Art            Lip               Welcome                  to my universe
I‘m a: singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist/trumpetplayer, producer/performer, photographer/visual artist, science fiction writer
© All works and content under Creative Commons License BY NC ND

Tutorial

The Mainstream Soloist

Blues

Yes - blues seems a little bit outdated. And - yes - there are hundreds of variations more of it. I use the standard 12 bar version here: C7 | C7 | C7 | C7 | F7 | F7 | C7 | C7 | G7 | F7 | C7 | C7 Every chord fills one bar (or the pattern can be doubled = 2 bars per chord or be halved = 2 chords per bar - with no significantly differing result). As a reminder for people who didn't read the chapter about chords carefully: A C7 is build with the tones C (root tone), E (major third), G (perfect fifth) and Bb (minor seventh). The other chords have to be transposed following the same rules, e.g.: F7   = F |A |C |Eb G7  = G |H |D |F The chord structure of transposed keys doesn't change of course. Therefore the tones need to be parallel-shifted only to transpose them. On guitar that is relatively easy - other instruments call for the learning of new fingerings. There are very good reasons to use the above 12-bar pattern continuously here: - The cadence that it is based on can be found in nearly every successful musical style, often hidden under a completely different harmonization and over completely different grooves. Everyone who masters that pattern has an immediate soloistic access road to a giant part of mainstream. - the trainee is supposed to develop his own pool of riffs, that he can fall back on intuitively (this would be made more difficult if he would have to learn 1000 blues variations first). - the scales and riffs useable in blues are applieable to nearly every other mainstream style  with good results it is important to learn that in all keys, because: sooner or later you'll see that there's much more parallelity and wide-ranged practicability in scales than only Major and Minor. This is caused by the modes, as we've seen in a chapter above. Now to the hints for improvising on the blues: A first pointer (not only valid for the blues but for every solo): the chord tones cannot only be played unison (as chords by the backing section) but also as single notes. And of course the order of tones in that tone- chain is bound only to your taste and needs. This method of performing chords by soloists is called playing an "arpeggio". For bass players and other members of the comping section in the band it is standard to use that technique. Now to some specific scales practicable in blues: 7th blues (The audible example here is in C#((!)):   applicable scales over the whole pattern: - the blues scale - blues pentatonic scale applicable scales over one chord type of the pattern only (the examples refer to the C7 chord each): - C7 arpeggio (C | E | G | Bb) - C Major arpeggio (C | E | G |) applicable modal scales: - F Major, starting on C (5th step, "Mixolydian) - Major pentatonic scale 9th blues  (the audible example here is in C):   All variants listed for the 7th blues are a match for the 9th blues too. The following "good sounding" possibilities appear additionally: The C7/9 can - among other - also be interpreted as Em7b5 (we could say, that the Em7b5 is "hidden" in the C7/9). Therefore we can use the scale of D Major here, starting with A#(Bb) (starting on the 4th step of the scale): A# | C | D| E | F | G | A | A# as well as the Em7b5 arpeggio: E | G | Bb | D both of the above mentioned scale options are valid in relation to the C7/9 chord only, means: the scales have to be transposed with the chord change - if the basic key of the song changes, then it's necessary to do that in any case. 7th#9 blues            (the audible example here is in C):   Since a C7#9 is a C7 with added minor third layered on top (the #9, specificly here: the D#) - we can here -  again additionally to the options of the 7th and 9th blues - play Bb Major too, starting on C (2.step of Bb Major): Bb | C | D | Eb | F | G | A | Bb Next we are turning to the a-little-bit-weirder side: Harmonic Minor in the following variant