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Watch the Strategy 6: Create Collections online guitar lesson by Jon Herington from Ear IQ: Soloing Strategies

Those of you who know my first TrueFire course know that I talked quite a bit about what I called "collections" of notes. Collections are groups of notes that are put together to use as raw materials for improvising on a song because of their power in zeroing in on the sweetest or juiciest sounding notes to play over a sounding chord or for any particular desired effect.

Playing the blues is about a lot of different things, of course - the structure of the music, the type of expression, the sounds that are used, the ways the notes are put together into lines, and phrases and even shouts and cries, etc. But you can also look at the types of "collections" of notes that blues players typically employ - what people sometimes call blues scales, or the pentatonic or 5 tone scale, etc. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the collection of 5 tones that is the E minor pentatonic scale: E G A B D. And you probably play with a six note collection a lot, too: E G A Bb B D. Smaller collection can be handy, too: E G A B. They can suggest melodies you might not come up with otherwise.

In this next solo we're going to look at, on a tune called "I Hear They Shoot Horses" from a record of mine called Time on My Hands, I definitely went for the sounds and the lines and the phrases of the blues, which, as I said, is a kind of working with a few specific "collections" of notes, but I also chose to break it up with the use of another collection of tones on the second section of the solo.