Improvise Your First Blues Solo | Will Edwards | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Introducing Arpeggios


    • 3.

      G Major 7 Arpeggio


    • 4.

      G Major 7 Arpeggio Guitar Tab


    • 5.

      C Major 7 Arpeggio


    • 6.

      C Major 7 Arpeggio Guitar Tab


    • 7.

      D Dominant 7 Arpeggio


    • 8.

      D Dominant 7 Arpeggio Guitar Tab


    • 9.

      Basic Soloing with Arpeggios


    • 10.

      Soloing Explained


    • 11.

      Playing "Through" the Chords


    • 12.

      Minor 7 Arpeggio Addendum


    • 13.



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About This Class

When I discovered that arpeggios were as fundamental as chords (actually they're the same thing) it activated a lot of great ideas and inspired a whole new approach to playing music.  This course is loaded with guitar tab, audio clips and a jam track designed to help you understand arpeggios, learn to play them and begin using them to improvise - yes, actually play solos.  For beginners this is a pretty exciting step to take.

This course has all the info you need to get started.  If you have questions, please reach out to me!

Meet Your Teacher

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Will Edwards

Artist. Creative Problem Solver. Musician


I am a full-time professional musician who has broad teaching experience with guitar & bass students in rock, blues, jazz and many other genres. I perform live on bass, guitar and keyboards.  In addition, I perform live electronic music improvisation.  I've devoted over 26 years to my own well-rounded musical education, focusing on a mastery of all aspects of modern music - from music theory to ear training; from live performance to composition and practice routines.

