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Michael Johnson >> Guitarists Influenced by Hendrix >>
Lesson Subject:
Guitarists Influenced By Hendrix II
What you learn: Vernon Reid Style - Solos
Teacher: Michael Johnson

Michael: Hello class, this is our second lesson in the style of Vernon Reid of Living Colour. Vernon has a very diverse style ranging from a fluid Hendrix type sound to a Jimmy Page in hyper-speed mode type sound showcasing Vernon's buzz saw picking technique. The lesson sample will give you an idea of the licks you'll learn in this lesson:

Lesson Sample

Stratman: Are you using a wah on the first of the sample?

Michael: Yes Stratman, OK let's get started with our first set of licks. We will start with the B Minor Blues scale pattern, in this illustration you'll notice how you play "outside of the box" pattern combining the box just in front of the main pattern.

Michael: I highlighted the notes that combine the two patterns. Here's the jam track we'll use for the next 5 licks, try playing both scale patterns over it as well.

Looping Jam Track 1

Michael: Here's our first lick:

Part 1 - Lick 1

Michael: Notice that you start with a bend using your third finger on the 3rd string/9th fret and then descending the scale pattern and jumping into the blues note (b5) towards the end of the run. This is kind of a classic Hendrix/standard blues type lick. Here's our next lick:

Part 1 - Lick 2

Michael: I really like this lick! You ascend the B Minor Pentatonic scale pattern, jump into a lick on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th string and then descending from the higher strings. It's like you climb, step back a little and descend, very cool sounding. Try combining licks 1 and 2 together as well. Here's our next lick:

Part 1 - Lick 3

Michael: This lick actually jumps from the B Minor Pentatonic into a descending B Dorian. Here's both the B Minor Pentatonic and B Dorian, you can see how they share quite a few notes. 

Michael: Here's the next lick:

Part 1 - Lick 4

Michael: This is an interesting lick, you start by bending the note on the 3rd string (G)/10th fret and then bring it to a neutral position, then you jump into the B Dorian briefly. You then rake downward using a B minor arpeggio and then back into more B Dorian notes. Here's an example of the B Minor Pentatonic scale pattern and a B Minor arpeggio:

marcnotrica: Michael does the lick start on an A, then bending up to B?

Michael: Marc yes, it starts in the A position then quickly bent to B, where it is held for a while, good ear! Here's our next lick:

Part 1 - Lick 5

Michael: Now you might notice the subtle change in the sound of this lick, you start in the B Minor Pentatonic, like you did the last lick, then jump into the B Major Pentatonic and back to the B Minor Pentatonic. Here's the two patterns:

Michael: Jumping from Minor to Major Pentatonic was a common technique used by Hendrix. OK, for our next part of the lesson we are going to pick things up and use the E Minor Pentatonic scale based on the 12th fret.

Michael: Here's the jam track for this section:

Looping Jam Track 2

Michael: Vernon has a very distinctive sound as far as his picking attack, it's very fast with heavy attack, I'm assuming he uses heavy strings and picks to get his sound. Here's our first lick for this section, the tab/notation will be played at slow speed and the video at fast speed like how Vernon would play.

Part 2 - Lick 1

Michael: This lick is like Jimmy Page playing in hyper-speed mode! You start by bending on the 2nd string/15th fret and then use a series of pull-offs that actually use the E Dorian.

Michael: The last tab shows the E Minor Pentatonic and E Dorian patterns, pretty much like the B we covered earlier. Here's the next lick:

Part 2 - Lick 2

Michael: This lick starts with the E Minor Pentatonic using a pull-off and barring your first finger on the 1st and 2nd strings. You might notice you can get a lot of speed out of it by setting up your fingers in this position, then the lick jumps into the E Dorian pattern. Here's the next lick:

Part 2 - Lick 3

Michael: This lick uses the E Minor Pentatonic pattern, but this time including the b5 on the 3rd string/15th fret. Here's our last lick:

Part 2 - Lick 4

Michael: This lick uses the E Minor Pentatonic pattern as well, then ending with descending hammer-ons on the 4th string (D). The trick is to set your fret hand in position to play pull-offs and hammer-ons using the scale pattern and then developing the speed of your picking hand using double/alternate picking.

Well that's it for this lesson everybody, thanks and I look forward to seeing you at the next lesson!

marc: Awesome lesson Thanks Michael

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