Stevie Ray Vaughan has influenced so many people, and this is a lesson on how to play some guitar licks inspired by him. Stevie was an amazing guitar player – he brought the blues into the modern world and educated people on the blues. He left people with a lot to study.
Stevie Ray Vaughan liked to tune in Eb, or sometimes you’ll see that termed as D#. Technically the correct term is Eb though, as all the strings are tuned down a semi-tone. So in order to jam along with the Stevie tracks, you’ll have to play your guitar in Eb.
Some of Stevie’s most famous blues riffs come from the E pentatonic minor scale. If you can learn that scale across four frets, you’ll increase the number of options you have available for soloing. Hopefully you already know a few scales, but if you don’t, here’s a tip for you: All riffs are drawn out of the scale.
A very popular riff of Stevie’s includes chromatic passing notes in the pentatonic minor scale. There’s a chromatic passing note between the IV and V, and the VII and VIII. You can do that in other spots, but this lesson is limited in time.
To play this riff, start on the fifth string, which is an Ab if you’re tuned to Eb. So play the fifth string open, then fifth string first fret, then fifth string second fret. Then you cross over and play the fourth string open, fourth string first fret, fourth string second fret. And now it goes back down: fourth string first fret, fourth string open, fifth string second fret, fifth string first fret, fifth string open. Sixth string, first fret, and then play the root, open sixth string. Finish with the octave of your root – fourth string second fret.
You can pull them off or pick through them – it’s up to you. There’s many variations of this riff – the trick is in the down up picking. Stevie was really quick at that.
Watch on Youtube