The “blues” is the ideal educational playground for players in their early stages of development. It doesn’t take a lot of time to get a basic grip on the pentatonic scale and a few I-IV-V progressions before we’re off and running building up our chops and learning how to solo, improvise, and comp. Eventually though, we all hit the proverbial “rut” where we grow tired of playing the same old same old and thirst for insight to help us “juice” up our blues.
Blues waters can run plenty deep technically and harmonically as evidenced by Robben Ford, Scott Henderson, Greg Koch, David "Fuze" Fiuczynski and Mike Stern to name a few. Sure, there’s a lot of bends, blue notes and pentatonic happening - and the progressions are still pretty straightforward - but the lines are very sophisticated and fresh. Juiced Blues examines some of the deeper qualities of this style and will introduce you to a whole new way of thinking about and playing the blues.
Recording artist, stunt guitarist and TrueFire’s resident professor of the “deep,” Chris Buono guides you through the application of superimposed m7b5 arpeggios, modal pentatonics, melodic minor modes, symmetrical diminished scales, chord fragments, melodic contrary motion, and the Diamond theory for juicing up your blues soloing and comping.
Buono presents Juiced Blues across five sections, each examining a variety of harmonic and expressive concepts. You'll work with a different blues rhythm track in each section, over which you'll learn a "juiced" solo and a "juiced" comp, which Chris breaks down in meticulous detail. You'll walk away with enough "juice" to last your blues for quite sometime. But the theoretical and harmonic mind dump alone is worth the price of admission.
Super Dom Blues: Chris kicks things off with Super Dom Blues, as in "superimposed dominant" blues, where you'll learn how to play secondary melodic ideas over primary harmony by playing superimposed m7b5 arpeggios and a lone minor pentatonic scale over a textbook I-IV-V in G. Chris also walks you through the "Diamond Theory" in this series and shows you how to apply it when comping.
M&M Blues: In this series, you'll learn how to take the underlying structure of a pentatonic scale and modulate its properties to produce fresh sounding options. Buono shows you how to organize specific key notes from relative, yet evocative sounding 7-tone modes into 5-note formulae to produce "very hip alternative pentatonic scales" to be played over a minor blues.
Fuzy the Lydian-Loader: With a tip of the hat to David "Fuze" Fiuczynski, this series explores more of an outside approach for "juicing" up your blues. Chris shows you how to apply the Lydian Dominant scale - spelled 1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7 – and solo both horizontally and vertically with this versatile fourth mode of the Melodic minor. You’ll also learn how to construct applicable chord diamonds for comping.
Blues for Symmy: In this series, Chris has you working with a 12-bar blues in D that has been "super-juiced with the intellectually satisfying symmetrical diminished scale." Also known as the half-whole scale, this octatonic scale will serve as the template for both melodic soloing (albeit the focus will be on one of the two dim7 arpeggios nested within the scale) and harmonic comping ideas.
Altered Stormy: This final series borrows the changes from the iconic blues standard over which you will apply all of the "juiced" approaches from the previous four, plus! Superimposed min7b5 arpeggios, symmetrical diminished scales, half step approach chords, chord fragments and 'melodic contrary motion' where the lines that are being played go in the opposite direction that the harmony is going.
Ready to step up your blues game texturally and harmonically? Juiced Blues is likely the elixir you’ve been thirsting for. The playing examples alone will feed your blues bag with a bagful of fresh moves, but the theoretical knowledge Buono passes on will feed you for life.