Bl ues

JohnWheatcroft ex­am­ines­thek­ey­compo­nents tothe­p­lay­ingstyle­ofa­gen­uinebluesle­gend,the amaz­ing­ly­tal­ent­ed­bu­till-fat­edSte­vieRayVaughan.

Guitar Techniques - - • Contents • November 2014 • -

John Wheatcroft ex­am­ines SRV’s fiery blues.

in­vig­o­rat­ingth­e­blues­genre inthe­p­ro­cess.

Vaugh­ancer­tain­ly­paid­his blues­dues,and­his­in­flu­ences were­clear­forall­tosee.That said,hewashisown­man throughandthrough.Not sincetheBri­tish­boominthe 60shadthe­bluesworld ex­pe­ri­encedanewartistof this­cal­i­bre­and­sig­nif­i­cance, si­mul­ta­ne­ous­lyfind­ingthat elu­sive­com­bi­na­tionof stylis­ti­cau­then­tic­ity,style, in­ge­nu­ityan­do­rig­i­nal­ity.

Vaughan’sstrato­spheric rise­be­gan­when­hep­layedon DavidBowie’s1983al­bum, Let’sDance.Thesto­ry­goes thatupon­hear­ing­th­eti­tle track­on­thera­dio,Eric Clap­ton­pulled­his­carover an­dranghis­record­com­pany de­mand­ing­to­knowwhothe gui­tarplay­er­was!

Along­with­his­rhythm sec­tion,DoubleTrouble, Ste­viewen­ton­to­pro­ducea stringof­suc­cess­fu­lal­bums, touredthe­worl­dand­picked up­more­award­sthanyou could­shakea­st­ickat.After over­com­ingstrug­gleswith al­co­holand­drugs,by1990 the­fu­ture­of­blues,and­gui­tar mu­sicin­general,ap­pearedto bein­safe­hands. Thatisun­til­tragedys­truck­intheAu­gustof thatyear.Whileon­tour­with­Clap­ton,Buddy GuyandRobertCray,the­he­li­copterSte­vie wastrav­el­ling­in­fromWis­con­sin­toChicago, crashed­in­heavy­fog,killingallthep­as­sen­gers in­stantly.His­fire,pas­sio­n­and­mu­si­cal in­tegri­ty­touchedau­di­ences­the­worl­dover and­heis­still­sore­lymissed.

There’sa­full24-bar­solo­fory­our con­sid­er­a­tionthis­month,twicer­ounda con­ven­tion­alTexas-bluesshuf­fleinC.I lis­tened­toSte­vie’sfirsttwoal­bums­back-to­back manyVaughan-ism­sasI­could:any­thingI heardSte­vied­ofre­quent­ly­wen­ton­the­list. OnceIwas­com­fort­able­with­aroughideaof whatIwant­ed­to­con­vey,Ihit­the‘record’ but­to­nand­thetran­scrip­tion­that­fol­lows showswhat­came­out.

Whileit’sagreatideatolearn­this­piecein it­sen­tirety–es­pe­cial­ly­for­things­likegen­eral solo­con­struc­tion,pac­ing,developmentand soon–it’sal­soworth­while­takingeach tech­niquein­de­pen­dentlyan­d­ex­plorin­git fully,asthiswillal­lowyoutoat­tain­greater mileage­fromy­ourown­vo­cab­u­laryan­dalso takey­ouastep­fur­ther­to­wardsper­son­al­is­ing your­sound.Learningal­ick­isthe­be­gin­ningof the­p­ro­cess.It’swhaty­oudonext­that’sthe re­al­ly­in­ter­est­ing­part.What’smore,I’m cer­tainthi­si­sex­act­ly­howSte­vieRayVaughan learnt­to­play.

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