Finally Discover The System For Turning Your Buckets Of Blues Licks Into Sizzling Solos - On The Spot, Anytime You Want...
Using the 4 Qualities of all blues licks, and my new 4 Steps To Mastery system, you'll be able to get up and play solos that sound great, have tons of variety, and will sound completely improvised and made up on the spot to anyone in your audience listening.
How many blues licks do you have under your belt so far…
Well if you have any more than about 5 blues licks under your fingers, why don’t your solos sound as good as those licks do?
There could be a number of reasons for that… and we’ll come back to that in a minute, but first we need to talk about the single biggest myth when it comes to blues soloing – and specifically to improvisation…
And that single biggest myth is that you’ll be able to learn a half a dozen licks and magically be able to get up on stage with a band and make up something that sounds like a blues solo right there on the spot…
I’m sorry, it ain’t gonna happen… at least not for a little while (and that amount of time actually depends on you more than anyone else…)
Oh sure, we all know that one guy who learns a few licks and then seems to magically play a great solo out of thin air – but it didn’t work that way for him either, any more than it’s going to work out for you.
You see, the truth about improvising is that – it’s not improvising… certainly not at first.
In fact, Miles Davis (one of the most famous jazz improvisers of all time who played 250 nights a year and demanded his musicians make mistakes in their quest to improvise) used to say that maybe 1 night per year he would come up with something new – something that he had never played before…
The rest of the nights this seasoned jazz and blues veteran, with dozens of years of performances and countless hours in practice halls and late night jam sessions, played the same stuff he played in the practice room over and over again.
Because your fingers and your brain work in patterns, and those patterns will always come out when it’s time to improvise. You will always naturally gravitate towards ideas and licks that you’ve played and used before in those same situations.
For example, if you’re playing over a slow blues, you won’t try to play a lick from “The Thrill Is Gone” because it’s in a straight feel and it wouldn’t make sense immediately.
BUT… that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, you just have to take a little time and figure it out first.
If you have six different licks that you know, and you practice them all together as a solo, when it’s time for you to take a solo you’re going to play those same six licks, in that same order that you practiced them.
Does that mean it’s the only option? Heck no! But you can’t come up with new options “on the fly” until you’ve already done it enough to be able to mentally take a step back – to be able to play the licks without thinking so that you can use your brain to rearrange them.
Which then leads us to the questions about how to make the licks work in places other than where you learned them – how do you change the key? What if the chords are different, will they still work? Will you need to change a note at the end or in the middle to make them work?
And what if one lick is just a little too long for the space you want to put it in, can you shorten it? Or can you shorten the one that comes after it? Can you start a lick on a different beat than you learned it?
All of these little “gotcha” questions come up, and the answer to all of them is, “Yes,” “Maybe,” or, “With a little tweak.”
And it’s all those little “gotcha” questions that clog up your brain and bring your “improvising” to a grinding halt – unless you work it out ahead of time…
Now imagine if you take that same solo you know with the six licks, and you sat down and figured out a way to swap out the 2nd lick for another option that you know…
Well now you have 2 possible solos you can play when it’s your turn, but what happens if you get an option for both the 2nd lick and the 5th lick?
Things start to get more interesting because you know have 4 options, not just 2. And if you have 1 option for 3 of the licks, you have 8 total different solos you could play.
And if you had 3 licks that you could start your solo with, and then just 1 option for each of the other 5 licks – you’d have 24 different possible solo combinations…
Do you think that with 24 combinations you would repeat yourself? Probably not very often… and that’s the illusion of improvisation.
If your buddy comes to see you play your solo, you’re going to play one of those 24 combinations you know… and the next time he sees you play you’ll play a different one – to him you’re improvising now.
So what we need to do is work through a step-by-step way for you to take the licks you already know, and apply them to solos that you may also already know (and don’t worry if you don’t know any licks or solos yet, I gotcha covered on that too.)
And because of that I came up with this system – How To Improvise… or more specifically, Using and manipulating blues licks to create solos on the fly that you will be proud to call your own.
Here’s how, “How To Improvise,” works…
At the beginning, we’ll learn some easy blues licks in a shuffle blues style. The shuffle blues is the most common, so this will handle most of the tunes you’ll come across. Plus, shuffle blues licks also work for a slow blues which we’ll do later.
