Here is a phrase from Howlin’ Wolf’s “Baby How Long” which appeared on the album Moanin’ in the Moonlight. We’re going to focus on 2 bars rather than full solos or sections. The idea is that it isn’t about rote memorization, but about understanding the musical chemistry for future re-invention on your own.
Here is a phrase that happens at 0:04 in the song.
We’ll notice the song is in the key of G and we’re playing over the I chord. The first note entrance is a Bb (the b3 of G). The next note is an F (the b7 of G) followed by a triplet between G and F. Nothing too unusual so far. Beat 4 of measure 1 is where the real candy is. He lands on the major 3rd of G there (B note) for a whole beat. If you listen to him play this phrase you hear that note pop out. Sometimes when you’re playing a minor pent blues scale, you can really refresh the ears by throwing in a major 3rd instead of minor blues box 3rd. You’ll also take notice that it isn’t being used as a passing note, or enroute via the minor 3rd. It’s a destination note. Try it.