I specialize in bridging the gap between music and technology, focusing on using modern tools to demonstrate all aspects of music.  I compose and perform with Ableton and Push 2 and I have experience with Cubase, ProTools and Logic.  I'm extremely comfortable using web-based to... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: eso Welcome to this part three where we start to talk about arpeggios. Now, arpeggios are not just limited to guitar these air musical principles, principles of music theory. In the last two sections, if you've taken parts one and two of my course in the first section, you kind of got up and running with some cowboy chords tuning the guitar. I gave you some recommendations on a great app that functions as a good Metrodome as well as tuner. And you should have kind of gotten up to speed with strumming guitar and just starting to feel comfortable with it. If you took Part two, then you learned about strumming and rhythm had account time, how to count beats and that sort of thing. In this section, we're going to be looking primarily at arpeggios and arpeggios, kind of like a scaffolding, if you will, for a guitar solo, and by the end of this particular part of the course, you're gonna be ableto improvised guitar solo using arpeggios over the 12 Bar Blues in G major. So let's get started 2. Introducing Arpeggios: All right. Well, welcome back in the last section, we learned a lot about how to strum chords. We learned to play the G, C and T major courts. And in this one here, we're gonna talk about a news topic quote arpeggios, and our kitchen is very closely related to cords. Instead of playing chord, you get a little notes at one time with an arpeggio. You play the notes in the cord, but you play them kind of horizontally over time, and I'm gonna explain you how to play them. There are really three that we're gonna go over called the Major seven arpeggio the minor seven arpeggio and then the dominant seven arpeggio. And between these three, you can keep pace and make contributions to all kinds of musical kinds of styles. Onda Course you can move them around the fretboard, two different keys. We're gonna learn them in the context of our 12 bar blues. You kind of have some stuff to jam around with. But these concepts move around the fretboard pretty easily, and that will become more clear over time. So I want to start in the next lesson by actually showing you how to play a G major seven arpeggio And towards the end of the section, once we've learned a variety of arpeggios we've also looked at the tab examples that prepared for you. I'm gonna show you how to use these are pages to make music. 3. G Major 7 Arpeggio: Okay, so in the last section, we use the Metrodome quite a bit. We're gonna be doing that again here. Now I want to show you how to play the G major seven arpeggio as well as play it along with your match tournament. 60 beats per minute. So if we look at the fretboard here, you start with your middle finger. On the third fret of the Sixth Street, you're gonna go to your index finger. On the second fret of the fifth string, your pinky reaches all the way up to the fifth threat of the fifth string than your ring finger on the fourth fret of fourth string, Pinky on the fifth fret of the fourth strength you have now, I've prepared guitar Tab. I'm gonna go over that a little bit with you in the next lesson. But I've also prepared an audio sample of this arpeggio being played correctly so you can kind of use it as a reference point case. And now we're gonna use the Metrodome at 60 beats per minute. We got the 1234 We try to play the Herp NGO along with the Metrodome. Like so you can use your thumb. I'm using a pick in this example. You can use your thumb if that's what you want to do, you more comfortable. Now, what I want you to do is to try to practice playing that arpeggio with your thumb or a pick at that. Tempo it 60 beats per minute, okay? And try to get the notes to ring out. Clearly, I'm gonna give you a couple of tips, and this is true for any kind of melodic playing arpeggios or scales or notes or anything like that you play. If you get a buzz like this, that kind of buzzing sound, it's because you're not holding the string down tightly enough now. One of things that makes it easier toe hold the string down tight is to position your finger right behind the fret. Okay, not on the fret and not equally spaced between frets, but just behind the one that you're trying to play. That's where you'll get kind of the most bang for your buck in terms off the It's the easiest to press it down adequately. Now, if it's muted again, that's because you're not pressing it down tightly enough. So almost any kind of sonic problem with playing. These arpeggios can be resolved by pressing down more tightly. And it'll take time for your fingers, your fingertips to build up calluses. They may sting, Um, but you you build up calluses and you're the tips of your fingers become a little stronger and a little more resilient against this kind of exercise. So at first you may not be able to do this for a really long time. But what I'd like to see you do is play this arpeggio for, say, five minutes and do that every day. Sit down with the Metrodome, set to 60 beats per minute and play this major seven arpeggio for five full minutes. If your hands can handle it and try your best to make every note sound good. And the next lesson I'm gonna talk to you a little bit about the guitar tab that goes along with this arpeggio explains how play it and so you can learn how toe read tab and have a reference for exactly how to play this arpeggio 4. G Major 7 Arpeggio Guitar Tab: All right, so in this lesson, I want to talk to you about how to basically read guitar taps. I'm gonna look at the guitar tab for the last arpeggio, the G major seven arpeggio. And as we look at this, we can see that there are a bunch of horizontal lines. Okay, you can afford to kind of disregard in this example of the actual classical notation written along the top. We have powers on the lines and classical notes, notation, and just look at the bottom distinction where you have horizontal lines. But you have numbers on those lines. What you'll notice is in the top section of classical notation, there's five horizontal lines. And in the bottom section, which is what we call guitar tab, there is six lines down. There's six lines correlate to the strings from lowest to highest as you go visually looking from the lowest line to the highest line. So in our arpeggio, the first number we encounter is the number three, and that is on the lowest line. So we'd actually play that at the third fret of the sixth string. The lowest pitch string right? Next note is a to And that is on the next string that we have five that we have four. And then we have five and then it descends. 