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Lesson Series

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Nick Jennison - The Ultimate Guide To Melody & Phrasing: Part 9 - Minor Blues Solo Rationale

Lesson Notes

We open the guitar solo with repeating phrases which leave space and resolve strongly to the root. However, pushing the beat adds uncertainty.

In this next passage we continue a repetition of the melody but, importantly, adds enough variation through guitar nuances to give a sense of familiarity but catch the lister’s ear. We also create instability through more free time phrasing.

Our next set of phrases sees a departure from the previous shorter, spacious lines. We also move away from a feature of the root in each phrase and favour the 3rd. As the intensity of the track builds towards the B section, we also mirror this with our volume.

The colourful lines in the previous phrases are resolved with some more stable familiar bluesy licks in the following group. We then move on to some more instability by playing loud and powerfully over the quieter portion of the track, with an immediate dynamic drop to a softer final phrase, capturing the attention of the listener.

Introducing a classy sounding minor 9 arpeggio is a stark contrast to the raw blues based phrasing we have seen so far and serves as a much needed musical hook for the listener.

The following section very much highlights the chord progression, insinuating a missing Gm chord, followed by an arpeggio line for contrast. We then highlight the 3rd of the Db chord for a more stable resolution.

The timing is perfect for some more sustained melodic playing; mirroring our earlier turnaround melody but choosing to voice this in a higher register to inverse the intensity from their earlier form.


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