a huge part of your conceptual ability to feel the groove correctly.

6 min
Carl's Shuffle 4 - Solo 2: Introduction

22: Carl's Shuffle 4 - Solo 2: Introduction

Carl's Shuffle 4 - Solo 2: Introduction is a video guitar lesson presented by Carl Verheyen and is sourced from S.W.A.T. Blues. Listen to the slide licks that I've duplicated without using a slide. Some of my favorite players have been slide players and I've studied each one of them and mined their styles for signature licks.

1 min
Carl's Shuffle 5 - Solo 2: Performance

23: Carl's Shuffle 5 - Solo 2: Performance

Carl's Shuffle 5 - Solo 2: Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Carl Verheyen and is sourced from S.W.A.T. Blues. Working out slide licks makes you bend in many different places. This opens up more possibilities for playing the pentatonic scales in alternate positions. Try to identify the slide licks in these choruses.

1 min
Carl's Shuffle 6 - Solo 2: Breakdown

24: Carl's Shuffle 6 - Solo 2: Breakdown

Carl's Shuffle 6 - Solo 2: Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Carl Verheyen and is sourced from S.W.A.T. Blues. Aiming for the high level of expression obtainable using a slide is my goal in this lesson. The phrasing is very legato and difficult to impersonate using fingers, but with practice and a good ear for the genre it can be done.

7 min
Carl's Shuffle 7 - Solo 3: Introduction

25: Carl's Shuffle 7 - Solo 3: Introduction

Carl's Shuffle 7 - Solo 3: Introduction is a video guitar lesson presented by Carl Verheyen and is sourced from S.W.A.T. Blues. My linear approach I call "Improvising Without Scales" is demonstrated here. Obviously you DO need to know your scales, but in the end we forget them and let our melodic sensibility take over.

1 min
Carl's Shuffle 8 - Solo 3: Performance

26: Carl's Shuffle 8 - Solo 3: Performance

Carl's Shuffle 8 - Solo 3: Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Carl Verheyen and is sourced from S.W.A.T. Blues. Starting again with the tried-and-true harmonic material (that says "blues" loud and clear) I deviate and begin to use intervals and broken chord forms strung together. I use major and minor pentatonic along with the mixolydian mode in each key.

2 min
Carl's Shuffle 9 - Solo 3: Breakdown

27: Carl's Shuffle 9 - Solo 3: Breakdown

Carl's Shuffle 9 - Solo 3: Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Carl Verheyen and is sourced from S.W.A.T. Blues. As I said in a previous lesson, the best of us are only truly improvising 30% of the time. The rest of the time we're stringing together lines and licks we've worked out in a given key. The more time you spend doing that the stronger and more interesting your playing becomes.

2 min
Solo #8 - Performance

28: Solo #8 - Performance

Solo #8 - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from Solo Factory: Texas Blues. I start this out with the I chord lick called I Chord Handful. Make sure that you grab the pickup notes before the actual track starts for this one. We let bar 4 simmer with a whole note before we launch into the IV chord lick Stolen From The King.

1 min
Solo #8 - Summary

29: Solo #8 - Summary

Solo #8 - Summary is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from Solo Factory: Texas Blues. Lick for the I chord is One Chord Handful. Lick for the IV chord is Stolen From The King. Lick for the V chord is Funky in 4. Want to sound like a blues player with the last name King? Shed this!

3 min
Solo #4 - Performance

30: Solo #4 - Performance

Solo #4 - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from Solo Factory: Texas Blues. In this variation we've changed a few things. I changed the one chord example to the Anywhere lick called Makin' Your Way. This lick covers a lot of ground and is a great option when you get it down over this rhythm.

1 min
Solo #4 - Summary

31: Solo #4 - Summary

Solo #4 - Summary is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from Solo Factory: Texas Blues. Lick for the I chord is Makin' Your Way. Lick for the IV chord is Descend Me. Lick for the V chord is Here or There. Listen up as I explain why this solo is so tasty!

2 min
Dirty Blonde - Overview

32: Dirty Blonde - Overview

Dirty Blonde - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Mike Zito and is sourced from Blues Americana. Here is a good shuffle in the key of G from my tune "Dirty Blonde". It's a 1/4/5, and it's swinging. I will play a lot of my standard blues style licks here. I will also use the major country style double stops to spice up the changes.

1 min
Dirty Blonde - Performance

33: Dirty Blonde - Performance

Dirty Blonde - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Mike Zito and is sourced from Blues Americana. "Dirty Blonde" is a shuffle in the key of G.

1 min
Dirty Blonde - Breakdown

34: Dirty Blonde - Breakdown

Dirty Blonde - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Mike Zito and is sourced from Blues Americana. Alternate picking, playing in and out of time. Some fun open banjo style licks mixed with traditional blues.

