Guitar Thursday: Blues Improvisation

Every Thursday, I give a guitar lesson to Will St Pierre. I’ve been thinking that it would be cool to share a little bit about what we are working on. We have almost completed book 2 of the Hal Leonard Guitar Method. Today, our lesson was about improvisation. It makes me really happy to talk about improvisation because that’s what I studied in school and that’s what I think is really fun about playing music with other people.
We’ve been working on a blues in E and E minor pentatonic lics that fit with the blues. Last week, Will was supposed to learn a 12 bar solo over the blues. He did pretty well with it and when we transitioned over into improvisation, it was completely natural. Will’s got a good ear for figuring out stuff, so I think he will make a good improviser because he trusts his ear first. (The downside is that he does not play what’s on the page as precisely; a weakness that I am more than familiar with.)
Will also got the Guitar Tab White Pages for his birthday this month and so he’s full of rock guitar cliche’s now. “Walk This Way”, “Cult Of Personality”, “Sunshine of Your Love”, to name a few. I think this is a great tool for guitarists, if it’s used in connection with a method. I think that tab transcriptions can be a crutch that will not allow you to grow, but if you are being stretched by a method book at the same time, then these tab books can be a great way to get concepts under your hands quickly.
Next week, we’re going to be working on the last piece of the book which is kind of a “Johny B. Good” kind of tune. I’m looking forward to it.

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