Here is a review of the Blues Licks and Solos DVD by Jody Worrell from from Watch & Learn. I’ve been using this for a little over two weeks now and I’ve had lots of fun. In the first part of the review I’ll describe what’s in the product, then in the second part I’ll let you know what I liked about it so far.
In A Nutshell
The course contains 3 hours of videos and an accompanying book that teach and demonstrate twelve blues guitar solos on six different songs. The solos are aimed at beginner-intermediate guitarists and beyond and demonstrates the use of different scales.
Each solo is based on a different scale and demonstrates its use to create three blues licks that are played over a 12 bar blues chorus. The main benefits of the course are that you learn 12 model solos you can reproduce and at the same time you get to see how to create licks from the scales and assemble them to make a solo.
Songs, Scales and Solos
The course contains 6 blues songs styled on famous blues tunes. Two solos are presented for each song, usually each using a different scale. The various solos demonstrate use of the minor pentatonic, minor blues, harmonic minor, hybrid blues, mixolydian and major pentatonic scales.
Each lesson follows the same practical format:
1. Learn, or review, the scale used
2. Learn 3 licks from the scale
3. Assemble the licks to play the solo
Each step is shown in detail in the videos. Jody’s explanations are clear and the split left-hand/right-hand view makes it easy to see what both the fretting and picking hand are doing.
Although the main focus of the course is the licks I was pleasantly surprised by the section that presents the blues guitar techniques used in the solos. In particular I picked up some useful tips on bends, vibrato and slide techniques.
- A tip on bends shows how to mute surrounding strings with the first finger.
- Some good vibrato tips with close up of Jody’s vibrato technique.
- Use of the thumb as an anchor when performing slides.
It’s quite possible to learn to play all the licks and solos from the video only. But there is also an accompanying 57 page book that shows all the scales, licks and solos in the course in tab and standard notation. It also includes some notes on what’s going on in the licks. You’ll also find sections with chord charts for the six songs on the audio CD, tuning notes and the blues guitar techniques used in the course.
Audio Jam Tracks
Full-length backing tracks of the six songs at both normal and slow tempo accompany the course on an audio CD (or in mp3 format in the downloadable version). The tracks are professionally recorded to very high quality and are great fun to play along with.
Blues Licks And Solos is a fun product and is packed with useful information. I still have plenty more solos to learn and lots to study applying the ideas shown to creating solos of my own to play over the audio jam tracks.
The main lessons I have picked up so far apart from the licks I’ve learned are:
1. Thinking in terms of three four-bar licks is a great tool, it makes it easier to keep track of where I am in the progression as I solo.
2. Don’t mix in too many ideas at once. The licks shown focus on just one scale, and they sound great.
3. Some helpful tips on bend, vibrato and slide techniques.
I didn’t find anything to dislike in this product, it’s very well thought out and put together. Overall I think it is great value for money and would be useful for any blues guitar player learning to solo or more advanced players looking for some ideas to steal.
Blues Licks And Solos DVD or video download (this review refers to the video download version), Jody Worrell, Watch & Learn, $19.95. For details visit the product page at http://www.freeguitarvideos.com/books/BLS.html, you can also watch a sample video and see sample pages from the book.