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Lyle Ronglien >> Billy Gibbons style >>

Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) Style

Lesson 4

Lyle: You'll be working in the key of G for this lesson, standard tuning. Learn this first blues rhythm riff:

Lyle: Try to palm mute the 6th string during all the single notes. Rest the heal of your picking hand on the end of the 6th string like in this picture:

palm mute

Sean: there is a GOD after hearing that riff

Lyle: Now use this jam track to play the riff you just learned:

Lyle: There are a total of 3 chords for the progression you'll be learning, the G, and a C riff starting at the 8th fret:

Lyle: Here's the rhythm riff for A:

Sean: very cool

Lyle: All the same riffs, just played at different places on the neck. Put the 3 chord rhythm riffs together in a progression like this:

Lyle: This 12 bar blues progression is a little different than the standard "1-4-5" progression. Most of the time, a 12 bar blues in G would use the G, C, and D chords, the 1-4-5 of G. Here the 5 chord (D) isn't used at all!

12 bar blues chord chart

Lyle: Now use this jam track to play all 3 rhythm riffs with:

Lyle: Besides the last jam track that's just drums and bass, you can use this other jam track which has another rhythm guitar part you'll learn next:

Lyle: Billy Gibbons, from ZZ Top, used overdubs in the studio to create fatter sounding rhythm tracks. You've just learned rhythm riff 1 with the tight palm mute and slight overdrive added, now I'd like to show you rhythm riff 2.

Lyle: Here's rhythm riff 2 for the G chord:

dand: would this be called a 1-4-2 progression?

Lyle: You may call it that. It's just like a standard 12 bar blues progression, but the V chord is replaced with the II chord.

Lyle: For these rhythm riffs, try using an ultra clean tone with a little chorus added. Here's how you'll play the C and A chords for the progression:

Jim: Wouldn't the A -> C then be like a II V to the G? Nice resolution.

Jim: (Ah, except it isn't II V ... sorry, nevermind)

Lyle: Examine this next tab file to learn where to play the new rhythm riffs 2 at:

Lyle: Here's the chord chart again so you don't have to scroll back up the page:

12 bar blues chord chart

Lyle: So you see how two simple rhythm riffs played together can create a huge sound, each rhythm riff is played very tight and exact, one with a little overdrive, one ultra clean.

Lyle: Now play the clean rhythm riffs 2 along to this jam track which has rhythm riff 1 that you learned earlier:

Lyle: I've got a few solo riffs to show you. They are in the Gm pentatonic scale:

Lyle: Notice the massive vibrato in this first riff:

Lyle: Riff 2 is the G minor pentatonic scale descending:

Lyle: Riff 3 starts out using a "car horn" lick, 2 notes played together, a whole step apart:

PhilW: Do you vibrate just the B string?

Lyle: I try to wiggle both strings.

PhilW: Ah, I can see it a little in the video.

Lyle: Ok, about the tones....I used a Rocktron Voodu Valve directly into my pc to record the guitar parts.

Voodu Valve rack

Lyle: Rhythm riff 1 was on a preset titled SRV for a tight, non effect sound with a little overdrive to it,

Lyle: Rhythm riff 2, the clean part was a preset called "warm jazz chorus" like the old Roland Jazz Chorus amps, and the solo riffs came from a preset called "STP" which had a tube overdrive set for soft clip, then chorus added.

Lyle: Here's the ending riff that you'll play during the last 2 measure of the progression, called a turn around riff

Lyle: Here's another jam track with both rhythm riffs in it:

Lyle: That's all for this lesson tonight.

Lyle: Good time for me to take a break.
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