Speaking with Slide Guitar
Blues Masters & Disciples
Evolution to Modern Blues
Learning to Lead: Blues & Rock
Featuring complete, tactical courses from Ariel Posen, Stuart Ziff, Artur Menezes, and David Isaacs. Learn the foundations or brush up on the basics with Dave Isaacs as he lays out a new approach to learning to play blues lead as a beginner. Once set, tackle the vocabulary of the blues greats with Stuart Ziff as he reveals their best licks in great detail. Now the stage is set to go beyond tradition and break out of the box with Artur Menezes who teaches modern blues with diminished and chromatic concepts. Finally, translate what has been learned into singing slide technique with Ariel Posen.
This is a full, 27+ hour collection featuring 139 step-by-step lessons with full supplemental content.
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Know what to practice after each lesson with guided suggestions, tabs, jamtracks and more.
Know what to practice after each lesson with guided suggestions, tabs, jamtracks and more.
The Blues Collection features 139 lessons and 27+ hours of video.
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Taught by Ariel Posen
Slide guitar is perhaps the closest we can get to replicating the human voice on the guitar. In his series "Speaking With the Slide", world renown slide player Ariel Posen will guide you through slide scale positions in standard and open tuning, as well as teaching you to use such freeing techniques as playing behind the slide that will open a world of possibilities for your slide playing!
If you could choose one technique to replicate the human voice on your guitar, it would be slide guitar. The long rich history of slide is rooted in just that: making your guitar sound like a human voice. Join Ariel Posen as he introduces us to his course, "Speaking with the Slide". This overview will let you know exactly what to expect from this course that will take you outside of your normal guitar playing box.
First, there are a few things that need to be addressed before we even play a note using the slide. In this lesson, Ariel gives us his take on selecting a slide, string gauge, guitar setup and other practical topics to get you up and running with slide guitar!
So much of getting the slide to sound great is born out of good hand technique. From muting and the "sandwich" technique, to bar placement on the strings, Ariel puts you in the best situation to succeed with these technique tips.
Playing slide is not about re-learning your instrument, it's about integrating certain techniques with your existing knowledge. In this lesson, we start down the path of that integration, with learning to play the major scale with the slide in standard tuning.
Now Ariel takes a look at the minor scale in standard tuning, both horizontally and vertically.
On to the scale that is a must have for slide and non-slide players: the minor pentatonic scale in standard tuning.
Now the last standard tuning scale that we're going to drill - the major pentatonic scale.
Ariel now turns our attention to open E tuning. Because of the tuning intervals, this tuning allows us to stack scale notes and chords within the same fret, thus giving us simpler slide positioning and different colors to work with when playing slide.
This part of the course focuses on becoming as comfortable and familiar as possible with our scales in open E tuning. Remember that our hand positioning has changed, so be sure to refer to the tablature if you're unsure of where you should position your slide. In this lesson, we will start with the major scale.
Now on to the minor scale in open E tuning. Remember, the practicing and repetitions are a very important element to get us to the desired comfort level with these scales!
The minor pentatonic scale is perhaps the most familiar scale that we all know in standard tuning. Ariel's goal in this lesson is to get you just as familiar with this scale in open E tuning!
And finally, we use this lesson to drill the major pentatonic scale in open E tuning. Remember to refer to the tab if you're unsure of the note positions on the fretboard.
Now that we've learned all of our primary scales using the slide, it's time to look a technique designed to add back in some of the freedom of playing with our fingers: playing behind the slide. Being a real master of this technique, Ariel explains the concept and shows us the nuts and bolts of the technique in this lesson.
In this lesson, Ariel shows us what it takes to play certain scales "behind the slide".
One thing that playing behind the slide allows us to do is to expand our chord vocabulary while using the slide. It takes us out of having to only use vertical slide positions in the same fret. Ariel shows us some of our basic chord positions and voicings that will make chord playing with the slide an enhancement to our music and not a hindrance.
