Take A Solo!

Toby Walker

The Secrets to Blues and Country Guitar Improvisation

95 Minute DVD, includes music and tab + BONUS Audio Backup Tracks
  • Code:DVDWKRSO21
  • Skill Level:Early Intermediate (3)
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A blues or country guitarist creates a great solo, spinning single-string notes seemingly out of nowhere, thrilling the audience and getting nods of approval from fellow musicians. How does this happen? How do you even start figuring out which notes to play in the midst of a song or jam session? 

Toby Walker has the perfect key to unlocking those mysteries. He shows you how to come up with powerful and compelling improvisations in any key and in any position on the fretboard, using a flat pick or fingers. Concentrating mainly on blues soloing, he eliminates robotic scales and patterns and shows you the “language” of a musical conversation.

You’ll learn how to think in shapes, or “boxes,” finding the root note and then adding the right intervals to come up with licks and solos. Once you start moving from one shape to the next, your playing will flow up and down the fretboard with ease. Then add in the “wasabi” - vibrato, bends, B. B. King-style licks, Lightnin’ Hopkins shuffle beats, and other techniques - and you’ll add really hot spice to your playing.

Once you’ve got the blues ideas under your fingertips, you’ll discover that you can move the same licks to country songs, like Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad. You’ll be stepping into the spotlight in no time!
Customer Reviews
"Enlightening from the first minute into the lesson. You have a great talent for explaining a complex topic, for me anyway, in a very approachable way. Love the Q&A analogy - a real epiphany for me. I already play solos a bit, but I can already tell that this video is going to take me to another level." - Steve C.
"Got my DVD in the mail today. Good thing too because I was tired of sitting at the window for hours every day watching for it to be delivered. I honestly have to say it the best produced instructional video I've purchased in years. I only got a third of the way through it before the tv was reclaimed by the rest of my family. In that time though I was very close to nailing things on my new 12 fret dread that have eluded me all my life. Toby is an awesome communicator and is very adept at conveying a true "you can do it" attitude to viewers. I haven't felt this empowered about playing a guitar since Donny the Hood (old term for juvenile delinquent) taught me the boogie woogie riffs when I was about 8 years old. 53 years is a long time to wait in between revelations in playing a guitar. I still have some of Happy Traum's courses on cassette tapes with hand written tablature... from back in the dark ages. Guitar instruction has come a long way and I think Toby's effort here are one of the best and most enlightening." - Dave. 

"Nothing on there was new material per se (to me). I've seen the scale shapes, I've seen the caged system, I know chord progressions... but what was invaluable was seeing how to integrate and flow from one lick to another through those scales and boxes... I also really liked the part about how to call/respond with a single instrument... how and when to add additional notes to the progression. I have just a bit more to go, but I have really enjoyed the DVD and playing along (as best I can). I need to go back and internalize the licks (they are nicer than what I make up) but when noodling around and making up my own stuff, it sounds less like aimless wandering to elevator music, and more like something is happening! There is tension, excitement, resolution, and best of all... it's fun. I don't know how/why it worked out this way, but that DVD met me exactly where I am and pointed me forward." - From Acoustic Guitar Forum


Michael Lamm 2 years ago

Sorry but I didn't get much from this lesson. Sort of looked at Pentatonic scales but only one 'box' then went into the CAGED system without really going into what it is or how to learn it. Then went through a few licks some of which have the TAB provided. For most of the licks it was impossible to see what he was actually playing. The rest of the time it was like a couple of guys having a chat. Very disappointed.

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Michael Croy 1 year, 6 months ago

The DVD is noted as level 3. Is that realistically where you are in your development as a player? I'm not trying to be condescending or dismiss your review. But I note other reviews in which the students are quite happy with the material, and Mr Walker has evidently become one of Homespun's more popular teachers. I haven't actually seen this DVD, just the teaser video. But I have a couple of ideas you might consider, if you're not upset at my replying in this manner. You expressed a bit of disappointment that the CAGED system was used, but not explained in detail. However, you can't learn guitar or anything else from one book or video, at least I can't. I have purchased the Homespun series of DVDs by Ernie Hawkins on the CAGED system, so I have some understanding of what that is. But understand, that was 3 DVDs just on the CAGED system, not solo improvisation. I have learned about the CAGED system elsewhere as well. So even in the little teaser video when Toby shows how he builds a melody figure by moving from position to position through the CAGED shapes of a given key, I kind of get it. Maybe if you study the CAGED system and scale position choices a bit more, and then revisit this video the ideas presented will have more meaning for you. I'm really trying to be constructive and just urge you to continue. This video may be really great, or perhaps not. I've no idea, but I'm trying to make a greater point that stands either way. I have an awful lot of books and videos, not just for guitar but other instruments as well. It's hard to learn to really play well unless you are a born prodigy. The rest of us have to take lots of lessons from better musicians. There are advantages to a private teacher, but a nice thing about Homespun lessons is that you have them documented and can watch and listen to the teacher again and again. Watch this video again, exactly one year from now and see if you feel the same way about it. I'm not saying you will see it any differently, but who knows?

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Mike Cee 1 year, 6 months ago

A couple of interesting posts, both raise valid points in this whole learning musical instrument journey. As a late starter hobby player, I've got a lot of books dvds etc and also get weekly private lesson. For some they just get it, me, it takes a long while and when I go through different aspects of music, various 'lightbulbs' go off, and 'ah ah' moments, when things clicks and makes sense, as simple as 'ah that's why practicing scales are important'. I am constantly re-visiting theory that I didn't understand at the time. It takes a lot of work, time and playing with others better than you helps. I've realised now that there are no easy routes, I've just gotta put the time in.

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