Soloing & Improvisation Concepts
Welcome to this lesson on improvising over the F blues. We will learn some techniques for creating improvised solos and explore how we can build our melodic ideas and phrases.
The Importance Of Chord Tones
Nearly every phrase in blues improvisation leads to a consciously chosen chord tone, so knowing the chord tones and the different sound of each one is critical.
The root, third, and fifth are the most common “arrival” destinations, though the b7th can be too. In the non-minor blues, the third is the most important, and for many players, the most common arrival destination.
The Blues Scale & Chord Tones
We explore a framework for constructing idiomatic-sounding improvised phrases over the blues:
- The departure
- The middle part
- The arrival or resolution
The arrival moves out of the blues scale into a consciously chosen chord tone and amounts to a release of tension in the phrase.
Blues Licks On Hammond Organ
Blues licks are usually short phrases that can repeated, often many times in a row to build tension. These licks can stand alone or alternatively lead into a melodic improvised phrase.
Often a riff heightens tension through hemiola. This means the riff repeats on a cycle different from the basic time of the piece, e.g., three or five beats in a 4/4 tune.
Playing these smoothly requires good hand independence and lots of practice to avoid getting lost.
Find the notation of all licks covered in the Downloads section below.
Tremolos Notation File Type: pdf
Contrasting Time Riffs Notation File Type: pdf
Improvised Solo Transcription File Type: pdf
Licks & Riffs Lesson Notation File Type: pdf