Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top is a great blues player. Usually he’s not a speed demon, but more of a tasteful player. He’s responsible for a lot of Texas blues and classic rock’n roll tunes. This lesson will take a closer look at one of his licks that has influenced a lot of players. There’s a song called “La Grange” that is in the key of A minor, and you use the A pentatonic minor scale to solo in it. This riff was inspired by that song. It’s out of the A pentatonic minor scale, using the one position and three position joined together.
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It starts with a slide on the third string. Start at the seventh fret and slide up to the ninth fret using your third finger. You are sliding up one tone. The trick is to pick the string and let it ring. Underneath that, tuck in your second finger on the second string, eighth fret. This is a minor third interval which is very important and used a lot. The only way you can let it ring out is to make sure that your third finger doesn’t touch the string underneath it. It’s a down up pick motion because if you make them both down, you won’t get them smooth and you’ll more than likely mute the third string before you get to the second string, which you don’t want to do.
Now comes a slur, slide, and position change. So when you’re coming back down, put your first finger on the seventh fret, third string and slide it down to the fifth fret. Your minor third there is on the fourth string seventh fret.
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If you missed Part 1 in this series, you can find it here.