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Michael Johnson >> Blues Legends III >>
Lesson Subject: Blues Legends III
What you learn: Blind Lemon Jefferson Style
Teacher: Michael Johnson

Michael: Hello class, this interactive lesson continues our series on acoustic delta blues legends, featuring the style of Blind Lemon Jefferson. Blind Lemon made an impact on many blues players of that time and shared the radio with the likes of Robert Johnson, Lonnie Johnson and others. The delta blues players influenced many electric plays and rock players. Delta blues can have a folk sound as well. Here's a sample of the guitar licks you'll learn:

Lesson Sample

Michael: Here's the progression we'll base the guitar licks on:

Lesson 1 - Rhythm 1

Lesson 1 - Rhythm 1

Lesson 1 - Rhythm 1 - picking
Looping Jam Track B5

This is based on the key of B. In this example we're using the B5 with either fingerpicking or you can even use your pick, unlike most blues progressions. This version will use one chord and then you will play various licks and return to this chord and picking pattern. Here's the B major pentatonic scale pattern with a b3 added, you can call this a Major Blues:

Teacher: Let's start with a few intro licks:

Lesson 2 - Intro 1

Michael: Here's one you can try using a turnaround lick type intro this lick descends down in 3rds while you pick the notes and jumps to the B scale pattern. There is a nice ascending pattern where you use your 1st and 3rd fingers, then jumping to the 1st and 4th fingers. Here's another intro version you can play.

Lesson 2 - Intro 2

Michael: This intro lick uses a portion of the first one, but this time you hang on the B note. Playing with your 1st and 4th fingers work nicely in this lick and scale pattern. OK, now we'll work on playing various licks and jumping back into the rhythm pattern you played earlier.

Lesson 3 - Lick 1

Michael: This lick uses a cool pattern towards the beginning and jumps through the scale pattern and back into the B5 rhythm pattern. Notice the 3rd intervals in the middle of the lick. You also basically play the beginning lick and jump to the lower octave. Here's our next lick:

Lesson 3 - Lick 2

Michael: This lick has a very cool chromatic feel to it, notice the hammer-on after you descend each chromatic phrase.

Rhinosaur: Do you alternate pick with fingers at first?

Michael: I'm fingerpicking for this lesson. Most of the old delta blues players usually used fingerpicking. Basically you're playing the same lick but moving down an octave until you jump back to the rhythm, this allows them to use the thumb as well to play alternating bass lines during the rhythms and play open notes while playing guitar licks. Here's or next guitar lick:

Lesson 3 - Lick 3

Michael: This guitar lick starts with playing intervals descending using 6th notes. Later in the lick it jumps to the run we played earlier and then back to the B5 pattern, you can use a pick if you want.

JohnPaul: Yea, just got to slow it down a lot.

Michael: Try to memorize the patterns/licks... this way you can focus on your fretboard. Here's our next lick:

Lesson 3 - Lick 4

Michael: This lick combines using 3rd intervals, then moving to 6th intervals and back to the rhythm pattern. You can piece any of these lick phrases together. Here's the last guitar lick:

Lesson 3 - Lick 5

Michael: In this lick you play variations of the licks you learned earlier. Well its time to go! See you all next lesson, bye!

Rhinosaur: thanx

Rhinosaur: bye

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