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Play Blues Guitar 6: Soloing Principles

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

Welcome to Play Blues Guitar 6: Soloing Principles for intermediate to late intermediate students of blues guitar. This Blues Learning Path core course is presented by 6 top TrueFire educators: Larry Carlton, Jeff McErlain, Andy Aledort, David Hamburger, Jason Loughlin, and Mike Zito. The Soloing Principles curriculum is comprised of select blues guitar lessons from the educators' existing TrueFire course libraries.

Solid rhythm chops may get you the gig but it's your soloing chops that gets you the spotlight and the opportunity to electrify the audience with your musicality. Creativity, technique, and vocabulary are the essential skills you'll need to master the art of improvisation and develop into a great soloist. The video guitar lessons in this core course will equip you with the requisite tools and guidance to take your soloing skills to the next level.

Play Blues Guitar 6: Soloing Principles is organized into 2 sections. In the first section, you'll work on learning new concepts and gaining insight for building a solo. In Section 2 you'll dissect solos across a variety of blues feels.

When you've completed the lessons here in Soloing Principles, you'll find more lessons focused on soloing in Soloing Approaches, also a Play Blues Guitar 6 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

Learn how to play guitar with free online guitar lessons and interactive video guitar courses at TrueFire, the world's most comprehensive library of guitar video lessons.
Play Blues Guitar 6: Soloing Principles - Introduction

01: Play Blues Guitar 6: Soloing Principles - Introduction

Welcome to Play Blues Guitar 6: Soloing Principles for intermediate to late Intermediate students of blues guitar. This Blues Learning Path core course is presented by 6 top TrueFire educators: Larry Carlton, Jeff McErlain, Andy Aledort, David Hamburger, Jason Loughlin, and Mike Zito.

2 min
Concepts & Insight - SECTION 1: Overview

02: Concepts & Insight - SECTION 1: Overview

In this section you will learn how to emphasize certain notes like the 3rd and the 7th, how to develop better phrasing, and even take a look at Hybrid picking. This will help expand your soloing abilities.

1 min
Tweaking the 3rd - Concept 17

03: Tweaking the 3rd - Concept 17

Tweaking the 3rd - Concept 17 is a video guitar lesson presented by Jeff McErlain. One of the best tips I can pass along that will almost instantly make you sound better is learning how to tweak the third of the scale.

5 min
Tweaking the 7th - Concept 18

04: Tweaking the 7th - Concept 18

Tweaking the 7th - Concept 18 is a video guitar lesson presented by Jeff McErlain. Just like tweaking the 3rd, another note we can manipulate is the b7 of the minor pentatonic scale.

3 min
Phrasing - Concept 25

05: Phrasing - Concept 25

Phrasing - Concept 25 is a video guitar lesson presented by Jeff McErlain. Chopin once told a student, "he who phrases incorrectly is like a man who does not understand the language he speaks."

4 min
Dynamics of a Phrase - Concept 26

06: Dynamics of a Phrase - Concept 26

Dynamics of a Phrase - Concept 26 is a video guitar lesson presented by Jeff McErlain. By adding in subtle or not so subtle dynamics a line can become much more interesting, it can also add a lot of forward motion to a phrase.

4 min
The IV7 to I7 Change - Soloing Concept 2

07: The IV7 to I7 Change - Soloing Concept 2

The IV7 to I7 Change - Soloing Concept 2 is a video guitar lesson presented by Jeff McErlain. One of my favorite scales, and one that is quite common in the British blues style (especially in Peter Green's playing), is the minor pentatonic natural 6th scale.

5 min
The Turnaround - Soloing Concept 3

08: The Turnaround - Soloing Concept 3

The Turnaround - Soloing Concept 3 is a video guitar lesson presented by Jeff McErlain. I think the first time I was aware of a lick nailing the sound of the V7 in a blues was the great solo from Cream's version of Crossroads.

4 min
Key Phrases in British Blues - Soloing Concept 5

09: Key Phrases in British Blues - Soloing Concept 5

Key Phrases in British Blues - Soloing Concept 5 is a video guitar lesson presented by Jeff McErlain. Well, there's a lot of info in this video for sure. To get started, I would suggest a few repeated licks. I'd also think about the "stutter" phrases I played.

5 min
Hybrid Picking - Concept 3

10: Hybrid Picking - Concept 3

Hybrid Picking - Concept 3 is a video guitar lesson presented by Mike Zito. Hybrid picking allows for string skipping and quick alternate picking and adds the country sound I love so much.

