Magnatone Giveawya

August Issue
more... IntermediateLessonsOctober 2009

British Blues Licks

British Blues Licks

From Wolf Marshall's 101 Must-Know Blues Licks
Traditional blues merged with high-decibel British and American rock in the mid to late 1960s, and has continued in various forms to the present. Some point to Muddy Waters’ groundbreaking tour of Great Britain in 1958 as the pivotal moment which sparked the trend. Waters’ appearance inspired a host of British blues bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Yardbirds, and Ten Years After. This in turn led to further permutations in the form of John Mayall’s Blues Breakers, Cream, Fleetwood Mac, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The British blues movement also affected American counterparts such as the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Canned Heat, Electric Flag, and others, and became the impetus for the blues-rock fusion of the late 1960s and 1970s. Leading guitar proponents of the movement include Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jeff Beck, Mick Taylor, Jimi Hendrix, Mike Bloomfield, Johnny Winter, and others.

The licks in the British blues genre and blues-rock are generally modernized elaborations of Chicago, Texas, and Memphis styles reinterpreted and taken to further extremes. You will no doubt recognize many of the musical elements and even distinct melodies as being related to the earlier and contemporaneous American schools. What is new is the greater degree of distortion, usually achieved with high-gain Marshall amplifiers.

I played these licks on a Gibson Les Paul Standard, Gibson ES-335, and Fender Stratocaster plugged into a Soldano SLO- 100 or late 1960s Marshall head, and a 1970 Marshall 4x12 cabinet.


Basic Scale: E Major Pentatonic

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Basic Scale: E Minor Pentatonic

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Basic Tonality: G Minor Pentatonic

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Basic Scale: C Minor Pentatonic

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Basic Scale: G Minor Pentatonic

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