Son Seals will always be regarded as one of Chicago’s–and the blues’- greatest artists. From his debut recording, when he burst on the scene as a fully formed and mature artist, up to his last recordings, his stature as a leading blues voice grew with each new album he released. His untimely death in December 2004 robbed the blues of a major voice.
1973 The Son Seals Blues Band (Alligator)
1976 Midnight Son (Alligator)
1978 Live And Burning (Alligator)
1980 Chicago Fire (Alligator)
1984 Bad Axe (Alligator)
1991 Living In The Danger Zone (Alligator)
1994 Nothing But The Truth (Alligator)
1996 Live–Spontaneous Combustion (Alligator)
2000 Lettin’ Go (Telarc)
2002 Deluxe Edition (Alligator)
How to Play Minor Blues on Electric Guitar
The blues, with its rich history and soulful tones, has had countless variations over the years. One of the most emotive and expressive versions is the minor blues. Unlike its major counterpart, which generally has a happier and more upbeat feel, the minor blues carries a deeper, melancholic vibe that touches the soul. In this article, we’ll explore how to play a minor blues in the key of C on the electric guitar.
1. Understand the Basic Chord Progression:
A typical 12-bar minor blues progression in the key of C consists of the following chords:
– Cm7 (I minor) for 4 bars
– Fm7 (IV minor) for 2 bars
– Cm7 (I minor) for 2 bars
– Gm7 (V minor) for 1 bar
– Fm7 (IV minor) for 1 bar
– Cm7 (I minor) for 2 bars
Some variations might include the G7 (V dominant) chord to give a little tension before resolving back to the I minor chord.
2. Use the C Minor Pentatonic Scale for Solos:
When soloing over a minor blues in C, the C minor pentatonic scale is your best friend. This scale consists of the notes C, Eb, F, G, and Bb. You can play this scale up and down the neck in various positions, adding embellishments, bends, and slides to express your feelings.
3. Add the “Blue Note”:
To make your solos even bluesier, consider adding the “blue note” to the C minor pentatonic scale. In this context, the blue note would be the F#. This note adds a bit of tension and dissonance, making your solos sound even more authentic.
4. Listen to and Play Along with Minor Blues Songs:
Some great examples of minor blues songs include:
– “The Thrill Is Gone” by B.B. King
– “Black Magic Woman” by Fleetwood Mac, later famously covered by Santana
– “Double Trouble” by Otis Rush
Listening to these tracks will give you a sense of how the pros approach minor blues phrasing, dynamics, and tone.
5. Gear and Tone:
On the electric guitar, a good minor blues tone is often warm with a touch of overdrive. A tube amplifier set to a clean or slightly crunchy setting will work wonders. Pedals like a Tube Screamer or a Blues Driver can help achieve the desired overdriven tone. Don’t forget to add a touch of reverb for depth and space.
In conclusion, the minor blues offers guitarists a soulful platform to express deeper emotions and experiment with moody tones. By understanding the fundamental chord progressions, employing the right scales, and getting inspired by classic minor blues tracks, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this evocative style on your electric guitar.