In this lesson, I demonstrate how to intertwine both first and second position playing to make a good flowing blues solo on "How Long." More info on blues lick possibilities here. Also I talk about timing and the value you give to each note and breaking up your phrasing to be musically interesting and emotionally powerful at the same time. I demonstrate a solo and invite you to play along while I play rhythm guitar for 3 choruses here. I also made a full backing track for you to play along with! Enjoy!Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
loop @ 0:44 to practice the second part of the solo
$2.11 11 $1.11^^ v ^^ | $2.11 $1.11^^ v 9 $2.11 9 11 $1.9^ $2.11p9 \6
$3./12 $2.11 13^^ $1.11 13 $2.13^^ 11 13 $3.12 |
$2.11 14 $1.11h12p11 $2.14^ $1.11 $2.14 11 $3.12 $2.11 13^ |
$3./12 $2.11 $1.13^^^ 13 11 13 $2.13^ 13^ 11 13 11 $3.12 |
$1.9^ 9^ $2.11 p9 \6 $3.8^ $2.6 $3.6 $4.8 $5.8 7 6 |
$2./6 $1.6 $2.9 6 $4.8 $3.8^ 8 6^ $4.8 8 | 8 $3./7.$2./6 $4.8 $5.8 8
Here's a slowed down version of the solo tabbed above to listen and practice to.
Finally, here's a backing track to practice and play along with. Enjoy.
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I thought I deleted that lastnight after some drinks.....oh well. I only meant the lack of dynamic interaction makes it hard for me to have 3 minutes of ideas to play without falling into rote patterns or what have you.
DaddyRay, Sounds good to me! Especially in the first 3 choruses where you took your time and played melodically. Very good. No blaming the track now...... that track feels very real. Honestly though, I think you sound great here. Duke
this is just a quick and sloppy blast over that backing track...more to understand how I can upload stuff then a tour de force....I would never really play like this if I was playing with live and interacting humans.
Blues Bunny Bite @ 0:12 on the timecode. No idea why I did it except that I was really trying to hear both what I wanted to play and what I was playing in my head. Getting better .. but still need a couple more weeks to really have it flow. That said .. this is the best I've ever played .. thanks DUKE !!
Hi guys, Don't hesitate to post more videos. I am happy to comment on them and my style is all positive encouragement, nothing negative. Glad it is helping out. Watching yourself is a good way to see what you like or don't like about your playing and figuring out how to make it better. I recently saw a youtube cip of me where I played an absurdly long solo and I hated it. Plenty of flash, lots of notes but no substance. I'm actually happy I can't play that way anymore! Of course there are lot's of people that would think it was great, not me though.
I just noticed this comment -- I was at a blues concert a couple of years ago with some headliners and every body played all their sets with long solos around the 15th fret or so -- and to me you could not distinguish a single song, they all sounded the same. I remember one very good player, technically, kept saying things like "this is my favorite song" -- and after one verse she would then play all the same licks as the prevous song. I almost went to sleep. On the other hand I saw Muddy Waters play one night in a small blues club in Detroit in the 70s, until about 4:00 am, and I remember practically all the songs. He must have played six or seven sets with his band. He and John Lee Hooker on the same bill, in a room that had about fifty people in it. The later it got, the better it got.
@Jason .. funny, same thing with me when I recorded myself playing .. I heard some things too in my playing and re-recorded a couple times .. and got better!
Thanks! On that first chorus, I started out trying to play the melody using harmonized sixth-interval doublestops. I can have a tendency of dropping into pentatonic noodling if I try to play single note lines for too long, and that approach is one of the ways that I like to try to avoid noodling!
This is the first time I have ever recorded myself for practice/learning. I learned a lot about my own playing and picked out some more bad habits to eliminate by going through a few takes the other night.
Thanks for the feedback and kind words on my video. I just ran through the backing a couple of times focusing on playing the slow lines slowly, and I was very happy with the sound.
Hi Jason .. Great video! It's cool seeing what you have done with the solo. I'm going to have to learn some of those chords you are playing at the beginning .. and I really like the soloing .. especially the last chorus. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Jason, Very good! I like what you are playing and I like that you are using your thumb instead of a pick. My only critique is that when you play the slower lines you should try to play them a bit slower and with the relaxed feel of the track. Your flurries of notes that are not slow sound very good and bluesy. Duke
Thanks for the awesome lessons. From your old Hot Licks DVD, to the videos on the original Red Oak site and here, I have learned a lot about playing the music I love from you.
I took a quick stab at improvising a couple of choruses over the How Long Blues backing track. I would truly appreciate any feedback that you have. Thanks!
Hi Mike, The idea is definiately there. It's just a matter of getting comfortable with it and not second guessing yourself. One of the main things that helps in general is playing with other people. There is simply no replacement for musicians responding to and following each. It's an organic form that grows into a different being with each jam or performance. It is light years from playing with a track. So both things are very important to the development of any musician.
Hi rbaginski, Thanks for the well wishes and back at ya! As far as the chords you are refering to, do you mean the backing chords at the end of the song or the punctuation of chords between riffs in the solo?
OK .. here's where I am on the solo. I've been playing it through a couple times a day this week and it's starting to come together .. still need to make it more fluid and flow (I'm still thinking too much .. I think!)
Hi Rich .. OK, sounds good. If you let me know the timecodes, I can notetate some of them. I wouldn't mind learning some of those myself!
Thanks Mike for your reply. I am more interested in the different types of voicing that he is applying.
@rbaginski .. Have you checked out the first lesson?
Duke reviews the progression and chords. Or .. are you looking for the voicings / variations Duke plays in this lesson?
First of all I want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, and a safe and healthy New Year. In regards to the chords that you were playing in "How Long #5", can you please illustrate the chords that you were using.