Lots Of Approaches…

Today’s video is not necessarily a lesson, but it’s no less important…

In fact, in many ways it’s more important, because it can give you direction and purpose – two things often lacking where music is concerned.

A student asked me on the forum about “what to be thinking about when improvising,” and at first I tried a written answer, but this is just too deep of an answer to just write, so I made a video.

I hope you’ll grab some coffee, tea, or whatever, and watch it, and think about it for yourself.


  • Tim Happel

    Reply Reply January 26, 2019

    Loved it Griff! I started playing in a church band 5-6 years ago and got away from your stuff and blues playing in general, because it didn’t really fit with what we were playing. Now I’m trying to learn how to play over the chords and find myself coming back to you and am so glad you’re putting out stuff like this. I guess that old phrase is true.

    “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” 🙂

    • Jim

      Reply Reply January 27, 2019

      Sting should have listened to you years ago.
      ” A doo doo doo a da da da…that’s all I have to say to you ”

      The Police got a TON of positive reinforcement for that song…but they didn’t do a follow up. Did they stop to think why that song was such a hit ? A great opportunity missed to write another one.

  • Dave B

    Reply Reply January 26, 2019

    Thank you,that short talk was more informative than many I have listened to by other teachers in my 81 years,I am still learning 🙂

  • Bob Denney

    Reply Reply January 25, 2019

    Thanks Griff. Great reminder of some things I had forgotten.

  • John Pavlovic

    Reply Reply January 25, 2019

    Great session,explained a lot,Cheers from Townsville Australia

  • ChrisGSP

    Reply Reply January 25, 2019

    Happy day! I love it when at 0.45, Griff goes for the pickup switch on the Les Paul (up in the upper bout of the body), but there’s nothing there because he’s playing the 335 and has to “switch” to the switch down near the Volume/Tone pots. That’s improvising, and you could not have scripted it more perfectly !!
    Chris G here in Oz, where it’s Australia Day – the whole country is having a big party!

  • Joyce

    Reply Reply January 25, 2019

    Thank you!

  • Maurice

    Reply Reply January 25, 2019

    Thank you.

  • DaveyJoe

    Reply Reply January 25, 2019

    Very enlightening Griff! Thank you!


  • Steve

    Reply Reply January 25, 2019

    Griff do u have any courses on country guitar?

  • Dave D

    Reply Reply January 25, 2019

    Griff, excellent presentation! After hearing other guitar players talk about phrasing, you finally opened the door for me to understand it! Just the quick demo you did playing just the scale and then improvising using the same scale gave me clairity!

    Thanks big time

  • Doc Z

    Reply Reply January 25, 2019

    I teach my students to expect to lose 20 IQ points on stage, so start very simple until you can feel notes flow. My favorite moments are when I play a lick in the moment that I have never heard or learned.

    • Mark

      Reply Reply January 25, 2019

      More like 40 in my experience. LOL

  • Fred

    Reply Reply January 25, 2019

    Griff- such a great “lesson”! filled with good advice about the approach to improvising, and filled with cool, real-time examples and applications of what you are discussing. Love that the answer to most questions is yes. Thanks for a wonderful “rap” session.

  • Mark Iannuccilli

    Reply Reply January 25, 2019

    Griff your course is solid however my opinion is you should urge students to spend more time copying the solos of the masters and change the way you present scales

    The scales only represent a basic framework of where blues ideas are contained and in and of themselves do not communicate what blues phrasing,touch,timing,and vibrato do—

    It’s ONLY in the music of the masters that the blues language can be learned!

    Furthermore,learning solos off records trains the ear and ingrains the music in a deeper and more lasting fashion

    The blues greats,for the most part,never practiced scales and don’t mention them in interviews

    Scales are great to build technique and learn the neck but there isn’t any actual musical expression within them

    • Griff

      Reply Reply January 25, 2019

      We agree wholeheartedly! I know it may not be as obvious from this video, but learning complete solos is one of my 3 “pillars” of soloing and certainly no less important than approaches or individual licks and phrases.

  • Frank is

    Reply Reply January 25, 2019

    Watched this on FB LIVE yesterday liked it and as u mentioned in this I think u have a great way of teaching

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