3 Useful Tips for good Blues Improvisation.
The year has started again. Yes, I know: we ate, drank, celebrated it. And now it is back, treacherous, that moment when you have to come back studying. Don’t you also feel that light pedantry that enveloped all of us students before returning to school? In any case, we start again. And start again at full volume, to give us a move. Here are some practical tips to improve your improvisations on the Blues.
First of all: improvisation is an art, and you should nourish it every day. So, everything you read in this article should be kept and let it grow daily with patience and dedication.Especially because, despite the word “improvisation” leads to
1. Learn to listen to chords: The first game changer is to be aware of what is going on the harmony. Before considering the problem of which scale to use and how to use it, it is essential to understand the context in which you are moving. Even when we improvise on a classic Blues I-IV-V progression, understanding which chord we are playing is important to underline the changes and decide accordingly what to apply to make your phrasing more advanced and modern. (To learn more about this topic and learn about all the scales to use in Modern Blues, you might take a look at the “Scale Concepts: Scale for Modern Blues Guitar” course on my school: GUITARlab – Modern Blues Guitar Academy – click here.)
2. Listen to what’s going on around you: When you improvise, try to create space in the things you’re playing. This means: not just focusing on what we are playing at that moment, but raising the antennas to grasp what is happening around us, band or jam track, makes no difference. This gives us the possibility of having a more extensive idea of the song and of our performance because it becomes an integral part of a larger scheme. In this way we will be able to interact more with the other instruments and our solo will no longer seem a stylistic exercise based only on the execution of scales, arpeggios, triads, and blah blah. You will see, it will be much more fun and your listeners will appreciate.
3. Breathe! Have you ever noticed that when you play, forget to breathe often? Busted! That happens very often, especially when we are too focused on other aspects of our playing. Playing in apnea, however (or almost) leads only to an extreme irregularity, even of our sound! That is because the blood is not oxygenated properly and the contraction of our muscles leads us to be stiffer than usual! A good exercise is to get used to breathing whatever we are playing, from technical exercises to scales, to licks during an improvisation. If you do so, you will be more relaxed in your playing and less “muscular” in the things you play. Would you like to know more about this? Read this article I wrote some time ago. I’m sure you’ll find it interesting!
Well, that’s it for this cold January. I hope you found these ideas interesting! Comment below and share the article on your social profiles!
All The Best!