The concept of playing two notes at a time in a melodic line (double stops), is certainly not a new concept. We've all done when playing "regular" guitar. Here, Ariel shows us how to incorporate double stops while adding the slide to the mix.
So often when we put a slide on our finger we feel like we have to totally re-invent the way we play guitar. Ariel is here to tell us that this is not so! In this lesson we learn how to incorporate the slide into the licks and riffs we've already been playing.
Now we begin to look at the subtleties of playing slide guitar - the articulations. Perhaps the most important articulation is intonation. The very voice and character that you play with is greatly affected by your intonation. Here Ariel takes a look at finding the "sweet spot" of intonation, and how to approach notes in a way that gives them that character.
Getting a good tone when playing slide is less about amps and guitars and more about fingers - specifically your picking hand fingers. In this lesson, Ariel demonstrates the different tones you can achieve with a pick and without.
Playing with dynamics is a concept that applies to all types of guitar playing, but perhaps even more with slide. After all, having a big piece of metal or glass on your finger can make it a challenge to remember the subtle nature of playing with dynamics. Ariel shows us how to use touch and volume to create the desired level of dynamics in your playing.
Vibrato is a technique that not only gives character to your guitar playing, it conveys your personality on the guitar, giving voice to your emotion and state of mind. Vibrato can be subtle, or it can be intense - there is no right or wrong! Ariel explores the various "states" of vibrato in this, the last lesson on the slide articulations.
Expanding on the idea of making good use of our other fingers while also using the slide, Ariel shows us the idea of using our "free" fingers to play bass notes, while the slide accentuates chords above said bass notes. These techniques give us maximum flexibility and versatility so that we're not locked into notes that are vertical on our fretboard.
When we think of slide guitar, it's not a stretch to think of other instruments like lap steel and pedal steel, which are just a "stone's throw" away, musically speaking. In this lesson, Ariel shows us three different licks that were designed to sound like a pedal steel guitar, thus giving even more variety to our slide playing.
Now Ariel looks at the same licks in open E tuning. Although they are basically the same, they have a much different flavor. You'll have a chance to practice the licks, and hear what they sound like in context with Ariel's song "Fade".
Droning certain notes while playing with the slide over the top of them is a favorite technique of slide players. It allows you to create mood and color in a very simple way. Ariel starts the droning section of this series with a demonstration of droning the bottom strings while using the slide on the top strings.
While droning the bottom strings and playing high string lends itself more to a "solo" guitar approach, droning the high strings lends itself to being used in the context of a full band situation. Here, Ariel shows us what that technique sounds like in the context of his song - "Better Late Than Never".
Up until now, we've only droned two strings at once. In this lesson, Ariel uses the top three strings to drone. Given that we are in open E tuning, that gives us an E chord to drone over (E, B and G#), which in turn gives even more flavor to our chordal sounds.
The way we see notes in our heads dictates a lot in our playing and note choice. Sometimes it's easy to get wrapped up in the letter names of the notes, but most of us know that makes choosing notes in the spur of the moment more challenging. Ariel talks about changing the way we think of notes in this lesson - less in terms of letter names, and more of numbers and intervals. Practicing how we hear and name these notes can have a tremendous effect on how free we are in our playing.
Now it's time to pull together all the things that we've been working on, and let those things serve us in our quest to improvise a solo. Remember all that time you spent practicing the scales with the slide on? Now is time to reap the reward!
The differences between standard and open tuning are subtle, but there are "flavor" differences that we can hear. Ariel now demonstrates a slightly different flavored solo in standard tuning.
Meet Ariel Posen
Arial Posen is a singer, songwriter, producer, and internationally-renowned guitarist. A lifelong musician, there are few roles Ariel Posen hasn't played.
Although born in Winnipeg, Posen spent much of his childhood on the road, traveling from show to show with his musician parents. He began playing guitar at 9 years old, kicking off a career that eventually found him traveling the globe for his own gigs, including shows as a member of the Juno Award winning, roots-rock band The Bros. Landreth. Several years later, Posen began working on an album of his own, tracking his new songs in the same studio in which his parents once recorded their albums.
