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Michael Johnson >> Rockabilly Legends >>
Lesson Subject: Rockabilly Legends
What you learn: Brian Setzer Rhythm & Licks
Teacher: Michael Johnson

Michael:
This interactive lesson is the first part on the licks of Brian Setzer (Stray Cats). In this lesson you'll unlock the secrets for playing classic rockabilly type licks, but with a modern edge. Here's what you'll learn:

1. Playing riffs in the key of G
2. Playing riffs over a I, IV, V progression
3. Following the I, IV, V progression within a lick
 
Michael:
Here's the lesson sample.



Michael: These licks are in the key of G, here's our rhythm pattern:



Michael: Here's a jam track you can practice over:





Michael: We'll be using a I, IV, I, V, I progression. Do you know what the I, IV, V of G Major is?

Kevin: G C D

Bill: gcd

Tonester: G,C,D

Michael: Yes, here's the tab for the IV of the progression.





Michael: Here's the tab for the D of the progression.





Michael: Let's try some Brian Setzer type licks.





Michael: Notice how this lick plays over the G and then you change to the IV root while playing the same lick. Here's part two of the licks:





Michael: This next lick continues the first lick. Notice how you play the same basic lick, but the root notes change with the progression. You can use the 1st finger to quickly jump between notes on the 3rd fret.

Bill: Do you stay in the same scale or use a different one when the root changes.

wg99nyr99: Those are the chord changes, but is it still in the key of g?

Michael: Same scale, the roots for the progression are just the I, IV, V, of the main scale pattern.

Bill: Which is G Maj scale right?

Michael: Yes, do you need the scale pattern. The root note moves but you can repeat the original lick.

Bill: Can you use a E min pentatonic scale on this one.

Michael: Yes, it would actually be the major pentatonic when played.

Tonester: G Maj and E min pentatonic are the same, just starting on a different root in the G Maj scale.

John: What is the circles around certain numbers?

Michael: Those are the I, IV, V notes, let me send it again with the note names.



Bill: Hey what would be the scale pattern if you were to use the G Major Pentatonic scale

Tonester: B flat Major.

Michael: We're actually using the G minor for the licks, but I just wanted to illustrate the I, IV, V. You would be playing the lick in the G minor Pentatonic scale and use the E Major Pentatonic scale as an alternative for country type licks, just G Minor, I should have pointed that out earlier. Here's more licks:





Michael: This lick uses the G Minor Blues scale pattern. Notice the Maj 3rd is used as a grace note in this lick. It's the second note of the hammer-on. This lick uses an interesting combination of the G Dorian and the G Minor Blues.

tigerpogue: What do you mean by "grace note"?

Michael: The Major 3rd is not a note used in the minor blues scale, an extra note outside of the scale pattern.

tigerpogue: It gives it such a country-blues feel!!

Michael: Yes it does! You can't use that note as a resolving note but sounds cool leading into other notes of the scale.





Michael: This next lick uses an open E note.

tigerpogue: That's cool tooo...swingy!!

Tonester: Great licks Teach....good rockabilly/swing feel!

Michael: This one uses the Min 3rd and the 6th of the scale for the last two notes. Brian Setzer uses this combination all the time, bend these notes up slightly.  Here's the turnaround lick I played on the teacher sample:





gtrman563: Notice how Teach slightly bends the double stops to make it feel great!

Bill: What is double stops?

gtrman563: Bill, two notes played together.

Michael: Yes, that really adds personality to the notes. The last video will show you my hand position for the lick.

Michael:  It's time for me to go, see you next lesson!

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