Basic Blues Improvisation

Now it's time to try and dip your toes into improvisation.

It might seem scary, but the more you do it the more comfortable you will feel about it. Many people wait way too long before giving it a go and then feel uncomfortable because they can play a lot better than they can improvise. It is great fun when you get into it, and I love watching people learning this, it's so cool when you realise that you can do it, the smile says it all!

Improv Tips

Here are a few little tips to help you get get off to a good start:

  • Use the space - Be happy to leave a few bars silent and let your brain catch up. Eventually you don't really want to be thinking about what you are doing at all, but in the early stages you are going to have to!
  • Don't play too much - Play a bit, then have a little rest, then play a bit more. Playing without any breaks sounds silly. Try and play how you speak, with punctuation and pauses for breath.
  • Keep it simple - Many great players (e.g., B.B. King) play amazing solos using very few notes. Aim for that, not playing fast and doing flashy stuff. You are only learning. Remember: KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid!
  • Listen - Listen to what you play and what is going on around you (i.e., your backing track or the mate you are jamming with.)

Check out my JamBlues albums which are collections of Blues backing tracks in lots of keys for you to jam with!!

Moving On...

More songs anyone?