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Play Blues Guitar 10: Advanced Soloing Principles

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 Principles for late intermediate to advanced students of blues guitar. This Blues Learning Path core course is presented by 9 top TrueFire educators: Larry Carlton, Andy Timmons, David Grissom, Jeff McErlain, Corey Congilio, Oz Noy, Frank Vignola, Mark Stefani, and David Blacker. The Advanced Soloing Principles 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 Principles is organized into 2 sections. In the first section, you'll work on implementing Jazz into your Blues. 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 Principles, you'll find more lessons focused on soloing in Advanced Soloing Approaches, 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 Principles - Introduction

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

Welcome to Play Blues Guitar 10: Advanced Soloing Principles for late intermediate to advanced students of blues guitar. This Blues Learning Path core course is presented by 9 top TrueFire educators: Larry Carlton, Andy Timmons, David Grissom, Jeff McErlain, Corey Congilio, Oz Noy, Frank Vignola, Mark Stefani, and David Blacker. The Advanced Soloing Principles curriculum is comprised of select.

2 min
Jazz in Blues - SECTION 1: Overview

02: Jazz in Blues - SECTION 1: Overview

In this section you will take your blues in a decidedly jazzy direction. You'll learn some funky and "Wes" style moves, and then look at the diminished scale and the melodic minor scale and learn how and when to apply them to the blues.

1 min
Funky Flourish - Introduction

03: Funky Flourish - Introduction

Funky Flourish - Introduction is a video guitar lesson presented by Frank Vignola and is sourced from Jazz Up Your Blues. You're jamming along playing your bluesy licks and want to add a little something to spice things up. Try adding a "flourish". A flourish is a fast musical idea that leads to a new chord change or new melodic idea. This tune has some great flourish ideas but don't stop there!

1 min
Funky Flourish - Solo Example

04: Funky Flourish - Solo Example

Funky Flourish - Solo Example is a video guitar lesson presented by Frank Vignola and is sourced from Jazz Up Your Blues. A flourish is a fast musical idea that leads to a new chord change or new melodic idea. This tune has some great flourish ideas but don't stop there! As long as you have a starting and an end note you can develop your own flourishes.

1 min
Funky Flourish - Breakdown

05: Funky Flourish - Breakdown

Funky Flourish - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Frank Vignola and is sourced from Jazz Up Your Blues. Again we start by going over the chords. An important step every time. You must know the chords. We start with the sharp 9 and go down the pentatonic scale. Then we add the flourish. Practice this flourish idea slowly.

9 min
Wes' Blues - Introduction

06: Wes' Blues - Introduction

Wes' Blues - Introduction is a video guitar lesson presented by Frank Vignola and is sourced from Jazz Up Your Blues. Wes Montgomery is a groove giant and was always swinging. Wes was truly a master at getting the most out of his playing. You didn't hear many flourishes from his playing but his octaves and single-note lines were always in the pocket and probably even more effective than if he played more fast and flashy lines.

1 min
Wes' Blues - Solo Example

07: Wes' Blues - Solo Example

Wes' Blues - Solo Example is a video guitar lesson presented by Frank Vignola and is sourced from Jazz Up Your Blues. Wes Montgomery is a groove giant and was always swinging. Wes was truly a master at getting the most out of his playing. You didn't hear many flourishes from his playing but his octaves and single-note lines were always in the pocket and probably even more effective than if he played more fast and flashy lines.

1 min
Wes' Blues - Breakdown

08: Wes' Blues - Breakdown

Wes' Blues - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Frank Vignola and is sourced from Jazz Up Your Blues. We start with the chords. We play a groovy little rhythmic pattern using two note chords. The melody is all about groove starting with an octave riff. The first octaves we play are enhanced by adding the 4th in the middle of the octaves.

9 min
The Diminished Scale - Lesson 2:4

09: The Diminished Scale - Lesson 2:4

The Diminished Scale - Lesson 2:4 is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton and is sourced from 335 Improv. Of all the available tonal approaches, why use diminished? Because it's a great match for a raised-9 chord. Check the notation to get acquainted with the scale if you don't know it already.

4 min
Shifting Diminished - Lesson 2:5

10: Shifting Diminished - Lesson 2:5

Shifting Diminished - Lesson 2:5 is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton and is sourced from335 Improv. Diminished scales can be moved around in minor 3rds the very same way that raised-9 chords can. I've already shown you how many doors can open up once you start moving around the raised-9 chord and arpeggios.

2 min
Melodic Minor - Lesson 4:3

11: Melodic Minor - Lesson 4:3

Melodic Minor - Lesson 4:3 is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton and is sourced from335 Improv. Throughout this course we've been seeing what a big influence rhythm parts have on your improvisational solos. The more options you're able to call on with your comping, the more options you'll have at your disposal for your soling.

