Dan Patlansky Rhapsody In Blues…
A private lesson in progressive, contemporary blues guitar
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.