54523 So if you follow this tab, it's just a matter of knowing which horizontal lines correlate toe. Which strings? Lowest pitch is the lowest string. Visually lowest line visually number is the French. This doesn't tell you which fingers to use for each fret. So I'm gonna give you a tip there. So you want to look for the lowest number generally, that would be your index finger. So in this case, where we're playing this arpeggio to is the lowest number we see on any of the strings that happens to be on the fifth string. So that would be your reference finger. The index finger on the second fret, which means anything on three would be your middle finger. Anything on four would be your ring, and and anything on five would be your pinky. So you have 3 to 545 right and descending. 54523 So that's the basics of reading. Guitar Tab will go over it with some of the other arpeggios coming up in the next few lessons 5. C Major 7 Arpeggio: all right. Now let's look at playing that same arpeggio pattern but rooted on See, which is the third fret on our fifth string. So originally we started this pattern on the third fret our sixth Street, But now we're playing it on our fifth string, but was playing exactly the same pattern. Andi next lesson will look at the guitar tab for this, but you're still basically playing the same pattern that we played in the last nights when we're just starting it on. C. Andi realize an important lesson about guitar, a lot of patterns that you learn, whether arpeggios we're scales, you can just move them around. The fretboard pattern physically stays identical, but a Z moving around the fretboard. They become different chords or different Keith. So this is a G major seven arpeggio. This is a C major seven or in the next lesson, I'll walk you through the guitar tab 6. C Major 7 Arpeggio Guitar Tab: So I've prepared arpeggio tab guitar tab for you, and you can download along with this course and look at it. So if you look at the C major seven guitar tab is the arpeggio guitar tap, you'll see that you're starting with. Your first note is a three, and that's on the second line from the bottom, which is representing the fifth string, and you have a two on the next string. As you move up and you have 54 and five night, you'll recognize this is an identical pattern toe what we're doing with the G major seven arpeggio tab as well. It's all just been kind of moved to an adjacent string, and that is because guitar is very pattern. Eyes all these patterns that you're learning, they can be used in other parts of the guitar in order to change their key. We started in the key of G. This cord is moving to the key of C or becoming a C chord. OK, eso that was RG that's R. C. But this physical pattern is identical, so you'll see it visually and numerically. It's the same on the fretboard. When you look at yourself playing it. You can see it in the tab. It's the same sort of number pattern eso take. Take note of those kinds of similarities and patterns and use them to your advantage. Realize that it actually makes it easier for you to learn some of these things. So now we're gonna look at the new arpeggio de dominant. Okay, D dominant seven arpeggio in the next lesson. 7. D Dominant 7 Arpeggio: way. So when we play in the key of G, typically the Corps de it can just be played with a major chord. But if we add 1/7 into it, as we do in this arpeggio example, I'm about to show you that seven can't just be the same as the major seven that we used in GNC. Okay, so you're gonna notice it's a slightly different finger pattern. It's got a lot in common with Major, but one note is different and we call that difference a dominant seventh or a flat seventh . Okay, so we'll show you how to play that off the Route de here, which is at the fifth fret. So in playing this, we're gonna notice instead of that pattern, we have eyes. A little subtle difference. They play it for you again. You can listen. That's the old version. The major seven. That's the dominant version. Only differences in the major seven. We played this note in a dominant. We play that right. So let me show you the pattern. Start with our middle finger on the fifth. Fret off. The fifth string index is on the fourth, a friend of the fourth string. Pinky is on seventh. Fret of the four strength middle finger is on the fifth fret. That's the new note. That's our dominant seventh of the third string. Pinky is still on the seventh threat off the third strings with pinky on, then middle piggy index on and then middle again. Uh, now I've prepared audio examples as well as guitar taps. You can listen to the audio examples if you just kind of want your ear to have frame of reference for how this should sound. But also, there's guitar tab that you should know how to read now, and in the next lesson, I'm gonna walk you through the guitar tab for this arpeggio. 8. D Dominant 7 Arpeggio Guitar Tab: All right. So if you download the D dominant seven arpeggio guitar tab, you'll see this pattern written out there and we start with the first number is on our fifth string and it is the fifth fret way. Go to four is on the fourth string. 757574 On five. That pattern eyes is our dominant seven arpeggio. Now we could play that off of any route, but here we're playing it off. Just a recap. What you should know by now is the G major seven arpeggio the C major seven arpeggio aan de dominant arpeggio way can use all those to play along with our 12 bar blues And that's gonna be the topic that we discuss in the remaining lessons in this section, so I'll see you there. 