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Michael Johnson >> Southern Rock Legends >>
Lesson Subject: Southern Rock Legends II
What you learn: Blackfoot Style
Michael: Michael Johnson

Michael:
Welcome class to the lesson on Southern Rock Legends, in this lesson we will cover the style of Blackfoot. Blackfoot was a native American hard rock band who came out of Jacksonville, Florida during the Southern Rock movement. The band featured the guitar work of Rickey Medlocke who later went on to be the guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Medlocke featured more of a Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) type sound and picking attack. Listen to the lesson sample of what you will learn:

Lesson Sample - Highband - 3.1 Meg

Michael: Let's get started with the first rhythm guitar track.

Part 1 - Rhythm Guitar

Part 1 - Rhythm Guitar

Michael: Here is a typical southern rock mellow rhythm. You start in the the Em and play a C and back to a B7, using a picking pattern. This part is repeated a few times until you shift to the Am. Later you play a D/F# which has a nice descending sound. You end the rhythm with B7. Here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 1 - Lowband

Michael: This rhythm track is perfect to solo over! Let's try a few licks you can play. Here's the first solo.

Part 1 - Solo 1

Part 1 - Solo 1

Michael: This lick uses the 4th box pattern of the E Minor Pentatonic. This lick uses the 4th box pattern of the E Minor Pentatonic scale pattern. The shape of this box pattern is easy to solo in, here's the pattern.

E Minor Pentatonic - Box 4

Michael: The 2nd and 3rd string shape of the pattern is set nicely to use your 1st and 3rd fingers on the 2nd string and the 2nd finer on the 3rd string. Here's another lick.

Part 1 - Solo 2

Part 1 - Solo 2

Michael: You shift up to the E Minor Pentatonic scale pattern on the 12th fret. You start with a whole-step bend on the 15th fret/1st string and descend the scale pattern. Notice the lick resolves on B (12th fret/2nd string), this follows the B7 chord in the progression and resolves the lick nicely. Let's jump to the next section. In this rhythm track you have kind of a ZZ Top type hard rock/blues sound.

Part 2 - Rhythm Guitar

Part 2 - Rhythm Guitar

Michael: This rhythm pattern is in E, featuring a percussive picking attack. Notice how you drone on the 6th string (E). You can palm mute the lower string if you like to produce more attack on the strings. Here's the jam track.

Looping Jam Track 2 - Lowband

Michael: Now let's try a few licks over the jam track.

Part 2 - Solo 1

Part 2 - Solo 1

Michael: This solo has quite a few licks, I'll break down what's happening in each bar. Bar 1 starts with a triple-stop (harmonic interval) with a whole-step bend on the 3rd string using your 3rd finger to bend. In bar 2 you start a descending E Minor Blues run, starting from the 4th string. Bar 3 ascending the scale pattern using a slide between the 12th and 14th frets. Bar 4 plays a whole-step band on the 14th fret then ascend the scale. Bar 5 descend the scale pattern again. In bar 6 you jump down to the open E Minor Pentatonic scale. Bar 7 descend that scale pattern and then you end with double-stop notes in bar 8.

Michael: Now the rhythm pattern will change a bit, here's the jam track.

Looping Jam Track 3 - Lowband

Michael: the rhythm track is basically the same as the previous jam track, but this time you start with the A. You can play the next lick over this track.

Part 3 - Solo 1

Part 3 - Solo 1

Michael: This lick is basic, you start with a sliding double-stop lick in bar 1 and jump to match the lick in the jam track in bar 2. In bar 3 you repeat the double-stop notes, but this time you shift higher to the 5th and 6th frets. Bar 4 repeats the jam track lick, and in bar 5 you shift to the D and use a D Major Pentatonic, then bar 6 jumps to A, using a A Major Pentatonic. Here's the last jam track.

Looping Jam Track 4 - Lowband

Michael: This rhythm pattern has a hard rock/rhythm & blues sound in E. Playing the Minor and Minor Blues scales over this type of rhythm pattern sound great. Here's a lick you can play over this track.

Part 4 - Solo 1

Part 4 - Solo 1

Michael: This lick starts with box 2 of the E Minor Pentatonic scale pattern. This pattern works great to sound like you are playing in the lower register of the fretboard. This lick has a great Billy Gibbons sound and great for using harmonic picking. Notice in bar 4 you shift to box 4 of the E Minor Pentatonic, the same scale pattern you used in Part 1 - Solo 1.

Michael: Well it's time to go, I look forward to seeing you next week!

Jim: Thanks. Another good one...

Michael: Thanks, see you next lesson!

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