Play Along With Me…

There is one important part of learning to play guitar (and blues soloing in particular) that I think gets too often overlooked. Shoot, even I don’t do this as often as I should.

But I can remember as a kid just putting on tapes (or CDs, or even just the radio at times) and just playing along with every single song trying to find any of the sounds I was hearing.

So grab your guitar because for the next 10 minutes or so I want you to play along with me.

Downloads of this video – MP4 | WMV

And, of course, let us know how it goes for you in the comments ๐Ÿ™‚

46 Comments

  • John

    Reply Reply August 4, 2017

    More,more,more, that’s so much love it

  • Chris

    Reply Reply August 3, 2017

    Loved it! I want to do more of this!

    After going through it a couple the imitating your licks, I went through once more “answering” your licks. That put a lick of my own that fits with yours, but is not the same, question/answer style. That was fun!!!!

  • Mike

    Reply Reply August 2, 2017

    Great jam practice, but I need a little theory here. The song was in the key of A major (not minor) so why did the It seems like Griff played the solo within the Am pentatonic scale boxes? I thought the Am pentatonic scale only worked if the song was in Am or in C major? Or did he play the solos in A major scales boxes? I don’t think the relative minor of A (F#minor scale worked)

    Thanks for any help on this?

    • Griff

      Reply Reply August 2, 2017

      Keys don’t work in blues the way they work in other types of music. We use terms that aren’t technically correct, but common and easy. A blues in A is not in the key of A major (except briefly over the V chord.) So you don’t approach a blues the way you approach “regular” music. A minor pentatonic is the easiest way to approach a blues, but you can also add in A major pentatonic over the I chord for some added flavor. This is all covered in Blues Guitar Unleashed.

    • TA Ratko

      Reply Reply August 7, 2017

      Mike:

      My take is, when in doubt for a blues song, use the minor pentatonic or its blues variant in whatever key (i.e., A, G, C, etc). You won’t ever use a “wrong” note, and can move across, up or down by using the different box patterns (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) to vary the pitch (going up or down an octave or two). That, to me, is the simplest, KISS way to approach blues without having to think about it too much.

      Just my $0.02 worth…

  • Jim

    Reply Reply August 2, 2017

    Especially useful exercise. I keep hearing some of the licks in my head now after going though the lesson a few times.

  • Midnight

    Reply Reply August 1, 2017

    Nice learning tool. Thanks Griff.

  • DaveyJoe

    Reply Reply July 29, 2017

    Very helpful…thanks Griff!

  • PatB

    Reply Reply July 29, 2017

    That became difficult quickly. I think I’m good for following a 5 note lick max right now. After that I’m just winging it. Some sounds ok, others not.
    Pat

  • Cleotis

    Reply Reply July 28, 2017

    Way cool! Thanks! The bass reminded me of the JGB’s John Kahn. Will have to try this several more times tomorrow.

  • jean dominique

    Reply Reply July 28, 2017

    Very nice, enjoyable. Perhaps it might not be a bad idea to show a slower version of it with the same format.All and all it was very helpful. Thank you.

  • JohnnyB

    Reply Reply July 28, 2017

    I did so-so the first time, better the 2nd, then after that broke out my old Fretlight guitar with the A blues scale lit up. That went WAY better, makes all the difference when u don’t have to think about the scale. I want to get to the point I can play based on the tones Griff is playing rather than trying to follow finger movements and relate that to a scale. Brash.

  • Edison M. Jennings

    Reply Reply July 28, 2017

    Thanks. That was fun. I fave a little cigar box amp right next to my pc, so this works out great. PS You’re an excellent teacher. I’m also a teacher and I know a good one when I see one, or, in this case, hear one.

  • Ken L

    Reply Reply July 28, 2017

    Thanks, Griff. That was exactly what the doctor ordered. This will be a big help with my soloing.

    Ken

  • Nick t

    Reply Reply July 28, 2017

    Awesome something I’ve been wanting to get better at thanks man !!!

  • Mike

    Reply Reply July 28, 2017

    Cool deal. Liked the format. Finally got a chance to play with you =)

  • Ron Hartman

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Fabulous lesson! You make learning the blues a lot of fun!

  • Lessdrop

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Fun! Thanks for this and all the rest!
    Way Cool ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Chaplain Ed

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Great stuff. Really makes me stretch. Thanks Griff.

  • Ray Rice

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Thanks Griff. Getting to play with people that’s better than us is such a huge help. It pushes us to “keep up” and eventually getting better by trying to emulate the better performer. More of this would be fantastic! Thanks for this little session.

    Ray…

  • mike beigel

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    amazing

  • Glynis

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Thanks Griff. I’ll do as you suggest. Very interesting exercise.

  • AlanBGo

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Excellent exercise and Big Fun. I’d love to see a whole series (perhaps a formal lesson package) of this style of play and respond licks. It was very helpful in terms of learning some new ideas, licks and helped me break out of my own well worn ruts and patterns.

  • Randal

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Fantastic. Hey I got the “A” right. I will do as you say, practice, come back, practice more…Thanks, great lesson

  • Louis Ogden

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Thanks Griff! Not perfect on my part but I was getting the feeling. Great lesson to continue working on.

