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Lyle Ronglien >> BB King style >>

In The Style of B.B. King - part 5

Lesson Sample

Lyle: In this lesson you'll learn the 3 solos in the lesson sample and how they all use little blues riffs made from notes in the major and minor pentatonic scales. You'll be working in the key of E. Here's the jam track you'll use for this lesson:

Looping Sound Clip 1

irene: What is the best amp and guitar for blues?

Lyle: Irene - Here's your answer in this sound clip:

Sound Clip 2

Lyle: The riffs in solo 1 are made from notes in these two positions. The root notes (E) are highlighted.

bart: Those are not all the notes of the Maj/min pent?

Lyle: No, those are not scales, just riff locations from notes of those scales. Within those patterns are cool notes to bend. Here's what I mean:

p90s: Isn't that how you get licks-by taking notes from within a scale & trying to make those notes sound good?

Lyle: Yes! Listen to this next sound clip:

Sound Clip 3

Lyle: Here's solo 1:

solo 1

Lyle: Who can tell me what solo 1 starts off with, major or minor pentatonic notes?

andre: major

PaulM: E Maj

Lyle: Right, major!  When does it change to minor?

andre: 5 right?

bart: 10th bar?

Lyle: Yes, in both the 5th and 10th measures. When ever you have a basic 1 - 4 - 5 blues progression like this one that uses major or dominant 7 chords, it's good to start with major pentatonic riffs, then switch to minor pentatonic riffs during the IV chord. In this case, the IV chord is A since you are in the key of E.

chord chart

Lyle: See where the minor pentatonic riffs happen in the solo at bars 5 and 10 in the progression, right where the IV chord is (A)?

andre: So what about V chord (B) teach.. what's best to use?

Lyle: Andre, notice in solo 1, I played a B note during the V chord in bar 9 to "announce" or define the V chord (B). Anything goes there on the V chord. There really isn't any hard rules for blues, you can mix it all up or just play a minor pentatonic for everything. But, sometimes it's good to know a few tricks using little bits of theory formulas to help get "your sound" happening. That's what I'm trying to show you in this lesson.

p90s: I think what makes it so cool is that the change is so subtle in the sound between the major and minor shapes.

Lyle: Let's try another solo example, this time up an octave. Here's the riff positions for our major and minor pentatonic notes:

Lyle: Let's look at solo 2 and examine where the major and minor pentatonic riffs happen:

solo 2

Rich: What is a turnaround?

Lyle: The "turnaround" is a riff that is at the end of the progression. You've heard them many times in blues songs and solos. Here's an example of me playing a turn-around riff I just recorded:

Lyle: Here's a couple more examples of turnarounds:

Lyle: Let's look at another solo that switches back and forth from major and minor pentatonic notes. Here's the note positions:

Lyle: Here's something for you to listen to:

Sound Clip 5

solo 3

Cabe: I hear the difference.

Lyle: In solo 3, what does it start off with, major or minor pentatonic riffs?

Cabe: major.

clint: major.

Lyle: Right! When does it use minor?

clint: 5

Lyle: yes, 5th measure....and

clint: ...and 10

Lyle: Right, just like in solo 1.

PaulM: Teach, towards the end, if possible, can you combine all video to the lead work you've shown us? It'd be nice to hear/see it all together.

Lyle: Sure, here it is. I edited them all together, the edit points are just a little off but you'll get the idea:

all 3 solos

Lyle: That wraps up this lesson and this 5 part series on the King of the Blues. I hope you learned some new things that you can use in your own jams. If you would like further study on this topic or any other topic, email me at for info on how you can get your own customized guitar lessons like this using Riff Interactive technology. Your private lessons can be downloaded to your pc for anytime, anywhere study. Thanks and see you at the next lesson. - Lyle


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