Better Blues Solos - GUARANTEED!

If you have a limited vocabulary of Blues licks and riffs, you are likely aware of it and you're probably looking for a quick way to add more Blues ideas into your playing. If this sounds like you, I have an easy fix... 

In this lesson I am going to show you one simple, "lick and riff expanding exercise," that you can do every day in order to help widen your scope of Blues guitar riffs and soloing.

If you start doing this exercise everyday, I guarantee that you will notice an immediate change in your Blues rhythm jams and in your soloing.

The practice will have you playing smoother (and more accurate), blues lines and you'll start feeling better overall about the way that you phrase your guitar parts.


This lesson breaks down a 2-part concept that you can do every single day to help you get better at jamming over Blues.

This workout is something that's easy to do and offers very quick improvements so that when you want to perform "blues based" ideas they’ll not only flow smoother and easier, but they will be more creative as well. 

The practice concept is based upon two main ideas:

1). Learn a new Blues idea every day for 30 days

2). Expand on the riff or lead by adding notes or altering rhythmic phrasing

To accomplish this creative workout, you will need to practice incorporating phrasing techniques along with rhythmic alterations so that any simple blues based idea you study will come across as feeling far easier to perform.

Plus, these blues phrasing ideas will also help you expand your sense of creativity for playing blues riffs as well.

To help run you through how this practice routine operates I’ve created a Blues based riff for you to use and start focusing on.

This example is a basic single-note Blues idea which focuses on some of the primary tones that we have in blues.

Starter Example Riff:

The next thing that we’re going to do is enhance the notes of our riff by simply doubling them. It immediately helps to produce a richer - thicker sound.

Example Riff with Doubled Notes:

Another easy to apply riff expanding  idea involves altering the rhythm of your guitar part. 

In the next example (in measure one), I’ve added a triplet feel and placed a rest on the down-beat of four. 

I’ve also included a scratch rhythm (sometimes called a ghost note), at the down-beat of “2” in the second measure.

Here’s how this re-structured riff sounds now.

Example Riff with Altered Rhythm:

Next let’s have a look into what could happen with some of the lead ideas that we can enhance by applying some of these same techniques in Blues lead playing.

These ideas will again include; paying more attention to individual note phrasing and making alterations to the rhythm.

Starter Example Lick:

To modify the lick we can start to experiment with altering rhythmic phrasing by adding some triplets. Plus, we’ll also include a bend and vibrato idea on our final note.

Modified Blues Lick:

Learning a new Blues riff or lick every day for at least a month and then taking what you learn and making changes to its rhythmic flow and to the melodic ideas (through note choice and technical phrasing) will go a long way toward expanding your skills when performing Blues concepts.

By developing this with a whole bunch of new Blues riffs over a period of 30 days you’ll do a lot more than just expand your vocabulary – you’ll also learn how to become very fast at making modifications.

When you need an idea quickly, (like when you’re in the middle of a guitar solo), you’ll have something to invent on the spot that’ll not only sound cool, but that can be performed far more easily when you need it.



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