8 min
Finger & Thumb Style - Concept 4

11: Finger & Thumb Style - Concept 4

Finger & Thumb Style - Concept 4 is a video guitar lesson presented by Mike Zito. The sound of skin on the strings brings out so much tone.

7 min
Bending & Vibrato - Concept 6

12: Bending & Vibrato - Concept 6

Bending & Vibrato - Concept 6 is a video guitar lesson presented by Mike Zito. Bending and vibrato are essential to good blues and just good lead guitar.

4 min
Soloing Approaches - SECTION 2: Overview

13: Soloing Approaches - SECTION 2: Overview

Here you are going to dig into some soloing ideas for a slow blues, a minor blues, and a Texas blues. You will also look at targeting chord tones, and learn about looking for common tones when you are soloing.

1 min
Blues in F: - Performance

14: Blues in F: - Performance

Blues in F: - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Aledort. This next example of slow blues soloing is based on an eight-bar form, as opposed to the more prevalent 12-bar form utilized in the previous example.

2 min
Breakdown 1 - Alternating Major & Minor

15: Breakdown 1 - Alternating Major & Minor

Breakdown 1 - Alternating Major & Minor is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Aledort. Alternating between major and minor pentatonic is an essential element in the soloing of all of the blues greats.

6 min
Breakdown 2 - F Major Pentatonic

16: Breakdown 2 - F Major Pentatonic

Breakdown 2 - F Major Pentatonic is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Aledort. Alternating between major and minor pentatonic is a great way to create effective, melodic solos; the technique works especially well when playing a slow blues.

4 min
Breakdown 3 - Diminished 7th Licks

17: Breakdown 3 - Diminished 7th Licks

Breakdown 3 - Diminished 7th Licks is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Aledort. At bar 4, the chord progression switches from Bb7 to Bdim7.

3 min
Breakdown 4 - F Blues Scale

18: Breakdown 4 - F Blues Scale

Breakdown 4 - F Blues Scale is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Aledort. Bar five features a return to the I (one) chord, F7, across beats one and two, and a shift to the VI (sixth) chord, D7, across beats three and four.

4 min
Breakdown 5 - Two-To-Three Equivalency

19: Breakdown 5 - Two-To-Three Equivalency

Breakdown 5 - Two-To-Three Equivalency is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Aledort. At bar 6, we land on the II (two) chord, G7, and across this chord and the next, the V (five chord), C7, I play a line based on the F Blues scale.

3 min
Breakdown 6 - Repeating Triplets

20: Breakdown 6 - Repeating Triplets

Breakdown 6 - Repeating Triplets is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Aledort. Bar 7 features a return to the I (one) chord, F7, over which I play a repeated phrase: fretted C and high F notes are followed by Eb, quickly bent up one whole step to F.

4 min
Texas Shuffle - Solo Performance

21: Texas Shuffle - Solo Performance

Texas Shuffle - Solo Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger. You can think of a Texas shuffle as being a more swinging version of a Chicago shuffle. Texas blues in general has been strongly influenced by jazz.

2 min
Texas Shuffle - Solo Breakdown

22: Texas Shuffle - Solo Breakdown

Texas Shuffle - Solo Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger. You can think of a Texas shuffle as being a more swinging version of a Chicago shuffle. Texas blues in general has been strongly influenced by jazz.

6 min
Texas Shuffle - Solo Variations

23: Texas Shuffle - Solo Variations

Texas Shuffle - Solo Variations is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger. A lot of the snap and bite that Albert Collins got out of his Telecaster had to do with the fact that he played with a capo and picked with his index finger instead of using a pick.

1 min
Texas Shuffle - Solo Extended Performance

24: Texas Shuffle - Solo Extended Performance

Texas Shuffle - Solo Extended Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger. A lot of the snap and bite that Albert Collins got out of his Telecaster had to do with the fact that he played with a capo and picked with his index finger instead of using a pick.

2 min
Minor Blues - Solo Performance

25: Minor Blues - Solo Performance

Minor Blues - Solo Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger. B.B. King has been lifted into that rarefied atmosphere where only first names are necessary: "Wes," "Jimi," "B.B."

2 min
Minor Blues - Solo Breakdown

26: Minor Blues - Solo Breakdown

Minor Blues - Solo Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger. B.B. King has been lifted into that rarefied atmosphere where only first names are necessary: "Wes," "Jimi," "B.B."

4 min
Minor Blues - Solo Variations

27: Minor Blues - Solo Variations

Minor Blues - Solo Variations is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger. I still think Live At The Regal, a live B.B. King album taped in Chicago in 1964, is one of the coolest records ever made.

