AS ALWAYS, WE’VE CRAMMED the magazine with a broad variety of tutorials that span genres, playing levels and topics. One of the most consistently popular styles is blues and this time we’ve approached it in several different ways. The first you’ve already seen; 10 hot blues shredders and a small snapshot of what makes them fiery fretters! There are countless ways of approaching this large article, from learning a few licks to mastering the whole final piece via morphing the licks into new keys and harmonies (eg converting minor Pentatonics into dominant 7th Pentatonics). Delve in (again) and see what sticks for your own playing!
In this ‘regulars’ section we will focus on four areas that are either explicitly blues related or target various components of expressive soloing. To start with, Wheaty looks at aspects of Eric Clapton’s playing that pays homage to Robert Johnson (pg 56). In the double chorus example solo, you’ll see a multitude of great ideas from double-stops to blues curls, slides to string bends. It’s a rich terrain from which to cultivate great blues licks.
Next is Shaun Baxter’s Creative Rock (pg 68) which is a captivating bootcamp on how to make blues licks from within chord shapes (ie CAGED system). Specifically, you’ll get ‘under the bonnet’ of dominant 7th chord shapes to generate fantastic Mixolydian lead lines - the mode for bluesy major playing. This article alone is worth the price of the magazine as there is many, many months’ worth of study and exploration possible here.
Moving onto our second video tutorial on page 74 (the first is with the exquisite classical guitarist, Carlos Bonell), Andy Saphir unlocks the fretboard with Major and Minor Pentatonics. If you’re used to playing within a couple of Pentatonic shapes, Andy’s demonstrations of travelling the fretboard with slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs should prove both eye-opening and hugely appealing.
Finally, Phil Capone’s popular series on iconic British R&B bands and guitarists looks at the often undervalued Alex Korner’s Blues Incorporated (pg 76). If you’re hankering for a variety of short riffs, licks and grooves you’ll have a great time here with an immensely rewarding final piece to tackle that goes from riffing in E through to high fretboard lead lines and impressively quick pull-off flurries. Enjoy the issue and revel in fresh inspiration for your all bluesy playing!