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Michael Johnson >> Stevie Ray Vaughan style >>
Lesson Subject: Stevie Ray Vaughan Style
What you learn: Runs & Licks
Michael: Michael Johnson

Welcome class! This interactive lesson will focus on classic runs/licks of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Technically speaking a "run" can also be referred to as a "sequence", meaning a mathematical sequence of notes that ascends or descends a scale. Music can have a definite sequence of notes much in the way we practice scales and exercises, but Stevie had the incredible ability for blending blues licks, scales, sequences, whatever to form an extended phrase that can only be described as musical. These extended musical phrases are what we're going to cover in this lesson and essential to helping you develop your solos to the next level! Check out the lesson sample of what you will learn in this lesson:

Lesson Sample - Highband - 1.6 Meg

Michael: We will continue to use the same rhythm and jam track form the previous lesson. We will continue to use a I, IV, V progression in E. Here's the jam track.

Looping Jam Track - Lowband

Michael: For part 1 you will learn licks in the E Minor Blues scale in the open position. Here's the E Minor Blues scale pattern:

E Minor Blues

Michael: Here's the first lick in this pattern:

Part 1 - Lick 1

Part 1 - Lick 1

Michael: This first lick starts off with a slide from the 3rd to 5th frets/2nd string while the open 1st string rings open as a pedal tone. Next the lick descends the scale pattern in the open position. After the lick reaches the lower strings, you ascend the scale pattern, which includes a b5 and later a Major 7 note, which is highlighted in the notation.

Michael: Here's the E Minor Blues with the Major 7 notes added.

E Minor Blues (Maj 7)

Michael: Remember this pattern, you will learn more licks using this combination of notes. Here's the next lick.

Part 1 - Lick 2

Part 1 - Lick 2

Michael: This lick uses an interesting combination. Notice how you ascend the scale pattern using the E Minor Blues and include the Major 7 note. Bar 2 uses a hammer/pull-off combination between the 4th (A) and b5 (Bb) notes. SRV uses this combination of notes often when playing in the open E position of the neck. Here's the next lick:

Part 1 - Lick 3

Part 1 - Lick 3

Michael: This lick has a unique sound. The lick starts off with a slide to the Major 7 note on the 4th fret/2nd string. Notice in bar the the hammer/pull-off combination to the b5 note (3rd fret/3rd string) as well. Bar 3 ends with the hammer/pull-off the the 4th and b5 note again. Here's the next lick.

Part 1 - Lick 4

Part 1 - Lick 4

Michael: Notice all the variations you can play using the same note combination. This variation starts with a slide to the b5, then playing the open notes on the 2nd and 1st strings. The lick gradually works it way down using various hammer/pull-off combination using the Major 7 and b5 notes. OK, in this next section you will learn a few licks the use the minor blues and Major 7 notes, but this time you will use movable scale patterns that follow the I, IV, V progression in E. Here's the first lick.

Part 2 - Lick 1 (E)

Part 2 - Lick 1

Michael: This is a cool sounding lick! You start by playing the E root note on the open 6th string, then the b7 and 9th notes on the 3rd fret/1st & 2nd strings. Next you have a double-stop hammer-on to the Major 3rd note. Bars 2 & 3 use some of the same licks you learned earlier, using the b5 and Major 7 notes.

Michael: Now, this pattern can move to the A position on the 5th fret while playing over the IV of the progression. This technique is called a "movable scale" pattern.

Part 2 - Lick 2 (A)

Part 2 - Lick 2

Michael: OK, this is the same basic lick, however you will have to adjust your fingering to play this lick. In this example I use the thumb to bar the 5th fret/6th string, while using the other fingers to play the licks on the higher string. Stevie used his thumb often to play licks like these, as well as Jimi Hendrix and other blues guitarists. Here is a picture of my hand position.

A9 - With Thumb

Michael: Notice how the 4th finger frets the b7 and 9 notes on the 1st and 2nd strings. The 1st finger also barres the 5th fret to play any notes used in that position. Some of you might have a tough time using your thumb, so you can substitute using the 1st finger barred on the 5th fret as well.

A9 - No Thumb

Michael: Now you can move this lick combination to the 7th fret t play over the V (B) of the progression. Here's the licks.

Part 2 - Lick 3 (B)

Part 2 - Lick 3

Michael: Notice that this is the same lick as the previous one, but this time it's based on the 7th fret. For the next section of the lesson you will learn a few turnarounds. A "turnaround" is typically a musical phrase that plays over the ending or even beginning of a blues progression. These types of licks are essential to any musician playing the blues. The turnaround is typically played over the last chord of the progression. In this case we'll use the key of E. Here's the first turnaround.

Part 3 - Lick 1

Part 3 - Lick 1

Michael: This turnaround starts by using double-stop notes. The notes used are a b7 and #9. This combo creates a sound of tension. Notice the towards the end of the lick you ascend the pattern using the b5 and Major 7 note. Here's another turnaround.

Part 3 - Lick 2

Part 3 - Lick 2

Michael: This version basically uses the same licks from the previous turnaround, but in this example you jump the double-stop up to the 6th and 7th frets/1st and 2nd string. The ending is different as well, playing a C9, and then B9 chord to end the turnaround. You can also play this turnaround on the octave portion of the neck as well. Here's the octave turnaround.

Part 3 - Lick 3

Part 3 - Lick 3

Michael: Notice the same lick is played, but this time you have to use the 1st finger to barre notes on the 12th fret.

Michael: Well it's time to go, any questions?

Doug: nope Thanks

tom: I'll work on this more

Michael: Well practice this week and I hope to see you at the next lesson!

hank: many thanks!!

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