Remember the boring little ditty we used in the previous lesson Alternating Bass and Country Blues I
? (if you don't, you can check it out on page 2 of this lesson) Well, the below example is the same tune, just has a little more stuff thrown in (actually a lot more stuff!), and that stuff is what we want to review in this lesson.
When we want to make our country blues a little more interesting, there are several techniques that we can employ. This lesson will discuss the following ways of spicing up our repertoire:
1. Play off of your chord fingerings:
By changing our melody or throwing in an extra note here or there, we can make our song a lot more interesting. Often, this can be done by employing the pinky tastefully without otherwise altering your fingerings.2. Vary chord fingerings:
As you get to know more and more fingerings up and down the fretboard, you can stick to the song's chord progression
while employing various different fingerings
, which makes things a lot more interesting. Beyond that, we can even substitute certain chords and our progression still sounds good!3. Vary your timing:
Timing variation can mean simply playing slower or faster, but we also want to use syncopation -- i.e. slow down or speed up the melody while not changing the bass line. As a rule of thumb, your bass line must be constant -- you may throw in some interesting little changes every once in a while, but the timing of the bass line shouldn't change!4. Leave out the bass line:
That's right, it sounds better if you forget your bass line and just stick in a nice little riff every once in a while. Variety is a good thing!
OK, let's see how these techniques are used, using the example below and some other ideas.