In this lesson I demonstrate how to play and solo over “Footsteps in the Dark” by the Isley Brothers. This is a soul music classic and was also sampled by Ice Cube for the song “It Was A Good Day”. If you are from my generation you are probably more familiar with the Ice Cube song than the Isley Brothers original. However, this riff is so smooth!
The Isley Brothers’ music features some incredible guitar playing. The style of playing developed over the life of the band, which had a long and successful career. I see the playing in their music as a major influence in later styles of soul and r&b.
Soloing over Footsteps in the Dark can help you with basic chord changes.
The song has a simple form, alternating between a verse section and chorus section. The chorus has a single chord that moves outside of the key of the rest of the song. This gives you a moment to explore that change, lasting for a single measure.
I think that finding songs like this with one single chord change can really help! It is easier to learn chord changes over a simple song with one or two non-diatonic chords than to try and play something that is constantly changing.
That is why I chose this song, in addition to it just being a great riff that’s fun to play. I wanted to provide an idea of a way that you can practice your soloing. I’d suggest listening through the song, playing along with the chords and then trying to create some soloing ideas over the chorus.
Practice changing between the related scales (C major & A major) and then see if you can play over the chorus in a smooth and connected way. Have fun with it!
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