SOLO1 bb king-style, zaire 1974

Guitar Techniques - - B B King Africa ’74 | Learning Zone -

Our first com­plete solo show­cases King’s ap­proach to out­lin­ing the har­mony, in this case mov­ing between Im7 (Dm7), Vm7 (Am7) and IVm7 (Gm7), while stay­ing al­most ex­clu­sively with the E- form box pen­ta­tonic shape (R b3 4 5 b7). He does briefly add a cou­ple of colour tones, specif­i­cally the 2nd (E) in bar 2 and the 6th (B) in bar 8. From a con­cep­tual per­spec­tive, your job here is to align the tar­get notes with the un­der­ly­ing har­mony to quan­tify his note se­lec­tion. A clear ex­am­ple is in bar 3, where BB points his D mi­nor pen­ta­tonic lines to­wards the note A, the tonic of the un­der­ly­ing chord, fol­lowed by a first- fin­ger bend to­wards an E, the 5th de­gree and an­other fun­da­men­tal build­ing block from our Am7 chord (A C E G). Tech­ni­cally, this bend is prob­a­bly the most chal­leng­ing and idio­syn­cratic phrase within this solo, as the first fin­ger is used to push the sixth string up a whole tone. It’s cru­cial that you cre­ate a pivot point between your thumb and the base of the first fin­ger, us­ing a turn­ing mo­tion of the wrist rather than just pure fin­ger strength alone to achieve this bend.

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