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Watch the Breakdown 5 online guitar lesson by Andy Aledort from Slow Blues Power

At bar 6, we land on the II (two) chord, G7, and across this chord and the next, the V (five chord), C7, I play a line based on the F Blues scale, which lends a unifying quality to the improvisation overall by pulling the implied tonal center back to F, the tonic (the key of the song). The other nice thing about moving back to F over the II chord is that it anticipates the return to the I chord, F7, in bar 7.

Over beat two, I utilize a “two-to-three” equivalency, which is an extremely useful and effective rhythmic technique when playing in a 12/8 time signature like this: in 12/8, each beat is divided into three evenly spaced accents; the four beats in the bar can be counted as ONE-and-a, TWO-and-a, THREE-and-a, FOUR-and-a, or ONE-trip-let, TWO-trip-let, THREE-trip-let, FOUR-triplet. Instead of dividing the beat in that way, I instead divide the beat into two evenly spaced accents, just like one would do in 4/4 time when playing eighth notes: ONE-and. Because we are in 12/8 time, the way in which to indicate two evenly spaced accents on a beat is to use two quarter notes (or a combination of eighth notes, 16th notes, 32nd notes, etc. that equal two quarter notes) signified by a “two-to-three” bracket positioned underneath.

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