Looking for spontaneous sounding blues/rock licks to practice

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by lgehrig4, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    I am a guitarist in training and I am looking for something in the blues, blues/rock vein that I can play when people ask me to play something. You know those laid back off the cuff sounding riffs that guys (like Hendrix, Clapton and many others) play right before they go into an actual song or after someone tunes a guitar? The only licks I know don't sound right for this purpose. They seem to only fit in a song.

    For an example of what I am refering to, go to this Fuchs link and check out the 1st Lucky 7 clip. After the clean part, Eddie Berman demonstrates the distortion with a cool sounding blues/jazz sounding number. I want to be able to play something like this, but I don't know how to make it up or figure it out by ear yet.

    http://www.fuchsaudiotechnology.com/html/sound_files.html

    thanks
    jeff
     
  2. Antero

    Antero Member

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    *cracks up*

    On a serious note, why note just improvise your way through a 12 bar, hitting the chord tones in the right places so as to emphasize the progression?
     
  3. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    I guess "spontaneous" isn't a good way to describe something practiced in advance. If I could do what you suggest I wouldn't have started this thread. I am getting tired of mindlessly wanking or learning a piece of a song that is not fun to play unless you are doing it to music.

    I understand that I can learn this, but I need a quick fix b/c I am losing my motivation to play. It gets boring in the basement playing to a washer & dryer. Whenever someone asks me to play something I have to resort to Stairway or some common blues lick that is too quick(unless I repeat it)


    Bottom line, can anyone help me learn what the guy in the video is playing?
     
  4. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey,

    While I don't really have the time to transcribe the whole demo, there's a couple "tricks" he's using that you should definitely know about. Since it sounds to me like you want to understand what he's doing--as opposed to only copping the licks note for note--then I hope this is of use.

    The stuff that I'm guessing sounds cool to you is almost certainly his use of a particular dominant 7th voicing that he plays at various places on the neck. He slides this shape around on the neck, approaching chords from a half step above (or below). Both are very cool blues tricks you should learn.

    He's using a three note voicing that's very common (essential!) in blues. You play the root, the third, and the 7th (that is to say, the flat seventh) of the chord only--you omit the 5th.

    You use your middle finger to play the root (on the A string). First finger plays the 3rd (on the D string). And your third finger plays the 7th (on the G string). So, for an E7 chord using this particular voicing, you'd play: 7th fret, A string, second finger; 6th fret, D string, first finger; 7th fret, G string, third finger.

    Now, try moving the exact same shape up a half step (which would make it an F7) Play it, and then slide down a half step back to the E7. Using the exact same shape, do the same "moves" on the fourth and third frets.

    Another, similar shape he uses --I think--I'd have to watch it a few more times--is a min 6 shape. Again, very common in blues. You finger it exactly the same way as the chord above. The only difference is you play it on the G, B, and high E strings. This time, however, when you're playing this shape, you are grabbing the root, flat third, and the sixth of the chord. He slides this shape down chromatically.

    Also, the very first chord he plays after the first solo in the distortion part is an E7#9 chord. Or, as some people (or me at least) call it, the "Hendrix chord". It's the exact same chord as above, but you add your fourth finger on the 8th fret, B string.

    So, the bottom line? Get these chord "grips" under your fingers and learn to move them around the fretboard in a 12 bar blues. You can then add single note lines (like the pentatonic licks you probably already know) in between the chords as you see fit.

    Also--get a teacher or some good books or videos! There's tons of stuff out there!

    Hope this helped.

    Jeff
     
  5. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    Awesome! Thanks Jeff
     
  6. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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    Nice post, jeff.
    I just wanted to give you props for explaining in a real basic understandable way something that the guy asking the question could use.
    So often we (myself included) get all excited about how it would be cool if the person knew all this cool stuff that we happen to know, and before we're thru, we've got a page and a 1/2 about how "the 3rd of the V is the same as the Major 7th of the I, so Harmonic minor works great here! See - it's got a C#, D, Eb, G,..etc..."
    which is of no practical help to whoever came here seeking advice.

    Anyway, nice post.
     
  7. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    Get hold of "Blues You Can Use" - a simple book/CD, some useful stuff in it in easy to digest form.
     
  8. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Just copy some Albert King, BB King, Clapton, Hendrix and SRV.

    That ought to give you an entire catalog of lines to play
     
  9. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey Tom,

    Thanks for the comments about my post. I agree with you 100%, btw.

    I realized I needed to correct something in my original post. You should slide that 7th chord shape from the 3rd to 2nd frets--not from the 4th to 3rd frets, as I originally said. I was asleep at the wheel.

    If you go from E7 (7th fret root, A string) down to B7 (2nd fret root...A string), then you've just moved from the I to the V in the key of E (bearing in mind that blues progressions use dom. 7th chords in the I IV V). Practice tip: Move this shape to an A7, the IV chord, also (approach a half step below or from a half step above, if you want).

