Blues Chord Soloing

by Nick Kellie

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  • Hi Chaps - Been away for a little while, but I'm back with some blues.

    Rather than jumping straight to the soloing aspects, I want to delve into some blues accompaniment.

    Most people learn the standard power chord type blues riff - A drone note with an alternating 5th and 6th interval on the top. To say the least, after a few years (weeks even) this can get boring! So I wanted to show you how I approach making my own chords from the chord progressions relative modes.

    Generally speaking whenever you see a dominant chord in pop, rock or blues music, it is functioning as a V (5) chord to a particular key. The mode we derive from the V of a key is the Mixolydian mode - R 2 3 4 5 6 b7.

    Therefore, we can see that a blues is not in fact in one key... This blues in A and has the following chords - A7, D7 and E7. Each of these chords is the V chord of a key. A7 is the V chord of Dmajor Key, D7 V of G major Key, and E7 V chord of A major key.

    Therefore we end up calling the relative scales A mixolydian, D mixolydian and E mixolydian.

    Although I realize that this lesson may seem easy to play, it is harder to understand and be able to apply this information.

    Please notice how I have mapped out the mentioned modes over the entire fret board, highlighting my chosen chords for each.... Please experiment by extracting your own chord shapes from the modes and changing the modes as the root note of the chord changes. There really are no rules with regards to making up your own chords, except that the notes should be extracted from the modes I have mapped out.

    Have fun!




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