Don’t worry if you have licks of your own to add, that’s great! We’ll talk about how to add them later. For now, these simple licks will help you get started easily so your brain can focus on the rest of the process.
The next part is learning how to manipulate the licks. You’ll learn:
- The 4 elements you must know about each lick (where it starts, where it ends, what chords it goes over, what scales/patterns the lick comes from.)
- How to change the key of any lick.
- How to change the licks to a new pattern if you’re unable to get it into the key you need.
- How to shift a lick in time to adjust it around other licks as needed.
- How to modify the lick to fit over the various chords in a 12 bar blues.
- How to shorten a lick if it’s too long
We’ll practice playing the lick over all parts of the 12 bar blues on its own first so you can really own it. This process will also teach you the standard for all the licks you’ll learn in the future.
We’ll also work on your ear because you’ll have to learn to listen to a 12 bar blues and count through it to know the starting point for your lick.
Once we’ve learned how to manipulate the licks, it’ll be time to put them together into a solo.
With 6 licks, and typically around 5 licks in a 12 bar solo, there will be a lot of different ways to put them together and we’ll go through several of those options so you will be sure to see how it works for yourself.
Some will probably sound great, some probably won’t… that’s the point.
This is the “behind the scenes” process that you need to learn and go through so that when you get up to take a solo, you won’t have to think about it anymore and you’ll be improvising.
Finally, we’ll add in a couple of “option” licks (again, simple and easily playable) and look at how you can incorporate those within the licks you’ve already got using the same methodology we’ve used up until now.
You’ll see quickly that by adding just a couple of options to your bag of licks, the possibilities become nearly endless and you’re improvising for real a lot faster than you might think (and certainly better than you do now 🙂
By this point you’ll have created several solos on your own already so you’ll definitely be getting the feel for it… but we’re going to continue and do the same thing with a slow blues feel.
We’ll again learn a few simple licks, go through your new process of learning and assimilating them into your vocabulary, and create some solos from them.
From there we’ll do a couple more “option” licks and by this point you may even start doing it in your head without having to take much time in the practice room!
We’ll even bring in some of the shuffle licks so you can see how they work equally as well over a slow blues.
For the 3rd feel, we’ll go through the same process with a straight feel “rock and roll” type of blues… we’ll again learn some licks (using your new process,) and put them together into a few different solos.
By the time we add in some options here, you’ll likely be ready to step up just about anywhere.
Then after you’ve built your solos and seen for yourself how to put the licks together, both in the practice room and on the fly, we’ll take a look at a couple of “already done” solos and talk about how to break them apart into their individual licks. You’ll see how to break apart the licks and put them right back together along with some of the other licks you know.
And while that might seem like the end of it, before we finish we’ll talk about migrating licks between the shuffle and the straight feels. As I mentioned, shuffle blues licks and slow blues licks are pretty interchangeable, but the straight feel is different.
You’ll see how any of your swing feel licks that you’d use over a shuffle or slow blues can be modified to work over a straight feel, and vice versa.
And by the time we’re done, you’ll have:
- A better ear and better ability to “hear your way” through a 12 bar blues rhythmically and by chords.
- At least a dozen or so new licks you can use.
- A complete system for learning and assimilating new licks in such a way that you get complete use of every single lick you ever learn from now on.
- The ability to step back from the licks and create fantastic solos on the fly using the licks you’ve learned.
- A way to see the individual licks within a solo that has already been written or recorded, and how to take it apart and put it back together again with your own spin using other licks you know.
Now the reality is that this course, as with all guitar courses, isn’t for everyone…
We all know people who seem to just be able to grab some licks and mess with them for a while until they work….
And as with most guitar related things, you can eventually learn this on your own just by trial and error… but it’s gonna take a long time (believe it or not, probably much longer than it may have taken already.)
But if you find yourself having a hard time learning licks, or you find that even if you get to where you can play a few licks, you just keep tripping over yourself trying to put them together into a solo… then this course could potentially shave a few years off that process for you.
Especially if you’re the type of player who tends to learn complete solos and then has trouble breaking the segments apart and re-arranging the pieces.
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