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eljoekickass
(@eljoekickass)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

I've been using Blues you can use for some of its lessons, and i found that i dont know what to do next. I learned the minor pentonic scales and i can comfortably play them in the different keys. I just don't know how to make everything work together. The book does well to tell me what to practice but it doesnt tell me why to practice things. FOr example, I am supposed to practice the roots of the scales, but i dont know what they are for. I really want to be able to start playing the blues but i find that I dont know what to do next. I've been playing for almost three years but the last year i havent really gone anywhere with my playing. What are your thoughts?


   
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gdhudspeth
(@gdhudspeth)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 12
 

Try the books "More Blues You Can Use," and "Blues by the Bar." Both of these expand on what you've already learned. Additionally, you should start to transcribe your favorites songs so that you can see how they are built.

Hope this helps...


   
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eljoekickass
(@eljoekickass)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

I think ill try those books. What do you mean when you say "transcribe"? My knowledge is a little lacking here.


   
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Anonymous
(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

transcribe just means to listen and learn how to play them, either just by memorizing or by writing down the notes.
learn to play a simple blues shuffle, and add in a couple licks here and there, and you're playing the blues. i usually just keep the bass note going with my thumb and then improvise over it.


   
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gdhudspeth
(@gdhudspeth)
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I'm currently working my way through these books, as well. These books contain the theoretical knowledge to understand the blues, play along, and learn your favorite songs off CD. You already know, for example, that the chords will often be I-IV-V in a 12-bar form. So you can just strum these pattern and you're comping. Don't forget all the variations on the standard form, though, that we learned about in "Blues You Can Use." Sometimes these can be confusing when trying to figure out songs. You also know the pentatonic scale, so you can work on copying and/or developing your own little melodic phrases to build a solo. The "Blues by the Bar" book is good because it gives you examples of how the pentatonic scale is actually applied when soloing.

Another good thing to do is get some backing tracks and practice comping and/or soloing over them. There are lots of tracks available on the web. I've also found Band in a Box to be a big help (if not slightly unrealistic with the midi-generated sounds). In this software you can set up any chord progression you want, and it'll loop it forever so that you can just play and play and play along. Drives the wife nuts...

Finally, if you don't know how already, you can learn to read music so that you aren't limited to just learning music off CD by ear. These three books also include standard notation so that's a good place to start. Once you do that, the whole world opens up to you.


   
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GuitarFlame_com
(@guitarflame_com)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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You should really try to learn a simple song and play a simple solo in blues scale, you will see how many things you can "learn by doing". Scales are just starting points, there are many more things to do when playing. Trying to play what other played can teach you a lot.

http://www.GuitarFlame.com - Guitar stories from a semi-pro guitar player, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, personal view of rock music.


   
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lars
 lars
(@lars)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1120
 

For me - this is a process that looks something like this
(disclaimer - have never read the books you mentioned, have never taken lessons, extremely lazy when it comes to practicing, unfocused and impatient ... :-) )

Go ahead learn the scale patterns - with the E minor pentatonic you can play along to a E blues shuffle and every note you play is correct - but that doesn't make it interesting to listen to. You tend to play the scales up and down - right?

Listen to some of your favourite songs. Try to play the lead. Being fluent in scales you will be amazed of two things: 1) It is relatively easy to play a lot of even the more complicated sounding stuff, because you know where to put your fingers. 2) They don't follow the rules.

Learn the tricks they use and try to incorporate them into your own improvisation - be that appergios, small licks or turnarounds or what ever

Then you can ask your self - why does it work? Your theory knowledge might well make sense here
- this is around where I am at the moment. - maybe this is sort of a cheater-approach. But it fits my unstructured laziness just fine

Next step is probably simply to put everything together - develop your own unique style- record a few albums, earn a fortune and withdraw (with an old accoustic guitar) to a small Carribean Island :-)

lars

...only thing I know how to do is to keep on keepin' on...

LARS kolberg http://www.facebook.com/sangerersomfolk


   
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Anonymous
(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

the roots are important because they tell you where you are. you'll tend to want to emphasize the root note of the chord you're on when you're playing the "one" of the beat.


   
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GuitarFlame_com
(@guitarflame_com)
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I liked that thing with they don't follow the rules. Well, here comes the intuition and the talent of each player. And they actually follow rules just that some other complicated rules. For ex, you use an E blues scale, you improvise in E blues scale and at one point you see that the guy switched the scale in A blues. Is he breaking the rules? Well, not quite, he just uses other rules.

http://www.GuitarFlame.com - Guitar stories from a semi-pro guitar player, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, personal view of rock music.


   
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lars
 lars
(@lars)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1120
 

I liked that thing with they don't follow the rules. Well, here comes the intuition and the talent of each player. And they actually follow rules just that some other complicated rules. For ex, you use an E blues scale, you improvise in E blues scale and at one point you see that the guy switched the scale in A blues. Is he breaking the rules? Well, not quite, he just uses other rules.

ah - touchè :-)

I think my point was that they are not following the scales. It can well be a post hoc rationalisation to say that "he(sic!) is switching to D scale" when what the player is doing is playing a melody line that uses a C# and a F# - you can't deduct good melodies from scales, but you can deduct scales from melodies - or something like that :oops: :lol:

edit - Iknow this has been up MANY times before - but still it strikes me again how this is a strange and probably guitarist-ish way of thinking about playing. Would a saxofon-player think in scale patterns when improvising? When I play violin (far too seldom) and when improvising (even rarer) it is obviously good to know which key the piece is in. But that wouldn't put any real constraints on what fingerings to use or what notes are allowed. Hmm strange

...only thing I know how to do is to keep on keepin' on...

LARS kolberg http://www.facebook.com/sangerersomfolk


   
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