03 BB King

Try your hand at the sim­ple lead lines and blues soul of the undis­puted king of the blues, BB King

Total Guitar - - COVER FEATURE -

‘Less is more’ is at the heart of the BB King phi­los­o­phy. With a style based heav­ily in just the ma­jor and mi­nor pen­ta­tonic scales, and armed only with his Gib­son ‘Lu­cille’ ES-335, the man known to most as the ‘king of the blues’ was one of the most ex­pres­sive play­ers

of all time. The se­cret to get­ting so much from so lit­tle is BB’S use of dy­nam­ics and phras­ing. At its most ba­sic, dy­nam­ics refers to how loud you play – and BB’S pick­ing

would vary greatly be­tween loud and soft. There are other nu­ances to con­sider. Stac­cato lines can re­ally punch out of a mix and BB’S sig­na­ture vi­brato is key to his style.

You’d hear those Hawa­ians play and si ng – they had a quiver in their voice. it was so mel­low, so good to your ears. And ev­ery tim e I’d pick up a guita r I’d trill my hand like this [im­i­tates the wid e BB vib rat o in mid -ai r] and that be­came a habit . It got so when­ever I play ed, I’d al­ways do that first ... all the guys would say , ‘How do you do that ?’ And I would say , ‘Li ke this …’ [im­i­tates vib rato]. And that’s about it bb king

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