Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

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Hellhoundsonme
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Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

Post by Hellhoundsonme » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:14 pm

I am pretty much a Blues lick type of guy, although I can use shapes to "finger-skate" over the fretboard and sound relatively convincing. Lately, I have been writing down licks or gathering them from the internet, and using them. I play them over and over to a drum machine, trying to internalize the notes.

I think I struck gold with the book 2000 Blues Lick that Rock. Have any of you looked at it? There are other books and DVDs with collections of licks, but this one can be really fun.

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12bar
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Re: Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

Post by 12bar » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:36 pm

I learned by listening and playing to Blues songs, like most of the Blues player once did. Clapton called it woodshedding, playing stock phrases over and over and doing variations. :music2:
I do have some Blues books, too, but to be honest I don't use them much.
Unfortunately I don't practice enough to be a good player... :whistle:

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VikingBlues
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Re: Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

Post by VikingBlues » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:53 pm

I'm afraid that even when I was trying to play a lot of electric blues (I've been sidetracked into acoustic guitar and the more celtic / folk sorts of genre) I never managed to get on at all well with blues licks. First they often ended up sounding nothing like the licks demonstrated and second the music didn't seem to flow very well while trying to shoehorn them into the playing.

It probably contributed to my frustration at how I found my playing in the genre was too limited.
On the plus side the guys on the forum did seem to think that I had found something of my own voice on guitar.

I have heard great results from players that use licks very creatively and manage to combine them into their own style and voice.
So certainly worth trying. I hope it works well for you. :thumbsup:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

Hellhoundsonme
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Re: Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

Post by Hellhoundsonme » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:32 am

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. So far so good for me. I am in one of those good spots in my guitar journey. I hope it lasts...

fenson
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Re: Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

Post by fenson » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:25 pm

The short answer is: no I don't :D
The long one might be much too long...

For not being annoying that much, let's say I'm mostly playing over the chord changes trying to pull some
musical phrases out of it, combined with the singer's voice melody indeed.
Often play "outside" as for example playing C# minor pentatonic scale over a Bb chord...

When playing in a band, you're not soloing that much but comping most of the time... :D
Singer sing, bass, keyboards and drums cats have to play their own solos too... :cool:
You've to play consistent comping to help them to "improvise" good solos! :icon_whoknows:

Improvising is the key word, at the very least the goal to pursue :music2:

:beer:
"Don't be afraid by wrong notes, it doesn't exist" Miles Davis.

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Blindboy
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Re: Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

Post by Blindboy » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:19 pm

I started learning electric blues by wearing out vinyl and phonograph needles. I learned licks, then deconstructed them to see why they worked. I would then put them back together in various ways, work on phrasing and dynamics, and make up my own, as well. I look at that as gettion a basic vocabulary. Now, when I play, I don't think about licks, It is more about flow and dynamics. What the song requires and what I want to say.
"Throw yo' big leg over me Mama, I might not feel this good again!"

Hellhoundsonme
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Re: Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

Post by Hellhoundsonme » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:00 am

Good stuff, folks! There are so many ways to express yourself and so many ways to get there. Enjoy.

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VikingBlues
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Re: Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

Post by VikingBlues » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:44 am

Michael "Hawkeye" Herman, a blues guitar instructor I found incredibly helpful, would approve of the Blindboy technique there. :thumbsup:

He encourages pupils to experiment and while learning from what he plays you're not to copy, but to use the general ideas and concepts to play what you feel in a way that suits you. In that way there's more chance of your own personal style coming out.

It might of course mean that you end up out on an extreme limb of the musical tree with music that only a minority like, but at least it's your own.

Hawkeye Herman learned guitar at the feet of Son House, Brownie McGhee, Bukka White, Mance Lipscomb, Furry Lewis, Lightin' Hopkins, John Jackson, K.C. Douglas, and Sam Chatmon. That's an incedible line up and it's a great thing that the internet has meant that such knowledge can be passed on to so many more people, many of them so far away.

His best piece of advice though about guitar is to "enjoy the journey" and don't worry and fret about the destination.
Very wise words indeed. :thumbsup: Not that I've always managed to avoid frustration due to my not always following his advice. :roll:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

mjo
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Re: Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

Post by mjo » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:48 pm

Good question .. and I believe, to some extent everyone uses some "stock phrases". We all started playing because we heard some record and said " I gotta do that" :D

The key is, as others have said, to use those licks as a stepping stone to get around to your own music / voice. One of my favorite players instructs: "don't just play licks". Sit back and listen to the tune, the rhythm section, singer .. chase that melody in your head .. and if a couple of those licks pop up, it's likely honest :thumbsup:

If you're just cramming those licks together without really listening to the tune, it's not going to sound very good, too me anyway.

-best,
Mike

Hellhoundsonme
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Re: Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

Post by Hellhoundsonme » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:08 pm

Great advice, folks.

While I am loving using my lick book, I am finding that as you said, I have to play around with each lick before it resonates and satisfies me. I like the idea of just coping a lick from a song and then playing with it, that way you know you liked it from the start.

I am on an Otis Rush bandwagon lately. That song "Hold That Train" has several very tasty licks. After pondering your inputs, I have decided to copy them so I can figure out what he was doing.

mjo
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Re: Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

Post by mjo » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:46 am

: Random thought for the day...
Wanna learn a lick, or two ?? .. learn the intro to Loan me a Dime - Boz Scaggs ... there's no "licks" in it -LOL_
These guys are just totally into this tune ... makes me want to join a band....

...this has been a public service announcement ... :away:

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12bar
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Re: Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

Post by 12bar » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:48 pm

mjo wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:46 am
learn the intro to Loan me a Dime - Boz Scaggs ...
There are several versions out, the original one from 1969 appears on Duanes Anthology album. It's the better mix.
Duane Allman does the killer guitar playing on it.

mjo
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Re: Do you use Blues Licks to solo?

Post by mjo » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:26 am

Boy, this thread is the gift that keeps on giving ... lol
I was working on Hide Away this morning and there's some specific things I want to hear in there. Guess what they are, ..licks ...yup, it's true. One of them comes from Jeff Healy, my nearest recollection anyway, been a long time since I heard it. There's a couple things I'm doing, in the melody section that I'm going to call "licks". .... we can call them chops, makes me feel better :rofl:

I'm also going out of my way to avoid the 4-bend, 5, root lick that often starts the first solo section. I'll replace with one of several different licks ,..ehr.., chops ..hehehehehe.. I guess honesty comes piece work for me :big_smile:

...and yes, definitely the Duane Allman version of Loan me a Dime, one of my all time favorite players !

-best,
Mike

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