5 min
Minor Blues - Solo Extended Performance

28: Minor Blues - Solo Extended Performance

Minor Blues - Solo Extended Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger. I still think Live At The Regal, a live B.B. King album taped in Chicago in 1964, is one of the coolest records ever made.

4 min
Soloing With Motifs - Concepts & Approaches

29: Soloing With Motifs - Concepts & Approaches

Soloing With Motifs - Concepts & Approaches is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton. In this first set of video lessons, Larry introduces the concept of soloing using motifs to "tell the story" and connect with the audience to take them on a musical journey.

8 min
Soloing With Motifs - Performance

30: Soloing With Motifs - Performance

Soloing With Motifs - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton. In this first set of video lessons, Larry introduces the concept of soloing using motifs to "tell the story" and connect with the audience to take them on a musical journey.

3 min
Listening To The Band - Concepts & Approaches

31: Listening To The Band - Concepts & Approaches

Listening To The Band - Concepts & Approaches is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton. Larry demonstrates how to imitate some of the lines and rhythms that the other musicians are playing. He also demonstrates how place your motifs between parts.

4 min
Listening To The Band - Performance

32: Listening To The Band - Performance

Listening To The Band - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton. Larry demonstrates how to imitate some of the lines and rhythms that the other musicians are playing. He also demonstrates how place your motifs between parts.

2 min
Space & Common Tones - Concepts & Approaches

33: Space & Common Tones - Concepts & Approaches

Space & Common Tones - Concepts & Approaches is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton. Larry reiterates the importance of using space but this time he teaches you how to use common tones to bridge and enhance that space.

3 min
Space & Common Tones - Performance

34: Space & Common Tones - Performance

Space & Common Tones - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton. Larry reiterates the importance of using space but this time he teaches you how to use common tones to bridge and enhance that space.

2 min
Targeting Chord Tones - Concept

35: Targeting Chord Tones - Concept

Targeting Chord Tones - Concept is a video guitar lesson presented by Jason Loughlin. A great solo is made by balancing tension and resolve. We need to be able to see these chord tones within each pentatonic position.

3 min
Establishing A Motif - Concept

36: Establishing A Motif - Concept

Establishing A Motif - Concept is a video guitar lesson presented by Jason Loughlin. A motif is like the main idea of a paragraph. It's a statement that should be clear and concise. You have the rest of the solo to expand upon your idea.

1 min
Position 1 Solo - Performance

37: Position 1 Solo - Performance

Position 1 Solo - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Jason Loughlin. Here's a solo over a 12 bar blues staying in one position using voice leading major pentatonics, establishing motifs, developing motifs and anticipating chord changes.

1 min
Position 1 Solo - Breakdown

38: Position 1 Solo - Breakdown

Position 1 Solo - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Jason Loughlin. There are three motifs in this solo that pop up with different variations over the I, IV, and V chord.

3 min
A Shuffle - Solo

39: A Shuffle - Solo

A Shuffle - Solo is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton. As you develop melodic phrases, think about where you might have to take a breath if you were singing the part. Thinking like a singer can also help you structure your solos well.

2 min
A Shuffle - Solo Insight

40: A Shuffle - Solo Insight

A Shuffle - Solo Insight is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton. As you develop melodic phrases, think about where you might have to take a breath if you were singing the part. Thinking like a singer can also help you structure your solos well.

7 min
Stormy - Solo

41: Stormy - Solo

Stormy - Solo is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton. This song is a real treat to solo over. Another example of how critical a role the rhythm section plays in a band setting.

3 min
Stormy - Solo Insight

42: Stormy - Solo Insight

Stormy - Solo Insight is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton. This song is a real treat to solo over. Another example of how critical a role the rhythm section plays in a band setting.

1 min
A Slow Blues - Solo

43: A Slow Blues - Solo

A Slow Blues - Solo is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton. As the saying goes, it's the little things that count. For this solo, we'll examine some of the little things that will make a big difference in your solo.

3 min
A Slow Blues - Solo Insight

44: A Slow Blues - Solo Insight

A Slow Blues - Solo Insight is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton. As the saying goes, it's the little things that count. For this solo, we'll examine some of the little things that will make a big difference in your solo.

4 min
Play Blues Guitar 6: Soloing Principles - Conclusion

45: Play Blues Guitar 6: Soloing Principles - Conclusion

Congratulations on completing this core course in your learning path! When you're ready to advance your skills further, dive into the next core course in your TrueFire learning path. Practice smart. Play hard!

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