Guitar Techniques - - Learning Zone -

AS AL­WAYS, WE’VE CRAMMED the mag­a­zine with a broad va­ri­ety of tu­to­ri­als that span gen­res, play­ing lev­els and top­ics. One of the most con­sis­tently popular styles is blues and this time we’ve ap­proached it in sev­eral dif­fer­ent ways. The first you’ve al­ready seen; 10 hot blues shred­ders and a small snap­shot of what makes them fiery fret­ters! There are count­less ways of ap­proach­ing this large ar­ti­cle, from learn­ing a few licks to mas­ter­ing the whole fi­nal piece via mor­ph­ing the licks into new keys and har­monies (eg con­vert­ing mi­nor Pen­ta­ton­ics into dom­i­nant 7th Pen­ta­ton­ics). Delve in (again) and see what sticks for your own play­ing!

In this ‘reg­u­lars’ sec­tion we will fo­cus on four ar­eas that are ei­ther ex­plic­itly blues re­lated or tar­get var­i­ous com­po­nents of ex­pres­sive solo­ing. To start with, Wheaty looks at as­pects of Eric Clap­ton’s play­ing that pays homage to Robert John­son (pg 56). In the dou­ble cho­rus ex­am­ple solo, you’ll see a mul­ti­tude of great ideas from dou­ble-stops to blues curls, slides to string bends. It’s a rich ter­rain from which to cul­ti­vate great blues licks.

Next is Shaun Baxter’s Cre­ative Rock (pg 68) which is a cap­ti­vat­ing boot­camp on how to make blues licks from within chord shapes (ie CAGED sys­tem). Specif­i­cally, you’ll get ‘un­der the bon­net’ of dom­i­nant 7th chord shapes to gen­er­ate fan­tas­tic Mixoly­dian lead lines - the mode for bluesy ma­jor play­ing. This ar­ti­cle alone is worth the price of the mag­a­zine as there is many, many months’ worth of study and ex­plo­ration pos­si­ble here.

Mov­ing onto our sec­ond video tu­to­rial on page 74 (the first is with the ex­quis­ite clas­si­cal gui­tarist, Car­los Bonell), Andy Saphir un­locks the fret­board with Ma­jor and Mi­nor Pen­ta­ton­ics. If you’re used to play­ing within a cou­ple of Pen­ta­tonic shapes, Andy’s demon­stra­tions of trav­el­ling the fret­board with slides, ham­mer-ons and pull-offs should prove both eye-open­ing and hugely ap­peal­ing.

Fi­nally, Phil Capone’s popular se­ries on iconic Bri­tish R&B bands and gui­tarists looks at the of­ten un­der­val­ued Alex Korner’s Blues In­cor­po­rated (pg 76). If you’re han­ker­ing for a va­ri­ety of short riffs, licks and grooves you’ll have a great time here with an im­mensely re­ward­ing fi­nal piece to tackle that goes from riff­ing in E through to high fret­board lead lines and im­pres­sively quick pull-off flur­ries. En­joy the is­sue and revel in fresh in­spi­ra­tion for your all bluesy play­ing!

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