X
Guitar Tutorial

Take a Solo - The Secrets to Blues & Country Guitar Improvisation

  4.2   (3)  - log in to review
13 Videos | Length: 1hr 33min 1sec
Sample this tutorial...
Site All-Access Pass
$15 /month Get Your Pass
*Only in the All-Access Pass
  • image description 3:10

    Chapter 1

    Toby and Happy give us a nice performance before describing what we'll be learning in this series.

  • image description 5:52

    Chapter 2

    In this video, Toby starts off with a common chord progression, the "12 bar blues".

  • image description 2:52

    Chapter 3

    Toby emphasises the different changes between his soloing and Happy's rhythm parts. They switch things up by playing each others parts and showing you how to learn these parts with some great examples.

  • image description 8:50

    Chapter 4

    In this video, Toby adds in the major third and takes this progression to a new level. Toby and Happy give more examples to follow along with.

  • image description 5:47

    Chapter 5

    Toby talks about hammer-ons and how to approach these for the first time. Toby talks about rhythmic attitude, and how to get that "feeling" in your playing styles.

  • image description 4:45

    Chapter 6

    So far, we've been in the key of A. In this video, Toby moves the same licks we've been practicing into the key of G.

  • image description 10:03

    Chapter 7

    Toby talks about "Lightning Hopkins" and the "Shuffle Beat" in the key of E. Toby and Happy keeps things slow so that you can follow along.

  • image description 11:41

    Chapter 8

    In this video, Toby shows you what a "C Box" and a "B.B. King Box" is. Toby shows you a few B.B. King licks that you can take home for your collection.

  • image description 8:25

    Chapter 9

    Toby shows you how to move from one "shape" to another, and then gets you comfortable with moving from box to box.

  • image description 13:11

    Chapter 10

    In this video, Toby teaches you a lick in the minor pentatonic scale, and plays it against a few different scales showing the contrasting sounds the scale can have depending on what it's being played over.

  • image description 5:52

    Chapter 11

    Toby and Happy move things up a few frets to the key of D. After a nice performance, they take the lick down to each part and show you how to do it!

  • image description 7:17

    Chapter 12

    Toby and Happy move across some different chords and show what boxes he's using and then shows you how to follow along.

  • image description 5:16

    Chapter 13

    Toby talks about some guitar pick options, then shows you how they sound with different styles of playing. Toby ends things with some final words for the road.

Product Overview


Homespun and guitar great Toby Walker shows you how a blues or country guitarist creates a great solo, thrilling the audience and getting nods of approval from fellow musicians. How does this happen? How do you even start figuring out which notes to play in the midst of a song or jam session? Just watch and see!

Toby Walker has the perfect key to unlocking those mysteries. He shows you how to come up with powerful and compelling improvisations in any key and in any position on the fretboard, using a flat pick or fingers. Concentrating mainly on blues soloing, he eliminates robotic scales and patterns and shows you the "language" of a musical conversation.

You'll learn how to think in shapes, or "boxes", in 12-bar blues, finding the root note and then adding the right intervals to come up with licks and solos. Once you start moving from one shape to the next, your playing will flow up and down the fretboard with ease.

Then see how to add in the "wasabi" - vibrato, bends, B. B. King-style licks, Lightnin' Hopkins shuffle beats, and other techniques that will add really hot spice to your playing.

Once you've got the blues ideas under your fingertips, you'll discover that you can apply the same licks to country songs, like Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad. After watching this Homespun video series you'll be stepping into the spotlight in no time!


Why Users Choose Us

There are many things our users love about Groove3, but a couple always stand out at the top when asked why people choose us as their learning resource.

Quality Content

We meticulously craft professional quality tutorials that are thoughtful, informative and done with attention to detail. We stand behind our products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and are trusted by 1000s of users every day.

Save Time & Money

Our library brings over 1700 hours of quality instruction to you fingertips and we release new content every week. Don't waste your valuable time scouring the web for information you may never find or is cumbersome to use and potentially can't be trusted.


