Would you like to be able to touch the hearts of the people that hear you playing? When most blues players train improvising, they just arbitrarily keep playing lick after lick and think that the moment will come that they suddenly sound like the great blues players. Well, that is hardly ever the case.
The lack of a method in improvising will cause a lack of greatness in improvisation. I will teach you techniques to make sure that the next time you start improvising, you express your emotions with the way you play guitar. This way you will be able to put all you have into your improvisation.
What is essential in blues solos? Blues is all about expressing the way we feel. It is as boring to listen to a guitar solo that lacks any emotion as to listening someone sing a song with a monotonous voice. That’s why it’s essential to incorporate some expressiveness into you blues playing. Let’s check out some ways to practice this.
You must be aware of your intentions when you write out or improvise a solo. These intentions are highly individual to each person. You have to ask yourself what feelings you want to get across. If you ask yourself that, you will have a better understanding yourself where you want to take the solo. As a result your solo will become more distinctive than the soloing of many other guitarists instantly.
Naturally, you can start improvising just to try things out, but the moment you are aware of what you’re going to play, your solos will evolve enormously.
It is a common mistake that a great amount of guitarists make: to just start improvising without knowing where you want to take your solo. As a result, the solos of most guitar players are very similar, because they do not think through what they want to achieve.
Without a method to improvise, there is no way that you are going to be able to express what you want by playing guitar.
Workout No. 1: Start your improvisation just like you are used to: just try out various things in your solo.
Workout No. 2: Before starting your improvisation, pick a feeling you want to express and then start improvising.
Here are some emotions to pick from:
Workout No. 3: Play a solo and try to integrate a couple of different emotions into it. Begin with two very differing emotions like “excited” and switch to “sad.”
Did that not sound great to play a solo in which you are aware of the feelings you try to get across? After a while you will become very good at it, but the difference is noticeable right away, isn’t it?
What you want to reach in your improvisation is to have an instant connection between your emotionality and what comes out of the guitar. That’s how the emotions you express through your phrasing keep developing while performing your solo, so that you can fall back on the way you feel during the solo. As a result you will be directed towards guitar phrasing that is a reflection of those emotions.
That is mainly the reason why many choose to play blues guitar, because it’s about expressing your emotions. Only very few guitar teachers have a good method towards improvising. The very small amount of teachers that do teach their students to play with feeling offer their pupils practice routines that raise their consciousness towards emotional playing, such as the ones we’ve discussed in this article. These practice routines will take you in the right direction to have absolute freedom when you improvise.
About the Author:
Antony Reynaert teaches blues guitar both online as well as in his guitar studio in Belgium. Check out his online blues guitar lessons website where you can learn how to become a better blues guitarist with free Ebooks and practice methods.