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Michael Johnson >> Southern Rock Legends >>
Lesson Subject: Southern Rock Legends I
What you learn: Allman Brothers Style
Michael: Michael Johnson

Michael:
Welcome class to our new lesson series on Southern Rock Guitar Legends! This class will feature the style of the Allman Brothers featuring the guitar techniques of Dickey Betts and the harmony guitar work of Duane Allman. We covered Duane Allman's slide guitar techniques in the earlier lesson series on Slide Guitar Legends. Dickey Betts' guitar work is very melodic and fluid sounding, using country, rock and blues scales to create a very unique sound. Check out the lesson sample of the licks you will learn. Notice we will mostly cover guitar harmonies which are signature to the Allman Brothers sound. Check out the lesson sample:

Lesson Sample - Highband - 3 Meg

Michael: For this lesson you will learn both harmony guitar parts as well as the rhythm. Here's the jam track of the licks that start out the lesson.

Looping Jam Track Intro - Harmony 1 - 2

Michael: Let's start with the higher harmony first:

Part 1 - Guitar Harmony 1

Part 1 - Guitar Harmony 1

Michael: First here's the jam track using the lower harmony so you can practice this first lick over the track:

Looping Jam Track Intro - Harmony 1 - Lowband

Michael: This lick stars with a descending run in the A Major Pentatonic scale pattern. This scale has a great country sound to it. Here's the pattern for Bar 1:

A Major Pentatonic

Stuart: What is the purpose of jumping down the neck in bar 2 when you can just play the rest at the 14th position on the lower strings?

Michael:
Stuart you can use that position, but the guitar has very subtle variation in tone in different positions, try practicing the same scale in various positions of the neck and you will notice what I mean. In this case, the second lick seemed a little brighter and easier to play for me. OK, in Bar 2 we use an ascending run in the A Major scale, here's the pattern:

A Major Scale

Rob: In bar three is that hammer-on/pull-off a triplet?

Michael: Rob, yes it is, good ear! In fact the last bar uses the hammer/pull-off in the A Major scale I just gave you as well! Let's jump to the 2nd harmony guitar:

Part 1 - Guitar Harmony 2

Part 1 - Guitar Harmony 2

Rob: Same thing in a different key?

Michael: Rob, same KEY, different harmony.
 Notice the harmony starts on the V (E) of the A Major, the to runs layered sound very cool and you can really hear how the Allman Brothers sound comes together as far as the harmony guitar parts. Here's the jam track you can play over with the first harmony you learned:

Looping Jam Track Intro - Harmony 2 - Lowband

Michael: The trick is to memorize the new licks and to track your playing over the jam track, then you can see how you can play harmony guitar as well. All the notes in this lick are all related to A Major (A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#), or A Major Pentatonic (A, B, C#, E, F#). Now let's jump to the next part of the lesson, in this section you have a rhythm guitar part in A. This rhythm jumps to the IV (D) using the same riff and back to A, the last two chords are G and E.

Part 2 - Rhythm Guitar

Part 2 - Rhythm Guitar

Michael: Here's the jam track for the rhythm guitar:

Looping Jam Track 1 - Lowband

Michael: Notice on the jam track you play the A bar 4 times, then jump to D two times, A two times and back to G and E. OK, this is the main track we will play the harmony guitar over and solo licks. Here's the first harmony guitar for this rhythm:

Part 2 - Guitar Harmony 1

Part 2 - Guitar Harmony 1

Michael: In bar 1 you start with a descending arpeggio in the A Major scale I gave you earlier, a melody in the same scale is continued in the 2nd and 3rd bars. Notice you repeat the same A Major arpeggio lick. The scale pattern shifts as you play over the G and E of the chord progression. Here's a jam track with the rhythm track and 2nd harmony to get a feel for applying this lick over both parts.

Looping Jam Track 2 - Harmony 1 - Lowband

Michael: Let's jump to the 2nd harmony I just gave you in the jam track.

Part 2 - Guitar Harmony 2

Part 2 - Guitar Harmony 2

Michael: This harmony also uses the A Major scale and descending A Major arpeggio. I'll give you both patterns so you can see how they work together:

A Major Scale - A Major Arpeggio

Michael: Notice I highlighted the notes of the arpeggio, this should help you visualize the pattern better. Here's a jam track of the rhythm guitar and the 1st harmony you learned so you can practice the 2nd harmony over the track:

Looping Jam Track 2 - Harmony 2 - Lowband

Michael: Let's jump to the solo section, you'll need to reload the rhythm guitar track again, here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 2 - Lowband

Michael: Here's the first part of the solo:

Part 3 - Solo 1

Part 3 - Solo 1

Michael: Most of the solos I will give you are in the A Major Pentatonic scale pattern, here's the pattern you'll mostly use for the next few licks:

A Major Pentatonic

Michael: Notice you start on the A on the 4th string and then ascend the scale pattern for there, this should give you an idea visually of the positions you will play in the next few licks. Here's the next licks to continue the phrase while playing over the jam track.

Part 3 - Solo 2

Part 3 - Solo 2

Michael: Now in these licks you adjust the scale to play over the D of the progression, back into the A Major Pentatonic and the shifting to play over the G and E. Shifting like this sounds more melodic when playing over a progression like this. Let's try another set of licks:

Part 3 - Solo 3

Part 3 - Solo 3

Michael: Notice the subtle change in the theme, but using the same basic patterns you played earlier. In this example you use notes in the A Major scale as well as the A Major Pentatonic. Here's both patterns:

A Major & A Major Pentatonic

Michael: Here's the last lick that you play over the chord changes:

Part 3 - Solo 4

Part 3 - Solo 4

Michael: Well class that's it for this lesson! Practice hard and we will cover more Southern Rock Legends next week! Thanks!

Rob: Thanks for the lesson.

Michael: Bye!!!

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