It's all about the pause man... THE PAUSE!
What pause? What this some kind of sex technique?... Well, to tell the truth. maybe.. it's no secret blues improvisation turns people on.. is there anyone that hasn't made love to some cool guitar solo?
And like sex, playing the blues is a contact sport.. You have to take off your robe.. get in the ring and take your chances.. Like a prize fighter, you got to know when to punch, when to duck and... when you smell blood, how to bring your solo to its climax!!! and get the hell out of there!
The master is, was and always will be B.B. KIng... listen to the album "Live at the Regal", the B.B. King's blues guitar solo throws you off balance, gets you leaning one way and then POW!!! Right in the gut man..
OK, so where does the PAUSE come in? Take a guess... Right at the start of most blues guitar licks... instead of a playing a a note on the beat.. you leave a rest - an eigth note or sixteenth note rest depending on the tempo.. and POW!!! You're guitar solo's are going to get noticed!!
It may not seem like such a big deal, but "the pause" separates the men from the boys. It make take you a long time to figure this out.. but once you do, you're on your way.. Once again... the trick is to catch the listener's ear with a quick note that's more like a "pick up" than an eighth note.. or to start your blues licks with a rest instead of a note.. Just listen to all the greats BB. King, SRV, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray and Albert Collins, my main man.. Good luck and funky blues.. Johnny Mayer.