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Michael Johnson >> Chuck Berry-Rolling Stones styles >>
Lesson Subject: Chuck Berry Style
What you learn: Licks - Part 2
Michael: Michael Johnson

Michael: This interactive lesson is the 2nd part of our study on the style of Chuck Berry. Here's a sample of the licks you'll learn:

Lesson Sample

Michael: Notice how the licks changes with the I, IV, V chord progression, you can play all over the progression like Chuck Berry does. Here's the scale pattern we'll use:

Michael: Try playing the scale and the upcoming licks over this jam track:

Michael: Here's your first lick.

Michael: You will use this lick in several positions, here's the one for G, here's the positions for the I, IV, V .

Michael: Notice how the pentatonic scale pattern moves with the progression. Here's the first lick played in the various positions.

Michael: This should help illustrate the movement of the licks.

Jeff: But you can still play just the G min pent over the whole progression, right?

Michael: You sure can Jeff, you have options, notice the movement of the same lick. Chuck Berry stuff is simple, but fun. Let's try some other licks:

Michael: Here's a series of Maj 3rd and min 3rd intervals descending, this is a cool lick.

John: Fun stuff for beginners like me

Michael: I've been playing for years, but I always have fun playing this stuff, the last run works well over the last chord of the progression.

Michael: This lick starts by playing the rhythm of the progression then moves up to the octave scale of the G minor Pentatonic. Notice how you can combine both parts, the same works for the other chords. It helps to fill in the spaces of the music when playing in a 3 piece band, it's like playing rhythm and lead at the same time.

Michael: Here's a quick sample I made up, it's based on the rhythm for each chord then playing the lead lines in between the phrases, you can create some cool contrasts combining these licks. Here's another variation:

Michael: Here's another one in D.

Jeff: If I just keep playing in G pent over the whole progression, it sounds fine.

Michael: It sure does, you can easily move the patterns around later, Jeff just keep in you head these positions.

Michael: Does this clarify how some of the licks work. It's great to take some of the lesson content and change it to your unique style. I like to take a song I know and reverse it, you find all kinds of alternatives.

John: So you basically know a bunch of licks that you have learn and mix them up right?
Yes John, I used the same chords and licks, but twisted it around.

scott: Thereby making it your own.

Michael: Oh yes, but it has that Chuck Berry type sound or something like that. Just use the basic chords and scale and slow it WAY down this way you can hear and pay around with the changes. Once you do that you can speed it up.

Michael: Well it's time to go. See you next lesson.

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