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Blues Solos: What Are the Best First and Last Notes

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by chucke99, May 24, 2011.

  1. chucke99

    chucke99 Member

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    When playing a blues solo, and for simplicity's sake, let's just say its in the standard blues key, where you can play a pentatonic with a sharp 6 (Dorian) scale for the "1" part of the solo:

    When the band is playing the "1", what are the best notes to start a solo on? And, then, what's the best note to end the "1" section on?

    Same questions for the "4" parts and "5" parts of the solo. Let's keep the numbers steady, so when the solo shifts to the 4, the 4's root is still called 4. Make sense?

    For example, you could just say, "Start and stop on the 1 when you're in the 1; 4 to 4 in the 4, and 5 to 5 in the 5." But I do that now (sometimes) and it just seems so, well, uninventive.

    And I like starting on the 7 in any of the three parts, but is that the best?

    I hope I'm not being too confusing. And, if you must, go ahead and get technical. I can follow along with just about any explanation.
     
  2. Bikedude

    Bikedude Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't think Albert King could answer this question.
     
  3. StanG

    StanG Member

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    But he didnt land on his ending notes by chance, either.
     
  4. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Member

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    Bend up to the 5 and end on the 5. Beat the heck out of the tonic notes of the 3 chords in between. ;)
     
  5. Powderfinger

    Powderfinger Gold Supporting Member

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    Dorian's a natural 6 ain't it?
     
  6. mannish

    mannish Member

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    I would start with the humpnasian mode then do a quarter tone flip landing in the gladadian mode then move up the remorian mode finally ending on the trisector note in the scrolydian mode.

    just kidding but it sounded good
     
  7. Phalanx200bc

    Phalanx200bc Member

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    1st Note

    [​IMG]




    Last Note.....

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Echoes

    Echoes Senior Member

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    there are no 'best notes' just 'available notes'...how you arrange them and abuse them is up to you....
     
  9. Echoes

    Echoes Senior Member

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    no....no....start with the 'MIXO-humpnasian' ....classic rookie error to simply settle for the humpnasian blues intro gambit.
     
  10. evets618

    evets618 Senior Member

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    Not sure what the "standard" blues key is.
    Do you mean the key of C, because there's no sharps or flats in the key signature?
    C Dorian is C D Eb F G A Bb. Maybe we're talking C minor?
    The notes with the most "cliche value" would be the chord's arpeggio: C Eb G. But try to construct a solo without those notes.
    It's an interesting challenge.
     
  11. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    sounds like over-thinking to me ...
     
  12. uitar99

    uitar99 Member

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    Start on a note that sounds good to you, stop on the note when the hook comes out.
     
  13. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Member

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    Except that Eb is not in a C7 chord.

    Start out by exploring chord tones. Also play aroubd with the haf step difference between the major third of the I chord and the dom 7th if the IV chord, aka the major and minor 3rd of the I chord.

    Then, and only then, branch into the mixohumpnasian.
     
  14. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Cliches are cliches because they work so well.
    Bend 7th to root on 1 and 4th to 5th anywhere.
    We all know that so it must be the best, right?
     
  15. Cody

    Cody Well, look who’s undead! Silver Supporting Member

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    :rotflmao..:rotflmao
     
  16. Schroedinger

    Schroedinger Member

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    The root note seems to work. Has for hundreds of years, in fact.
     
  17. tweedster

    tweedster Member

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    Always liked starting on a slide from the 4 to the 5, or 5 hammer on 6 to 1.
     
  18. groove_king

    groove_king Member

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    Dude, you are TOTALLY overthinking this. Instead of thinking "which note", try to start thinking in terms of phrases. Listen closely to the masters - BB, Albert, Freddie, T-Bone, Otis, etc. and try to understand that these guys weren't thinking "which note of what scale", they're having a conversation, and the first phrase is the intro, the next phrase builds on the previous and maybe takes it a bit further. The next phrase might develop the previous ideas or you may change tack and begin a new idea, etc.

    The only limit is your imagination, but IMHO, you can't begin to speak the language unless you've listened to the masters A LOT, so bust out your record player and have at it.
     
  19. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    FWIW I seem to be fond of the V for starting and the I for ending(I like happy endings). For extra "oomph", when your solo spot arrives, don't start playing at once. Brush your nose or adjust your hat, re-position your guitar, give a nonchalant glance somewhere to the other side of the stage, THEN play your first note. Avoid stepping on your cord and yanking the plug out. That totally doesn't work. Trust me.
     
  20. KBR

    KBR Member

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    Root & the 5
    and don't overplay, in between, play with Soul, or don't call it BLUES.
    The million notes is called Fusion.
     

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