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The Robben Ford Clinic The Art Of Blues Solos

The Robben Ford Clinic: The Art of Blues Solos is an intensive workshop designed to elevate your blues soloing skills to new heights. Led by the legendary guitarist Robben Ford, this clinic offers a unique and comprehensive approach to mastering the art of blues solos. Whether you’re a beginner seeking to learn the fundamentals or an experienced player looking to refine your technique, this clinic provides a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.

In this blog article, we will delve into the intricate details of The Robben Ford Clinic: The Art of Blues Solos, exploring each session and the techniques covered. Get ready to take a deep dive into the world of blues soloing and unlock the secrets behind creating soulful and captivating solos that will leave audiences in awe.

Introduction to Blues Soloing

Introduction To Blues Soloing

In this session, participants will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of blues soloing. Robben Ford will emphasize the importance of understanding the blues scale, chord progressions, and how to effectively express emotions through your solos. He will guide you in developing a strong foundation by explaining the theory behind blues soloing and demonstrating various techniques to help you create melodic phrases that resonate with the blues genre.

Understanding the Blues Scale

The blues scale forms the backbone of blues soloing. Robben Ford will break down the structure of the scale, highlighting its unique combination of major and minor intervals. He will show you different positions and fingerings on the guitar neck, enabling you to navigate the scale effortlessly. Understanding the blues scale will empower you to create melodic lines that capture the essence of blues music.

Exploring Chord Progressions

Blues music is characterized by its chord progressions, such as the classic 12-bar blues. Robben Ford will teach you how to identify and analyze these progressions, allowing you to anticipate chord changes and select appropriate scales and phrases. By understanding the relationship between chords and scales, you will gain the ability to construct solos that harmonize with the underlying progression, creating a seamless musical experience.

Expressing Emotions through Solos

The blues is an emotional genre, and your solos should reflect this. Robben Ford will delve into the various techniques you can use to evoke specific emotions in your playing. He will demonstrate how to bend notes, apply vibrato, and utilize dynamics to convey feelings of longing, joy, sadness, and everything in between. By understanding the emotional aspects of blues soloing, you will be able to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Techniques for Expressive Bending

Techniques For Expressive Bending

Bending is a fundamental technique in blues soloing, allowing you to infuse your playing with emotion and character. In this session, Robben Ford will dive deeper into the art of bending, teaching you various bending techniques and how to execute them with precision.

Half-Step Bends

Half-step bends are a cornerstone of blues soloing, providing a subtle and expressive way to bend notes. Robben Ford will demonstrate the proper finger placement and hand technique required to achieve accurate and controlled half-step bends. He will guide you through exercises to develop your bending accuracy and help you incorporate this technique seamlessly into your solos.

Whole-Step Bends

Whole-step bends offer a more dramatic and intense sound. Robben Ford will show you how to execute whole-step bends effectively, ensuring that you hit the desired pitch without overbending. He will share exercises to strengthen your fingers and build the necessary control for precise whole-step bends. By mastering this technique, you will add a powerful tool to your blues soloing arsenal.


Pre-bends allow you to bend a note before striking it, creating a unique and expressive effect. Robben Ford will teach you how to execute pre-bends accurately, ensuring that the bent note is in tune and resonates with the desired intensity. He will guide you through exercises to develop your ear and finger strength, enabling you to incorporate pre-bends seamlessly into your solos.

Mastering Vibrato for Soulful Phrasing

Mastering Vibrato For Soulful Phrasing

Vibrato is a technique that adds depth and emotion to guitar solos. In this session, Robben Ford will guide you in mastering various vibrato techniques, allowing you to create soulful and expressive phrasing in your blues solos.

Wide Vibrato

Wide vibrato is known for its dramatic and expressive effect. Robben Ford will demonstrate how to achieve a wide vibrato by using a combination of wrist and finger movement. He will show you how to control the speed and width of the vibrato to match the desired emotional intensity. Through exercises and examples, you will develop the skill to incorporate wide vibrato into your solos with confidence.

Narrow Vibrato

Narrow vibrato offers a subtler and more nuanced approach to phrasing. Robben Ford will teach you how to execute a narrow vibrato, focusing on finger movements and control. He will demonstrate how to vary the speed and width of the vibrato to create different moods and textures in your solos. By mastering narrow vibrato, you will have a versatile tool at your disposal to add finesse and expressiveness to your playing.

Combining Vibrato Techniques

Robben Ford will show you how to combine wide and narrow vibrato techniques to create dynamic and captivating solos. He will guide you in understanding when to use each technique for maximum impact, allowing you to convey a wide range of emotions in your playing. Through practice and experimentation, you will develop your unique vibrato style, adding a signature touch to your blues solos.

Building Melodic Lines with Blues Scales

Building Melodic Lines With Blues Scales

The blues scale is a fundamental tool for creating melodic lines in blues solos. In this session, participants will explore different positions of the blues scale and learn how to connect them to build fluid and melodic lines. Robben Ford will demonstrate various techniques for improvising with the blues scale, helping participants enhance their soloing abilities.

Positional Approaches to the Blues Scale

Robben Ford will break down the blues scale into different positions on the guitar neck, showing you how to navigate through each position seamlessly. He will provide exercises and patterns that will help you internalize the scale positions, enabling you to move freely across the fretboard while soloing. By understanding the positional approaches to the blues scale, you will gain the confidence to explore different melodic possibilities.

Connecting Scale Positions

Simply playing the blues scale in one position can limit your soloing capabilities. Robben Ford will teach you techniques for connecting different scale positions, allowing you to create melodic lines that span across the fretboard. He will show you various patterns and exercises that will help you transition smoothly between positions, expanding your improvisational options and adding depth to your solos.

Using Chromatic Notes

Chromatic notes can add tension and color to your blues solos. Robben Ford will demonstrate how to incorporate chromatic notes into your melodic lines, creating interesting and unexpected twists. He will guide you in understanding when and how to use chromatic notes effectively, giving your solos a unique and captivating flavor. By incorporating chromaticism, you will elevate your blues soloing to a new level of sophistication.

Exploring Blues Licks and Phrases

Exploring Blues Licks And Phrases

Blues licks and phrases are essential for adding flair and personality to your solos. In this session, participants will dive into a collection of classic blues licks and phrases, dissecting them to understand their construction and how to incorporate them into their own playing. Robben Ford will demonstrate different ways to modify and personalize these licks, encouraging participants to develop their unique style.

Learning Classic Blues Licks

Robben Ford will teach you iconic blues licks that have stood the test of time. He will break down these licks, analyzing their rhythmic and melodic elements. By understanding the structure and nuances of these classic licks, you will gain insight into the essence of blues soloing. Robben Ford will provide exercises and variations that will help you internalize these licks and incorporate them into your own solos.

Modifying and Personalizing Licks

While learning classic licks is valuable, it’s equally important to develop your own voice as a guitarist.Robben Ford will guide you in modifying and personalizing the licks you’ve learned. He will encourage you to experiment with different rhythmic variations, note choices, and phrasing techniques. By adding your own creative touch to these licks, you will develop a unique musical identity and stand out as a blues guitarist. Robben Ford will provide invaluable insights and tips to help you infuse your personality into every lick you play.

Creating Your Own Phrases

Building upon the foundation of classic licks, Robben Ford will show you how to create your own blues phrases. He will teach you the art of improvisation, helping you develop the ability to spontaneously craft melodic lines that fit the context of a blues progression. Through exercises and guided exploration, you will learn how to combine scales, arpeggios, and rhythmic motifs to construct engaging and expressive phrases. With practice, you will gain the confidence to create unique and memorable solos that truly reflect your musical personality.