BERNIE MARSDEN’ S MINOR BLUES
[Bars 1- 4] Bernie’s solo star ts out with some phrases that use volume control swells. To achieve this effect, first hammer/tap the note with the fretting hand, then swell the volume control simultaneously with the picking hand. Bernie adds judicious finger vibrato and string bending to selected notes, and this helps to bring the melody to life and provide a ‘vocal’ qualit y. [Bars 5-12] These phrases are constructed from shape 1 of the A Minor Pentatonic scale, as notated in Ex 1. These bars contain classic blues-rock vocabular y and are well worth memorising. In bar 10, the ideas come from shape 4 of the same scale, with some added notes. The turnaround lick in bar 12 has a slight hint of a picking harmonic added. This sound can come from striking the string with the pick at an angle and then allowing some of the flesh of the thumb to brush the string on the way through – of course, Billy F Gibbons made this a trademark.