This is the end progression for the song “Hummingbird” that BB solos over. It’s a very common progression that can offer some cool ways to use chord tone soloing. The progression is Bb-F-C7, and that puts us in C Mixolydian (C-D-E-F-G-A-Bb-C), which is the same notes as F major. The magic BB’s box is a mix of Cmaj pentatonic and Fmaj pentatonic scales, which I explain in the video. Spend a lot of time with BB’s box, as it’s an essential scale for blues and blues-rock soloing.

I start off this solo grabbing some chord tones to create a cool descending melodic line. The progression is Bb-F-C7, and the first note I play is Bb, which is the root of the Bb chord. I then lower this a half step to A, to play the 3rd of the F chord. I’ll move down the scale to play G, which is the 5th of my C chord, which is very simple conceptually, extremely effective musically, and a tried and true approach to creating melodies.

I discovered this technique largely by thinking about chord tones, and even though these notes are contained in the C Mixolydian scale, that doesn’t mean we would automatically see the melodic line. It’s only by looking at the notes within each chord that these things become apparent. I cannot stress enough what an epiphany this was for me after many years of playing. Like me, your teachers have been telling you for years to work on triads.

Now once you have a handle on that, start adding in one new note at a time. That’s the way to get it done; don’t get overwhelmed, one note at a time is the key. Even if all you do in that week or practice session is get that one note into your playing, you’ll have moved forward.

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