What is common practice for solo-ing over minor blues?

fenderlead

Member
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5,053
For major blues, my understanding is that the most common approach is to play the minor pentatonic of the I chord over everything, and perhaps to a slightly lesser degree, the major pentatonic of each chord (I, IV, and V) (or maybe mix and match). Scour the internet though I might, I am not seeing anything too useful about the most common approach(es) for minor blues. I would guess it is to play the minor pentatonic of each chord (i, iv, and v or V) but I don't know.

Some ideas

 

JonR

Member
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16,936
Here's another minor blues that'll really get ya ...



Even Mingus's band didn't improvise on that head sequence... :crazy (But plenty of good clues in the solos about how to treat a minor jazz-blues. Key Eb minor, ideal for all you downtuned folk to play along... ;)

Of course, alternatively you could just learn a cool solo guitar arrangement of the head:


(Check out how he does the 7#9 chord in harmonics at 0:20.... :bow)
 

JonR

Member
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16,936
mM7 etude. The last chord, in particular, kinda sums up the minor blues for me.

Mancini=Genius

The last chord means "James Bond" to me - a man in a tux with an ironic raised eyebrow. It's all the rest that sums up "minor blues". :)
 
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1,226
I'll pick Am as the key for a minor blues.
Is the 5 chord Em or E7 ? That would make a difference.
I would use Am Pentatonic for the Am and Dm chord changes.
However the E note from Am Pentatonic scale might sound better with a F note instead when on the Dm chord. If you sustain an E note against Dm chord you could 1/2 step bends it up to a F note. Or use E sparingly against Dm.
If the 5 chord is E major or E7, a G# note might sound better than a G note.
In other words Am Pentatonic is the main thing, but you can add a chord tone that's outside that scale if you like.
 

Ed DeGenaro

Silver Supporting Member
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27,457
I'll pick Am as the key for a minor blues.
Is the 5 chord Em or E7 ? That would make a difference.
I would use Am Pentatonic for the Am and Dm chord changes.
However the E note from Am Pentatonic scale might sound better with a F note instead when on the Dm chord. If you sustain an E note against Dm chord you could 1/2 step bends it up to a F note. Or use E sparingly against Dm.
If the 5 chord is E major or E7, a G# note might sound better than a G note.
In other words Am Pentatonic is the main thing, but you can add a chord tone that's outside that scale if you like.
What minor Blues has a 5 minor?
And why wouldn’t you go to Dm for the iv
 

ripgtr

Member
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13,032
yeah my favorite blues are the colors outside the lines...but you could argue thats just when it becomes jazz.
Yes and no. I studied jazz for a while, could even play it some after a fashion, but I came up on straight blues. I think minor, I think Otis Rush.
But I play outside the box all the time. One of my goals as a player is actually putting swing and bebop theory into blues, or even country, and not make it "obvious", but more like "oh, that was cool".
You Can use the ideas and stay within the style.
 

ripgtr

Member
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13,032
For major blues, my understanding is that the most common approach is to play the minor pentatonic of the I chord over everything, and perhaps to a slightly lesser degree, the major pentatonic of each chord
Also, this understanding is not correct.

Major blues, for a lot of players, you are going to hear more a mix of dorian and mixolydian, though to be honest, you really don't hear modes. You play melodies that can, and often do, go "in and out of" modes in a single line.

I hear some players play true minor pent, I can't think of anyone who plays a true major pent beyond maybe a couple notes.
 

chanley

Gold Supporting Member
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1,423
step 1 - dime your boost and drive pedals and stomp on them immediately
step 2 - be sure to step all over the bass lines
step 3 - switch keys to the one you think is cooler, forget all that target note progression stuff.
step 4 - let the drummer follow you, it's your solo, it's all about you.
step 5 - rinse and repeat for next band as you will no longer be welcome in the current one if you follow the above steps.
 




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