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Blues Guitar Lessons: Pattern #1

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All right,
continuing our march up the neck.
From pattern number four to pattern number
five, and now to pattern number one,
we turned a corner there.
Now this spot is owned By B.B.
King and every time you play
in that position you owe
him a little something,
you know what I'm saying?
Maybe dough, he probably doesn't need
your dough but you owe him a little bit
of gratitude I would say for showing
us what we can do with this position.
Starting point for
pattern number five is your first finger
on the second string at the tenth fret.
[SOUND] That's your home note.
Now we use the same note, but with
a different finger in pattern number five.
So now we've got that first finger.
Now we can use similar techniques, but
by finding different notes we
create an entirely different
kinda melodic character there.
[SOUND] So there's the tonic, if I
develop the minor Pentatonic skeleton.
Just the upper octave,
for starters.
much different fingering than in
pattern number four, but
the exact same melodic content.
Now, [COUGH] what B.B.
did was he really unlocked the major
sound in pattern number one.
And so rather than playing the minor
sound as his starting point, he kinda
used the natural contours of
the pattern to bring out the sweetness.
Which was just,
it was already in his nature, and
this was kinda the vehicle for it.
So here's what's going on here.
What are the sweet notes?
Well the major third is very sweet.
There's the major third.
So if I bend with my third finger on
the second string from the 12th fret,
I'm bending into the major third.
We're in the key of A, of course.
That's a very intuitive bend,
got all three fingers involved there, and
it's a comfortable bend.
And it brings you back
to your first finger,
which is a comfortable ending as well.
Now where do you go from there?
The next note on the scale would be
the fourth.
And you play that with your index finger.
Now that's a tricky note as we know to
phrase, to find the right spot to put it.
But what he would do is he would
sorta bring a blues back into it.
playing around with
the colors there.
Major third.
Bending with the first finger,
that's a B.B. King technique.
then coming back down the minor sounds.
Flat five four flat three one.
then bending it back into the major sound.
Really mixing up the whole thing.
And then the fifth with the third
finger and then one of his favorite bends.
Bending up a whole step from the fifth to
the sixth.
Now he would actually go a step
further and bend a step and
a half from the fifth
up to the minor seven.
We combine all those notes and
listen to B.B. King,
you start to notice the trademark
phrases that all lay in that pattern.
And that's why I say he owns that pattern,
because when he wants to really get down
into it and play a great romantic style
of solo, that's where he's going to go.
So he's finding all that vocabulary
without shifting his hand out of
that tenth position or pattern number one.
All right now,
let's do a little caller response and
I'm gonna mix things up a little bit going
down from the root or the tonic there.
You find the minor seventh and
the sixth and the fifth and
those would be the main notes that
are accessible in the upper octave there.
So the combination that B.B. uses so
effectively is the major sixth,
and the tonic, right.
All right, let's go back and
forth and I'll play some stuff.
And sorta play B.B. King style and
see if we can zero in on that sound.
All right.
Here we go, one, a two, a one two three.
Now I used a couple
of techniques in there that
are characteristic of B.B..
The little
that little embellishment there which is
a hammer on,
a pull
and then going over to the third string.
A similar embellishment here from
the fourth to the flat five
over to the minor third.
Now you can use you fourth finger or
your third finger.
Within in that spot
you've got the sweet sound.
Then by shifting up by just one fret on
each of those notes
you got a little bit of salt to
your sound.
So you can really cover the entire
spectrum in this one spot here,
this three strings and
without moving your hand out of position.
So it's kinda a magic spot.
Really great spot to go when
you want to get expressive.
So you've got your Albert King
and your B.B. King
And it's a lot of fun to kind
of mess around with those
two positions on the neck.
And see how you can mix them up and
create different emotional effects.
So there's
the upper octave and
if we move down
Now here again the question would be
[SOUND] why on earth does anybody want to
play in that spot on the neck.
There's so many more attractive positions.