2 min
Concepts in Play - Lesson 4:4

12: Concepts in Play - Lesson 4:4

Concepts in Play - Lesson 4:4 is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton and is sourced from335 Improv. In this video we'll take many of the techniques and approaches that we've been discussing in this section and apply them over the rhythm track.

6 min
V-IV-I Change: B1 - Performance

13: V-IV-I Change: B1 - Performance

V-IV-I Change: B1 - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Mark Stefani and is sourced from Jazzed Blues Assembly Lines. This time we take a different look at the same set of chords. First we'll apply another three-note repeated lick against the G7 chord. Then we're going to maintain the same rhythmic attitude over the F7, but instead of recycling the same three notes, we'll use some slick, sliding country sixths.

4 min
V-IV-I Change: B2 - Breakdown

14: V-IV-I Change: B2 - Breakdown

V-IV-I Change: B2 - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Mark Stefani and is sourced from Jazzed Blues Assembly Lines. This time we take a different look at the same set of chords. First we'll apply another three-note repeated lick against the G7 chord. Then we're going to maintain the same rhythmic attitude over the F7, but instead of recycling the same three notes, we'll use some slick, sliding country sixths.

7 min
Robben's Nest - Lick 33

15: Robben's Nest - Lick 33

Robben's Nest - Lick 33 is a video guitar lesson presented by Jeff McErlain and is sourced from 50 Blues Guitar Licks You MUST Know. The term overtone generally refers to a specific set of frequency components that appear above a musical tone. Got that? . A note without overtones sounds like a beep you hear in a hearing test or a test pattern on a TV.

2 min
Man of the Roadhouse - Lick #25

16: Man of the Roadhouse - Lick #25

Man of the Roadhouse - Lick #25 is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from 50 Progressive Blues Licks You MUST Know. One of my influences early on was Jeff Healy. I saw Jeff open for the Allman Brothers in 1990 and I was blown away by his passion and aggressive blues playing.

4 min
Performance Studies - SECTION 2: Overview

17: Performance Studies - SECTION 2: Overview

In this section you will work on a variety of more advanced solos, everything from jump blues to Texas blues to even a whole tone blues. This will give you a lot of new ideas to apply to your own soloing.

1 min
Listenin' Lucky - Solo Performance

18: Listenin' Lucky - Solo Performance

Listenin' Lucky - Solo Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by David Grissom and is sourced from Open Road Blues. I'll perform the solo section for "Listenin' Lucky," using a different approach for each chorus section.

1 min
Listenin' Lucky - Solo Breakdown

19: Listenin' Lucky - Solo Breakdown

Listenin' Lucky - Solo Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Grissom and is sourced from Open Road Blues. In the first chorus of the solo section, I used the blues scale,something that you can use anytime over any of these tracks focusing on playing simple licks with authority.

5 min
Sixty-Five Eleven Shuffle - Solo Performance

20: Sixty-Five Eleven Shuffle - Solo Performance

Sixty-Five Eleven Shuffle - Solo Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by David Grissom and is sourced from Open Road Blues. I'll perform the solo part from "Sixty-Five Eleven," starting with the trusty Blues Scale at first and evolving to include open strings and a jazzy feel in the final chorus.

1 min
Sixty-Five Eleven Shuffle - Solo Breakdown

21: Sixty-Five Eleven Shuffle - Solo Breakdown

Sixty-Five Eleven Shuffle - Solo Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Grissom and is sourced from Open Road Blues. Now, let's breakdown the solo for "Sixty-Five Eleven." The first chorus of my solo gave us some room to build, starting with the low notes using the Blues Scale and using popping to voice some of the notes.

5 min
Voodoo You Do - Overview

22: 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

23: 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. I love playing those quick bends then continuing with a gradual bend.

1 min
Voodoo You Do - Breakdown

24: 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
Juke Joint Jump 1 - Introduction

25: Juke Joint Jump 1 - Introduction

Juke Joint Jump 1 - Introduction is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from West Coast Blues. To jump, swing and play through the changes is an essential part of the West Coast guitar style. From Muddy Waters to Stevie Ray, great blues players have needed to rock a hard swinging boogie.

1 min
Juke Joint Jump 2 - Solo: Chorus 1

26: Juke Joint Jump 2 - Solo: Chorus 1

Juke Joint Jump 2 - Solo: Chorus 1 is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from West Coast Blues. Solo one is classic Hollywood Fats, a great L.A.-based blues player whose style sounded like a cross between T-Bone Walker and Clarence Gatemouth Brown. While Fats left us much too early, his legacy lives on in recordings made with his band as well as many other artists, including L.A. roots-rock stalwarts the Blasters.

