For our final unit we will really push you, with a classic blues style solo utilising all of the lead theory we have been working with on this course. We will tackle each lick, one by one, to ensure you can take your favourite bits of the solo and apply them to your own improvisation. Check out the first video to get started and click here to check out the Materials Section below to access backing tracks and interactive tab!
Just to before we dive into the first lick, lets make sure we know what is happening with the backing track. We don’t need to know exactly how to play the track, but we do need to know 1/1 what the changes are. This is a 12 bar blues in A, and the progression is this:
| I | I | I | I |
| IV | IV | I | I |
| V | IV | Turnaround | Turnaround |
That is all the info we should need at this point, especially as we now know and understand the concept of a I, IV, V progression. It is important to know the chords underneath the solo as you can then see why certain licks sound the way they do, and start to target notes. For the first lick, we use the following scale shapes:
As we move into the second part of the solo, we move positions on the fretboard. We are now using the pentatonic box 3 and 4 (3 in minor and 4 in major). These are some truly classic blues style licks, so try to really focus on when you are using the major, when minor, and when you are neatly blending the two. Here are those scale shapes to help:
We now return to the original position, based around that minor pentatonic box 1 on the 5th fret. We are bringing in the blues scale here as well, to use some of those cool passing notes that add an extra bit of spice to your blues playing! Once again, notice the subtle use-age of the major 3rd, from the major pentatonic, to really highlight the return to that A7 chord. We then bring in that CAGED chord theory to grab a few A7 chord shapes! Here are the scale shapes:
For our final lick we use a slightly more intricate blending of the two scales. With this lick it really feels like you are playing one whole major/minor crossover scale, so this is an important one to remember! We also grab at the 5 chord at the end of the turnaround to show off how well we understand the chord progression in the background! Here are those scale shapes again:
You’ve done it guys! Well done for making it this far and working all the way through the course. In this lesson Dan takes the time to show you how to, once again, take the licks you like and re-purpose them into your own playing and song-writing. This process is absolutely crucial for any blues player and should not be overlooked. Try to spend a good few weeks getting these licks firmly rooted into your own improvisation.
You've now completed and taken a huge step forwards in your guitar playing journey.
Feel free to bask in glory for a while, or go ahead and try another course if you're hungry for more.