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Spice Up the Blues

Genre and Style Guitar Course from Mark Kroos

Is your Blues playing bland? Does it feel like your playing is missing a few key ingredients? Well, it's time to spice things up with this comprehensive course as Mark Kroos offers several tools that will add variety to your solo playing over the 12-Bar Blues and beyond!

25 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.

Multi-Camera

Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

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Included

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Full Course Breakdown

Mark will start with a basic 12-Bar Blues form before progressing through the Minor Pentatonic shapes. We'll then work our way through the Dorian and Mixolydian modes, arpeggios, double stops, and bends! There are a handful of solos sprinkled along the way to help us master the shapes and skills required to spice up our Blues playing!

1

Introduction to 'Spice Up the Blues'

Mark Kroos introduces us to 'Spice Up the Blues'!

3:41 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty

2

What is a 12 Bar Blues?

Grab your guitar and let's get started with this basic form of the 12-Bar Blues.

4:11 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty

3

Alternating Major and Minor Pentatonic

We've all heard of the Minor Pentatonic scale, but in this lesson, Mark will dive in on tweaking the Pentatonic Scale to cover more ground and incorporate the Major and Minor Blues Scales.

21:13 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

4

Solo: Alternating Major and Minor Pentatonic

Now that we have the Major and Minor Blues Scale under our fingers, Mark takes us through our first solo for this series utilizing both of these foundational scales.

15:05 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

5

The Dorian Mode

In this lesson, Mark shifts gears and dives into one of his very favorite modes: The Dorian Mode.

17:50 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

View this Lesson
6

Solo: Dorian Mode

Time for another solo! In this solo, we'll incorporate what we've learned with the Dorian Mode and even add a new level of complexity by including the Major Blues Scale.

16:34 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

7

The Mixolydian Mode

Ok, let's move on and add another mode to our musical toolbox. In this lesson, Mark dives into the Mixolydian Mode.

18:18 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

8

Solo: Dorian and Mixolydian Modes

Alright, let's get another solo under our fingers as we combine the D Dorian and D Mixolydian modes!

15:08 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

9

Dominant 7 Arpeggios

In this next lesson, we'll move on to learning some key Dominant 7 arpeggio shapes for incorporating into our 12-Bar Blues soloing.

17:42 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

10

Arpeggios: Staying in Position

Arpeggios are fun, but can often lead to losing our place on the fretboard. In this lesson, we'll take our arpeggios a step further by learning how to stay in position while using them!

12:56 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

11

Solo: Arpeggios

Now that we have our arpeggio shapes down let's put them to the test with this arpeggio-based solo!

14:36 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

12

Chromaticism and Targeting Chord Tones

We have the Dominant 7 arpeggio shapes thoroughly under our fingers now, but what do we do with them? In this lesson, Mark guides us on how to use these arpeggios as a roadmap to connect our chord tones to build tension and resolution.

10:52 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

13

Chord Changes Using Guide Tones

Now it's time to work on our chord changes over the 12-Bar Blues by using guide tones!

13:21 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

14

Solo with Target Tones

Ok, now it's time to put everything we've learned about chord and target tones to the test by connecting the different chord changes in this solo!

13:14 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

15

Harmony Double Stops

Looking for a quick and fun skill to incorporate into your solos? Here, Mark dives into harmonic double stops and how to use them at different intervals in our playing.

13:15 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

16

Sixths

Let's expand on our double stops as Mark incorporates sixths to create a very distinctive sound!

17:20 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

17

Solo with Harmonies

Now let's take these harmonic double stops that we've got under our fingertips and incorporate them into a solo!

15:56 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

18

Harmonized Bends

Moving on, Mark walks us through harmonized bends and how to tailor this technique for the specific chords that we're using in our 12-Bar Blues.

14:56 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

19

Solo: Harmonized Bends

Alright, now let's take those harmonized bends we learned in the previous lesson and put them to use in this next solo!

11:59 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

20

Diminished 7 Chord in the 12 Bar Form

In this next lesson, Mark breaks down what can be intimidating to some players: fully diminished 7th chords.

15:31 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

21

Diminished Arpeggios

Time to take a look at a different type of arpeggio! Diminished Arpeggios can be tricky, but once we get them under our fingers they can be a lot of fun!

19:39 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

22

Diminished Scale

In this lesson, we move on to the useful Diminished Scale, which is built from alternating half-steps and whole-steps.

10:10 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

23

Diminished Solo

Time for another solo! For this solo, we'll take the Diminished Scale and incorporate some tension and resolution to make this a well-rounded and dynamic piece.

14:57 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

24

The Whole Tone Scale

Here, Mark takes us through the Whole Tone Scale, which feels a little different from other scales we've encountered due to the notes being a whole step apart.

13:59 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

25

The Whole Tone Solo

Congratulations! For this final lesson of the course, we'll put our Whole Tone Scale to use in this unique-sounding solo.

14:33 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

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Mark Kroos

  • Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Playing since 1998
  • 76 lessons at JamPlay
Mark Kroos plays 2 guitar necks at the same time. Originally from Lansing, MI but currently based in Williamsburg, VA he is one of the only people in the world touring his trade.

Mark Kroos plays 2 guitar necks at the same time. Originally from Lansing, MI but currently based in Williamsburg, VA he is one of the only people in the world touring his trade. His primarily instrumental style is characterized by open harmonies, polyphonic textures, incredible tapping technique, and is as entertaining to watch as it is to listen to. Live performances burst with energy and magnetism not typical of solo guitar music. Drawing influence from folk, Celtic, indie, and even punk rock artists as well as other great guitarists such as Michael Hedges, Phil Keaggy, Tommy Emmanuel and Leo Kottke, Mark Kroos has developed his own edge to the acoustic guitar.
Reviews & Feedback 83/100 with 12 ratings
shammons

Love his teaching style.