Beginning Blues Soloing Without Thinking About Scales…

Have you always wanted to play blues solos but aren’t so interested in going through such a steep learning curve?

You might think you have to learn a bunch of scales or “boxes” or “patterns”… and then there’s the music theory and all these “licks” people keep talking about?

“Can’t you just play?”

Yes, you can… and if you start small, it’s actually pretty darn simple. (Oh, and if you’re a more seasoned blues soloist, do this anyway because it’s a good way for you to think that’s a little different from the standard “boxes” and scales you might already know.)

Download this video – MP4 | WMV

And you might want to check out Soloing Without Scales as well, it’s entirely based on this way of thinking.

50 Comments

  • Michael Chappell

    Reply Reply May 28, 2017

    Hey Griff,

    Great lesson & great looking guitar.. Cool lesson I have saved for later. I have your BGU Course Soloing Without Scales which is excellent.

    Michael- Sydney -Australia May 2017.

  • Paul

    Reply Reply May 26, 2017

    Wow! Great lesson indeed! I will practice it until it is smooth and comes easy. That’s a fine guitar! I got my 2017 Zack Meyer PRS in February! Good to see ya playing it on the screen.

  • David Douglas

    Reply Reply May 22, 2017

    DYNOMITE!

    Dave in the Adirondacks

  • Jay

    Reply Reply May 22, 2017

    Very good delivery in this awesome video Griff, I am guilty of making soloing harder than it should,now I’m reinforced​ to make soloing simple,the way it should be, Thank you!

  • Joe Accardo

    Reply Reply May 22, 2017

    Great video lesson, this just opened up a new dimension for me and new way of thinking.

  • KB

    Reply Reply May 20, 2017

    Griff always beats me by teaching in an incredibly simple way everything I was struggling to figure out. This was something I was trying to patternize and make mine because I saw countless players play in this fretting shape and they *look* so cool when they play that way (I more mean “look” than “sound” here). So, after watching this video, I just grabbed my guitar and tried what was taught in the lesson and it seems to allow me to be able to play that cool way! Nice feeling!

  • Doug

    Reply Reply May 20, 2017

    yeah, yeah, yeah..! More please..!

  • hafiz baksh

    Reply Reply May 20, 2017

    Hey Griff, you are one fantastic guitar player. Wondering if you ever gone commercial with a record. You are great! I like that fat sound. Any advice to a novice on how to achieve this sound on small budget. Thanks

  • John Gardiner

    Reply Reply May 20, 2017

    Thanks again Griff

  • KL

    Reply Reply May 20, 2017

    Sweet PRS

  • Dave M

    Reply Reply May 20, 2017

    Griff,
    This has got to be one of the best lessons out there. Period. Sure, it’s not for beginners, and one has to be a bit of the way along the their musical road to pick this up, but if the players’ education and listening ability are in the right place, BAM! It’s powerful.

  • Burt

    Reply Reply May 20, 2017

    This is just what I needed – I’m moving house and my guitars are packed away but I had to get one out and try this. The perfect antidote to stress!

  • DaveyJoe

    Reply Reply May 20, 2017

    Wow! Gotta try working with this one. Thanks!

  • Randal Rinvelt

    Reply Reply May 20, 2017

    Great lesson. Just what I needed.

  • John Issitt

    Reply Reply May 20, 2017

    Hey from York UK

    Great lesson – and i speak as a national teaching fellow.

    Nice neat sound, well paced and bang on

    Many thanks

  • david moon

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    I need to have some theory as the foundation, but also see the merit in just noodling around in some patterns/positions and see what works.

  • MoreFreedom

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    As someone who can play along with a lot of music, this was still useful to me. Thanks!

  • BV

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Great job!!!

  • jean dominique

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    This video was a big deal for me.It helped to take me out of the box.In general, you advocate practice that is well structured. This is probably the way a lot of great musicians played. Again using their ears. Just hope the speed will get better with time.I really enjoyed it. Thanks

  • Johnny B

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    great stuff Griff,, 4 note solo anyone? Whats that guitar Griff looks nice

    • Legoge47

      Reply Reply May 20, 2017

      If it’s “no key” does that mean you start the engine by pressing a button?😄

      • Steve

        Reply Reply May 20, 2017

        No, it means you hot wire the scale and take it for a joy ride…

  • Chris Babcock

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Spotlight moment!

  • Chris Babcock

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Spotlight comment!

  • Ian Robins

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Thanks Griff. I have sort of been doing this for years – figuring out the runs visually like that. The only difference now is I can start thinking in terms of what the notes are – flattened thirds etc. Many thanks.

  • Ron Gaouette

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Is there a way to down load these video’s. I fly about 50-60 flights a year and it would be great to watch these when I fly.

