Live Blues Lesson – Changing A Lick To Better Fit The Chord Changes.



you hey hey hey what's shakin everybody Griff Hanlon here from blues guitar Unleashed welcome thanks for joining me today in this video we're going to talk about a sort of a continuation excuse me of what we talked about yesterday which was and if you haven't seen the previous video sure it's nearby I'm gonna try and cover some stuff here so that you don't feel totally lost but what we were talking about was you know how do you assuming that we're playing the a minor blues scale over the entire a blues okay and for any blues right for you know if we're in the key of a right in a 7d 77 for in the key of g g7 c7 D 7th doesn't really matter what key were in we played the minor blue scale over the whole set of chord changes right very different from if we had say major chords instead of 7th chords that wouldn't really be a blues and how you could make it bluesy it's not what you would normally do but what we talked about was finding within our minor blues scale within box one in particular finding the best notes and the best notes are those that fall over you know in a chord tone so for example over the 1 chord right the a is in both the scale and the chord the E is in both the scale and the chord the G is in both the scale and the chord the C and there's three of them I should point out there's more than one the C is not in the chord but a c-sharp is and it's what we call the third of the core and in blues the flatted third is close enough okay and that's truly one of the things that makes blues blues is that we consider the flatted third to be close enough and I have other videos on that topic it's it's it's a real thing but we really do we consider the flatted third to be close enough and it actually doesn't sound bad it sounds bluesy if I play a natural seven instead of a flatted seven you're gonna say it you're probably gonna say it sounds bad or if I say a-flat play a sharp five or a flatted five instead of the natural five you're gonna be like probably doesn't really go there but the third our ears have learned to accept it it's what we like it's it's what makes the blues the blues okay so all of the notes or the close enough note can be found right over that or that one chord over the four chord right well the D is both in the scale and in the court so that's a good one that a is in the scale and the court that's a good one the C is in the scale and the chord that's a good one yes sharp not so much it's in the court but it's not in the scale so that's not gonna be one of our choices but we have D and the a and the C and the a right over the e you may remember and I'm using different chord shapes I could use the same chord shape and it's gonna be the same notes but that because it has to do more with the chord shape than the court itself as we talked about yesterday if I change keys nothing changes right if I'm playing this chord shape and it's the end those are the notes that I'm gonna be able to get right so if I do that here it's gonna be the same but I'm gonna use this one so I'll have the e the e is in both the scale and the chord the G sharp is in the core but not in the scale however again this is the third of the chord we have a G natural close enough okay the B in the E chord is not found in the scale so we're not going to use that the D from the chord is found in the scale so we that's a good one the e of course we have one of those already the G of course we had one of those already so we have this this is this for this chord shape okay so that's kind of like I say that's kind of a brief recap of what we did it and then in that last video kind of talking about what are those sweet notes mmm that makes no sense you may want to go back and re-watch that so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take a very very simple lick okay so again box one pentatonic one and and that last note is gonna be up for debate as you'll see so we're gonna start by bending the D 7th fret of the third string then the e fifth fret on the second string a first fret on the first string okay that's a move that you should be able to do in your sleep GE eighth and fifth fret on the second string Bend up the D again return it down to the C and that's that's the seventh fret on the third string down to the fifth fret down to the a at the seventh fret of the fourth string and the last note is going to be the one that's going to change why because one and that means the next note happens on one okay well beat one is likely gonna be the new chord or a new chord right there's several places within the blues progression that it's gonna be a new chord or maybe it's the old cord doesn't matter beat one is a powerful beat remember that we never start our licks on beat one okay in blues it generally doesn't sound good that's that's one of those rules you can take to the bank if you never start a lick or a line on beat one it's guaranteed to sound good if you start a line or a lick on beat one it's not guaranteed to sound good okay yeah it might but it also might not okay so I like to go with the guarantees and if you know me you know I'm I'm big on guarantees so we want to start we're starting on beat two the last note of our phrase and and again this is a very common blues lick you've probably played it before if you haven't you should learn it you should commit to memory and you should play it a lot because it's it's a very good standard idea and so with this idea let's say I wanted to end it there well over the a that would make sense because it's close enough it's the C instead of the c-sharp I could give it a little blue squeeze and get it up to a to a c-sharp right and that would sound that would sound really really good so if I were to let's say that I want to I want to see which notes might be good choices over the a right so if that if it's gonna be an a the C is a good choice or the G is a good choice okay either one of those would work over the a so let's let's just put into my looper some a okay so there you got some a turn that up a little bit for you so that sounds alright let's try the other one that sounds