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Arlen Roth Lessons
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We all know how useful the “5th fret is equal to the next open string” thing is, but what about the open string being equal to the next string at the 7th fret? Well, that’s what this lesson is all about; those cool octaves that can be created in this way.
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Today’s lesson is going to show you perhaps the No. 1 reason for B.B King’s incredibly recognizable style and technique. Even though he is a truly masterful and complex guitarist, he has over the years been whittling his style down to some very basic “signature” licks and runs that are instantly identifiable, such as the ones I’m about to show you.
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This is a classic variation on the kind of Blues guitar and bass unison lines that became so popular as the result of the great Chicago blues players. I’ve personally been playing this lick for years, even recording “Treat Her Right” on my second LP, Hot Pickups. If you listen carefully to the original recording by Roy Head and The Traits there are actually two guitars playing on this part. We’re going to be playing it as one part, homogenized together.
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This was one of the first blues chord “inflections” that I discovered in my formative years, listening to folks like Mike Bloomfield and T-Bone Walker. It’s very easy to imitate the sound, but it took me a while to actually discover that these slides came from 9th chords!!
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In this lesson, I’ll show you how to substitute string bending for the hammer-on and pull-off lick. But first, it's important to establish how this technique is properly done, as so many guitarists—even experienced ones—still don't do it right
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