Night Classes are ten-week TrueFire
Welcome to week 2 of Intermediate Blues Rock Solos, the TrueFire
Good solos are based on good listening skills, particularly an awareness of the rhythm
Jeff showcases some great chromatic moves along with the use of chord tones for all the chords in the progression, although several of these chord tones are not from the E minor pentatonic scale. This is one of the fundamental features of the blues; the chords are typically major while the scale is minor. Chord tones have the strongest pull over the chords even though the major 3rds aren’t part of the minor pentatonic scale. They still sound good despite this fact. In fact, the first note Jeff plays is a G#, the E7’s major 3rd.
Another soloing option over a blues progression is using the Mixolydian scale containing the major 3rd. It is a regular major scale with a b7th, which is again part of the chord. The Mixolydian for E7 is E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D and E.
When playing the E blues scale through the progression, you are able to remain on this scale over each of the three chords, while the Mixolydian requires changing scales for each chord.
Read on for the full
This video contains Jeff’s solo performance. At specific points, Jeff accents notes and chord tones from the Mixolydian scale. These notes jump out of the solo. The first note is a major 3rd chord tone over the E7, followed by another at the end of measure ten over the A7, here a C#. Neither note is part of the E minor pentatonic scale. For the B7, Jeff plays a lick incorporating an F#, located at the 14th fret of the first string. The E minor pentatonic scale doesn’t contain an F#, this note comes from the B7. By playing chord tones, you address the chord and show that you know where you are within the progression.
Jeff shows us the ropes in the second video. He uses the question-and-answer motif in the first two bars that is repeated. The second time, the question remains stays the same while the answer changes, a common set up when soloing. Next, Jeff runs through the E Mixolydian scale across a two octave pattern.
Practice Regimen For Week 2
Day 1: Review last week’s material while paying close attention to the arpeggios. Move the C7 arpeggio one fret up to play the D7 arpeggio. Play with the jam track using this arpeggio with the D minor pentatonic scale. Jam for a minimum of ten minutes sliding between blues scale positions five, one and two using the fingering Jeff demonstrates.
Day 2: Study video one’s solo from this week’s lesson. Print the chart and learn the question-and-answer riff over the first four bars. Once you have it down, play it over the jam track every time the E7 comes around, answering it with a lick from the E minor pentatonic scale. Each lick should be a measure or less in length.
Day 3: Watch video two, then play along with the jam track. Improvise while targeting the tonics of the chords. The root of every chord should jump out, e.g. the last note of the lick should contain the tonic. Next, find the major 3rds of each chord near the first position blues scale. These notes are a G# for the E7, the C# for the A7 and the D# for the B7. Play a few cycles of the progression using these three notes exclusively.
Day 4: Learn the individual licks from the solo and play them without the jam track, tapping your foot to keep the tempo both steady and manageable. Next, start the jam track and improvise while targeting the roots and major 3rds of the chords. Do this again mixing the tonics and major 3rds with E blues scale licks – use the major 3rd for one lick and the blues scale for the next. Locate the other Mixolydian scales for the tonics A7 and B7 near the E blues scale position we’ve been using. Remember that the Mixolydian is a major scale with an added b7th – chart these new positions out.
Day 5: Play the solo with the jam track. Then, improvise over the jam track using the Mixolydian scale of each chord: the E Mixolydian for the E7, the A Mixolydian for the A7 and the B Mixolydian scale for the B7.
Night Classes are ten-week TrueFire