alright let's try a different note let's say I wanted to do this one the D it doesn't really quite sound done it's not like it's wrong but it's just not it's not it's not the best right I remember this is one of those things and I said it's not that you're you're not gonna sound wrong you just could sound right all right okay so um let's say I wanted to do the the blue squeeze right I can squeeze that a little bit and that works and there's that flatted 7th that works right the he would work as a court tone or the root but all of those are all of those are perfectly good variations excellent variations on that same idea okay now let's say that I was doing basically the same idea but instead let's put the a the the one two for change so this is bar for going into bar five of our blues two three four the a now here's the four chord and we'll do this further couple bars right and then we come back to the one chord okay so I'm gonna play that again right okay now why did I use that note because remember that's a chord tone it's one of the better ones no less right so that's an excellent choice for right for ending that lick the route I can use that because again there's an A and the chord right so I can get away with that the D I can use that okay but remember that the D didn't sound it very good when I when I was just playing over a ending that lick on a D didn't really work out but with the D chord going on the D works great because that's the route so it's a chord tone okay so again hammering the idea that quarter tones always sound best not that any of the notes are wrong as always none of the notes are wrong we just have notes that are right or all right okay so it's it's just a little bit we're just trying to nudge them a little bit in the right direction all right let's say that we are going to the five chord right we want we want to pick you know what would be a good choice over the five right so again so we do going from the one chord to the five chord let's try that so if we play over that okay now notice I used the G as my last note why because that's the close enough on the e7 right I had that I can use the e I could use the G I could use the D so let's try them all there's the G how about the the e that works how about the D right any of them work okay what if I used let's say let's try the a okay because it's not a chord tone now you might you might hear that go well that doesn't sound bad no you're right as always it's not necessarily wrong it just may not be the best choice fundamentally when all is said and done what I want more than anything is I want you to actually make the choice I want you to actually think about oh there's a new chord it's the five chord I should grab this note or I want to try this note or I want to try this note I want to try this note fundamentally the most important thing that you can possibly get from this video is the fact that different notes will have a different effect over different chords and if you can be aware and cognizant of that and actually make a choice you have the ability to choose for yourself which one you like the best and that's ultimately what's most important is for you to choose the one that you like the best but if you don't think about the fact that the chords change and you don't think about the fact that you might want a corn tone or not it's fine if you don't but at least you get to make the decision that's what the key is here so I hope I've kind of impressed this upon you that this is a very very important concept it's it's thinking ahead it's being aware of what's going on it's taking a simple idea maybe a lick that you've played a thousand times and looking at okay what am i playing when the chord changes when that when I hit that note on the on the downbeat on beat one what am i doing could I change it to maybe sound better like sometimes when I use it over this like I don't like it so much but sometimes when I use it over this lick I really really love it okay a lot of this kind of stuff comes from just taking licks and really breaking them apart into their components I do some folks have asked if I have a course on how to do this I do it's called how to improvise blues solos it's horribly miss named because it should be called how to take blues legs apart and put them back together the way you want them it's all about breaking down blues licks and and doing this with them and and understanding the beast and understanding what's going on but I called it how to improvise blue soulless and I'm not really sure why it's it does help an enormous amount for improvisation but that's probably not really the best name for that course anyway that's what it is you can find out a blues guitarist of course catalog I'll leave a link near this video somewhere my website blues guitar luscom okay so that's really all I got for you today but that's a big that's a lot okay so what I want you to do from here you know grab a jam track try this out take a simple lick you can do the one that I just showed you you can do one that you already know and where you really be aware of what lick you're playing or what notes you're playing when that downbeat arrives and look at what you could do to have it change for the four court or the five chord to fit in a little better or to give you a different sound maybe it's currently landing on a corazon cool try a different chord tone maybe you would prefer a different chord tone all of these things are are options for you alright so as always hope you dig it share it with friends if you think they would enjoy it and I hope to see you again real soon take care

8 thoughts on “Live Blues Lesson – Changing A Lick To Better Fit The Chord Changes.”

  1. Terrific lesson Griff….Love how you worked through that so methodically. I'm going to spend more time listening for, and targeting chord tones when noodling along with jam tracks.

  2. This something that I've been trying to retrain myself to do.Chord tones are a very important part of any style of improvisation. Knowing the notes of your chords and scales goes along ways. Cool lesson. Thanks!

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