How Long marks Posen's long-awaited solo debut, showcasing not only his chops as an instrumentalist, but his talents as a diverse songwriter, too. The record casts a wide net, moving from rootsy blues to R&B to melodic rock & roll. A co-writer and producer for artists of all genres, Posen shows the full range of his talents on these 10 tracks, nodding to his influences — including The Beatles, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer and more — along the way. How Long is not a guitar record, although there's certainly plenty of guitar to be heard here. Instead, it's a song record, filled with hooks, autobiographical lyrics, and Posen's compelling voice.
"The guitar is the tool to get the music out," he says. "Always serve the song first. Otherwise, you're just playing an instrument.”
Taught by Stuart Ziff
Learn the roots and flavors of this timeless style by navigating the roadmap of storied bluesman throughout history. Stuart Ziff, accomplished musician and educator, dedicates 40 lessons to this timeline. We start with T-Bone Walker, move to the “three kings” of B.B. King, Albert King and Freddie King... then dissect their “disciples” of Mike Bloomfield and Duane Allman.
As guitarists, we all draw from what we know and like. And when we look closely at the greats, we learn to reflect their greatness in our own playing. Join Stuart as he introduces us to the Masters and their Disciples.
The foundations of blues soloing are the major and minor pentatonic scales. Before we get started looking at some of the blues greats, Stuart gives a quick review of all 5 patterns of the major and minor pentatonics.
To have command of your fretboard and to improve your soloing, it's very important to know what makes up a chord - in other words, your arpeggios. Here, Stuart shows us a method for learning patterns 1 and 2 of your dominant 7th, drop two arpeggios.
When learning the fretboard is your goal, arpeggios are a tried and true method. Stuart continues by showing us patterns 3 and 4 of the drop two arpeggios, along with a great way to practice them!
Now we get into the players. All electric blues guitar points back to T-Bone Walker. In this lesson, Stuart introduces us to some of the things that made him legendary: his sense of timing, rhythm and swing, and his use of space.
T Bone Walker, the Father of Texas Blues crafted single note solos that were fluid and very horn-like. Stuart takes a look at this and other attributes that made him one of the original bridges between blues and jazz.
Among other things, T Bone Walker was an authority in regards to rhythm playing. In this up-tempo shuffle, sometimes called a "jump blues", Stuart demonstrates how T Bone would punctuate the groove with horn section-like rhythm parts.
Being that bridge between jazz and blues, T-Bone had lots of jazzy elements in his playing: not a lot of bending, use of the 9th and other ear grabbing chord tones. Stuart uses a simple, bluesy harmony over this shuffle feel to demonstrate these qualities.
So how do you comp a rhythm part against an upbeat track? In this lesson, Stuart shows us how to execute a swing feel rhythm over this T-Bone style track based on the classic "Strolling with Bones".
What is a head melody? Well, think of it as you would a chorus in a song being sung. Only in jazz, we refer to it as a "head melody". Learning this simple melody will get you into the feel of this track!
We've learned the rhythm and the head melody, now Stuart shows us a call and response technique that he integrates into the solo, along with swung eighth notes and repetitive figures. Note the very horn-like phrasing that was a hallmark of T-Bone's style.
His technique. His distinctive vibrato. His use of major and minor pentatonic scales. We're talking about the great B.B. King. Stuart gives us a worthy introduction to the first "King" and shows the connection to the past in T-Bone Walker.
B.B.'s sweet sound could be boiled down to his note choices. The manner in which he combined the major pentatonic and minor pentatonic scales was the primary way in which he made the guitar speak. And make no mistake - the guitar was B.B.'s voice!
B.B. King had many classic moves that Stuart will now take a look at. He had a way of addressing the chords of a song, then applying his nuanced bends and signature vibrato to give us the legendary sound we know and love!
