How To Improvise Blues Solos - my experince thus far

Discussion in 'How To Improvise Blues Solos' started by Silicon Valley Tom, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Silicon Valley Tom

    Silicon Valley Tom It makes me happpy to play The Blues!

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    I think that we are ready for a separate area (hint!) for the “How To Improvise Blues Solos” course. Last night I finished downloading the course and this is what I did:

    I created a folder with 18 sub folders, and downloaded the content to folders named after the subject download. I placed a number (1-18) in front of the title of each sub folder. Ie, 1 Introduction …....18 Appendix Videos.

    Next: Backup everything! After the expenditure of time, effort and money, it is wise to backup the material.

    Placing a number in front of the sub folder title allows the sub folders to fall into order for File Explorer. I am using Windows 10 by the way. You could just download everything into one folder, but I like to do things this way. It is nice to find things in the intended order.

    This morning I went through the first three sub folders, and really enjoyed the third one – Shuffle Lick 1 – 4 Steps To Mastery. Let the lessons begin!

    Right now it is a bit of a pain to view the written material using the PDF file, while observing the video lesson. With patience (I am known for a total lack of said subject!) the DVD's and printed manual will arrive in a few weeks. Printing out a 78 page manual and having it bound is an expense I cannot afford (I am almost out of ink) so reading the PDF will do nicely while I wait.

    The JAM Tracks are fun to use. One of my problems is that I hear musical progressions in my head while I listen to any music. I often go off into excursions towards outer space, which I have done since I was 6. Playing one lick over and over has real value. Own it! Understand what is going on and why. While I am listening to Lick 1, I am thinking of what would fit into the remaining bars! So I have to calm down and stick with the subject at hand.

    I am not sure how long this course will take to complete, but that is not important. What I look forward to is working out some new material that I enjoy playing, and that sounds good. The concept of putting together a few new licks here and there, and when to use them is interesting. This not only adds to your repertoire, but allows you to go off into uncharted territory. :)

    What I will be doing is to take licks from written music or create my own, and place them into a written format (TablEdit in my case). I could just write out licks on a piece of paper. Then I can put them into a 12 bars Blues progression and see how they sound. :Beer:

    Tom
     
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  2. HotLks

    HotLks Blues - it's in me and it's got to come out.

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    Sounds great Tom! You are obviously excited about this course. That's saying a lot about someone with your musical background. Very encouraging!

    Carry on.

    See you down the road! :thumbup:
     
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  3. TwoNotesSolo

    TwoNotesSolo Student Of The Blues

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    One of my pet peeves is that files for most course downloads are not named consistently. I have commented on this in the past.
    I too proceeded to put a number 1 through 18 in front of every file I downloaded (in one folder, although some other courses I download in multiple folders so that I can keep the part 1 PDF with the part 1 backing track and the part 1 video. This course is simple enough that I didn't think it warranted multiple folders)
    Griff, you acknowledged that digital delivery is getting more popular, so numbering files so that they are naturally listed in the right order would be great. Naming PDFs and mp3s consistently with the corresponding video would be great too.
     
  4. Scotty R

    Scotty R Blues Newbie

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    Bit of a sidebar on the topic, but Oh, may I feel your pain.
    My Filebox is completely out of hand! Hundreds of files. Thank God for CTRL+F (Find).
    In cases where the files aren't names or numbered in an easy to follow way, I feel like I'm missing something.
    If this gets addressed in 2017 I'll be a happy camper.
     
  5. Scotty R

    Scotty R Blues Newbie

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    I'm digging into this course too and so far am very happy!
    I've learned a lot about these licks, how they fit, how they don't fit into the 12 bar progression, and what my ear likes. This has helped my counting a ton (with lots of repetition) as well as my active listening to the chord changes behind the scenes.

    Similar to Tom I'm staying within the framework and working to really own the 5 shuffle licks. I'm going slow but am seeing the payoffs already.

    Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself but I see the next steps once this course is done as follows:
    - take this approach to Steve Trovato's BBBS course (which I also really liked) and apply the 4 step model to some of his licks, and
    - take this approach back into the BSCK course which I didn't fall for initially but may now that I have a new context.

    Onwards and upwards!
     
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  6. kestrou

    kestrou Blooze Noobie

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    What he said! I number the files and wish they came that way so I don't screw it up! :)

    On the course... I'm through the three lick solo and, maybe I'm screwing up, but I count to the start of each lick and start at the appropriate time, then can usually "play by feel" to the end of the lick and be in great shape. I do have a good idea on where I'm at the whole time because I don't just tap one foot - I tap right-left-right-left so right foot is on one or three - because I'm not playing really long licks I know where I'm at when I end.

    Is that screwing up? :)

    Kevin
     
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  7. Griff

    Griff Chief Cook And Bottle Washer
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    Thanks everyone, these are great suggestions.

    Overhauling the member area in general is something that's been on my mind a lot lately. The "filebox" is a huge mess and the platform I'm using seems to have little interest in fixing it. The backend is getting out of hand as well, I can't find things when I need them.

    So I'm looking into alternatives, but as with the forum when I changed, I don't want to do it prematurely and have to do it again later. I will most definitely keep these things in mind.
     
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  8. LosBassMan

    LosBassMan "Bottom Feeding since 1996"

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    Sounds like someone also plays the drums!

    Carlos
     
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  9. TwoNotesSolo

    TwoNotesSolo Student Of The Blues

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    On the course itself, I am really barely started but really liking it. The 4 qualities of a lick is obvious when you think about it, but like many obvious things, you don't realize it until someone points it out.
    I have a library of hundreds of licks that I have downloaded from multiple places over the last few years, but I currently don't solo by licks, so I have never really used that library. As I progress through this course I'll start looking for "good" licks to apply to this course.
    As Griff points out, there are so many out there that if you're having a hard time defining their 4 qualities, don't sweat it, pick a different one. I've looked at a handful just for fun, and so far everything I looked at can easily be qualified the way Griff teaches. So to me a good lick is:
    - I like the way it sounds
    - easy to identify it's 4 qualities
    - not too tech locally difficult, I don't want to spend too much time on the technique of the lick itself right now
    - fits within the style of licks I'm learning. E.g slow blues, shuffle, fast blues, rock... I know you can speed a lick up or modify it, but it helps to have licks that are consistent with each other's
    - is different from the other licks. That's the converse of the above. While I want licks in one solo to be consistent in style, I want them to be different enough to provide variety in the overall solo. My weakness is rhythmical variety, so that's where I intend to focus the most. E.g. mixing triples and 8th, playing on the beat or syncopated, etc...
     
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  10. Scotty R

    Scotty R Blues Newbie

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    Thanks Griff, glad to hear that it's on your radar. Looking forward to a fix down the road.
    In the mean time, logical file naming with a digital file index in the manual or in the forum will really help.
     
  11. Mr.Scary

    Mr.Scary A Blues Legend in My Own Mind

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    Starting to get the hang of it ever so slowly. On lick 3 solo trying to work out the different combos and timing. I turn on the long Jam track and roll to the 3 licks to get the timing. If I get stuck I keep rolling and just make something out of the lick I messed up on till I find the next spot to insert the next lick. Getting better at recognizing how to read the notes for counting also.
     
  12. HotLks

    HotLks Blues - it's in me and it's got to come out.

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    Good news! It takes time. Being able to know the timing by reading the time value of the notes is a really big help. Timing notation is very efficient, don't you think?

    See you down the road! :thumbup:
     
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  13. patb

    patb Blues Junior

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    I agree. I get timing out of the notation that tab just does not convey.
     
  14. patb

    patb Blues Junior

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    I find that when I play by feel I get out of time if I have not truly memorized the lick. I then have to go back and see the lick and count it out.
     
  15. tommytubetone

    tommytubetone Portage, Michigan

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    Wow! I just started this yesterday. This course will help my counting and timing immensely, which is definitely something I need more work on. (y)
     
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