Jim­mie Vaughan

Les David­son ex­am­ines a blues player who’s taste­ful, re­strained and the real deal – the one and only Texan Ti­tan, Jim­mie Vaughan.

Guitar Techniques - - LESSON: BLUES -

Jim­mie Vaughan was raised in Oak Cliff, just south of Dal­las, Texas and has been a main­stay on the blues scene for more than 40 years. his dis­tinc­tive gui­tar play­ing and singing style has re­mained true to the le­gacy of the blues. along with his late younger brother ste­vie Ray, he has been a ma­jor force in the re­vival of the blues since the ‘Bri­tish in­va­sion’ of the 1960s.

Jim­mie is best known for his work with The Fab­u­lous Thun­der­birds. The band’s first four al­bums, re­leased be­tween 1979 and 1983, are con­sid­ered to be clas­sic ‘mod­ern Blues’ record­ings but the big suc­cess came when the Thun­der­birds scored a top ten us hit in 1986 with the ti­tle track from their Tuff enough al­bum.

Jim­mie fi­nally left the Thun­der­birds in 1989 to pur­sue a solo ca­reer.

Jim­mie and his younger brother ste­vie Ray also made an al­bum to­gether called Fam­ily style, which was re­leased af­ter ste­vie’s death in 1990. Jim­mie also re­leased two solo al­bums, strange Plea­sure (1994) and Plays Blues, Bal­lads & Fa­vorites (2010). he has been a guest on records by BB King, san­tana and Don hen­ley, and has also sup­ported eric Clap­ton and been a guest at Clap­ton’s’ Cross­roads Fes­ti­val. Take time to build up the nec­es­sary stamina and ar­tic­u­la­tion but in Jim­mie’s case its also about the time, taste and groove. as with many blues greats - you can al­ways hear a bit of T-Bone walker in his play­ing - Jim­mie tends to play be­hind the beat. he can of­ten be seen us­ing a capo, depend­ing on the key of the song, to keep open strings avail­able to him. i haven’t used a capo for our ex­am­ples but both of them make good use of open strings.

There are many ways to build up to the re­quired tempo but for th­ese ex­am­ples, as they are not overly fast or fran­tic, i’d sug­gest you at­tempt to play them at full tempo, even if you can only man­age the first cou­ple of bars at first. This way we’re mak­ing progress by ex­pand­ing the du­ra­tion of an idea rather than play­ing an en­tire phrase at a frac­tion of the de­sired speed.

Pick­ing is down up down up un­less oth­er­wise stated but Jim­mie some­times uses just his first and sec­ond fin­gers in up­strokes to get the au­then­tic tone of the blues masters .

Jim­mie Vaughan play­ing a clas­sic two-tone Strat

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