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

In bar 6, I take the melodic idea from bar 5 and move it up one octave, again using the notes C#, E and G, with a quick pull-off, from G to E on the B string, on beat two. Bar 6 ends with a half step bend-and-release, from F# to G and back to F#, which makes reference to E major pentatonic (E F# G# B C#), another of the more commonly used scales in blues soloing.

Once we get up to fifth position, it’s useful to stay in that position and explore some soloing opportunities. One useful option is to bend F#, second string/seventh fret, up one whole step to G# instead of moving up the fretboard; bending strings is, of course, one of the best ways to add expressiveness to any solo, as it accentuates the vocal-like qualities of the guitar.

Over A, we bend that F# up a half step to G, as G is the flatted seventh of A and is a chord tone of A7; over E, we can then bend F# a whole step up to G#, as G# is a chord tone of E7.