One of the first things we all do as blues players is learn the licks and stylings of our favorite players. Essentially, we’re developing our blues vocabulary, which is important, but a possessing a big vocabulary of great blues licks does not make a great blues soloist. A great solo tells a story and a lick is nothing more than a phrase that you might use to punctuate a part of that story.
So, what does it take to become a great soloist? Technique, big ears, creativity, practice, and playing are all important factors, and you’re likely working on all those presently. But have you considered the importance of having a strategy to follow when you’re soloing?
Longtime TrueFire educator Matt Brandt has studied all of the great blues soloists to identify the 43 Blues Solo Strategies that he presents to you here in this enlightening course.
”You want your solo to tell a story, to make a lasting impression, to take the song to a high point. In studying my heroes and the way they approached their solos, I figured out that they all used some sort of strategy. In this course, we'll focus on 43 strategies that will help you get your solo playing to the highest possible level and I’ll also show you how to practice these strategies so they become second nature to you.”
Put any one of these 43 strategies to work tonight in your practice studio and you’ll hear big things starting to happen in your solos and improvisations: The George Benson Approach, Chant And Yodel, James Brown Method, Repeat Offender, Sequential Repetition, Play It By Ear, Structured Soloing: A-B, ABAC-ADABRA, AB-CB-DB, AAB Architecture, Octavial Displacement, KISS: Short And Simple, Pitch Hitter Attack, High Low Flow Strategy, Chord Solos, Charlie Christian Method, Christian Chromatics, Straight On Swing V.V., In Time Vs. Flurries, From Time To Time, Rhythmic Transposition, PMS: Melody, Five Blues On Five, Contrasting Constructions, Target Practice, Chord Tones Or Not, Large And Harsh, Deeper Dynamics, String Theory, Forward Motion, Double Up - Open Up, Pedal Double, Down To The Bass-ment, Slow Up And Speed Down, Moving Targets, Quotes: ADD, Bend And Vibe Strategy, Out Of Your Comfort: Country, Switcheroonie, Shape Up, Jazz Vibes, Repeat, Hammer, Pull & Slide, Double Up, Wait And Sting, Dish The Band, and Finger Lickin' Good.
”Some of these strategies will have an immediate effect on your solos; like playing with your fingers instead of your pick or singing with your solo. Introducing vocal characteristics is one of most important ones, like breathing in your solo lines and using vibrato. Some of these strategies will take a bit of time to seep in, like building solos with a solid structure (ABAC being the most effective).
Using contrast keeps the audience interested and can be achieved in many different ways: with timing, using different scales in a solo, and using chromatics and rhythmic transposition. We're also going to tackle strategies for situations where you're out of your comfort zone, like when the tempo is too high, the piano player is too busy, or the chord progression too complex.
Matt explains and then demonstrates all 43 of the Blues Solo Strategies over rhythm tracks. All of the key examples and performances 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, Matt generously includes all of the rhythm tracks for you to work with on your own.
Grab your guitar and let’s get strategic with Matt Brandt!