In the song “Possum” by the jam band Phish you can hear lead guitarist Trey Anastasio play over a 12 bar blues type progression using a mixture of scales and keys. Jump to around 3:31 for an idea.
I explain the theory behind blues guitar scales and demonstrate how to apply and combine major and minor pentatonic scale patterns, major scale patterns and mixolydian mode in my free guitar theory podcast episode 10.
Blues Guitar Theory
The Phish video is definitely following what I lay out in the blues podcast. Each chord is treated like its own key. Multiple scales an tonalities are combined to create the overall blues, country and jazz sound.
Combining scales and keys like this results in A LOT of note choices. This in turn means that there are A LOT of licks and phrases that can be played. Trey may be too far ahead of most of you. If you want to work toward soloing at this level, then be sure to master simpler styles first. Staying in one key is a good start!
To learn more about music theory for guitar, including scales, chords, progressions, modes, and more, sign up for a free preview of my Fretboard Theory books and DVDs by using the form on this web page.
Play Until Yer Fingers Bleed!
Mr. Desi Serna
The chromatic passages are pretty cool.
Yes, the chromatic stuff is cool. Phish like to do this trick where everything falls out of key and then they bring it back. This of course is a little different from what I'm talking about with blues theory.