Duke Robillard

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How Long Blues

Lesson 3

Duke Robillard Lesson >

How Long Blues > Lesson 3

For this weeks lesson we start on soloing on "How Long". After reviewing the chords and melody, we start to embellish it by adding in more notes such at the 9th on top and double stops.  Adding little trills, single notes and double stops makes it more interesting than playing the melody straight, much like a jazz musician would approach the melody. Then we move on to playing a more contemporary blues style on the 8 bar progression concentrating on first position in Bb.

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:

Print Print Chords & Tab

The first riffs with the 9th on top (timecode 6:00) are

$3./7 $1.6 | /6 $2.6 /9 $1.8 | 6 $2.9 7^v $3.8 | $4.8 $3.6 8^v $4.8 $3./8.$2./8 $3.6h8p6.$2.6 $4.8 |

The next riff that follow and embellish the melody (timecode 8:35) are

$3.6^ $4.8 | $5.8 $4.6 $5.8 $4.6 $5.8 | $3./9.$2./9 $3.\8.$2.\8 $3.6.$2.6 $4.8 $3.6^.$2.6 $4.8 |

The turnaround at the end is

%X/X.X/X.6/1.7/2.6/1.X/X %X/X.X/X.5/1.6/2.6/3.X/X %X/X.X/X.4/3.3/1.4/3.X/X %X/X.X/X.3/1.3/1.3/1.X/X
%9/2.X/X.8/1.9/3.X/X.X/X %8/2.X/X.7/1.8/3.X/X.X/X


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Ben Oct 02, 2014

Duke I'm having so much fun with these lessons! WOOOOOOOOO!!! 

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Dec 30, 2011

Thanks Mike,Good job! That is just what I am talking about. Now try going up to the second position to wail. My theroy is that it is always a good idea to learn the melody of a song. It's a necessity if you are going to do an instrumental version of it. To play some adaptation of it. There are times when it is good to reference the melody in places in a solo, and also it can be a good idea to stay away from the melody, depending what you are trying to achieve. One thing learning the melody does do, is gives you a harmonic perspective of the song. What I mean is, you can reference the melodic feel of the song in a solo without actually stating it. Say, play some notes that harmonize with the melody and refer to the timing/phrasing of the melody. Just learning to play the melody of a song, even a blues, can give you a valuble subconcious understanding of the songs structure and meaning of song and even lyrics. This is the way jazz players before the event of Be-Bop played solos. with RESPECT for the melody. In blues that is not always the way you want to play but on a melodic 8 bar blues like "How Long" you have the chance to play beautifully melodic blues.    


Mike Caren
Mike Caren Dec 17, 2011

Hi Duke .. I really love this lesson and the series.  I don't usually start with the melody when I solo .. which is probably a big mistake.  I used the backing tracking on Lesson 4 to play along with what you covered here .. and then improvised a bit around it.    Any feedback would be great.  Thanks!

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Dec 11, 2011

Thanks Roger, I appreciate it. I am enjoying doing them and like any teaching experience, it crystalizes the musical ideas for me as I teach them. There is alway something you learn by teaching so it's helpful for me also to put into words what I do.

Roger Dec 11, 2011

Duke, these lessons are so helpful. I just want to say how much I appreciate you taking the time to do these. Great lessons. THANK YOU !

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