Bending and a lick or two

Your bending looks cool, with arm and shoulder all get into the groove. Enjoy!

1 Like

I appreciate the call out @DavidP! Such a cool thing to be acknowledged by one’s peers.

1 Like

@DavidP , I know that there are several trains of thought when it comes to just starting out playing the blues, I’m no expert I just love playing bluesy stuff. It really starts, at least for me, with dialing in a bluesy tone. If my tone is right, nothing can really be wrong and if the tone isn’t right, nothing can really be right. Consider adding some delay and/or reverb and dial down the tone on the guitar just a bit. See if that doesn’t help things along tonewise. :slight_smile:

I think your bends matched the desired pitch, so that’s a great start. :+1:

1 Like

I think patience and gentleness with self as one learns is enabling, Mark.

Look forward to hearing more from you as we explore the warren. Blessed Christmas to you and yours.

Thanks, I appreciate the encouraging feedback!

Thanks for the feedback, Clint. For now I am just focused on technique and pitch. I’ll worry about tone down the line.

My amp has a built-in reverb and delay for me to dial-in plus some crunch and overdrive voicings. So I should be able to produce something that sounds OK. But it needs some servicing as the controls are noisy. I’m guessing all the standing unused wasn’t good for it and need to get the knobs off and some contact cleaner applied.

Bends looking good David! I love seeing all the behind the scenes work that goes on inbetween AVOYP submissions. You should definitely post these exercises you do to your road case!

1 Like

Thanks Ivan.

My current plan is to post updates here and then in time can consolidate with a Learning Log (note the new name for Roadcase in its new Category ‘Community Hub’ entry)

Ah right, old habits :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Good stuff David. I agree with Ivan about posting in your LL. It’ll get lost in here.
The clue is in the title. Learning Log. :smiley:


Firstly thanks for the encouraging feedback, Gordon.

You make a good point … and not like me to miss an opportunity to add more posts to my Topic that challenges for longest by number of Replies and Word Count, Topic in the Community :joy:

My thinking was that this Topic was focused on a specific learning focus and seemed an appropriate place to share the progress on that specific learning in the “What Are You Learning” Sub-category until I declare the immediate learning objective achieved.

:thinking: maybe this Sub-category would fit better in the “Community Hub” category … just a thought @Richard_close2u

I would have agreed with you if rather than a Topic, this was just another Reply embedded in a “What Are You Learning” topic, which is I recall it was on the Forum.

And as I say, in time learning to bend, play those first licks would eventually become another juicy episode in my Learning Log.

In this update video also trying to add a little vibrato and trying a couple of the licks.


What a great idea, David, I’m going to steal it from you although the videos will likely be just for me to watch and see progress.

As a total newbie to soloing I have little constructive input, but I will still pass on the following input - comments - suggestions:

  • you are sometimes hitting the note and sometimes not. That’s what you would expect since you are just starting out. It will be nice to see your progression over a series of posts

  • Justin says to make music, not just play scales. You’re playing licks, not scales, but the same thing might be helpful. Have you tried practicing over a backing track / with a looper? It could even be just 1 chord over and over. Maybe even just at the end of your practice session you could play 2-5 minutes with a backing track, make some music with the licks. I think that could more easily show you the progress you are making over a period of time as well. Plus it’s just fun to do!

  • re Where to Post, here or in your Learning Log, I think it would get more exposure in your Learning Log.

  • a question: how did you (and anyone else if others have input) decide on learning blues licks vs the major scale module? I need to learn both so I just kind of arbitrarily picked the Major Scale Maestro. Maybe not entirely arbitrarily, because I would like to be able to play along with friends and add something besides strumming, and so for the kind of music we’d play around a campfire Major scale jamming seems more suited. I don’t really know though. And I love the blues. But I want to pick something and stick with it rather than feel unfocused. I’ve started both paths on and off in the past, and both interest me. I only started yesterday this time, so I could always still change my mind. I’m therefore curious as to how / why you picked this route, since I’m not entirely confident in my choice.

  • re tone - well that’s a big one for me, as in I’m crap at getting the tone I want. I don’t need to be able to dial in the exact tone for hundreds of songs, and I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of figuring out the tone bank in my katana 50 (ie how to hook it up to my laptop and get all sorts of song-specific tones). I do want to figure out a handful of tones that I really like though, that I can pick and choose from when I’m playing. 5? 10? Probably somewhere in there. So what I’m planning to do is try different settings every time I practice, then I can experiment a bit with tone while I am practicing learning to solo. Maybe that’s something that would work for you or, as you say, worry about tone down the line.

But enough of all this, I’m off to practice now!


Great stuff David letting it all hang out. Chappeau !

In respect to Mari’s post, I’ll add a couple of cents.

There is another way to check the bend once it is in position. Keep it held and on the string below fret 2 frets back, its the same note. And if you have seen Unison bends its the same principle. You bend the note and play the lower string 2 frets back at the same time and they sound the same. But its a good way to check once you are up there. Hold the bend and compare it with the unison.

I know you have recorded impros but working each lick over a backing track really cements how it fits in. It may sound boring but over a 12BB its weird but the same lick sounds different over the 4 and 5 even though its the same notes. That will make you think about how to use the lick.