    Someone else mentioned "Blues You Can Use". I think I have that one myself, actually. Definitely pick it up.

    Like Jack said--transcribe licks. I know you said you have a tough time transcribing some things--but we all did (or do). Just keep working at it. Get some software that'll slow the licks down. Work on your phrasing of those licks, too. Try to cop every nuance, if you can.

    Subscribe to Guitar Player. They've got several lessons every month aimed at beginners, intermediates and advanced players. There's *always* something in there to learn if you are feeling in a rut.

    Most of all, take it slowly, know that you are in it for the very long haul, and don't ever stop playing (well, you can take breaks...but you know what I mean. ;) ) The thing that concerned me most was when you said you almost felt like stopping playing. Whenever you're in a rut or feeling like you suck (god knows I've felt that way!), or whatever...don't let the negative thoughts take over. Go learn a new chord or two. Just sit for a while and play them. Get that new sound into your head and under your fingers. Listen to a totally different style of music for a change of pace (jazz, country [don't laugh, there are some monster country players!], metal...whatever you want). Transcribe a new lick. Study a Guitar Player lesson. Crack open a book. Put in an instructional video. There are a million things you can do to stay inspired. Finally, just be willing to keep learning--it's endless!

    Jeff
     
  10. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    Just to clarify, I meant to thank Tom for the kind words first. The rest of the post was for the other Jeff, the original person who started the thread.
     
  11. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    I couldn't stop. I have too much money invested :D Actually, it's a litle frustrating at times b/c I don't know anyone who plays nor do I have the time to take lessons (new house, 2 kids, 2 1/2 hr commute, yadda, yadda). I have a ton a good books, but it's just gets boring......we'll at least I finally got an attenuator so I can somewhat enjoy my amps now.

    thanks again for your help!
     
  12. Mike Roberts

    Mike Roberts Member

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    Jeff- thanks for starting this thread. Very cool that you referenced that clip. When I listened to it, I wanted to learn what was going on too.

    Not sure if you're hip to the Blues "backing track" CDs that are out there... if not, you gotta check them out. Full band playing minus the guitar. Some are very high quality. Really cool for practicing over. I found that things really started to "flow" as I used them. Time flys by when you are noodling over a solid backing track. Allows trying licks over chords which is very beneficial.

    Jeff- thanks for the thorough, detailed post on what was being played in the clip. I sure do appreciate you taking the time to spell it out.
     
  13. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    Mike--You're welcome. I hope it was of some use.

    I've since discovered some other books I'd recommend. Check out Dave Rubin's series "Inside the Blues". There are several volumes. "12 Bar Blues" and "Blues Turnarounds" might be as good a place as any to start. But they all look pretty good to me.

    Jeff
     
  14. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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    Mike's so right about using backing tracks.

    Licks over chords - That's what it's all about. And even in the "solo" type of playing (guitar store, demo clips, etc.) that the original question refered to, one of the keys to why some of these guys sound so good is that they are:
    - spelling out the chord changes within the single note lines
    and/or
    - intersprersing chord fragments (triple stops, double stops, sixths, whole chords, etc.) into they're playing to give a chords + solo effect.
    Check it out, your mind remembers the chord sound and so when you hear a single note it sounds to be in that context, even though in reality the chord is not still playing.
     
  15. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    I have tons of books with blues and rock licks. I will take your advice and buy a few of those backing track CDs. Since posting this I have transcribed most of the three video clips. Some areas I just can figure out, but for the most part I got it down (not up to speed). I must say that the processes of transcribing these has made me a better player and my ear has gotten better. I feel like I can pick up things a little quicker now.

    Thanks for all your feedback
     
  16. FUSER

    FUSER Member

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    This and part II of the same.

    Part two has some advanced and longer pieces.
     
  17. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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    If possible, make a pilgrimage to NGW and take Matt Smith's Blues class.
     
  18. bobbymack

    bobbymack Supporting Member

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    +1 The guy's asking an honest question....
     
  19. KHK

    KHK Silver Supporting Member

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    +2 Jeff
     
  20. Yossi

    Yossi Member

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    I would recomend either getting a Dr Rythm drum machine or a Loop station so that you have some music to play to.
    The Drum machine has bass and drums, about 500 presets that you can easily change the tempo and the key. It shows the chords that are playing in real time. It's a great way to practice so that you are having fun. The Loop machine is great because you do the rythm parts and then play the lead over them. You can hear both if you overdub and then get some great feedback to help you..

    Since you only have limited time to work on the guitar, remember that it's called PLAYING guitar. Play means fun.

    Have fun and enjoy it. Otherwise if it becomes a chore you will not want to stick with it.

    Just my 2 cents.


    Yossi
     

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