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Does you blues soloing lack the melodic lyricism of Eric Clapton or SRV, or perhaps you’d like to add some slippery, modern dissonance like John Scofield or Scott Henderson? These series of articles explore the various ways you can use the architecture of a chord sequence to really spice up your soloing vocabulary and add an air of sophistication and real authority to your playing.

Following from the previous article, this time we're looking at BB King style of phrasing blues.



Solo Two: Mixing Pentatonics / The ‘Blues’ scale

Our first ‘celebrity’ shape, BB King frequently mixes notes from the major and minor pentatonic scale to create a hybrid box position shape. He’s more concerned with the specific intervals and the effect they have over the shifting harmony. Notice how the initial tone bend starts as the major third of an A7 chord but changes to a semi-tone bend to give us the b7 of the D7 chord.

Each ‘BB’ phrase is divided with an answering phrase that derives from the ‘blues’ scale. This is essentially the same as a minor pentatonic but with an additional passing tone between the 4th and 5th degrees.

Download backing track for Solo 2

Download PDF tab for Solo 2

A blues scale

A Blues scale