Blues Guitar Solo Lesson
1. Bending out of pitchIt 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 4thOne 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!
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