Watch the Breakdown 7 online guitar lesson by Andy Aledort from Slow Blues Power

The last two bars of the progression, bars 11 and 12, offer a twist as well, as we move from A7 to C7 to F7 to D/E (or E7sus4). This is a simple but very effective way to bring in melodic invention that is outside the standard slow blues idiom. I use A Mixolydian (A B C# D E F# G) over A7 (you can also think of this as A minor pentatonic with a major third—A C# D E G—which some people call A dominant pentatonic), A minor pentatonic/C major pentatonic over C7 (A minor pentatonic and C major pentatonic contain the same notes—A C D E G), F major pentatonic (F G A C D) over F7, and then the solo wraps up by playing the “band figure,” based on A minor pentatonic, along with the rhythm guitar and the bass.