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Michael Johnson >> Chuck Berry-Rolling Stones styles >>
Lesson Subject: Rolling Stones Style
What you learn: Rhythms & Licks (A)
Michael: Michael Johnson

Michael: Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones has a very unique signature rhythm & blues and rock 'n roll style. Keith's guitar style and feel sounds more like an old blues player emphasizing a relaxed and melodic type groove. In this lesson we'll use the key of A which is excellent for open chords and inversions. Notice the rhythm patterns sound more like licks, but are only portions of various rhythm sections fit together, this allows room for the rhythm and lead guitars to intertwine. This is the magic of the Stones sound! Here's the lesson sample of what you will learn:



AScriabin: Richard's uses some weird tunings sometimes, and sometimes less than 6 strings on his guitar.

Michael: Good point, Keith does will use various open tunings, but for this lesson we'll stick to regular tuning. I'm actually using a standard tuning, Keith uses rhythm chords outside of normal barre chords, it's fun stuff, let's start with tab of a standard blues rhythm.





Michael: Here's the tab for the I and IV of the progression pretty common blues. Here's a jam track.



Michael: It's a standard I, IV, V. I'll show the Keith version next the chords are A5 & A6, then it moves up to D5 & D6, it's fun to jam with. Here's the next tab variation.





Michael: This is an A and A6 sus4, just more notes, here's an image of the chord positions.





Michael: Notice how I barre the 2nd fret, then hold the 2nd finger on the 2nd string, and third finger on the 4th string, make sure you don't mute the 3rd string which is barred by the 1st finger. This chord basically plays off the back three notes of the barre chords.

John: Is there a V for it?

Michael: I didn't include the V, all you have to do is move up 1 whole-step from the IV.

Eddie_solo: I always think when learning new chords if u keep doing them they become programmed into your fingers.

Michael: Let me give you a breakdown of this variation.



Michael: This should give you a visual of the chords.

Matt: This is in A right?

Michael: Yes Matt, we're working on the IV chord of the progression.

AScriabin: That's a great lick - hammering on the IV to the I.

John: So any blue in A you can do this correct?

Michael: Yes John.

AScriabin: "I've Got a Feeling" by Beatles starts that way and Brian May uses that in the scorching "We Will Rock You" solo.

Michael: Good ear AS! OK, lets move on, in this next lick you have the A then a A9 sus4. Notice the slight difference in the fingering. In this example the 2nd finger frets the 2nd string and the 3rd finger frets the 3rd string.





Matt: Maybe we can get some positions that strengthen pinky movements worked in here :)

Michael: Sure matt, you can use the pinky on some of these the fingering looks pretty close to the last chords I gave you.





Michael: We're playing off the back of the chord pattern. Notice this time the third finger is on the third string. You can bounce between the chord variations it sounds really cool. Here's a lick using a variation of the chords I just gave you.





Michael: Notice how I move the intervals around. This is influenced by various blues players.

Matt: Sounds like the beginning to an old AC/DC tune.

Michael: That's another good comparison Matt, all the bands you mentioned are influenced by these players.

Tom: But you need to add slides to make it smoother.

Michael: Correct Tom, you can also move this to the IV and V of the progressions.

John: So you would use this some where in the middle of a lead lick??

Michael: You bet John. Here's the next sample.





Michael: I just gave you the IV. You have all kinds of possibilities you can use. I hope this opens some doors for expanding you chord style, I love to sit around and jam on stuff like this. I'll give you a sample of me adding a A Major Pentatonic scale lick.





Michael: So basically you use the same chords and then the A Major Pentatonic scale pattern:



Michael: I'll give you a live sample of me playing.



Michael: Notice how I add the licks in between the chords, it's all based of the scale pattern I gave you earlier. Notice it has a nice lazy sound to it.

Tom: That's the hardest part! the lazy sound that is.

Michael: It's in the rhythm, just kind of laid back and play behind the beat.

Matt: I find it VERY fun to play off the Am blues scale to the jam track.

Michael: That sure works, switch between the two scales. Well time to go, see you next lesson!



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