Blues Guitar Solo Lesson / Music lessons
Blues Brothers Jailhouse rock

Blues Guitar Solo Lesson

5 Ways To Ruin Your Blues Guitar Solo
Are you frustrated about your Blues solos? You see other players at the jam sessions and they seem to sound much better than you? Your solo sounds like it's not "going anywhere"? You may have one or more of the problem above, and if you are like me you have tried and asked what to do to some of the more experienced player you know. What most "old cats" will tell you is that you should learn "how to break the rules" (but what rules anyway?) or that you simply have to "let it go". Forgive me for being blunt, but these are only good-sounding platitudes that are unlikely to be of any help to you. I have heard a lot of these from musicians who can't or won't explain you in detail what your musicianship is lacking. And hey, if your Blues solo do not sound great, this means that you are definitively missing something and you better discover it soon if you want to become a better player and leave your buddies with their jaw on the floor. Taking years to learn from trial-and-error and is not really an option you want to take. Well, in my experience most Blues players that are not yet accomplished tend to do all the same 5 mistakes until someone warns them. Every single one of these mistakes can prevent your solo from sounding great, and you may not even have noticed them yet! Or worse, you know that you are doing one of the things I list below, but you think it's ok because it sounds good to you, or it makes your life easier. Well, forgive me for saying that, but being a Blues player does not excuse you from studying your instrument. And now that I have captured your sympathy with this last statement, let's have a look at some of the problems that may prevent you and many other Blues players from realizing their musical potential.

1. Bending out of pitch

It may have happened to you that you hear someone improvising on stage and every now and then one or two notes sound out of tune. It's clearly not the guitar being out of tune, otherwise the whole solo will sound bad. What I just described is the most common symptom of a player that bends out of tune. Every time you bend a string you should bend up to a very specific pitch, and not simply bend "up". Sure, in the Blues style we also have the "smear" bends I.e. bends of less than a semitone from the original pitch, but these bends are the exception not the rule, and should definitely not used as an excuse for not working on the intonation of your bends. The easiest way to learn how to bend in tune is to use a tuner to check if you are hitting the target pitch precisely. Since the tuner is unforgiving you may not be able to do it the first time you try, but if you stick to it it will become second nature in little time.

2. Consistently avoiding the interval of a 4th

One difficult motion that beginner players consistently avoid is the so-called "rolling motion": using the same finger to play two consecutive notes on the same fret but different strings. This is one of the techniques used to play and interval of a 4th on the guitar (and the only way if you play on a pentatonic pattern), so unless you are familiar with it, you are avoiding it too. As the other ones, this problem is not immediately evident to the player, but believe me, if you never play the interval of a 4th, the people who listen to you are definitely noticing that something is missing, even if they cannot put a name on it. So what can we do about it? Two things: 1. The first one is to learn properly the rolling motion. As it is difficult to explain it in a written article, I have prepared a free Blues guitar video for you that explains how to perform this movement. 2. The second one is to actually invent some licks for you to use that actually use the rolling motion. If you fail to do that, then you will never use the rolling motion in a real solo. Use it or lose it!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
How to play lead electric blues guitar solo skills lesson
How to play lead electric blues guitar solo skills lesson
Blues Guitar Lesson - Robben Ford Style Solo
Blues Guitar Lesson - Robben Ford Style Solo
Folsom Prison Blues Solo Guitar Lesson
Folsom Prison Blues Solo Guitar Lesson
INTERESTING FACTS
Share this Post

Related posts

Blues Guitar video Lessons

Blues Guitar video Lessons

JUNE 24, 2017

In this series of lessons we will explore various fingerstyle blues guitar styles and techniques. This first lesson focuses…

Read More
Blues Guitar Lessons London

Blues Guitar Lessons London

JUNE 24, 2017

Welcome to Guitar Lessons Hackney! My name is Nora Bite and I am professional guitarist/composer living in London city with…

Read More