Academy Challenges - 323

Academy Challenges - 323

 Are you ready to take your guitar playing to the next level? In this episode, I unveil an exciting membership challenge designed to push your skills and unleash your creativity.


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Welcome to all of you here in podcast land!


If you're new here, this is a place to feel good about yourself. This is where you can feel empowered that you can get better. And it's a place that makes you think about what you're really doing and whether your efforts are getting all the results that they deserve.


Little news before we get started. We've had a big week. I've closed down the solos that make sense bundle and I'm now tricking it out for all the new students and it's going to grow to six modules and I've put several bonuses in there as well.


So if you got in your golden, keep an eye out for that.


I have a lot of students who are working their way through it. It's great to see them playing guitar solos and they're not fighting the harmony of the song anymore. And it was wonderful to meet so many of you last week in our free live streams.


It was great to get all of those questions. But what really made me feel great, what made me feel proud was all of the academy members who were there in the chat and they were helping folks out. So I want to thank all of them.


Thank you members for all of your great help. And it made me realize something, which is what we're going to be talking about today.


I realize that people don't really know what our membership is. I don't think that I've communicated this well or accurately. What's so special about this place, about our membership?


And it was great to see new people getting a big taste of the support that the membership in the academy gives you.


We've got the roadmap. We have all of the different courses. We have all the private podcasts. We have all the part two videos on it. We have a whole bunch of stuff on and on and on.


But the best parts are the things that we do every single week. Our meetings, the circles, the sharing that we do, our Q&A's on Wednesdays.


Our members are the best of the best and I am just happy to be a small part of what we do here.


I'm not sure you know about the challenges for members that we hold. It could be anything.


We could be making up original licks like we did two weeks ago.


But I want to share with you a very appropriate challenge that we started just yesterday.


It's the July Guitar Solo Challenge.


The fun of this is to play a new solo over the same chord progression every day for seven days.


You post it. You check out what everybody else did.


But the sneaky part (and this is on my end) is much bigger than just a challenge.


What I'm trying to do is I'm trying to get people to start really taking advantage of daily guitar work.


I say it all the time. I can say it till I'm blue in the face that daily practice is like magic.


It's the one thing that works every single time and you can see almost instantly the forward momentum from it.


But I still get: "Well, I missed about three or four days this week because of...", and you fill in the blank right there.


How can I show someone how wonderful this is so they can see with their own eyes this challenge, daily challenge, going through each day's video and seeing the progress in a short of seven days is something that I want members to experience.


I want them to see it in themselves and I want them to see it in others.


I want to drive home just how important daily practice is and how creative you can be when you start to get comfortable and you don't have to think anymore. Plus, joining a challenge is good for you. It's got serious benefits.


It spurs you on to get a routine. You're more likely to reach a goal together as a group.


When you see someone else working their way through a problem or maybe they hit a milestone, it creates a wave of momentum that's really easy to jump on and ride.


Challenge groups are also fun and guitar players need a lot more fun lately and being able to help someone else always comes back to you.


It comes back in ways that you might not expect.


So I'm going to share what we're doing today with you.


This way you can see what we do here and hopefully you'll get inspired to do something similar.


And I also encourage you to join us. Join the challenge.


If you feel like that's something you might like to do, I'll have information for you later on.


We are going to be soloing over a certain backing track.


So first off, this is in B minor. It's a funk, but it's blues, but it's gospel. It's a really, really interesting chord progression. It's something I took little bits and pieces from different songs and put them all together here.


It's really, really fun to play and especially after you've had a really busy work week. It's something that is very driving. It kind of keeps you moving when you're a little tired there, right?


So the chords, what we have, we've got B minor for four measures. So that B minor there for four is designed to make you feel like, oh, this is a minor blues. It's going to be just a regular minor blues.


Next, we go to the next chord, the E7, right? So that's the first thing you realize, okay, something's different here.


A minor blues would normally have an E minor sound, right? But not in this one. We go straight to an E7.


So this very funky sound and it's borrowed from a regular blues, you know, not a minor blues thing. And when you think you would go back to a B minor, we end up going to G sharp minor and then to A and then to E7.


Very strange, not diatonic at all. We're going to get into that a little bit later in the program here. But we've moved outside of B minor for a little bit, ending on that E7, which brings us right back into B.


So that is double, that repeats itself twice. And then we move on to the next section, the B section. So this is, we have a G7 to F sharp 7.


Very similar, just like Thrill is Gone, where you set up that five-chord with a dominant chord, a half step above it, right?


And you would think, well, it would go here, but it doesn't.


Instead of going to B minor 7, it goes to D major. The relative major for that minor.


And then repeats again, G7 to F sharp 7. This time it does go to the B minor 7.


And then a turnaround with an F sharp 7.


In both those sections, the A section and the B section, there are only eight bars apiece.


They are not 12-bar blues. So you get the blues, you get the feeling of the blues.


It's not a shuffle, it's a funk beat, but it's only eight bars.


So it turns around before you think it was going to. So there's a lot of interesting things going on in this chord progression. But then what I did this, I did this on purpose really, because we have guitar players in the academy of all different levels.


And so I wanted something that just a minor pentatonic solo would sound fantastic over it, even though there are some harmonically rich chords in there.


So if you're new, you can play your minor pentatonic licks over the whole thing. And if you're not new, if you're getting into these things, you can go from chord to chord and really pick out the really interesting harmonies there and reflect them in your solos.


Okay, so the next part of the challenge, as you're getting ready to record, you'd think, well, what would I, what am I going to do over this?


You need to have a game plan, right? So number one, what's your tone?


