Blues Guitar Lesson - Larry Carlton - 335 Blues - Blues Shuffle, Key of A: Rhythm

Posted Jul 21, 2009 at 5:50pm
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FULL COURSE, TAB, JAM TRACKS: More Free Guitar Lessons - On Twitter - On Facebook - Blues Shuffle, Key of A: Rhythm Welcome to 335 BLUES! I'm very excited about this course, my first in over twenty years! I get asked all of the time about my blues playing and finally I get a chance to share what I've learned over the years. I particularly love the blues because of the freedom that the format provides a musician for expression and improvisation. You don't have to navigate your way through complicated arrangements, key changes and progressions - you get to play your heart out! 335 BLUES is a hands-on, playing course. No tedious theory or exercises here, although we will spend some serious time on important techniques like bending and vibrato, essential expressions in the blues. For the most part we will play our way through the material I present here. We'll start by working through a series of blues grooves that I've prepared for you in a variety of feels, keys and tempos. For each groove, I'll demonstrate an approach for comping and soloing over three choruses. Loop the video and work with the tab and notation until you can play along with me at tempo. Then jump on the practice rhythm tracks and replace my parts. This is not to have you learn my licks in particular; rather it will better illustrate my approach to building a solo and supporting a soloist in a musical context. The purpose of this course is to have you develop a better understanding for improvisation, rhythm playing and soloing skills so that you can cultivate your own voice. In the next big section of 335 BLUES, we'll drill down on essential techniques and improvisational approaches. We'll cover bending and vibrato (in fact, four types of vibrato) and the use of motifs, space and phrasing. We'll also have a look at using the melodic minor scale in blues, "knuckle voicings" and a few recommendations approaching practicing, playing and performing. The third section covers a wide variety of topics ranging from the technical to the philosophical. We'll talk about tone and how I go about tweaking my rig to achieve my sound. We'll also discuss recording, jamming and performing with other musicians. I added a few more surprises for you here as well. So, enough talk. Let's get busy with a shuffle in the key of A and work on how we might approach comping over this progression. Good rhythm is all about good timing. Keeping your ears glued to a drummer's hi-hat and snare helps establish a sense for where the time is and where your rhythm parts need to fall. The "bubble" parts I play here - the muted, single-note stabs - are played with very strict attention to the hi-hat. A strict sense of time doesn't mean that your playing is going to sound stiff! Instead, a good sense for where beats fall gives you a lot more room to add "feel" into your rhythm parts. Try your own bubble part over the jam track. Once you're comfortable with the groove, you can start to add more color with accents and comping chords.
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