is a match too for C7#9: C | D | D# | F# | G | A | A# | C There are a lot of options left applicable for a C7 now: jumps in thirds and sixths of the root scale for example and more jazzy scales. I will deal with intervallic jumps in a special chapter later. Because intervallic jumps are usuable and valuable for the soloist over any material - not over blues only. Concerning jazz scales: the chapter about outside-playing deals with some. And as I mentioned several times already: it's the goal of this tutorial to provide the reader with the basics in constructing a mainstream solo. With the blues scales and modes at hand, and in combination with the appropriate arpeggios, a player is able to create a whole musician's life if he wants to play hamonically and "inside". By the way: arpeggios are one of several basic foundation stones used when constructing melodies:) I don't want to tell anyone what riff to play specificly. A soloists needs fantasy as the main resource. We will deal with more sophisticated techniques later too - but a house is build up from the basement and our basement is build with scales and arpeggios. Some general, intermediate remarks to questions that may have rosen up in the meantime: - I want to enable you to play "inside", not sitting helplessly before a stereotype track - Everyone who plays "outside" picks some favorite tricks that form his individual style - you ARE uncomparable - aren't you? - The advanced player is distinguishable from the beginner in mastering: "inside-playing", phrasing, timing, rhythm, dynamics, articulation (VERY important!) and he has fantasy, he is curious, he checks new possibilities and perspectives. If he stops that - then he isn't advancing anymore. Our ideal soloist is quite a Renaissance-Type, he is an adventurer, he doesn't give up fast. He works hard for his success. He has charisma, he has something to tell emotionally and intellectually. And  - hey - that's the reason why the girls love him;) The 7#11 blues in the audible samples here    (the audible example here is in C): is there for demonstration purposes only. I just want to show, where you can get with the blues. I give no scale hints for that one - the blues scale is fitting anyway. As mentioned, I have a chapter about playing weirder here too- and - well - you know the given chord structure:) And every cook has to keep some of his recipes secret:) A last word about the blues: There is NO scale and NO chord structure that can NOT be used in playing or constructing the blues generally. And there is NO groove, No beat and NO rhythm that cannot be turned into blues. Have fun exploring:)   Objectives (also valid for every other audible sample that I provide): - practice every pattern in all keys - concentrate on 1 to 5 riffs per rehearsal that you really master in all keys: we want to build a riff pool. -The riffs have to be "burned" into our brains in a way that we can play them "sleepwalking". Our fingers play these riffs automatically - "Mr. Brain" is calculating the next steps already in that time. - practice the keys in a chromatic order - you will get routine - try to develop rhythmical shrewdness - they are that extra something (The blues scale is learned fast - but without rhythmical refinement - it's nothing). - Yes - you are supposed to create the riffs personally: Take the riff singing in your head and try to play it. If that's too hard to master at the beginning - split it into playable parts and practice those. If you "REALLY" have no idea (You're sure, you are a soloist?) - then go and steal riffs from the Great. From the oldest available records. The American-Afro originals. The Stones did that too;) You say - what? You never steal riffs? And where did that riff in your head come from? You heard it or you heard parts of it and recombined it unconsciously. Since the invention of the wheel, unconsciously recombined knowledge plus a minor error that is turned into a new idea are the way inventions are made. Even if you are exploring physics or mathematics -  you are recombining knowledge. And the guy who invented the wheel - he might have seen a rolling stone as inspiration or something like that.

