Here’s a follow up post to my list of blues guitar solo techniques to improve. I got a great encouragement email from reader John Russell who added a suggestion about using chord voicings to create licks.
“Learn several 7th chord voicings, learn how to apply them and pull them apart to create licks. This will help you with your note choices. Yes, your idea of learning a solo and remembering the individual licks is a good thing. Not enough people do this and sound boring.”
I’ve heard suggestions like this before, people talking about using chords to create licks and solos rather than scales. But I admit that although I tried using some chord shapes for notes I didn’t really “get it” completely.
John suggested a video posted in YouTube’s “Riff of the week” channel that showed a 4 step process to develop licks and lead lines that uses chords as the base of these lines. This video shows a 4 step process that uses chord shapes and takes them apart to build lead lines.
John was also kind enough to record a video lesson showing a bunch of ideas for using 7th chord shapes to play blues guitar solos. In his own words:
“The video assumes much, that you know all the pentatonic patterns, the 7th chord shapes I am using, 7th chord formulae, your note locations by name, picking technique, and some typical blues licks using hammers, pulls, bends, slides.... a beginner watching this will be lost, I don't really take my time to teach what I'm playing, rather just to give some ideas, whip through some examples and show you my thought process as I'm playing. An experienced player will get this. I'm assuming you have a fairly good knowledge.”
There’s a lot going on in these two videos. I’m saving them here to come back to when I’ve finished working with the Blues Licks and Solos videos I started on last week.