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Michael Johnson >> Blues Legends I >>
Lesson Subject: Blues Legends I
What you learn: T-Bone Walker Style
Teacher: Michael Johnson

Michael: This interactive lesson is on style of T-Bone Walker. T-Bone's licks are basic, but very lyrical with an energetic edge to it. Mr. Walker has been considered the creator of modern blues and a pioneer in the development of the electric guitar sound. Equally important, Walker was the quintessential blues guitarist. He influenced virtually every major post-World War II guitarist. Here's a sample of the licks you'll learn:

Lesson Sample Video

Michael: We'll start with the G min pentatonic scale pattern for the licks:

Michael: You will play over this chord transition. Here's our jam track:

Michael: This progression uses a I, IV, V in the key of G, can anybody tell what those chords would be?

Bill: g d c

Michael: Thanks Bill G (I), C (IV), D (V) is correct! Here's our first lick:

Lick 1

Michael: This lick is simple but effective when played over the progression. Here's a few pictures of the finger positions.

Michael: Notice how your bar sets up the lick. Now you try playing this lick over the progression, but only over the IV of the progression. Here's the lick you play over the IV (C)

Lick 1 & 2

Here's a live sample of me playing these licks together with a subtle twist, it ties it in nicely:

Michael: The licks come alive when played over the jam track, let's try another lick.

Michael: Ok this lick goes over the I (G) of the progression, know when you change to the IV play the coming lick.

Michael: Notice how the lead notes drop, but retain the the common melody of the first lick, then the progression goes back to the I (G) and you play the first lick again, now you shift again when you go to the V (D) of the progression.

Lick 1, 2 & 3

mac: W
hen you play the G do you use a G7 chord?

Michael: You can use G7 if you want. Let me create a file real quick of me playing all the phrases together, here's a sample:

Michael: This will give you an idea on the phrasing though

Jon: Wow, that helps!

mac: Man that sounds great!

Michael: Try mixing up all the licks you learned, here's the next lick:

Lick 1

Michael: Here's a cool lick, this basically stays in the G min pen scale, it uses the Maj 3rd though in the hammer-on. The hammer-on sounds nice within the context of the progression, next lick:

Lick 2

Michael: I like this next lick, it uses the G min pen scale. Later in the lick you hammer to the Major 3rd note and then this classic bending lick. Use your third finger to bend the notes. Here's a few pictures.

Michael: It's simple but effective, the secret is developing control of the bending fingers. A good practice is focusing on the bending portion only, and then practicing the entire lick. Stevie Ray Vaughan also uses these types of licks, let's try another:

Lick 3

Michael: This lick uses the Minor Pentatonic mostly, but drops into the Dominate 9th which is the 1st string 5th fret. This lick has such a classic T-Bone Walker sound, he used these notes often.

Michael: Time to go, see you next lesson!

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