Getting Away From Blues

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by guitarface, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

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    I’ve been really enjoying my at home playing and been feeling good about my abilities as of late.

    I think a big part of that has been getting away from blues based playing and playing what I’ll just call regular rock. Maybe it’s rock and pop based on diatonic harmony. I dunno. I figure out the chords and parts and play them and it all relates but it ain’t I-IV-V.

    Blues and blues guitar is still some of my favorite music. But what I’ve come to think lately is that it needs to be played really, really well. The best blues is sublime. The rest can be very boring and/or corny.

    Same for my own playing. For the moment, I’ve reached my limit in blues. I don’t sound like buddy guy. But if I play something less bluesy, like some Pearl Jam songs,* I can sound pretty good, and since I like those songs, it’s a lot of fun.

    And so, in conclusion, if you’re like some kind of intermediate player and you’re frustrated that your pentatonic wanking doesn’t sound as good as Eric clapton’s pentatonic wanking, try some non-blues style playing and maybe you’ll be surprised at how good you are. They’re always saying things like blues is the foundation of rock, and it is, but only to a certain point.

    *Mike McCready’s solos are still pretty bluesy even if they are in a song that is not.
     
  2. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I went through this - after SRV died I went though a very heavy, almost monk-like course of study in blues, but after a while I felt like I had hit a dead end - while I loved the expressiveness of the style, I found the song structure of the style to be very restrictive after a while. I lit up when I discover Eric Johnson, because he had a lot of the tone and soulfulness of blues players but with a much more sophisticated approach to chords and progressions.

    My sweet spot is the way David Gilmour plays - obviously the song structures are usually more diverse, but his phrasing and expression is very much, like Clapton, "with a foot in the blues."

    Alex Lifeson is another who, although he plays some very sophisticated stuff, has a very emotive, bluesy delivery to his leads.
    Check out his lead on "La Villa Strangiato," which is Rush's prog-rock instrumental tour de force - the lead at 2:40 is blues in it's execution, if not exactly it's note choice...

     
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  3. bbarott

    bbarott Most Honored Senior Member

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    This is absolutely my experience, although I went through it a long time ago, and refer to the event as my release from pentatonic prison. There's a whole big world of melody out there awaiting discovery. Not dissing the blues, not by a long shot. But it's a great feeling to try something new.
     
  4. Cyberi4n

    Cyberi4n Strat-Talker

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    I played alt-Rock for a long time. Drop-D tuning and all Minor key stuff. Absolutely loved it! Still do actually. I love the blues for its simplicity, but then crank up stuff like My Own Summer (Shove it) or Sugar, We’re Going Down and I’m
    As happy as a pig in Sh!t

    went through a huge Chevelle phase a few years ago too, some of their stuff is fun to play - Hats Off To The Bull for example, or The Clincher
     
  5. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    images (1).jpeg
     
  6. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Rather than getting away, I'm trying to get deeper into it.
     
  7. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    i try to just play what i play and not categorize it.
     
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  8. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I'm still trying to play passable blues...
     
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  9. mikej89

    mikej89 Senior Stratmaster

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    I hear ya. I think if you try too hard to sound bluesy it can not work out well. I'm not the greatest blues player myself. I'm naturally more of a jazzy player with a bit more soul but I can't play textbook blues stuff to save my life.
     
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  10. Lankytwang

    Lankytwang Strat-Talker

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    It's nice to play different stuff than your normal routine...as the old saying goes. "A change is as good as a rest "
     
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  11. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Senior Stratmaster

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    Even more fun: Go learn the other two notes of the scale, learn how to use them in other styles, then sprinkle them into your blues playing. It gets wild.
     
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  12. Oldboy

    Oldboy Strat-O-Master

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    I like that philosophy.
     
  13. CigBurn

    CigBurn You should see the other guy. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I jump from genre to genre all the time. I may not be good at it, but there is definitely plenty of it. :)
     
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  14. longboard blues

    longboard blues Senior Stratmaster

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    Blues - fun to play, mostly tedious to listen to.