IMPROVISATION: Ballad Guitar Soloing

GuitarBlog: IMPROVISATION: Ballad Guitar Soloing...

This GuitarBlog episode not only introduces a number of great ballad progressions for lead practice, but I'll also be spending a lot of time playing lead over them... 

When it comes to "Guitar Ballads" there are a number of common harmonies that guitarists should become familiar with. In this episode, we'll look at four extremely popular chord progressions which stand to organize some of the most widely used "Guitar Ballad" harmonies.

PART ONE: Example one takes a look at the common dropping harmony of a Minor key, "I - VII - VI," chord movement. This minor harmony is applied to dozens and dozens of songs. Example two, uses the chord changes from the Jeff Beck piece "Cause We Ended as Lovers." This is a very popular minor key harmony that moves, "I - VI - IV - Ima." It's a fantastic minor key idea that's a lot of fun to solo over.

PART TWO: In the third example we switch tonality into a "Major Blues" feel in the key of "C." Our chord movement tracks the chord harmony of Eric Clapton's, "Bell Bottom Blues." Here we find a chord harmony of "I - IIIma - VI - I - IV - V - I." The other nice idea happening here is the descending diatonic bass-line. Our final example moves across the sounds of the Pink Floyd classic, "Shine on You Crazy Diamond." This example brings in the use of 6/8 time. Along with the unique time signature the minor key ballad also introduces a "#VII major" chord. Soloing concepts take on a powerful new perspective with the shift of the "VII-chord" found in this harmony. Enjoy the lesson!

IMPROVISATION: Ballad Guitar Soloing

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