Well, the reason for opening up all the
regions of the neck is that it just allows
you, again, to finish your ideas and
not feel like there's a wall there.
Or there's some unknown territory,
a grey spot where you just, I don't know,
if I go over there,
I don't know what'll happen, right?
You want the whole neck
to be wide open and
say I can go there cuz I know
where that sound is, right?
So here's a challenge for you.
Take a lick that you would play
in pattern number four and
see if you can play it in the lower
octave of pattern number one.
For example,
minor third, major third,
fifth, sixth octave.
Okay, pattern number one.
Where's the root?
There's the A, the root,
that's the root of a C chord and
hence the root of the scale.
So where's the third?
All right,
I don't wanna
get ahead of you.
But the idea there is
that phrases that I would
play down here I can translate up here.
And the fingering is different,
but the sound is identical.
So that means this is no longer like
an abandoned part of the neck where
I just have to avoid it and
go play somewhere else.
I can cross the neck and finish my ideas,
no matter where they wanna go.
And that's a huge advantage when
you're developing your ear and
your playing style.
You don't wanna be blocked off anywhere.
Okay, let's do a very
quick little call and
response in lower octave
of pattern number four.
I'm sorry, pattern number one,
I'm getting my numbers mixed up.
Lower octave of pattern number one.
And then,
we'll put it all together over a 12-bar.
Okay, here we go.
One, two, three.
it a little
bit more minor.
I'll start
I'll make it a little sweeter.
mercy, mercy.
So that turns out to be in it's own way,
just as practical to play in
that position as anywhere else.
But because pattern number four
by now especially is so familiar,
that's probably always
gonna be your go to spot.
And there's nothing wrong with that,
but for
every phrase that you can
play in pattern number four.
You know,
[LAUGH] Not quite.
You can play almost the same patterns,
or the same licks,
in pattern number one because in fact
they have the same structure.
So it just takes getting used to.
Now I'm gonna play a two chorus solo here,
using the same progression
in the key of A.
And I'm not going to cover
the whole of pattern one,
like I just did, instead I'm going to
play like I'm going to be two characters.
And I want you to do the same thing.
I want you to send me this as a video.
I'm going to play the first chorus
as Albert King, in other words, I'm
going to be in the upper octave of pattern
number five and play Albert King's style.
And then in the second chorus,
I'm going to be B.B. King,
I'm going to switch personalities and play
in pattern number one in the B.B, style.
If you listen to those players,
just check them out.
You'll start to hear these phrases cuz
these are where they live in their style,
in the soul of their style.
Okay let's give it a shot
starting with Albert for
the first chorus.
So I was using also in my technique,
kinda the basic picking styles
of Albert King and B.B. King.
For Albert, I use my bare fingers
So one way to sorta emphasize the use of
the bare fingers that I like to do when I
don't want to have the pick in my hand and
use my middle finger and third finger.
But I want to use my thumb and
finger, more Albert King style,
is I tuck the pick away behind
my middle finger like that.
So I'm holding it normally,
put it in there, bend the finger,
and now I can
And when I want to use the pick again I
just push it out and there it is right.
Just a trick, no big thing.
For the B.B. style, B.B.
is a flat picker, he uses a regular pick.
But he uses that rake, so
muting the strings
Setting up the band and then of course the
trademark rake played at the end there.
So [COUGH] as you listen to the players
and you understand a little bit
more about their technique and
about where they tend to locate.
Keep in mind,
Albert King doesn't really play there,
he didn't, because he was upside down and
backwards and everything.
So this is our way of translating Albert
King into sorta a normal guitar pattern.
But that's where you'll find a lot
of his characteristic phrases.
And likewise, B.B.
actually does play in that position in the
key of A, he would be exactly right there,
you can hear when he goes there it's
like zing, that's the spot yes indeedy.
So send me a solo that
shows off your Albert and
your B.B. sides and
let's see what the results are.
I look forward to hearing it.
All right, have fun.