Dan Pat­lansky Rhap­sody In Blues…

A pri­vate les­son in pro­gres­sive, con­tem­po­rary blues gui­tar

Guitarist - - Interview -

Af­ter our chat about his new al­bum, Per­fec­tion Kills , we switched on the video cam­era for a guided tour around Dan’s amp, ped­al­board and gui­tar. While we were there, we thought we’d ask for some in­sights into his ap­proach to play­ing. He re­warded us with a trea­sure trove of licks and riffs, as well as his ‘slap’ tech­nique – more of­ten heard on the bass gui­tar, this is a thing that more gui­tar play­ers are in­cor­po­rat­ing into their style. We also asked Dan to play a 12-bar blues with enough licks to keep your prac­tice sched­ule full for weeks!

Ex­am­ple 1-1a

In these ex­am­ples, Dan demon­strates how you can take ma­jor and mi­nor pen­ta­tonic shapes and be­gin to build chords around them in the way that Hen­drix used to in his rhythm play­ing on songs like Lit­tle Wing.

Ex­am­ple 2

Delv­Ing fur­ther into Jimi’s chord style, Dan takes a sim­ple chord ar­range­ment com­pris­ing G ma­jor, D ma­jor, E mi­nor and C ma­jor and shows how to build licks around each chord shape.

Ex­am­ple 3

It’s not of­ten that we find our­selves bor­row­ing ideas from bass play­ers, but it’s amaz­ing how well slap tech­nique trans­fers onto gui­tar. It’s crop­ping up all over the place, most no­tably, per­haps, on the intro to Guthrie Go­van’s Won­der­ful Slip­pery Thing. Here Dan slows ev­ery­thing right down and shows us how the tech­nique works up close.

Ex­am­ple 4

Drop­pIng his bass E string down to D, Dan demon­strates how slap tech­nique can be used in prac­tice. It’s not an easy thing to master and the best ap­proach is to stick with the ground rules in Ex 3 for a while and make sure that the ba­sic ac­tions are fully co­or­di­nated be­fore you at­tempt to speed them up.

Ex­am­ple 5

For this fi­nal ex­am­ple, we put Dan on the spot and asked him to play an un­ac­com­pa­nied 12-bar blues solo – not the eas­i­est thing to do un­der any cir­cum­stances! Alas, space re­stric­tions meant that we could only no­tate the first 12 bars, but there’s enough here to give you an in­sight into the man’s style.

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