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How—and Why—to Use Diminished Licks in Blues Solos

Are your blues licks and solos sounding tired? Want to make your lead work sound different from what every other blues player is doing?

Check out this lesson. In it, Tyler Larson demonstrates how you can use the diminished scale in your blues lead work to create a decidedly different—and very cool—sound.

“Diminished licks in blues progressions are, seriously, one of the coolest things you can whip out when you are taking a blues solo,” Tyler says. “Because, believe it or not, some people think the diminished sound is only for metal—which it’s not.

“Since that mindset exists, not a lot of blues players, or guitar players in general, tend to gravitate toward the diminished sound in a blues context.”

Tyler says the diminished lick works in both major and minor blues, and in this lesson he demonstrates it over a minor blues progression.

Take a look and see how you can make your blues solos stand out.

For more of Tyler’s videos, visit his Music Is Win YouTube channel.

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Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player (opens in new tab) magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World (opens in new tab), a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.