Soloing - Blues Workout

by Joe Kataldo

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  • Have you ever wondered why great player and improviser like greg howe, robben ford, john petrucci stievie morse, steve vai and so on, have so great melodic and rhythmic control of their instruments?

    Many of them are truly gifted, doubtless, but the majority of them must had worked hard to accomplish such an hi-level of proficiency!

    What makes the difference in my opinion from a medium improviser and an advanced improviser, is the note choice, when a great play attempt to solo on a chord progression, he has so many improvisational tools (arpeggio, triad, intervals, scale sequences, just to name a few) he can use and mix together, that makes him stand out from the average players.

    Today I've decided to start a new series "Soloing", were we will study some of this improvisational tools, with studies where all this concept will be applied in a musical context and I'm sure that you will agree with me that there is no better place to start then "12-bar Blues Progression"

    This Lesson Will Improve

    Arpeggio Knowledge

    Blues Soloing

    Blues Workout I 100 BPM

    The idea of this study is to master three arpeggio shapes against three chord shapes with out change position, and play them flawlessly, following the changes of an A7 Major Shuffle Blues.

    the progression is:

    |A7|% |% |% |

    IV7 I7
    |D7|% |A7|% |

    V7 IV7 I7 V7

    so we will use A7, D7, and E7, arpeggios and chords shape

    The second time more emphasis is give to the 3rd, a note that in blues is never really major or minor, in this case every major 3rd is approached from a minor 3rd, with slide or legato creating truly blues sounds

    Master this kind of exercise will give you a better harmonic knowledge, and control over any progression, giving you more note choice the next time you have to play over a blues

    Recommended Listening

    Well some of my favorite improviser are Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, and I suggest to you to check respectively this albums: Truth & Sapphire Blue.

    Pro Tips
    There is no better way to nail a chord progression then to play arpeggio against notes, because they are made of chord tones indeed and represents the best note choice to end a phrase a lick or a sequence.

    Theory Focus

    An arpeggio is made by the same notes of a chord, simply played melodically, and arranged in a different order, also learn some chord shapes around arpeggios patters is very useful, as musicians we have a lot of things to remember, this system will surely help you out!

    Techniques Focus

    Before attempt this kind of exercise, you need to have a good knowledge of arpeggio patterns, and also you may and should expand this exercise, applying the same concepts to theres neck position and tonality, using other arpeggio patterns

    Next month we will apply the same concepts to Pentatonic scales...see ya soon and get ready for my next lesson!

    Joe Kataldo

    A7 - arp.jpg

    D7 - arp.jpg

    E7 - arp.jpg
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