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Blues Guitar Lessons: Pattern #5

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Well now that we've conquered pattern
number four all the way across the neck.
Let's move up to the next pattern,and
the adjacent pattern to
pattern number four of
course would be pattern number five
related to D shape and open position, or
Now, we've already touched on this shape
because it's so blended with pattern
number four, that a lot of the phrases
that we've already played have kind of
encroached into pattern number
five without saying it so much.
When I do that and
I slide up the second string,
my hand is in pattern number five.
It's just that immediately I'm beating
it back to pattern number four.
Now we're going to stick around
pattern number five for a while.
I call this the Albert spot.
And the reason for that is twofold.
Cuz there are two Alberts.
Albert King, and
we've listened to his phrases.
And talked about how you take Albert's
radical string bending style,
two full steps and
you'd break it down into
two single whole steps.
And you can kinda locate a simile of
Albert King in pattern number
five on the high strings,
so we'll explore that in more detail now.
And then when you go down to
the lower octave, believe it or
not, that was kinda the home
turf of Albert Collins.
Now who in their right mind would solo in
the lower octave of pattern number five?
Well it helps to know that
Albert Collins used a capo, and
he tuned to an open minor chord.
he was playing in the key of A,
he would have the capo
at the fifth fret and
his open strings would sound like this
So for him, phrasing in that
lower octave was as natural as us
playing in pattern number four.
It was all good.
That was an open string.
That was an open string, right?
So you could finger that stuff,
no problem.
For us, it's a little weird, but
when you listen to Albert Collins,
then you try to translate some
of his phrases, you find that
you kind of have to occupy that world,
if you're gonna get the same sound.
So we'll mess with both of those ideas,
the Albert King and
the Albert Collins spot.
Starting the upper octave, basically,
the skeleton of pattern five
is the minor pentatonic.
Starting with the tonic, the root on
the second string at the tenth fret,
with the third finger.
That's gonna be your home note there.
First finger on the first string.
Third finger
And then to get up to the fifth, which is
an important note, it's that chord tone.
You have to bend.
And this is sort of the phenomenon that
leads to the typical phrases
that you hear in this pattern,
which is bending up a whole step.
Then coming back down and
doing different combinations and notes
within the upper octave of pattern five.
So, we've got the
fifth, fourth, third, root, seventh,
fifth again.
Now, a lot of phrases start and stop
within that same little cluster there.
It's not very big but
there's a lot you can do with it.
Let's do some call and
response in that spot.
I'll play a phrase up in there, and
you answer me, and we'll kind of
start to build a vocabulary in the upper
octave of pattern number five.
Here we go.
One, two, three and four.
One, two, and three and four.
Just one octave or
one bar phrases.
so forth,
I could keep
going for
awhile, but
the idea is
I'm playing short phrases and
I'm resolving on the strong notes.
the root
the root again,
the fifth and so forth.
The chord tones are all easily available
within that little pattern there.
Now because I'm playing all the minor
stuff, you know the pentatonic thing,
it could give you the idea
that's all there is up in there.
But the entire blues tonality
is available in that pattern,
you just have to kinda think about it for
a second, so let's break it down.
There's one.
There's the minor third.
Now if I want to play the major sound,
I can emphasize that major third by using
the blue note,
the fourth
That's a favorite
lick of BB King.
Really emphasizing the major third
within that fingering pattern.
So Albert King emphasizes the minor third
and BB emphasizes the major third
And right there you kind of have
the distinct difference between the two
guys in a very capsulized version.
Now what else do we have up
in that neighborhood there?
We've got the seventh
We know that next to the seventh is
the sixth, the fifth, the fourth.
Now, we're gonna start
edging back into pattern
number four, so we'll stop right there.
There's the root, the fifth,
the sixth, the major third.
So if I want to play sweet, I emphasize
the major sixth and the major third.
That's the core of the sweet sound.
So all the way through there I'm
I'm just messing around with this little,
tiny pattern.
What I like about that pattern is,
you don't have many choices in
terms of where your hand goes.
So it forces you to concentrate more on
the sound of the notes that you play.
So it's a great opportunity to
really stretch out, melodically.
Let's do just a brief call and
response with more of the major sound,
and then we're gonna move
into the lower octave.
Here we go.
One, two, three, four.
You can see I'm twisting and turning
the same notes in different directions.
And listening for
the phrasing and just inventing.
But using very limited
amount of raw material,
combined with all the knowledge that
I've built up about how a phrase works.
So, [COUGH] what about that lower octave?
Well, this is kind of a bear to finger,
because it requires you to use
your fourth finger quite a bit.
There's the tonic, the third,
the fourth, and the fifth.
Going down,
we wind up on the minor
third at the bottom there.
But as in the upper octave,
we're not limited to the minor sound.
Because along with the minor notes,
the minor sevenths,
we've got the major sixth,
the fifth, the fourth,
minor third, and the major third.
They are all in the same neighborhood.
So let's do a little call response
briefly in that section and
that we'll talk about how to
play 12 bar using this pattern.
Here we go, one, two, three, four.
Two bars.
Uses the fourth finger there.
the ninth, and
then the sixth.
using the fourth finger.
And again, if you listen to those phrases,
and then compare them to
phrases that I've been playing
forever now in these lessons
in pattern number four.
And so on.
I can get inventive and move around
the neck, but I'm playing the same exact
types of phrases, the melody is just
the melody that I'm hearing, right?
That's my style.
So what you need to do then,
is to capture this area of the neck,
is to take your style,
the stuff that you would normally play in
your comfort zone of pattern number four,
and translate it over into pattern
number five while taking advantage some
of the opportunities to bend the strings
and so forth of the upper frets there.
I'm gonna play a 12 bar solo for you.
We'll use the same basic format for
all of these, so
we keep it familiar before
we change keys and stuff.
So, 12 bar shuffle in A and I'll play
one chorus in the upper octave of
pattern number five and one chorus in
the lower octave of pattern number five,
just to you give you kind of
a clue of how it's laid out.
Here we go.
Now, use a lot of that finger snap.
And I'm exploring
the different colors.
Again, the melodies are no different than
I would play in a more familiar pattern,
but the fingering is different.
And as I'm playing,
I'm thinking, literally,
[SOUND] there's the fifth and the root.
And because I've done it so many times,
I can very quickly translate five,
one into a finger shape,
and hear that sound.
And the goal in any form of
what we call improvisation,
spontaneous reorganization, is to hear
the phrase just a hair before you play it.
A good improviser never just jumps
off into a note without knowing what
it's gonna sound like.
You just know the answer before
the question has been asked.
And so when you hit that note
you already know where it is and
you're already onto
the next note in your mind.
And that's what prevents you from
playing just a bunch of random stuff or
getting sort of tangled up in
the fingerings and so forth.
Now, there are always times when you're
gonna slip and sort of lose your focus and
whatnot, but
that is really what it's all about,
is hear the phrase before
you play the phrase.
And it all comes from repetition,
just working those phrases inside and out.
And translating from one
position to another.
So you're not inventing new ideas,
you're just taking familiar ideas and
finding them in a new
position on the neck.
All right, so your assignment this
time around is pattern number five.
See what you can do with that.