Next

© All works and content under Creative Commons License BY NC ND

Tutorial

The Mainstream Soloist

Blues

Yes - blues seems a little bit outdated. And - yes - there are hundreds of variations more of it. I use the standard 12 bar version here: C7 | C7 | C7 | C7 | F7 | F7 | C7 | C7 | G7 | F7 | C7 | C7 Every chord fills one bar (or the pattern can be doubled = 2 bars per chord or be halved = 2 chords per bar - with no significantly differing result). As a reminder for people who didn't read the chapter about chords carefully: A C7 is build with the tones C (root tone), E (major third), G (perfect fifth) and Bb (minor seventh). The other chords have to be transposed following the same rules, e.g.: F7   = F |A |C |Eb G7  = G |H |D |F The chord structure of transposed keys doesn't change of course. Therefore the tones need to be parallel- shifted only to transpose them. On guitar that is relatively easy - other instruments call for the learning of new fingerings. There are very good reasons to use the above 12-bar pattern continuously here: - The cadence that it is based on can be found in nearly every successful musical style, often hidden under a completely different harmonization and over completely different grooves. Everyone who masters that pattern has an immediate soloistic access road to a giant part of mainstream. - the trainee is supposed to develop his own pool of riffs, that he can fall back on intuitively (this would be made more difficult if he would have to learn 1000 blues variations first). - the scales and riffs useable in blues are applieable to nearly every other mainstream style  with good results it is important to learn that in all keys, because: sooner or later you'll see that there's much more parallelity and wide-ranged practicability in scales than only Major and Minor. This is caused by the modes, as we've seen in a chapter above. Now to the hints for improvising on the blues: A first pointer (not only valid for the blues but for every solo): the chord tones cannot only be played unison (as chords by the backing section) but also as single notes. And of course the order of tones in that tone-chain is bound only to your taste and needs. This method of performing chords by soloists is called playing an "arpeggio". For bass players and other members of the comping section in the band it is standard to use that technique. Now to some specific scales practicable in blues: 7th blues (The audible example here is in C#((!)):   applicable scales over the whole pattern: - the blues scale - blues pentatonic scale applicable scales over one chord type of the pattern only (the examples refer to the C7 chord each): - C7 arpeggio (C | E | G | Bb) - C Major arpeggio (C | E | G |) applicable modal scales: - F Major, starting on C (5th step, "Mixolydian) - Major pentatonic scale 9th blues  (the audible example here is in C):   All variants listed for the 7th blues are a match for the 9th blues too. The following "good sounding" possibilities appear additionally: The C7/9 can - among other - also be interpreted as Em7b5 (we could say, that the Em7b5 is "hidden" in the C7/9). Therefore we can use the scale of D Major here, starting with A#(Bb) (starting on the 4th step of the scale): A# | C | D| E | F | G | A | A# as well as the Em7b5 arpeggio: E | G | Bb | D both of the above mentioned scale options are valid in relation to the C7/9 chord only, means: the scales have to be transposed with the chord change - if the basic key of the song changes, then it's necessary to do that in any case. 7th#9 blues            (the audible example here is in C):   Since a C7#9 is a C7 with added minor third layered on top (the #9, specificly here: the D#) - we can here -  again additionally to the options of the 7th and 9th blues - play Bb Major too, starting on C (2.step of Bb Major): Bb | C | D | Eb | F | G | A | Bb Next we are turning to the a- little-bit-weirder side: Harmonic Minor in the following variant is a match too for C7#9: C | D | D# | F# | G | A | A# | C There are a lot of options left applicable for a C7 now: jumps in thirds and sixths of the root scale for example and more jazzy scales. I will deal with intervallic jumps in a special chapter later. Because intervallic jumps are usuable and valuable for the soloist over any material - not over blues only. Concerning jazz scales: the chapter about outside-playing deals with some. And as I mentioned several times already: it's the goal of this tutorial to provide the reader with the basics in constructing a mainstream solo. With the blues scales and modes at hand, and in combination with the appropriate arpeggios, a player is able to create a whole musician's life if he wants to play hamonically and "inside". By the way: arpeggios are one of several basic foundation stones used when constructing melodies:) I don't want to tell anyone what riff to play specificly. A soloists needs fantasy as the main resource. We will deal with more sophisticated techniques later too - but a house is build up from the basement and our basement is build with scales and arpeggios. Some general, intermediate remarks to questions that may have rosen up in the meantime: - I want to enable you to play "inside", not sitting helplessly before a stereotype track - Everyone who plays "outside" picks some favorite tricks that form his individual style - you ARE uncomparable - aren't you? - The advanced player is distinguishable from the beginner in mastering: "inside-playing", phrasing, timing, rhythm, dynamics, articulation (VERY important!) and he has fantasy, he is curious, he checks new possibilities and perspectives. If he stops that - then he isn't advancing anymore. Our ideal soloist is quite a Renaissance-Type, he is an adventurer, he doesn't give up fast. He works hard for his success. He has charisma, he has something to tell emotionally and intellectually. And  - hey - that's the reason why the girls love him;) The 7#11 blues in the audible samples here    (the audible example here is in C): is there for demonstration purposes only. I just want to show, where you can get with the blues. I give no scale hints for that one - the blues scale is fitting anyway. As mentioned, I have a chapter about playing weirder here too- and - well - you know the given chord structure:) And every cook has to keep some of his recipes secret:) A last word about the blues: There is NO scale and NO chord structure that can NOT be used in playing or constructing the blues generally. And there is NO groove, No beat and NO rhythm that cannot be turned into blues. Have fun exploring:)   Objectives (also valid for every other audible sample that I provide): - practice every pattern in all keys - concentrate on 1 to 5 riffs per rehearsal that you really master in all keys: we want to build a riff pool. -The riffs have to be "burned" into our brains in a way that we can play them "sleepwalking". Our fingers play these riffs automatically - "Mr. Brain" is calculating the next steps already in that time. - practice the keys in a chromatic order - you will get routine - try to develop rhythmical shrewdness - they are that extra something (The blues scale is learned fast - but without rhythmical refinement - it's nothing). - Yes - you are supposed to create the riffs personally: Take the riff singing in your head and try to play it. If that's too hard to master at the beginning - split it into playable parts and practice those. If you "REALLY" have no idea (You're sure, you are a soloist?) - then go and steal riffs from the Great. From the oldest available records. The American-Afro originals. The Stones did that too;) You say - what? You never steal riffs? And where did that riff in your head come from? You heard it or you heard parts of it and recombined it unconsciously. Since the invention of the wheel, unconsciously recombined knowledge plus a minor error that is turned into a new idea are the way inventions are made. Even if you are exploring physics or mathematics -  you are recombining knowledge. And the guy who invented the wheel - he might have seen a rolling stone as inspiration or something like that.

Next

Art Lip                Welcome to my universe