Playing Blues Solos Like BB King

Playing Blues Solos Like BB King: in this article, we learn how to create blues solos in the style of that great blues player.

Most people start soloing over a blues using the minor pentatonic scale over the entire progression. That scale gets us up and running quickly.

But at some point, our ear tells us that there’s something missing from those solos. Something that all of the great blues players, like BB King, are doing but that is missing.

Learning to Play the Changes

Of course, phrasing, rhythm, and technique are all important – and all that will come in time with practice. But the one thing that can really make a difference, and make it immediately, is learning how to “play the changes.”

While learning the scales and harmony behind the blues are vital, it comes down to playing the right note, at the right time.

And that’s what you should focus if you want to play great blues solos.


Consider the Influences

The first thing one needs to consider are the influences on the blues playing style. These are the ones who pioneered unique approaches to playing the changes, like BB King, Albert Collins & Albert King.

While BB King is the master of the style, it is also useful to play and study other guitar players.

Scales, Scales

Next, it is important to explore a set of common scales and modes for soloing and improvising over each chord in a common blues progression.

We need to consider the importance of focusing on the third degree of the scale, which is so common in blues.

It is also useful to review the power of the major pentatonic, and some ways utilize diminished sounds over these changes.

Using Clusters of Chords

The third thing to considers is to look at the changes in terms of clusters of chord tones – melodic material to draw from.

Using this tactic, you can easily morph between chordal and single note lines. You can do this at any moment, anywhere on the neck…

Combining Tactics

Lastly, the final stage to learn to play like BB King is to combine these approaches.

If you’re able to do this, you will be expanding into more sophisticated chord changes. These  include 6-2-5s, raised fives, diminished chords, and minor chords.

Learning More

If you’re interested in this approach for improvisation on BB King Style, check this exclusive course that expands on these techniques.

The course has the following features:

  • 3 Video Lessons
  • 22 Charts (.pdf)
  • 7 Jam Tracks (.mp3)
  • 22 Tabs (.gp5 or .ptb)
  • Runtime: 02:32:03
  • Download Size: 1.23 GB
  • Chord Tone
  • Diminished
  • Hammer-Ons
  • Harmony
  • ii V chords
  • Improvisation
  • Jamming
  • Left-Hand Techniques
  • Licks
  • Major Pentatonic
  • Pentatonic
  • Right-Hand Techniques
  • Scales
  • Soloing

All of the key examples are tabbed and notated and you’ll have all of the backing tracks to work with. You can loop or slow down any of the videos so that you can work with the lessons at your own pace.

Click Here to Get This Course Now!