That's the easiest one. What kind of tone are we going to use? I'm using, it's not a real tweet, it's, this is a model of, but I'm using a tweed combo, right?


You get that really nice mix of drive, but clean at the same time. Oh, and just rolling your volume down just a little bit, very nice, full, clean sound, but you have all the sustain that you need for blues that you might use a pedal for. I have a JHS kilt

on the board right now. I was using that earlier.


Right now I'm not, I'm just, I'm just cranking the gain on that. You could use a tube screamer, you could use any of those things, but you could even go more like an Allman Brothers sound. You could go for a Marshall sound, set your Marshall up for, for, you know, high sustain and some, some good drive in there, and roll your volume back to clean it up.


It's going to be a great sound too, more of a Southern rock sound, but it's a sound that I love as well. So you could start thinking, hey, well, maybe I want to do this like I'm Santana.


Maybe you get a Mesa sound with a lot of drive to it, right? Roll the high end off.


You can get a super saturated, but mellow and legato-type tone for this. So the next thing you ask yourself is what's your form? What kind of form are you going to use for this solo? Now you've got the progression.


It's an AAB form. The B minor section goes twice and then the G7 section goes once and then that whole thing repeats over time.


But the form of your solo, what, what are you going to do with your solo? And it really helps to think about that. I say things to myself before I start, it's like, I'm going to start this low and I'm going to work my way up high right to the end of the solo.


Or I might say, well, you know what? This time I'm going to do a solo at all low notes right down there by the low strings. Or another thing that you might say is you might direct yourself to do like, well, I'm going to play this, but I'm going to use a choppy rhythm.


I'll play bursts of notes and then stop, bursts of notes, and then stop. Whatever you've got that you think is going to keep people's attention, that is the form that we're going to be looking for today.

Now I also would ask myself, what's my approach?

How are we going to handle the harmony on this? How are we going to play over it?


Are you going to play minor pentatonic all the way? That works fantastic for this chord progression, but maybe not for everything else.


Are you going to do the scale approach? Play full B natural minor and then when the V chord has the major third in it, you might change to B harmonic minor.


What's your approach to this there? Are you going to play to the chord? You start playing,


I'll play B minor, then E7, I might play Mixolydian there. So changing from chord to chord can work too.


Are you going to start targeting some chord tones? Maybe target the root notes.


Make sure every time there's a new chord, you hit that root note there. That way you know that you're putting the exclamation point on every single thing that you're saying and then you can also keep going from that targeting all the different chord tones, the strong notes in there from chord to chord, and weaving your way through there.


Each one of those approaches is valid and each one will give you different results. So now we're into the challenges of this.


You're going to be playing this there and there are a couple of sticky places.


If you're just doing minor pentatonic, then you know you're in good shape. But if you're going to start playing to the chord, there are a couple of things that we need to look for.


So the first is that G minor to A to E7. What is that?


Well, that is we're temporarily out of the key of the B minor key. G minor, just to quickly go through this, this is the third in the key of E and then A would be the fourth in the key of E.


And then we go to an E of some sort. Not an E major though.


So but we're set up to, we're changing the key briefly to go to E, but when we go to E it turns out to be dominant.


So it was a little deceptive. You think you're going to be, we're going into that dominant sound that's going to bring us back to the B minor there. So as we're thinking, hey the first four measures,

we can do Dorian. We can do natural minor.


Either one of those two would work. In fact, Dorian works really nicely.


When we go to the E7 chord, it's got that raised G sharp in there.


That's going to outline that E7 every time too. So you can use that for actually the first one, two, three, four, five, six measures.


So we have the G sharp. I'm going to switch my scale at that point to E major.


Then we've got the A chord. Then when we go to the E dominant seventh here, right, I'm going to reflect that in that scale.


I might play a little Mixolydian, right, the E major scale with a flat seventh.


To match that, that's going to sound very nice going back to our B minor.


Okay, so there we go. That's the first little issue that we have to deal with going out of key there.


The next issue we're going to deal with is that E, the dominant four chord, right, that G going to G sharp.


And we already talked about this, that this we're going to be going to a little Dorian. Now you might want to play over the B natural minor. That's the flat sixth.


So when you do go to the E, the E7 that's got the G sharp in there, you can make that change. Maybe that change is going to outlive the chords nicely.


Yeah, you can kind of hear the chord change with that as well. But Dorian will work nicely there.


We've got another sticky part in this and that is the five-chord here.


We do a G7 that sets up our five-chord right here. This is an F-sharp dominant seven and we're in minor.


That doesn't work really well. So we're going to do a G7. We're going to do a G7. We're going to do a G7. We're going to do a G7.


It's an F-sharp dominant seven and we're in minor. That doesn't work really well.


This note right here, we have an A sharp here.


In B minor we have an A. So, you know, you play an A and an A sharp.


I can't, yeah, something like that, right?


You get that kind of black key and white key together on there.


So what we're going to do here is we're going to change our scale to reflect that. Instead of playing the A, we're going to play the A sharp.


That gives us a B harmonic minor scale.


Now you wouldn't play it up and down like that. It gets more, that has like a Spanish type sound or an Egyptian type sound, but you would use it sparingly, especially for this note right here to play right over that chord.


This is giving me some ideas. I'm starting to think about what my next solo is going to be.


You can go check it out over there too.


We do this all the time. We'd love for you to join us.


We have a yearly special price. That's $199 for the year to become a member.


That's only $16.58 a month. If you break it down and you get a ton for $16.58 a month.


The link is in the description. We'd love to see you over there and I'm going to call it.


That's a wrap. Thanks for joining me today for the Play Guitar Podcast.


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Thanks again. And I will see you on the next episode.


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