Ex­am­ples 4-6

Ex­am­ple 4: ‘Dust My Broom’ Lick

Guitarist - - Techniques -

This isn’T ac­tu­ally a Billy Gib­bons lick at all. But he has used it so of­ten it’s cer­tainly worth in­clud­ing. It orig­i­nally comes from the El­more James clas­sic tune Dust My Broom and is a to­tal must-learn

Ex­am­ple 5: Pinched Har­mon­ics

Pinched Har­mon­ics Are one of the most recog­nis­able el­e­ments of Gib­bons’ style – they’re in pretty much ev­ery solo. One clas­sic ex­am­ple that springs to mind is the solo he played in

La Grange. I can vividly re­mem­ber try­ing to learn that solo, note by note, when I was younger. Of course, now I’m older and hope­fully a lit­tle wiser, I re­alise that har­mon­ics like this are not re­ally ‘planned’ – you just ‘dig in’ and hit the string si­mul­ta­ne­ously with the flesh of the side of your thumb and the pick at dif­fer­ent parts of the string length and see what har­mon­ics spring forth!

Ex­am­ple 6: Tapped Bend Lick

This Lick is a Gib­bons clas­sic! I first heard it way, way back in 1973 when it was played in the solo (at 1:25) of Beer Drinkers & Hell

Rais­ers from the Tres Hom­bres al­bum. It was def­i­nitely the first time I ever heard tap­ping on a record­ing… five years prior to Van Halen’s first al­bum as well! To play it cor­rectly, you sim­ply per­form a reg­u­lar

blues cliché. To per­form it, sim­ply play the G triad in triplets and slide it in from below ev­ery beat or, as here, ev­ery two beats. The over­all idea is to sound like you’re us­ing a slide, even though you aren’t.

On the video you can eas­ily see how I am mov­ing my pick­ing hand along the string in an at­tempt to vary the har­mon­ics pro­duced. This is why I haven’t no­tated the ex­act pitches of the har­mon­ics that I played in the no­ta­tion here – that would be point­less be­cause they’d most likely be dif­fer­ent ev­ery sin­gle time!

It is worth men­tion­ing that Billy also some­times plays pinched har­mon­ics by pluck­ing the string with his pick-hand in­dex fin­ger and then us­ing the side of his pick-hand thumb to si­mul­ta­ne­ously lightly touch the stings at var­i­ous (node) points. Try it; it works bril­liantly!

string bend from the C to the D on the G string and then tap and hold the G string at the 10th fret. Be­cause the string is still be­ing bent up by a tone, the note pro­duced by the tap will be a G and not the F that usu­ally re­sides at the 10th fret of that string. The vi­brato ap­plied to the bend is most ef­fec­tive when per­formed with your fret­ting hand.

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