Monday, Week 2

Golden Age of Guitar Instrumentals

Rock and Roll Guitar Instrumentals
Rockabilly happened when country and Western Swing ("hillbilly") collided with jazz, jump blues, R&B, boogie-woogie and rock and roll. Guitar-driven all the way, rockabilly merged the styles of country pickers Chet Atkins and Merle Travis with blues artists like T-Bone Walker and Lightnin' Hopkins and jazz players Charlie Christian and Les Paul. Today's lick presents a classic rockabilly guitar line heard in countless instrumentals. It is played in A with a shuffle feel and makes use of a characteristic boogie-woogie melody in the lower register of the guitar. This sort of figure has its origins in the left-hand bass patterns of boogie-woogie piano style. This lick is based on a first-position open A major chord. When playing this lick it is therefore helpful to visualize its melodic shape as occupying the same space as a standard A chord fingered as a barre (with the index finger) at the second fret. The bassline-type melody is derived from the chord tones of A major (A-C sharp-E) and is embellished with the major sixth (F sharp) and flat seventh (G) of the scale. The latter tones add the necessary melodic spice to the lick.

Learn this lick and then practice to

teacher: Wolf Marshall
skill level:
Key:  G