9. Basic Soloing with Arpeggios: the reason I've tortured these three arpeggios g major, seven c major seven and D dominant is because they correlate to our 12 bar blues so we can actually play these arpeggios as kind of a melodic or musical accompaniment to the courts. So when we play the G chord, we can play that G major seven arpeggio over it. We played the C chord waken here C major seven arpeggio Howdy. Although we're playing a d major chord we can still hear that de dominant seven arpeggio So what we want to do and I'm gonna show you how to do this in the next lesson is to actually play along the cords. But instead of strumming chords, play the arpeggio following the 12 bar Blues cycle. The first step before you can really do that is to get fluent with playing these arpeggios . So that's the first thing get really used to playing these arpeggios with the Metrodome at 60 and then try to bring your speed up ideally to about 120 beats per minute. That would be the point in which you can be sure you know these like the back your hand 10. Soloing Explained: s so far in this section we have focused on arpeggios and in this lesson and the next lesson were really continuing to look at how we can use these arpeggios. Teoh play improvised solos, right to just play lead. Now, the thing that you got to know is how these arpeggios can be applied. So when we're looking at a core progression again, I'm gonna look at the G Major 12 Bar Blues. We've got G G, right? That's the 1st 4 bars of our 12 bar blues we're gonna wanna play. It's a G major chord. So we're gonna play G major seven arpeggio. You know, we don't have to play ascending and descending like that in a mechanical way you can play. You can play random notes from the arpeggio as a solar right. That's kind of like a little hook that's coming directly from the arpeggio so you can just get creative. That's the idea. These arpeggio notes are always going to sound great as long as you match them to the court . So as the core as the 12 Bar blues progresses of the two bars of C major. So then we switch. That's just a little cut off the top of my head riff built off of a C major seven arpeggio , then over the D dominant. That's D dominant. You know, I just made up a random series of notes, but from within the arpeggio. And that's the key is that you develop these arpeggios has muscle memory, and then when you see the court on paper, you just immediately kind of conspirator out the physical expression of these arpeggios on the fret port. And then you literally the people caught playing through the cords because you're literally you see the cord you jam out on the arpeggio and you're just moving around to the appropriate cord, right? Little later, we'll talk about a minor. Arpeggio is not used in the 12 Bar blues, but I included it in this section just so that you'd have a complete knowledge. One thing I want to make clear about these arpeggios is that you know you can move them from the position that I'm showing you. So I'm showing you, for example, G major and later in the course, G minor arpeggios have shown you see major seven or pages India dominant. But of course, you can move these patterns to any point on the guitar. You can take the G major seven arpeggio and one octave or two octaves, and and you can move it up to a on. You can play it there, right so you can move these around the fretboard to match literally any chord that you're seeing major, minor and dominant. Of course, now the you can also play these major seven and minor seven arpeggios, even if the cord just says Major right so you can play a C major seven arpeggio over a C major chord in. It'll sound good. It doesn't have to be a song uses a major seven chord because you won't actually find that very often in popular music. At least you know when you go back a little ways, new or popular music does tend to use that, but I don't want to kind of get too far off the point. It's anyway. The idea here is in soloing with Arpege. Is is to understand how to correlate the cord name, whether it's a minor G major or D seven to inappropriate arpeggio, and then be able to kind of jam out on that have it established enough is muscle memory that you don't really have to think too much. You just kind of know it. Practicing these up to a speed of about 120 beats per minute is a good way to assure yourself that. Yes, indeed. You have acquired muscle memory of these. All right, so I'm gonna show you in the next lesson exactly how to do this over the G major 12 bar blues, and then wrap up the course and you can do the work of learning this and starting to use it . And you realize so let's move forward to the demonstration, the next lesson. 11. Playing "Through" the Chords: away. Alright, so welcome back. Now, What I'm gonna do in this lesson isn't gonna show you hands on demonstrating for you what it looks like and sounds like to use these are pages to play through the cords of a 12 bar blues in G major. Now, in part one, we introduce the 12 Bar blues in Part two. We did more with the 12 bar blues, so we're kind of revisiting it here again And the main focus, the main point of this is just so you can see me do it and then you'll know what to practice. All right, so we're gonna just be using the G major seven arpeggio. See, Major seven arpeggio and de Domine arpeggio. That's all we're doing. We're using those three arpeggios to play through the courts. So let's go ahead and start the track and play along with it playing through the courts. Okay, so here we are. We're starting with G. We got four bars of G, so we got lots of time now to see now, kind of improvising a little bit, going to the dominance of the sea. - So that's the basics of how you play through the courts. I'm not gonna try and argue that this is all that a great lead guitar player does. This is just the beginning. This is the scaffolding for a great solo. And if you learn the arpeggios, then you can always know that you're playing a note that fits with that cord perfectly. And you can just kind of have fun the way I just did in this demonstration. And then you can expand on that with other scales, maybe the pentatonic scale or the major scale that we learned in part one or Section one of this course. So, you know, that's basically the idea is trying to match the notes you're playing to the cords that are happening, and you do have to learn to think in real time about, well, what cord is happening and what chord am I trying toe play through. Right? So that's all important things that you need to consider. But their skills you can learn just by practicing the same way that high demonstrate here. So download the jam track and, uh, give a listen. This is just a slow tempo. It's 60 beats per minute. Nice comfortable temple to get started with and maybe even write down the 12 bar blues on a piece of paper in front of you G C C g D C g d. And then, you know, know that the desire d seven. So their dominance and the other Jeez and Cesaire both major seven jam through it. See where you get and feel free to actually share the song with the other students of this course by posting it either as a project or posting an under discussion board that we can will access. Okay, so let me know if you have any questions. If you need clarification, anything, just reach out to me. I'd love to hear from you, and I'm happy to help. Let's move on and just wrap up the course. 