Blues Licks or MMS - I went for both. All the “classic” rock I love and want to play is based on Blues licks, think Pete Green, Rory Gallagher yada yada yada. So working the minor pent and blues scales was a given. BUT when I learnt the minor scale (pent or full) was relative to the Major scale and I could use (most of the time) the Major and its relative minor on the same track, was an epiphany moment. I could toggle between Minor and Major adjacent positions and open up a whole lot of voicings. Now I know I can stay in positions and change the CAGED shapes to do the same thing.

@mari with what you said about jamming with friends, so your pal kicks off in an A minor blues, good chance C major will fit over it but not always. Buyer beware. But if you get used to impro-ing between the Major and its relative minor (pent or full scale) you’ll see it becomes easy to merge the two.

As for tone ? Use pre-sets or twiddle knobs until you find the boat floater. Simples.

Hope that helps. PM for specifics if either of you need to, without mudding the waters here.



1 Like

Thanks for that input, Toby. I hadn’t thought about relative minors, but yes that’s a good point. I just finished my practice so I will try that out next time. (Don’t mean to hijack your thread, David, maybe I will start something in my Learning Log.)

1 Like

I was just going to mention about soloing using pentatonic scales - this tells about it

1 Like

Mari - this opened a whole new world and can also be mode related. Drop me a line if you need a sidebar. :sunglasses:

Out of the park

Great video Darrell ! :sunglasses:

@DarrellW and @TheMadman_tobyjenner thank you! Great video you shared, Darrell. Toby, I was going to make a comment about modes being related, I know the relative minor of a major scale is the Aeolian mode, but modes seems to me right now a rabbit hole that will overwhelm me. I have a decent understanding of theory (Grade 8 piano in my youth, and the Grade 2 theory required to pass the Grade 8 Royal Conservatory exams - which likely means nothing unless you’re in Canada), and I finished Justin’s Grade 4 theory. Information overload is a major distraction for me though. I’m thinking if I can finish the Major Scale Maestro course then I can decide where to go next. Input from the two of you has decided me to add this journey to my Learning Log at least, so that will be the next step. Toby, I will check in with you to get any resources to think about for after the Major Scale Maestro.

1 Like

Very helpful video, thank you!

1 Like

That’s cool report back David, I am happy to see you working on bends and a bit of vibrato. My beginnings were exactly like yours, after few weeks of about 5-10mins a day (depending on your calluses strength) you will be able to keep the bend for a while in tone. Will be interesting to follow this thread so I change settings to be notified about new posts.

Good job David!

1 Like


Thanks, Mari. I was hesitant to post this video in AVOYP, given the nature of it, but I think sharing such progress videos, which reflect the learning journey rather than what has been learned could have more of a place in the Community. So a small part of me wants to start a trend. So if you are working on something where such videos would be appropriate, please do share. All the normal reasons apply.

Do you think I did better than in the first video?

Part of my practice time is spent playing over a BT. Who knows, I may post up a AVOYP noodle in the near future. The intention here is to record technique practice, to receive technique feedback, the good old Community encouragement, and perhaps encourage others who may be struggling with the same.

Yeah we had quite a conversation about that after I posted the first video (this is the second). I see the rationale for posting in LL but also thought it made sense to post in this Category “What Are You Learning”. To repeat myself. This being a Category means that each person’s current learning focus stands as a Topic (rather than a Reply to a Topic as it was on the Forum). And in time I will post up my typical LL entry, which tend to be more retrospective reflecting on activity/progress over a period of time.

And I do think this Category may fit better in the Community Hub, than in Social. @Richard_close2u , I made this suggestion before but don’t recall seeing a response?

I have dabbled with improv using both the Major and Minor Pentatonic scales, using the first position patterns picked up already (without following Major Scale Maestro). My aspiration is to be able to not just have some noodling fun, but also to sound bluesy. Hence I made my choice. This following on from the Simple Blues Lead study

I’m doing the same. And if I ever hit upon a “golden” tone for Blues Lead then maybe I’ll figure out how to use the amp software and replace one of the 12 presets that can be dialled in at the push of a button.


Thanks Toby. As I said in reply to Mari. I think it is good for us to share this sort of thing, good for learning and encouragement.

I do try this. But public confession … my ear still needs significant schooling. To me even when a tuner or meter says the tones are matching, they still don’t sound the same to me. I think I am getting better in this, but would benefit from deliberate practice to train my ear.

I need to do more of this in the play portion of my practice.

I have enough theory to appreciate that this will come in time, and eventually the “M” word. Happy with baby steps.

Tone can be a little bit like wine tasting, in the way in which people use adjectives. Maybe at some point I’ll be more specific on refining the tone to be able to dial in something that sounds more Peter Green/Gary Moore.

Noting of course that tone is hugely influenced by the fingers and playing, before considering the instrument, amp, and effects.

I enjoyed Justin’s first lesson on tone (in a nutshell, remember to make use of guitar volume and tone controls) and look forward to future lessons.


Thanks for the video, Darrell. I’ll check it out.


Thanks Ashu. I am glad it was.


Thanks Adrian. Appreciate you “watching” the Topic. The challenge for me will be to keep up the regular deliberate practice once I return to work. Then I am also curious and eager to see what I can achieve as I explore this path.