My Personal Suggestions/Advices For Improvising (Shooting) Over A Bluesy Vamp. (The Inner Logic)

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My Personal Suggestions/Advices For Improvising (Shooting) Over A Bluesy Vamp. (The Inner Logic)

Post by pxm »

My Personal Suggestions/Advices For Improvising (Shooting) Over A Bluesy Vamp. (The Inner Logic)


Im not a guitarhero but Im very into improvising & soloing whit my guitar........So I´ll try to print down for you ,this, my personal advices for soloing strategies. Really-they are basics but I think they work out really good. :cool:

Here´s my two cents, my article for sologuitarists; :big_smile:

Be an player that allways has the ear and attention of the public. Make yourself interesting for them, surprice them whit some varios guitarplaying. But keep the rules and stick to play whit the harmonies, structure and shape of the blues the band are playing. Feel the Blues and know the tunes harmonies, the vamp, (looped modal chord progression) well. Dont be afriad to use cliche´s. If your breakin to many rules and dont play cliches you dont play the blues no more-then your playin some strange avant-garde jazz to a background of bluesmusic (if your lucky). Keep the rules and keep your own personality and orginality at the same time. Then, if you sometime should break a rule-it will be heard and understood...But if you do it all the time its only going to be hard and strange to listen to your music. :icon_whoknows:

Heres a few tricks & tips I try to have in my trickbag for almost every solo. Not every time, not all of it at the same time in the same blues - but almost. (Depending on the Bluestunes feeling).

First-this is a real smooth trick you have to learn. Its a MUST to have in your "Jacky´s Bag of Trick" as a leadguitarist in a Bluesband; :thumbsup:

Changing between the Mixolydian scales using "the inner logic of the Mixolydian scale" (A Berklee Uni. term.) :guitarist:
You change the scales this way;

(ex. in G)

G mix: G A B C D E F G
C mix:G A Bb C D E F G
D mix: G A B C D E F# G

Now you can hold your left hand in one position all the time while you changin between the scales.

Compare whit "Paul Gilberts Mixolydian Pentatonic".


You also need to be able to play some Bluesy Arpeggios - thats the 1,4 & 7 note of the chord......The Upper Arpegggios (7,9,11 & 13) can also be used in Blues but NOT , never ever the ordinary 1,3 & 5 arpeggio !!!! Broken Chords (played 1,6 & 5 of a Bluesseventh chord / dom7 chord) is also a real and true Blues cliche´.
A sologuitarplayer, "Monster" , :guitarist: also need to know all the modes of the Bluesscale;

Mode 1: 1 b3 4 b5 5 b7
Mode 2: 1 2 b3 3 5 6
Mode 3: 1 b2 2 4 5 b7
Mode 4: 1 b3 4 #5 b7 7
Mode 5: 1 2 4 5 6 b7

The Extended Bluesscale (the Mixolydian scale mixed whit the Aeolian scale and the "Blue Notes") often used by Jimi Hendrix and in Progressive Blues (a genre created by Jonny Winter 1968);


Larry Carlton often plays the Ionian scale over "blues seventh chord" (dom7 chord). Kind of unique but it works out just fine and real bluesy. Sometimes hes mixing the Ionian scale whit the blues scale...

Then - heres some tips;

But dont allways use the Bluesscale or the Mixolydian. Throw in some licks and phrases played in Melodic Minor, Diminished and the Whole tone scale too. Thats sounds great in Blues among bluescliche´s like Broken Chords, doublestops and please-do some Loockwood playin on top of the comping chords between your soloing phrases.. :banana: .

Throw in some ornaments of chromatic passing tones when phrasing (use the technique called "Targetting" connecting chord notes whit cromatic patterns , often played whit slide) in a scale-and use lots of octave notes while playin the Blues solo....

Larry Carlton sometimes play the Ionian scale over "Bluessevents chord" (dom7 chord). Kind of unique but it works out just fine and real bluesy..... sometimes hes mixing the Ionan scale whit the Blues scale.....

If you are a JazzCat;
Use the Dorian scale when playin JazzBlues. Remember that Swing (in the pocket) solos and melodies starts on upbeat-the 2;nd beat or the 4;rd beat of a bar. The Melodic minor scale are also an common scale in Jazzblues and it sounds great..

Play around whit different rythms. For ex; if the drums and the bass is playin 4/4 you can play soloingprhrases i the rythm of "The Bo Diddleys Beat" (Thats a form of "son clave");

One e and ah, two e and ah, three e and ah, four e and ah.

Start your bluessolophrasing on the 4;th beat in a bar and end it on a 2:nd beat. Leave the two next beats before the next bar free. Thats kind of a cliche´ and spaceing in Blues. Its a nice trick, "Targetting" to step into a phrase from one semitone above or two semitones below. Or use a technique called "Raking" where you play one or a few palm-muted string whitout any tone at all, just before starting the phrase.

Allways land your soloing phrase or on a chordtone (1,3,5 or 7 or the colorings) otherwise it will sound like the soloingphrase shall continue. To long phrases are hard to listen to and will leave no space in the music.

Some times , often in the last bar of the turnaround, you wanna create more dynamics and tension. A simplier way, rather than use the Super Locrian scale (the Altered scale) is to move the Minor Pentatonic scale two semitones below the dominant chords root and you have all the 4 altered (outside) tones right there. Thats very a Bluesy way to do it !!!!! The trick, the technique, of playin outside (the House) are known as "Sidesteppin" or "Sideslippin".

I hope this tricks & these tips will help your improvising/soloing skills a little bit further....

So Happy New Year to all ya Blueshounds & take some soloing breaks, let it be space in the music - play the bassline instead togheter whit the bassguitarplayer some little time now and then !!!! Learn some, a few basic, Bluesbasslines to improve your Bluesguitarchops. :wave:

by Paxom, Sweden, 2014.
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Re: My Personal Suggestions/Advices For Improvising (Shooting) Over A Bluesy Vamp. (The Inner Logic)

Post by VikingBlues »

I do hope after all the work you've put into making this post that there's some guitarists can take advantage of all that information.

As a lapsed electric player, and a lapsed blues player i don't really fall into that group of guitarists. I admit to that if i was I have never been to great on the more complex areas of theory, once past scales and modes in terms of just where the notes are.

Enjoyed the linked music by the way - great energy! :thumbsup:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!
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