6 min
Muscle Shoals  - Introduction

35: Muscle Shoals - Introduction

Muscle Shoals - Introduction is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger and is sourced from Blues Architect. I first read about the Muscle Shoals recording studio on the back of an album of Aretha Franklin's greatest hits, and what caught my eye at the time was actually the picture of Duane Allman in the studio with Franklin.

1 min
Muscle Shoals  - Breakdown

36: Muscle Shoals - Breakdown

Muscle Shoals - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger and is sourced from Blues Architect. I first read about the Muscle Shoals recording studio on the back of an album of Aretha Franklin's greatest hits, and what caught my eye at the time was actually the picture of Duane Allman in the studio with Franklin.

6 min
Muscle Shoals  - Variation

37: Muscle Shoals - Variation

Muscle Shoals - Variation is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger and is sourced from Blues Architect. The whole idea of alternating between major and minor pentatonic comes through loud and clear in the playing of B.B. King on recordings like Live at the Regal and Blues is King.

6 min
Muscle Shoals  - Extended Performance

38: Muscle Shoals - Extended Performance

Muscle Shoals - Extended Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger and is sourced from Blues Architect. The whole idea of alternating between major and minor pentatonic comes through loud and clear in the playing of B.B. King on recordings like Live at the Regal and Blues is King.

5 min
A Modal Blues - Overview

39: A Modal Blues - Overview

A Modal Blues - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Timmons and is sourced from Electric Expression: Blues. In this performance, I'll play another A blues, this time focusing on modal ideas and a few chromatic ideas, exploring other ways of thinking about what notes work over the blues progression.

1 min
A Modal Blues - Performance

40: A Modal Blues - Performance

A Modal Blues - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Timmons and is sourced from Electric Expression: Blues. In this performance, I'll play another A blues, this time focusing on modal ideas and a few chromatic ideas, exploring other ways of thinking about what notes work over the blues progression.

1 min
A Modal Blues - Breakdown

41: A Modal Blues - Breakdown

A Modal Blues - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Timmons and is sourced from Electric Expression: Blues. In this video, we'll break down my performance of "A Modal Blues."

4 min
Dorian Funk - Overview

42: Dorian Funk - Overview

Dorian Funk - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Robert Renman and is sourced from Blues Booster. This is a fun little groove to play over. It is a 1-4 progression, but because the 1 chord is minor, and the 4 chord is a 7 chord, the perfect scale to use for both chords is Dorian.

1 min
Dorian Funk - Performance

43: Dorian Funk - Performance

Dorian Funk - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Robert Renman and is sourced from Blues Booster. By using the A Dorian mode over both chords, we have the perfect scale. In fact, if you look at it from a D7 perspective, we are playing D Mixolydian over that D7 - the notes are identical to A Dorian. Using just one scale can sound boring though, so let's add some diminished ideas too!

1 min
Dorian Funk - Breakdown

44: Dorian Funk - Breakdown

Dorian Funk - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Robert Renman and is sourced from Blues Booster. There's a lot happening here. Besides Dorian, I also use the C & D Triads, to make the playing more melodic. Those triads also fit perfectly into Dorian. I'm using a slightly unusual way of playing a C-D triads lick, check it out.

13 min
Voodoo You Do - Overview

45: Voodoo You Do - Overview

Voodoo You Do - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from Essentials: Texas Blues Solos. Since putting out my first Texas Blues course with Truefire, I've been asked to highlight the playing of Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The first time we all heard KWS was on his break out record Deja Voodoo, and I've composed a solo around the changes and groove of the title track of that recording.

2 min
Voodoo You Do - Perfomance

46: Voodoo You Do - Perfomance

Voodoo You Do - Perfomance is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from Essentials: Texas Blues Solos. KWS draws a lot of influence from Stevie Ray Vaughan, and oddly enough, so do I! One of the signature things we both took from SRV was the idea in bar #1.

1 min
Voodoo You Do - Breakdown

47: Voodoo You Do - Breakdown

Voodoo You Do - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from Essentials: Texas Blues Solos. I'm working straight out of Em pentatonic for this solo. I'm not using a lot of tricks, however I'm really trying to evoke that aggressive vibe that KWS and other Stevie influenced players contain.

9 min
Play Blues Guitar 10: Advanced Soloing Approaches - Conclusion

48: Play Blues Guitar 10: Advanced Soloing Approaches - Conclusion

Congratulations on completing this core course in your learning path! If you want to dig deeper or wider into the topics covered in this course, check out the recommended supplementary courses where you'll find more examples, techniques and insight from top TrueFire educators. Practice smart. Play hard!

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