20 Min­utes To… Blues lead

Im­prove your phras­ing and melodic play­ing as well as tight­en­ing up some of the most im­por­tant lead tech­niques with TG’S blues les­son

Total Guitar - - CONTENTS -

Not only is blues a spring­board for many other styles, such as coun­try, rock and jazz, but it can also teach us many things about the art of phras­ing in so­los. Of­ten it’s the small tech­ni­cal de­tails like string bends, slides and vi­brato that go into mak­ing a great solo. The fi­nal piece of the puz­zle for many gui­tarists, how­ever, is tar­get­ing the best notes at the right mo­ment. With this in mind, this month we’re fo­cus­ing on how to fur­ther your lead skills through clever use of space, har­mony and note choice. We’ve even added an ex­tra jam track (track 11) to your Gui­tar Skills CD for you to play over. There’s no right or wrong but an un­der­stand­ing of how each lick ‘fits’ over a cer­tain chord or part of the pro­gres­sion is the key to im­prov­ing. Of course, learn the licks – if you’re into John Mayer, BB King, David Gil­mour, even Guthrie Go­van, these will be right up your street. Ul­ti­mately though your goal should be to choose some favourite phrases and in­cor­po­rate them into your own play­ing.

Prac­tice Plan

1. One minute: Play through one ex­er­cise slowly

2. Two min­utes: Slow down fur­ther and fo­cus on tricky parts such as po­si­tion shifts

3. Two min­utes: Grad­u­ally build your play­ing speed

4. Try out the other ex­am­ples

This is a cre­ative les­son, rather than a purely tech­ni­cal one so aim to learn these ideas in dif­fer­ent keys so that you can use them when­ever you want. Ob­vi­ously you can move the licks up or down the fret­board – that’s easy! As you get more con­fi­dent, why not try mov­ing your favourite licks onto other strings. The fret gaps won’t nec­es­sar­ily be the same so you may need to get your think­ing cap on! Play­ing all across the fret­board is a great im­prov skill to de­velop though, es­pe­cially in blues.

whaty­ouwill­learn How to mix ma­jor and mi­nor scales How to use the Mixoly­dian mode Mas­ter dif­fer­ent types of string bends

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