Marc A.
Submitted 1 year ago

Interesting for novices who never learned to improvise

This tutorial mainly consists of a rhythm guitar player and a soloist showing some ("blues-ish") approaches to improvising more or less "floweresque" variations to chord center notes. Interesting and inspiring for musicians who never learned improvisation fundamentals, but not worked out in enough detail to create outstanding solo parts that would be remembered. To rephrase: These videos can give you some ideas on how to INSTANTLY improvise solo-ish etudes, perfect for jamming and practicing. Just don't expect an introduction to solo-performances. Production quality of the videos is OK. I personally don't like the aggressive plec picking that lacks variety and dynamics, but that's a question of style. Camera isn't perfect - while the rhythm guitar has been recorded nicely, showing action on the fretboard just fine, the "lead" is recorded face on, with the fingers of the player's left hand obstructing what he is doing. Having moved the camera slightly left and up would have given a much better insight.


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Author
Submitted 2 years ago

Great licks

This helped me advance for sure


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Raul Estaka
Submitted 3 years ago

Excellent Teacher

If you play the acoustic guitar and enjoy the blues or country music and plan on jamming with bands then it is worth 100% of your time and effort to follow this video series. The instructor speaks in slow, easy to understand terms and does an excellent job of demonstrating everything he is teaching

I am a: Professional, Audio Engineer, Musician


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Marc A.
Submitted 1 year ago

Interesting for novices who never learned to improvise

This tutorial mainly consists of a rhythm guitar player and a soloist showing some ("blues-ish") approaches to improvising more or less "floweresque" variations to chord center notes. Interesting and inspiring for musicians who never learned improvisation fundamentals, but not worked out in enough detail to create outstanding solo parts that would be remembered. To rephrase: These videos can give you some ideas on how to INSTANTLY improvise solo-ish etudes, perfect for jamming and practicing. Just don't expect an introduction to solo-performances. Production quality of the videos is OK. I personally don't like the aggressive plec picking that lacks variety and dynamics, but that's a question of style. Camera isn't perfect - while the rhythm guitar has been recorded nicely, showing action on the fretboard just fine, the "lead" is recorded face on, with the fingers of the player's left hand obstructing what he is doing. Having moved the camera slightly left and up would have given a much better insight.

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Author
Submitted 2 years ago

Great licks

This helped me advance for sure

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Raul Estaka
Submitted 3 years ago

Excellent Teacher

If you play the acoustic guitar and enjoy the blues or country music and plan on jamming with bands then it is worth 100% of your time and effort to follow this video series. The instructor speaks in slow, easy to understand terms and does an excellent job of demonstrating everything he is teaching

I am a: Professional, Audio Engineer, Musician

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Internationally and nationally acclaimed Toby Walker has been hailed as a roots music fingerstyle guitar wizard who has toured the US, England, Wales, France, Germany, Belgium and Holland.

Walker has been featured in the New York Times, the London Sunday Times, the London BBC, Sirius-XM radio and was the 1st place recipient of the International Blues Challenge Award - Solo division - given out by the Blues Foundation in Memphis TN.

Walker blends the styles of blues, ragtime, country, bluegrass, rock and old time jazz into his own unique style. Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna and the Jefferson Airplane says "Flat out... you have to hear this great musician... I'm blown away" and has employed Walker to teach at his famous Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp for 6 years. In 2010 Walker won the NY Music Award for 'Best Instrumental CD', sharing the honors with Mariah Carey, Rufus Wainwright and Judy Collins among many others.

Walker has recently released five instructional guitar DVD's for the world famous company Homespun Tapes which have been getting rave reviews. His latest CD release - 'What You See Is What You Get' - has been hailed as a shining success in the genre of traditional blues recordings. Carnegie Hall acknowledged his rare talents and hired him to augment and teach in their "American Roots" program aimed at honor level middle school students.

Toby’s passion for blues, rags, folk, and other traditional American music drove him to leave an apartment crammed full of recordings, books and instruments for the Mississippi Delta, Virginia and the Carolinas where he tracked down some of the more obscure - but immensely talented - music makers of an earlier era. He learned directly from Eugene Powell, James "Son" Thomas,Etta Baker, and R.L Burnside, among others.

