Play like ... B.B. King

by Dirk Hagemann
www.blueslessons.net

The B.B. King Guitar Style
==========================

Please notice: You can find the tab, midis and GuitarPro files of this
lesson on BluesLessons.net!

The Equipment
-------------
B.B. King B.B. King had been playing Gibsons for over 40 years when he
and Gibson officially joined forces in 1982. B.B.'s personal touches on
his signature model include the fine-tuner tailpiece, the semi-hollow
body with no soundholes and, of course, the name that has adorned his
guitars throughout his career "Lucille" with his signature Gibson
Strings: 010 .013 .017p .032w .045w .054w

The Tone
--------
You should not use a distortion on your amp too much. Just use a nice warm
overdriven tone.

The Style
---------
B.B. plays a variation of the pentatonic/Blues scale or the Mixolydian scale.
For this lesson we stick to the A-Minor Blues scale.
All licks in this exercise are in the key of A.

The Technique
-------------
B.B. King is no SRV ;-) His famous signature comes from the phrasing and the
vibrato (See Lessons "Slides & Vibratos" and "Phrasing").

B.B. King has a special vibrato technique: On a vibrato the only part of his left
hand touches the guitar is the finger which do the vibrato.

B.B. Kings vibrato style
------------------------
Put your ring finger on the B string on the 8th fret. Your fingertip is
the only part of your hand that touches the guitar! Then hit the string
and "shake" your wrist to get a long and intense vibrato!


e|---------|
B|--8~~~~--|
G|---------|
D|---------|
A|---------|
E|---------|

B.B. King Style Licks
----------------------


Lick 1                                                         
E||--10~-----12b-------------|--------------10--12b-----|
B||------------------10~-13--|------10--13--------------|
G||--------------------------|--------------------------|
D||--------------------------|--------------------------|
A||--------------------------|--------------------------|
E||--------------------------|--------------------------|


                                Lick 2                          
------10----------------------|--------------10----------|
----------10------------------|--------------------------|
--------------12------10--11--|------12b---------12--10--|
------------------12----------|--------------------------|
------------------------------|--------------------------|
------------------------------|--------------------------|


                              Lick 3                              
------------10--------|------|------10h12---10--------x----|
----------------------|------|-----------------13-13~-x----|
----------------------|------|-----------------------------|
--12~-----------------|------|-----------------------------|
----------------------|------|-----------------------------|
----------------------|------|-----------------------------|
                                                                        
--------10--12--12p10-----12p10-----|--12r-10---------10p8--------------|
----13----------------13--------13--|---------13~---x------8------------|
------------------------------------|------------------------7h9-9-7----|
------------------------------------|--------------------------------10-|
------------------------------------|-----------------------------------|
------------------------------------|-----------------------------------|


                            Lick 4                                                    
--------------------|------|--5--5------------------|--5--5--------------------|
--------------------|------|--------8--8--5~-----5--|--------8--8--5-----------|
--------------------|------|------------------------|-----------------7--5--6--|
--10~---------------|------|------------------------|--------------------------|
--------------------|------|------------------------|--------------------------|
--------------------|------|------------------------|--------------------------|
                                                                
------------------------5--7b---|--5--------------------|------|
--------------5------7----------|-----5--8-----5~-------|------|
--------5/-6----5-7-------------|-----------7-----------|------|
--7--7--------------------------|-----------------------|------|
--------------------------------|-----------------------|------|
--------------------------------|-----------------------|------|


Lick 5                                                             
---------------------------|--------------------------------|
---------5--------------5--|--------------5-----------------|
----7b------7--5-----7b----|--7--5-----7b----7--5-----7-----|
------------------7--------|--------7--------------7-----7--|
---------------------------|--------------------------------|
---------------------------|--------------------------------|
                                                     
--------------------------|-------------------------|
--------------------------|-------------------------|
--5--5--------------------|-------------------------|
--------7-----5--5--7-----|-------------5--5--7--7--|
-----------7-----------7--|----5--7--7--------------|
--------------------------|-------------------------|
                                                              
---------------------------|--8b----------------5~---|------||
--------------5--5--7--10--|-----10------------------|------||
--5--5--7--7---------------|---------9--8--7---------|------||
---------------------------|-------------------------|------||
---------------------------|-------------------------|------||
---------------------------|-------------------------|------||

B.B. King Style Solo
--------------------


E||----------------------|--8b-----------------------|------------------------|
B||--10~-----------10----|-----10--8-----------------|------------------------|
G||----------------------|------------7b-5--5--7-----|--5b--------------5--7~-|
D||----------------------|------------------------7--|-----7--7--7~-----------|
A||----------------------|---------------------------|------------------------|
E||----------------------|---------------------------|------------------------|
                                                                         
---------5----------|--8~-----8------------|----------8b-9--10--10b-10--|
------5-------------|------------10~-------|------10--------------------|
--------------------|----------------------|----------------------------|
--------------------|----------------------|----------------------------|
--------------------|----------------------|----------------------------|
--------------------|----------------------|----------------------------|
                                                                                
--8b---8b-------------8b-|----8----8--------------|--8b-10--10--8--------------|
------------10----10-----|------------10----10~---|----------------10~---10----|
-------------------------|------------------------|----------------------------|
-------------------------|------------------------|----------------------------|
-------------------------|------------------------|----------------------------|
-------------------------|------------------------|----------------------------|
                                                                           
------10--10r-8----8h10----|--8b-----8--------8b---|---------------------||
---------------------------|------------10~--------|--10~----------------||
---------------------------|-----------------------|----------------9----||
---------------------------|-----------------------|---------------------||
---------------------------|-----------------------|---------------------||
---------------------------|-----------------------|---------------------||

For more exercises and GuitarPro files for this lesson visit:

www.blueslessons.net

From the 12-Bar-Blues, the Shuffle Rythm and the Blues Turnarounds to
the Blues and Pentatonic Scale, to Lead Guitar techniques, Slide guitar
lessons and more. For each Lesson there are images or GuitarPro files
and midis to listen to. Each lesson can be downloaded as textfile.
PLUS: mp3 Blues Backing Tracks/Jam Tracks and Ebooks!

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This is great. I love B.B.King and I've always tried to play his kind of blues. I checked the site and it's good, but there's just a couple of licks there. I wish there were more.

Does anybody know where I can find full B.B.King songs, with tab and everything? I would really appreciate it.

Slow-hand, you can get B.B. King tabs at guitarinstructor.com. I found it a couple of months ago, and it's really the best site for tabs. They've got the actual Hal Leonard versions, so it's real tab, and it's acurate. Wolf Marshall also has a great B.B. King lesson at that site.

I Love B.B. King! :D

Tommy Max wrote:
I Love B.B. King! :D

Me too.

i adore B.B. he's a real king))
and Gtrman777, thanx for the site, it's really cool

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