In part 2 of B.B. the Boss, Stuart asks us to forget about the "B.B. box" that everyone obsesses over, and focus in on the dynamics and emotion that made B.B. the king of the blues.
One of B.B.'s most iconic records has a rhythm guitar part played by the legendary Hugh McCracken. On this track in the style of "The Thrill is Gone", Stuart demonstrates how the rhythm guitar part can dictate the feel of a song.
Soloing over a minor blues can be a lot of what NOT to play, especially when emulating the tasteful style of B.B. King. Join Stuart as he talks about finding the right note combinations, where to bend, and what notes to stay away from.
Playing rhythm guitar over a slow blues can be one of the hardest things to get right when learning to master the blues. It requires a lot of restraint, and a single minded focus on supporting the groove.
No doubt about it, B.B. King was the master of the slow blues. His feel, emotion and note choice were impeccable. Using the classic call and response technique, Stuart emulates B.B.'s slow blues style on this classic sounding "in the style of" track.
Left Handed. Upside down. Radical string bending. Fingers and no pick. We're taking a look at Albert King now. Another unique, powerful voice in the world of blues, his bending in particular influenced the likes of Eric Clapton, Duane Allman and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
When analyzing Albert King's style, we must take into account his work with the Stax Records rhythm section, in particular, Steve Cropper. Here, Stuart shows us how Cropper really opened up space in the song through his rhythm guitar part.
Demonstrated in this lesson is Albert King's unique lead guitar style. His instantly recognizable playing was compiled of his phrasing, timing, string bending and overall attitude. Now you'll be able to grab bits and pieces of his phrases to compose your own solo!
Now Stuart looks at a blues staple in the New Orleans rhumba-style feel. A traditional Latin feel that was adapted to the blues, it is highlighted by contrasting differences in the rhythm section. This is all to understand the timing for soloing in the next lesson.
Strong groove and great phrasing highlight this Albert King style solo over the New Orleans rhumba feel. We'll take some of the timing and bending techniques that we learned in a previous lesson and apply it to this unique rhythmic feel.
The Albert King slow blues - a feel that depends on timing and space. One of the hardest feels to master, Stuart uses the tremolo effect to help accentuate the space in the track, helping you to relax and take your time!
In the slow blues, feel always trumps the number of notes. No one knew this better than Albert King. As Stuart guides you, be aware of the tempo and try to stay relaxed. The goal is to mimic the feel and eventually construct your own solo!
A player's feel and rhythm can shift when the song shifts feel and style. We've looked at a shuffle, a rhumba and a slow blues in the style of Albert King. Now it's time to travel to Memphis and get greasy with this funky track!
Are you hearing Clapton? Maybe Billy Gibbons? Well, they were both influenced by the Texas Cannonball. His distinctive playing included intense one and two bar phrases, and hanging on one note. Fierce, sweet and nasty are just a few words used to describe Freddie King.
Stuart now takes a look at the rhythm part of this track based on the classic, Woke Up This Morning. Syncopated eighth notes are the key to making this track groove. Add in the 9th chords, and you've got a very "jazzy" sounding blues track!
Freddie King was known for his aggressive style of guitar playing, and his very distinctive tone that really cut through the mix. In this lesson, Stuart locks in on Freddie's lead style by being choosy about which notes to bend, and which phrases to repeat.
This slow blues in the key of D encounters the challenge of playing at or around the 10th fret. Freddie was a master of being dynamic and grooving even when playing in a higher register on the guitar, just as Stuart tries to emulate here.
Now we get to one of the Disciples that was influenced by everyone we've looked at so far in this series: Duane Allman. One of the most influential players from late 60's and early 70's, Duane developed his own distinctive style with and without his slide.
In listening to Duane Allman, you could tell that he had been listening to T-Bone, the Three Kings, Muddy Waters and so on. Taking all of these influences, he put together his own fluid, lyrical and conversational style that Stuart demonstrates in this lesson.
