Confused About Soloing

Discussion in 'How To Improvise Blues Solos' started by Blues_Dude, Aug 30, 2017.

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  1. Blues_Dude

    Blues_Dude Love Dem N'Awlins Blues

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    I was hoping that buying this course would help clear up some confussion that I have developed latelly. On the one hand, I have watched all these videos on learning modes, scales, arpeggios, how to change betwen major and minor, using the notes in chords, playing the 1- 4 -5 chords. Then not only here but in some other videos I have seen on you tube, I am shown that what I thought was improvising was all wrong. The best way to learn how to solo is learn many many licks and shuffle them around to make up a nice solo. So my confusion is that if it all comes down to gathering and learning all these licks....that are already put together, why in the world do we put so much effort into learning about scales and modes and on and on. It seems that once I have developed the skill set to play the licks with hammer ons and slides etc...then its just a matter of learning licks. Can some one help clear this up for me pease????
     
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  2. Paleo

    Paleo Where's the root?

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    Eventually you may want to create and develop your own licks and style.

    And there's more music to be made "outside" of "just playing licks".
     
    #2 Paleo, Aug 30, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
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  3. Marv

    Marv I play 'err' guitar.

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    To me, there's no "right", "wrong" or "best" way. Nothing says you can't combine everything you know (modes, scales, arpeggios, major/minor, notes in chords, and canned licks) when improvising a solo. The more you know, the more options you have.
    But I think most of us find an approach that works best for us and tend to stick with it most of the time, occasionally throwing in a new "something I learned" when the inspiration hits us. You may just be at a stage where you haven't found what seems most natural for you to use yet. You will, but only if you dabble in all approaches.

    Me, I gave up on improvising and just play the same solo in every song.
     
  4. Norfolk Bill

    Norfolk Bill norfolk uk, just knoodling along

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    Its hard to explain,,but lets keep it simple and stick with a blues scale,,,in its simple box form. There are only 6 notes repeated twice an octave apart,,,,,,,,,,,,,,lets just stick with the highest strings ,,,,,,,,,,,from those six notes the brain will eventually create without thinking hundreds of licks once you get the sounds they create in your head,,,,,every lick/solo you have ever heard (if based on that scale obviously) contain just those notes.

    I personally have never learned or even played the same solo twice in 20 years of having a guitar kicking around,,,i just know what sounds good before i even get to the note,,,its a bit like chess always four moves ahead of the game,,,,to me the best way is a jam track and just noodle away and enjoy making music,,,,,,after all with six notes how hard can it be ? lol :)
     
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  5. steve w

    steve w Nottinghamshire, UK

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  6. Griff

    Griff Chief Cook And Bottle Washer
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    I was going to mention that as well.

    There are reasons for all of the legs of the tripod. But for most people, when it comes to improvising the primary problems are:
    1) They don't REALLY know the licks - they can play them until they have to use them somewhere new and it all falls apart due to lack of counting/timing.
    2) They try to bite off too much at once and improvise the whole 12 bars right from the get go.

    It REALLY helps to "write out" solos first and learn how the licks work from the 35,000 foot view, without having to execute them. So in the course I'm trying to separate the execution from the ideas.
     
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  7. Scotty R

    Scotty R Blues Newbie

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    @Griff How about a tutorial on how to write out the solos. I know you have covered it in Construction Kit but a 30 min video refresher where you write out a 12 bar segment would be great.
     
  8. Silicon Valley Tom

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

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    To me, soloing and improvisation can be two very different things. Then you can add the term “lead”.

    There are many good concepts expressed here and you are going to have to find your own approach.

    Personally, I like to have cohesion in the music I play. What is that? When it comes to music like the Blues, I like to play music that sounds like a story. It contains intonation, and emulates human speech. There is a question and answer portion.

    Now you can learn hundreds of licks and play any of them at any time and not care what it sounds like. That is certainly a valid approach, if you like it. That is what I term “The Chinese Laundry Approach”. Have you ever been to a Chinese Laundry, where five people are screaming at the top of his/her lungs at the same time? To me that is not pleasant, but certainly some people appreciate it.

    There are over 30 genres of Blues music. You have 8, 12 and 16 bar Blues. If you think that any lick will fit, then have at it. It could be that you will discover that you first had better understand what sounds good. You can use music software to “cut and paste” licks to see what they sound like. My preference is to first choose a genre of interest, say a Shuffle 12 bar Blues. Try creating or using licks in 3 phrases of four bars each. An important element is to have bars 4-5, and 8-9, tie things together. The same is true if you are going from bar 12-1 in a new set of 12 additional bars.

    Learn one genre at a time and choose your favorites. You do not have to play all of them, only what you like!

    Do not forget intros, turnarounds, and endings! They are an important part of the Blues, and you should have several of these under your belt.

    Another approach is to use the B. B King or Albert King Boxes. They have different names but consider looking at and using the 6 notes from the Blues Scale, as a good starting point, using a modification of those boxes.

    Make good use of Blues Guitar Techniques, using bends, vibrato, slides, hammer ons and pull offs, etc.

    Learn the guitar neck upside down and inside out. Where are those root notes? Are you going to use a minor or major box? Why? Most of all - “Does it sound good”? Record yourself to find out what really works. Put Jam Tracks to good use. They will give you the feel and tempo of the music.

    Playing a lot of notes is one approach to playing the Blues Guitar. How many 16th notes can you fit into a bar? But should you? That is your choice. You may want to show off what a guitar god can do, or you might prefer play music with feeling. It is up to you.

    The nice thing and the most difficult thing about playing Blues, is that there are so many choices. Concentrate on one thing at a time. Ask questions. Play with ideas. Most of all, enjoy yourself, and if you wish, your music will bring joy to others.

    Tom
     
  9. Griff

    Griff Chief Cook And Bottle Washer
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    Duly noted. I'd love to.
     
  10. PapaBear

    PapaBear Guit Fiddlier

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    "Play what you wanna hear" - Billy Gibbons
     
  11. mpaq

    mpaq Canfield, Ontario, Canada

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    .....but they wouldnt be YOUR licks. No problem if you want to sound like everyone else...

    when you take the time to internalize the whys as well as the hows, you will "own" it when you play it and that will come through to your audience. You cant just copy a lick, ya gotta feel it....
     
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  12. jmin

    jmin San Francisco, CA

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    The last time I felt a lick I really enjoyed it!!!
     
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  13. BoogieMan

    BoogieMan Blues Junior

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    Tom, you pretty much took the words out of my mouth. Shuffling licks around can sound OK but it doesn't tell a story. There's no theme development to draw the listener in. This is where all the other stuff the OP mentioned comes in together with the most powerful tools at your disposal... your ear and your imagination!
     
  14. Dewesq55

    Dewesq55 Blues Newbie

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    But don't you have to get comfortable with words, phrases, idioms, and even Jason before you can write a story that anybody is going to want to read? I think that things like noodling or stringing canned or memorized licks together, even willy-nilly is kind of like that. But I could be wrong.
     
  15. BoogieMan

    BoogieMan Blues Junior

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    It's kind of like using idioms which sound good but may not have the exact meaning you intend. You should write the story, not the story write you.