  • Ian

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    That was great fun. As you say I didn’t (or couldn’t) follow note for note, but just getting the basic phasing and timing created some interesting licks that I didn’t know I had in me

  • Bruce

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    THIS! This is fantastic! More, PLEASE!

    • ACE

      Reply Reply July 27, 2017

      VERY NICE WAS A BIT TRICKY TRYING TO STAY IN BEAT, BETWEEN YOUR LICKS.
      YET I GOT IT. SO 007, WITH YOUR ASTON MARTIN T-SHIRT. WHERE THE CAR? LOL! THANKS GRIFF.

  • Ed

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Great fun but by the time it’s my turn on the turnarounds we are not on the turnaround part of the progression anymore so it sounds quite a bit different than yours

  • Jerry Nolan

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    how much different is BGU original from BGU V 2.0 ? I have original version. would it be beneficial to have v2.0

  • Terry

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Long time coming for something like this. Sure I’m not the only one that has it hard trying to find people to play and trade licks and just hear how some one else plays the same things. Thks Man.

  • RAB

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    That was sweet, it HELP!!! ME.
    I like that VERY MUCH… thx

  • tony

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Seems We have been here before wish that You would date the videos . I have over a years videos been here since You started with the 4 note soloblues pattern . I do know You added things teaching anything makes for a better guitarist . I believe Your becoming more than an expert. thanks as always catch the next one .

  • BignJames

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    I also tried a “response lick” in the same positions…makes practice much more entertaining.

  • JACK FLASH

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    That was great and I have your jam tracks and use them daily…nice to see things out of how to improvise and I will definitly see if I can get the licks down I also like to turn the speed down to .25 after rewinding and then listening again…really great and look forward as always to your pointers daily…you have really helped me in so many ways…wish I would have found you sooner…..

  • Jeff

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Paul allegedly died in an Aston Martin in 1966.

  • Bill45

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Griff,

    In spite of learning so much from your courses, I have alway been reluctant to just put on a jam track and “jam”. I tried a few times but it was so awkward I seldom even try anymore. I am going to make this video a priority. There is so much of what you are doing here that just kind of pulls it all together! Everyone of the little licks or fills should be second nature and an integral part of my “collection of licks/fills”. I know I should learn these licks by listening and trying to copy them instead of trying to memorize them from tablature. New project, here i come!

    You are such a great teacher, performer, and mentor mi amigo! Thanks for all you do!!

  • Mark Wales uk

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Cheers Griff
    For the lesson first time I was eyes glued to my iPad got about 70% of the licks ๐Ÿ˜€
    Second time around I did not look at my iPad not so good
    Will try this abit more any chance of putting these videos on the members page under extras as I can’t save them to the iPad it would fill it up
    Back to my modes now wish me luck ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŽถ

  • Michael Chappell

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Hi Griff,

    Great exercise due to the fast tempo of the Jam track it was hard to follow you on all the licks but it was good to try within the House Pattern and usually where the 4 note solo is as well. I stumbled a lot as I have not practiced Blues soloing for about 2 -3 months although I practice all the time the Pentatonic Scales and Blues scales of BGU courses almost every day. Also probably because over last couple of months or so I am learning how to play some songs which are basically chords and Riffs with a guitar teacher ( once a fortnight) who is transcribing songs into Keys that I can easily play and sing such as Johnny B Goode,etc so that I have a repertoire of songs to play. I am still anxious to learn all the BGU Courses that I have purchased and have Blues Guitar songs within my repertoire as well.

    Today’s lesson and workshop certainly is a very good way to deliver your lesson and it will be fun and I have it saved on my computer to try each day. All good.

    Michael-Sydney-Australia 27th July 2017..

    • Michael Chappell

      Reply Reply July 27, 2017

      Oh Griff,
      I forgot to advise you that my local teacher at local Music Shop ( only to learn How to play songs and sing) likes the way I play Blues Riffs etc and it was a good test to show him what level I was at and he asked How I got there and I said with Online lessons and BGU courses from Griff Hamlin.. So it was a bit scary to play in front of another guitarist showing how good or bad I was.. He said I am no longer a beginner but now into Intermediate level by Technique and knowledge. That is thanks to you Griff and BGU courses..
      I am sticking with you and the BGU Courses and love getting your lessons like the one today..all great.

      Michael-Sydney-Australia 27 July 2017

  • Mark d.

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    I LOVE YOU MAN!!…Don’t ever,ever stop teaching!, and I promise to keep learning! I recently played in front of strangers. Two of them were guitar players.I thought the deer in the headlights would show up!.but I played great! According to them.how did you learn to play like that? I said Griff Hamlin bgu 2.0. Listen, belive practice! B-)

  • Karen Carr

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Great idea, challenging but when I got the timing right it was awesome. Thank you!

  • John strickland

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    I love this approach. It’s like having a buddy sitting here teaching some licks. I couldn’t keep up after a while but still came up with something similar to what you were playing. I will try again and see if I do better.
    Thanks
    John.

  • Jack Carter

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Thanks Griff. You make it look so easy! I was OK , I think. I’m still trying to perfect my “Jonny Be Goode” style. Hoping to get there soon. Keep up the good work.

  • cowboy

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    great approach…tried it and loved it…figure I was in the ball park about half the time but a great lesson is ear training and fingering…will try this out a lot more…thanks…later.

    cowboy

  • Shane

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    So fun !

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