Duane's bending of notes gave his playing a very animated quality, along with his sense of swing and phrasing that were unique to his playing. In this slow blues track, Stuart demonstrates some of the attributes that made Duane a powerful force in the blues world.
In some of the early Allman Brothers records, Duane's power was on full display. He had great facility when playing on slow blues, and up tempo songs as well. In this lesson, Stuart demonstrates many facets of Duane's playing on this upbeat number.
Along with being a phenomenal blues player, Duane was also adept at playing in the pop/rock, singer/songwriter style featured on some of the Allman Brothers records. On this track, Stuart demonstrates some of Duane's country-like taste that made him such a versatile player.
Mike Bloomfield was a player with great speed and facility on the instrument that was ahead of his time. He left us way too soon after blazing a trail through the 60's and 70's influencing countless guitarists along the way, including Stuart Ziff.
In this lesson, Stuart takes a look at Mike Bloomfield's style and how he used many of the techniques we've discussed so far in this series: using the major and minor pentatonics, addressing the chord changes and using arpeggios.
Bloomfield was a powerhouse blues talent. Even on a track like this one, with changing feels, Mike kept the intensity up at all times. In this lesson, Stuart emulates and analyzes some things Mike may have played over this type of track.
In this lesson, Stuart takes on the daunting task of playing a slow blues, and playing with such intensity and aggression that it challenges ones timing and groove. Mike Bloomfield was a master at this, and it can be heard in many of his recordings.
Meet Stuart Ziff
40 years of playing, writing, and teaching, Stuart Ziff is a seasoned veteran of the music industry. Stuart's resume checks all the boxes. Teacher at Musician's Institute, Guitar World columnist, session musician, touring performer. Stuart played guitar on hit #1 singles in the 1990s, and even even voice acted in Pizza Hut commerials early in his career.
Hailing from Buffalo, NY, Stuart has the reputation of being the foremidable sideman. Reliable. Knowledgable. Consistent. A true professional musician with 40 years of earned wisdom.
At JamPlay, Stuart continues to be a versatile contributor to our platform, offering various courses for Blues, Reggae, Rock and slide guitar. This latest course adds to an ever growing arsenal of material in his library, now amassing over 120 lessons in 4 seperate courses.
Taught by Artur Menezes
Winner of the ultra-prestigious Gibson Blues Guitarist of the Year, Artur Menezes, now joins the JamPlay roster of artists and educators. We are excited to announce his course, "The Evolution to Modern Blues", covering the past, current, and future of this beloved genre. Equipped with full tabs, playalong tracks and spanning 31 lessons, Artur walks you through the time-honored traditions of Blues, then into "his world" of modern blues techniques and flavorful additions.
Artur discusses his new course, what you can expect to learn, and what you should know going in.
Understanding the form of the 12 bar blues is foundational to blues guitar playing. Internalizing where the chords land and understanding the harmony is key to mastering the traditional blues form.
We've learned the standard 12 bar form. There are many different feels that fit within that basic form. In this lesson, Artur takes a look at a variation in the 12 bar blues: the slow change and fast change concepts.
Although a very common type of blues, don't be fooled by the word "slow" in slow blues. Slow does not mean easy! In fact, it can be a challenging feel to master. Artur gives us his take on the slow blues.
The shuffle is one of the core feels of blues. In this lesson Artur talks about how to "feel" the shuffle, and gives some ideas of what to play over it.
Turnarounds are lines played over the bars 11 and 12. They're commonly played on blues tunes and their function is to conclude the "sentence"(round). Like when you're reading a book and you finish a paragraph or a chapter.
To improvise over a blues tune, major or minor, the Minor Pentatonic Scale is a foundational component. In this lesson Artur explains the scale, and will teach you the 1st shape and give you 4 licks that will make you sound bluesy!
Now on to the 2nd shape of the minor pentatonic scale. Get ready for the scale plus 4 in position licks that will make you sound amazing!
Another scale shape, another 4 licks! This time it's shape 3 of the minor pentatonic scale.
