Stevie Ray Vaughan is one of the most iconic blues guitar players ever! In this lesson we’re going to look at one of the key elements of the ‘SRV sound’: open string scales and licks!
Watch this guitar lesson to discover
So jump on in and get that ‘Texas twang’ in your blues solos!
Stevie Ray Vaughan Style Open String Blues Licks
Learn how to create amazing blues guitar solos with the open string blues scale and play open string blues licks in the style of players like SRV, Hendrix, Clapton, Freddie King and others.
I’ll show you how to play E blues scale using the open strings and many cool ways you can use this scale in your guitar solos, using strings bending, slides and more. So let’s get into it!
Here’s a breakdown of what you will learn in this video:
0:46 Let’s take a look at how we play the E scale using the open strings. This scale shape is great for making up lots of ‘twangy’ open string licks…a favorite of players like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix and others.
0:58 Open String Licks – Lick #1
This is a classic open string lick that Stevie Ray Vaughan used a lot in his solos. This one sounds great used as a blues turnaround over a 12 bar blues in the key of E.
2:57 This part of the lick uses a cool double stop sliding move. Notice how it’s outside our sliding shape slightly. We’ll talk about this here and how to use this little trick in your solos.
4:42 Carrying on the lick
Notice how you can hammer the B flat note and make it sound more fluid and smooth.
5:17 Closing the lick with a strumming on the B7 chord and an open E bass note. This B7 leads us back to the start of the 12 bar blues in E.
5:57 Let’s hear the whole phrase…
6:16 Open string lick #2.
Here we are using a cool string bend on the G string and a double stop slide. These are both great resources to use in your own solos.
7:06 Where does this other slide comes from?
This will make a difference to your solos! Playing the same note with 2 different strings instead of just playing open E string, makes it more intense and powerful.
8:32 Let’s hear the whole lick now.
8:39 Summary of lesson and some more tips with demonstrations.
If you are just starting out with the Blues and you are wondering where to begin to create your solos, then this lesson is for you. I will be answering here a very common question that is ‘which scale should I use to play over a 12 bars blues?’. I will show you here the most important scale you need to know to play blues and the number one mistake many guitar players make so you can avoid it.
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Blues Scales Lesson – What Scale Do I Play For Blues?
So what scale can you play over a 12 bar blues if you want to solo? There are lots of possible scales you can use…but there is one that ALL the blues legends use most of the time: the minor pentatonic scale.
In this episode of the Ask James Guitar Show I’ll show you how to play the scale, how to use it over the 12 bar blues and I’ll also tell you the no.1 mistake that many new blues guitarists make with the scale which stops them sounding great when they use it.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s in this guitar lesson:
0:17 What scale should you use to play over a blues? The major scale? The minor scale? Pentatonic scales? This is a question I hear a lot!
0:40 There are lots of scales you can use over a blues but the most common is the minor pentatonic scale. This is the best starting point and definitely where you should begin.
0:50 Here’s exactly how to play a minor pentatonic scale in the key of G.
1:35 Lots of guitar player think you need to move the scale around when the chords change in the 12 bar blues- but you don’t!! You can play the minor pentatonic scale over the entire blues chord sequence…there is no need to move it anywhere.
2:27 Hear the sound of the scale over a 12 bar blues – it works great!
It’s simple and easy to do meaning you can focus on the important things…like playing stuff that sounds good and makes you sound like a blues guitarist!
3:00 You need to play the scale in the right key though!
3:30 Knowing the scale is a great start but you also need to build up a library of great sounding blues licks you can use to make your playing sound musical.