EXAMPLE zz TO P STYLE solo study
[Bars 0- 8] Our opening boogie-blues phrase in the key of A mixes both Minor Pentatonic (AC D E G) and Mixolydian mode (A B C# D E F# G) against the underlying A7 tonality (A C# E G). There’s nothing tricky from a technical perspective here, but interest comes from all the slick bends, slides and other expressive devices of which Gibbons is a master. There is a little bit of chromatic motion too, although it’s likely that Billy would view this as a ‘filled-in’ Pentatonic idea as so many blues players do - BB, Clapton, Hendrix etc. Essentially you can bridge any of the two-fret gaps with the semitone passing tone found lying between. So long as you keep going the ear will completely buy into this move, irrespective of the dissonance that this new interval might cause if used independently and not surrounded by its neighbouring stable tones. The intervallic string skips in bar 5 are reminiscent of the great Albert King. [Bars 9-12] Our turnaround features yet more interval skips which you could tackle with a purely plectrum based approach or with a combination of pick and fingers. The closing phrase in bars 11-12 requires two notes at once on non-adjacent strings, so hybrid picking makes perfect sense, rather than switching to fingers only, not only because it’s faster to make the transition but the tone will be more strident with overdrive - and easier to control muting. Plus it puts you in the right frame of mind for the licks that follow.
cd track 42