One of the most challenging skills for blues players is soloing over a slow blues. Not only do you need the technical chops and a solid understanding of the underlying harmony, you also need to be able to tell a story with expressive phrasing, dynamics, and emotion.
Ready to get your own your slow blues chops up to speed? Play your way through the 10 performance studies in Corey Congilio’s Slow Blues Guru and you’ll be well on your way to guru status yourself.
”Legendary guitarists like Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Mike Bloomfield, Jimi Hendrix and Gary Moore are all gurus of slow blues. In this Slow Blues Guru course, I’ll guide you through 10 performance studies designed to help you develop the skills you’ll need to become a guru of the slow blues as well.”
Corey organized the course into 10 Slow Blues performance studies. Each study focuses on a specific slow blues approach. Corey will first perform the solo and then break it down note-for-note explaining the underlying technical and harmonic approaches.
You’ll work on slow Texas Blues-style solos with tons bends and vibrato, slow blues solos that combine major and minor pentatonic sounds with double stops, slow down-home blues with lots of open string playing, and slow blues solos taking maximum advantage of the sixth interval.
You’ll learn how to artfully outline chord changes, play in 12/8, 6/8, as well as 4/4, tackle a signature jazz standard progression with a gritty soulful approach, and how to solo over a laid back R&B ballad. And finally you’ll pull out all the stops and play a hard rock inspired solo full of aggressive lines and phrases.
Here’s your slow blues playlist…
Tears from Above - ”Tears From Above is a Texas blues inspired solo with plenty of nods to Stevie Ray Vaughan. As with all ten of these solos, there's plenty of call and response phrasing to be found here. I've added healthy doses of SRV style vibrato, some aggressive and emotional bending, pre-bends, as well as and step and a half bends. I'm using the neck position here on my Strat style guitar. I like to use a model of a Soldano SL-100 for sounds like this as well. However, a blackface style Fender amp and transparent "tube screamer" style overdrive pedal should get you in the ball park for this kind a tone. Have fun with this one!”
Ain’t Sad for Long - ”Not all slow blues songs are sad or depressing! Here's an example of a chord progression that goes from minor to major. I really like how this solo navigates the changes and plays literally the same fingering for the licks and double stops as they're going by. This solo, like many of the others, isn't too fast. Just because the tempo is slow, doesn't mean you have to play your fast licks. I know it's tempting, but practice some discretion and try to be melodic when telling your story. Give the listener something to remember!”
Someday Kinda Blues - ”You'll often come across jazzier chord progressions in your blues life. I took the chord changes to the classic song "Sunday Kind of Love" and crafted a simple yet effective solo. Make sure that you are 100% familiar with the chord changes before you start to work on the solo. The solo navigates these changes and there's a chance you'll be lost if you don't understand the chords first. I put some classic moves in this solo and purposely outlined the root notes to guide you on your way.”
Rob the Cradle - ”In 1994, Eric Clapton released the album From the Cradle, and his journey back to the blues took off like a rocket! I saw Clapton on that tour, and loved hearing him play slow blues. I've taken inspiration from that period and created this solo full of emotional bends and straight up Claptonisms. You'll know them when you hear them, so jump in when you're ready!”
Stardust on My Brain - ”You've probably heard Ray Charles play the song "Georgia", but did you know that Hoagy Carmichael actually wrote the song? There's a good chance you'll hear this song at a blues gig, so I thought I'd construct a solo that helps you navigate the changes. We start slow, but then add some really tasty licks at the end, so hang on! Make sure you have a good handle on the progression before tackling the solo.”
Slow Bloke - ”We're gonna take another stab at highlighting some Claptonisms again! I've played the song "Old Love" on many a blues gig. What I did here was change the key so that we can play in Bm/Dmaj. I shortened the actual progression a bit, but the ideas will be the same. I'll explain how I navigate this solo in the breakdown, so for now, enjoy some Slowhand inspired playing! Take notice of how vibrato really makes these slower tunes feel great.”
At Night - ”Writing this solo was really fun because I payed homage to Mike Bloomfield. Bloomfield was an emotional player with a lot of personality. This example is in the key of E, and has some great aggressive moves as well as plenty of open string ideas. The coolest thing about this solo to me is the use of open strings. When you're in the key of E, you have plenty of open strings to work with. gonna dig this one, trust me!”
Fell for Blues - ”Here's another solo in the jazzier realm, inspired by the chord progression from the classic tune "Since I Fell For You". I used Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's version here. This is another example where I telegraph the chord changes. I do this because it just sounds right. You don't always have to do this the way I do, but we're just learning here, right? Let's start with some good sounding notes before we get artistic! Let's try this one!”
Crimson Shack - ”One of my favorite slow blues tunes of all time is "Red House" by Jimi Hendrix. Jimi tuned a half step low, which would make Red House technically in Bb. We're tuned standard and playing in Bb. I wanted to take "Red House" and move it into the 21st century. I think I accomplished this with the use of the 6th interval. Not sure if Jimi would be proud of this one, but I think it's got some really cool left of center sounding stuff in it. Try it on for size!”
None More Minor - ”Playing over a slow blues is all about emotion. Few played with the kind of passion and ferocity as Gary Moore. This is a minor blues tribute to Mr. Moore complete with a high gain tone and bends for days. If you've never played major or natural minor scales...now's the time to really have a look at them, as you'll be using a good amount of those sounds in this example. Have fun with this one and crank up the gain!”
All of the performance studies are tabbed and notated for your practice, reference and study purposes. You’ll also get Guitar Pro files so that you can play, loop and/or slow down the tab and notation as you work through the lessons. Plus, Corey includes all of the backing tracks for you to work with on your own.
Grab your guitar and let’s play some slow blues with Corey Congilio!