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> Basic 12 Bar Blues Soloing
james007
post Dec 24 2010, 11:23 PM
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I have a question about a basic 12 bar blues.Let say I am wanting to solo in the key of "A" over a 12 bar blues using minor pentatonic.

Generally would I use an A minor pentatonic throughout the progression or Should I be switching to a "D minor" and "E minor" pentatonic on the respective "chords" in the progression?

Which works best?
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Kristian Hyvarin...
post Dec 25 2010, 11:40 AM
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Basically it's alright to use A minor pentatonic throughout the progression, but it is going to sound a LOT better if you use the respective pentatonic minor scales over the chords of D and E. So over A you use A minor pentatonic, over D you use D minor pentatonic and so on. But of course you can also use A Major pentatonic, D Major pentatonic and E Major pentatonic, too. Heck, you can even mix major and minor scales up and it'll sound good! biggrin.gif

Ivan Milenkovich (among others) has some ultra cool blues lessons here at GMC, plus a series about the pentatonic scale - he has also done a series about mixing the major and minor pentatonic scales.

You can see all his lessons here. Choose your pick. smile.gif

EDIT: Seems I got a bit carried away, but I hope I answered your question. biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Kristian Hyvarinen: Dec 25 2010, 11:41 AM
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Fre
post Dec 25 2010, 11:48 AM
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I think the most used (maybe) and most basic lead blues is to stay in minor pentatonic.
But what you do is, start and/or end your licks with the root note.
For example: Your in the D note of your 12 bar blues. Then start your lick with D note in your A minor pentatonic.

But, what Kristian said is totally correct, but a bit more difficult if blues is 'new' to you.
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 25 2010, 05:55 PM
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Thanks Kristian smile.gif

As for playing the blues, it all depends on the harmony - chords that are being used. James, you mentioned that you use A minor pentatonic scale, and want to use Dm and Em pentatonic scales as well. This would work perfect over minor blues progression, where you have all minor chords being played in the background: Am, Dm and Em. If you are familiar with all the boxes of minor pentatonic scale, you can analyze full A minor scale a bit. You will notice that you can find all three minor pentatonic scales that you mentioned in A minor scale: Am pentatonic, Dm pentatonic and Em pentatonic. This is why, if you use all minor chords within a 12 bar blues progression, you can use all A minor scale notes and it will sound "perfect". All those notes are basically the "strong" notes.

But, blues has lots of major-based chords as well. If you for example use Amajor, Dmajor and Emajor, it will sound country-ish, but it's still blues. When using all major chords, same logics apply as for minor chords: you use A major pentatonic, D major pentatonic and E major pentatonic, and they are all contained within a full A major scale.

Once you learn how to use these scales throughout, then you start using dominant chords, A7, D7, and E7. Now these chords are all major based, which means you can still use A major pentatonic, D major pentatonic and E major pentatonic, BUT, since these chords are all forming mixolydian modes, you can notice that (next to minor and major pentatonic scales mentioned above), you can now use A blues scale and A dorian mode.

For the end, don't be too scared or confused about bunch of scales I mentioned. I advise you to keep yourself on box 1-2 for starters and learn those patterns first. You will quickly realize that all these scales share very similar notes, and it is usually one-two note difference between them all. The trick is to play them as much as possible to acquire the feel for them, and let your fingers flow, so you can concentrate on the melody. Takes time, but it pays out.


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- Ivan's Video Chat Lesson Notes HERE
- Check out my GMC Profile and Lessons
- (Please subscribe to my) YouTube Official Channel
- Let's be connected through ! Facebook! :)
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james007
post Dec 25 2010, 08:15 PM
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Thanks for all the tips everyone.I will stay focused on one and two positions for now and see how it works out.
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 1 2011, 10:09 PM
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Let us know if you need any assistance on this! Cheers mate smile.gif


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- Ivan's Video Chat Lesson Notes HERE
- Check out my GMC Profile and Lessons
- (Please subscribe to my) YouTube Official Channel
- Let's be connected through ! Facebook! :)
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