Products by Toby

You might be also interested in

In this Hal Leonard video tutorial series, Acoustic Guitar magazine music editor Andrew DuBrock explores the softer, yet no less brilliant, side of the legendary lads from Liverpool.

The All-Access Pass gives you just that, instant online access to every single video tutorial currently on the site and any ones that get added during your membership.

In this Hal Leonard video tutorial series guitar great Joe Bonamassa reveals the playing techniques, tips and gear behind his powerhouse blues-rock guitar style.

This Hal Leonard video tutorial series presented by guitar great David Hamburger will introduce you to the exciting world of playing electric slide guitar in the open G and open E tunings!

Larry Campbell has played with some of the biggest names in the music business, but he grew up listening to the inspirational songs and dazzling guitar technique of the Rev. Gary Davis.

John Hammond's passion and commitment to his music have inspired blues lovers throughout the world for more than forty years. Now guitarists (and harmonica players) can learn, up close, how John plays the songs, licks, grooves and soulful solos that make up his dynamic blues style.

In this insightful Homespun video series, Jorma Kaukonen breaks down his fingerpicking style, lick by lick, with important tips on use of the slide, open tunings, right hand picking and innumerable other techniques.

Take a lesson from a true rock legend! The late Levon Helm’s music reflected a cross-section of American roots music: Delta blues, country, rockabilly, R&B and, of course, the indelible music of The Band!

In this Homespun instructional video, Bob Brozman uses a variety of instruments including a Weissenborn, a Dobro-type resophonic and a National steel, to teach the funky blues tunes, cool riffs and adventurous improvisations that he pulls from his seemingly bottomless bag of tricks.

At over 4 hours long, this fantastic collection of guitar videos feature country lead lines, phrases, and riffs thoughtfully presented by pro guitarists John Heussenstamm, Josh Tovar, and Chad Johnson. Each and every authentic lick includes a walk-through explanation and note-for-note, on-screen tab. Normal and slow-speed performance demos are included to really help viewers master the licks. Get your Country on now!

No traditional musician is better loved than Mississippi John Hurt, and in this Homespun video series, you’ll learn the songs, licks, sounds and techniques that make Mississippi John Hurt's music so popular.

Corey Harris has absorbed American country blues traditions and plays them as authentically and powerfully as anyone on the scene today. He has also explored the African guitar styles on which much of the blues was based, and in this Homespun video series, he teaches songs and instrumentals that bridge the gap between the two cultures.

In this Homespun video series, you’ll learn to play the electric guitar techniques that will add hot solos and powerful drive to any country or rock band! Ray Flacke teaches the mind-boggling licks that have made him highly sought-after for record dates, jingles and live gigs on the Nashville scene for more than thirty years.

Take a Solo - The Secrets to Blues & Country Guitar Improvisation is rated 4.2 out of 5 by 3 .
Rated 3.5 out of 5 by from Interesting for novices who never learned to improvise This tutorial mainly consists of a rhythm guitar player and a soloist showing some ("blues-ish") approaches to improvising more or less "floweresque" variations to chord center notes. Interesting and inspiring for musicians who never learned improvisation fundamentals, but not worked out in enough detail to create outstanding solo parts that would be remembered. To rephrase: These videos can give you some ideas on how to INSTANTLY improvise solo-ish etudes, perfect for jamming and practicing. Just don't expect an introduction to solo-performances. Production quality of the videos is OK. I personally don't like the aggressive plec picking that lacks variety and dynamics, but that's a question of style. Camera isn't perfect - while the rhythm guitar has been recorded nicely, showing action on the fretboard just fine, the "lead" is recorded face on, with the fingers of the player's left hand obstructing what he is doing. Having moved the camera slightly left and up would have given a much better insight.
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 3.5 out of 5 by from Great licks This helped me advance for sure
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Excellent Teacher If you play the acoustic guitar and enjoy the blues or country music and plan on jamming with bands then it is worth 100% of your time and effort to follow this video series. The instructor speaks in slow, easy to understand terms and does an excellent job of demonstrating everything he is teaching
Date published: 2016-08-18
We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. By continuing to use this site you agree to the use of cookies. View Privacy Policy