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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Tips on Blues improv

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FractalBreaux - Posted - 12/10/2017:  11:53:58

Anybody Got any good tips for improvising blues? Scales, timing, rhythm, tricks, style, or even just improv in general? I posted some stuff I am trying to do under Mp3s Titled "Blues in Triple C". I have been playing for about a year so any help is appreciated.

Mooooo - Posted - 12/10/2017:  16:20:25

google pentatonic scale and blues scales banjo should find lots

pearcemusic - Posted - 12/10/2017:  17:28:15

I have lots of improv focused docs and videos available on my photos and videos tabs on my homepage here or on YouTube.

FractalBreaux - Posted - 12/10/2017:  18:47:21

Cool, I'll take a look, thanks guys.

Tom Hanway - Posted - 12/10/2017:  20:33:50

Below is a sped-up-bluegrassified version of a Robert Johnson tune, so, it's not Chicago blues, more like a crossover version of a Delta blues tune. (I'm also a Cream and Eric Clapton fan.)

Notice the banjo intro and solo break, also the ending where I'm noodling on an E-chord up the neck, bending the third string with my index finger while playing an E-chord, and getting weird. 

I think I was subconsciously trying to sound like Papa John Creach (Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna) on the descending lick (B chord). There's some ideas borrowed from Scruggs, too, so go back and learn 'Foggy Mountain Special', also Don Reno's 'Double Banjo Blues'.

It's a good idea to listen to fiddlers, sax players, horn players, blues and jazz players. Listen to Doub, he can really shred, and his tabs and tutorials are invaluable.  

Last, there are hints of Béla Fleck and Tony Trischka in this, especially Tony, who taught me how to play in E without a capo, e.g. 'Bloozinee' (Trischka).

Crossroad Blues  };^D>

Also, here's a tab using single-string. I don't stick to TITI patterns anymore, in part to playing Irish tunes that have loosened up my picking hand.  Also Doub showed me the wisdom of using TITM, and then there's also TIMI instead of TITI patterns.  Go slowly, use a metronome when you decide it's time to play fast, and don't practice mistakes.

Badbelly's Banjo Boogie - 12-bar blues TAB




Tractor1 - Posted - 12/10/2017:  20:56:46

here is one I wrote in E.This is the basic 3 chord with a turnaround pattern.A lot of blues rely heavily on licks walking around on the 5 - 6-flatted 7 notes,bends and 7th chords.They can be much more complicated.

Rick McKeon - Posted - 12/12/2017:  10:08:52

I posted some "blues boxes" here under Banjo 600: More Theory that might be helpful.


FractalBreaux - Posted - 12/12/2017:  13:24:26

Wow, seriously guys, thanks! There's a ton of great music and info here. Thank you, you've given me a bunch to work with.

FractalBreaux - Posted - 12/12/2017:  14:06:28

Also, Tom that version of Crossroad Blues was awesome. One of my Banjo goals is to eventually, seamlessly blend Appachian music, blues, and Eastern sounding stuff. It may be far fetched, but I've always loved sad, dark, droney music from all around the world and the banjo has always been one of my favorite vehicles of delivery for that kind of sound.

Tom Hanway - Posted - 12/12/2017:  18:17:29

Hey, Drone, that's a great goal--and eminently realizable.  Nobody can take your dreams or learning away from you.  Keep going back and enjoy the process.

FractalBreaux - Posted - 12/12/2017:  19:53:12

Thank you Tom, that's really kind of you to say man. I saw all the Celtic and Irish music you do, I love that as well, I'm working out a version of "Tamblyn" in gCGCC and have a simple version of "Little Matty Groves" I do in Sawmill. I would love to learn "Farewell to Ireland" and "Rocky Road to Dublin" someday as well.

Edited by - FractalBreaux on 12/12/2017 19:53:47

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