Video tutorial: Frank Gambale blues solo

We analyse and transcribe a Frank Gambale blues solo

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Frank Gambale's 12 bar solo
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Tab: Frank Gambale 12 bar solo
© John Wheatcroft

Australian fusion guitarist Frank Gambale plays a 12 bar blues solo on the video. We transcribe and analyse it below.

Frank's Blues Solo

Bars 1-3: Frank begins simply with B minor blues scale (B D E F F# A), but in bar 3 adds the natural 2nd or 9th (C#).

Bar 4: Here he implies Bm11(no 9th) (B D F# A E) by superimposing a Dadd2 arpeggio (D E F# A) against the B root. He sweep picks this by arranging the notes to fi t into his system of odds and evens; 3 1 3 1 3.

Bars 5-6: A switch to E Dorian (E F# G A B C# D), spelling out B minor arpeggio (B D F#), A (A C# E) and G (G B D), before descending a hip chromatic idea grouped in 16th note triplets.

Bars 7-8: Here Frank syncopates the rhythm and includes the raised 7th (A#) as part of a D augmented arpeggio (D F# A). Frank uses it as an 'enclosure' with the following C# to surround the root, B.

Bars 9-10: Frank rhythmically displaces a repeating blues scale figure, allowing the phrase to be repeated but retain listener interest. A chromatic run leads in to F# superlocrian (F# G G# C C## E) against our F#7 chord. This scale contains all the altered extensions (b5 #5 b9 #9) and creates tension and release when answered by the B minor chord.

Bars 11-12: Frank ends as we begin, with the B minor blues scale. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that Frank reverts to alternate picking when executing lines of this nature.

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Video: Frank Gambale's 12 bar solo