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Michael Johnson >> Chicago Blues >>

Michael: we'll be using more finger picking, much like John Lee Hooker and influenced from great players of the Delta blues style, I'll send out the video for both techniques, ok our lesson is the Chicago blues style, what are the notes for the A Minor Pentatonic scale?

chris: acdeg

Michael: thanks chris



Michael: here's our first scale

Skedman: Thats an interesting way to play that

Eddie_solo: do u want us to finger pick it

Michael: your index finger first, yes eddie you can use both

Brian: so should the last one be index, thumb, index?





Michael: index now the last tab I sent should be both, I sent the video of the picking technique, notice the thumb finger technique in the video

AceDuck: teach, are you playing with your fingernails?



Michael: here's the first jam track you can jam to, actually finger tips

Michael: but you can use the fingernails like a classical player

Eddie_solo: i prefer finger tips

Michael: try playing the last exercise over the jam track, you can play the scale up and down

Eddie_solo: the strings seem to get stuck under your finger nails






Michael: I sent both the tab and the video for the lick and picking technique



Michael: notice how I have the thumb positioned on the string and the finger position

Michael: I barre the 1st finger on the 2nd fret, 3rd and 4th string, I use my thumb for all the notes played on the 5th string, with this technique you can play all kinds of variations of the licks

Eddie_solo: did u use two fingers to pluck the g and b string

Michael: yes I did eddie, it's in the 2nd vid

Phish: This is hard to play

Eddie_solo: thats what i am doin wrong i only use one







Michael: which plays off the same scale pattern, but this one uses more of the scale pattern

AceDuck: do you bend any of the notes?

Michael: slightly on the 2nd string 1st fret



Skedman: I'm having a blast with this loop.

Skedman: Im actually writing music.

Michael: that's what I hope you all do with these licks

chris: I am having a bit of trouble with some of the open notes ringing, is this a bad thing?

Michael: make up your own stuff, you can mute the notes on your picking hand by the base of your palm

Eddie_solo: r there variations to how u can pick this cos i do it slightly different but it sounds fine

Palm Muting


Michael: here's the picture, ok now lets try another A minor pentatonic pattern



Michael: now let's try the next A minor Pentatonic pattern, this pattern is based between the 2nd thru 5th frets

Eddie_solo: maybe we could do some of this finger picking in the c major scale

Michael: C major is relative to this scale

Eddie_solo: i know thats why i thought u could show some patterns within it finger style

Michael: these all work eddie, ok now let's try the picking exercise for the last pattern using the thumb and index finger







Michael: notice this picking pattern is pretty much like the first exercise

Skedman: How about something else to do with the thumb?

Michael: notice how the thumb plays the open A string while you ascend the scale pattern

Ted: like all of the licks

Michael: you can also play an open bass line with the thumb while you play a lick in the scale pattern

chris: sorta looks like you are squeezing the strings.

Michael: yes ted, this technique was used by most of the delta blues players, usually because they played solo and it filled up the sound

Ted: yea, it does seem to fill up the sound

Eddie_solo: sounds like a Robert Johnson technique







Michael: notice on the new lick I play chords/intervals and use the thumb to keep the bass notes playing

Ted: that sounds like a ZZ Top lick

Michael: now you know who influenced Billy Gibbons, he listened to many great Delta and Chicago blues players, just add more distortion

chris: alot of distortion =-)

Michael: the thumb really helps the sound, try jamming that lick to the jam track

Skedman: smokin'

Michael: it produces a really cool groove, I'll send you all some additional licks you can practice in that pattern







Michael: I sending you the video of the lick and the picking also, the last lick uses your thumb, 1st and 4th fingers to play most the lick, the second video shows the picking technique

Ted: how about a different jam track, I'm tired of the first one

Michael: yes, I have a slower one



Ted: that works for me

Michael: I have one last lick I can send you







Michael: any questions regarding the lesson, We're going to cover some slide guitar next week

Skedman: What inspired you to do tonight's lesson?

Michael: John Lee Hooker inspired this lesson even though he's from Mississippi then made his fame in Detroit

Skedman: Cool, you inspired me. Thanks

Michael: check the "Lick of the Day" this week

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