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Musical Theory Abound!!!
 #7203  by abspatz
 Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:05 pm
so i'm trying to concentrate my time right now on learning how to play basic blues. and for the lead, i think the easiest place to start is the minor pentatonic scale. so i've been practicing that for a while, and have gotten to the point where i can resolve on the right note by ear and have definatly been getting better.

i finally broke down and decided to take a lesson or two to see where that could take me. at my first one, the guy talked to me about being more focused, and realizing which notes in the pentatonic scale go with which chord...and mapped out notes for e7, a7, and b7 to begin. i enjoyed that, i thought it added to my playing. but then in my 2nd lesson he started going toward arrpegios pretty hard and (it seems to me) started pushing toward more of a jazzy sound. i think it sounds good to throw some of that in here and there...but i haven't even gotten the basic scale down yet!

so my question here is: do i need to learn the arrpegios at this point or should i focus more on just the minor scale? this guy is definatly more focused on jazz...should i possibly look for a more bluesy teacher? any advice is appreciated!

 #7205  by HawaiianDedhed
 Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:51 pm
You may want to incorporate the blues scale along with the minor pentatonic. The blues scale just adds a sharped 4th (D# for blues scale in A) to the minor pentatonic. Small change, but you should hear the added bluesy goodness.

 #7209  by lyghtningod
 Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:18 am
As my guitar teacher says, the difference between jazz and blues depends on which notes you emphasize.

HawaiianDedhed mentions the sharp four/flat five note. This is D#/Eb. If this note is a passing tone, it sounds more bluesy, if this note is emphasized, it'll sound more jazzy.

If you don't like the direction your teacher is taking you, then remind him what you are there to learn. It's your time and money, so explain what you want, and if he won't deliver, find someone else.

 #7210  by wisedyes
 Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:49 am
Might I take this opportunity to highly reccomend the "Blues You Can Use" series of books to you. There is a website you can check out ( ), which also has some free lessons on it.

In all seriousness, this series is one of the absolute best I have ever come across for exactly what you are trying to learn. There is theory in it, but it is not overwhelming. Most importantly, the theory taught in the book is pertinent to the lessons at hand. It will teach you lead styles and rythm styles in every blues style there is.

Do yourself a huge favor and check it out.

 #7211  by HOWEYMAN
 Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:51 am
It seems when I sit down to practice lead, the blues is what come out. I don't know your setup for practicing over recorded tracks, but if its a poor mans like mine (cd player), I recommend checking out these "band in pocket" instrumental cds. I picked up the blues cd which has 10 or so tracks on different keys which are all cool blues tunes with no lead guitar, I tell ya, for me, this cd enabled me to really practice. I couldn't believe the stuff I could play when I had a blues band behind me (some stuff sounded better then others, thats for sure, lolololo!).
The tracks are long, so you can just keep working out the wrong notes. One thing for me though, I try to play something different on each track, incorporating the stuff I liked and worked out previuosly. Yea, check out the instrumental cds, they are, for me, a big help.

 #7212  by Crazy 9.5 Fingers
 Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:10 am
Another really great book, with CD, is Real Blues Guitar by Kenn Chipkin. That book takes you through both rhythm and lead work and definitely helped me a lot when I was starting out. Definitely learn all the shapes of the pentatonics and pay attention to knowing that every minor pentatonic scale is a major pentatonic in a different key. For example, E minor pentatonic is a G major pentatonic. IF you go the second degree of the minor pentatonic scale, (b3) for Em it is G, that is the major pentatonic counterpart. The sharp 4, aka the blue note of the minor pentatonic will be a b3 in the major pentatonic scale and works nicely as a passing tone so you can throw that note in there as well in a nice country run. Get to the point where the scales, more importantly the boxes, are seen easily all over the fretboard. One thing I wish I had done earlier on was really trying to figure out blues riffs off of CD's. Blues is a feel thing, not at all about scales. BB King for example can play one note and you know exactly who it is. That is what the blues is all about, tone, touch, and feel. The best way is to steal licks from CD's. Everyone has stolen from everyone in the Blues. I think Freddie King is a great place to start as he has raw tone and plays in an straight fwd style. "Freddie King is a Blues Master" is a great disc to nail some awesome blues riffs from. It wouldn't hurt to try and have a few bad relationships as well or get dumped by a few chicks.

 #7216  by strumminsix
 Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:13 am
+1 for "Blues you can use"

There are plenty of arpeggios in blues and it a trick you want to have in your bag. If you listen carefully to some blues tunes what the player actually does is accent the lead by arpeggios and it's so pleasant to the ears and simple. That simplicity allows you to add the proper feeling which makes blues, well beautiful...