    • Griff

      Reply Reply May 19, 2017

      You might notice the “Download this video” and the MP4 and WMV links – those are for you to download and take with you if you choose. The MP4 will work best on portable devices unless you use Windows and then you might prefer WMV. Right clicking those from your computer should give you an option to download.

    • Kim Wood

      Reply Reply May 20, 2017

      You’re not the pilot…right?

  • Jim

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Great stuff, Griff! If it were only as easy to play as you make it look!

  • Terry Gillen

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    If you cannot imagine how much my heart sinks when I hear a teacher telling me to learn a million scales/modes in all 12 keys, in all areas of the neck, you can probably imagine how wonderfully refreshing this video is. The idea of taking something simple and MAKING MUSIC with it is bang on the button. (You might also be interested to know that, according to a music professor at York University in the UK, it was the only way that music was taught during the classical period.) Many thanks Griff.

  • steve

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Hi Griff. I know rules are made to be broken. Is the goal to “always” position your third finger on the root?

    • Griff

      Reply Reply May 19, 2017

      No, not in the long run. But it makes a good place to start.

      • david moon

        Reply Reply May 19, 2017

        as you showed in your recent “BB box” video. The first finger on the root positions for a more “major” sound.

      • Kim Wood

        Reply Reply May 20, 2017

        Hey Griff,
        Isn’t this basically box 2?
        Thanks

  • Mark Wales uk

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Cheers Griff
    For the lesson having loads of fun with this
    Playing around with the in between half step bends and pre bends 😎🎶

  • Rohn

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Another kewell tidbit of info. I could put together a course with all the emails I have from you I keep them all. keep them coming they serv as breaks from the harder stuff. That is the first Tele style guitar I have ever seen that I like and I have seen a lot of guitars in fact I have had a lot of guitars so don’t leave it laying around LOL.
    To me guitars are like women there beautiful and you want them all but you can have only one however you can have a more than one guitar. your courses are the best and your a great teacher thanks.
    rohn

  • Freud M Voltaire

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    As I said before, you are the epitome of what TEACHING is about; you could make nuclear physics simple and fun.

  • Zeke

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Thanks griff. Great course and enjoy daily tips

  • Tony L.

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Griff, Awesome video….For all new beginners – this is an awesome technique….I was at BGU Live 2017 – first time on stage, I had Griff right beside me, and met Tim (who became a really good friend) and we all did what Griff explained in this video…here is the link -https://youtu.be/FeP2nK3WP4s IT is about 9 minutes long but the cool thing is we all solo-ed and it was really cool!
    thanks, Tony

    • Tony L.

      Reply Reply May 19, 2017

      To interested folks – you may need to copy and paste the link…
      thanks,
      Tony

  • Doug

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Thanks Griff,

    Yep, thats me. Trying to drink out of a Fire Hose. I will spend some time on this exercise.

    • BignJames

      Reply Reply May 19, 2017

      Me,too. Great analogy. Focus, focus, focus.

  • Mark d.

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Thanks Griff. Sending this to my brother who taught me to play. He also plays in a band. He says they need a lead solo player why NOT him?. I’m pushing him to your courses, he can do it. Just needs the right teacher! That be you Griff, thanks a million B-)!!

  • John D, Sydney

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Oooooh! Griff gets wound up! Well done. All this seems obvious (to you) because (to you) it IS obvious. So obvious you don’t have to say this, right? Wrong! This is an amazing lesson. Simple rule for the expert – if it’s so unbelievably fundamental to everything you do that you can’t imagine anyone not getting it by osmosis, you can bet your house that it’s opaque to your students – that’s the difference between the master and the novice. Love your work, Griff. More, please.

  • mike beigel

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    changed my whole life,soo bogged down in theory. ready to rock and roll.

  • Terry

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Many thks. That was very interesting. Very helpful.

  • Gary Pate

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Griff,
    Great lesson – thanks so much. As I learn more, my understanding improves even if I’ve seen these before. Great stuff – easy to follow. Appreciate these “daily emails”.
    By the way is that a new McCarty 10 top? Too cool.
    Gary

  • Terry

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Thanks griff for these blogs. I found you through the 4 note solo video and liked how you made playing a little less complicated. Have the bgu course and the soloing without scales. Since I have trouble staying focused playing rhythm, I focus on soloing to backing tracks as they give me more freedom and creativity. Your lessons have helped a lot. My wife actually enjoys my playing now, because of what I have learned from you. You once had a blog which had some comments from Steve vai on focusing on what you are good at and not to worry about the other stuff. That helped quite a bit. By the way nice prs, I believe it is the first time I have seen you with one. I have a prs singlecut 22 and love it. Thanks again

  • Stephen edwards

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Thanks for this one Griff. Great to wash away the theory, which is coming together for me and just play some music.

  • Allen

    Reply Reply May 19, 2017

    Great Lesson

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