Make your blues solos awesome using dominant seven chords

Many blues songs are built around major-key chord progressions based on dominant seven chords. A dominant seven chord has a root note (1), a major third (3), a perfect fifth (5) and a minor, or “flatted” seventh (b7). For example, if the root note is E, the remaining chord tones would be G# (the 3), B (the 5) and D (the b7); when played together, these four notes sound an E7 chord. A great way to add dimension to a solo is to play a melodic line that outlines a series of dominant seven chords, wherein the melody, as the highest note, is harmonized by additional notes below it, derived from dominant seven chord shapes. This technique is well served by the use of chromatic movement between the dominant seven voicings, whereby they shift up or down in half steps, one fret at a time.

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Andy Aledort

Guitar World Associate Editor Andy Aledort is recognized worldwide for his vast contributions to guitar instruction, via his many best-selling instructional DVDs, transcription books and online lessons. Andy is a regular contributor to Guitar World and Truefire, and has toured with Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, as well as participating in several Jimi Hendrix Tribute Tours.