In Depth Analysis Of The Solo

The Big Picture

Your awareness here should be of the key of A, and your new blues-rock vocabulary. Your fingers must be totally sure and swift with several patterns and the various ideas often associated with rock & blues in the key -often simplified into the conglomerate or composite scale pictured below.

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To achieve that traditional rock or blues sound, the A minor pentatonic scale is seen as the scale of first choice, the scale that makes the classic rock and traditional blues sound.

First 4 Bars

Chord progressions normally work in groups of 2 or 4 bars, this is the natural phrasing for length of individual ideas that comprise solos in rock and blues material also. Amazingly, most of us like to play 2 bar phrases as a means of constructing solos, if you analyze your favorite rock and blues improvisations, you will most probably agree with me. The first 4 bars of the song clearly convey the sound of an A7 chord with a traditional blues lick This is achieved with working the wailing sound of the 3rd string, D fret VII, being bent up higher in pitch and released when it reaches the approximate sound of E. Just when the bend approximates the sound of an E note, an E note is in fact played on fret V of string 2 -the sharp wailing bend is the Chuck Berry influence. The initial two bar phrase is repeated in the second two bars, adding a sense of cohesiveness and reminding us that repetition of small musical ideas is a great melody producing technique

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Bars 5 & 6

The 2 bar phrase clearly announces and creates a D7 chord sound by beating on two notes found in a D7 Chord as is pictured below. In a simple yet convincing way the soloist has “played the change” -that is to say the solo reflects the sound and feel of the chord progression. The notes in the solo directly reflect the notes of a D7 chord and therefore its sound.

Bars 7 & 8

As the harmony switches back to A7 we switch our focus back to the key of A for a little bouncing on the A root note with alternate double stops found on frets V & VII. Think of these boxy licks as being derived from the master fingering pattern for the key of A. This returns us to the key and again “makes the change.”

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Bar 9

The solo wants to sound like an E7 Chord, or at least make a sound very reminiscent of or suggesting the personality and basic sound of the E7 Chord. For this purpose, you can use the 5 notes of the “house” pattern. This lick uses those 5 notes, played in order from lowest to highest. The 5th and final note in the sequence, D, is bent up to the pitch of E the sound is then returned to the original D pitch with a release bend. This is a very tasty and typical lick, keep it in mind for those situations when you really want to announce the V chord.

Bar 10

An all-time classic cooker, this little gem makes a great big rock and roll sound in no time flat. As a bonus the three nnote, of the lick D – C and A are all found in the spelling of a D7 chord.

Bar 11

The root of a chord, A over A7 in this case, always sounds good, the root is the best sounding and strongest possible lead note.

Bar 12

Playing two notes from the 12 fret form of E7, or more precisely, E & B, the root and fifth of the E7 chord. Alternatively, look at this as part of the rock and blues pattern, key of E 12th fret, as another way of making the changes.

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Backing Track & FAQ

The backing track below is the music you have been working minus the lead guitar part, practicn in time, with a track, metronome or drum machine is the fastest way to become a competant soloist.

The answer to my most frequently asked question is this; “Yes, at some point in their careers, top notch guitarists think of everything they do with this kind of detail”.

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Return To Lesson 19

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