0 min
Juke Joint Jump 3 - Chorus 1 Breakdown

27: Juke Joint Jump 3 - Chorus 1 Breakdown

Juke Joint Jump 3 - Chorus 1 Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from West Coast Blues. Juke Joint Jump's first section fuses chord-based licks centered on the major 3, 6 and 9, occuring in the eighth to eleventh fret range on the fingerboard. The phrases in this solo outline the underlying chord changes, illustrating the continued importance of targeting the underlying chord changes to play this style effectively.

7 min
Juke Joint Jump 4 - Solo: Chorus 2

28: Juke Joint Jump 4 - Solo: Chorus 2

Juke Joint Jump 4 - Solo: Chorus 2 is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from West Coast Blues. This is an essential jump blues lick, and, because of its chromatic nature, can be used over the I, IV or V chords in a blues progression. To hear this lick played by the master himself, give T-Bone's The Complete Capitol /Black & White Recordings a listen.

0 min
Juke Joint Jump 5 - Chorus 2 Breakdown

29: Juke Joint Jump 5 - Chorus 2 Breakdown

Juke Joint Jump 5 - Chorus 2 Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from West Coast Blues. This solo opens with a classic T-Bone Walker chromatic run from the minor 3 to the 5. For additional mileage, try transposing the run up an octave. The first beat of the turnaround targets the 9 of the V chord on the 14th fret of the G string, adding harmonic diversity amid blues-based licks.

6 min
Juke Joint Jump 6 - Solo: Chorus 3

30: Juke Joint Jump 6 - Solo: Chorus 3

Juke Joint Jump 6 - Solo: Chorus 3 is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from West Coast Blues. Solo three features phrasing reminiscent of West Coast blue's newer crop of gunslingers like Alex Schultz and Kid Ramos. Even among the new breed, targeting chord tones while playing over the changes is the goal and can never be stressed enough.

0 min
Juke Joint Jump 7 - Chorus 3 Breakdown

31: Juke Joint Jump 7 - Chorus 3 Breakdown

Juke Joint Jump 7 - Chorus 3 Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from West Coast Blues. The key target tones to be mindful of in this final section of "Juke Joint Jump" are the major 3, 6 and 9 of the I chord, and the dominant 7 of the tune's IV chord. Again, emphasizing the targeted tones is a key ingredient in the West Coast blues style. Remember: when in doubt, target!

6 min
Trampin' Down - Solo Performance

32: Trampin' Down - Solo Performance

Trampin' Down - Solo Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by David Grissom and is sourced from Open Road Blues. The solo section for "Trampin' Down" starts as a Blues Scale including an open B string, building up to an Albert Collins style solo, using popped notes and a much higher register.

2 min
Trampin' Down - Solo Breakdown

33: Trampin' Down - Solo Breakdown

Trampin' Down - Solo Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Grissom and is sourced from Open Road Blues. Now let's break down the solo into its individual choruses. The first chorus of "Trampin' Down" is based in the Blues Scale again, however using hybrid picking to add in an open B string and allowing it to ring.

4 min
Sqwawkin' - Solo Performance

34: Sqwawkin' - Solo Performance

Sqwawkin' - Solo Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by David Grissom and is sourced from Open Road Blues. This solo keeps with the spirit of the rhythm and head parts, staying raw and aggressive. In the later choruses, I superimposed the Mixolydian mode and used descending double stops to build.

2 min
Sqwawkin' - Solo Breakdown

35: Sqwawkin' - Solo Breakdown

Sqwawkin' - Solo Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Grissom and is sourced from Open Road Blues. The next track, titled "Rockin' Berries," has a Chuck Berry feel, taking notes from The Faces and The Fabulous Thunderbirds along the way. For the rhythm section of this song, I'll start with a Chuck Berry inspired sound, moving to a more R&B feel using 9th chords, using a Lonnie Mack style riff to close it down.

5 min
Fast Winter - Overview

36: Fast Winter - Overview

Fast Winter - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from Essentials: Texas Blues Solos. I'm always on a quest to serve the underserved. In example #6, I'm taking you on a trip with the "Illustrated Man" Johnny Winter as our guide.

1 min
Fast Winter - Perfomance

37: Fast Winter - Perfomance

Fast Winter - Perfomance is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from Essentials: Texas Blues Solos. This example is over 24 bars total because when the tempo is fast, the phrases go by very quickly. I wanted to give you enough meat to chew on (or tempeh if you're a vegetarian ;-)) so I composed this lengthy chop-laden solo.

