Watch the Down and Dirty: 9 online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Play Rock Guitar 8: Advanced Rhythm Approaches

Down and Dirty: 9 - Guitar 3 Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Chris Buono and is sourced from Guitar Cubed.


What better way to get your name out there than jumping up on stage with the local blues hotshot and really saying what you gotta say in one pass? Depending on the ego of your host, that me be all you're gonna get anyway! Here in Guitar 3 we're gonna check out a one chorus solo that will say a lot in said timeframe.

No matter what the style of blues you're playing over, motivic development is monumentally a great tool to bring into the mix. When doing so it's always good to build phrases off what the rhythm section is doing. Such is the case in bars 1 and 2 where the b3 (Bb) to root (G) snippets played throughout those measures links up with the bass line nicely. And remember, as we saw in the Rhythm Track Analysis, the bass line is linking up with the kick drum. See how it all comes together? While you're attention is drawn to this section notice the use of another Guitar Cubed staple--space. Whether it is sustained notes or rests, there's some key breathing points in these first two bars that makes the entrance into this solo more commanding.

A more stealthy motivic development idea is the use of the rhythm part of the motive established by the bass and kick. While it was obviously played in the first two bars look around the chart in the notation section portion (top of the grand staves) and see how that downbeat pair of 16ths is played in many more locations, but with ideas that are not just low register licks. For instance, in bars 3 and 7 you'll see a biting diadic instance on the downbeat where the 3rds are grace notes slurred only to be resolved by the root G on the 4th string, 5th fret on the 2nd 16th. Cool! Now, take that notion and reverse it. Look in bar 9 where the at the downbeat Guitars 1 & 2, along with the rhythm section, rock the entrance of the V chord (D7#9). What does Guitar 3 do? Nothing. Space wins yet again just like it did in Stiff Upper Lip where Guitar 1's thumping low E was allowed to ring without competition from Guitar 2. It's not until beat 2 do you get into the Hendrix inspired lick over D7#9 (think "Fire"). Cool! Again!

In bars 10 and 11 you get some more double stop bends. Though bar 10 is what is now a stock approach to Guitar Cubed it's what's played in bar 11 that is the gold. At the downbeat is the first of three whole step bends on the 2nd string from the 18th fret F (b7) up to G (root). Each time on an offbeat 16th (2nd or 4th) the fret hand 4th finger catches a note on the high E starting with Bb at the 18th fret and continues chromatically up to C at the 20th fret making for a fresh sounding double stop lick that furthers the case for getting this lick idea into your bag!

About that ego-driven hotshot: Humbly step on stage thinking you only have a dozen bars to bring the house down. If you do just that, then most likely you'll get the nod from the leader to take another. Just remember, if you do get the cue you better have another stellar 12 bar solo up your sleeve!!