February 2008 \ Premier Clinic \ Rock \ Premier Clinic: Rock

# Premier Clinic: Rock

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from Andy Aledort’s Kings of Blues and Rock Vol. 5

Continuing last month’s exploration, our February lesson looks at the last six measures of the solo, after the progression resolves to Am and returns to the verse section. This excerpt begins in the B.B. box, named for its close association and usage by B.B. King. In this example, the B.B. box is located in the 15th position, with the index finger functioning as the anchor.

Where last month’s lesson left us in the D minor pentatonic position, this month we’ll be using the D major pentatonic scale, and relying on Clapton’s use of repeating phrases.

In measure one, slide up on the G string from the 14th fret to the 16th with your index finger fretting the 15th fret on the B string to get into position. While holding the note with your index finger, bend the 17th fret of the E string. Reiterate the bend, then release the B string after the E string is played. This position sets up the whole step bend on the high E at the 17th fret with your ring finger in the second measure. Use your index finger to bend the G up to A on the high E string, then bend the B string at the 18th fret up a half-step to F#. This is the position commonly referred to as the B.B. box, and B.B. King was an obvious influence on Clapton.

In bar three, we explore Clapton's practice of repeating a phrase while changing its rhythmic placement. Here we are bouncing between D and B notes while keeping a constant vibrato on the D. This would be a good time to investigate Clapton’s unique vibrato technique. He has a great, floating vibrato because he doesn’t anchor his thumb at the back of the neck – instead, he simply uses it to guide his hand up and down the neck. Also note that his palm isn’t used as an anchor, either. Check out some videos to see what’s going on.

Bar four features a bend of F up to G on the 18th fret of the B string, which is then repeated across the bar line, adding some rhythmic interest. In the last full measure, we change positions from the 15th to the 10th, hammering from the minor third, or F, to F#, a major sound, creating a bittersweet feeling. Also note the use of hammerons and pull-offs to create a nice, rolling quality to the solo – yet another Clapton signature.

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(1 comment) display by
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