The 4th shape add yet more flavors to your minor pentatonic scale licks. Again, we learn the shape and learn 4 cool licks to go along with it!
In this lesson Artur teaches us the last shape of the minor pentatonic scale. And as with the other shapes, Artur will give us 4 licks to go along with shape 5.
Bends and Vibrato are some of if not the most important things to consider when you express yourself through guitar. They are what make you sound like you. In this lesson Artur shows us some vibrato and bending techniques you can learn, and in time they will help you develop your own sound!
Have you ever attended to a blues jam session and heard someone yell "Shuffle in D, from the five! 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4..."? What is that! In this lesson Artur teaches you those expressions and licks to start shuffle and slow tunes.
Finishing strong is very important when playing the blues! In this lesson, Artur explains how a blues tune usually ends and I'll give you some licks for this.
It's important to copy the masters in order to understand the blues language and with time develop your own phrasing. In this video I'll show some licks from BB King.
It's important to listen to and emulate the masters in order to understand blues language and feel. In this lesson, Artur shows us some licks from the legendary bluesman Albert King.
When we study the blues greats, it's inevitable that their style will seep into our own playing. Just like we can hear Hendrix in Stevie Ray Vaughn's playing, Stevie Ray's playing can find it's way into yours! Here are some Stevie Ray style licks from Artur to get you on your way.
Using movements and chord substitution are very important to make the song more musical, mature and less boring for the players and for the audience. In this lesson Artur focuses on the "half diminished" chord substitution in a slow blues, major key, using chormaticism to move the chords.
Now Artur shows us an interesting way of improvising using chords and their arpeggios as the basis of the solo. He also shows us some licks based on the half diminished arpeggio.
Players like BB King and Derek Trucks mastered playing the major scale over a traditional blues progression. In this lesson Artur shows you how to integrate this into your playing.
This lesson is all about an easy but important exercise meant to connect all of the minor pentatonic shapes. Artur also gives us some fast pentatonic runs to help with our speed and dexterity.
Instead of thinking modally, Artur is the type of player that likes to think: Minor Pentatonic + Target notes. In this lesson, he shows us some licks using the minor pentatonic, plus the sharp 4.
The minor pentatonic plus the major 3rd is the subject of this lesson. Get ready to add a major flavor to your tonality!
More flavors to add to your playing - Adding the major 6 to the minor pentatonic scale gives that "dorian" sound!
Adding the major 9 flavor to your minor pentatonic scale licks will give you a more modern sound. Join Artur as he explores this latest addition.
Using the altered scale in just the right spot can start suggesting jazz tonality in your blues playing. In this lesson, Artur shows us the scale and how and where to use it!
Dominant diminished. Yet another scale that takes you into new territory, tonally speaking. Artur gives us some cool licks to use with this very unique scale.
Using chromaticism is an easy way to add a more modern approach and tonality. Artur uses chromatic connecting points to show us this concept.
The minor blues is a foundational blues style that has it's roots deep in the genre. Artur talks about this feel and shows us some of his favorite minor blues licks.
The more we move towards jazz tonality, the more sophisticated our blues becomes. In this lesson Artur improvises over a song from his most recent album. Talk about a modern evolution! This is entering full on Jazz territory!
Meet Artur Menezes
Winner of the "Albert King Award" for Best Guitarist and 3rd place on Band Category at the International Blues Challenge 2018, Artur Menezes is an energetic guitarist hailing from Brazil. In addition to performing the traditional blues with expertise and respect, he also plays modern blues, mixing with other styles.
Recently, Artur shared the stage with Joe Satriani in a festival in Brazil for a 20,000, and also opened for the grammy winner Bobby Rush in LA. In 2012, Artur played the opening shows for Buddy Guy's South American tour in Brazil. Artur lived in Chicago in 2006, 2007 and 2011, jamming in many blues clubs with great artists.
In 2013 Artur led a contest during the 1st phase among more than 2000 artists from around the world for a place to play with Eric Clapton, held at Madison Square Garden in NY.
