The vast majority of blue and blues rock solos are based around the Pentatonic Scale. It sounds real cool and much of the common vocabulary is found in it so it makes sense to spend some time working with it and in this lesson we're going to be doing a few different short solos in different keys.
There are two parts to these exercises.
Part A: Figure out the notes I'm playing - anywhere on the neck. Don't try and base it on a scale shape or worry about what it is, just try and find the notes. If I'm doing something like this I'd be starting around the 5th fret because it's kinda central, but it really doesn't matter - just don't use open position.
Part B: Work out WHERE I am playing... Everything I am playing is based around Minor Pentatonic Pattern 1, I am using other notes too, but as in the previous exercises it based around that basic Box 1. It's just a shape remember... you should be well familiar with it by now!!
It doesn't really matter is you do A or B first, but please try both - I want you to be cool with notes being in more than one place and in the "real world" we can rarely be sure where a particular phrase was played (unless we get video too).
What I expect you will find is that it's lots easier to be working around a Pattern once you know what it is... makes it easier to find the notes because you are more familiar with the shapes, and for blues solos it's a great starting point. As your transcribing skills get better you will start to hear shapes sometimes, certain licks that only work in certain positions comfortably, so it gives the game away...
Just a little note here about swing and writing it down. So first up, what is swing? Well swing feel (and similar type groove called a shuffle) are based on triplets. The first and last notes of triplet. I go through it in the beginners course in Rhythm Guitar 3, so check that out first. What's important here is to realise that many times when a shuffle or swing is being played it is written as straight 8th notes, simply because writing all those triplets in would be a right mess. You would usually write and indication saying that it's "played with swing or shuffle" so the reader knows.
We also introduce triplets into this stage. A Triplet is simply dividing a beat into 3. Easy peasy. You will see in the rhythm notation groups of 3 notes with a 3 above them. They are the triplets. As you are checking your work it would be helpful to read along with the rhythm, not trying to decipher it, but just becoming familiar with the rhythms and associated notation.
It's so hard...
This should be more challenging than the previous lessons, that the whole point! We still have some way to go but I'm trying to make them a little more "real life" with more interesting rhythms, different note choices and grooves. Over the coming weeks I'll be varying the tones more and more so you get used to hearing a wide range of sounds!!
So have some fun with these, transcribe them one note at a time as you have done the others... as well as the Pentatonic, remember that I might throw and odd note or two in there just to keep you on your toes!! Make sure your EARS ARE THE BOSS :)
Download the pdf worksheet - Simply click the PDF link in the right column (under the ad!) or below on smaller screens.
Transcription Exercise #107-A
This is a kinda alternative pop melody, remember that you only play the first note when there is a tie and that there is a shuffle rhythm going on.
Transcription Exercise #107-B
Similar pop vibe now but we got some triplet action going on!
Transcription Exercise #107-C
Got some blues for ya now boy! Very slow shuffle with more complex rhythm things going on and interesting note choices and interval jumps, should prove a little more challenging!
Transcription Exercise #107-D
More blues, just a little faster and some repeated note action to get you counting.
Another 2 transcriptions for you below. These are full 12 Bar Blues. For these ones I want you to listen a few times before you start and see if you can "hear the shape". Just try it, it takes a lot of time, but will never happen if you are not looking out for it!! So see if you can "imagine" the solo in your "minds eye".
Transcription Exercise #107-E
Transcription Exercise #107-F
Answers? Download the answers here... but not until you've given it a good go :)