Up Tempo Blues Jam

by Jose Mena

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  • Hello GMCers! This time I decided to play some blues, up tempo blues - the birth of rock n' roll.

    I often visit open mics and places to jam, and many times I jam with people I have never played with. The best thing to jam to is some old fashioned blues. Even though this sound might be old, it never dies.

    What I find great about it is the freedom to express yourself with the guitar, simple 4/4 measures and chord changes that we are so used to, that it is easier to be in control, and concentrate on pure guitar expression.

    In this lesson in particular I play over A minor, A dorian, A major, A minor blues, and some chromatics. Most of the solo is slow with long bends, vibrato and repetitive phrases. I played some call and response phrases to demonstrate how simple ideas can create exciting lead work, and make improvisation more interesting without much effort. This call and response concept is very popular in blues, and it is best when done with 2 guitarists, but can also be done with yourself.

    I hope you like this lesson, and you find it useful for the next time you jam with some total strangers, even if everyone is from a different musical background, most likely they all speak blues.

    Good luck!
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