Concerned about disseminating and expanding access to blues in Brazil, Artur was one of the founders of the society “Casa do Blues” (House Of Blues), which promotes weekly shows with free entrance, remaining on the board of the project until early 2013.
Artur was a speaker at TEDx, an annual event licensed by TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) in 2013, where personalities share their experiences and knowledge in presentations broadcast live on the Internet and later released on video, the TEDTalks accessible to billions of people worldwide.
Taught by David Isaacs
Great players have the touch, tone, and vocabulary to make a guitar speak and sing. This course is a beginner’s introduction to lead guitar, and the approaches and tools you can use to become a confident melody player. Yes, you’ll learn some scales and finger patterns, but good lead playing is all about phrasing, tone, and feel. Learn how to make a powerful statement with just a few notes, or lay the groundwork for a full-on shred attack. If you’ve ever wanted to step up and soar like your heroes, this course is for you. Learn the basic vocabulary and musical concepts behind rock and blues lead guitar, and how to make the most of working with backing tracks.
Dave introduces us to his course, Learning to Lead, where we will learn things like the basic vocabulary and musical concepts behind rock and blues lead guitar, and how to make the most of working with backing tracks.
Simply put, phrasing is learning to organize your ideas in time. When fleshing out this concept, learning how to play various note groupings, rhythmic subdivisions, and rhythm 'cells' is key. In this lesson, Dave starts us out by showing us how to execute rhythms on a single note in time against a track.
What is a pentatonic scale, and why does it work so well in so much of the music we play? The answer to these and other questions are found in this lesson, as Dave shows us how to execute pentatonic fragments in time against a track.
Phrasing sometimes involves the shaping of intervallic contours in a line or scale. In this lesson, Dave takes a look at the rising and falling of intervals and the steps or jumps in scale degrees.
Now we take a look at a new pentatonic formation, and how to duplicate melodic figures in different positions.
When it comes to phrasing, the call and response technique is certainly foundational. In this lesson, Dave takes a look at the technique, specifically at how it is used in blues playing.
Let's take that same call and response technique and use it across different positions. This helps create contrast in your lines, and an overall variety in your playing!
The major pentatonic is where we're headed now. Dave will show us two different ways to find this scale, as well as some variations between major and minor 'flavors'.
And now yet another pentatonic pattern! This lesson will focus on moving up the neck with more E minor pentatonic fragments.
When learning to improvise, it's wise to learn to use fragments of scales in multiple positions. This gives you the most options when traversing the neck.
Don't let the word 'theory' scare you away! This lesson is a simple, practical, useful way to learn how to relate chords to scales, and it will serve you well down the road!
In this lesson, Dave introduces us to the 12 bar blues. This 'slow change' pattern can be used in many situations. The 1-4-5, bass riffs, and offbeat shuffle are some of the concepts that we'll cover in this lesson.
Now Dave shows us some moveable chord voicings that we can use in this 'quick change' 12 bar blues.
Let's move to our first major scale. In this lesson we will learn the C major scale and concept of key, and the intervallic contruction of the scale. As we walk through the fingerings and patterns, we'll see that this scale give us more options for tension and release.
What is a melodic sequence? Dave explores this concept by looking closely at note groupings, and using repetitive sequences to organize melodic ideas.
Now let's apply what we learned about melodic sequences and use it over chord changes. We'll find that the opportunity to use chord tones and tension tones will add another dimension to our sequencing.
In this lesson, Dave takes a look at the chord tones found in blues music. We use the slow change blues track again to learn our 7th chord arpeggios.
The ultimate goal is to learn all of our scales in any position. That means 6 forms and variations, with multiple fingerings from any bass note. Whew! This may seem daunting, but Dave gets us going in this direction with this exercise where we will learn to climb the neck in the key of F.
Dave shows us how to map the neck by identifying scale degrees within each fingering. This helps us to use the scales in a practical way, improving our ear.
