8 Bar Blues Jam Track

What You'll Need For This Exercise...

You don’t need much, here – just your guitar.  Basically, just play the jam track using the built in player and practice playing lead – soloing with good phrasing.  Everything is in the key of A major 🙂

How to Complete This Exercise...

For Beginners:

  1. Identify an A on your fretboard (any one will do).
  2. Next, use the 5 Octave Patterns (CAGED) to identify the scale pattern (7-tone or pentatonic) that contains the A you identified in step 1.
  3. Start playing improvised phrases, attempting to resolve each phrase on either the A you identified in step 1 or the other A’s in its related octave pattern.
  4. Keep doing this for 20-30 minutes to get in some good practice!

For Intermediate Players:

  1. Identify all 5 scale patterns in the key of A and attempt the entire beginner exercise (above) for each of the 5 patterns.
  2. Use the octave patterns to identify the modal tonics within each scale pattern as well.  For example :
    1. If playing pattern #4 in A major, the A’s would take the ‘shape’ of octave pattern #4…
    2. In that same scale pattern #4, octave pattern #3 would represent all the B’s (dorian modal tonics).
    3. Use this logic to play improvised phrases in each scale pattern, resolving to each of the 7 possible modal tonics.

Continuing to Improve...

Being able to play “through” chords is a powerful skill to develop.  The primary aspect of doing this well depends on your knowledge of keys and your ability to map Roman numerals onto a key to correctly deduce the chords being used.  So, I’ve provided the chords below with their Roman numeral so that you can begin to understand the how numerals indicate specific chords with in this jam track’s key (A).

A (I) – E(V) – D(IV) – D(IV)

A(I) –  E(V) – A(I)   –  E(V)