How to use chromatics in a blues guitar solo

There’s an old musician’s adage that when you improvise, you only go a semitone away from the ‘right note’. While this is perfectly true, it doesn’t always feel like this when we get into trouble.

At one point or another, we’ve all found ourselves using a less than optimal blues scale shape or phrase over a complicated chord progression! There is no substitute for preparation, but we can minimize such problems by becoming more familiar with those ‘in-between’ notes and accessing more options, not only from blues scale shapes, but also from any favorite lick or pattern.