With the availability of more chord tones with different fingerings, this now allows us to explore transposing. We start with transposing the exercise from lesson 17.
The 'blue note' is a classic tonal variation that allows for great tension in a line, or use as a passing note. In this lesson, Dave shows us where this note is located, and how to use it best.
Now it's time to look at the G major scale. Dave explains the concept of forming a cycle up the neck of the guitar, as well as using 3 scale forms from a single bass note.
Chord tones can be played as arpeggios derived from the scale. Dave shows us how to map out the arpeggio fingerings, and how to use the arpeggios in a melodic way.
In this lesson, Dave shows us how to derive melodies from chord tones by identifying the connecting notes. Then we wrap up the lesson learning a melodic use of those chord tones.
Tones found outside a given chord or scale can help create tension, and subsequently release when resolved. This can help create more interesting movement in our phrases and lines.
Articulation techniques add nuance and dynamics to our guitar playing. In this lesson, Dave gets us started with some key articulation movements: slides and slurs.
Dave takes a look at the natural minor scale, it's fingerings and it's parallel and relative relationships.
By combining pentatonics and the natural minor scale, we arrive at the minor blues. Dave shows us the minor blues progression, and how to add these scale combinations to get a great, classic sound.
The next step in our articulation development is string bending. Acclimating our ear to quarter, half and whole step bends is key to mastering this technique.
The harmonic minor scale can be easily played by slightly altering the natural minor scale. In this lesson Dave shows us that alteration, as well as some practical uses for this scale.
Now let's take the harmonic minor scale and apply it to chords. We'll identify key chord tones, then learn how to place it properly in our backing track.
It's time now to explore the modes! Dave starts us with the Dorian mode. We look at two different ways to dervive the modes as well as analyzing some practical ways to improvise over Dorian.
Next up is the Mixolydian mode. Derived from dominant 5th degree of the scale, Dave shows us how to access this scale and the best ways to use it in our improvisation.
Dave now shows us a very cool way to mix Dorian and Mixolydian, creating unique tonal opportunities!
In this lesson, Dave shows us yet more melodic ways to use chord tones. Arpeggios are the key in this lesson!
Chromatics work great as passing tones and connectors in our playing. They also lend themselves to creating a 'jazzier' sound in our improvisation!
In this lesson, Dave teaches us the 'Abacus Concept' of changing keys.
A good solo tells a story as ideas unfold. We can use the scales and concepts that we've learned in previous lessons, but it's HOW we put them together that ultimately decide how good the solo will be! In this lesson we will learn to use rhythm, texture and dynamics, as well as a number of the melodic concepts we've learned in the series to create a cool solo!
Free Improvisation is just that - you are free to move around the neck and the rhythmic universe without constraints. Learn how to organize your ideas through rhythm, dynamics and texture to create something that is uniquely yours!
Meet David Isaacs
Dave Isaacs has earned a reputation as one of the best: not simply a guitar and piano teacher but as a musical mentor to performing artists, songwriters, and performers as well as beginners, weekend warriors, and perpetual beginners.
Dave’s approach to teaching develops not only guitar playing but the whole musician, building real skills, confidence, and musical knowledge.
A dynamic performing artist himself, he played in venues across the US from small clubs to festivals and concert halls. He has jammed with Les Paul on a Manhattan nightclub stage, rocked in the mud at Yasgur’s Farm, harmonized in Greenwich Village folk clubs, and chicken-picked hot licks on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. His ten independent CD releases run a wide stylistic range, from eclectic singer-songwriter to swampy groove-blues, bright country-rock, Southern soul, and lyrical jazz and classical guitar.
On the formal academic side, Dave is an award-winning graduate of the New York’s venerable Manhattan School of Music, with a Master of Music degree in classical guitar performance. He was a full-time instructor of music and music technology at Tennessee State University from 2009-2013, and taught music theory and listening skills in the audio production program at the Art Institute of Tennessee-Nashville from 2008-2016.