1 min
Fast Winter - Breakdown

38: Fast Winter - Breakdown

Fast Winter - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from Essentials: Texas Blues Solos. I'm always on a quest to serve the underserved. In example #6, I'm taking you on a trip with the "Illustrated Man" Johnny Winter as our guide. Johnny straight up had chops! I'm gonna be real honest here...I love to hear some good ol' blues shredding and no one did it at the time like Johnny did.

11 min
Holy Smokes - Overview

39: Holy Smokes - Overview

Holy Smokes - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from Essentials: Texas Blues Solos. I've known about a Pennsylvania born Texas Blues player named Smokin' Joe Kubek for a long time. Sadly, I don't see his name come up enough in great guitarist player discussions.

2 min
Holy Smokes - Perfomance

40: Holy Smokes - Perfomance

Holy Smokes - Perfomance is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from Essentials: Texas Blues Solos. What's important to know about this solo off the bat is that even though the song is in the key of E, this example starts on the A or IV chord of this progression. The progression is indeed 12 bars, but this is not a 12 bar blues.

1 min
Holy Smokes - Breakdown

41: Holy Smokes - Breakdown

Holy Smokes - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Corey Congilio and is sourced from Essentials: Texas Blues Solos. There's a lot I really like about this example. First off, we start with a great melodic idea with the double stop/chord idea in the first 2 bars, followed by the riff and then the chord example again.

9 min
Get Ready To Rhumba - Overview

42: Get Ready To Rhumba - Overview

Get Ready To Rhumba - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Timmons and is sourced from Electric Expression: Blues. For the next performance study, an A blues track with a rhumba feel called "Get Ready to Rhumba." I'll focusing on using the 6th scale degree, using it melodically in my phrases as well as voicing the 3rd and 7th of the chords changes to highlight the harmony.

1 min
Get Ready To Rhumba - Performance

43: Get Ready To Rhumba - Performance

Get Ready To Rhumba - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Timmons and is sourced from Electric Expression: Blues. For the next performance study, an A blues track with a rhumba feel called "Get Ready to Rhumba." I'll focusing on using the 6th scale degree, using it melodically in my phrases as well as voicing the 3rd and 7th of the chords changes to highlight the harmony.

1 min
Get Ready To Rhumba - Breakdown

44: Get Ready To Rhumba - Breakdown

Get Ready To Rhumba - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Timmons and is sourced from Electric Expression: Blues. In this video, I'll break down my performance of "Get Ready To Rhumba," focusing on using the 6th scale degree and 3rds and 7ths to draw out the most expression from the part.

5 min
Whole Tone Blues - Overview

45: Whole Tone Blues - Overview

Whole Tone Blues - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Oz Noy and is sourced from Improv Wizard. In this first performance study, I'll play "Whole Tone Blues" from one of my albums. This is a blues in D which uses pentatonics while staying within the Whole Tone Scale. I'll also play around with using notes a half-step above or below the chord notes.

1 min
Whole Tone Blues - Performance

46: Whole Tone Blues - Performance

Whole Tone Blues - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Oz Noy and is sourced from Improv Wizard. In this first performance study, I'll play "Whole Tone Blues" from one of my albums. This is a blues in D which uses pentatonics while staying within the Whole Tone Scale. I'll also play around with using notes a half-step above or below the chord notes.

1 min
Whole Tone Blues - Breakdown

47: Whole Tone Blues - Breakdown

Whole Tone Blues - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Oz Noy and is sourced from Improv Wizard. I'll break down my performance of "Whole Tone Blues" from my album Twisted Blues.

3 min
Steroids - Overview

48: Steroids - Overview

Steroids - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Oz Noy and is sourced from Improv Wizard. For this performance, I'll play the song "Steroids" off my album Twisted Blues, a I-iv-V blues in D over a James Brown style groove. We'll use the scales we have practiced (mixolydian, minor pentatonic, whole tone, diminished, etc.) to color the chords many different ways and think outside the box.

1 min
Steroids - Performance

49: Steroids - Performance

Steroids - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Oz Noy and is sourced from Improv Wizard. For this performance, I'll play the song "Steroids" off my album Twisted Blues, a I-iv-V blues in D over a James Brown style groove. We'll use the scales we have practiced (mixolydian, minor pentatonic, whole tone, diminished, etc.) to color the chords many different ways and think outside the box.

1 min
Steroids - Breakdown

50: Steroids - Breakdown

Steroids - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Oz Noy and is sourced from Improv Wizard. In this video, I'll break down my performance of "Steroids," focusing on which scales I used to color the chords.

4 min
Play Blues Guitar 10: Advanced Soloing Principles - Conclusion

51: Play Blues Guitar 10: Advanced Soloing Principles - 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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