Watch the Altered Stormy 2 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Juiced Blues
** Take Note: As stated, this solo contains all the juice we've reveled in throughout Juiced Blues. Since the Altered Stormy solo contains primarily concepts that have been already explored in full neck vision the Power Tab and PDF charts will only display the fingerings for the specific areas where each lick idea was played. As seen in previous Part 2 charts, you can find these fingerings in the Vision section, now named Solo Vision, right under the Solo section. Also, be aware that these ideas are set to the key signature of the chord they're being played over. This enables you to best see the alterations that are resultant of the superimpositions, albeit Power Tab generates a G# instead of Ab in the measure where the Bb Lydian Dominant scale is displayed.
As you look closely into the Altered Stormy solo you may find yourself pondering whether or not the licks could have originated from other elements. For instance, Altered Stormy kicks off with some vintage Juiced Blues in the form of superimposed min7b5 arpeggios from C# and F# to color the A7 and D7 chords in bars 1 and 2 respectively. If you're more of a horizontal player, these two particular licks could easily be thought of as being sifted from an A major blues vision. The fact is juicing your blues doesn't always mean you have to sound like your juicing your blues. These concepts were designed to afford you options outside the realm of major/minor pentatonic and blues scale approaches so you can, well, juice things up a bit. But in order to do right by what it is you're playing over, these new tools have to have the core ingredients that make it all come together. Think about it: Nearly every idea here in Juiced Blues had the vitals of a dom7 chord--the 3rd and b7th. And when they didn't, such as some of the superimposed modal pentatonic scales, traditional phrasing was employed. In the end, this is the blues, right?
In bar 5, the D7 gets a dose of our newfound friend the symmetrical diminished scale. In case you missed the microscopic probe into this 8-tone scale in Blues For Symmy, the scale is broken down once more here in this video segment. In case you haven't noticed--I do love that scale! Following that run is a new way to utilize dim7 arpeggios where you play one a half step above the dom7 chord you're soloing over. For example, though the harmony is actually an Ebdim7 chord, the intention is a D7 (this will be crystal clear in a second). Examining the chord tones of an Ebdim7 arp you'll find Eb, Gb, Bbb, and Dbb. While that may look about as related to D7 as a slice of bologna does, with a little enharmonic juggling things will become a little more clear. Try this: Eb, F#, A, C. See it now? It's a D7 arpeggio with the root raised a half step giving you a b9 sound. This is a great tension device without getting too outside and is not hard to wrap your ears around. In fact, you've been hearing it used by just about anybody who plays the blues. About that harmony quandary mentioned above: That's precisely what the Ebdim7 or any #ivdim7 for that matter is--a IV7 chord with b9 in the root. Now you know!
Another new concept is something I call 'melodic contrary motion' where the lines that are being played go in the opposite direction that the harmony is going. This can be seen in bars 7 and 8 where after the initial A7 on the downbeat of bar 7 happens for two beats a succession of min7 chords follows for two beats a piece. They are Bm7 to finish off bar 7, then C#m7 at the downbeat of bar 8 followed by Cm7 for the second half of the measure (remember, they're two beats a piece; half notes). For the Bm7 a 9th position F# minor pentatonic from the 5th degree scale is played and from there you move down to a 6th position G# minor pentatonic from the b3rd degree contrary to the C#m chord you're playing over that goes up. This is followed by a horizontal approach to G minor pentatonic that again ascends up the neck as the harmony, Cm7, moves down. This is a great way to avoid your lines sounding predictable by always following the direction of the chords. It also forces you to think differently and therefore will help inspire you to come up with fresh, juicy ideas--and that's what Juiced Blues is all about!