12. Minor 7 Arpeggio Addendum: now that we've looked at playing the arpeggios for G Major C major and the dominant. Although it's not used in the 12 Bar Blues, I feel that I need to cover the minor arpeggio. Okay, so I'm gonna show you how to play a G minor arpeggio. And in this particular lesson, I'm gonna include the demonstration as well as kind of a brief overview of the tab that's attached along with this lesson. The idea here is that I wanted to make sure you know how to play a minor arpeggio because between major seven minor, seven and dominant arpeggios, you're covered for just about any common chord change or court Siris of chords of court progression in popular music. So I don't want to leave out the minor. The only reason that it's kind of delayed in in the part of the course here is just that it's not actually used in the 12 Bar Blues. The 12 Bar Blues uses the G major see measure, then D dominant. And even if you would go into another key like a major or something like that, then it again would be to major chords and dominant chord. So this minor arpeggio is really important for you to know. I want encourage. You should learn it just as heavily as you work on the other arpeggios ideally start at 60 beats per minute with the Metrodome and then move on up to 120 beats per minute. Ideally, All right, but you can play this arpeggio over any minor court. So if you see an a minor chord in when your cord progressions, you can play the a minor arpeggio. If you see a g minor f sharp minor, then you play the appropriate mind progression just starting on the right note. So let me show you how to play a G minor arpeggio. So let me get started just by demonstrating it for you. Sounds like this. And this is a two octave arpeggio again, right? And I'm gonna walk you through this. So this is a G minor arpeggio, and we're gonna start with our index finger on the third fret, which is G. We're gonna play index and we're gonna reach up to the sixth Threat with our pinky. From there we go straight to the ring finger on the fifth fret, then we go index finger on the third fret ring finger on the fifth Fret. Now we do Just one note on this string index on the third fret index on the second string. Still, third fret pinky on the six threat of the second string on index There. Now that's the end of two octaves. I'm gonna go ahead for efficiency sake, since my fingers are there without having to change position on play. This note on the sixth threat of the first string with my pinky so descending. Now, if you want to play this, for example, over an a minor chord in a court progression, you just simply start on a and you play index pinkie ring index ring index index, pinkie index pinky. So you practice that pattern of fingers rather than fret numbers. And then it becomes universal, a universal pattern that could be applied to any route F sharp minor just started on. Have sharp right. Do you want to practice this? A. Sending and descending until you can play it? Say 100 20 beats per minute is a good kind of cut off point where you can probably count on the fact that you're playing from muscle memory. Now I have attached guitar tab for this arpeggios. Well, I'm going to rely on the fact that the previous lessons in which I've gone over how to read the tab that you can kind of project how to read the minor tap, and it's it's great for you to just follow my example here on screen. The guitar tab that I prepare is really just there in the event that you you want to have some kind of on paper reference point for this pattern is just another way of describing it . So use feel free to use that feel free to not use that you know, whatever's easiest. The main goal is you want to be able to play this pattern develop. It has muscle memory so you can just kick it out over any minor chord that you see in a court progression. So now let's continue on with the course 13. Conclusion: eso. Although the three parts of this course are primarily designed, Teoh help total beginners of guitar like I take with my actual private students. I want to make sure that you come out of this with some way of actually having fun on guitar. So I'm hoping that you got a lot out of this course section one we weigh got into the rial basics. I taught you how to hold on to the guitar play G major scale and stuff like that got you a little bit up and running with jamming along with 12 bar blues. Section two Part two is really looking at rhythm, and we talked about how important rhythm is. It's absolutely non negotiable. She gotta have that and then in part three were actually playing solos and learning the basics of soloing lead playing. So you got a lot here to really just have a good time on the guitar and have have a good time playing, and that is the main idea. So practice the lessons to the extent that you can play all these technical pieces like the arpeggios and scales at about 100 20 beats per minute. Always reach out to me. If you have any questions, maybe there's something that you need more elaboration on something that you felt was missing from the course. Reach out to me. I'm happy to hear from you and happy to help out Make sure ing that you get what you need out. Of course, to really get kick started as a beginner guitar player, I have other courses that are gonna go a little bit more into things like melody and harmony. And ultimately, you know, more advanced lead playing as well. So you can check out my other courses, please finish the assignments and course project, and I will look forward to seeing you in my next course.